There Are Two Raw Milks

Safety-ThereAreTwo-600x626By Jim Roberts

Consumers are willing to pay for the other one. Departments of Health want to ban both.

Let’s review the different conditions affecting raw milk quality.

Diet Base (1)
Grass-based diet promotes alkaline conditions conducive to beneficial organisms
Grain-based diet promotes acid conditions conducive to pathogenic organisms
Living Environment (2)
Mostly on pasture
and natural grains
Mostly confined
Additional Intervention (3)
Rarely used
Bovine growth hormones
and antibiotics
Life Span (4)
12+ years
3.5 years
Nutritional Quality (5)
5 to 6 times more CLA

Higher vitamin content

Vitamin D from the sun

Minimal CLA
Farmer’s family consumes the milk (6)
Consumer Willing to Pay a Premium Price

We need the liberty to be able to purchase the OTHER quality raw milk that has been produced with the goal of direct human consumption. And we agree with the health department experts on one point, we don’t want the raw milk that requires pasteurization.


(1) Diet Base: “Ruminant animals have four stomachs and are evolutionarily adapted to eat pasture, browse and other plants. Today’s dairy cows are nutritionally depleted and stressed by producing huge quantities of milk. To survive they need a lot to eat, so forage is supplemented with grains. When cows are fed grains, the rumen pH lowers, microbes change and the animal’s health (also milk and meat) is adversely affected, and cows eating large amounts of grain can even die.” (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

Though cows are naturally grass-feeding animals, 85-95% of dairy cows are raised in confinement on a diet of grain, particularly corn, because it is far more cost-efficient for agribusiness. Because this grain-based diet is highly abnormal and disruptive, it changes the pH in cows. This then sets up an environment and terrain in the cow for many abnormal physiological conditions that can increase the need for antibiotics. Further, to promote faster growth and more excessive milk production, many of these dairy cows are fed a variety growth hormones. All of this makes for the severely unhealthy dairy products that you’ll find on virtually all grocery store shelves. (

“We have an industrial system of agriculture that puts our dairy cows inside on cement all their lives and gives them foods that cows are not designed to eat–grain, soy, citrus peel cake and bakery waste.” (Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry)

“Commercial grains (soy, corn, and cottonseed) fed to cows can contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticide residues. Mycotoxins from mold in stored grains can pass into the milk and adversely affect the health of the cow. If organic farmers feed grains, they are certified organic, GMO-free and pesticide-free.” (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

(2) Living Environment: “Permanent pastures managed intensively provide cows with a ‘salad’ of 20 to 30 or more different plant species. This biodiversity means that some plants will grow, even if the weather is hot, cold, wet, or dry. Access to hedgerow plants, and brushy/wooded areas add necessary nutritional variety to the cow’s diet.” (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

“In modern ‘confinement dairies’, food is brought to the cows that are confined in a building or outside paddock area. They do not graze in pastures eating fresh grass. (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

Any grain supplementation should be non-GMO (not genetically modified) and pesticide free.

(3) Additional Intervention: “Natural supplements can be used to meet the nutritional needs of the animal, such as kelp, salt, mineral salt and/or licks. Livestock diseases are prevented through adequate nutrition, proper sanitation, reduction of animal stress, access to pasture and holistic health care, parasite control by fecal exams, good pasture management, maintaining clean facilities and culling seriously infected animals. When necessary [for organic cows] use biological control methods such as herbs, diatomaceous earth and rock powders.

“Antibiotics and hormones are routinely given to confinement-fed cows to improve growth rates and counter illness caused by stress, inadequate nutrition, large concentrations of cows and inhumane conditions. This has contributed to the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics as pathogens have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.” (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

(4) Life Span: “In the past, because the cows produced a moderate amount of milk and were allowed to go dry during the winter, they easily maintained excellent health and lived a long (12+ years), productive life.”

Modern dairy farmers who want to produce high-quality milk vs. simply a high volume of milk care for their herds similarly.

