DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Raw Milk--Share a Cow!

The Washington Post had an article I hoped to find interesting about drinking raw milk, aka unpasteurized milk. Unfortunately, the author was very biased, as evidenced in her language throughout the article as well as her quotes from "experts" vs "consumers and providers." She talks about cow-sharing "schemes" as loopholes to get around laws prohibiting the sale of raw milk. (The consumption of raw milk is not illegal; the sale of raw milk is illegal in most of our country, excluding some areas, such as California.) She goes on to bash raw milk drinkers by discounting the nutritional value they find as merely anecdotal, similar to naysayers who don't believe in healthy living over medication. (I'm talking about MANY conditions that we know can be reversed with diet and exercise rather than medication.)

More interesting than her poorly researched article was the comments. An article could be written from that! There were only 21 comments ( but most of them were well written and included resources. Drinking raw milk seems to be a choice, and it has had very little history of making people sick, unlike beef and seafood, which are still sold nationwide. Excerpts:

Powerful pasteurized dairy industries...pasteurize milk products in order to extend their shelf life, not make them more healthy.

It's a fact that calves fed pasteurized cow's milk cannot survive. This experiment has been repeated many times. (no source was given)

There are no studies that DISPROVE raw milk's safety. Yes it does [chemically change milk]. Above 118 F degrees the fats and proteins are denatured, the sugars caramelized, and the enzymes are killed.

They also approve of the Lactoperoxidase Preservative System for the safe transport of unrefrigerated raw milk in countries where pasteurization and refrigerated transport are unfeasible. Lactoperoxidase is a naturally-occurring enzyme in raw milk...Lactoferrin, a glycoprotein found in raw milk, is so effective in keeping E. coli 0157:H7 at bay that it was approved by the FDA as a spray to be applied to raw beef carcasses.

Modern science is all about killing germs, when it should be about strengthening the immune system.

Obtaining raw milk illegally....that's civil disobedience against unjust laws. Cow-shares are not new, or loopholes, or circumventions, they are long-recognized legal arrangements called agistments. It's legal to own a cow or a share in a cow or herd--has been for centuries--and it's legal to drink raw milk from your own cow --OR FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE--IT'S NOT ILLEGAL TO DRINK RAW MILK...plenty of evidence from the early 20th century. The Mayo Clinic used to put tuberculosis patients on the (raw) Milk Cure. Journals are filled with studies showing the nutritional superiority of raw milk over pasteurized. Then, when the government started encouraging all dairy farmers to switch to confinement operations instead of pasture feeding, later studies showed no nutritional difference...

If the laws are truly put here to protect us, most processed products in the stores should be outlawed. It's not the food that should be altered and restricted from us, it's the industry that needs to be cleaned up. We are already seeing what happens to the human body when denatured foods are the only things available to it. Going back to the basic natural foods that our bodies were originally designed to eat has resulted in extreme health for many of us. Educated people are drinking raw milk because they see results. Thomas Jefferson put it well when he wrote "If people let the government decide what food they eat and medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as souls under tyranny."

You might give Sally Fallon a more balanced read (and fuller interview) and assist your readers to discover the truly fascinating history of the rise of the large dairies, the medicinal history of raw milk (oh yes! the Mayo clinic's origins with the milk cure, and some better science on the effects of pasteurization and homogenization on nutrition. Homogenization alone changes how we digest the milk fat (with a good deal of the fat globules now made so small that they directly enter the blood stream without being digested).

Pasteurized milk causes ear infections and allergies in many people; raw milk from grass-fed cows alleviates allergies, asthma and ear infections in many people. Pasteurizing milk destroys the enzymes and probiotics that occur naturally in the milk and make it easier to digest and help absorb the nutrients. Raw milk leaves intact the nutrients for easier digestion and better absorption.

...let's consider the real impact of these numbers. 1000 illnesses in seven years attributed to 45 outbreaks due to raw milk...

...Mark McAfee at Organic Pastures Dairy ( posts his lab results on his web site for everyone to see ( He maintains that a healthy cow eating grass outdoors in the sun, not grain in confinement, produces milk far safer than pasteurized milk. In the 8 years he has been in operation, he claims he has never had any pathogen (E.coli, Salmonella, lysteria, etc.) in his milk.

Sure, there's a tiny chance you'll get sick with raw milk. There's a tiny chance you'll get hit by a car crossing the street too. It's another nanny law. People all over the world drink raw milk. Very few get sick from it.

After researching both sides of this issue extensively, we entered into a cow boarding agreement with a local dairy. We have been enjoying real wholesome milk...and experiencing health benefits as a result. We have found that drinking healthy, unprocessed and tested milk from a certified grass-based producer is much more satisfying and nourishing. The alternative is heavily processed, milk from mistreated animals--cows raised in barns, on concrete floors, fed unnatural feed and loaded with antibiotics because of the high bacteria counts in their milk. How can we expect to mistreat our animals and then ask them to give us healthy milk? Animal husbandry is the real issue--America needs to treat cows with respect and love. Cows allowed to graze on pasture are happy, healthy cows.

I have to say that the last comment addresses the issue I have with industrial farming. It's not about big or small farms and dairies; it's about the respect we show our planet and those that inhabit it with us. I think that a reason that so many people are eating fake food (fake chicken nuggets anyone?) is that we've lost touch with nature, where our food comes from, and don't have respect for the cycle of life. How can we respect beef when it comes in a cardboard box with special sauce? I don't understand the idea of being vegan or vegetarian because that is just another way of denying our humanity. We, as a society, would be less wasteful (restaurants, I'm talking to you with your super-size plates full of food) if we had some respect for our food sources. There I go, being idealistic again. :)

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