Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Cows = Healthy Teeth

When we came to Belize I took our oldest two to the dentist and heard a very disappointing diagnosis: One needed 7 fillings the other 5. How did this happen? Was I really such a bad cook, feeding my children all sorts of junk foods that made their teeth rot that fast...I decided we would just have the worst ones filled, and have another checkup soon...that checkup didn't happen till another whole year had passed, and I was nervous about the outcome. Jessica had 4 cavities that we hadn't taken care of last time. We went back, and he said she needed 4 fillings. What? I couldn't believe I had heard right. But she needed 4 last year, and its been a whole year since then! Joseph; now I don't remember how many he still needed last year but it went even better: after a little while in the chair, the dentist says he's ok. He doesn't need any fillings! Well, if that ain't a nice surprise! I started wondering, is it just unnecsesary to have those baby teeth filled, or is there another reason?

 When I look out of our window I see our neighbor's cows grazing on lush green pastures all day long. Morning and evening the cows come home to be milked, but are let right back out to pasture to graze to their hearts content. When our milk supply is low, I hop in the car, drive on over and get 4 or 5 gallons of milk weekly. Yes, weekly. I make yogurt and buttermilk and other goodies from that milk. And we drink a lot of it, I am not ashamed to say. I figured here in Belize the milk is so affordable AND so organic, it would be a good food for the children.  I am just pleasantly surprised that one year can make so much of a difference! Milk is very affordable if it means less dental work! YaY!I believe I even notice a difference in my teeth. The last two checkups have revealed nothing new needing to be 'fixed'. For a person like me with a really bad-teeth-history, this is good news.

Not only have we been drinking a lot of milk, we have also been eating lots of bone broth. I sometimes order meat from a farm wife who sells freshly butchered meat, and when I do, I usually get bones with it for free. Free bones! How good is that!  Ranch cattle is also mostly left to roam in pastures here in Belize, so I am very happy with the beef we can get a hold of. I will jam my big pot full of bones, pour water over with a squirt of white vinegar, and let that bubble all day and night long on low. 12 hours is the minimum recommendation, but 24 or more is ideal to get all the good nutrients out of the bones. When done, I ladle the stock into jars and seal them. I refrigerate the jars after they are cooled. I add this to soup, stews, or make a gravy out of is with some added green peppers and onions and pour over rice.

So, everyone, GOT MILK? Or bones? :) I encourage you, go find an organic minded farmer and get yourself some fresh unpasteurized cows milk and drink to your hearts content. You will do yourself and your children a huge favor. And maybe, hopefully, one day we will all be able to buy raw milk legally everywhere in North America.


missionarymomma said...

Terrific post! We have seen the same reults from eating free ranging, grass fed cattle. Your photo shows a Holstien. I am wondering why? I was thinking Brama cows were native there, but maybe I am wrong on this. I do know a Jeresy has creamier milk. I sure hope we can get our own cow when we come. It's nice to know that organic milk is cheap there.

I agree too about bone broth. So healthy. Can you boil it all day outside?

I like apple cider vinegar for my broth. Anyway, wonderful, amazing news about your children's teeth. I am so happy for you and them. Keep it up!

Pioneer Mom said...

MM, yes, there are lots of Brahmas here; they are ranch cattle raised for beef. Holsteins are dairy. I know Holsteins don't give the creamiest milk, but its what's available to us, and we are thankful for what we get. I would prefer a higher fat milk if possible.

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