Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yes, I Admit It, Milk Can Be Nasty

Leftovers. Still good though. But I added some lightly steamed broccoli with my all-time favorite dip: yogurt with mashed garlic, salt and lemon. So simple, so tasty!

For those of you whose reaction to hearing that I will consume only raw milk for one month is, "that is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of", I understand where you're coming from. I too found milk pretty repulsive, basically my whole life. But the thing that you are thinking of when I say milk is quite different from the heavenly liquid I will be consuming in large amounts in May.

Conventional milk that you buy in most supermarkets is stuff that I would avoid at all costs. If it is ultra-pasteurized and homogenized (almost all of it is) and lowfat you are talking about something that is completely different from the original product.

The original product itself is pretty nasty. Think about it, cows forced to stand continuously on concrete floors while they are milked incessantly (average over 6 gallons a day) and fed anything from GMO grains and soy by-products to bovine growth hormones (so bad they are illegal in Canada) and "sludge" (ethanol by-product filled with lovely chemical residues). And don't forget the antibiotics and pus that come out of these heavily medicated yet sickly animals (average life span is 42 months for a confinement cow as opposed to 12-15 years for a pasture-raised one).

And since there is so much nastiness in the original product, pasteurization is a wonderful tool. Who needs to worry about keeping pathogens out when you're going to cook it anyway? Ultra-pasteurized milk is cooked at a cozy temperature of 230 to 285 degrees F! Boiled milk anyone?
Yes, it kills all the bad stuff, but it kills the good stuff too. You know, the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and beneficial, pathogen-killing bacteria. Mmmmm, my favorite, dead bacteria in my cereal! Don't think that just because it's dead it can't affect you, some say that this cooked bacteria can cause an immune response that leads to autism. I don't think this theory has been subjected to much research but why risk it?

Homogenization breaks down the size of the fat globules in milk. Makes' em tiny so we don't have to see how much fat is in there. Although people used to like that because it gave them a clue as to how healthy the cows were that the milk came from. The healthier the cow (good diet of grass and hay and lots of time outdoors usually did the trick) the more cream would be in the milk. Oh, yeah and homogenization has been linked to heart disease.

But why would big dairy manufacturers care about your health? Ultra-pasteurization and homogenization make it possible for milk to be shipped across the country. This stuff does not go bad! You don't even have to refrigerate it for up to 6 months! They just put it in the cooler section because no one wants to buy milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated.

And don't think that just because it's organic that you're in the clear. Read the label. Almost all organic milk you see these days has been ultra-pasteurized and much of it comes from cows living out their dreary lives in confinement.

Lowfat is not where it's at. In the process of making skim milk nitrates are produced (carcinogenic) and cholesterol is oxidized (linked to plaque build-up in the arteries). Not happy news for those drinking skim milk to avoid cancer and heart disease! And although there is lots of protein in the milk there is not enough fat for our bodies to absorb it properly. So our body calls in the Vitamin A reserves from the liver to help out. Sigh.

OK, so all of you milk-haters, we're on the same page with that stuff. But raw milk that comes from healthy, happy cows who spend their time grazing pesticide-free grass is just brimming with good stuff. Maybe I'll touch on it lightly and save more for another day. But for now let me just say that the raw milk I'm thinking of has the following: phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, vitamins A, C, B6, B12, and K2, and is loaded with protective bacteria and life-sustaining enzymes. And there is lots of fat, making it quite easy for your body to digest and absorb these nutrients.



  1. Thanks for breaking that down into a very understandable post. I am still on my search for a raw milk source, and in the meantime am drinking organic milk. Dairy is a staple in my diet and always has been. This blog is thorough and will be a help to many on the journey of healing I'm sure. I'll definitely visit often. :)

  2. thank you! I hope you find a good source of raw milk...we are very fortunate to have that here...

  3. In your search to find a raw milk distributor, were you able to ask about what kind of stuff the cows eat? Would the grass have any fertilizers? Are they fed corn at all or other stuff? Just curious since I also want to know how to find a trustworthy distributor.

  4. I called the farmer and she explained to me in great detail what they are fed. No fertilizers. It is a bio-dynamic farm so they only feed the animals from what they grow on the farm. They do get about 6 lbs of oat and corn a day in the winter, plus hay. Now they are about to be on the exclusive grass diet. It's not perfect I know. But they care for their cows very much and they are honest. I think it would be very hard to find a farmer that does only grass-fed in my region. But my ears are always open.
    At least when I do the raw milk diet they will only be on spring grass!

  5. One way is to go to the Weston A Price Foundation site, look at the "local chapters" section and see if there is chapter near you. You can contact that person to get local resources.
    Where are you located? Some places have many more options than others.

  6. I will check out that site, thank you.

    I'm in Jacksonville, NC...I really would like to have raw milk versus store bought, I have 3 kids that regulary drink milk.