Readers Ask: Raw Milk

As kind of a followup to my raw milk post from the other day, I thought I’d answer some of the questions I got from it and the readers ask series.

Anna asked:

I agree that raw milk is the best for you, however, I can’t get past the fact that it has so much fat in it! I’ve been trying to drop about 5-10 pounds while at the same time trying to conceive. It seems impossible if I’m eating full fat dairy. And I know the non-raw stuff is just processed anyway, so what do you think of organic fat free pasteurized milk and other low fat products such as yogurt?

Personally? I won’t touch low fat dairy to save my life! Alright, so maybe that’s a bit extreme, but honestly, I won’t do it anymore. What you have to realize is that your body needs fat. In really simple terms, if you aren’t eating enough, your body stores what it does has! I would totally recommend you reading the book “Eat Fat, Lose Fat“. And it’s also not the fat that makes you gain weight, it’s the sugar. And if you’re anything like me, you eat to much of it on a normal basis! And the great thing about switching over to a whole foods diet is that your body will regulate what you need. You don’t have any of that nasty MSG and other flavor enhancers telling your body you need more while they quite down the ‘I’m full’ feeling. As an added example. I actually lost 10 pounds after switching from lowfat everything to full fat products!!

she also asked:
At what point would you consider it safe to give raw milk to babies?

I fully believe that the milk we consume is safe. I know my farmer and I know it’s clean. For this reason everyone in my family would consume raw milk no matter the age. I started my son on raw milk at 17 months. If for some reason I was ever unable to nurse my baby, we would give her homemade raw milk formula. Now I know that seems shocking to some, but I would feel much better knowing she was consuming something raw and healthy rather than that gross powdered formula that causes all sorts of allergies and health issues. But again, that’s just me. Every family needs to make their own choice on what they would consider safe for their family.

WannaBeMommy asked:

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.

Raw Milk will last about 7-10 days on average. But like another commenter, I’ve had it go more like 10-14 days. I personally buy it only a half gallon at a time since our farm is so close and if we do ever have extra and it begins to smell sour 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)

And I was also asked to share my thoughts on drinking it during pregnancy:
I didn’t drink raw milk during my first pregnancy – but that’s only because I wasn’t buying it yet. I recently just had a baby 10 weeks ago and consumed raw milk as well as kefir, yogurt, smoothies and ice cream made from the raw milk and I of course think it’s totally safe!! Your body and the babies need all that good stuff found in raw milk, so as long as the milk comes from a clean source and you’re not drinking it out of dirty pails, drink up!!

And doctors…well, I’ve learned not to listen much when it comes to my nutrition. :-) It all comes down to “As long as you know your source”! A lot of what ‘they’ say is to protect the uninformed. Like those of us who have not done our research or who are a bit careless about their food choices.

Pasteurization of milk only started around the 1910’s/1920’s and it was only because the cows were being fed distillery slop and were unhealthy and had such poor milk. It was so bad that the poor babies and children put on it suffered from “failure to thrive” and the death rate was unreal. The farmers also were practicing dirty farm management and the milk was getting contaminated.

I get my milk from a farmer that has healthy cows and practices good farm management. And personally, I feel that a young child is more able to fight off any infection when they have a great immune system (aka-drink raw milk)

Now as to how much we drink, what I buy and all that:
I buy a half gallon of goats milk per week (on average). The only one who actually drinks it is my almost 3yo son. And he normally gets his cup filled up in the morning and has it with breakfast and dinner for a total of maybe 8 ounces. For lunch and everything else, he gets water. My husband can’t tolerate milk much at all, although he can consume goats milk without much issue so we make ice cream from it on occasion. I don’t sit down and drink a glass of milk either. Sure, I make myself some hot cocoa from it once a week or so, but with my meals, I drink water. This half gallon is more than enough for us to go a week and I also use it in my baking, etc.

I also buy half gallons of cows milk about twice a month to use for making yogurt, kefir, and butter. Sometimes the cream gets used in my coffee if I so decide to treat myself to some!

I’ve really gotten to the point thought where I don’t think milk is really needed. A lot of traditional cultures never consumed milk the way we do today. They used the cultured milk (yogurt, butter, etc.) but rarely drank tall glasses of it. So for us, a little goes a long way!

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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.


  1. I seem to keep writing the same comment, but it applies here.

    When I first started seeing a nutritionist in order to lose weight for fertility treatments (although we are dealing with male-factor, my clinic has a BMI limit for treatments), the first thing that she advised was having me switch from 1% to whole milk.

    I've never dropped weight faster than when I first made that switch.

    I'd like to move to raw milk, but can't swing it financially at the moment. So, until we can, we're buying organic whole milk and looking for organic, non-ultra-pasteurization.

  2. I've learned a lot since posting that original question! I have fully switched to full-fat products (and guess what? – I'm pregnant too:) and I will never go back. Although personally I like the taste of a cold glass of nonfat milk better than whole milk, I simply don't drink glasses of milk anymore. Only my kids do, otherwise I use it for making other things like smoothies, yogurt, ice-cream, etc.
    Thanks for the book recommendation, I will have to check it out!

