Few things make me happier than having a kitchen filled with real food. I consider real food to be items that are rich in nutrients, whole fat, grass fed, freshly dressed, and organic.
I have been incredibly spoiled for quite a while to get most of my meat from Kalispell, Montana. Let me tell you, if you want delicious grass fed beef, Montana will give you a run for your money. Happy, happy cows are raised in the Treasure State.
Beyond the meat in Montana, you’ll find the most incredible farmers markets in the Bitterroot Valley, rich with happy people and life changing produce. I swear that the farmers must sprinkle magic over their rows of vegetables because I have never seen bigger heads of purple broccoli and cauliflower than in the Valley. The term Farm to Table takes on a whole new meaning when you live in a place like this.
Currently, we are spending some time down south and I have been making due with consuming products from local health food stores in California. To be honest, I have been pleasantly surprised with some quality products from Clark’s Nutrition. The produce, dairy, and meat from Clark’s has been wonderful.
Now, If I were back home in MT, I wouldn’t mind visiting local small dairy farms and consuming raw products, but I tend to reside on the side of safety and science in most situations. When it comes to dairy products, I prefer whole fat, cream on top everything. With that being said, I look for products that are pastured but non-homogenized.
This basically means that the milk has been heated to a warm enough temperature to ensure that bacteria is eliminated, but the fat remains intact and the product is less processed. When you homogenize a product, it breaks down the fat and protein molecules so that the two non-soluble liquids (fat and milk) become smooth and the fat is distributed the same throughout the liquid. This process also increases shelf life.
I prefer the taste of non-homogenized and it doesn’t hurt having products that are less processed. Even though I side with science in many ways, I personally don’t want products that have an extended shelf life because the chemistry has been altered.
Lately I have been on a heavy-cream kick. I whip it up and add it to my coffee. Straus has great products and specifically a great whipping cream that would easily turn to butter if you whipped it too long. All Straus products have cream on top, and simply shaking the bottle before use will mix up the fat.
I personally don’t care for the taste of milk, as in drinking a glass of milk, but I use it daily in most things that I cook. I always have whole fat milk and grass fed butter in the kitchen because these two items can make anything come to life. You really can’t beat the taste of whole fat, grass-fed products from healthy cows.
To be honest, I believe that there is a common misconception that consuming animal fat will make our bodies fat. Thankfully, our bodies don’t really work that way. Consuming healthy fats will make your brain feel good and function at an optimum level, it will make you feel more satisfied, and you will feel more full for longer periods of time.
Low-fat products on the other hand could help you gain a few inches around the waist because these foods are filled with hidden sugars. In order for a low-fat product to taste good, manufactures add sugar. In fact, many low-fat products are off the table to diabetics because it creates a peak and trough effect in their blood sugar. That alone should tell us something. If I see “low-fat” on any label I walk the other way.
Brown Cow yogurt is a a great example of a what whole fat, cream top, dream come true product should be. I must not be the the only one who feels this way because it fills the shelves from Texas to Montana. You know it is good because of it’s limited shelf life. Again, do not let a longer shelf life fool you. If food doesn’t have a reasonably close expiration date than you should question what happened to it on a molecular level.
I have opened a Brown Cow package only one day after the expiration date to find that it was starting to become moldy, and this is a very good thing. I support their products because they are real. I am sure everyone has heard of the McDonald’s cheeseburger that still looks edible months after it has been made… that is just a nightmare to me.
Overall, I have been pleased with the products I have been able to get my hands on, so pleased in fact, that I have added some photos below to encourage you to try these items if you haven’t already. To be honest I was pretty concerned about what type of products I would be able to get when we decided to travel south. Of course, I am eagerly counting down the next few weeks until I am back in Montana but I am eating pretty well in the mean time!