Remember back in the old days when you would have the unfortunate experience of opening a sour gallon of milk and your nose would be hit with an intense nasty smell that nearly knocked you over? So why does it seem like those days are a distant memory? It is because most Americans today consume modern milk, which has been highly pasteurized instead of the raw milk we grew up drinking.
Raw vs. Pasteurized
Modern ultra-pasteurized milk has been heated to temperatures as high as 275 degrees F. This ultra pasteurization method allows for an extremely long shelf life without even a need for refrigeration. So is this ultra pasteurization process more about extending shelf life or saving lives? If my kids are going to continue to crave milk, this requires a deeper dive into the real health benefits of milk and how the milk of generations past might in fact be a better choice for my family. So here is what I discovered. As mothers, we all must follow our intuition. Mine has led me down this path – so take a quick journey with me and see what your intuition tells you!
I NEVER got sick
First of all, I NEVER got sick from drinking raw milk during my entire childhood and neither did any of my five brothers and sisters. This fact alone is probably not evidence enough in favor of raw milk but it was for sure a good starting point.
Won’t raw milk make us sick?
Well, as it turns out, the research indicates that raw milk is very safe to drink when it is properly collected from cows fed organic grass (and a minimum of grain). Heavy grain diets change the composition of the milk and hinder its ability to protect itself. Grass-fed milk has natural antibiotic properties that help protect it, and those lucky enough to drink it, from pathogenic bacteria. If you’ve been using pasteurized dairy products, you might want to eat small amounts of yogurt or kefir for a week or so, to give your digestive tract a pro-biotic boost, before switching to raw milk. Well I must say – I do trust old Mother Nature and the natural order of things.
Why do my kids seem to “crave” milk?
Why is it that they want it all the time? Turns out, milk is an incredibly nourishing food. Just as human breast milk is nourishing, the same essential life giving properties exist in cow’s milk. Protein, raw fats, and essential vitamins & minerals like calcium and vitamin D, all of which are vital to the needs of our children’s growing bones, muscles and brains. When milk is heated, the enzymes that aid in the absorption of these vitamins & minerals are killed. Another feather in the cap of raw milk!
What about all the fat and cholesterol found in milk?
The vitamins and minerals found in milk are fat-soluble, which means these vitamins and minerals can ONLY be absorbed into our system with the presence of fat. So, the fully leaded variety is actually preferable. Well, this goes against what we have all been told for the past 50 years! Fat is good? YES! Our bodies need fat to grow our children’s brains and to help them absorb the needed calcium. Cholesterol is also vital for proper hormone functioning and we would die without it in our bodies. When we consume too much cholesterol most of us will eliminate the cholesterol through our bowels. Some of us however do not possess the intrinsic factors needed to eliminate cholesterol from our systems and must carefully watch their cholesterol intake. It is in my humble opinion that the real reason our society suffers from high cholesterol and obesity if not from milk fat but from overly processed foods and fried vegetable and animal fats. The fats in raw milk have not been heated so they are much healthier. For more information on this subject I suggest the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill by Dr. Udo Erasmus.
Trust Your Intuition
So there you go. It’s going to be your own journey and discovery process that will ultimately determine what you choose for your own family. My husband and I now have a bi-weekly ritual of traveling to our local farm to buy raw milk. I feel so much better about the nourishment my kids receive from the raw milk we buy and I am even enjoying milk again in my morning chi tea. We must all follow our intuition. This is just one of our genetically superior genes that we possess over men. Trust in it – intuition can help you to unleash greater health and happiness in your lives and the lives of your children!