Many people are discovering the benefits of eating raw foods — closest to their natural state. Raw milk, in its whole form, is no exception. Besides being tasty, raw milk has many health benefits.
On the other hand, conventional, pasteurized and homogenized milk is processed and denatured such that what was originally alive in the milk becomes dead. Many people report allergic reactions and lactose intolerance to this form of milk. Factory farmed milk, largely coming from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), runs the risk of carrying disease from ill, neglected, and abused animals. The way these CAFOs try to protect their consumers from pathogens in the milk is by pasteurizing it – a process of heating milk to temperatures as high as 161 °F for 15–20 seconds or through ultra-heat treated (UHT) processing of 275 °F for a minimum of one second, or a less conventional alternative of 145 °F for 30 minutes.
Another issue that consumers of conventional milk should be aware of is that many CAFOs inject their cows with recombinant bovine-growth hormone (rBGH) or recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST). These genetically engineered growth hormones enable cows to produce up to sixty per cent more milk than they normally would. This artificial hormone injection may increase dairy production and profits but it can lead to mastitis, an infection of the cow udders, which, too often, prompts the farmer to administer antibiotics to the cow or feed them antibiotic-laced animal feed. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to dangerous antibiotic resistance. Cows given the growth hormones have much shorter life spans due to stress put upon their bodies. Some rBST is known to increase the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in cows, which can lead to increased IGF-1 in milk. This increased level of IGF-1 has been linked to increased risk of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancer and some speculate that this hormone is causing early puberty in girls.
Cows are meant to eat from green pastures. Unfortunately, conventional farmers are now routinely feeding cows corn and soy that is inappropriate for their bodies, again making the cows susceptible to illness. The majority of corn and soy in America is genetically engineered with documented health risks for animals and the people who eat them. Jeffrey Smith, author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods has reviewed all of the research indicating that genetically-engineered foods can lead to an array of health risks including allergies and infertility. Because of this concern, California has a new 2012 ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Visit LabelGMOs.org for more information about this initiative.
When conventional milk is pasteurized and homogenized, the anti-microbial enzymes and bioavailable vitamins and minerals including calcium and phosphorous are inhibited. Biodiverse probiotics, lactase-producing bacteria, delicate proteins and enzymes are destroyed. Essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are damaged. None of this is true with raw milk from healthy cows. In addition to proteins, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, raw milk contains many active health-promoting nutrients and immune factors including lymphocytes, macrophages, IgA/IgG antibodies, bifidus factors, and oligosaccharides.
In California, the sale of raw milk is legal and the safety measures are strict to ensure safety for consumers. Healthy cows roam outside in the fresh air and eat greens from fresh pastures. Consequently, they produce healthy milk. Two large businesses that supply Californians with raw milk are Organic Pastures and Claravale Farm. Otherwise, Californians might find some fresh, raw milk from local farmers. There are about 50,000 raw milk consumers in California who choose raw milk over conventional milk.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of raw milk, come to a presentation sponsored by the Temecula chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Organic Pastures founder, Mark McAfee, will conduct a presentation on Thursday, April 19, 2012, 11:30 AM at the Assistance League of Temecula Valley, 28720 Via Montezuma, Temecula, CA 92590. This free presentation will include colorful PowerPoint slides, high energy speaking, and free raw milk samples. If you plan on attending this event or have questions about it, please contact KathyLynch@WellSkills.com.
For more information about The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), a leader in information about raw milk and how to access it, visit http://www.realmilk.com. For information about the Temecula WAPF chapter, visit http://tinyurl.com/7sblsj2. For information about Organic Pastures Dairy, visit http://organicpastures.com.