I never questioned the dairy industry; after all, the government says it is our main source of calcium and makes you grow big and strong, right? I’m going to try really hard not to make this an issue with our government here but when it comes down to brass tacks, we have been mis-informed. Not knowing is half the battle, as they say, and it’s about time, we the people, begin to assert ourselves and what we need nutritionally, especially when it comes to our children.
Low-fat, non-fat, and sugar-free have been the standards for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle for the last decade. This is exactly opposite of how we should be eating, as fat is necessary for cell function and the absorption of vitamins. Not only would we be forfeiting the necessary nutrients for our bodies, but we would be replacing good fats with man-made chemical substitutes for oils and sugar that have been shown to cause severe health problems. Have you googled whether or not your body needs fat? The results are astonishing and all lead to the fact that it is not whether or not you eat fat, it is what types of fat you eat.
How about what fats you drink? Skim and 2% milk have now become the standard for health in the dairy department. While it limits the calories we take in, low-fat milk provides little more than empty calories. Our bodies crave nutrition! Milk is one of the heaviest nutrient laden liquids on the planet and is easily comparable to the benefits of babies drinking breast milk. It’s colloidal composition has a suspension of fat bonded with vitamins and proteins, multitudes of bacteria, carbohydrates, and water. Take out the fat and kill off the bacteria and milk becomes unrecognizable from its original state. The vitamins become less available (many vitamins need fat to become soluble) and the byproducts of high-heat processing are toxic (this is also evident in other pasteurized products like almond milk with high levels of acrylamide).
Yes, raw milk has made many people sick. Comparatively speaking, so has cross-contamination in millions of kitchens. It is not the product itself that makes a person sick, it is the process by which it is created or collected. Also, “Big Ag”, a term commonly used for the giant food manufacturing industry backed by our government, feeds their cows a high grain diet. Many farms follow their practices, feeding their cows corn, soy, and wheat. This increases the risk for e-coli exponentially. Scientific findings have consistently backed the position that grass-fed cows have a much smaller percentage of having e-coli. Grain feeding cows also changes the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, promoting inflammation in the body.
Quality farms, with quality sanitary standards, and who grass feed their cows are perfect to purchase raw milk from. The health benefits far outweigh the minuscule risk. Dr. Josh Axe also supports the benefits of raw milk on his own site, http://draxe.com/pasteurization-homogenization-raw-milk/. The good bacteria in raw milk is shown to keep the pathogens in check, and render them harmless. This is exactly how our gut system functions. Our microbiome is home not only to probiotics, but yeasts, viruses, pathogens, and parasites. When it gets imbalanced, the immune system is compromised and sickness follows suit. Raw milk’s composition is perfect by nature and easily digested, supporting immune function.
What most people don’t know is that there is another, more detrimental, difference in processed milk. Big Ag has chosen to use a specific type of cow, the Holstein, which produces more milk than other breeds. More bang for their buck. Unfortunately for us, the Holstein cow has a different strain of protein in their milk called A1 beta-casein. Jersey and Guernsey cows mainly have A2 beta-casein, though only testing can rule out interbreeding with A1 strain cows. A1 beta-casein causes a separation in a 7 amino acid segment (known as beta-casomorphin 7 or BCM-7). BCM-7 causes histamine reactions, such as runny nose or sneezing after ingesting, mucous thickening, and has been linked to diabetes, inflammatory disorders, and autism. No wonder all of the studies on the health effects of drinking milk have been defamatory! No wonder so many children are getting allergies to milk! All of these diets that defame dairy products have not separated the ill effects of A-1 strain milk from A-2 strain milk.
Many tout the supernatural healing powers of raw milk, which would be an interesting google search in itself. What I can say, is that my son was severely allergic to milk. He was tested at an allergist and had a positive endoscopy for eosinophilic esophagitis. He also had athsma. Today, he is allergy free, drinking as much milk, and eating as much cheese, as he pleases.
The dairy debate is endless and the CDC provides a very strong position against raw milk. The CDC, however, does not have the necessary research to evaluate the benefits of it’s enzymes and probiotics, as plainly stated on their site. New studies have come out that have proven that we are, in fact, more bacterial than we are cellular. We need good bacteria to be healthy. So when we ultra-pasteurize our milk, not only are we killing off the good bacteria and enzymes that help us digest it, but we are providing food for the bad bacteria, furthering inflammation and disease!
In my own state, it is illegal to sell raw milk, so I would settle for second best; vat-pasteurized, local, organic, unhomogenized milk from A-2 strain Jersey cows. It is delicious, supportive of the local farmers, and a win-win for any family who still finds raw milk a little risky. Now the trouble is how to find it! It is so specific that it is nearly impossible to find good milk amidst the monopoly of Big Ag. I encourage you to take heart and ask people who live in rural areas, ask people at the farmers markets, google and craigslist local food in your county. You won’t be the only one searching for what really is best for your body.