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Why does our raw milk last longer than most? It's our cleanliness and safety standards.

Back in the day, nearly 10 years ago when I first became a customer, things were a lot different at Miller's Bio Farm. The barn was old and outdated, the packing facility was in a garage, we had a shipping container as a cooler and freezer, the equipment was older, and there were no firmly set processes. And, the milk would start souring after just a few days in the fridge.Since then, Aaron the owner has changed things A LOT. It seems like it happened overnight, but it took a few years. He updated the barn and facilities and equipment (if you've visited then you know how oddly sparkly it is... at least for a farm). And, he created procedures to ensure the quality and safety of his milk. He's always improving. Aaron's goal is for Miller's Bio Farm to produce the best natural dairy that's yummy, highly nutritious, and also ultra low risk.  We take cleanliness and milk safety very seriously. It's the reason why our RAW A2/A2 MILK lasts up to 2 weeks before it becomes too sour to palate, which is at least 25% longer than raw milk for most other farms. You see, raw milk sours because of the living microbiology within. The bacteria naturally present in milk are lactic acid bacteria. This means they eat lactose (milk sugar, which is sweet) and produce lactic acid (which is sour). The more lactose they eat, the more the milk sours.  You can't stop the souring process, but you can slow it down. The cold fridge slows it down, and the freezer almost stops it. And, controlling and limiting general bacteria counts (especially bacteria from outside of the cow) slows it down, too.  Naturally occurring healthy microorganisms are present in raw milk. They are a good thing and a big reason why raw milk is touted for its health benefits. But, not all microorganisms in raw milk are good.  We don't want manure in the milk! We don't want potentially harmful pathogens in the milk! And, in the rare chance a cow falls ill, we don't want that in the milk, either! Controlling and limiting bad or extra bacteria is the key to making milk safer and last longer. How do we ensure an ultra low risk product that lasts such a long time? We do this in so many ways, for both our RAW A2/A2 MILK for humans in PA as well as our raw milk for cats & dogs everywhere else! Here are the most important things we do: We are certified by the State of Pennsylvania for raw milk production. That requires regular farm inspections every 2 months as well as periodic testing for: General bacteria counts (2x per month - within set limits)Salmonella (2x per year - zero tolerance)e.Coli (2x per year - zero tolerance)Listeria (2x per year - zero tolerance)Campylobacter (2x per year - zero tolerance)Brucellosis (1x per year - zero tolerance)Tuberculosis (1x per year - zero tolerance)We test every batch of milk on site for general bacteria counts. This is above and beyond required testing, and our counts are always well below what's required for pasteurized milk! This means that we can catch any slack in cleaning (or the rare case of a sickness) immediately. You can view the test results since 2018 here.We have meticulous sanitation practices for milking and bottling. This involves A LOT of cleaning of the cows, the barn, and the equipment (other farmers think we're crazy for this). You can read the details about the process here. And, here are things we do that most farms don't:Clean the udders and teats with great care, and that includes removing all manure from small divots on the teats.Spread gypsum under and around the cows to effectively keep the milking environment free of urine, manure, and the moisture it may leave behind.The milk is cooled to 38-42F in under 10 minutes.Wash equipment with water that's at least 180F. The high temp helps the cleaning process significantly, and we know this because of the on site testing. When delivering your order, we keep the frozen frozen and the fresh fresh. We maintain optimal temps for the best quality products. We have worked hard to figure out how to pack milk for mail shipping, delivery in our refrigerated vans, and pickup at our locations. Why? Why do we put this extra effort in? Why are we so serious about milk safety? There are 2 big reasons: Your safety is our priority. We want to be a reliable source for real food. Do you value milk safety? What practices do you look for when shopping for milk? Or are the government regulations enough to make you feel comfortable? I'd love to hear from you. Comment below (no account required - start typing for the guest option to appear) orcontact us.

Are there sneaky additives in your natural cheese? We just removed 3!

Cheese has sadly become complicated and somewhat artificial, deviating from its simple and completely natural origins. The scary part if that, even the smartest food shoppers don't know it. Are there additives in cheese? Yes, there are. But you can't know it just by looking at the label. Here are some things NOT required on cheese labels, what the concerns are, and what Miller's does to go above and beyond. We just removed 3 additives from our cheese made with beef rennet!

Is raw butter supposed to smell cheesy?

I made raw butter at home or bought some for my pets... and now it smells like parmesan cheese. What's going on? It's fermentation of course. Learn more about raw butter's natural cheesy smell and tips for storage.

Shopping for butter? Wondering what makes "the best" natural butter?

It's that time of year when you want to stock up on butter. The large amounts of cookies and pies that fill my house with delicious flavors is impending and inevitable. When it comes to butter and baking, quality matters. A lot. It affects the color, the texture, and the flavor of your baked goods. And, if you're a natural food shopper, there are some extra things to look for in your butter. I want to make sure I'm making food with the best nutrition and least toxins possible.

