Raw milk, or traditional milk as it is sometimes called, is milk in it's natural state, just as it comes from the cow. It hasn't been heated or pasteurized. Pasteurization was developed to extend the shelf life and stop certain
Pasteurization was started in American cities in the early 1900's to allow the safe use of poor quality milk.
Even when milk is collected in the most sanitary conditions, normal milk will contain some bacteria. Bacteria is not necessarily bad. We all have large amounts of bacteria living in our gut. The good bacteria in our gut helps us successfully digest our food, improves our immune system and keeps us energized. It also helps to keep that bad bacteria in check.
People have been drinking raw milk for thousands of years. Probiotics and good bacteria have always been found in this traditional milk.
By creating yogurt or kefir, the good bacteria is increased even more. When we drink it, the good bacteria takes up residence in our gut.
The beneficial bacteria:
By pasteurizing and sterilizing milk, we do away with the good bacteria that help support our immune system.
If cows are healthy, grass fed cows, the milk will be healthy. The vitamins, natural fats, enzymes and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) will all be intact. The milk does not need to be pasteurized or homogenized.
Grass fed cows produce healthy milk with:
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a substance that occurs in butterfat. CLA is a good omega 6 fat that acts as an antioxidant and prevents heart disease, fights cancer, and builds lean muscle. CLA is believed to support weight loss
by decreasing the amount of fat stored after eating. It has also been shown to inhibit breast cancer cells in vitro.
CLA is found in the highest amounts in grass fed cows.
Industrial milk comes from cows raised indoors in factory farms. They are fed a diet of corn, grain and soybeans (much of which is genetically modified feed.) In addition, they are often fed hormones to increase their milk production.
There are many stories about how raw milk has helped chronic diseases such as arthritis, Crohn's disease, asthma, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic ear infections.
Milk is nutritionally complete and rich in protein, fat, calcium and B vitamins. It also contains potassium, vitamins C, B, including B12. It also has vitamins A and D, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
In one form or another, raw dairy products have been a staple for thousands of years. Before refrigeration, traditional milk was made into yogurt, kefir or cheese to keep it from spoiling.
The modern, factory farmed milk is not the milk from 100 years ago. Traditional milk comes from grass fed cows, without additional hormones.
One reason that raw dairy is easier to digest is because of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down milk sugar. Many people do not have this enzyme, and so have difficulty with consuming traditional dairy products. Raw dairy has this
Organic Pastures Dairy has provided a full line of raw organic dairy products for sale throughout California for more than 4 years. The state of California tests all of their raw dairy products multiple times per month.
According to raw dairy expert, Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Dairy has never found one pathogen (such as salmonelli, E. coli or listeria) in any of their products.
Even the manure was tested by Dr. Caterina Berge, DVM and PhD candidate at UC Davis. Once again, no human pathogens were found. Dr. Berge was able to show that when antibiotics are not used on the cows and when the cows are
grass-fed and healthy, they do not end up with pathogens in their manure.
Compare this to a conventional milk tank, that, when tested, has pathogens 30% of the time!
Even more amazing, when 10 million pathogens were added to one-milliliter samples of organic raw milk, the pathogens would not grown! Instead, the pathogens died. BSK labs in Fresno concluded that "organic raw milk and colostrum do not appear to support the growth of pathogens."
What causes the raw dairy product to kill pathogens? Recently, the FDA approved;lactoferrin as an approved method of treatment for pathogen reduction in beef slaughter plants. Raw dairy naturally contains lactoferrin. But pasteurization inactivates Lactoferrin and other enzymes that kill pathogens.
Each state in the U.S. has different laws regarding if and how you can purchase raw dairy products. For example, in some states it is only legal to purchase it from a farm. In other states you can purchase it in stores. In still other states it is illegal to purchase it at all.
For more information on whether your state allows the purchase of raw milk, see http://www.realmilk.com/state-updates/