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Sustainable Eating - Part 2

Last Friday the 17th, I recieved my first order from Arganica. Of course I was supposed to get it on Thursday, but the delivery team pussed out about the pitiful snowfall we had here, so I got it at 9:30pm the following day.

This is the large wooden box that the food came in. Every time I order I’ll return the old one when the delivery dude drops off my new order.

Inside we can see the five things I ordered once the case is open. I love that the cheese is labeled “Cheddar” just in case I confused it with something else in there.

I started off light this week, just to try a few things.

First I have the chocolate milk. I’m starting off with this because this is the milk I’ve been buying from the Columbia Pike Farmer’s Market up by my house in the summer. This milk comes from the Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA. It’s all organic, comes from free range, grass fed cows and although I don’t drink a lot of milk, it’s great to have this on occasion. The milk itself tastes great and since it’s been proven chocolate milk actually replenishes your body after a workout better than Gatorade and other sports drinks (and it’s all natural instead of weird chemical shit and corn syrup), it’s great to have on hand since it’s too cold to go jogging outside now. I just get off my treadmill, climb eight flights of stairs and have a small cup.Repeat until the bottle is empty and then I’ll be re-ordering.

This is a pound of cheddar made from raw milk that originally came from Grass Valley Dairy in Lancaster, PA. I’ve never actually had any raw milk products before this, but I’ve been very curious about them after I recieved a review copy of The Raw Milk Revolution a while back, I became curious about the purported benefits of unpasteurized milk products. Now I was skeptical on two counts: the first was because the book was written by a promiment pro raw milk blogger and the second is that everyone I’ve talked to that has had raw milk or lived on a farm and dealt with it, said this is mainly crap and that raw milk tastes awful. But hey, I’m into food adventures and I love cheese, so I decided to try this.

I will say I couldn’t taste any real difference between this cheese and cheddar made with pasteurized milk. It’s a fine medium sharp cheddar that will last me a long time (and is white rather than velveeta yellow so you know it’s quality). I’ve used it in salads, pasta and just on its own as a snack.

Grass Valley Dairy doesn’t have a website, but I did find a promotional blurb by them, so I’ll repost it here.

Grass Valley Dairy is a raw milk licensed farm in southeastern Lancaster County.

We are a family-operated grass farm striving to provide you, the health-conscious consumer, with the best tasting raw 100% grassfed dairy products you can find. In addition to dairy we also offer 100% grassfed beef, soy-free pastured poultry products, and milkfed pork.

During the green season the cattle and chickens are rotated on pasture that receives no commercial fertilizer, while the hogs “live it up” in wooded lots, doing what they do best, rooting up acorns and roots while also having access to skim milk and GMO-free shelled corn.

To schedule a visit to the farm or for a current product and price list please call.

Grass Valley Dairy, Melvin and Sadie Mae Stolzfus, 199 Brick Mill Road, Christiana PA 17509. (610) 593-2811.

The green beans were the big disappointment and that’s due to the delivery service rather than the beans themselves. if you look at the picture you can see that they suffered cold damage from not being delivered on time and basically being out in the cold for a night. I was pretty pissed about this, and since they were local and not local and organic, I won’t be ordering them again - especially at $3.10 a lb. (Don’t worry - everything on this order was free. No way would I ever pay that much for beans otherwise). I had them with pasta (along with the cheese and the Veggie chorizo we’ll look at next) and in a string bean salad. These beans are from Charlottesville, VA, but unfortunately, Arganica doesn’t give an exact location for me to plug.

The is the “Chewie Vegetarian Chorizo” I purchased. It’s made over at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, VA. It seems like an interesting little commune, but what it came down to is I love chorizo, but I don’t love the sheer amount of fat and cholesterol that comes with it. If I can have a vegetarian equivalent, I’m all for it. Twin Oak’s vegitarian chorizo has only 2% DV of fat and 1% of saturated fat. It also has NO cholesterol and 14 grams of protein. This stuff is awesome on paper. How is it when I eat it though?

Well, I won’t lie - it doesn’t taste like chorizo at all and the texture is nothing like it either. However it IS super tasty. The heat from the spices (primarily chipotle peppers) last a lot longer than real chorizo’s flavor and my rabbits love it even though they shouldn’t have any. So far I’ve eaten it on its own but because it crumbles really easily, I’ve been using it in pasta sauces. I’m going to end up making a pizza with it too, I think. maybe even vegetarian tacos with some of that raw milk cheddar and organic tortillas. I have a pound of this to go through, so like my cheese, this is going to last for a long time.

Of course we have to save the desert for last. This six back of apple cider donuts comes from Carpe Donuts in Charlottesville, VA. Oh my god, were these great, I just put them in my oven at 375 for five minutes and everything came out as if they were fresh. Very tasty too and they’re the same price for what you would get at a Dunkin’ Donuts, except these are all natural. You probably can’t read the label at this size but everything is organic. There are no trans fats, no corn syrup and no hydrogenation. A donut that is (somewhat) good for you? Sign me up for this regularly.

So out of the five things, all but the beans are things I’ll probably end up ordering regularly. The chorizo is an amazing amount of fake meat for the money (Which usually costs more than the real thing), the milk is what I paid for at the Farmer’s Market, but now it comes to me instead of vice versa, the donuts are amazing, and I might not get the cheddar again as there are over a dozen cheeses to try, but this good.

I won’t be getting any food this week or next week since I won’t be home for delivery, so it means my next update of this sort comes in the new year.

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