The Future of Milk

By David Goodman, "The Future of Milk," July/August 2010

As small dairy farms are vanishing, what is happening to our milk?

"Skip the milk produced by the big commercial dairy farms. Better yet, go vegan or vegetarian and support dairy and cattle farmers that switch to growing vegetables and fruit which are more healthy and ecological alternatives. Too much of...

Woodard, a tall, affable man in grimy jeans and a flannel shirt, motions me to walk with him to his farmhouse so he can cook himself his daily breakfast of fried eggs, toast and coffee. Old wooden floors creak underfoot as we step through the kitchen clutter. He reaches into his refrigerator and suddenly switches from dairy farmer to milk evangelist, his classic Vermont accent thickening as he proselytizes.

“Milk is not just a drink,” he holds forth in the middle of his kitchen. “It’s food!” Woodard suddenly pauses his sermon, leans toward me furtively and probes in a low voice, as if letting me in on a vaguely illicit secret, “Have ya ever had fresh, whole milk right from the cow?” I had not, I confess. What little milk I drink comes out of a plastic jug. Woodard grabs a Mason jar, pours me a glass of milk and thrusts it toward me with great fanfare. “This milk is an hour old,” he declares proudly.

The rich, white, unpasteurized milk swirls in the glass container, clinging to the sides. I lift the jar, and my mouth is suddenly flooded with incredibly creamy, buttery milk. It is unlike anything I have ever tasted—a full-course meal in a glass.*

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