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raw/unpasteurized milk in Vancouver?

Greetings Foodies,

In my endless search for Icelandic skyr I have come to the sad realization that I am going to have to make it myself-in fact, at this moment I am thinning the rennet in boiled milk-I digress-but the recipe I have says that the skim milk should be unpasteurized for the best skyr.

Does anyone know where one might purchase this milk? Is it illegal? Do I need to post on craigslist and meet a farmer in a field somewhere, or it is possible to purchase it legitimately?

Help me chowhoundies, you're my only hope!

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  1. Meeting a farmer @ midnight is your only hope!

    1. It's hard enough to keep chickens in your backyard, but a good cow might be your simplest way to raw milk!

      1. When I looked into it last year, it's illegal to sell, or even give away, raw milk in BC. The only option is to buy a 'share' of a cow, which then entitles you to a certain amount of milk. It would probably be easier to drive across the border into Washington state, where raw milk is sold legally (I've seen it at Terra Organica in Bellingham). Sorry there isn't an easier option - I have a similar problem finding low-heat-pasteurized milk for making cheese.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KGill

          same deal here in Alberta. In fact I doubt that even if anyone had a source here in Canada on Chow they would not divulge it. It is possible to find it on the black market, I just cannot tell you how, I can get it from a health care provider, but you would have to be lucky to find someone. Oh ya, and it is very expensive it you get it.

          the share of a cow thing is interesting....I may look into that. I have a feeling it would mean learning to milk a cow though. If you can get it in Washington, that is definitely the best way. I wonder if it is legal to bring into Canada raw? something to find out....

          1. re: cleopatra999

            wow, it seems so dodgy and underground, all for a little milk, how funny!
            I suspect it is illegal to bring it into Canada raw if you can't purchase it in Canada raw.

            1. re: willow72

              It used to be really hard to even get raw milk cheese though I understand that's eased up a bit since I worked at a cheese shop in Vancouver many moons ago.

        2. Home on the Range dairy in Chilliwack sells raw milk through a herdshare program, like the one an above poster mentioned. It's silly that it's not legal to buy in stores!!

          I have found raw cheeses in grocery stores though, you just have to know what to look for.

          1. I just found your Aug. '09 blog. Did you have any success with your recipe?
            currently working on it myself but so many different recipes with little success.
            Which bacterial culture did you use?
            Siggi's is wonderful but not available in Canada. I also wonder how they manage the 6 week shelf life.
            Any advice on making it at home would be appreciated. Really can't continue cross border trips to fill my skyr cravings.

            1. I am a shareholder in the Home on the Range cowshare, but now the future of the farm is in jeopardy. I am desperate for some raw milk for my kids. I'm totally interested in getting some from Washington State, does anyone know where I can get it and how much I can take across the border at one time without it causing problems???!!

              5 Replies
                1. re: barefootmommy

                  You are not supposed to bring in more than $20 worth of dairy at a time. That's about 8 L of raw milk at $10/gallon. Raw milk is easy to buy at lots of health food stores/markets in WA.

                  The raw milk ban in BC is completely ridiculous, considering you can buy raw oysters which have a much greater risk of food poisoning.

                  1. re: jcolvin

                    there are local sources for raw milk in BC through cow shares....

                    1. re: evelynb

                      They are semi-legal at best though and get raided all the time. New laws would be much better lol

                2. There are cowshares you can be part of. I am on a group on FB called WAPF Montreal and one of the girls we chat with is in Vancouver and I know she has told us she has an amazing farmer she gets her raw milk from. I guess you could make a request to join the group or you can visit the Weston A. Price website and they have links that take you to raw milk farmers.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: evelynb

                    Not sure where you are at but the easiest way for now is to hop over the border. Raw milk from here: http://www.jackiesjerseymilk.com/6.html is available in Blaine or Sumas. You can bring back up to $20 worth per day.

                    1. re: jcolvin

                      I buy milk and cream from Jackie's and another raw milk dairy regularly at the co-op in Bellingham. It is NOT cheap but as far as I know it's completely legal to bring it in to Canada -- so long as you don't sell it to anyone else. A family I know used to drive over the border every week from North Vancouver to pick up milk from a cowshare in Washington and they were never hassled about bringing it back into Canada.

                      1. re: geekmom

                        Or you could get a cowshare here and buy local. A lot closer than Bellingham.

                        1. re: Jzone

                          Yes, that's definitely true -- it's a better deal if you use a lot of raw milk (or wish you could) -- and you would be supporting a BC farmer. I have tried writing to the government about this issue but I just got a stupid form letter back saying that unpasteurized milk is dangerous. Strange that they aren't dropping like flies over in Washington state, if that's the case.