Is raw milk dangerous?
The term "raw milk" is a misnomer. You wouldn't say I'm going to buy some "raw" apples. Milk like apples was not meant to be cooked. You would wince at the idea of boiling breast milk before giving it to your baby. Why? Because you know it would damage it. So it is with cow’s milk. People have been drinking "raw" milk since the beginning of time. If it were inherently dangerous, it would have been discontinued long ago. Pastuerization was only introduced in the late 19th century as a temporary solution until filthy urban dairies could find a way to produce cleaner milk. It just became easier to keep it going to cover up dirty milk. That to us, is a gross fact. Did you know many of the dairies you see from I25 here in New Mexico filter their milk 4 times before boiling and bottling it? We'd rather work extra hard and be very meticulous to ensure only clean pure milk goes into the milk bottle we drink from.
Like all natural unprocessed foods, it is in the handling that problems ensue. Some people are afraid to consume raw milk but have no problem eating raw fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Some of that fear has been created and perpetuated by the commercial dairy industry to legitimize their processed products. However, when the hard evidence is analyzed raw milk comes out looking amazingly good. According to a 2003 study by the USDA/FDA/CDC you are 10 times more likely to get sick from eating store-bought deli meats than drinking raw milk. They conclude there is less than a 100th of 1% chance of getting sick from drinking properly handled raw milk.
At Saddle Back Ranch our milk is Grade A certified by the State of New Mexico, which involves careful regulation and expectations for cleanliness. We are regularly inspected for milk quality, cleanliness, and pathogens. Our last lab test indicated our milk had no coliforms whatsoever. Coliforms are an "indicator" bacteria that is linked to contamination because they are everywhere in our environment. Almost all natural food contains some coliforms (that is normal and expected) and we are allowed up to 50 (cfu/ml) in raw milk. We had ZERO! We have invested in high quality (and expensive) equipment and use the strictest practices in our processing. Our cows’ udders are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized for each milking session twice. We use an iodine solution similar to what doctors use to prepare skin for surgery. (In fact, we use medical grade disposable gloves each time as well.) Our milking machine and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized for each use. We firmly believe our milk is cleaner than the air you breathe. Each batch is bottled and cooled from 104 degrees to 32 degrees using a high performance blast chiller--that is one reason why it lasts so long. We care about what we are doing and spend extra time carefully completing each step to ensure the highest quality of milk possible for you - and for us. We drink it, too!
Can people with lactose intolerance drink raw milk?
Pasteurizing and homogenizing milk makes it much more difficult to digest. In 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation conducted a survey of raw milk drinkers in Michigan. Of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance, 82 percent stated that they could drink raw milk without any problems. We have many customers currently buying milk from us that were previously diagnosed "lactose intolerant." What they have discovered is they were "processed milk intolerant" and have no trouble with natural milk.
How long does your milk last?
Our quick chilling and careful processing gives our milk an average fresh life of about 2.5 weeks. We are, however, required by New Mexico State law to make the "sell by" date stamp 5 days after we get it (even though our raw milk last longer than most).
On warm days, we recommend you bring a cooler and ice pack to help you keep it cool on the way home. One benefit of real raw milk is when it gets too old it starts to go sour. Sour milk is the basis for probiotic products like yogurt, sour cream, and kefir. When store-bought pasteurized milk gets too old it turns rancid and putrid. Raw milk and pasteurized milk are very different.
Do you use antibiotics or hormones on your cows?
Not a chance. We care for our cows the natural way ensuring healthy cows and perfect milk.
What do your cows eat?
During the summer we let our cows graze as much as possible. During the winter months we feed our cows dried pasture (alfalfa-grass more commonly called hay). We grow our hay organically in concert with a local farmer pesticide free. We also give our cows a small amount of sweet feed to make them happy!
Are your cows pastured and grass fed?
