Came across this article on one of the groups I subscribe to. I really miss my raw milk and raw milk products (cheese, yogurt, etc) that I had while assigned to the Pentagon. You would not believe how healthy I was drinking and eating that stuff! In PA it's legal to sell for human consumption, but illegal in most states. I gained about 12 pounds when I moved here, and am struggling to get it off. But when eating the raw milk yogurt and generous helpings of raw milk cheese, I was actually losing weight from the last bad pregnency. I'm tempted to fly back east just to pick some up, and am trying to contact the farmer to see if he'll overnight me a package of meat, cheese, and milk. It will keep. There are other places in the US you can get raw milk, but I prefer to stick with someone whose farm and animals I know are clean and regulated.

IT'S half a century since TV and print adverts urged us to 'drinka
pinta milka day' and the sound of a whistling milkman on his round is
also fast becoming a fading memory as more and more people turn to the
supermarket. A family-run Hailsham firm however is bucking the trend and
reviving the sound of glass milk bottles clinking on the doorstep.

But there's a twist to the milk sold by Longleys Farm — it's come
straight from the cow.


Father and son team Phil and Steve Hook have around 340 satisfied
customers in Hailsham, all preferring back-to-basics raw organic milk to
the pasteurised alternative sold in stores.

Often, Longleys milk is poured into breakfast bowls less than 24 hours
after being produced by a cow.

It's the very definition of 'fresh' — and farmer Steve dismissed
scare stories and said not only is it completely safe, it can actually
improve your health.

He said, "There has been a real movement towards raw milk, particularly
in the US where a lot of scientific evidence shows it can lower your
cholesterol and reduce the risk of children suffering from eczema.

"Some of our customers are nutritionists and consultants — people
who understand what they're putting into their bodies and they choose
our milk."

What the Hooks sell is raw milk which has not gone through the
pasteurisation process. This process, according to Steve, not only kills
the 'bad' bacteria it intends to remove but also the 'good' bacteria and
many of milk's natural nutrients.

He said, "Pasteurising milk destroys the beneficial bacteria
acidophilus, the Vitamins C, B12 and B6 and the digestive enzyme
required to break down the protein in the milk.

"Raw milk has all these constituents still in their natural form. The
body can therefore fully utilise all the goodness of raw milk."

Pasteurisation of milk was first introduced in the mid-19th century when
hygiene standards on farms were a lot lower and milk contamination more
common.

But dairy farms today are visited on a regular basis by health and
safety officials and conform to very high standards.

Steve said, "In 2003 the government decided not to ban raw milk but to
instead license producers to sell it.

"The Food Standards Agency analyses our milk every three months to make
sure its got the right bacteria in it and is fit for public consumption.
Even then we still, by law, have to put a safety warning on bottles.

"If I thought it was a danger to other people, I wouldn't sell it. But I
believe in raw milk as a product.

"I'd say 90 per cent of our customers have it because of the taste and
others take it for medical reasons."

Steve described the taste as 'fuller and sweeter' than pasteurised milk.
He said, "Raw milk tastes fantastic. Anyone who has tasted the
difference between processed milk and fresh raw milk needs no
convincing. The full bodied, rich flavour of raw milk speaks for itself.

"It also doesn't go bad like pasteurised milk. If you left a bottle to
stand on its own the cream would rise to the top and seal the milk
inside. It then goes sour and you can use to make cheese and yoghurt."

Phil and Steve's herd of 60 cows graze on the rich grassland of the
Pevensey Levels.

They are milked in the afternoon and the Hooks bottle the milk in the
early evening. It is then put it in the chiller for it to be delivered
the next morning. This means the milk which reaches doorsteps is often
less than 12 hours old.

The Hooks' milk is sold in traditional glass pint bottles which can be
re-used and recycled. The local deliveries mean customers know the exact
source of the milk and that it hasn't had to travel far.

The first pint was delivered on January 1 last year — by Christmas
the Hooks had added another 300 to their books and now deliver to around
340 people.

Their success has largely been through appearances at Hailsham's monthly
Farmers Market and word-of-mouth from satisfied customers.
Next month they will expand into Eastbourne — and bring their
back-to-basics milk revolution to an even larger audience.

For more information or to be added to the customer list, call Phil or
Steve on 449494 (24-hour answerphone) or visit the website at
www.hookandson.co.uk

[Steve Hook, Claire Hook and Phil Hook of Longleys Farm ] Steve Hook,
Claire Hook and Phil Hook of Longleys Farm