Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting The Most Out Of Your Food: Part 9 (Is Raw Milk/Dairy Healthy?)

Got Raw Milk?
Here is a picture of my daughter, almost a year old and just about ready to start drinking raw milk. Chewing on the lid of the ice cold milk must have felt good on her teeth :) I nursed for a year and then she naturally weaned and we started her drinking raw cow's milk. I have no qualms whatsoever about giving my children raw milk after one year in age. I'll spend the rest of this post explaining why.

This can be a very controversial subject, but it is one that I believe people need to be fully educated about it (just like vaccinations, circumcision, whether to use a microwave or not and other healthy eating issues) before they make a decision. It is so easy for people to state that raw milk is dangerous, but I want to first take an honest look at the paturized, homogenized milk you get in the store.

According to "Nourishing Traditions": The milk you get in the store comes from cows with abnormally active pituitary glands and high-protein feeding. This allows high levels of bovine growth hormones (present in all mother's milk) to be in milk. Large amounts of this hormone can produce growth abnormalities. The high-protein feeding of soybean meal to cows "stimulates them to produce large amounts of milk but also contributes to mastitis, liver problems and shortened lives. The proper food for cows in green plants." 

Pasteurization is a hugely controversial subject. It was originally intended to to kill bad germs from diseased cows and worse yet, the diseased people milking them. Contrary to popular believe, pasteurization is not a cleanliness guarantee. According to "Nourishing Traditions": "Raw milk contains lactic-acid-producing bacteria that protect against pathogens. Pasteurization destroys these helpful organisms, leaving the finished product devoid of any protective mechanism should undesirable bacteria inadvertently contaminate the supply. Raw milk in time turns pleasantly sour, while pasteurized milk, lacking beneficial bacteria, will putrefy." 

Some people are genuinely allergic to casin in milk, but many think they are allergic, but are really lactose intolerant. There are important enzymes in raw milk that aid in the digestion of milk. I have yet to have a lactose intolerant individual be unable to consume my raw milk products. "Heat alters milk's amino acids lysine and tyrosine, making the whole complex of proteins less available; it promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids and destruction of vitamins." Many times synthetic Vitamin D(s) are added which can be linked to heart disease or be difficult to absorb. It also makes the minerals found in milk less available.  "Lipase in raw milk helps the body digest and utilize butterfat." Fermented milk products are especially easy to digest.

Homogenization is "the process whereby the fat particles of cream are strained through tiny pores under great pressure. The resulting fat particles are so small that they stay in suspension rather than rise to the top of the milk. This makes the fat and cholesterol more susceptible to rancidity and oxidation, and some research indicates that homogenized fats may contribute to heart disease."

The only concern I have with raw milk is the process of getting the milk from the cow into the jar. You need to make sure that the farmer you are buying milk from is clean and sanitizes his jars very carefully and is very careful in his milking process. They should be cleaning the udder before milking. Also make sure that their cows are disease free and fed on fresh green grass or hay. Go during milking time and watch the process. See where your milk is coming from!

We make many of our own raw dairy products. It isn't as hard as it sounds. Click here for links to some great raw dairy recipes and raw cheese recipes.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. 



Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I miss my raw milk. Wish it would have worked out. It is nice to enjoy your ice cream when I come to visit!

melaniek said...

I keep slowly presenting the idea of raw milk to my hubby but he's still a little (lot) resistant. I'm gonna have to catch him in the right mood because I think raw milk could be super beneficial to us. Heart disease runs in his family so anything we can do to avoid foods that could encourage it would be great. Luckily there is a farm by us where you can "lease" the cow or goat and get up to 3 gallons of your milk per week.

Robin said...

We started drinking raw milk about a year ago, and I love it! We were able to watch the farmer milk the cows, and I would trust her milk anywhere. My husband will still not drink it, but the kids and I do. My daughter (almost 3) was pretty frail looking as a baby (not unhealthy, but very thin and small), and has become much more sturdy in the past year. I attribute much of it to a better diet including raw milk.

melaniek said...

Jackie, while doing research I stumbled across the feingold program. After being disgusted by what they make artificial dyes/flavorings from, I was reading how on the first step of their program they eliminate fruits that contain salicylate. Later in stage two these foods can be re-introduced slowly to gauge reaction to them. Was just wondering what your thoughts on this were? Thanks so much for this series...it's so informative!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Good for you Robin! Glad your daughter is benefiting from good raw milk, "liquid gold" is what I call it.

I hope you can convince your husband. Maybe you could read him this blog post? Also, when you get that book, "Nourishing Traditions" there is a whole section on raw milk.

