Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Raw Milk is Superior to Pasteurized Milk "She is like the merchant ships bringing her food from afar."

Proverbs 31:14

I can't begin to share how blessed we are to have gotten to know a local (I say local, but we drive 25 minutes, one way) farmer who sells his Jersey cow's milk. We originally visited on a honeybee farm field trip over a year ago and ever since, we've been driving back and forth to buy Dixie Lee's milk. Dixie Lee is a sweet, brown Jersey cow who has been tested for diseases, grazes on pasture and eats hay. Dixie's milk is the purest of pure and we're so grateful to have her milk available to drink. It's not pasturized. It's not homoginized. It's pure milk, the way it was intended to be drank.

Some have said that raw milk is dangerous and can make you sick. I would encourage you to read the article below.

"While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, what they completely overlook is the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk.

They make no distinction whatsoever between disease-riddled factory farmed milk and the milk from clean, healthy, grass-fed cows. One MUST be pasteurized in order to be safe for consumption. The other does not.

Believe me, you definitely avoid r drinking any raw milk from a conventionally-raised feed-lot cow! But drinking raw milk produced by grass-fed cows from clean, well-run farms, on the other hand, is actually far LESS dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk.

In fact, not only does raw milk contain good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, raw milk also offers protection against disease-causing bacteria!

Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures, the largest raw dairy in the United States, performed the following test: He inoculated pathogenic contaminants such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella into his raw milk, and into pasteurized milk.

In the raw milk, none of the pathogens survived because the natural bacteria were able to protect the milk. In the pasteurized milk, however -- in which the bacteria and enzymes have been destroyed -- the pathogens were able to take over.

To think that pasteurized milk is safer (even if you don't believe it's healthier) than raw milk from a healthy, grass-fed cow is simply not true.

Factory farmed animals are raised in concentrated feedlots that are absolute hotbeds for dangerous bacteria and viruses, and they're fed an unnatural diet of grains, which creates a much higher level of acidity in the animal's stomach that E. coli bacteria need to survive.

As for the "evidence" that raw milk is dangerous to your health, there have been more than 16,500 confirmed cases of people getting ill from pasteurized milk, or about 412 cases per year, while only about 116 illnesses a year are linked to raw milk, according to CDC data.

How to Identify a High-Quality Producer of Raw Milk
Getting your raw milk from a local organic farm is one of the best ways to ensure you're getting high quality milk. If you're thinking about purchasing milk from a small farmer, it would be very wise to visit the farm in person.

Look around and ask questions, such as:

1.Does the farmer and his family drink the milk themselves?
2.How long has he been producing raw milk?
3.Are the cows clean?
4.What conditions are the cows raised in?
5.Are there any obvious sanitation questions?
Additionally, look for these general conditions:

•Low pathogenic bacteria count (ie does the farmer test his milk regularly for pathogens?)
•The milk is quickly chilled after milking
•The milk comes from cows raised naturally, in accordance with the seasons
•The cows are mainly grass-fed
•The cows are not given antibiotics and growth hormones to increase milk production
•Cows are well cared for
If a cow is covered in filth and manure, stinks, is wet and cold and doesn't look particularly comfortable, that could be a warning sign that her milk is less than ideal for raw consumption, even if it's from a small, local farm.

Looking for Raw Milk?
As demand for raw milk continues to grow, it will, hopefully, become easier and easier to come by. In Massachusetts, for example, the number of dairies licensed to sell raw milk has grown from 12 to 23 just in the past two years.

If you're still unsure of where to go, you can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Web site. You can also look to find out the legal status of raw milk in the U.S. state or country where you live. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (which helps farmers that have been raided) also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws."

(Courtesy of

Another article I found went on to say...

"Other studies have shown mounting evidence that milk may play a role in a variety of health problems, including prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, anemia, MS, leukemia and ovarian cancer.

This stuff the dairy industry is passing off as milk, claiming it gives you strong bones, is not good for you. According to Dr. Spreen of the Health Science Institute, in his opinion, pasteurized, homogenized milk does not even qualify as food.

Dr. Spreen claims the homogenization process breaks up and destroys enzymes through its heating process. He says the enzyme xanthine oxidase, in it's altered state, can enter the bloodstream and react against arterial walls, causing the body to protect the area with a layer of cholesterol. This is serious! What is the milk industry trying to do to us?

According to Dr. Spreen the skimming process makes the remaining nutrients more difficult to absorb. He adds, "The calcium is better absorbed in the presence of milk fat..."

And yet, there are more articles that support this. Another and another.

So, as the government continues to strip away our freedoms, strip away our land and wholesome foods, don't let it discourage you. Continue to buy fresh, organic foods and milk from local farmers and cut down on the processed stuff. Coupon clipping is awesome and God commands us to be smart with our money. However, whole foods stores/health food stores DO take competitor coupons as well so be sure to check those our first before reaching for those

Cheez-It's. :) You will have to do some extra work on your part by searching for good, local food, but once you get into a habbit of where to go and what to buy and for what prices, you'll feel so good about providing your family with good, wholesome food.

Deuteronomy 14:1-4, 13-23

I Corinthians 6:19

1 comment:

Tessa said...

This was very interesting ot read. We are actually dairy farmers and I have to agree with most of what the articles say. One things that they didn't mention was that some people's stomachs just can't handle unpasturized milk. It's too rich for them or something. I remember growing up that I had friends (twins actually) who both drank it. One got sick the other loved it. It's something that some people need to get used to because it's much more rich than unpasturized.
I know that the laws are different in the United States but in Canada it is actually illegal to sell/buy unpasturized milk (though there are farmers that still do so).
Also, another way to tell the condition of the cows is if they are loud. If they are making a lot of noise it means they're not content. I love steppling outside and knowing there's several hundred cows out there that are all quiet and content :)
Our cows aren't in the pasture but they are fed an awesome mix of feed (corn/barley sileage, hay, supplement and grain) that is reevaluated several times a month so that they give not just the most milk possible but also the best quality milk possible. (I could actually taste the difference when we ran out of corn sileage right before we harvested this year. It wasn't nearly as good quality).
As for antibiotics, I don't know of any farmers that give them to increase production. They're given to cows if they are sick (mastitis usually) but then that milk doesn't even go into the tank until all the medication is our of the cow's system.

But I'm glad that raw milk is making a bit of a movement. It would be nice if we could all drink the cream of the crop ;)