I’m reposting this article because PattyAnn asked me too and because I think it’s important that this information is shared. People often discard this kind of information as quackery because they think it’s “New Age”, or just plain weird. Well heck, why should the smelly hippies have the corner on great health?
I took my time rewriting this article (I accidentally deleted the first one) because I wanted to make sure I found sources that backed my claim scientifically and were not just zealots out to defend their cause at any price. People like that tend to discredit causes. I know it’s a long article for most attention spans, but please, at least skim it so you have the basic information, because unless you run in those “hippy” circles, you probably won’t see/hear this information again.
I cannot get raw milk in my state. Raw milk is bad, mmmkay? I have to sneak around and meet my “dealer” in a parking lot because someone, somewhere decided to make raw milk illegal. Raw milk kills, pasteurized milk does not. That’s the story and the lawmakers, the Dept. of Agriculture and certain government subsidized dairy farmers, are sticking to it.
I decided I wanted to try raw milk after I’d found out about the health benefits. I thought, ok I’ll just go to the grocery store and pick some up. No dice. I’m from California where it was legal, I had no idea it was illegal in other states. Where I’m at now, it’s illegal to buy or sell raw milk with the intent to consume. Cool huh? The only way you can purchase it is if it’s for pet consumption.
You can, however drink the milk if it’s from a cow you own. Not everybody has room for a cow in their backyard, so people have started cow co-ops, or “cow sharing” programs. This is when several people pitch in to buy a cow and board it at a farm somewhere. Then they can legally drink that cow’s milk. Of course the Dept. of Agriculture has found out about this and is pushing to have even this loophole closed.
I had to call around to find my “dealer”. It took me quite a while and with each call I had to assure the nervous voice on the other end of the line that this was solely for my pet’s consumption. Most of the time the farmers were sold out. There’s a high demand for raw milk and it’s too difficult to have a lot of cows to meet that demand and have your cows continue to be pasture fed, which is the only way to go.
I finally found someone and we agreed to meet the next week. I had to drive 40min. away and meet in a grocery store parking lot. She had to drive 40 min. to meet me at this location as well. I was told in no uncertain terms that if the cops showed up, I needed to scatter. Holy cow! Do you know how exciting this was for a bored stay at home mom? Wow, I’m such a rebel.
I pulled into the parking lot at the agreed upon time and parked my car. I observed several other cars with women sitting in them. I eyed them with suspicion. I wondered if that chick over there that looked like your stereotypical housewife was really an undercover agent for the Dept. of Agriculture. After all, it wasn’t an unrealistic thought, right? I mean they had just busted that poor Amish farmer in a raw milk sting, didn’t they? Good grief. A sting? Really? This is not heroin we’re talking about people, it’s milk.
A very long white van pulled into the parking lot and three women popped out. It was a mom and her two daughters. They looked as if they’d just stepped out of a “Little House on the Prairie” film set with their hair coverings and their simple dresses. It was clear these women were hardened criminals. They were engaged in illicit activities, you know. Oh and so was I, how exciting!
The other women exited their vehicles, and promptly, without word, lined-up at the back of the van. The money was exchanged ($10 a gallon) and milk and produce and free-range eggs were then handed out. I put them in the ice chest in my car and went home. I hoped this stash lasted till the following week because that’s how long I’d have to wait to get my next fix. The kids and I put this stuff to work immediately. They got a kick out of making butter. I enjoy my smoothies. You’ve never had a fruit smoothie till you’ve had one made with creamy, delicious raw milk.
I will admit I had to get over the mental block of having “raw” milk at first. The idea of drinking it almost straight from the teat kinda grossed me out. To this day I have never sat down and just had a glass of milk. I don’t care for raw milk, or any milk like that. I love it for smoothies and cooking and butter and cream for my coffee ( I did have to acquire a taste for that kind of cream in my coffee). My kids on the other hand, really like a cold glass of raw milk.
Why is it illegal? It just doesn’t make sense. After all you can die from raw oysters and even spinach, but they’re not illegal. Well the difference, one would argue, is raw milk is pasteurized and that makes it safe, right? Well, think again.
January 8, 2008– A third man who consumed products from a central Massachusetts dairy that were tainted with bacteria has died, the state health dept. said this week. The number of people sickened by listeria bacteria also rose to five after health officials linked a 31-year-old woman’s listeriosis, diagnosed in September, to products from the diary Health Officials say the bacteria entered Whittier Farms’ milk supply after it was pasteurized. (Can you figure out who emphasized that?) Two of those victims, a 78-year-old man and a 75-year-old man, died in June and October. Another elderly man and a pregnant woman survived, although the woman miscarried.
On October 30, 1985– The Wisconsin Division of Health was informed by the state poison control center of two elementary schoolchildren who presented with severe burning of the mouth and throat, as well as nausea. The symptoms developed within 1 hour of drinking milk packaged in half-pint containers with an expiration date of 11/9 from a Wisconsin milk processor. An investigation into the source of the milk determined that, 5 days previously, the milk processor had noted an ammonia leak in one of its cooling chambers, where approximately 250,000 half-pint milk containers with an expiration date of 11/9 were stored. The liquid ammonia, used to cool the tanks and stored under pressure, had sprayed about the storage tank for an undetermined number of hours.
April13, 2000- Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium Infection from Milk Contaminated after Pasteurization.. .. We reviewed the published literature and identified 12 outbreaks in the United States between 1960 and 2000 that were associated with pasteurized milk.
There were many more examples I found just from a basic internet search, but I think you get the picture.
