For years, I drank 2% milk. Just regular old milk from the supermarket. Then I switched to organic 2% milk. wanted to avoid bovine growth hormones and pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). When I got pregnant, I switched to organic whole milk. I figured I needed the extra fat for my growing baby.
After Baby Kate was born, I wanted to feed her as healthfully as possible. Which is when I found out about raw milk. I did a ton of research on milk, and I became absolutely convinced that the healthiest, most nutritious milk to feed my daughter was real raw milk from grass-fed cows.
Here are my top ten reasons to drink raw milk:
(The slides are from the RealMilk.com website. To download the whole Powerpoint by Lee Dexter and Sally Fallon-Morell, click here).
1. Raw milk is vastly more nutritious than pasteurized milk.
2. Raw milk contains enzymes.
“Pasteurization destroys all the enzymes in milk— in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes. These enzymes help the body assimilate all bodybuilding factors, including calcium. That is why those who drink pasteurized milk may suffer, nevertheless, from osteoporosis.” — Sally Fallon-Morell, RealMilk.com
3. Raw milk contains probiotics.
“Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.” — Harvard Medical School, “Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics”
Because pasteurization destroys probiotics (good bacteria), any harmful bacteria present in the milk after pasteurization can and will flourish. On the other hand, published research shows that good bacteria and many other components in raw milk actually destroy pathogens added to the milk.” – Sally Fallon-Morell, WAPF
4. Raw milk is easier to digest — even for the lactose intolerant.
Raw milk can also help those suffering from asthma, eczema and many other ailments.
5. Raw milk is safer than pasteurized milk. It contains “built-in safety systems” that help destroy pathogens:
While raw milk often gets blamed for food-borne illnesses, the truth is, raw milk is safer than salad:
6. Raw milk is better for cows.
I always figured “organic milk” was the very best. But I was wrong. Organic milk often comes from cows in factories. Did you know, for example, that Horizon is a factory farm? I didn't. I believed they were “happy cows”.
Unless the cows are raised on pasture, they are not healthy and they are certainly not happy. And if a cow is not healthy, how can her milk be healthy?
A cow in confinement lives on average for just 3.5 years. A cow grazing on pasture? Twelve years or more.
7. Clean, nutritious milk comes from healthy cows that eat grass, not sick cows eating grain.
Most cows, even at the “organic” dairies, are fed grain — corn and soy. Cows were never meant to eat grain. They are meant to eat grass, and to graze on pasture. When cows are fed grain, even organic grain, it makes them sick.
From Michael Pollan's The Vegetable-Industrial Complex, October 15, 2006 in the New York Times:
The lethal strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7, responsible for this latest outbreak of food poisoning, was unknown before 1982; it is believed to have evolved in the gut of feedlot cattle. These are animals that stand around in their manure all day long, eating a diet of grain that happens to turn a cow's rumen into an ideal habitat for E. coli 0157:H7. (The bug can't survive long in cattle living on grass.)
From Nina Planck's Leafy Green Sewage, September 21, 2006 in the New York Times:
In 2003, The Journal of Dairy Science noted that up to 80 percent of dairy cattle carry O157. (Fortunately, food safety measures prevent contaminated fecal matter from getting into most of our food most of the time.) Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.
8. Raw milk is better for farmers. Raw milk can help turn the economy around in rural America.
This is one of my biggest reasons. I don't know about you, but I hate what's become of rural America. A few decades ago, people still raised their own food on small farms. Now our small farms have almost been completely wiped out by corporate America. Now instead of small farms with organic vegetables and cows grazing on pasture, we have Wal-Marts full of processed crap.
Buy raw milk from a small farm and you are making a difference, folks!
9. Raw milk doesn't go “bad” like pasteurized milk does.
If you leave a gallon of pasteurized milk on the counter overnight, what happens to it? It goes bad! But if you leave a gallon of raw milk out, you can do all kinds of things with it. You can separate the cream. You can make butter, buttermilk, and whey. You can make yogurt. You can make cheese. You can add kefir or filmjolk culture and make all kinds of fermented treats.
I love that I sometimes find a sippy cup of raw milk my daughter left in the car the next day — and I don't have to waste it — I can just kefir it!
10. Raw milk tastes better!
The first time I tasted real raw milk cheese in Paris, I realized there really is a difference in taste. I've always been fond of milk but now I LOVE milk. I'm totally crazy about it.
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If you have a testimonial about raw milk and how much it's helped you and your family — or just want to tell everyone how much you love it, post a comment below.
For information on where to find raw milk in your area, please visit RealMilk.com.