By 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
do you know where I can get raw milk in san diego area?
California has a lot of options including in retail stores. See the California page of our Real Milk Finder here: https://www.realmilk.com/real-milk-finder/california/#ca
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.