The Raw Milk Debate...and how to select a farm

Many of you have heard me mention raw milk on several occasions. So, I thought it would be helpful to you all to share why our family chooses to drink raw milk, and how you can find and determine a good raw milk supply for your own family.

Why Raw Milk?

Milk is a food that is alive. There is considerable science literature that shows that Raw milk is superior in nutrition to its pasteurized counterpart. Raw milk contains higher levels of natural vitamin C, and has been know to reduce allergies, asthma, eczema, and digestive issues. Reasons for these reductions have been linked to the high number of digestive adding enzymes and bacteria that actually allow for the assimilation of other vitamins and nutrients in the diet. In general most Americans eat diets that are low in digestive enzymes and healthful bacteria, given our obsession with pasteurization, irradiation etc. Pasteurization kills not only the “bad” bacteria but also the good. Leaving your milk filled with dead pathogens. Your body doesn't know what to do with “dead” it starts to fight them, than realizes it doesn't..and than gives up. This typically results in mucus production and immune system tiring.

Pretty much, in any study comparing the two, Raw milk is always shown as a superior food!

That is why we drink it, but there is much that needs to go into questioning and decisions prior to bringing this product into your home.

With the modernization of the food supply and the “factory farm” diaries, finding raw milk can be challenging. You DON'T buy raw milk from a “factory dairy.” These cows are fed a diet specifically for the increased production of milk. There diets aren't based on having low bacteria counts simply b/c they know their milk will be pasteurized. They are fed mostly corn, which I know I was surprised to find out cows digestive tracks actually aren't designed to eat corn at all. They aren't omnivores. They are grass-a-vores. Cows have essentially two stomaches. One to digest the grass the first time they eat it, and the second for the “cud” after it has been chewed. Yummy thought huh? When a cow is fed corn, it by-passes the second stomach and heads right for the digestive track...essentially recking havoc on the cows intestines. This typically is why dairy farms smell so bad, all the cows have the runs from an in-proper diet. Their e.coli counts in their milk also shot way up from the corn actually causing a condition know as leaky gut.

Conditions for selecting a raw milk farm:

-cows shouldn't be fed corn. (even most the certified raw dairies are corn fed to some degree, and I know of 2 within the past year that were shut down for E. Coli counts being too high)

-cows should be pastured

-there bowl movements shouldn't be liquid, they should be solids

-Milking equipment should be sanitized after each milking, and milk from separate milkings never combined due to fluctuations in temperatures leading to bacteria growth.

-Farm should be small, no more than 50 cows, but preferably 5 or less. To ensure adequate knowledge and awareness of each cow, there are always exceptions to the size of farms with cows. One of the best dairies in the whole state has more than 50 cows...

-sick cows are never milked or given antibiotics.

-Cows have been tested for TB, and come back negative

-farmer drinks their own milk.

-bacteria counts are checked and monitored.

-ideally they have a raw milk permit...but it is okay if they don't and they meet all the above.

So, that is it in a nut shell. If you are looking for raw milk farms in Rochester please join the Rochester farm connection list serve via Yahoo. If you need one in Buffalo, you may email me directly for help in finding one. If you aren't near Rochester or buffalo...ask around at your local health food store, you might be surprised at the information you find. Just please remember to ask the above questions. Raw milk is great if the cows are healthy and happy, but it can be dangerous if the cows diets are poor or the milking standards aren't up to “raw” standards.

Please visit the Real Milk website for tons more information about all the benefits to raw milk and the legislation surrounding it.

For more information about Raw Milk, health of Cows and the milk you drink, and how pasteurization/homogenization came to be please view the view below

An Awesome read for more information:

The Untold Story of Milk Politics and the Science of Nature's Perfect food

Happy milk hunting.