“Today, most milk cows have been bred to produce three times as much milk as the old-fashioned cow. The more milk a cow produces, the more dilute is its vitamin content. Genetic selection in cows for increased milk production has caused the need for special feed, supplements, and an increasing number of vaccines and visits by the vet. The average life span of the modern factory cow is 3.5 years and her milk can contain high levels of pituitary growth hormone.” (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

(5) Nutritional Quality: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)– Grass-fed dairy contains five times more CLA than grain-fed! CLA is among the most potent cancer fighters in all foods and offers other health benefits as well. (

Ruminants whose stomachs contain microorganisms, transform indigestible materials like cellulose into nutritious food. Forage is swallowed into the rumen for fermentation. The larger coarse forage is regurgitated, rechewed, and swallowed back into the rumen. Microorganisms in the rumen produce amino acids essential for making proteins, energy nutrients, vitamin K and B-complex vitamins.” (Raising Healthy Dairy Cows edited by Sandra Redemske. Raw Milk Resource Guide, 2003).

Grass-fed dairy is higher in all the vitamins (it’s four times higher in Vitamin E, for instance) in part because fresh pasture provides more of these nutrients than grains. Another reason is because cows on grass naturally produce considerably less milk than those fed grain. These yields of milk from grass-fed cows are part of the reason almost all agribusiness has shifted to grain feeding (greater yield = more money for them), but the dairy from grass-fed cows is a great blessing for you. (

“The fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K), which occur in the fat of grass-fed animals, support endocrine function and protect against inflammation. Stress has also been cited as a cause of heart disease. Vitamin A is needed for the conversion of cholesterol into steroid hormones and, in fact, is rapidly depleted by stress. Vitamin D helps prevent high blood pressure and protects against spasms that can lead to a heart attack. As vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption, it contributes to a healthy nervous system and helps prevent arrhythmias.” (Splendor from the Grass)

“… without the vitamins present in animal fats (vitamins A and D), you cannot assimilate minerals and other vitamins. You can be taking mineral supplements, drinking green juices or eating organic food until it comes out your ears, but you cannot absorb the minerals in your food without vitamins A and D that are exclusively found in the animal fats.” (Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry)

(6) Farmer’s Family Consumes the Milk: The farmers know how their milk was developed. Some Grade A farmers do not allow their families to consume their milk for one reason or another. The raw milk you consider should be one that the farmer’s family also consumes.

18 thoughts on “There Are Two Raw Milks

  1. I love what you are doing here, getting the TRUTH out to the general public. I, too, have been drinking raw milk and LOVE IT! I get intestinal cramps from drinking store bought milk and eating store bought ice cream. I also drink raw cream with my coffee……and nothing can compare with it. My son was also raised with raw milk as a baby – without any illnesses. He drank raw milk ever since he was an infant. He is healthy as can be now! I am definitely willing to pay more for my milk -which I most certainly do – but it is so worth it!!!!!

  2. Interesting discussion about GMO and raw milk. Unfortunately organic feed does cost more. But it is by standard and inspection not GMO. GMO was designed specifically to be sprayed with Roundup and not die. Its called Roundup Ready. This is the real threat from GMO. Roundup has been found to be a carcinogen and a gut biome disrupter. It is a powerful antibiotic.

    Ask your farmer to buy and feed none GMO and none roundup ready alfalfa or feeds.

    See for more data and studies on raw milk safety.

  3. I am a raw milk dairy farmer. Our cows eat mostly green grass 6 months of the year and we buy hay the other 6. When they come in to be milked we feed them a dairy ration that I assume does have GMO ingredients.
    My question is simple and I would like a yes or no answer. Is it likely that there is pesticide residue in milk from cows fed this way?
    I am against GMOs BECAUSE they are drenched in pesticide. It is the pesticide that bothers me. I would love to find a non-GMO option for feeding my cows but it is not readily available in my area.

  4. And both of them can get you sick. Raw milk isn’t safe to drink. Obviously there are many factors that change it’s likeliness to carry bacteria, but you can never truly be safe unless you pasteurize it. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either ignorant or lying.

    • Pasteurization is no guarantee of milk safety; there have been large foodborne illness outbreaks attributed to pasteurized milk over the years. See Reported Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness vs. No Illness for Raw Milk (as well as many other articles on this site that go into much greater detail, see under Key Documents).

      That said, per CDC data, all dairy, raw or pasteurized, is a lower risk for foodborne illness than many other foods such as produce and deli meats.

      Properly produced raw milk is safer to consume than most other foods. But there are no guarantees–there are never any guarantees that a given food–any food (including pasteurized milk)–won’t make you sick. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either ignorant or lying. 😉

    • I guess my family and I must be really sick, as we have been consuming raw milk for 4 years now. Wow..if this is what it feels like to be sick…it’s WONDERFUL! Since switching off processed milk, we have no allergies of any kind, no joint pain or stiffness, no stomach ailments, NOTHING! Kids are 10 and 12 and husband and I are 49 and 44. Kids have beautiful straight teeth and require no braces and have no cavities! We will never stop drinking our 3 gallons per week of raw milk and lots of raw butter.

