By Mark McAfee
There are two raw milks in America: one for “people” and one for the “pasteurizer.” Raw milk meant for people is clean, pure, comes from cows on green pastures, and is regulated on a state-by-state basis. Raw milk for the pasteurizer is regulated by the FDA under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) and can be filled with pathogenic bacteria. Raw milk intended for pasteurization is commingled from many confinement dairies and is never tested for pathogens. Pasteurization does not create clean milk; it just kills filthy milk.
The FDA sits at the very top of the PMO food chain system and reigns as the military dictator over the rules and regulations of the PMO. Yes, they wear military uniforms, and yes, they are the absolute last word at the NCIMS (National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, the organization that runs the PMO). So I do not exaggerate when I use the term “military dictatorship.” No one moves or breathes or thinks a thought without FDA approval when it comes to pasteurized milk and its regulation.
Pasteurization has passed its time of usefulness. It may once have been seen as a scientific breakthrough to stop the deadly “milk problem” scourge of filthy raw milk from distillery dairies in the mid 1800s, but dirty milk is no longer a misunderstood challenge. Yet the FDA cannot change with science or the times or the will of the people. Instead the FDA remains steadfast in a war against all bacteria. Their battle plan, as issued and envisioned eighty years ago, remains the same today. Our government is unmoved, even though our best scientists from Yale, Princeton, and the National Institutes of Health now have proven that at least 80 percent of the human immune system comes from the protective biodiversity of bacteria living in the human gut. This taxpayer-funded war on bacteria continues with FDA’s Fight BAC! program, even though these primitive government policies are now the origin of tens of thousands of American deaths per year from devastated immune systems. Sterile foods, food preservatives and antibiotic abuse have robbed us of our health. It would seem that the FDA has no concern whatsoever for the American immune system and has but one solution: see your doctor and take an FDA-approved pill.
Raw milk is fast becoming the number one hot food topic and has emerged as a high priority health food in America. This defiant grass roots movement is fueled by the truth and the internet. People need and want clean raw milk that is produced in organic, grass-fed conditions. Raw milk retains its enzymes, good grass-fed fats, and wonderful, bio-diverse, immune system-rebuilding beneficial bacteria, and works wonders for the depressed immune system of the common American. Raw milk changes and saves lives, yet the FDA detests raw milk like nothing else on earth.
Tragically, pasteurization has killed much more than tuberculosis and typhoid in the 1800s (if pasteurization was even responsible for the decline of these diseases), and covers up much more than the filth of the distillery dairies of inner city Boston of 1875. Pasteurization has had massive and tragic side effects. These side effects have been ignored by the FDA and downplayed by the dairy industry. To accept the facts about raw milk would be to surrender after a hundred-year war indiscriminately waged against all bacteria—a hundred-year war that has now turned to attack the immune system of the American citizen it was promulgated to protect. Instead of fighting germs, the FDA is now killing Americans.
Pasteurization has killed much more than a few bad bugs; it is destroying the foundation of America. Here are the top 15 things that pasteurization has killed, which the FDA and big dairy industry refuse to acknowledge or discuss. To do so would be to surrender and to invite a marketing disaster. These are the reasons why the FDA and Big Dairy Ag processors fight desperately to suppress the American raw milk uprising and the truth that it speaks.
1. THE FAMILY FARM
Pasteurization has killed the family farm, local jobs, and the American Dream by substituting high value-added clean raw milk with commodity pasteurized milk. The prices now paid for raw milk intended for pasteurization are so low that they do not cover the cost of production. There is nothing that a farmer can do to increase the milk price in this system. His work is for nothing, and he is desperate. For every load of raw milk that he sends off, he sends more and more of his farm equity along with his own blood, sweat and tears. A processor loves a dairyman in desperation; it allows for dirt cheap pricing.
2. THE DAIRY MARKETS
Pasteurization has killed the dairy markets. From 20-50 percent of the American population cannot drink pasteurized milk, either because of faulty digestion or lactose intolerance, but yet most of those same Americans can drink raw milk because it is whole with all of the enzymes and beneficial bacteria present. America has become pasteurization intolerant. Today only 14 percent of industrial fluid milk produced in California is actually ever bottled for fluid use; the majority is converted to dried powdered milk or processed cheeses. Truck loads of milk intended for pasteurization are dumped down the drain and never processed. This is absolute proof of the disconnection between consumer and farmer. The farmer does not even know what becomes of his food or how much to produce.
