Back when I lived in San Francisco, I became a vegetarian for 8 months. It was all I could last before meat beckoned me back. Call me weak, or call it a sign from my body, but I really craved the dense, delicious protein that only meat can provide. But I still had issues with the meat industry, and I swore to only eat meat from whence I knew where it came. Then I moved to Idaho. People here love meat and eat lots of it. (I can count on 2 fingers the number of vegetarians I know here.) And before I knew it, I was swept up in the meat-for-every-meal lifestyle. And even though I have been an avid organic milk consumer and buy as much organic produce as I can afford, I’ve let a lot slide. And I’m not ok with it….especially since I now have children.
There was a moment the other night while watching the documentary, Food Inc., when I was reminded of all the atrocities that happen as a result of the mass-production of meat. A recent locavore evening put on by Slow Food in the Tetons was another reminder that there are folks in my backyard raising, growing and producing delicious, healthy food (even beer…ahhhh.) So I’ve chosen to start eating more consciously (again) and being a photographer, I decided to start a photo series on the local culinary delights I’ve been finding and enjoying. Here’s the thing: I really don’t want to be a vegetarian. I adore bacon and beef and chicken as much as kale, beets and a hearty glass of almond milk. So this won’t be a journey on becoming a vegan….just a locavore.
ISSUE 1 – MILK & EGGS
About a month ago, I started buying raw milk from a farm in Alta, Wyoming. They provide fresh, raw milk as well as eggs and Greek yogurt. I have two sons who seem to have belly issues with dairy. I’ve noticed a lot less “My tummy hurts” comments from my 4 year old after a bowl of cereal, and my 1 year old seems less fussy since we’re starting to transition from formula to milk. We like to pour off some of the cream on top and use it for coffee and the rest becomes slightly lower fat. I’ve also gotten some kefir grains from a friend and use the raw milk to make kefir to use in smoothies, ensuring we all get the good bacteria that our bellies need since it’s not killed off in pasteurization. The eggs have a deep, yellow color to them and if purchased in a grocery store, they would be labeled “extra, extra large”.
You can visit the farm any time of any day and help yourself to your “groceries”. As is good small-town style, you put your money in the tin next to the fridge, wave to the cows and chickens on the way out, and be on your way. Today, I took a few shots. This is one of the girls making the good dairy. Her friends, the chickens, are resting in a pile of straw next door. The others are cruising around.
The milk shed and the money tin. Yes, that would be 0 grams of trans fat.
The fridge and the lovely milk.