I'd never heard of that diet and I just looked it up on-line. I really agree with it for the most part, but I think it is unnecessary to eliminate whole grains and raw dairy. My son eats these things and citrus and I see no ill effects. However, as soon as I introduce anything that is processed and not natural, he gets hyper and even sick to him stomach. Artificial ingredients are not his friends!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I tried to comment on your blog but is said it was restricted to team members, so hoping you come back and look at this post.

Here was my comment: Sounds like you guys are having a great attitude about this. Praying he gets the job God has in store for him :)


His bondservant said...

We drink raw milk as well. My fourth child gets an upset tummy when he drinks pastuerized milk, but raw never affects him! It is expensive and we have to go through a lot to get it where I am...but I am praying one day to have my own cow! Great post Jackie!

Sarah said...

Great post Jackie! Though you are speaking to the convicted here; as you know I too am a 'Nourishing Traditions' convert!

Now that I am not expecting at present, my husband agrees that I may start consuming raw milk so as to get my body used to it before we enter into (God willing) another pregnancy. I am so excited for my first raw milk experiencevery soon!

I love the photograph you included here of your precious little Hailey! What a cutie!

melaniek said...

Jackie, thank you so much. I really appreciate your opinions and cannot wait to get the book, I'm ordering it friday! I hope I can get him to change his mind too.

*thanks for letting me know about my comment section, I didn't realize I had changed that. Oops! Thank you, the only thing we can do is put our faith in God and keep working toward the outcome we want.

Laura Hudson said...

Hi Jackie, I really appreciated your presentation at MOPs a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying checking out your blog. Something I'm wondering about is where a person gets raw milk in the La Grande area? We're pretty new here and don't know where to find stuff like that. We've been buying organic milk at the store, but I've lately learned that it's all ultrapasteurized and not that great for us. So...any direction you can send us would be great! Thanks again for what you are offering here! Blessings, Laura

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Hey, Laura! Just facebooked you with the local food list I keep. So glad you left a comment and that this info is helping you :)

Catherine said...

Wow, Jackie, you are an expert in this field. Have you thought of writing for a magazine? Mary Jane Butters, for example????

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

You're so sweet! I'm certainly not an expert, this series has just given me an opportunity to regurgitate info I've learned. I've haven't seriously thought about submitting articles to magazines, but maybe someday!


Nezzy said...

We had a dairy while our kids grew up and they were raised on raw milk. So much better than the watered down version we buy at the stores.

Your little lid chewer is just too stinkin' cute!!!

God bless ya and have a marvelous day sweetie. :o)

OurLilFullFam said...

We are not allowed to have rawmilk here, but we can get non-homogonized. Love how the milk separates. So yummy!


Kristal said...

I really enjoyed this post. I am an exception to the rule of raw cream anyways. I had to be on raw goat milk as an infant. When my mid-wife came for the birth of our second child she made her special potato soup with raw cream. And I felt so bad to my stomach every time I ate it. After the first day, I couldn't eat anymore, my MIL gave me an orange and right away I felt better. I went and had a bowl of soup and instantly was sick again. That is when I realized that it was the cream. Again it has nothing to do with it being raw, just allergies. We now have 2 Nigerian Dwarf goats and will be breding them next year for your milk. I have not tried raw milk, just the cream, but I know goat milk is fine so we will be sticking to that. I am interested is raw recipes for goat milk if you know of any for cheese. I am hoping to make my own yogurt, ice cream and butter.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...


That is great that you can get your milk non-homogenized. Bummer your state won't allow raw milk. Don't even get me started on what I think of that.

A lot of people who are allergic to cow's milk are fine with raw goat's milk. That is great that you are raising your own source. Goats milk is naturally homogenized. All my cheese recipes on this blog can be used for goat or cow's milk. Goat milk makes the best feta :)

Camille said...

I wish we could get raw milk here...it is fought against so vehemently! Crazy, isn't it?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Bummer you can't get it, Camille. Yes, it is utter madness!

Jenn said...

I think raw milk is great. I'm just not sure where I could get it from. We have a lot of dairy farms around, but I haven't heard of any who do raw milk for customers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, for explaining this! We drank raw milk for awhile, but it did not agree with us. We are on goat milk (which is apparently illegal to sell in Texas, raw, that is). I do wonder now that we have other allergies under control, if our response would be different...

Helen Hoke said...

Hi Jackie,

What's your opinion on store bought organic almond milk? I am not talking about replacing raw milk with it, but just to have it on the side once a while? I have bought the "Nutrition Tradition" on your recommendation, but haven't yet had a chance to read it much yet.


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. Haven't been able to blog much lately. So busy!

I don't know much about almond milk, but I do know that almonds are super healthy for you, so I'm sure it would be fine. So glad you got the Nourishing Traditions book. Hope you find it very helpful in your healthier eating journey :)


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