The Great Raw Milk Menace–Pt. 2

August 27th, 2011 by

     Okay, I promised I’d give some more details, so here goes…

     First of all, if you are a man, an infant, or a post-menopausal woman, I don’t recommend consuming very many dairy products.  What?  (GIGANTIC GASP)  The idea that milk contains the vitamin D and calcium most people need in their diets is just, well, wrong.  You get most of your vitamin D from the sun, and most of your calcium from green, leafy vegetables. 

     Now that you are recovering from that shock, let me tell you why I suggest consuming dairy products for children and women of child bearing age.  There is NO easier way to get the necessary protein and fats required for growth and development than from raw, organic dairy products!  Healthy fats and proteins are ESSENTIAL for these groups!

     Dairy products (from cows) are a highly allergic food, so I don’t recommend exposing infants to these until necessary.  Infants should be breastfed if possible for at least the first year of their lives, and I’d go as far as to recommend closer to 2 years.  There are all kinds of resources for moms who are struggling to breastfeed including herbs that stimulate production, milk sharing organizations, and if necessary, goat milk based organic formulas.  Mothers who are expecting or nursing should consume lots of lacto-fermented raw, organic, full-fat dairy, as should children until they reach puberty.

     We happen to milk a few cows.  I realize everyone doesn’t have that resource, so here’s what we do and some suggestions if you can’t do what we do:

     We actually don’t drink that much raw milk.  Oh, we pour it on cereal and maybe have a glass with cookies now and then, but for the most part, we start by skimming the cream off the top to save for other uses like butter, ice cream, and making decadent sauces for potatoes and pasta.    We could just stir the cream in and drink it (It’s delicious, by the way), but then I couldn’t make butter, so…  Anyway, homogenized milk that you buy in the store doesn’t have cream to skim off–it’s mixed in so thoroughly that you (or your body) can’t separate the cream and your cells become “confused”.  Next, I make kefir.  Kefir is one of the oldest methods of lacto-fermenting dairy.  It’s also the easiest.  You just add your kefir grains to your milk and set it on the counter for 12-32 hours until it begins to thicken then refrigerate.  Kefir is like a runny yogurt.  It is teeming with healthy bacteria that help regulate digestion (think Activia TM) and strengthen the immune system.  Kefir also helps fight yeast.  We make delicious kefir smoothies a couple of times per week for quick breakfasts.  We also eat yogurt, cheese, and I cook with dairy products.  Cooking kills most of the beneficial bacteria (and the bad), but cooking with dairy still adds good fat and protein.  There is no way to be 100% sure that your dairy products are free from harmful bacteria, so twice a year I “clean” my kefir grains and yogurt starters by adding them to pasteurized milk.  I then discard the product, and add my starters to my raw, organic dairy again.  I try not to consume pasteurized dairy unless I can’t help it.  Please note that there is no way to be 100% sure that pasteurized dairy from the store is free from harmful bacteria either!  Okay, this sounds easy enough for me, but you are wondering what to do if you don’t have a doe-eyed Jersey out back with a bag full of creamy milk….

     First off, if you can find someone who milks a cow and has extra milk, go visit their farm.  Watch them milk, see what they feed their cow, ask what shots they give their dairy animal, and find out if they consume their own products.  If you are satisfied, find out the raw milk laws in your state.  You can find these by going to http://www.realmilk.com/milk-laws-1.html.  In North Dakota, for example, farmers are allowed to sell raw dairy products as pet food.  Now, if that farmer consumes his “pet food”, that tells me it’s some quality stuff!  Since the FDA is bent on prosecuting these hard working, honest individuals, most farmers will be hesitant to sell you raw dairy, but some may offer to give it to you.  FYI, even if they say they don’t want payment, please “gift” them $5-$6 per gallon (that’s the sale price for organic milk in the store) as they have worked hard to obtain a clean, healthy product.  It is also helpful if you bring containers to take your milk home with you.  You can reuse plastic milk jugs, but it is much easier to keep glass jugs clean.  Most health food store (including our office) can sell you gallon glass jugs for less than $10.  You can also obtain starter cultures for kefir, yogurt, cheese, etc. at health food stores.

     If you can’t obtain raw milk, you can purchase the organic, pasteurized, but NON-homogenized variety at some local grocery stores (Bessie’s Best and Horizon Organics are some good options).  You won’t have the beneficial bacteria in this milk, but you can culture it by making kefir, yogurt, etc.

     What if you can’t purchase organic, non-homogenized milk???  Well, eat plenty of complete proteins like beans, meat, etc., and get your healthy fats from avocados, coconut, fish, etc., and forgo the milk.  Yep, that’s right.  I don’t recommend consuming very many dairy products at all if you can’t get the REAL stuff!  Consuming homogenized non-organic dairy products will destroy your cells, mess up your hormones, and clog your arteries.  If you are interested in preserving your access to raw, organic dairy products you can learn more at http://rawmilk.org/.

     For Health,

     Summer Joy

2 Comments

2 Responses to The Great Raw Milk Menace–Pt. 2

  1. Ruth Frazier says:

    Summer, what a concise, informative article. Thank you for your time and knowledge in making it available.

  2. Terri Decker says:

    Aidan and I just purchased a little baby dairy goat. We’re bringing her home today. I hope eventually to have raw goat milk for my allergic grandsons. She’ll have to grow up first, of course. Your articles on the subject are very helpful, as I am sure I have much to learn.

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