As of late, I’ve been interested in the hoopla surrounding raw milk, mostly because of the book I’ve been lost in since my visit to the library– Real Food: What to Eat and Why.
As I was trucking through the grocery store last week, I was considering buying cow’s milk. I’ve been drinking soy milk for a long time now, even though I love cow’s milk, because I felt like it was healthier for me; less fat, etc — the usual “healthy person” reasons. On the contrary, Real Food, speaks highly of raw milk, and the consumption of all raw dairy products.
> Raw milk = unpasteurized <
So, instead of buying milk, soy or cow, I went to do some research. Let me walk you through my process.
Most people drink skim milk or 2% because we don’t want to ingest a lot of fat. Regardless, we know that milk is good because we are taught from a young age about it’s great health benefits. According to the Dairy Council of California’s website:
“A glass of milk contains three of the four nutrients that USDA deems under-consumed by most Americans—calcium, vitamin D and potassium.”
This is where pasteurization comes into play.
When vegetables are cooked they quickly begin to lose their nutritional value. This remains the same in the case of the bone building drink we all love. Pasteurization heats the raw milk, below boiling point, to slow the growth of mico-organisms, and is also the reason for it’s long shelf life.
At first read, this seems like a good idea. We don’t want to get sick, so it seems only smart to do what is necessary to kill dangerous bacteria. Right? — Wrong. The thing is, it’s not necessary.
The US Government, upon deeming raw milk safe in June 2011, stated that consumers of raw milk are:
*35,000 times more likely to get sick from any other food than from raw milk.*
So then where am I going with this…?
Long story short — when milk is pasteurized the essential enzyme needed to digest the healthy fat in milk, lipase, is destroyed.
“Approximately two thirds of the fat in milk is saturated. Good or bad for you? Saturated fats play a number of key roles in our bodies: from construction of cell membranes and key hormones to providing energy storage and padding for delicate organs, to serving as a vehicle for important fat-soluble vitamins …
All fats cause our stomach lining to secrete a hormone (cholecystokinin or CCK) which, aside from boosting production and secretion of digestive enzymes, let’s us know we’ve eaten enough … With that trigger removed, non-fat dairy products and other fat-free foods can potentially help contribute to over-eating.” — http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/raw_milk_health_benefits.html
Also eliminated in pasteurization’s war path is phosphatase. This is essential for the absorption of calcium, which in turn affects our absorption of Vitamin D.
*If the healthy fat and most important nutrients are destroyed, then what is left? Empty fat calories.*
So now what?
After wrapping my head around the lengthy scientific evidence, I concluded that I must get my hands on some of this goodness.
Vermont Agency of Agricultural will only allow the sale of raw milk from farm to consumer; it is illegal to sell raw milk for mass production, i.e. in a grocery store.
Lucky for me, I discovered that a co-worker lives on a dairy farm and is able to supply me with some udderly delcious milk — and I’m here to tell you… It’s amazing!! If you like whole milk, which I grew up on, you’ll find that, simply put:
It’s whole milk on steroids. So delicious and creamy.
I understand not everyone is running out the door to find their local raw milk supplier — and I totally understand — but my theory is that we’re better off knowing, as opposed to not. So, folks, that’s your lesson for the day! Do that hot bod of yours a favor and get a glass of raw milk, asap!!