Eat Real Food: Milk

Unpasteurized, unprocessed, untreated, unhomogenized straight off the teet milk.

That’s all we drink. And sometimes when I pick it up, it’s so fresh that it’s not even cold yet!

But five years ago, even 3 years ago, if you would have told me that raw milk was the stuff to buy, I would have scrunched up my nose and groaned. That’s disgusting right? Why in the world would anyone want to drink real milk? Why would we want to drink it as God provided?

Let me tell you why I think Raw/Organic milk is the best:

  • Umm…it’s how God gave it to us. And you can do so many things with real milk. Like make yogurt, kefir, whey, cheese, butter, cream cheese,and on and on.
  • The cows are not injected with rBGH, a growth hormone. Milk that comes from cows that are treated with rBGH have higher levels of an insulin like hormone which causes your body’s cells to proliferate and it’s been linked to cancer. Plus, it shorten the milking life for the poor cows and causes mastitis which causes them to be given antibiotics.
  • Pasteurizing actually causes much of the healthy part of milk to be killed off. Say goodbye to the healthy good bacteria (it acts like a probiotic and keeps your immune system healthy). Say goodbye to vital nutrients like folic acid and vitamins A, B6, B12, and C. Also say goodbye to the enzymes that are actually required to help digest milk and absorb it’s nutrients! (did you know, a lot of folks who think they are lactose intolerant are really just pasteurized milk intolerant?) Some of the enzymes lost include: lipase (helps digest fats) lactase (you need to digest lactose. And since it’s lacking in the pasteurized stuff, that’s why most people have a problem with it) and phosphatase (helps absorb calcium. Hmmm osteoporosis is on the rise why?) Heating the milk also changes the proteins of the milk and damages the much needed omega 3 fats.
  • From my experience, usually raw milk farms have very earth and health conscience farmers. They treat their animals well, allowing the cows/goats/sheep to freely wander the pasture. Which in turn makes for healthier milk that contains more omega-3 fats and vitamin E than purely grain fed industrial animals.
  • It doesn’t include any extra whey proteins to disguise the actual color. Skim milk has these added proteins and it actually has shown to change a persons hormone balance. Unfortunately, this balance seems to add more male hormones like androgen. And excess androgens have been shown to cause things like PCOS and ovulatory problems.

Now I would love to tell each one of you to go right now and look up your area on www.RealMilk.com and purchase some. But what I’d rather have you do, is go research it for yourself. (personally, it took me months to decide if this was something we wanted to do. Mostly for the fact that I was buying it because my 2 year old son could not tolerate store bought cows milk and I had to find a local source for goats milk. I needed to make sure it was safe for him) Go google ‘benefits of raw milk’, check out real milk.com or Raw Milk Facts.

And lots of folks would try to tell me that it is now easier to buy organic milk and that’s healthier than the conventional stuff. But is it? Most organic milk I’ve seen is pasteurized using a process called ultrahigh temperature (UHT) in which the milk is briefly heated to 280 degrees Fahrenheit. This renders it completely sterile. Sterile and dead. Basically every major nutrient is damaged in this process. While the cows may be fed organic grain instead of non organic grain, is it really worth drinking something that has no benefits to you? This is also the type of milk that also has a shelf life of months!

Personally, if I could no longer buy raw milk (the government has actually made it illegal to purchase in most states and we currently have to buy through a “goat share”) I would purchase pasteurized non homogenized whole milk that comes from cows not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics. I have seen 2 different brands in my local health food stores, so I know it’s out there, and I would turn it into either yogurt or kefir and consume that way.

But I can’t ever imagine myself drinking ‘normal/conventional’ milk again. And I know I wouldn’t feed it to my kids as is. It’s really something we started on where I just did it to save money. (goats milk at the store is ultra heated, plus it cost me 16$ a gallon. Raw milk costs me the farm share plus 7$ a gallon) And now that I’ve done my research, I’m completely passionate about Raw Milk. My son has no problems digesting raw cow or goats milk whereas he previously experienced major constipation and horrible/blistery diaper rashes with conventional stuff. My husband can eat raw milk ice cream and raw milk and yogurt smoothies where before he could not.

So if you’ve made it to the end of this post, do you already drink raw milk? I’d love to hear all your thoughts on the subject, pro or con. But let’s be nice! I have a handy dandy delete comment button if your not!

*and as one small question for those on the fence about it: You know eating raw fruits and veggies is healthier than eating them cooked right? That an actual apple is healthier than applesauce which is healthier than apple juice? Why is that logic not applied to milk. Why is it not ok to consume raw milk, but rather it’s heated version?

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. We don't drink much milk at our house, but we definitely love our dairy.