3. THE CONSUMER CONNECTION
Pasteurization has killed “the connection between the farmer and the consumer.” Some farmers who produce pasteurized milk have “No Trespassing” signs at the edges of their property that warn “Trespassers will be shot and survivors will be shot again.” They have no reason to visit with a consumer about selling their dairy products. They get paid by a processor, not by consumers. All their fluid milk is sold off to a common processing plant to be commingled with all the other dairy milk in a commodity market system. The farmer now has no idea that he is “over producing” or making the wrong products. The farmer has no idea that people cannot drink pasteurized milk because of lactose intolerance. If the farmer could ever talk with a consumer, he would not continue to produce in ignorance.
Pasteurization kills farmers. In January, dairy farmer Dean Pierson of Copake, New York entered his barn with his rifle and plenty of ammunition, killed all fifty-one of his precious milk cows, and then tragically took his own life. There have been many suicides of dairymen over the last two years, with two in California last year. The rate of dairyman suicides follows the prices paid for pasteurized milk in the heartless, disconnected pasteurized dairy market system. When prices fall, suicides rise. This is because there is absolutely nothing that a dairyman can do to change the market price by working harder to sell better tasting or higher quality milk. The pasteurizer has covered up and masked all of these possible value-added opportunities. The dairyman gets what he gets, and that, more often than not, is an economic roller coaster ride from FDA CAFO hell. The universities tell the next generation of farmers to “get big or get out,” and yet offer no classes on value-added product innovations that would permit these new farmers to break away from the “milk pool” and the PMO. In the conventional system, there is no hope. The far better message is “get green, get clean, get local and get consumer connected.” Grants are given to universities to study and support claims from Monsanto and antibiotic manufacturers for Big Dairy. The fastest way for a professor to be removed is to object to Big Dairy projects. As a result, all of the dairymen’s sons and daughters are taught to “get big or get out.” The coming educated generation has no hope either.
5. ANTIBIOTIC EFFECTIVENESS
Pasteurization killed antibiotic effectiveness for all of us. By creating a commodity dairy market system that relies heavily on antibiotics fed to heifers and dry cows at CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) mega dairies to support massive milk production, the antibiotics now used in American hospitals for humans no longer work. Tens of thousands of Americans now die each year because of superbugs created by CAFO antibiotic abuse. MRSA and VRA drug resistance is now a major cause of death and there are fewer and sometimes no antibiotics left to kill the bad bugs and save human lives. The FDA refuses to ban or limit use of antibiotics in CAFO feed and instead testifies in defense of antibiotic use by the CAFO industry (Senator Dean Florez SB 362 Sac CA in 2009).
Pasteurization has killed the digestibility of milk and its delicious milky reputation. Now milk is no longer a food with a good reputation, and the dairymen do not even realize it. It causes or triggers gas, allergies, diarrhea, asthma attacks, mucus production, constipation, gastric cramping and so-called “lactose intolerance.” This has caused the dairy industry to lose many consumers to soy milk, rice milk, almond milk and even hemp milk. None of these fake milks comes from mammalian animals with teats. The dairy industry did this to itself because the processing industry runs the dairy industry. And so what if the processor does not bottle milk? The dairy processor can bottle water, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk or hemp milk. All the processor cares about is processing “throughput.” Last year the processors spoke about the new emerging dairy product category called “branded bottled water.” Dairymen have not spent enough time in the market and have delegated to the processors the most important thing that they can do: connect to consumers and tell the consumer their story and listen to feedback. Now the fat fox has eaten their chickens.
7. WATER SUPPLIES
Pasteurization has ruined our water supplies. Wherever a mega dairy CAFO is located, there are huge liquid manure lagoons. These manure and chemical-filled lagoons often leach into underground aquifers. It is nearly impossible to keep these lagoons from leaching into the underground water supplies. The best new technologies do protect from leaching but their plastic or rubber lined lagoons are extremely costly and older dairies are not required to install them.