    • I have been drinking raw milk for years and have never gotten sick from it. The farmer I buy real raw milk from is an organic certified dairy farmer who has a large herd of grass-fed cows. I walk right into the milk house and pour milk into my own 1/2 gallon Mason jars right from the tank, put them in my cooler and take them home. I freeze some of the milk for later use and I drink the milk every day. I make cheese, yogurt, kefir, butter, whipped cream, coffee cream, and ice cream all from raw unpasteurized milk. All those products I just named I make with ingredients of MY choice. I use stevia in my ice cream and yogurt along with fresh fruits and organic chocolate. Go read the labels on those same products that you buy in the store and then tell me which is healthier, homemade raw or the commercial crap.
      Properly handled, which anyone can learn to do, raw milk is safer than the antibiotic laden, hormone laced, vitamin depleted, commercial excuse for “milk” available in supermarkets.
      The skin is the largest organ a human being has. I challenge you to take a good look at the healthy glowing skin of a long-time milk drinker and compare it to the dry dull skin of someone who only drinks commercially prepared “milk”.
      What I think is laughably ignorant is someone who swallows hook, line and sinker, what the government says about our food system in general and about raw milk in particular.

      • I agree wholeheartedly. Our government lies to its people terribly. I also drink raw whole milk and love it! We buy it from an Amish farmer.

    • Our family has been drinking raw cow and goat milk for generations, no illnesses here. The best raw milk, is raw milk that will only be sold as raw milk. Not raw milk from a farmer that will have it pastureized, because this milk is allowed to have a higher bacteria content than raw milk being sold as raw. Raw milk farmers care about their animals and their customer’s health. The last thing they want is a customer getting sick and the FDA investigation their farm.

  5. I was wondering about the milk I purchace from local farmers who use GM feed and dairy pellets. This seems to be what I have available. How do these feeds effect the milk. Perhaps if famers on your real milk page would list if they are using GM grains, soy, corn or if they are using natural or organic feeds.
    Does it effect the milk adversely when local small dairies use GM feed in addition to pasture? Has someone studied this.
    Also again if farmers would list if they are GM free on the real milk page it would help. Thanks

    • We only have the info the farmer gives us and at this point I have not been writing back specifically to ask about GMO. Consumers will have to ask the farmers and then tell me (there are too many listings for me to deal with all the existing ones). If I am ever able to move to the kind of system where I have a farmer fill out an online form, that will be a question I will ask but I have not been able to find the right programmers yet.

  6. Quality raw milk from healthy grass fed cattle that are not loaded up with drugs, stays fresh a week or more in the refrigerator, and even after that when it will finally split into curds and whey it is still delicious
    and even more nutritious. When it starts to ferment, it usually forms a very good smooth yogurt or kefir like thick liquid that is also delicious and nutritious before the curds and whey actually split.

    • If you keep it in the fridge, it’s quite fresh for a couple weeks. After that, it doesn’t even go bad, it sours. Souring is a good thing if you want to make other dairy products with it. You can make all sorts of yummy things like cream cheese or sour cream or buttermilk. On the other hand, pasteurised milk goes bad. You can’t do much with it after it goes. There is a gigantic difference. Don’t forget, raw milk doesn’t go bad. It sours. souring=good.

      • I did and experiment. I freeze some our raw grass fed milk for the dry season. I had extra when the cows come fresh. (We have herdshares and know our framer well. Pure grass fed all the way!) Anyway freeze in 1/2 gallons. Took one marked 11/22/15 out 4/28/16. I thaw all my milk in a bowl with about 2” inches of water and cover the milk jugs with a towel so that light does not destroy any vitamins. When thawed drank a glass and put in fridge. Let set for FOUR full weeks! Opened it once a week to sniff. Still at four weeks just as sweet and fresh as the day we got it off the farm and tasted delicious. Since we are full on with milk I did thaw another 1/2 and made a quick ricotta cheese. Temps of fridge and how often the door is opened will be a factor. Our fridge door is open shut a lot. And yes if does sour it will give the ricotta like cheese a nice gentle tang. To OUR health!

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