Sustainable Dairy, Meat and Fish


Milk and dairy products should only be considered healthy if they are obtained from happy, grass-fed cows, sheep and goats. Because of the superior health of these animals, because they are grass-fed and not injected with hormones or antibiotics, their milk is highly nutritious.

There are a number of preparation practices that have compromised the nutritional value of milk and dairy. These practices are the pasteurisation, homogenisation and removal of the fat in milk and dairy products. At Serene Nature House we also understand the desire and benefit from eating meat and fish, however we balance this against all the ethical and environmental considerations, particularly the fact that farm animal production accounts for nearly one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. We strictly recommend the consumption of ‘grass-fed’ and/or ‘organic’ livestock.

  • Healthy Milk & Dairy
  • Healthy Meat and Fish
  • Pasteurisation

Pasteurisation is the process of heating milk in order to kill illness-causing bacteria, potentially contained in the milk, and extend the shelf-life of the milk. This process was invented at the beginning of industrialisation and the factory-farming system to deal with extremely unsanitary conditions.

Pasteurisation comes at a cost.

High heat alters milk’s amino acids making the whole complex of proteins less available, it promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids and destruction of vitamins and enzymes that help assimilate calcium and digest fat in the body.

Pasteurised fresh milk undergoes a heating process called High Temperature Short Time (HTST). It consists of heating the milk to a temperature of 72 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 seconds. With HTST pasteurisation, milk lasts a couple of weeks at most. While there are many arguments for and against, Serene Nature House does not believe that this degree of heat destroys the overall benefits found in the milk.

Unfortunately most packaged milks including milk alternatives that are labeled ‘organic’, undergo ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurisation. This means it is heated to a temperature of at least 135-150 degrees Celsius for 1-2 seconds. This type of pasteurisation kills virtually all of the enzymes and bacteria to the point that the milk cannot even be cultured to make yoghurt or kefir. It is commonly referred to as "dead milk".

The shelf life of UHT milk is 6 to 9 months and it doesn't even need to be refrigerated.

The other major problem with packaged milk and alternative milk products such as soy, almond, coconut and rice milk in long-life cartons is that they often contain the harmful thickener carrageenan. According to the Food Intolerance Network, ‘Carrageenan (407) used in yoghurts, ice creams and others has been linked to cancer and is not recommended in large quantities for young children’.

The only exception to this is Bonsoy, which is prepared using traditional methods of soaking and high heat temperatures to remove the phytic acid and trypsin inhibitor content. High heat is beneficial to the consumption of soybeans as they contain trypsin inhibitors that prevent the proper digestion of proteins. Bonsoy does not contain carrageenan.

The best choice for consumers is low temperature pasteurised milk that is heated to a temperature of 63 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. This pasteurisation process kills any potentially harmful bacteria while leaving the majority of the micro life in the milk untouched. The Australian law allows for such a pasteurisation process.

  • Homogenisation

The homogenisation process is the removal of the cream or butterfat from milk or dairy. It is then replaced in even concentrations to create the common milk fat “grades”: 0% (skim milk), 1% (low-fat), 2% (reduced fat) and whole.

Homogenisation subjects butterfat to rancidity. There is also an issue with a protein enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is in cow’s milk. Normally, after digested, proteins are broken down. However, when milk is homogenised, small fat globules surround the xanthine oxidase and it is absorbed into your blood stream. Research has shown a connection between this absorbed enzyme and increased risks of heart disease.

Without the butterfat, the body cannot absorb and utilise the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk.

Further Reading

Sustainable Table- Dairy Diaries

Serene Nature House is proud to offer real milk and dairy options to our customers. We supply cow and goat dairy products directly from farms that apply the strictest ethical standards in their treatment of their animals. This includes:

  • Andriy’s Blue-Bay goat and cow dairy produced from milk supplied directly from ethical farms in the Mornington Peninsula, including unhomogenised cow and goat cheeses, kefir and yoghurt.
  • Simon Schulz’ amazing range of low-pasteurised, unhomogenised milk products.
  • And our delicious and organic 180 Acres butter.

Note on Lactose Intolerance

If you suffer from lactose intolerance, and it is not associated with an allergy to casein, then Serene Nature House offers Lacteeze, a health product that contains the enzyme lactase which breaks down the lactose for you before consuming the milk. This way you can enjoy all the health benefits of our milk and dairy products!

Otherwise, Serene Nature House recommends that you make your own almond or rice milk at home! We will be sharing recipes soon

Serene Nature House supplies true-free range chickens, ducks and eggs, where birds are free to roam during the day and are kept in comfortable, sheltered, spaces at night and are free from abusive practices such as wing-clipping and beak-trimming.

We also supply grass-fed lamb and grass-fed beef that are free from growth promoting hormones and antibiotics.

Serene Nature House believes in consuming meats holistically. This means that we do not advocate picking out the leanest cuts every time. The bodybuilding and fitness industry has labelled fatty cuts as unhealthy, which is simply not true.

If everyone wants the leanest cut from the animal then this will only exacerbate the greenhouse problem and promote more abusive practices on farms. Eating meats holistically means ordering the whole chicken or major cuts from the chicken (including offal such as liver and other parts) and consuming grass-fed beef and lamb in ‘whole of animal packages’ that will last you and your family, at least a month.

We support farmers that take the time in raising their animals and give the animal real dignity when they are slaughtered.

Our Poultry

Our free-range chickens and ducks come from Russell’s Milawa certified organic farm. Our eggs come from true-free range farmer Kristy’s Golden Egg Yolk farm.

Further Reading:

Sustainable Table- Free Range Egg and Chicken Guide

Our Lamb and Beef

Our lamb and beef are stress-free and are ordered from Koallah Farm (who take the time to care for their animals before slaughter) and small Victorian Farmers.

Further Reading:

Sustainable Table- Meet your Meat Guide

Our Fish

Our salmon comes from 41 Degrees South Tasmania, an organic fresh water aquaculture farm sourced from the Montana Falls in Northern Tasmania, which takes a completely natural approach to caring and milking its fish without using antibiotics or chemicals.

There are numerous issues involved with understanding sustainable fish consumption. We take a very strict approach on eating wild caught fish of any kind given the immense vulnerability of our ecosystem and the high amount of mercury poisoning found in the fish.

Instead, Serene Nature House is very supportive of closed aquaculture farming techniques that use minimal ocean feed and encourage minimal waste. We also support the Yarra Valley Caviar Farm. We will be supplying their range of caviar and fish soon.

Further Reading:

Sustainable Table- Fishy Business Guide

Sustainable Table- Quick Guide to Seafood

Pigs

We do no supply pig because it is very difficult to obtain ethically cared for and slaughtered pig. Pigs are exposed to some of the worst treatment in Australia.

Despite this, there are a handful of ethical farmers breeding pig for consumption applying the highest sustainable standards that sell direct to the public. We recommend Guy from Tanjil Free Range Pork and he can be contacted on 0433 418 110.

Further Reading:

Sustainable Table- Treatment of Pigs Guide