That the consumption of raw milk carries some risk is undeniable. The question is whether raw milk carries a unique risk that distinguishes it from other foods ordinarily consumed- such as pasteurized milk, produce, hot dogs, or deli meats. The FDA does not make this comparison. The second question that must be addressed is how milk can best be made safe. The FDA considers pasteurization the only option and ignores other measures such as improved sanitation and pasture-based farming.
Did you know that if you set a glass of “raw” milk on the counter for several days you get cream (you actually the get cream within a few hours) to make butter, you will be able to make buttermilk, kefir, whey and even yogurt? If you set a glass of pasteurized milk on the counter for a couple of hours, you get rotten milk. The kind of rot that makes you wanna vomit when you smell it. This is because pasteurizing kills the beneficial bacteria that turns milk sour (buttermilk) instead of rotten.
Heat alters milk’s amino acids lyseine and tyrosene, making the whole complex of proteins less available; it promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids and destruction of vitamins. Vitamin C loss in pasteurization usually exceeds 50 percent; loss of other water-soluble vitamins can run as high as 80 percent; the Wulzen or anti-stiffness factor is totally destroyed as is vitamin B-12, needed for healthy blood and a properly functioning nervous system. Pasteurization reduces the availability of milk’s mineral components, such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and sulphur, as well as many trace minerals. There is some evidence that pasteurization alters lactose, making it more readily absorbable. This, and the fact that pasteurized milk puts an unnecessary strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes, may explain why milk consumption in civilized societies has been linked with diabetes. (Maclaren, N, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, Jul 1992, 327:5:348-9)
Last but not least, 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 from osteoporosis. Lipase in raw milk help the body digest and utilize butterfat.(Fallon, Sally, et al, Nourishing Traditions, NewTrends Publishing, Washington DC, 1999, p34-35)
After pasteurization, chemicals may be added to suppress odor and restore taste. Synthetic vitamin D-2or D-3 is added-the former is toxic and has been linked to heart disease (Fraser, DR, The Lancet, Jan 14, 1995, 345:8942:104-105; Buist, RA International Clinical Nutrition Reviews, 1984 4:4:159-171) while the latter is difficult to absorb. (Thomas, M K, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, Mar 19, 1998, 338(12):777-83) The final indignity is homogenization, which has also been linked to heart disease. .(Fallon, Sally, et al, Nourishing Traditions, NewTrends Publishing, Washington DC, 1999, p34-35)
All of these are great reasons not to drink pasteurized milk, but there’s just so many more reasons. I mean think about it, today’s cow just ain’t right.
[T]he milk sold in your supermarket is bad for everybody, partly because the modern cow is a freak of nature. A century ago cows produced two or three gallons per day; today’s Holsteins routinely give three or four times as much. This is accomplished by selective breeding to produce cows with abnormally active pituitary glands and by high-protein feeding. The pituitary gland not only produces hormones that stimulate the production of milk, it also produces growth hormones. Recently the FDA approved a genetically engineered growth hormone for cows. These hormones are identical to those produced by the pituitary gland in today’s high-production cows. This practice will simply add to the high level of bovine growth hormones that have been present in our milk for decades. These hormones are present in the water fraction of the milk, not in the butterfat. Babies receive growth hormones from their mothers through their mothers’ milk. Small amounts of these hormones are necessary and moderate amounts are not harmful, but a superfluity can result in growth abnormalities. Excessive pituitary hormones are also associated with tumor formation and some studies link milk consumption with cancer. The freak-pituitary cow is prone to many diseases. She almost always secretes pus into her milk and needs frequent doses of antibiotics.
Another serious problem with today’s dairying methods is the feeding of high-protein soybean meal to the cows. This stimulates them to produce large quantities of milk but contributes to a high rate of mastitis and other problems that lead to sterility, liver problems and shortened lives. Little research has been done to determine what these soy feeds do to the kind and quality of protein in cow’s milk. …The proper food for cows is green plants, especially the rapidly growing green grasses in the early spring and fall..(Fallon, Sally, et al, Nourishing Traditions, NewTrends Publishing, Washington DC, 1999, p34-35)
So, what’s the real reason raw milk is illegal?
There is a Latin phrase perennially useful in unraveling great mysteries: Cui bono? Who benefits? The dairy industry in the United States is a $40 billion-a-year business, not including federal subsidies, which themselves run in the billions. Farmers step outside of this rigid system at their peril. In 2003, a maverick dairyman in California tried to sell milk at 20 cents less a gallon than his competition by snubbing the public-private consortium that has controlled milk production for 70 years. His brazen move was squashed by an act of Congress.
Milk is big business. And pasteurization is a necessary element to dairy consolidation, as it permits milk to be stored and transported over long periods and distances.
In this environment, 20th-century fear becomes a powerful agent in 21st-century greed. Many of the farmers I spoke to for this article reminded me that whoever controls the food supply controls the people, and that scholars going back to Aristotle understood food as the first medicine. Instead of protecting our freedom to procure whatever food we deem necessary to achieve robust health, federal and state governments, with precious few exceptions, have lined up to make raw milk illegal.
The disconnect is startling. Federal and state health officials warn that consuming raw milk can kill you, and considerable government heft is thrown behind efforts to keep it out of reach. And yet countless people go to great lengths to find it, and report feeling more alive after drinking it, even claiming that unprocessed milk has cured chronic illnesses like asthma and irritable bowel syndrome that pharmaceuticals didn’t touch.
As this article shows, raw milk’s health benefits far outweigh those of pasteurized milk. If you’d like to read further, this article will give you a more in-depth look at the health benefits of raw milk. As a final note, even after all this should you still decide raw milk is not the way to go, sweet, what do I care? However, you should still be concerned that the government has once again overstepped its bounds in playing our caretaker and deciding what we can and cannot do.