More About Raw Milk

Health-MoreAboutRawMilk-600x626By Sally Fallon Morell and Mary G. Enig, PhD
Excerpt from Nourishing Traditions, 1999

We have been taught that pasteurization is a good thing, a method of protecting ourselves against infectious diseases, but closer examination reveals that its merits have been highly exaggerated. The modern milking machine and stainless steel tank, along with efficient packaging and distribution, make pasteurization totally unnecessary for the purposes of sanitation. And pasteurization is no guarantee of cleanliness. All outbreaks of salmonella from contaminated milk in recent decades — and there have been many — have occurred in pasteurized milk. This includes a 1985 outbreak in Illinois that struck 14,316 people causing at least one death. The salmonella strain in that batch of pasteurized milk was found to be genetically resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline. Raw milk contains lactic-acid-producing bacteria that protect against pathogens. Pasteurization destroys these helpful organisms, leaving the finished product devoid of any protective mechanism should undesirable bacteria inadvertently contaminate the supply. Raw milk in time turns pleasantly sour while pasteurized milk, lacking beneficial bacteria, will putrefy.

But that’s not all that pasteurization does to milk. Heat alters milk’s amino acids lysine and tyrosine, making the whole complex of proteins less available; it promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids and destruction of vitamins. Vitamin C loss in pasteurization usually exceeds 50%; loss of other water-soluble vitamins can run as high as 80%; the Wulzen or anti-stiffness factor is totally destroyed. Pasteurization alters milk’s mineral components such as calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulphur as well as many trace minerals, making them less available. There is some evidence that pasteurization alters lactose, making it more readily absorbable. This, and the fact that pasteurized milk puts an unnecessary strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes, may explain why milk consumption in civilized societies has been linked with diabetes.

Last but not least, pasteurization destroys all the enzymes in milk— in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes. These enzymes help the body assimilate all bodybuilding factors, including calcium. That is why those who drink pasteurized milk may suffer, nevertheless, from osteoporosis. Lipase in raw milk helps the body digest and utilize butterfat. After pasteurization, chemicals may be added to suppress odor and restore taste. Synthetic vitamin D2 or D3 is added — the former is toxic and has been linked to heart disease while the latter is difficult to absorb. The final indignity is homogenization which has also been linked to heart disease.

Powdered skim milk is added to the most popular varieties of commercial milk— one-percent and two-percent milk. Commercial dehydration methods oxidize cholesterol in powdered milk, rendering it harmful to the arteries. High temperature drying also creates large quantities of nitrate compounds, which are potent carcinogens.

Modern pasteurized milk, devoid of its enzyme content, puts an enormous strain on the body’s digestive mechanism. In the elderly, and those with milk intolerance or inherited weaknesses of digestion, this milk passes through not fully digested and can clog the tiny villi of the small intestine, preventing the absorption of vital nutrients and promoting the uptake of toxic substances. The result is allergies, chronic fatigue and a host of degenerative diseases.

All the healthy milk-drinking populations studied by Dr. Price subsisted on raw milk, raw cultured milk or raw cheese from normal animals eating fresh grass or fodder. It is very difficult to find this kind of milk in America. In California and Georgia, raw milk was formerly available in health food stores. Intense harassment by state sanitation authorities has all but driven raw milk from the market in these states, in spite of the fact that it is technically legal. Even when available, this milk suffers from the same drawbacks as most supermarket milk — it comes from freak-pituitary cows, often raised in crowded barns on inappropriate feed. In some states you can buy raw milk at the farm. If you can find a farmer who will sell you raw milk from old fashioned Jersey or Guernsey cows, allowed to feed on fresh pasturage, then by all means avail yourself of this source. Some stores now carry pasteurized, but not homogenized, milk from cows raised on natural feed. Such milk may be used to make cultured milk products such as kefir, yoghurt, cultured buttermilk and cultured cream. Traditionally cultured buttermilk, which is low in casein but high in lactic acid, is often well tolerated by those with milk allergies, and gives excellent results when used to soak whole grain flours for baking. If you cannot find good quality raw milk, you should limit your consumption of milk products to cultured milk, cultured buttermilk, whole milk yoghurt, butter, cream and raw cheeses. Raw cheese ia available in all states. Much imported cheese is raw — look for the words “milk” or “fresh milk” on the label — and of very high quality.

Reprinted from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, available from NewTrends Publishing (877) 707-1776

Sally Fallon Morell

Sally Fallon Morell is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), a well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods with a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. She joined forces with Enig again to write Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and has authored numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. The President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, Sally is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. Her four healthy children were raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

Mary G. Enig, PhD

Mary G. Enig, PhD was an international expert in lipid biochemistry. She headed a number of studies on the content and effects of trans fatty acids in America and Israel, and successfully challenged government assertions that dietary animal fat causes cancer and heart disease. Recent scientific and media attention on the possible adverse health effects of trans fatty acids brought increased attention to her work.

