Traditional foods have health maintenance properties, and in some cases they actually have healing properties. Milk is one of these foods; however, there is a sort of milk madness going around – constant controversy over our dietary rights concerning this source of nutrition. It’s distressing and slightly terrifying that we live in a world where the food we eat – the most basic human necessity – is being controlled by a certain few commercial entities. Some of whom now hold legal patents on everything from food crops to hormones.
No matter what your political or religious inclinations are, we should all be able to agree that we do not own the Earth. We inhabit this planet, we did not create it, and by now we should have learned that we cannot perfect what nature provides. Furthermore, no singular entity should have the right to purchase, or claim entirely for itself, “products” that nature has made. To make it very simple, the Earth should be recognized as a free, emancipated, liberated and unbound entity which holds the “patents” on her own creations.
Nature gives us sustenance free of charge – the Earth comes equipped with everything that all life forms need to survive, and as a sweet bonus our natural foods come with built-in healing properties to ensure that we don’t just survive, we thrive. Food is not a privilege it is a rightful endowment – a fair allowance for every living creature. Our food choices should be a non-issue, like breathing the air or drinking the water.
In our lifetime however, our fundamental right of food choice is being taken from us. Countless natural foods have become extinct due to modern development and agricultural practices, and most other basic foods have been modified, hybridized, artificilized, homogenized and pasteurized to a point of alienation to our body’s natural digestive process. In essence we are being robbed of what is rightfully ours – the choice of what foods to fuel and heal our bodies with.
Milk is one of the natural food items that we are being cheated out of. Government and commercial units are becoming more and more aggressive in their attempt to deprive us of clean, pure, raw milk from healthy, naturally grazed animals. In most states it is illegal for a dairy farmer to sell fresh, unadulterated, naturally occurring raw milk to consumers for their consumption.
Raw milk is a whole food
A “whole food” is an unaltered, unprocessed, unrefined naturally occurring traditional food with no added salts, preservatives, colorings – and certainly no chemical additives. It’s the stuff that is supposed to feed our bodies. Whole foods are full of essential proteins, vitamins and minerals, and in most cases provide immune system support and other healing properties in addition to basic nutrition. Milk, in its raw form is exactly this. It’s the very first food every mammal receives nourishment from, and humans throughout the entirety of our history have flourished on the life-giving milk of virtually any mammal that would let us have it, including goats, cattle, elk, camels, donkeys, horses, reindeer, sheep, water buffalo, yak and even seals.
Some anti-milk advocates say that it’s unnatural to drink another mammal’s milk. They claim that humans are the only species that consumes milk after we’ve been weaned from our mothers. That logic doesn’t hold ground with me. We eat the meat of other animals, the eggs other animals, and even the blood of other animals. We also use various parts of other animals in our medicines, our vaccines and our beauty products. So what makes the milk off limits? Most non-ruminant carnivorous mammals WILL drink milk if given the chance; they just lack the thumbs to get it out of another lactating animal. Canines, felines and rodents are among these, just to name a few.
Raw milk is medicine
Milk has a bit of hidden magic in it, more than just a drink, milk is medicine. Many cultures, throughout history have used raw milk to treat various diseases. The Mayo Foundation used a diet of organic raw milk from grass-fed animals as medicine in the 1920’s. Even way back then it was already a proven remedy for heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, chronic fatigue and obesity.
Dr. J.R. Crewe, MD in 1929 said “The experience of seeing many cases of illness improve rapidly on a diet of raw milk has suggested that much of modern disease is due to an increasing departure from simple methods of preparing plain foods.” Over a period of 18 years, Dr. Crewe had great success treating a multitude of illnesses with raw milk and wrote that “practically all medical men are agreed as to the value of milk as a food, and as an important part of the diet in the treatment of many diseases”.
The main difference between Dr. Crewe’s time and today boils down, in my opinion, to politics and accountability. In those days there was no pasteurization and no monopolistic megafarms eating up all the small-scale local dairy farms (the largest dairy farms in the U.S. today house over 15,000 cows). Reputation itself was the key to surviving in hometown business – dairy or otherwise. If you were a farmer with a cow, and you wanted to sell your milk to the community, you’d best be sure that the pasture was clean, the cow was healthy, the milk was wholesome and collection methods were sanitary. This provided milk that did more than quench your thirst, it was one of Nature’s best remedies, and a growing number of today’s physicians are returning to that way of thinking. Many are actively involved in the raw milk movement and steer their patients away from pasteurized milk.
Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to sterilize it, to kill any bacterium that could cause illness to humans. Unfortunately this sterilization technique is an indiscriminant killer and also renders dead the good bacteria needed for digestion and most of the nutritive value. Pasteurization is the murder of all the living things that make milk milk. To put it simply, pasteurized milk is dead milk – it has been sanitized to death.
The irony of this whole process is that milk, from a healthy, naturally grazed cow (or goat, or any other mammal for that matter) doesn’t contain harmful bacterium; quite the opposite, it is a colloidal compound of many living beneficial organisms. The harmful bacterial diseases that the industry is so concerned about protecting us from comes from secondary contamination – from unhealthy cows raised, fed, treated and milked in over-populated and unsanitary conditions. Pasteurization is a license for commercial dairy factories to raise animals in inhumane conditions, use dirty collection methods and produce poor quality milk – pasteurization cleans up and hides their ugly manure stained mess. Funny thing is, pasteurization wipes out any bacterial evidence of dirty conditions, but it doesn’t kill the chemical cocktails that have been added to the cows that are producing the milk.
A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry confirmed that an average glass of pasteurized milk bought from the grocery store can contain traces of anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, antibiotics, and various painkillers. Not to mention the residues of pesticides, larvicides, fertilizers, heavy metals, GM food crops and artificial growth hormones – all of which continue to show strong potential for being human carcinogens.
Raw milk is not homogenized
Homogenization bursts the fat cells, making them smaller, and able to blend in with the rest of the milk. Some of you remember in the “old days” you had to shake the milk to mix it before drinking. The process of destroying this nutritious butter fat is not necessary, nor is it required; although, this does prevent consumers from using the cream to make their own butter and cheeses. This is very convenient to the commercial dairy industry that also sells butter, cheese and other dairy products.
Raw milk is illegal
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, milk is unsafe to drink in its naturally occurring state. They, along with the FDA, USDA and the commercial dairy industry (the largest of these conglomerates showed a net income of $40.2 million for 2011) claim to be looking out for our health and wellbeing by trying to eradicate the possibility of the sale of raw milk from the small scale farmer directly to the consumer.
To be fair, we must look at the CDC’s numbers. According to their website, approximately 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk – since 1998. The Weston A. Price Foundation breaks those numbers down a little more: “An average of 112 illnesses each year were attributed to all raw dairy products, and 203 were attributed to pasteurized dairy products.” To add a little context, about 24,000 food borne illnesses are reported each year, making only one half of one percent of these issues being attributed to raw milk and other raw dairy products combined.
The Alliance for Natural Health points out that in the 38 years data has been collected, there has not been one single death from consuming raw milk—compared to more than 80 deaths from pasteurized milk products during that same time frame.
In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest shows that raw milk isn’t even listed as one of the “Riskiest Foods Regulated by the FDA”. Leafy greens are far more apt to make you sick – an astounding 13,568 people became ill from lettuce, kale, spinach and cabbage during this particular study. So why isn’t it illegal to sell, purchase or consume a commercially processed salad? For a mere $4 you can get a McSalad handed to you without even getting out of your car – without a license, permit or age requirement.
For that matter, also according to CDC data, it is estimated that 450,000 preventable medication-related illnesses occur each year in the U.S. – with approximately 100,000 deaths each year from “proper” use of prescription drugs. And those who peddle these drugs are allowed to do so, legally, but a farmer cannot sell delicious life-supporting raw milk from a healthy, humanely raised cow to a neighbor who simply seeks natural foods for himself.
The outlaw status of raw milk is perplexing. Even more bewildering are the food products that are legal to sell for human consumption: “processed” foods, genetically modified foods, fast food in every combination, soft drinks, energy drinks, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, synthetic flavors and colorings – all of which have shown time and time again to cause everything from obesity to diabetes to heart disease and cancers of every flavor. These foods can be purchased by anyone anywhere with no legal ramifications. But my favorite local farmer cannot sell his cow’s milk to me.
