9.09.2008

Raw milk is making a comeback!

We have taken yet another step toward our desired future self-sustaining homestead. We recently found a co-op here that hauls in raw milk. If you have never tasted raw milk, meaning milk that is taken out of the cow, immediately cooled and bottled, then shipped to the consumer, you are missing out!! Because it is unpasteurized and unhomogenized, I was a little nervous looking at my first glass, wondering about what bugs it could potentially contain and infect us with, and even what it might taste like. I mean, this is like milking a cow into a bucket and then drinking it! Nonetheless, all my research on the benefits of raw milk pushed my concerns to the side and I took my first swallow. Can you say DELICIOUS?!!! It is by far the BEST milk I have ever tasted! It was sweet, smooth, creamy, and nothing like "normal" store-bought milk. Literally, after drinking raw milk, store-bought stuff tastes like a thick water, but with an after-taste. Even the kids love it. They keep asking for "the new milk, not the old milk." I only ordered 2 gallons, but man, how I wish I had ordered more. The next delivery is several weeks away, meaning I have to go back to the pasteurized stuff we have been getting. In case you haven't heard (which is highly possible since the FDA, USDA, and large commercial milk factories don't exactly advertise this in the name of $$$$), there are countless benefits to raw milk:

--Milk has been considered a human food since creation. Remember the Bible's description of "the land of Milk and honey?"
--When treated properly, raw milk (like raw honey) does not have to be refrigerated, but can last for years in some form or another. Even today, just think of the value of "aged" cheeses (pricey ones can be 10 years old or more)
--Raw milk from organic green-pastured cows is the best immunity support around! It is full of good bacteria that help prevent or eliminate countless immunity and digestive problems such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, allergies, asthma, and standard cold and illness prevention. Even lactose intolerance can potentially be eliminated with raw milk. There are a lot of technical and biological explanations behind this, but it is easy to find with even a little investigation.
--Apparently, the pasteurization process in itself (the process by which milk is heated to kill off all bacteria in commercial dairy products) is responsible for actually making the milk "toxic" in a way. When it kills the bacteria, the bacterium cell bursts open, releasing it's contents, which our body cannot recognize. Not only can we not use the contents efficiently, but they can actually make us sick. In addition, typical commercial dairies fill their cows with antibiotics (to kill off bacteria), but the antibiotics come through the milk. As a result, we wind up drinking these antibiotics, killing off some of our own good gut bacteria, in turn causing digestive problems.
--A good pasture-fed organic raw milk dairy will likely have just a handful to several hundred cows, spread out over many acres of pasture, resulting in a much happier, healthier cow. To the contrary, most commercial dairies will have several thousand cows confined in a dirt pen of just a couple of acres. This is a set up that is a haven for illness and pathogens to spread.
--Interestingly, because of the health of the cows themselves, good pasture-fed, raw-milk dairies often test negative for any kind of pathogen (bad "bugs") while commercial dairies are often forced to pasteurize due to the countless numbers of pathogens found in the milk.

I could go on and on, but we are sold! I would encourage you to do your research on what you are drinking. I think, like we have, you will be amazed and shocked at the same time! I will warn you, though that there is a bit of a problem if you decide to go to raw milk. Most states have made it illegal to sell raw milk intended for human consumption. Even if it is illegal in your state, however, there are still legal ways to get good raw milk. I would be happy to help you out, just ask!

3 comments:

Real-life Family said...

That is so fascinating! I didn't realize there was all that much difference between milk from a carton and milk straight from the cow! But it makes sense...I imagine many of the benefits of human breastmilk would also be lost in "processing" as well, if that were done. Is there a much shorter "shelf-life" for raw milk (or do you freeze it)? I think I will speak to my husband about this - I would really like to try it sometime, or at least look into it. It may not be up his alley, though. ;) Your blog is so fascinating!

redgatefarm said...

There is a shorter shelf-life in terms of what the general public considers to be drinkable milk (around 10-14 days). Unlike pasteurized milk, however, as raw milk "sours" it just turns into a sweeter smelling, good-bacteria laiden buttermilk or even yogurt basis. Drinking soured raw milk will not hurt you (though you may not care for the taste) UNLIKE soured pasteurized milk, which will actually make you very sick!

Mrs. U said...

Hi there!
I am SO loving your blog!! And BOY do I wish we could get raw milk in Georgia!!!

His,
Mrs. U