A Spooky Tale from the Farm

Gather ’round,

On this Eve of Halloween, we are going to share with you a super spooky story! And it isn’t about the family who didn’t order their Barstow’s Thanksgiving desserts until it was too late!! All that was left when they arrived was Minced Meat Pie! (which actually is quite good if you ever get the chance to try it.) No, that story is much too scary to put in print!

Don’t end up like that family… place your orders early for Thanksgiving pies and holiday desserts. You can find all of our offerings on our website on the bakery page and catering page, and we’ve pulled out the fan favorites here. The VERY last day to place your Thanksgiving order is November 18 but we’re already accepting orders now! It’s fast and easy to place an order, stop in at Barstow’s or give us a call, 413-586-2142.

A Frightening Tale

Our spooky story begins on a dark and stormy night, in the dairy aisle, on the nutrition label of an ALTERNATIVE-milk! There you might find: added sugar, 0 protein, and a spooky price tag!

In all seriousness, I want to recognize that there are many reasons that folks choose milk-alternatives. And the numbers show that the biggest threat to small family dairy farms isn’t almond or soy or oat beverage, but just the sheer variety of beverages period (also consolidation, climate change, etc). There’s a lot of options out there! But in honor of Halloween and because I’m writing this newsletter while sitting on a dairy farm that works really hard to produce 2,500 gallons of nutritious, local milk for our community each and every day, it’s ghost story time!

Milk is milk.

OR IS IT?! These days, you’ll find many different non-dairy milk options and wonder, “are these alternatives providing the nutrients my family needs for good nutrition?” Substituting a non-dairy milk for real dairy milk can lead to gaps in calcium and other key nutrients. With the emergence of fad and elimination diets, people could be missing out on important nutrients when they cut out certain food groups entirely! Scary!

Just Read the Label

Real dairy milk’s ingredient list is short—simply milk and vitamins D and A. Meanwhile, lots of non-dairy milk options have 10 or more added ingredients, including added vitamins, salt, sugar, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Dairy milk is naturally nutrient rich and a powerhouse that provides essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium. These are important nutrients to incorporate into your diet, because they are three of the four nutrients many Americans – including children – often are lacking in their diets as described by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Protein: Protein plays a key role in cells and therefore is a major part of overall health maintenance. Dairy milk contains eight grams of protein per 8-ounce glass (regardless of fat content), while many almond or rice bevs only have 1 gram. The amount of protein in plant-based milks varies widely depending on the ingredients added in processing, so check the label!

Sugar: Regular white dairy milk has no added sugar. It contains lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar. Many types of milk-alternatives contain added sugars. Listed contents like cane sugar or cane juice on the ingredient list indicate that sugar has been added, so it’s important to read the label!

Vitamins and Minerals: Dairy milk is packed with 13 essential nutrients, including calcium, protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, and more. They exist in dairy milk without variability or need for fortification, while plant-based milks tend to vary widely in their nutrient composition. Read those labels!

Effects on Human Health: Current research shows that intake of milk and dairy products is associated with lower risk of childhood obesity, cardiovascular disease, and improved body composition. Milk can also help to provide a high intake of calcium which is essential in supporting the build-up of bone mass during the different growth stages. This can help to prevent age-related bone loss, osteoporosis, and risk of fractures too.

Price: Dairy-free milk options do not provide the same package of thirteen essential nutrients for the same price as dairy milk. At about 26 cents per glass, milk offers more nutritional bang for your buck than just about any other beverage you can buy!

Knowing that buying milk supports local open space, food security, and climate resilience, sustains rural economies, and is safe, healthy, and nutritious for you and your family, you put the milk-alternative down and pick up a gallon of dairy milk. Whole foods prevail in this spooky story! A happy ending!

Until NEXT TIME – Denise 🙂

It’s Fall, Ya’ll

We hope to see you this weekend and Monday for Halloween treats (hold the tricks) at your neighborhood dairy farm! Barstow’s is currently open daily until 4pm. We’ve got Halloween cupcakes, themed M&M cookies, Chocolate Scream Pie, and pumpkin everything! Speaking of pumpkins, our giant pumpkins are now $8 and everything else is $5 each… or any 3 for $10!

We also have a great selection of local pumpkin beers, oktoberfests, and dark beers for sipping at that Halloween party tomorrow. Not to mention local apples (bobbing for apples anyone?), butternut squash, and we just got in some more Barstow’s t-shirts (for those ahead-of-the-game holiday shoppers). Our prepared foods freezer is on the fritz, but if you stop in at Barstow’s, we’re happy to pull frozen chili, soups, chicken pot pies, mac n’cheese, etc, etc, ETC, from our back stock for you.

Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery is HIRING. We’re looking for a weekday dishwasher, weekday front-of-house team members, and a shift supervisor. Full details and application available on our website.

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