Tips on how to thaw, prep, and cook your pastured Thanksgiving turkey.

So, you have a beautiful pasture-raised soy and corn free turkey in your freezer. Now what? Here are some tips to help you answer important pre-Thanksgiving questions: When do I need to thaw my turkey? To brine or not to brine? What will I season the turkey with? Should I stuff the turkey? Will I do a regular roast or slow roast? When does it need to go in the oven?

The PUFA Predicament: A Look Into Healthy Fats

Let's take a look at what PUFAs are and Dr. Peat's research. We'll examine why PUFAs may cause negative health consequences and what those are, including inflammation, thyroid suppression, oxidative stress, and more. Finally, let's examine what foods are no-PUFA or low-PUFA. Good news! ALL of Miller's products fall into one of those categories.

Intro to natural raw feeding for cats and dogs and how to get started.

Three weeks ago, Cameron (our meat manager) and I went to the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) Conference in beautiful San Diego. We were there to share our pet food offerings, and we received a LOT of knowledge in return.One thing that immediately surprised me was that the holistic human and holistic pet worlds are very similar. We share the same illnesses, the same solutions, and the same wellness options: Real food and nutrition, detoxing, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, homeopathy, CBD, crystals, etc.I got to dive deep on these topics, chatting with experts and attending a few talks by practitioners. The talk that impacted me the most was "Intro to Raw Feeding" by Dr. Doug Kneuven, a holistic vet from Beaver, PA. He thoroughly explained that, just like with human food, pet food studies funded by pet food companies are often skewed. To find the truth, you need to check sources when looking at scientific studies. To be a smart food shopper, you need to question the claims made on the labels and you may even need to question your vet, too.For example, studies from big pet food companies show that cats and dogs are somehow more adapted to digesting starch. Why? Well, carbs are cheap. Carbs are a binder. It's good for business. People love cheap kibble or cooked canned food, and with the right artificial flavors, pets do too. But these studies are often not the whole truth. When you look at the controls, the variables, and the process, it becomes apparent.  Big pet food companies look at nutrition from a "reductionist" standpoint, when you break food down into their parts and then recombine them to make a "whole" diet. This is processed food - for pets it can be kibble and for humans sugary cerael. Both of these processed foods have been "scientifically proven" to provide complete nutrition.On the flip side, holistic practitioners tend to look at nutrition through the lens of "food synergy", which honors the biological system. It recognizes that a body cannot utilize a synthetic vitamin as well as a naturally occurring vitamin. It recognizes that whole foods and a natural diet results in the best health outcomes. Privately funded studies prove this. Pets have the best health outcomes on a raw food diet that they have evolutionarily adapted to eat, and that means little to no carbs.  Ideal diets can vary based on weight, age, activity levels, and underlying conditions, but in general a raw food diet (or a whole prey diet) will comprise 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% offal (including secreting and non-secreting organs). If you want to formulate a diet specific to your pet, I suggest Feed Real's Calculator. Most importantly, Dr. Kneuven explained that this isn't an all or nothing situation. Any amount of raw food that you can add to your pet's diet is a benefit. So go ahead and top that kibble with a raw meal topper or a raw egg yolk! Just get started. The second most impactful talk was "Leaky Gut. The Root of Chronic Inflammation?" by Dr. Katie Kansas from San Diego. Just like with humans, leaky gut in pets is a widespread and often misdiagnosed problem that's often caused by poor nutrition and toxins.  Side note: Did you know that dogs have 32x the amount of glyphosate in their urine than humans? And cats have 16x? All that time on lawns and eating sub-standard "pet grade" food has an impact! So, what's the protocol for healing leaky gut in pets? You guessed it. It's very similar to humans. Bone broth, colostrum, healing mushrooms and herbs, clay, and probiotics. Sure, you could buy a freeze dried probiotic that comes in pill form. But, if you take a close look at the ingredients, you'll see that you can get all of those specific strains of probiotic from food. Incorporating raw dairy into your pet's diet is a completely healthy and natural way to get probiotics. What do you think? Are you new to or experienced with raw feeding? Have you seen any benefits from holistic care for your pets?

