Many new members on the scheme have mentioned the milk tastes different this week [26/12/18].
So a quick ‘Did you know?….’
Fact – Foods fed to cattle alter the taste of milk
It’s that time of the year. Cows switch from being pasture fed to the comfort of being indoors in warm barns able to munch on yummy dried fermented grasses all day, better known as silage
Silage is made by packing chopped crops tightly into a pit in order to compact it and eliminate any pockets of oxygen enabling fermentation. What is subsequently produced is this dried nutrient rich food perfect for when the fields are empty.
During the 1870s through to the early 1900s, we saw the popularisation of fermented foods start to be introduced into cattle feeds. Not only was it cost effective but also caused milk production to greatly increase. Silage started to be marketed to farmers as an exceptional feed for cows
However through the 1910’s, certain big dairies stopped purchasing milk from farms that fed their cows silage due to the effect it had on the milk taste.
Taste tests started to be conducted but strangely enough, consumers preferred the taste of silage milk with some regions even conducting taste competitions!
Companies started to realise grain based silage milk tasted better but inadvertently this grain based diet decreased the nutritional content of the milk and affected the cows internal rumen.
So how does Silage play a part on Dreamer’s Farm?
Simon and Kate produce their silage on their farm every summer in preparation for the winter months. With very much an organic and biodynamic ethos, their fields do not have any chemicals or pesticides sprayed on them. They don’t mix any grains or molasses (and some producers are even known to mix SKITTLES) in with the feed to sweeten it. It’s just fresh, green fermented Somerset grass!
Around December the taste of the milk does change for around a week or so but this does usually settle.
But for those members who have been on the scheme since the beginning then we all know how much we all looks forward to the sweet, rich spring/summer milk.
Hope this gives you all an interesting insight into silage.
Please enjoy the following video where I am asking Simon specifically about the silage. Wish you guys could smell how amazing this actually stuff is!
-Aisha (Scheme Co-ordinator)