Close to Raw Milk
Everyone in the Asheville area is either looking for or talking about raw milk. As a local dairy farmer who grew up drinking fresh milk that came straight from my father’s farm, I can understand why there is so much interest. Knowing where our food is produced and processed means more than ever. These days our food coming from places farther and farther away. Places with fewer restrictions on which pesticides and herbicides can be used in its production. Places where consumer advocacy and production oversight may not exist, in part or at all, as they do here.
Our dairy and bottling facilities are located in the Mills River Valley just South of Asheville. Having both facilities close together allows us to produce and bottle our milk in virtually the same day, which allows us to offer the freshest product with the longest shelf life available to the area. All of our products are low temperature vat pasteurized and non-homogenized, making it as close to raw milk as you can legally buy in the state of North Carolina at this time.
We offer gallons and half gallons of whole milk, whole chocolate milk, whole milk buttermilk along with homemade ice cream and fresh real butter at our store at 4193 Haywood Road in Mills River.
We are proud to be a third generation dairy farming family that has been selling milk products to the public since 1917.
Health Benefits of Raw Milk
The health benefits of raw milk are part of a growing awareness in the Asheville area and across the nation, but we’re certainly not the first ones to figure it out. For close to 10,000 years, cultures around the world have cultivated the use of milk from domesticated cows to nurture and protect their good health.
As early as 8000 B.C.E., there is evidence of cattle domestication in Mesopotamia, but the milking of cows did not really catch on until Sumerian civilizations did it around 3,000 B.C.E. They drink milk and used it to make cheese and butter. In Ancient Egypt, the cow was an important focal point for agriculture and spirituality, while Hebrew Scriptures speak of a land that flows with “milk and honey.” The Bible mentions milk or milk products about 50 times.
Cows are not the only creatures who have provided raw milk throughout history. We get milk from goats, water buffalo, camels and yaks – even horses and donkeys have provided sustenance to humans for centuries.
At Mills River Creamery, we stick with cows, but we are proud to be part of a long tradition of promoting the health benefits of raw milk, a fact that seems to have gotten lost in modern culture. Few people are aware that raw milk from grass-fed cows was considered a medicine in the early 20th Century, and frequently used to cure chronic diseases, like scurvy.
That history took a major hit in the 1800s as more people in the U.S. moved to urban areas and many dairies were located next to breweries and distilleries where the other main beverage of the era – whiskey – was made. This brand of raw milk, which came to be known as “brewer’s mash”, was made in highly contaminated and unsanitary conditions that led to a variety of diseases and deaths.
Despite all of this, clean, raw milk never lost its health and medicinal benefits. In fact, even as pasteurization was helping to lower the rates of rampant diseases early in the twentieth century, J.E. Crewe, M.D., co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, was one of many physicians who continued to tout high quality raw milk from pasture-grazed healthy cows as a well-documented cure for diseases. In 1929, he wrote that research he had conducted over fifteen years showed that the results of certified milk treatment had been so “uniformly excellent that one’s conception of disease and it’s alleviation is necessarily changed.”
At Mills River Creamery, our milk is pasteurized in a low temperature vat, but it is not homogenized, making it as close to raw milk as you can get. We believe our products are a safe and completely-balanced food with immense nutritional and medicinal value.
A2 Beta-Casein Milk
Another positive benefit of our milk is how much easier it can be to digest verses milk typically available in the market. Click here to learn more about A2 milk and our cows who produce it.