Natural Beekeeping: How Welsh Mountain Apiaries Combats Mite Threats

Hey there, fellow nature lovers! Back in May, something pretty exciting happened at Miller's Bio Farm – we welcomed bees into our big family. And boy, have they been a game-changer! Our mission has always been about getting you the real deal – pure, natural goodies that Mother Nature herself would be proud of. Now, if you've had a chance to try OUR RAW HONEY (and we sure hope you have), you've tasted the magic our little buzzing friends have been up to. But, like with everything in nature, there are challenges to face – like pesky mites. Let's take a closer look at what these remarkable creatures face and how Welsh Mountain Apiaries ensure their well-being, especially against the looming threat of mites. What Mites Are & Why They're Bad for Bees Mites are tiny arthropods, many species of which consider the honey bee their ideal host. These microscopic parasites feed on the bees and their larvae, weakening the colony and making it susceptible to a host of other diseases. Mites, particularly the Varroa destructor, are a natural part of the ecosystem in bee colonies. In small numbers, they coexist with bees without causing substantial harm. However, their rapid multiplication can lead to detrimental effects on the health and well-being of the hive. When mite populations explode, they latch onto bees as external parasites, feeding on their bodily fluids and weakening them in the process. This parasitic behavior not only directly affects the vitality of individual bees but also introduces various viruses and pathogens, which can further degrade the health of the colony. Infected bees may exhibit deformed wings, shortened lifespans, and a weakened immune system. One of the most devastating outcomes of an unchecked mite infestation is colony collapse disorder (CCD). In CCD, a majority of worker bees mysteriously desert the hive, leaving the queen, immature bees, and a few nurse bees behind. Without the worker bees, the colony cannot function — they play critical roles in foraging, feeding the young, and maintaining the hive. As a result, the hive weakens progressively and inevitably meets its demise. It's important to understand that mites don't just threaten the individual colony they infest. As bees from different hives interact and forage in the same areas, mites can transfer between them, posing a risk to the broader bee population in an area. Therefore, controlling mite populations is not just about preserving individual hives but also about ensuring the health and sustainability of the wider bee community. While bees have some defensive behaviors, like grooming each other to remove mites, these actions often aren't enough when faced with a significant infestation. This is where beekeepers come in to assist, employing various techniques and products to keep mite populations in check. How Mites Are Handled Conventionally Many conventional beekeepers use synthetic chemicals such as amitraz, coumaphos, or fluvalinate to treat mite infestations. These treatments can be effective but come with a price. Synthetic miticides have been questioned for their potential long-term effects on both the bees and the honey they produce. Some studies suggest that these chemicals can accumulate in wax and honey, leading to potential health risks for consumers and the possibility of developing resistance in mites. Some of the potential health risks associated with the chemicals are: Amitraz:Bees: Can change bee behavior and hinder colony growth.Humans: May cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. The long-term effects of honey consumption is not fully known.Coumaphos:Bees: Can harm drone bees' survival and the queen's reproductive capabilities.Humans: Can lead to symptoms like nausea and dizziness. Prolonged exposure might have neurological effects.Fluvalinate:Bees: Generally safer, but misuse can be harmful.Humans: Symptoms of exposure include tingling and numbness. Chronic exposure has shown liver issues in rodent studies. It’s also important to note: Chemical accumulation in bee wax can create a toxic environment for bees.Over reliance can lead to mites developing resistance, prompting the use of stronger chemicals. We really need to push for better ways to handle those mites! It's all about keeping bees happy and honey pure. How Our Natural Beekeeper Handles Mites So, what does our beekeeper do for mite control? Welsh Mountain Apiaries tackles this challenge in a way that's harmonious with nature. They use Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS), a product that controls mites without disrupting the natural integrity of the hives or the honey. MAQS's active ingredient is formic acid, an organic acid already naturally present in honey. Formic acid was first discovered in 1671 by the English naturalist John Ray. This same acid is what gives that sting when you get bitten by ants and some bees. Fast forward to today, and formic acid is mainly made in big factories by reacting carbon monoxide with water, all under some intense heat and pressure. When applied, the formic acid vapor spreads throughout the hive, reaching and eliminating mites where they breed while leaving the bees unharmed. As an organic acid, it doesn't accumulate in the wax or honey, and mites can't develop resistance to it. This ensures that the honey remains pure, natural, and safe for our customers, just as nature intended. Our Commitment to Natural Food At the heart of Miller's Bio Farm lies a deep-rooted commitment to maintaining the delicate balance of nature. From the lush fields where our cows munch away, to the busy world of our bees, we’re all about working hand-in-hand with nature. Partnering up with Welsh Mountain Apiaries just shows our commitment, ensuring that every drop of OUR RAW HONEY is a testament to our dedication to natural, sustainable, and ethical practices. A big thanks to all our loyal customers! Picking Miller's means you're with us on this natural journey. Any questions about our honey? Contact Us. ----- References: Parasitic mites of honey bees: life history, implications, and impact Subchronic exposure of honeybees to sublethal doses of pesticides: effects on behavior Effects of fluvalinate and coumaphos on queen honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in two commercial queen rearing operations High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health | PLOS ONE Formic acid - New World Encyclopedia