She was a licensed nutritionist, certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists, a qualified expert witness and nutrition consultant, contributing editor to a number of scientific publications, fellow of the American College of Nutrition and president of the Maryland Nutritionists Association. She was the author of over 60 technical papers and presentations. She served as vice-president and board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) and scientific editor of Wise Traditions, the Foundation’s quarterly journal. She is the author of Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol and Eat Fat Lose Fat (with Sally Fallon Morell) and co-author of the bestselling cookbook Nourishing Traditions. Her three healthy children were brought up on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

8 thoughts on “More About Raw Milk

  1. I was wondering how long does raw milk stay fresh in the fridge? Would raw milk shock somebodys system if never drank it before?

    • Regarding how long raw milk stays fresh: The short answer is (in my experience) on average, about a week.

      Longer answer: How long it stays fresh depends on a number of things, including how fresh it was when you got it, how cold it stayed during transport from farm to your home, how cold your fridge is, and whether you’ve opened the container. And it depends what you mean by “fresh.” It will be safe to drink longer than a week–a very long time in fact. However, as it ages, the naturally occurring friendly bacteria will be eating the milk sugar (lactose), causing the milk to slowly “sour.” It’s not “spoiled” the way pasteurized milk becomes spoiled, but it becomes less pleasant to drink as fresh milk. Some people don’t mind it being slightly less sweet, but then everyone eventually will find a point where it’s not pleasant for them to drink.

      Soured milk can still be used in cooking, see our article Maximizing the Use of Your Real Milk and Cream for tips and recipes. You can also pour sour milk on your garden to nourish the soil so at least it isn’t going down the drain, if you don’t finish it in time and don’t want to cook with it.

      For my two-person household, where I drink most of the milk, I get two half-gallons per week. I get the half-gallons vs. getting a slightly cheaper gallon because I have found that keeping it air tight helps slow it down–if I open a gallon, as I drink it, more and more surface area is exposed to air and before I’m finished it’s getting too sour for my taste. So I start one half-gallon, keeping the other half-gallon sealed until I’m ready to start that one.

      Regarding “shocking the system”: This depends. Some people who have been eating highly processed foods and have compromised digestive systems with “bad” bacteria in abundance, may have a reaction to raw milk and other foods with “good” bacteria (yogurt, lactofermented sauerkraut and pickles, kombucha and kvass, etc.). What happens is the good bacteria from the food start competing with the bad bacteria, causing them to die off. “Die-off” reactions can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, especially if they are sudden. Diarrhea is one possibility. And people sometimes interpret the die-off as “oh, that food is bad for me” when actually it’s helpful, but they’re getting too much of a good thing too suddenly. If you are concerned, you could start slow, just a small glass or even a few sips the first day, with a little more each day. If you’re getting uncomfortable symptoms, back off, have less, then build up more gradually. Hope this helps.

      • We travel a lot (to make a living) and bring 4 gallons of raw milk with us. We keep the cooler half full of water and then add ice to the neck of our 1/2 gallon ball jars. It will last up to 4 weeks for us when we keep it like this, at 32 degrees. Our refrigerator at home is kept at 39 degrees and it will keep 10-14 days at that temperature.

  2. Man is 40 million years old, but just in the last 10 year’s, autism is going up, pancreatic cancer is rising, and now this, it is global. And now EMF are toxins. The villi are getting clogged by pastuerized dairy and no body is paying attention, because they can’t stop, the instinct of greed. This is not a guess,it is a fact… I see people on t.v how they brag about their blackberrys etc… the world cannot handle the handle the EMF toxins, yet we build more of the technology that is killing us. The stupidity of man never thinks about the down side… monetary gain is first. Dr. Steven Hawking was asked will man make it on earth, he said no, why? Because of ignorance and greed.

  3. I wanted to ask how long does raw milk digest?
    After drinking how long before I can eat?
    My concern food combining and digestion.?


    • Sally Fallon Morell has never been a subscriber to theories about combining foods/restrictions on combining types of foods. She says Price found no evidence of healthy populations worrying about this. If it makes you feel better to avoid certain food combinations, by all means, do that. But I don’t think there are any general rules for this. You could drink raw milk with a meal of anything if you like, pour raw milk on oatmeal, etc. I don’t know how long it takes to digest, but it is supposed to be quite easy to digest because its enzymes are intact and its vitamins and minerals are in bioavailable form, and because it has an excellent balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.

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