8. AIR QUALITY
Pasteurization has damaged our air quality. Cows that are kept in CAFO system confinement and fed huge amounts of grain produce massive amounts of methane gas. These gasses are not good for air quality, earth health, cow health or human health, and ensure the bad reputation of the dairy industry for stinking downwind. A few dairies now capture this methane gas as a resource to be sold for energy, but 99.9 percent of dairies do not. There are almost two million million cows in California that live on 1800 dairies. Few (nearly none aside from a few organic dairies) of these dairies use pastures to feed their cows. When cows are fed pasture, their production of methane gas is a minute fraction of what is produced in CAFO systems. Pasture-feeding also allows for the sequestration of carbon and recycling of manure directly back to living plant life.
9. INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY
Pasteurization has killed individual responsibility for milk quality and even how the dairy looks. When no one cares about how the dairy looks because no one ever comes to visit, the dairy can start to look pretty darn horrible. Calves in dirty hutches, cows deep in manure, nothing painted, nothing clean and nothing green. The milk quality will not matter either. It is customary for a dairyman with poor quality milk to add some chlorine bleach to the bulk tank to kill the bacteria and pass the inspector’s test sample. This is something that the “consumer connected” raw milk dairyman would never ever do. Some pasteurized milk producers would never do this either. However, that does not matter. The good milk of the conscientious dairyman is commingled with all the other dairymen’s milk and his individual quality becomes irrelevant.
Pasteurized milk kills jobs and is economically, nutritionally and socially killing America. In Basic Economics the first thing the professor explains is that all new money in our American economy is created at the start of the food chain with mining, fishing and farming. America has outsourced much of its food chain to China and other unwatched places, and with that, all the beginnings of new money to excite, stimulate, locally feed and fund America are gone. Whenever raw milk is produced for human consumption, life springs forth, jobs are created, and there are healthy, happy cows and people. Raw milk brings new immune strength, new life in the economy, and new hope for a better world. Consumers give farmers feedback about flavor and animal treatment. Pastures are green and farmers are well paid and loved. Well-paid farmers hire workers, invest in infrastructure and spend money locally.
11. LUNG HEALTH
Pasteurized milk causes asthma, and as a result doctors prescribe a diet without pasteurized dairy products. Milk triggers asthma by destabilizing MAST cells, which release histamines that cause inflammation, mucus production and bronchial spasm. Pasteurized milk is a partial food product that is missing digestive enzymes and nearly all of its beneficial bacteria. Pasteurized milk (with rare exceptions) comes from cows fed a ration based on corn and soy rather than pasture and forage. Pasteurization warps and distorts fragile proteins, making them allergenic. Raw milk is the opposite and heals and prevents asthma by stabilizing MAST cells and reducing inflammation as shown by dramatic lowering of C-reactive protein levels. Raw milk rebuilds immunity by allowing the safe consumption of biodiversity in our diets. These bacteria then re-colonize the gut and become our immune protective and digestive ecosystem armies.
12. BONE DENSITY
Pasteurized milk kills bone density. It has long been known by doctors that low-fat pasteurized milk is a real problem when considering bone density and osteoporosis. The test for pasteurization is called the negative alpha phosphatase test. When milk has been heated to 165 degrees (higher for UHT milk) and pasteurization is complete, the enzyme phosphatase is 100 percent destroyed. Guess what? This is the enzyme that is critical for the absorption of minerals including calcium! Phosphatase is the third most abundant enzyme in raw milk and those who drink raw milk enjoy increased bone density. Several studies have documented greater bone density and longer bones in animals and humans consuming raw milk compared to pasteurized.
13. SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
Pasteurization has killed scientific integrity in America. The FDA and the dairy industry have begun to lose all credibility for integrity in science and for telling the truth to Americans as a direct result of their protection of industrialization and its market sectors. Now it is a matter of fact that the FDA refuses to be quoted and interviewed in raw milk and food documentaries that expose the lies and deception. The FDA refuses to acknowledge their own NIH websites that make reference to the missing beneficial bacteria in our diets that historically have come from kefirs and “ancient” milk. Ancient milk is politically correct FDA lingo for raw milk prior to pasteurization. Instead, the FDA makes war on all bacteria through their sterilized, anti-life, pro-drug concept of health. Universities will not study raw milk because of the pasteurization-protective grant systems installed by corporate America and Monsanto.
