Matthew von Teichmann has the peculiar distinction of being a lactose-intolerant dairy man. Or at least he was lactose intolerant, he says, until he began drinking milk from grass fed cows. That personal revelation, and a sharp eye for business led the man, who the Globe and Mail calls a serial entrepreneur, to launch his latest venture: Rolling Meadow Dairy, Canada’s first commercial producer of grass fed milk.
I met von Teichman recently in Rolling Meadow’s office in the basement of a Victorian era mansion in Toronto’s annex. And, as one might expect, the first order of business was a glass of milk, which I happily sipped while he told me about his new line of products. The milk tasted fresh and cold, as von Teichman explained its chief benefit is that it’s a healthier food made from happier animals. Von Teichman, who is also the founder and owner, with his wife Jasmin, of the Life Choices line of naturally made frozen foods, and grass fed beef and pork operation Grandview Farms, explained he has Rolling Meadow grass fed milk tested at the University of Toronto under the watch of professor Richard Bazinet of the Nutritional Sciences Department. “Our milk is what they call nutritionally dense,” he explained, adding, “we have the closest ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids.”
Von Teichman currently sources Rolling Meadow’s grass fed milk from eight farmers in Southwest Ontario. He explained that five are Mennonite farmers and the other three immigrants from Holland, where grass fed dairy is the norm. All the farmers were raising their cattle on 90% grass anyway, and Von Teichman pays them a premium for the milk. He explained that 100 grass fed cattle require 200 acres of pasture land to graze on, so is costlier. Still, Rolling Meadow’s pricing is in the middle between organic and conventional products.
In addition to grass fed milk, von Teichman is planning to launch lines of butter and yogurt shortly. As in Europe, he expects the colour of the butter to change with the seasons, as his farmers’ cows switch from fresh grass to hay. Von Teichman expects high demand for his grass fed butter, since it’s a required ingredient for Oprah Winfrey’s new favourite, the “Bullet Proof Diet”. He explained that the diet suggests taking coffee with grass fed butter, but I think I’ll keep it on my toast and pour grass fed milk in the cup or glass.
Click here to see where Rolling Meadow grass fed milk is sold in Ontario.