Aside from protecting us from the very minute possibility of becoming sick from contaminated raw milk, there’s also the ‘lactose intolerance’ propaganda to weed through. It is estimated that up to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. This is an interesting slant – technically, however, we are pasteurization intolerant. Milk (in its natural state) comes equipped with the enzymes it takes to digest itself! These are wiped out in the pasteurization process; therefore, in my opinion, the above statistic shows that 50 million American bodies reject processed, pasteurized and homogenized milk.
It just doesn’t add up. What does add up, however, is the insane amount of profit that certain corporations make off of the manufacturing process of pasteurized milk and dairy products.
Milk is profit
So who has what to gain by controlling milk for the masses? Who is profiting off of all this milk madness? Well, it’s certainly not Mother Nature who provides the cows, and it’s not the cows who provide the milk, and believe it or not, it’s not even the farmer in most cases. Turns out there are only a very few companies who monopolize the market when it comes to selling to the dairy farmer what he “needs” – things like livestock feed, livestock vaccine, antibiotics, bovine growth hormones as well as modified plant seeds and the pesticides that trigger their growth.
Monsanto’s website boasts that “millions of tons of GM crops have been fed to farm animals for more than a decade.” So Monsanto rears its ugly head again. This chemical company, and a hand full of other chemical manufacturers, is quickly taking over ownership of nearly our entire food supply. They are controlling our seeds (our food), our pharmaceuticals (our healthcare), our pesticides (our health problems) and yes, they also have their dirty hands in our milk.
According to USDA information, in the years between 1970 and 2006 commercially produced milk production doubled – from an average of 9,751 lbs per year (per cow) to 19,951 lbs per year (per cow). Adding artificial hormones to commercial dairy cows had everything in the world to do with this drastic change – Monsanto developed recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) during this timeframe. This synthetic hormone and its potential health risks are extremely controversial, due in part to it being produced through a genetically engineered E.coli.
This rGBH (trade name Posilac) has never been tested on humans – unless you count the unofficial “studies” that are being conducted today on the unsuspecting American public. Monstanto claims that testing the side effects of their artificial hormones is unnecessary. “Aspects of the GM crop which are the same as the non-GM counterpart do not require safety assessment” because the natural product and the GM product are “substantially equivalent” and “there is simply no practical way to learn anything via human studies of whole foods. This is why no existing food – conventional or GM -or food ingredient/additive has been subjected to this type of testing.”
So, following this particular rationale, shouldn’t raw milk also be “substantially equivalent” to pasteurized milk and thus be legal for consumption? Or for that matter, we should suppose that a rattlesnake is “substantially equivalent” to a rat snake and therefore be considered quite safe.
It’s important to note, that this same company, which plays a part in determining that milk from cows containing their chemicals is safe to consume, also manufactured Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs and dioxin. It’s also worth mentioning that Posilac has been banned from use (since 2000) in at least 27 countries including Canada, Japan and the entire European Union.
Milk in summary – pasteurized VS pasture-ized
Raw milk = beneficial bacteria, helpful enzymes, proteins/amino acids, immune support, every known fat and water soluble vitamin, 20+ minerals, the ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D, complete nutrition, defense against diseases, the potential to cure certain allergies and illnesses – from cows that are more apt to be raised, fed and treated in healthy, humane conditions on the appropriate diet, by farmers who uphold an old fashioned idea of general accountability – and generally welcome you to visit their farm and meet the cows that will provide your milk.
Pasteurized milk = dead bacteria, dead enzymes, no phosphatase (which is essential for absorbing calcium), genetically engineered hormones, GM food fallout, traces of heavy metals, antibiotics and other synthetic pharmaceuticals, allergic reactions, lactose intolerance, and mounting evidence that shows an increase in health disorders (including arthritis, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, weight gain, asthma, etc.) – from megafarms where cows are kept in overcrowded, unhealthy conditions, kept away from their natural foods, fed synthetic feed, pumped full of artificial hormones, antibiotics and other drugs – and are kept conveniently out of the public view.
Although the sale of raw milk for human consumption is outlawed in most states, you can purchase raw milk from many small scale dairy farms for your pets to enjoy. For a list of raw milk suppliers in your area, visit http://www.realmilk.com.
If you would like to learn more, or get involved with the raw milk revolution, connect with the Weston Price Foundation at http://www.westonprice.org.