The Great Raw Milk Menace–Pt. 1

August 23rd, 2011 by

    Well, I’ve held my tongue during the last few weeks with hopes that I could just let the latest FDA blunder pass.  Unfortunately, my poor husband has had to hear my “soapboxing” an unacceptable amount of times however, and so I am going to blog to you my dear readers and save this darling man anymore “sermons” :)! 

     Apparently, the FDA has decided that people should not consume raw milk products because they believe these products are dangerous for our health.  Therefore, this government department is trying to ferret out those individuals who are “illegally” distributing these items.  A few weeks ago, the FDA raided a PRIVATE buying club, and arrested three individuals with the charge of illegally selling raw milk.  Now, let me explain what a private buying club is.  Say you live in Los Angeles where covenants stipulate that you cannot raise a Jersey cow.  However, you’d like milk from a Jersey cow.  So, you approach a farmer and ask to buy 1/4 of his Jersey cow.  In addition, you will pay this farmer a certain amount to feed, care for, and milk your cow.  In exchange, you will get 1/4 of what your cow produces (milk and cream).  Sounds fair and practical, right?  By raiding this club, the FDA is, in a sense, telling you that you no longer have the right to use YOUR product the way YOU want to.  To be honest, I’m not sure what upsets me more, the fact that raw milk has been given a bad rap, that the scientific data has been skewed to reflect the opinion of the FDA, or the fact that this in encroaching on individual rights.  I mean really…what right does our government have to tell me what I can and can’t eat?!

     Consumption of dairy products in general is a controversial issue even among the “alternative” community.  I know several chiropractors and health care professionals that believe that people shouldn’t consume dairy products at all.  They have valid reasons for this: yes, humans are the only mammals that don’t wean their young, yes, dairy products promote the production of mucus, yes, dairy products can contain harmful bacteria.  On the other hand, I know several prominent health care professionals and midwives who promote the consumption of raw, organic dairy products.  They also have valid reasons for this: dairy products contain beneficial bacteria that can boost the immune system and promote healthy digestion, dairy products are a great source of protein and healthy fats, dairy products contain essential amino acids necessary for the production of cellular ATP (energy).

     Personally, I am a proponent of consuming raw, organic milk products.  I happen to have grown up on a dairy farm.  We milked about 60 cows twice a day and consumed milk from those cows.  We were a grade “A” dairy, meaning the FDA believed our milk was clean enough to drink.  We drank this milk in our house every day (and NEVER got sick from it!).  We had friends who ran a different grade of dairy.  Let’s just say their milk was not as clean as ours.  In fact, one day while helping at their dairy, we got a sense of this “grade” of milk.  One of the automatic milk machine lost suction and fell into a pile of cow dung.  At our dairy, this would be cause for “panic” mode.  Switches would be thrown, pipes disconnected, and sanitation would ensue.  Not so at this dairy.  “Don’t worry about it”, our friend casually said.  “We’re allowed so many somatic cells anyway.”  Gross.  (I never drank milk at their house.)  What this basically means is that the FDA allows a certain number of bacteria in the milk.  (They also allow a certain number of rat hairs in peanut butter, grasshoppers in noodles, etc.)  It’s okay with the FDA, because when milk is bottled, it is pasteurized, which is supposed to kill all the bad bacteria.  Interestingly enough, the milk from our dairy actually had LESS bacteria than the milk that was purchased at the store.  (What can I say, I LOVED doing science projects–thanks Mom and Dad for putting up with disgusting petri dishes full of bacteria around the house for MONTHS!)  Additionally, milk purchased at the store is homogenized (the fat molecules are forced through teeny, tiny little holes so that the fat cannot be separated from the whey–this also means your body cannot separate the fat from the protein!) and synthetic (poisonous) vitamins A and D2 (the type that builds up in your liver) are added. 

     The FDA contends that homogenized, pasturized, vitamin enriched milk is healthy for you because it kills the harmful bacteria.  Pasturization does kills some of the harmful bacteria and almost all of the good bacteria.  However, it is just silly to think that we can erradicate all of our exposure to bacteria.  Yes, common food borne bacteria such as lysteria, campylobactor, etc. are down from 100 years ago.  But antibiotic resistant strains like MRSA are getting to be a real problem.  There will ALWAYS be sickness including bacteria in our world.  That is reality.  Personally, I want to deal with bacteria that herbal remedies and antibiotics can take care of.  That means I’ll continue to consume lacto-fermented raw dairy products that come from a source I trust.

     Bottom line?  The FDA shouldn’t have a say in consumption of raw, organic milk!  The choice should be left to each individual!!

     In my next blog, I’ll tell you what I recommend for consumption of dairy, how we do it in our house, and how to purchase raw, organic dairy for your family. 

     For Health,

     Summer Joy


4 Responses to The Great Raw Milk Menace–Pt. 1

  1. Theresa says:

    Thank you for this wonderful information!!!

  2. Sheri says:

    Amen! I grew up drinking raw milk too. Grandma separated and we had raw cream and she made butter too! There is nothing better than that! Yes, it tasted when the cows found wild oninons or got different hay (they only milked two cows for the house), but it’s better than store bought. To this day when my uncle drinks store milk, he swears he can taste the plastic from the jug.

  3. Mary Lytton Hayes says:

    I am so glad to live in SC where I can purchase raw milk products! A refrigerated truck comes to a local stop and we all line up to get our cream, milk, butter and buttermilk. I have made lovely yogurt and butter. Would like to try making mozzarella since I can’t find that kind of raw milk cheese here. Youtube suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks for your blog of great ‘sermons’.

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