Less Toxic: Part 3- Raw Milk

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Raw milk, a healthier choice with nutritional benefits, is gaining popularity among those seeking a holistic lifestyle. Despite safety concerns, its nutrient retention and positive health effects make it a valuable addition when sourced from trusted farmers.

Less Toxic: Raw Milk

In the world of holistic, non-toxic, and local food, raw dairy stands out as one of the first choices many people make when they embark on a journey towards healthier eating. Transitioning from store-bought pasteurized milk or plant-based alternatives like oat milk can feel like a daunting leap. The societal and governmental stigma surrounding raw dairy often portrays it as unsafe, putting your health at risk. These concerns become more pronounced as you start exploring the idea of trying raw dairy for the first time. However, as you educate yourself, build a relationship with your local farmer, and understand what happens to milk before it reaches the grocery store shelves, you might find yourself wondering why you haven’t been drinking the raw stuff all along.

A Quick History of Raw Milk

Humans have been consuming milk from various animals for thousands of years, including camels, cows, goats, sheep, horses, and more. During this time, milk was a trusted source of nutrition without the need for chemical processing or pasteurization.

Urban Migration

However, during the 1800s, amid the industrial revolution in America, that farmers started relocating to cities to follow their customers, seeking better opportunities. However, this urban migration meant that they lost access to clean water and healthy pastures, forcing cows into unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. These dire circumstances led to the contamination of milk with diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and more.

Solving the Issue

Unfortunately, to address this issue, two solutions emerged in the late 1800s: pasteurization and improving the living conditions of cows. Unfortunately, pasteurization gained more prominence as the commercialization of dirty milk became a reality. Over time, pasteurized milk became synonymous with safety, resulting in stringent regulations on raw dairy farms.

Where We Are Today

Fast forward to today and many laws to regulate raw dairy consumption are state-regulated, meaning each state has its own laws on raw milk consumption. You can find your state’s laws here.

Is Raw Milk Considered Superior to Pasteurized?

Despite modern dairy farming practices, which often involve less-than-ideal conditions and feed for cows, the pasteurization process itself eliminates many valuable nutrients from milk. As a result, synthetic vitamins are added back to pasteurized milk to compensate for these losses.

Pasteurization has been found to:

  1. Reduce the bioavailability of calcium and phosphorus.
  2. Decrease the presence of copper and iron.
  3. Diminish Vitamins A, B Complex, C, and E.
  4. Destroy beta-lactoglobulin, reducing the absorption of Vitamins A and D.
  5. Eliminate probiotics like lactobacillus and pediococcus.
  6. Inactivate beneficial enzymes such as lactase, alkaline phosphatase, and lactoperoxidase.

(Raw Milk Institute)

Allergies

Notably, pasteurized milk is a common allergen in children, with studies linking it to milk allergies. Research involving around 800 European children demonstrated that those who consumed pasteurized dairy were more likely to exhibit signs of lactose allergy compared to those who consumed raw dairy (Raw Milk Institute). Raw dairy also closely resembles breastmilk, containing a range of enzymes and probiotics that are destroyed or denatured during pasteurization. Until 1999, it was considered safe for infant consumption by the American Association of Medical Milk Commissions (AAMMC). (Raw Milk Institute)

Is Raw Milk safe?

In the realm of food, there is no absolute safety guarantee. Foodborne illnesses are prevalent across various categories; furthermore, the top 3 culprits are chicken, pork, and seeded vegetables. Notably, pasteurized dairy has also been associated with foodborne illnesses, resulting in 82 deaths since 1972 (Raw Milk Institute). When discussing safety, it’s essential to differentiate between raw milk intended for pasteurization vs intended for direct human consumption. Raw dairy intended for pasteurization can indeed be dangerous due to contamination risks. Nevertheless, raw milk produced carefully for direct human consumption adheres to rigorous testing and standards. Consequently, evidence suggests that this type of raw milk is a low-risk food.

Making the Switch

Since making the switch, I have found it creamier and more delicious than its pasteurized counterparts. I have also done my own researched and built a relationship with a local farmer who now delivers milk weekly to our home. Just like the old-school milk man! It’s wonderful and makes getting quality milk so easy. Farmers who provide raw milk can often be found through online resources like https://getrawmilk.com/ and https://www.realmilk.com/.

My Health Changes

After incorporating raw dairy into my diet, I’ve experienced a significant reduction in my dairy-related discomfort. Previously, indulging in dairy products often led to stomach issues that had me convinced I was lactose intolerant. This belief led me on a journey through various diets, including a short-lived vegan stint, during which I learned a lot. Eventually, I adopted a diet centered around quality meats, organ meats, fruits, pasture-raised eggs, and, crucially, raw dairy. Now, when I enjoy dairy treats like ice cream, I no longer suffer from those stomach problems. My skin has never looked better, and the consumption of real,s milk has boosted my overall strength and energy levels. I find myself feeling more satisfied after meals. Additionally, my menstrual cycle, an important aspect of female health, has become remarkably consistent, resolving a past struggle.

Conclusion

I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a reliable source of quality dairy Furthermore, it’s been a game-changer in my life, and I encourage you to invest your time in researching and connecting with a farmer who shares a passion for producing safe and nutritious raw dairy. Additionally, delving deeper into the health and nutritional benefits of raw dairy compared to pasteurized alternatives can pave the way for a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle for you and your family.

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