ExpoWest 2012: My Favorite Things (Part 2)

This is the second post of eight in my ExpoWest 2012 series. In this post, I’ll cover my favorite dairy producers (and a few egg farmers) from ExpoWest.

ExpoWest 2012: My Favorite Things (Part 2)

This is the second post of eight in my ExpoWest 2012 series.  In this post, I’ll cover my favorite dairy producers (and a few egg farmers) from ExpoWest.

After all, this is CHEESESLAVE, so the cheese comes first. I love me some dairy! Especially when it’s full-fat, grass-fed, and/or organic.

You can read my introductory post to this series here: Natural Products ExpoWest 2012.

Dairy Products

Straus Organic Dairy

Straus Family Creamery is a dairy in Petaluma, California. I’ve been buying their yogurt, butter, cream and ice cream for years now.

Straus Organic Dairy

I’ve been hearing some rumors online that the Straus cows were not grass-fed. But after speaking with them at their booth, it was good to find out the truth. The cows do get some grain but they are on pasture whenever possible, which in California, is most of the year. It is more rainy where they are based so they can’t be outside all the time due to the mud, but they are out as much as possible, eating green grass.

In fact, they told me that it does not make financial sense for a dairy to feed their cows grains when they can put them out on pasture. Grain is expensive to produce or buy and to store. It makes financial sense to keep cows on pasture as much as you possibly can.

It’s not raw milk of course; it is pasteurized. While I love raw milk, I eat pasteurized butter, cheese, yogurt, cream and ice cream.

Raw is not the most important thing to look for when buying dairy products. What you are looking for is grass-fed first and foremost, and, if possible, organic.  Straus is grass-fed and organic. If you can find it where you live, I highly recommend Straus dairy products.

Where to Find Straus Products

Here’s where to find Straus dairy products.

You can also find them at Whole Foods and sometimes at Trader Joe’s if you are in California and nearby states (I get Straus products at Whole Foods here in Las Vegas).

Bellwether Farms

I’ve also been buying Bellwether Farms créme fraîche, cheese, and sheep’s yogurt for years. I always thought they were probably grass-fed but I never knew for sure. Just like Straus Dairy, the milk is from grass-fed cows.

They have some of the most delicious cheese and the best full-fat sheep’s milk yogurt. I don’t think they even sell a lowfat yogurt. (Isn’t that just SO awesome?)

Bellwether FarmsBellwether Farms

Where to Find Bellwether Farms Products

Where to find Bellwether Farms dairy products. I buy them at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Redwood Hill Farm

Another dairy farm I love is Redwood Hill Farm. They make fabulous goat cheese, goat yogurt and kefir. They are as old as me — sustainably farmed and family-run in Sonoma County, California since 1968.

Redwood Hill FarmRedwood Hill Farm

Where to Find Redwood Hill Farm

Where to find Redwood Hill Farm dairy products. You can also order online. I buy their products at Whole Foods.

Dahlicious Lassi

I really loved Dahlicious Lassi — a grass-fed drinkable yogurt from Vermont.

The name lassi comes from India, where they eat a lot of yogurt. In fact, they say that the lassi is the world’s first smoothie.

They claim that their lassis have 10 times more probiotics than other yogurts. That’s probably because they culture each batch for 12 hours. I have read that most yogurts culture their yogurts for much less time. They also use real fruit — mango, blueberries and bananas — to flavor the lassis.

Dahlicious Lassi

Where to Find Dahlicious Lassi Products

This is a pretty new company so you can’t find it in every store just yet. You can buy Dahlicious Lassi products online. In New England States, New York, and New Jersey the shipping is FREE.

Lucky Layla Farms

Here’s another company that produces yummy drinkable yogurt from grass-fed cows. Lucky Layla Farms is in Plano, Texas — the town where I grew up. The company is named after one of their cows. Isn’t that sweet?

Lucky Layla Farms

Where to Find Lucky Layla Products

If you live in the Dallas area, you can visit the Lucky Layla farm store located at 3721 North Jupiter Road, Plano, Texas, 75074. Phone: 972-423-8080 Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am – 6 pm Closed Sundays.

Here’s a list of stores where you can find Lucky Layla products in Texas, Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington State.

Rumiano Family Organic Cheese

Started on a small dairy farm in 1919, Rumiano Cheese Company is the oldest family-owned cheese company in California. They make organic certified non-GMO cheese from grass-fed cows from local family farms.

Rumiano Family Organic Cheese

Where to Find Rumiano Family Organic Cheese

You can buy Rumiano cheese online or use their online store locator. You can also reach them at 866-EAT-CHEESE (what a great phone number, eh?).

Latta Russian Kefir

I loved Latta Kefir. They said their kefir is “mostly grass-fed”. My only complaint is that almost all the kefir they had was low-fat or non-fat. (I don’t blame them because this is the trend; almost all the yogurt booths we found had only low-fat and non-fat yogurt.)

They did have some full-fat kefir, which was delicious.

Latta Russian Kefir

Where to Find Latta Kefir

Where to find Latta kefir.

Egg Farmers

Vital Farms Organic Pastured Eggs

I’ve been buying these Vital Farms eggs at Whole Foods since I moved to Las Vegas. I wasn’t sure if they were truly pastured but I am so glad to find out that they are. (We don’t have a lot of options here for local pastured eggs, especially in the winter.)

We had a great chat with the good folks from Vital Farms and saw pictures of their farm outside Austin, Texas. Beautiful, healthy chickens outdoors on green grass in the Texas sunshine. Sigh… makes me want to move back to Austin!

The feed is organic, although it does contain some soy. (It should be noted that it’s not easy to find organic feed that does not contain soy — even Sally Fallon Morell says she can’t get pastured eggs that don’t contain soy.)

Vital FarmsVital Farms

Where to Find Vital Farms Eggs

Where to find Vital Farms eggs in Austin, Texas — including where to buy and restaurants where they are served.  (Yay! Kerbey Lane!) You can also order online for local Austin delivery.

Here’s a list of where to find Vital Farms nationwide, from Alabama to Hawaii to New York.

NestFresh Eggs

If you can’t get Vital Farms eggs where you live, you may be able to find NestFresh eggs. They are certified cage-free and usually pastured. Click here to read more about how the chickens are raised. They have natural eggs and organic available.

NestFresh Eggs

Where to Find Nest Fresh Eggs

Where to find NestFresh eggs — currently in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

What About You?

Do you buy any of these products? What are some of your favorites? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Check Back Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll be posting more of my favorite things from ExpoWest 2012 in part 3 of the series — check back!