Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Traditional Food Buying Clubs

So I recently discovered The Traditional Foods Club, which is a supply group for traditionally prepared foods in the Greater New York City area. I have not joined as of yet because I can't find out if they are any different than my CSA, through which I can purchase grass fed meat, eggs, chicken, turkey, jams, jellies, flour, you name it, they have it (except dairy). From my CSA, I can pick up my ordered goods once a month from a woman's apartment who lives nearby. You have to join the TFC in order to view their prices. Joining is not terribly expensive, it is only $20 a year of you agree to volunteer 5 hours of your time. And the TFC has pastured butter and dairy.

So I thought I would open it up to you guys today. Do any of you guys have experience with this or other buying clubs? How do they work? What are the benefits? What are the downfalls? Is it even possible to find their products through other channels of distribution? Should I join? Please please comment!!


  1. You asked for advice and I'm coming to you with a question instead . . . sorry! I picked up Nourishing Traditions and read a lot of the introductory material, then skipped to some recipes, then got really down because even though I live in America's Dairyland I don't know where to find raw milk. You mentioned maybe a few months ago that you are undecided about raw milk. I don't know if you said that before or after you started reading Nourishing Traditions. My husband and I switched from low-fat grass-fed milk to organic whole milk two weeks ago, because I thought that whole milk was better, plus this particular local brand of milk is not ultra-pasteurized, but I don't know if I'm making the right decision. I'm just wondering where you stand on milk these days. Do you have a source for raw milk? Have you tried it? The recipe for whey in Nourishing Traditions calls for either raw milk or maybe just non-homogenized milk. I have never seen non-homogenized milk. I think you have done some lacto-fermenting. What kind of milk did you use to make the whey? Or did you make one of the recipes that calls for extra salt instead of the whey?
    Okay, true to form I am starting to ramble now . . . thanks for listening.

  2. Katie--I think it depends on how much milk you are consuming. So many people are drinking milk only for their morning coffee, and in that case, I really don't see what harm regular organic milk is. You should check with the folks who make the grass fed milk-because the cows are not getting feed the milk my be organic by default. And the dairy might just not be able to afford certification. I am not into raw milk now, because I am too scared. My kids are too young and vulnerable to fight off a listeria infection. So I opt for a low temp pasteurization milk. It leaves some of the enzymes intact. But I do believe raw milk has more nutrition-but it is also completely illegal in your state.

  3. I used buttermilk to make my whey. But next time I think I will use yogurt. The buttermilk cheese had an unexpectedly sweet flavor that became too strong as the cheese aged. The whey seems fine, but I still think I will try yogurt next time.

    I am so glad you got NT-It is an amazing book. I LOVE it!!

  4. Oh forgot--I do prefer whole milk. Fat is a really important appetite regulator/ supressor. So while it is true whole milk has more calories, it is more likely that by drinking whole milk you will eat fewer calories overall. Do you not have access to organic whole milk? It is depressing how it is hard to find. Especially when you live in wisconsin!!!

  5. There is organic whole milk but I have never seen any that is not ultrapasteurized, and I think that negates the beneficial properties of organic. (Most milk sold in WI is certified to be free from bovine growth hormone.) One of the gallons of whole milk I purchased recently is not organic, but it is local, and it is pasteurized in the traditional way rather than at ultra-high temperatures. When you posted about Organic Valley's milk (I think that was the brand?) I checked out what they offer in Wisconsin. While their website appeared to show organic milk that was not ultra-pasteurized, all of the organic milk (and grass-fed milk) at my grocery store is ultra-pasteurized, and so far my requests to the store manager about bringing in different types of milk are not going anywhere.