for years now, we've been only drinking organic milk. i thought we were diong great! then, i heard about the benefits (and safety) of raw milk, read the ingredients on my organic milk container and now, we've taken it one step further. we've gone RAW! better for the animals. better for the environment. better for us.
while i feel like i've tried to eat (and provide for my family) a generally healthy diet (with a little too much sugar now and again...whoops), my eyes are opening wider and wider each day as i dive into the world of traditional, whole and unprocessed foods. i feel like we (my family) are at the very beginning of learning how to make the most out of the food we use as fuel for our lives.
a couple of weeks ago, i made a bone broth chicken soup complete with chicken feet (blog to come)! i just won a book called, "wild fermentation" (by sandor ellix katz) from my amazing holistic practitioner, emily bartlett of holistic kid (http://www.holistickid.com/) and i'm ready to start learning about live-culture foods! i have a cereal recipe (also provided by the fabulous emily) that i'm dying to try as she has debunked my "healthy" cereal for me. and this is the first week that we've purchased our new milk and are excited to see how it positively effects our overall health. hopefully you will join me on my new adventure!
it is important to note that raw milk from conventional factory farms is not what i'm talking about here. i'm talking about whole-fat (why whole-fat?) raw milk from from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows living the high-life on small family farms. milk that is free of antibiotics, pesticides, preservatives or additives and that is full of probiotics, enzymes and good fats that benefit our overall health. we chose organic pastures as our source. their website, http://www.organicpastures.com/index.html has tons of information on the numerous health benefits of raw milk versus conventional and organic pasteurized milk.
some of the benefits of raw milk, according to organic pastures are:
*"[raw milk] increases immunity to infection by increasing biodiversity of beneficial bacteria in the human gut. a hundred kinds of bacteria are found in raw milk at very low levels. yogurt has four or five."
*"supplies rare and important enzymes required for the absorption of minerals and effective digestion."
*"provides a source of lactase producing beneficial bacteria, reducing or eliminating lactose intolerance."
is it safe??
yes! also according to organic pastures, "in california, raw milk for human consumption must pass the same bacteria count standards that are required for pasteurized milk (after being pasteurized)...to date [10 years], not one pathogen has ever been detected in [op's] raw milk".
then why pasteurize?
op explains, "if cows are given antibiotics, kept in tight confinement on piles of manure, given hormones and fed unnatural feeds, their milk becomes contaminated with bad (pathogenic) bacteria." i suppose that is reason enough, but...eeew, yuck and no thank you!
other reasons to avoid pasteurized milk? realmilk.com states that "many studies have linked consumption of pasteurized milk with lactose intolerance, allergies, asthma, frequent ear infections, gastro-intestinal problems, diabetes, auto-immune disease, attention deficit disorder and constipation". they also state, "pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with...increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer." yikes!
here are some other websites set up to help educate consumers on the benefits of raw milk consumption...
http://www.cheeseslave.com/2011/03/24/will-the-real-california-happy-cows-please-stand-up/ - read this!