  3. Michele @ Frugal Granola says:

    We love raw milk, too! I really enjoy having the raw cream and butter from it. My husband & I don't drink much of it; we save it for our daughter.

    I sent you a long e-mail yesterday, but my e-mail was doing weird things- so let me know if you don't get it. :)

    Hope you're doing well!

  4. Joyful Melody says:

    Personally, as far as full fat dairy goes, I completely agree with you. Maybe not for pasteurized milk, but definitely for Real/raw/fresh milk. Since we switched to fresh milk, my husband's cholesterol has gone down significantly, and, rather than gaining weight, we've been losing it. We have kefir smoothies made from fresh milk on a regular basis, and I cannot even express how much more energized I feel in the mornings, now!

    Our local farm supplies the fresh milk in plastic gallon jugs, but we've found the milk keeps much much longer (2 weeks or so) in a glass jug, so we have switched to that.

  5. Hear Here!
    Raw (whole) milk is full of the good fat! Omega3 EFA (Fish oil without the fish) and CLA that both which have been proven to help you lose weight (besides many other health benefits).

    Your 1% or 2% is made by draining off all fat (from grain fed cows usually) then has synthetic oil based vitamins added back (A&D) then reinserted back into the milk. It's not real milk. It's so new to our species it barely registers as showing up in the last millisecond of our history. If you believe in evolution you need to keep asking yourself "Is this what my ancestors ate or drank?"
    This article touches on the history (evidence of ruminant milk usage by humans 30k years ago)

    Raw Milk – History, Health Benefits and Distortions
    by Ron Schmid, ND

    I've lost 80lbs in the last 18 months. A lot of things to credit for it but fresh whole raw milk, cream and butter have a large part of it – They give you energy!

    Remember that THE richest source of Lipase is raw butterfat. Lipase is the enzyme that helps you body digest and utilize fat.

    Don't buy the low-fat hype. Remember that for years much of that propaganda didn't even separate synthetic transfats from real fat and still doesn't recognize the differences betweenn properly raised animal fat and factory farmed animal fat. Big difference.
    Have some butta!

  6. Im confused about non fat raw milk. I saw it yesterday when I went to the market to purchase raw milk for the first time. I got it mostly because it was cheaper than full fat. Now im just confused.

  7. Donielle says:

    Ellena- I'm a bit confused too! I've actually never heard of raw milk referred yo as non fat. Maybe they just skimmed the cream off?

    Anyone else have an idea?

  8. I saw raw "skimmed" milk at a whole foods store once in California. I'm assuming that is was just raw milk with the cream skimmed off as well.

  9. I would agree that this sounds like raw milk w/cream skimmed off. (Though you must be in one of the few states that allows raw milk to be sold in stores like CA or ME).

    However for any of you low/no fat fans remember: A lot of the greatest and most needed nutrients are in that beautiful cream and butterfat. This is what our ancestors have been eating for thousands perhaps tens of thousands of years. Evolution in nutrition moves slow.

    – Omega 3 EFAs -These are the same as you'll pay big bucks for in fish oil supplements

    – CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)Body builders pay big bucks for this special class of fatty acids to help them lose weight and gain muscle.

    Both these fats (especially Omega3s) have been shown to have all kinds of positive effects on combating inflammation, heart problems, diabetes and much more.

    Also you can't properly absorb or utilize Vitamin A & D without the proper animal fat.

    Remember good fat is good for you. We've all been brainwashed into thinking all fat is bad. Some definitely is (partially hydrogenated veg oil for example) but some fats are vital to your health. That includes saturated and animal fats form naturally raised livestock.
    Check out "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig for more.

  10. taylor says:

    I have a question about raw milk. I have been consuming it for close to two years and absolutely love it. I have been trying to conceive for 3 years and in my late 30s. Husband and I had tests done…everything looks fine….they want to do iui with clomid….

    Anyways, my ?… I have been trying to eat a clean diet…lots of raw dairy….some cultured veggies….high quality meats…very little grain/bread…etc……is there ever a time when a woman who is trying to conceive should not consume raw dairy? I drink 2-4 glasses of raw milk a day and feel great on it….(trying to follow the Weston a price nutrition suggestions for pregnancy…)

    There are a lot of fertility diets out there that say to avoid all dairy….including raw dairy….I am curious if there is ever a good time to do so as I believe whole heartedly that it is so very good for you…I am at a crossroads as I continue to navigate the journey toward motherhood and would love any insights on this issue. Thanks


    Donielle Reply:

    @taylor, I too think raw milk can be a very healthy addition to any diet. But there are also instances where some bodies don’t tolerate it well. Have you ever tried an elimination diet? You might cut out all dairy for 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce it to see if you notice any changes. Some women find that dairy causes to much mucous production and that can impede fertility. (you might notice symptoms like having to clear your throat a lot or mucous in the nose and throat) I always think it’s beneficial to test out different things with your diet, because while I absolutely love, with a capital L, the WAPF, I also don’t think that there is any one size fits all diet that meets the needs of every woman. :-)