Lucky for me OG has outgrown her dairy sensitivity (yay!), which means she and I can both eat dairy again (hello seriously sharp cheddar!).
But since last year when we quit dairy we have adopted a real food diet so I’ve had to do some research to figure out how to reintegrate dairy into our diets while keeping our food as whole and real as possible. I’ve always known that raw milk was better than pasteurized milk but I didn’t realize how much better.
Raw milk (from a trusted farm with happy, healthy, pasture raised cows, as that’s the only raw milk I would advise consuming) has many benefits:
- Pasteurization kills vitamins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria and changes the milk protein.
- Raw milk drinkers have better bone and tooth health. Pasteurization makes the calcium in milk very difficult to absorb.
- Raw milk also stimulates the immune system, builds healthy gut wall and prevents absorption of pathogens and toxins in the gut. Pasteurized milk has been linked to a number of diseases and allergies including asthma while consumption of raw milk is associated with reduced allergies. There is also a lot of anecdotal evidence that raw milk consumption clears up conditions such as eczema and asthma among others.
- Raw milk is often tolerated by people who have otherwise not been able to digest milk.
It’s better for farmers and the local economy
- Industrial farming has created ways to reduce milk production costs (by feeding cows grain they can keep many more cows in a small space) that local farmers can’t compete with. When local farmers are allowed to sell raw milk to consumers they can charge a price that they can make a living from. Consumers will pay that higher price because the milk is far superior to supermarket milk.
- For every $73 out of every $100 you spend locally stays in the local economy while only $43 stays in the local economy when that same $100 is spent at a non-local business.
It’s better for the cows and the environment
- Pasture raised cows can help reverse some of the environmental impacts of commercial farming. By raising cattle in pasture instead of in feedlots they can contribute to a natural ecosystem that keeps soil healthy, cows healthy, and reduces the need for growing GMO corn and soy (because the cows don’t need to eat it since then can graze). Read more about this here.
- Feedlot cows eat grain, which makes them sick so they are given antibiotics and hormones just to survive. As any breastfeeding mother knows, anything that goes into the mother’s body can enter the milk. Do you want to drink antibiotics and growth hormones?
Raw is safer
- Raw milk has a built in protective system. Just like human milk, cows milk has a variety of bioactive components that destroy pathogens. Pasteurization kills those components. Milk can become contaminated at any point in the pacaging process so
- Deli meat is 500 times more likely and pasteurized milk is at least 10 times more likely to cause food-bourne illness than raw milk.
- Calves fed pasteurized milk don’t do well and sometimes die before maturity. What does that say about the health of pasteurized milk?
sources: realmilk.com, thecompletepatient.com
Do you drink raw milk? What benefits have you seen?
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