Kirk Kardashian’s book is why I drink only goat’s milk and buy my cheese from Europe whenever I can. I don’t have access to the high-quality milk from producers he profiles in Milk Money.
I love my dairy products, but I was suitably appalled while indexing this book (yep, I contributed to the book, but I get no material benefit from reviews; 99% of the time I am not even asked for one) at how mega-dairy farming has destroyed so much. Even the organic farms. It’s the “mega” that creates most of the problems, health-wise and economically.
Kardashian tells a riveting story of big greed vs. local husbandry that will move you to seriously question the way we take care of domestic animals, particularly dairy cows. Neither Kardashian nor I am advocating veganism as a solution; he does a great job of profiling the few localized dairy farmers who are doing the right thing.
It’s the cow’s health that counts, and it’s not just about organic feed; it’s about levels of certain bacteria in the milk. In Europe, the standards are more strict, so their milk and cheese are of higher quality, but in the U.S., the powerful companies behind the so-called “dairy co-operatives” work to put smaller farmers out of business or make them produce only for big distributors, who don’t care about the quality of the milk, only the quantity and keeping prices down.
We should be paying more for all of our food so that farmers and farm workers can live decent lives and take care of their land and their animals. This was a totally eye-opening book that definitely changed the way I consume dairy products (although the goat’s milk I get may also be subject to some of the mega-farm problem, it’s hard to tell). My plan is to go live in the country and raise my own goats, but I know that’s not possible for everyone. Just do your best to make conscious and well-informed choices about everything you eat within what budget and situation you have. And organic feed isn’t the magic solution to everything, healthy plants and animals cared for without use of nasty chemicals or antibiotics, etc., is key.
And take the time to read Milk Money. It’s tells a very compelling story, with hope in it, thank goodness. Go forth and make good choices for yourself and the planet. 🙂