Abernathy, Texas -
Pereira Pastures specializes in raw milk production.
The Pereira family owns and runs this dairy farm and Albert says it all got started when his first daughter, Meghan, was born.
"My wife wanted us to get raw milk from the farm, and I didn't want to because I knew how that milk was being produced. We fed a lot of by-products, the sanitation wasn't there because the was going to be pasteurized. So there wasn't an emphasis on super high quality milk."
The family comes from a commercial milk background and Albert says he wanted to provide his wife and children with the best milk he could find.
"With the benefits of raw milk, everything is intact, all of your enzymes, all of your minerals, your vitamins. Nothing has been destroyed through the pasteurization process."
Albert says raw milk also helps with allergies.
"Or pasture consists of native grasses, so those cows are consuming those grasses and those pollens that irritate pretty much everybody out here, so it's kind of like getting a little micro allergy shot in every glass. And we get a lot of feedback, and you'll see a lot of health benefits from customers that come out."
And Pereira pastures is also producing milk for those with lactose intolerance.
"A lot of people that find that they're lactose intolerant can tolerate raw milk. We also have been breeding in a special gene into our cattle. It's called the A2 beta-casein, which we've been breeding since 2006. People with a milk allergy or sensitivity to casein can tolerate this milk."
Albert says there are some misconceptions about raw milk. That it's dirty or will make them sick but Albert says that raw milk is held to the same standards of pasteurized milk.
"We have to meet the same pasteurized milk standards. So it's not like our milk was super dirty and we had to kill all of the pathogens to make it safe for human consumption. It's deemed safe for human consumption right from the start."
"If you do your research and you look at the CDC studies, raw milk, milk in general, is one of the safest foods you can consume. I mean, it doesn't even rank in the top 10 of your most dangerous foods to consume. And milk from a licensed, state inspected facility... We have such stringent testing and requirements that we have to meet. We're an accredited Tb-free herd. We're an accredited contagious disease free herd. Every animal, when it reaches the age of 18 months and once a year after that has to be tested for TB. We get quarterly tests for brucilocus."
The Pereira's own a total of 175 cows, with 40 of them producing about 170 gallons of milk each day. But Pereira pastures produces more than just milk.
"We produce milk, cream, kefir, buttermilk. We're really going to focus on cheese production, and then we just bought a commercial gelato maker, so we're going to start making artisan gelato."
Pereira Pastures is open seven days a week from sun up to sun down and is located three miles east of Abernathy.
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