Raw Milk
Raw Milk

Guess what? Raw milk is good for you!

I used to be able to get raw milk anytime I wanted when I was a teenager because I lived down the road from a dairy farm. I used to buy same-day raw milk with the cream still rising to the top. I loved it on my cereal, oatmeal, my coffee, using it to cook with — the list could go on.

We recently ran across a brand name milk producer called Organic Pastures. According to their promotional materials, they never use antibiotics, hormones or genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) — so you actually get whole raw milk. This means that it still has lots of nutrients — as opposed to pasteurized milk which, through the pasteurization (heating) process, loses much of its nutritional value. And since nutritional value is what we’re after, it’s easy to see that raw milk is good for you.

Organic Pastures is into treating their cows fantastically well — no cows standing on concrete, no waste lagoons and no crowded livestock pens. They even use a proprietary mobile dairy barn so that the cows don’t have to come to them. (Yes, they follow the mooing crowd.) Their modern methods sure come out in the taste too … so sweet! From their mission statement:

Our mission at Organic Pastures is to create for you a sense of well being and vitality through the power of raw milk. We live and work for the strength and happiness of our community, staff, customers, and very importantly, our cows! Nature makes it all possible; we bring her gift to you.

Yours in health,
The McAfees

To give you a comparison, here’s an article forwarded to us from fwwatch.org (you can read it on the Food & Water Watch page at democracyinaction.org:

Your Right to Know: Does your Milk have Artificial Hormones?

Several large dairy producers and food companies have made news recently by getting rid of recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST, from their milk supply. This is great news for consumers, since this artificial growth hormone is known to cause harm to cows and may pose harm to humans. (Click here to find out more about links between rBGH use, antibiotic resistant bacteria and certain types of cancer.)

Monsanto, the company that makes the artificial growth hormone, is seeing much of its market slip away. In an attempt to preserve their profits, the company has asked the Food and Drug Administration to restrict the use of labels identifying "rBGH-free" or "rBST-free" dairy products.

If Monsanto succeeds in convincing FDA to restrict rBGH-free labeling, consumers will lose valuable information about how their food is produced. Write to the FDA and tell them that consumers have a right to know!

Sincerely,
Lauren Guite
food(at)fwwatch.org

Consider buying milk that is actually just milk that comes from well-treated cows and still retains its natural nutritional value — as opposed to milk from a grocery store that contains rBGH or rBST and whatever else added as well as being pasteurized. Which is more desirable?

For me, this begs the question: with our modern methods of milking the cow, isn’t it relatively safe yet to go back to drinking whole raw milk from lactating cows whose only job is to walk around cropping grass and getting milked? Especially since organic dairies are governed so closely by the USDA?

Given that "grocery store milk" from big corporations lacks the quality (and price) of raw, organic milk, and given that farmers are having a time of it competing with those same big corporations, why not buy real, raw American-made milk again and keep the money in the small dairy farmers’ hands?

We could call it a movement to bring jobs back to small dairies — dairies that bring whole, raw, nutritious milk to the marketplace.

Maybe you, too, could consider voting with your pocketbook.

George Vigil

[Editor] Added 08/08/07: We too have heard the argument that raw milk is "bad for you" — but that blithe statement leaves out plenty. An article by Thomas Cowan, M.D. entitled "Raw Milk" addresses some of the ongoing multitude of illnesses we face today, in view of the fact that raw milk has been replaced in many diets by conventional "cooked" (pasteurized) and ground down (homogenized) milk:

Yet apart from all these explanations is perhaps the real key: fresh raw milk is a living, unprocessed, whole food. …

The lessons of studying milk and Pottenger’s cats are profound for the American health scene. One of them is also simple: processed, dead foods don’t support life or a happy, well-functioning society. This can only happen if people return to eating pure, wholesome, unprocessed foods.

In my practice I always start there. I encourage, insist and even beg people to eat real foods, no matter what the problem. Often with just this intervention the results are gratifying. So, find a cow, find a farmer, make sure the cow (goat, llama, or whichever other milk source) is healthy and start your return to good health.

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5 Comments for "Raw Milk is Good for You"

  1. Frank Trix

    I started drinking and using raw milk in cereal. it is so delicious and healthy for you.
    My dairy farm spokesperson said raw milk lowers your cholesterol. They also produced cheese that is not pasturized and that also helps lower your blood fats.
    Have any of you readers heard this comments from other sources>

  2. Diane Vigil

    Thanks, Frank, and welcome to We Want Organic Food. You might find this post (and comments) interesting: Organic Pastures sells fantastic Raw Cream.

  3. rebecca sanders

    i’m a fan of whole unpasturized milk myself, but a word of caution; the reason milk is pasteurized is to reduce the transmission of disease.

    Bovine Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, salmonella, listeria, Q-fever…. the list goes on.

    it’s all very well and good to say “it’s good for you”, but there are also health risks associated with consuming unpasteurized dairy products….

  4. Diane Vigil

    Hi Rebecca, and welcome to We Want Organic Food.

    Point taken, and that’s what’s told us. But bear in mind this article: Two People Die After Drinking Listeria Tainted Milk In Massachusetts — where the milk was processed (which means pasteurized) — so pasteurization is not the solid answer it’s being "sold" as.

    There have been instances of food contamination in anything from dairy products to vegetables to whatever. Interestingly, David Gumpert’s TheCompletePatient.com is running an article Is Regulator Alerting Us to Real Raw Milk Issues, or Excuses?. Interesting reading, especially with respect to the insurance ramifications (or lack thereof) of selling raw milk.

    My own preference would be to test all milk for pathogens. Relying on mandatory boiling (pasteurization) without testing, or on hope that milk (raw or pasteurized) is safe is simply not logical … I’d like full-scope testing to ensure that any foodstuff is safe for consumption. Which would undoubtedly be expensive (I guess), but very helpful to us as consumers.

  5. Is pasteurized milk good for you?

    […] seems that many people have the idea that raw milk may be harmful (see our Raw Milk is Good for You). I'm not out to argue against anyone's position — although one of these days I'll write an […]

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