Our cows get to stretch their legs in a pasture and they love it! We have some mesquite mounds they particularly enjoy climbing and standing on. While we would love for them to be able to graze in their pasture year round, it is just not realistic in the southern New Mexico desert land. In spite of what you might have heard or seen on other websites, year-round pasture grazing is not normal or natural for dairy cattle. The most natural way is to have live grass available during the summer and dried grass during the winter--the way it is usually found in nature. We go beyond that by cutting and drying our hay at its peak nutrient level during the summer and preserving it for winter. This ensures our cows get the best nature can offer.
How do I get your milk?
The best way to get milk from us is to get a subscription. Milk subscriptions are given a 10% discount. You choose how much and how often you want to pick it up and it will be waiting with your name on it. Many of our customers pickup bi-weekly because the milk lasts about 2.5 weeks. We use your credit/debit card so you don't have to worry about cash. There is no commitment, you can change the amount or cancel your subscription at any time. Call or text 575-386-2331 for more information.
If you prefer not to have a subscription, you can buy the extra milk we post on this website daily. Add to cart the milk you want and check out. When you press the submit button you will receive a confirmation email with the lock combination to our milk shack. The milk shack is about 15 feet to the right of our ranch gate at 7754 Kissiah Dr., Las Cruces. Pay with cash/check when you pick it up.
By ordering this way, you will never have to worry about coming by and there not being any milk left. What you order on this website is reserved for you. Pick it up immediately or anytime during the day you ordered it. (Orders not picked up will be voided at midnight.)
Can I make whip cream from the cream on your milk?
Absolutely. Just remove some of the cream off the top. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Use a turkey baster to suck it off or pour it into a wide-mouth container, let it separate, and scoop it off. Whip it as you would heavy whipping cream then add powdered sugar to taste and a little vanilla.
Can I make ice cream from the cream on your milk?
Absolutely. Just remove some of the cream off the top. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Use a turkey baster to suck it off or pour it into a wide-mouth container, let it separate, and scoop it off. Now use the cream in your favorite homemade ice cream recipe.
Can I make butter from the cream on your milk?
Absolutely. Just remove some of the cream off the top. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Use a turkey baster to suck it off or pour it into a wide-mouth container, let it separate, and scoop it off. Whip the cream, like making whip cream, but keep whipping. Eventually it will start to separate into butter and buttermilk. The butter will form into globs with buttermilk pockets. Squeeze the buttermilk out of the butter by smashing it against the side of your mixing bowl with a large spoon. The butter will stick to the side of the bowl and the buttermilk will pool in the bottom. Continue this until you get the buttermilk out. If you leave buttermilk in the butter the butter will spoil. Remove the butter and work in a small amount of salt (if you want it salted). That's all! Now you have all-natural raw butter. Use it like you would store-bought butter. Save the buttermilk to make real buttermilk biscuits or pancakes. Everything has a use! Enjoy!
Can I freeze raw milk?
Yes. Freezing raw milk does not affect it nutritionally. However, it does affect the texture of the cream. Frozen and thawed cream changes from silky smooth to somewhat grainy. It is still fine to consume, but it is not as enjoyable. Some people remove the cream before freezing milk.
My milk has a slightly funny flavor, is it ok?
If your milk is fairly fresh it should taste amazing. However, because we let our cows graze it is possible fresh milk could have a slightly funny flavor. This happens when the cows eat strong flavored weeds. Yes it is true. It is fine to drink if the extra flavor doesn't bother you. If it does bother you, we would be glad to exchange your milk with some more. Just let us know.
If your milk is at the end of its fresh life it will start to go sour. Sour milk is not dangerous but is the basis for yogurt, sour cream, kefir, etc. It will continue to get more sour though and at some point you won't want it anymore. When store-bought pasteurized milk gets too old it turns rancid and putrid and IS dangerous. Raw milk and pasteurized milk are very different.
Does the cream in your milk rise to the top?
Yes. Shake before drinking or take the cream off and use it for whipped cream, butter, ice cream, etc.
Is your milk organic?
Everything we do is all natural but we are not certified organic yet. We are working to get our fields organic certified as well as everything else. It is a lengthy process.
Can you put milk in our own glass jars?
Unfortunately no. We are required to use new jugs every time because of contamination potential.
Do you use AI (artificial insemination) on your cows?
We use our own bulls for breeding.