If you are one of the millions of Americans that is still stuck in the mindset that saturated fat is bad for your health, and that raw milk is unhealthy AND risky, then this information you read might be hard for you to digest (no pun intended!)
The issue of milk is one that is well debated – all you have to do is peruse websites and Facebook to realize that milk is dairy, and that all dairy seems to be very bad stuff. In reality, raw and pasteurized dairy are entirely different.
What’s the big deal with milk? Even more, what’s the deal with raw milk? Is raw milk really different? What makes it so incredible?
When you talk about milk, it’s important to understand that raw milk and pasteurized milk are two entirely different items. Raw milk is a whole, living food that is full of healthy vitamins and enzymes that are essential for healthy digestion. Pasteurized milk is a dead food – a lifeless liquid that is (in most cases) hard for most to tolerate.
When people have problems with pasteurized milk, they are often times told to stop consuming dairy altogether. The truth is, their allergies and digestive issues are likely the result of pasteurized dairy – and something that raw dairy could help repair.
Some of the most essential natural components of raw milk include natural vitamins, beneficial bacteria and food enzymes present in raw milk. These same items are destroyed when milk is pasteurized – therefore rendering the pasteurized milk we commonly see in store coolers as sorely lacking nutritional benefit.
History of milk before pasteurization
Although you will be hard pressed to read about this today, back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, raw milk was used by the Mayo clinic to treat everything from weight loss to cancer, skin issues, food allergies, chronic fatigue and more.
Dr. Crewe was a Medical Doctor and one of the founders of the Mayo Foundation – he used what is known as the Milk Cure for 15 years, to help heal his patients. You can read more about his work including patient treatment using raw milk back in 1929.
Pasteurization of milk was developed out of necessity — as concentrated animal feed operations became more popular, cows in confinement became a situation that farmers knew would be difficult to deal with. Confinement combined with an unnatural diet of grain resulted in less than healthier milk that was lacking in crucial vitamins and minerals, and very heavy in pathogenic bacteria. Pasteurization stepped in to kill that pathogenic bacteria, while at the same time killing all beneficial (necessary) bacteria – vitamins, enzymes, minerals and lactase needed for digestion.
So what makes raw milk so invaluable over pasteurized milk? Here are 7 reasons:
1: Raw milk helps with food allergies
Pasteurized milk is an allergen and can in many cases contribute to food allergies – this is because pasteurization has dynamically changed the proteins in the milk and therefore causes irritation to the gut. Even more, pasteurized milk doesn’t have the enzyme lactase, which helps your body digest those milk proteins.
All this dead bacteria in raw milk actually triggers inflammation in your body because your body doesn’t recognize these waste products… Your body then reacts by mast cells breaking open, histamines being released, and things like asthma and inflammation flaring like crazy; mucus being laid down, which causes ear infections. Raw milk does exactly the opposite…
In 2006, a rather huge study was done in Europe – the Parsifal (2006) and the Gabriela – which covered 15,000 children. The study was internationally published and shows documentation that whey protein in raw milk stabilizes mast cells and improves asthma. Processed (pasteurized milk), on the other hand, triggers inflammation in the body because it has a lot of dead bacteria.
2: Raw milk has beneficial enzymes
When you pasteurize milk, you heat it to temps of 170 degrees; ultra pasteurized milk is heated even higher to 280 degrees. Heating it to high temps destroys the enzymes in the milk and allows it to have a longer shelf life. However… it is a dead food void of lactase, and without lactase, your digestive system struggles to digest.
Raw milk, on the other hand, contains lactose – which is needed for digestion. Since raw milk is not pasteurized, it is a living food with beneficial enzymes such as lipase. Lipase helps your body digest fat and plays a large role in the assimilation of vitamins in your diet.
A lack of vitamins can lead to a host of dental problems – from tooth decay to gum disease, infection and lack of proper bone development.
3: Raw milk is rich in vitamins
Raw milk is not pasteurized – thus, the properties of the milk remain in tact, including the vitamins.