    Right now, we're drinking organic non-homogenized whole milk from a WI dairy. But, we've been interested in making the transition to raw milk for a while now — and, admittedly, it's going to be a commitment. We'll have to make a special trip out to the farm to get our milk.

    Thanks for being one of many speaking out on this topic!

  2. Melissa says:

    We LOVE our raw milk! We started drinking it in February and haven't looked back. I make yogurt out of it every week, and I plan to get an ice cream maker as well. I'm one of those "pasteurized milk intolerant" people. I was amazed when I drank a big tall glass of raw milk with no problems.

    BTW, I just did a post on this as well!

  3. Melissa says:

    Could you post on your thoughts on drinking raw milk during pregnancy? I had a comment asking about its safety on my post. Thanks! :)

  4. We just recently started drinking raw A2 milk. The only place we can get it is a few hours away but once a month the farm delivers to our area so we are able to get it but just once a month. But we get raw goat's milk(from the same farm) and freeze to use the rest of the month. I have never tried to freeze the raw cow's milk but I have heard it isn't the same consistency as was when fresh.

    No one but my husband is a big milker so we don't consume a lot of milk. I haven't yet tried to make yogurt. :O )

  5. Melissa says:

    Thanks for your input on raw milk during pregnancy! :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    We love our raw milk. We have been so much healthier since starting the stuff. My husband was a holdout but I slowly switched him over and now he drinks it too. People think it tastes fatty…but it doesn't.

    When I think of all the dead bacteria at the bottom of conventional milk, it grosses me out. Knowing that the beneficial bacteria in the milk will kill most bad bacteria makes it such an easy choice.

    Susan

  7. Kathryn says:

    When i buy milk, i buy it raw. It is legal in CA, but the dairy i like best only sells it in quarts & it is very expensive. Sometimes i can find raw milk cheese, but cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, & others are hard to find. I know i should make my own, but i'm some way from that. I don't drink milk all that often, i've kind of gotten out of the habit.

    On the raw veggies thing – not many people recognize this fact. We just returned from a visit in the South. I'd forgotten they eat their veggies cooked, cooked dead, dead, dead, dead. I talked about nutrients & my mother justified it by saying if you cooked down the liquid & consumed it with the veggie you still get the nutrients. !!!

    That said, there are some veggies that are beneficial lightly cooked. The cooking releases their availability. Often the same veggies are just as good raw, but different vitamins available than when cooked.

  8. WannabeMommy says:

    I've been really curious about raw milk, and tempted to buy it a few times. But, what's the shelf life like? We don't drink a ton of it in my house so I'm afraid it would go bad before we drank much of it.

  9. Donielle says:

    Wannabe- Raw Milk will last about 7-10 days on average. I personally buy it only a half gallon at a time and if we do ever have extra I turn it into yogurt or kefir or even cream cheese and whey. You can also freeze it. (personally I only do this with goats milk as it's naturally homogenized and I've heard cows milk can change texture a bit when frozen)

  10. WannabeMommy – we get our milk from our co-op every two weeks, and our milk lasts at least that long.

    When it does start to sour – I just make yogurt, buttermilk or kefir from it :-). That's the beauty of raw milk – it just sours instead of putrefying.

  11. I'd love to become part of a cow-share (it's illegal to sell raw milk in stores in Ohio), but at this point in our lives, budget, etc. it just isn't going to happen.

    Instead I've found a local dairy that has completely grass-fed cows, not treated with hormones, that sells lightly-pasteurized, non-homogenized milk in a few local groceries. It's awesome! While it isn't certified organic (so many expenses and hoops to jump thru to get certified!), I am still confident in their farming practices.

    My husband isn't a huge fan of the bits of cream in the whole milk, so I'm going to try the reduced fat since I think that will be better than the regular organic milk he is drinking now. At least he is up for trying it!

  12. Jennifer says:

    Love, love this post!! I live in one of those states that say it's illegal to dring raw milk. But, I've found a farmer who sells goat milk to me for pet consumption for $2/quart. And I've found a co-op that I will be able to get raw milk with for $6.75/gallon. I can't wait!

    Until I can join the co-op,which health food stores sells the non-homogenized milk?

    Thanks for sharing the info!

  13. Donielle says:

    Jennifer, I think it all depends on your location for non homogenized milk. Her in MI I know of only 2 dairies that sell the non-homo milk;Moo-ville Farms and Hilltof Dairy. And one was even at a conventional local supermarket for awhile. I was bummed to see it pulled from the shelves as they didn't sell enough to keep it in the store! My advice would be to just call around to your health food stores (ours around here are all local-no Trader Joes or Whole Foods). Someone there may even know of a place to find it.

    And yay for finding some raw milk!! I know a few states you have to hide being the "pet consumption"label. :-) Silly feds.