14. COWS ON GREEN PASTURES
Pasteurization kills cows on green pastures. Seventy-five years ago there were friendly cows on green pastures all over America. Pasteurization has effectively paved the pastures and now forces the cows to be fed soy protein concentrates and forty pounds of grain per day, along with antibiotics and hormones. These CAFO dairy feeds increase milk production to numbers never seen before in the history of earth. It is not uncommon for some CAFO dairy cows to produce twenty gallons of milk per day and be crowded into pens deep in manure with thousands of other cows. The stress of being milked up to four times per day and lying on artificial rubber beds shortens their lives to just forty months. A cow on pasture will produce much less milk (four to five gallons per day) and easily live ten years or more in true happiness and health. Raw milk from pasture-raised cows is rich in beneficial fatty acids, beneficial bacteria, rare and essential enzymes, and CLA—something that CAFO cows can not brag about. None of the CAFO raw milk can be used for human raw milk consumption. It contains the wrong kinds of bacteria and must be pasteurized. Pastures, natural feed and sunlight are critical to the safety of raw milk. There is no fooling or tricking mother nature. Raw milk producers make a pact with nature, rather than wage war against her.
15. PEOPLE OF COLOR
Pasteurization is racist. The dairy industry time and time again claims that if you are black or if you are Asian you have a deficiency. You have something wrong with you. The fact of the matter is that the Masai in Africa and the Chinese outer Mongolians have drunk raw milk for thousands of years without lactose intolerance. There are virtually no human babies on earth that can’t digest their own mothers’ breast milk. That breast milk is raw milk. The same goes for nearly all grown or growing humans. The vast majority of people can drink raw milk if given a chance because the enzymes and lactase-producing bacteria that re-colonize the gut are found in raw milk. Raw milk is food for all people. It is color blind, unlike pasteurized milk produced by corporations seeking answers to the deficiencies found in their processed, dead partial milk. What people really are is “pasteurization intolerant.” Fortunately, pasteurized milk has not killed the will of a small group of pioneering farmers and consumers to fight and expose the truth. This brings great news. Raw milk for humans is the solution and has exactly the opposite effect on farmers, the cows, the earth, the consumer—it is life-giving. Raw milk is now rapidly emerging as a farmer-to-consumer connected market. Things had to get really shockingly bad for the people and the farmers to see what really bad was. Now new life comes forth and there is new hope and health. This movement is local and it is grass roots. Victory will not be easy—the FDA and the mega dairies will fight to protect what they took from us, the earth and the cows, for the last one hundred years.
Keep your cameras ready and blog the truth about your raw milk experiences. There is nothing like a little truth therapy to bring some light into the darkness of the last hundred years of lies and false promises. Good riddance to dead milk and the FDA’s hundred-year war against all bacteria. We must stop thinking that killing everything will make us well. Our immune systems and our economy both depend on biodiversity and the wholeness of our foods, and so does our social conscience and every other good thing on God’s green earth.
Mark McAfee is internationally recognized as an expert in raw milk safety and production. In 2011, Mark founded the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI). This start-up non-profit is dedicated to the establishment of standards for raw milk and the education of farmers and consumers from all over the world. He has been an expert witness in raw milk legislative and judicial proceedings across America.
Mark pioneered the first “dietary supplements” made from fresh raw colostrum, and secured their retail certification from the FDA and DHS. Along with internationally respected doctors and researchers, Mark co-developed RAMP, the first ever food safety “Risk Analysis Management Program” program for raw milk. Mark is the CEO and founder of Organic Pastures Dairy Company near Fresno, CA, where the company produces and serves 50,000 consumers from 400 retail stores with state-inspected, retail approved and tested raw dairy products.
Mark has pioneered a new theory of pasteurization intolerance that lays outside the clinical definition of true lactose intolerance and has gathered the data to support this concept which will now be proven in future university studies. Mark taught paramedic medicine at the Fresno County Health Department EMS division and was a preceptor and medical quality assurance evaluator for field paramedics. Mark was born and raised on the family farms near Fresno with his four brothers.