Wholesome Dairy Farms in Douglassville, Berks County, specializes in raw milk and beef (both from their pasture grazed Ayrshire cows.) They also sell homemade yogurt and cheese. I love driving down the narrow, winding road to this farm and seeing the cows contentedly grazing on acres of fresh green grass.
I travel to Wholesome Dairy Farms weekly to purchase raw milk and yogurt for our family, and twice I’ve bought a side of beef. Our family has been thrilled with the quality and flavor of the meat.
The owner of Wholesome Dairy Farms is Mark Lopez, a veterinarian who takes utmost pride in the quality and cleanliness of his raw milk. He and I have discussed the safety of raw milk at great length, and here is his take on the issue:
Raw milk is much like any other raw food like vegetables and fruits, etc. Cleanliness is key. I cannot vouch for any one else’s dairy but my own, and if a raw milk producer is sloppy, the milk is high risk. It is that simple. This is not a matter of raw versus pasteurized in my view, rather it is a matter of clean versus contaminated.
The state of Pennsylvania allows 10 CFUs (colony forming units) of coliform bacteria in my biweekly sample test. I routinely have a “less than detectable threshold” result. It can’t get cleaner. This is because of the meticulous care that we put into our cow cleanliness and udder prep procedures. It takes more time and I use more expensive ingredients for udder prep, but it is worth it. The payoff for cleanliness goes beyond safety. The shelf life is also extended and the milk tastes better.
I wouldn’t buy raw milk from just anyone, but I trust Wholesome Dairy Farms.
Wholesome Dairy Farms is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5:30pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
136 Camp Road
Jo-Lynne is the founder of Eat Local Philly. When she’s not seeking out new sources for local foods, she is probably elbow-deep in bread dough or musing on weighty topics such as fashion and reality TV on her personal blog, Musings of a Housewife. You can also find her beautifying the blogosphere at DCR Design.
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