Cows that graze on pasture are higher in the vitamin K2, Pasteurization not only destroys the enzymes and proteins, it also makes reduces the absorption of valuable vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin D. Pasteurization also destroys beta lactoglobulin, which is critical for the absorption of vitamin A
4: Raw milk is easy to digest
Pasteurization and homogenization make milk allergenic for many people, since it destroys the lactase enzyme.
Having no lactase in the milk (pasteurized) or the person drinking the milk makes for digestive distress and what we all know as lactose intolerance. Pasteurization also denatures many of the proteins in milk, making it even more challenging for people to drink. However, when drinking raw milk, this is not a problem – because raw milk isn’t pasteurized and therefore the lactase is readily available – and all the proteins are intact.
This survey has shown that 80% of lactose intolerant CAN drink and digest raw milk without problems.
When you have a gallon of raw milk, the butterfat separates to the top. The butterfat is mostly saturated fat and healthy saturated fats are critical for sustained health.
5: Raw milk is rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Raw milk butterfat is rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA is is something that’s missing from those huge, factory farms and also from milk that is pasteurized and skimmed down at the grocery store (Skim, 1%, even 2%). Believe it or not, it’s also missing from organic milk – if you are glued to organic milk, you should know that there is factory farming in the organic industry too.
The best source of CLA is from grass fed cattle in the form of beef and raw dairy. It cannot be manufactured in the human body, and therefore your best source for it are grass fed beef and raw dairy.
Milk from pastured cows also contains an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids or EFAs. There are two families of EFAs—omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that if your diet contains roughly equal amounts of these two fats, you will have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and various other mental disorders. (Source)
CLA helps reduce inflammation in your body without affecting your arteries – to help you with insulin resistance, cancer, high blood pressure, immune system boosters and even help you reduce body fat by keeping you fuller for a longer period of time.
6: Raw milk supports local farmers
Pasteurization of milk started when cows were concentrated in feed operations – pasteurization was necessary to kill the bacteria from cows that were fed in crammed spaces, wading in fecal matter, in a confinement fed with grain.
Organic cows might be a step up from regular, non-Organic milk but even then, that milk is still the result of a confined operation. Organic farms might feed their cows organic feed but they are still confined dairies.
Most raw milk producers operate on a large operation with cattle that have space to graze on fresh pasture outside in fresh air.
Now, most of those small farms have been wiped out by a corporate America that is instead focused on huge profits at the sacrifice of quality.
7: Raw milk doesn’t go bad
If you were to leave a jug of regular milk or organic milk on the counter all day or, overnight (and I have… ) it goes bad by the next day. But with raw milk, you can do all types of things with it. Raw milk clabbers because the lactic acid producing bacteria continue to live on and they turn that amazing milk into an even greater probiotic-rich food.
You can use clabbered milk to make everything from Kefir, to Butter, to Yogurt, Cheese & more. That’s something you can’t do with regular pasteurized milk.
Isn’t there risk with raw milk?
The FDA and CDC have essentially demonized the sale and use of raw milk so greatly that when you tell people about the health benefits, all you will hear back is the standard scientific response. Most people confuse dairy as being all in the same, which only adds to the confusion.
Today’s Confined Animal Feeding Operations could never successfully produce raw milk – given the crammed cages, hormones and antibiotics used, processing milk at a high heat is essential to kill that bacteria that could potentially make us sick.If the FDA was concerned about the health of consumers, they would start putting warnings out about much of the processed food industry – instead in the U.S. Bovine Growth Hormone (which is banned in other countries) is completely legal here.
Pasteurization equates to profit – as it increases the shelf life of the milk, making it easier for the dairy industry to mass market, and thus maximizes profits for the dairy industry.
So one can see why it’s essential for the FDA and CDC to instill fear into the American public over raw milk – profits are at stake. Pasteurized milk is made for shelf life not gut life.
Finding raw milk
Every state has their own laws on raw milk – some states afford the opportunity to buy it if you travel to the farm, while some allow the sale of it in grocery stores.
Learn your local state laws and reference Real Milk – summaries by state to find a local raw dairy near you. You can also check out LocalHarvest orcall the Weston Price Foundation and talk to your local chapter leader to find out more.
Do you drink raw milk? How do you get yours? Do you drive to the farm to pick up like I do?