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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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March 9, 2010

Dairy Myths VS. Fact & Chicken Parmesan Sub

Sunnyside in Fairfield, CA is one of the milk processing plants our milk is delivered to after it's picked up by DFA (Dairy Farmers of America). I snapped a couple of photos of it on our way home from our snow trip yesterday....
Dairy Myths VS. Fact 
Myth: The reason the price of milk is going up in the grocery store is so dairy farmers can get rich. 
Fact: On average, dairy farmers receive 30 cents of every retail dollar. 


Myth: Large farms aren’t family farms.
Fact: According to USDA, about 99 percent of all U.S. dairy farms are family-owned and operated. 


Myth: Large, “corporate farms” force small, family farms out of business. 
Fact: There are approximately more than 60,000 dairy farms in America and the approximate average herd size is 150 cows. According to USDA, the majority (77 percent) of all U.S. dairy farms have less than 100 cows. 
Myth: Pesticides are overused and end up in milk.


Fact: Pesticides are not a health concern in any milk products. Thorough testing and stringent government standards ensure that all milk is safe, pure and nutritious. Dairy farmers consistently meet or exceed safety regulations on pesticide use. 


Myth: All milk – except organic milk – contains antibiotics.
Fact: All milk is carefully tested for antibiotics. Any milk that tests positive is disposed of immediately, and does not enter into the food supply. Before the milk can be unloaded at the processing plant, each load is tested for antibiotic residues. If the milk shows no evidence of antibiotics, it is pumped into the plant's holding tanks for further processing. If the milk does not pass antibiotic testing, the entire truck load of milk is discarded and the farm samples are tested to find the source of the antibiotic residues. Regulatory action is taken against the farm with the positive antibiotic test. Positive antibiotic tests are rare, and account for far less than 1% of the tank loads of milk delivered to processing plants. 


Myth: Today’s dairy cow is treated like nothing more than a milk machine. 
Fact: Dairy cows must be healthy and well cared for in order to produce pure, wholesome milk.


Myth: Dairy cows are kept in cramped, dirty quarters without access to the outdoors.
Fact: Cow comfort is very important to dairy farmers. Ensuring that clean, dry bedding is available to cows at all times, in addition to providing healthy living conditions, are top priorities to dairy farmers. 


Myth: Baby calves are mistreated and don’t receive proper attention.
Fact: To help protect calves, dairy farmers place them in clean, dry, individual pens shortly after birth to control their environment, administer proper nutrition and vaccinations, and get them off to a healthy start. 


Myth: Modern dairy farmers don’t practice sustainable agriculture.
Fact: Dairy farmers depend on land, air and water as part of their livelihood. In fact, dairy farms must follow strict state and local water quality regulations, and meet standards for manure storage, handling and recycling per guidelines from state and federal agencies.


Chicken Parmesan Sub
Ingredients 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts cut into 4 portions or 4 small breasts), (2 large breasts cut into 4 portions or 4 small breasts) 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 6-ounce bags baby spinach 1 cup marinara sauce, preferably low-sodium (see Tip) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella 4 soft whole-wheat sandwich rolls, toasted


Preparation Position oven rack in top position; preheat broiler. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place chicken between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan until the chicken is an even 1/4-inch thickness. Dip the chicken in the flour mixture and turn to coat.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add half the chicken and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and chicken; transfer to the baking sheet.
Top each piece of chicken with the wilted spinach, marinara sauce and Parmesan. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve on rolls.


Tips & Notes Tip: Refrigerate leftover marinara sauce for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.


Nutrition Per serving: 467 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 78 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 42 g protein; 5 g fiber; 762 mg sodium; 791 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (160% daily value), Vitamin C (46% dv) Folate (43% dv), Magnesium (26% dv).

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