The History of Raw Milk
Raw milk: purposely designed and prepared by nature as food.
Documentation of milk used for human consumption dates back to before Christ (BC). The Cretans consumed goat’s milk 2 millennia BC. Songs 2,000 BC spoke of milk, its value and of offering it to the gods. The Babylonians etched text in clay “Bring milk and laban (curdled milk) to drive out the demons of sickness”. Fifty times the Bible references milk and milk products. The milk of biblical times was much different from milk consumed today. Taken from various animals, it was consumed either in its natural state (not pasteurized or homogenized), or was fermented immediately. According to Dr. Jordan Rubin, these ‘live’ foods provide excellent health benefits in contrast to today’s pasteurized, homogenized, often skimmed and ‘refortified’ milk. Such milk he finds not only less nutritious, but also potentially harmful and a major cause of allergies and heart disease.
So why use the pasteurization process and what effect does it have on milk?
First, let’s address “Why?” The war of 1812 stopped whiskey imports to the U.S., leading to the birth of American distilleries. The distilleries produced ‘slop’—a starch and alcohol-free grain by-product. This chemically altered grain was unnatural food for cows. As cities grew and space became scarce for grass grazing cows (their natural food), confinement dairies began appearing next to distilleries. Later called distillery dairies, these new dairies focused on feeding the cows slop. Cows fed this unnatural food produced very poor quality milk with no cream. The slop made the cows sick, increasing the amount of pathogenic bacteria they harbored. Distillery dairies historically had very poor hygiene, resulting in unhealthy, contaminated milk. It took several decades for science to understand this bacterial contamination. Once recognized, farmers bypassed the simple solution of grazing the cows on grass and improving hygiene for the easier and often politically driven option of pasteurization. Modern processes and the use of stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks, inspection methods, and certification standards make pasteurization unnecessary.
What effect does pasteurization have on milk?
According to a statement from the year 1906, pasteurization does not change the chemical composition, taste, digestibility or nutritional qualities of milk. Since then, science has proved that statement wrong. Pasteurization not only changes the milk, but also turns it from a healing food to a potentially harmful food. Research from the Weston A. Price Organization shows pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures milk proteins, destroys vitamin C, B12, B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens, and is associated with allergies, tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
According to the Journal of American Medicine, “Goats milk is the most complete food known.” It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids utilized by the body with ease. In fact, the body can digest goat’s milk in only 20 minutes. Having fat molecules one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk makes it easily digestible and tolerable to those with compromised digestive systems.. Seventy-two percent of the milk used throughout the world is from goats. Goat milk has no cream separation because of smaller fat molecules. It contains preformed Vitamin A in the milk fat that allows it to be readily available for use by the body. Goat milk contains a higher evolved carotene (pro-Vitamin A). Researchers find the pro-Vitamin A to have cancer-preventing properties. The protein in goat milk forms a softer curd (the term given to the protein clumps that are formed by the action of stomach acid on the protein), which makes the protein more easily and rapidly digestible. Although the mineral content of goat’s milk and cow’s milk is generally similar, goat’s milk contains 13 percent more calcium, 25 percent more vitamin B-6, 47 percent more vitamin A, 134 percent more potassium, and three times more niacin. It also contains 27 percent more of the antioxidant selenium than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk has long been used and recommended as an aid in the treatment of ulcers due to its more effective acid buffering capacity. Goat’s milk has more buffering capacity than over the counter antacids. (The USDA and Prairie View A&M University in Texas have confirmed that goat’s milk has more acid-buffering capacity than cow’s milk, soy infant formula, and nonprescription antacid drugs.) Goat’s milk alkalinizes the digestive system. It actually contains a group of alkaline minerals, and it does not produce acid in the intestinal system. Goat’s milk helps to increase the pH of the blood stream because it is the dairy product highest in the amino acid L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an alkalinizing amino acid, often recommended by nutritionists.
Raw Milk Safety
Many question the safety of raw milk versus pasteurized milk. Todays certified raw milk has stricter standards then pasteurized milk. The bacteria count for the standard plate count for pasteurized milk is 15,000 per ml after pasteurization and 25,000 per ml after pasteurization for cream. Certified raw milk and raw cream standards are 10,000 per ml. There are less bacteria allowed in certified raw milk then pasteurized milk. Which would you chose? Due to the requirements of raw milk certification, today we can get raw milk with less bacteria levels than pasteurized milk without losing the nutrients. According to Mark McAfee, founder of Organic Pastures Dairy, which produces a full line of raw organic dairy products for retail sale, “During the period 2000 through 2004 there were several listeria-related food recalls in California associated with pasteurized milk products and ice cream. During this same period more than 12 million servings of Organic Pastures products were consumed and not one person complained of illness and not one pathogen was ever found either by the state, FDA or Organic Pastures.” Organic Pastures then hired a laboratory to perform an experiment. The lab added 10 million counts of pathogens to one-milliliter samples of organic raw milk and found that the pathogens not only would not grow but they also died off. The lab concluded: ” … raw milk and colostrum do not appear to support the growth of pathogens …”
A CAMPAIGN FOR REAL (RAW) MILK! Web. 18 Apr. 2010. http://www.realmilk.com.
Gilbere, Gloria, N.D., D.A. Hom., Ph.D., “Natures Prescription Milk.” Web.
The Maker’s diet, Jordan Rubin – Thorndike Press – Waterville, Me. – 2006
The untold story of milk: green pastures, contented cows and raw dairy foods, Ronald F.Schmid – Sally Fallon – New Trends Pub. – Washington, DC – 2003