We drink raw milk. Even more? We drink full fat raw milk… our entire family of 7. From dad all the way down to the smallest little one.
When I was pregnant, I drank 2 quarts of raw milk each day – in fact, I still drink anywhere from 8-10 cups a day and I’m not pregnant. Our family of 7 blows through 8 gallons a week very easily.
Telling people that we drink full fat, raw milk elicits some of the most random comments from strangers who are curious to know why we consume full fat dairy, and even more, why we consume full fat raw dairy.
Isn’t it dangerous?
Aren’t you worried that you are putting your family at risk?
I don’t worry at all.
Raw milk is an important part of a pregnant woman’s diet – even for those who aren’t pregnant, it’s a living, perfect food that is critical to our health. Why do we drink so much milk? What exactly do we find special about each glass that we pour?
Many things! I feel very fortunate to live in a state that permits the sale of raw milk and even more thankful that we are able to drive to our farm each week to pick up.
1. Raw milk is living – rich with enzymes.
Pasteurized milk (what you find in store) is no longer living – it has been stripped of it’s natural vitamins and minerals, including the enzyme lactase that helps your body digest lactose that is in milk. So many people struggle to digest milk/dairy items, and this is primarily because pasteurized dairy doesn’t have the lactase enzyme.
Raw milk is rich with enzymes, vitamins and minerals – including the lactase enzyme that helps your body digest lactose.
2. Raw, full fat milk is a whole, perfect food
Raw milk is a complete source of amino acids, and nutrients – calcium, vitamins A and D. In order for your body to absorb vitamins A and D it needs the fats. Raw milk also has the phosphate your body needs to digest the calcium.
Pasteurized milk is void of lactase (making it hard for people to digest), and is void of phosphate (which necessary for your body to absorb calcium). Instead, it’s refortified with synthetic vitamins.
A dairy-free diet will struggle to meet the daily requirement for calcium – of course, taking a synthetic vitamin is an option, but even if you are avoiding dairy, you would need to consume lots of vegetables, a few cups of bone broth and still supplement with seafood daily to achieve that same goal.
3. Raw milk has lots of healthy fats.
Milk from pastured cows 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)
Full fat dairy with saturated fat sustains a healthy blood sugar for an extended period of time. When you eat low fat, the blood sugar issues begin to rise. Not only does it help sustain your blood sugar, full fat dairy takes longer to digest – therefore keeping you fuller, longer. It may have more fat and calories, but you can go longer between meals.
4. Raw milk has a defense mechanism.
Many people associate raw milk with danger because of all the bad bacteria that hasn’t yet been pasteurized. The unfortunate part of pasteurization is that not only does it kill the bad bacteria, it also kills the good bacteria too.
The good bacteria is what our body needs – we need those good probiotics. Those probiotics serve as a defense against any pathogenic bacteria that is in the raw milk. Our diets need more good bacteria (probiotics) to help repopulate our gut and keep our immune system functioning at its best.
5. Raw milk is excellent for oral health.
Raw milk is incredibly rich in fat soluble vitamins A, K and E. It’s also rich in vitamins C and B complex. Compared to pasteurized milk, a quart of raw milk from pastured cows has 50% more vitamin E, and naturally contains vitamin C (which is not something you will ‘naturally’ find in pasteurized milk.
One of the best books to read if you are struggling with healing cavities and remineralizing your teeth is Cure Tooth Decay.
6. My body craves milk.
I’m always attentive to what my body craves beceause I feel like it tells me what I’m needing the most. While I was pregnant, I craved milk something fierce – and since raw dairy was one of my favorite beverages, I felt great satisfying that craving. Now that I’m not pregnant, my body still craves a tall glass of milk – sometimes I’ll pour it a quart at a time and enjoy in one sitting. Not only does it curb my appetite, it quenches my thirst and makes me feel incredible.
6. Safe Milk Comes from Knowing your Farmer
If you are considering raw milk for your family, it’s important that you are familiar with the diet and the farm that you are purchasing from. The FDA and big dairy doesn’t want you to think that clean, raw milk is safe – in fact, it wouldn’t be possible for conventional or confinement dairies to produce clean, raw milk in today’s age — it wouldn’t be fit for public consumption.
I’m not sure about you, but I want to make sure the milk I’m consuming is from healthy, happy cows.
Pasteurized milk is necessary for large, confinement and commercial dairies – not only does it destroy the filth that comes with those types of dairies, it also kills the good and bad bacteria that is in the milk.
Organic milk might be a step up from regular, non-Organic milk but even then, that milk is still the result of a confined operation… and more than likely the result of grain-fed cows. Organic milk is also pasteurized, destroying the vital enzymes and nutrients that are present in raw milk.
If dairy gives you terrible stomach aches, eczema or causes your baby to be incredibly fussy, then don’t enjoy it. But raw dairy usually clears up those issues.
If you are looking to find out more about raw milk, grab this easy to read chart from Organic Pastures that compares regular milk to organic and raw milk.
You can find raw milk in your area by starting at the Real Milk site – just know that not all raw milk farmers opt to feature their farm on that site, so you can also get in touch with the Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter in your area to ask for further recommendations.