I remember the day I decided our family was going to drink raw milk. After only a day of research (I have quick decision-making skillz), the minute my husband walked in the door, I exclaimed…
“Oh my gosh honey! Guess what?! We are totally going to start drinking raw milk! It’s SO much better for you and way more digestible and basically it gives you superpowers!”
As my husband tried to process the words I’d just spoken, I decided to lay my whole plan on him…
“And, really, if we’re going to drink raw milk, we might as well move to a farm. Because, well, we need a goat, of course. Probably some chickens too. And eventually we’ll need a cow. And a garden. And maybe some ducks & rabbits.”
“Hmmmm”, was all Mr. Frugal said. But no worries, I slowly persuaded Mr. Frugal to believe that a farm was the exact thing we needed. (I have mad convincing skillz as well.)
Raw milk: It’s udderly amazing!
Did you know that pasteurized milk has been heated to such high temperatures that the fragile proteins become denatured? “Denatured” means they have been altered at the molecular level. So, when you ingest pasteurized milk, your body literally does not know how to digest it. Instead, your body thinks it’s a foreign substance, and attacks it as such. Your body alerts it’s best defense, the immune system, and does all it can to get rid of this invader.
This is the exact reason why so many people have trouble digesting pasteurized milk. Lactose intolerance and milk allergies are the most common responses people have to pasteurized milk, but did you also know that other common issues such as asthma, seasonal & food allergies, autism, asperger’s, ADD, ADHD, and more are all linked to the body’s immune response to food? I’m not necessarily saying that pasteurized milk is the root cause for all these disorders, but I am saying that they absolutely, unequivocally, exacerbate the issue.
When the body is “distracted” by an elevated immune system, the body cannot maintain homeostasis.
Think for a moment what the purpose of food is. We eat food so we can nourish our bodies. Raw milk from cows fed on green grass has higher levels of fat-soluble vitamins, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), essential fatty acids, minerals, & nutrients. It’s truly a nourishing food. Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled around the world during the 1930′s in search of traditional societies who were immune to disease found that the societies who drank raw milk had the best health and longevity. You can read more in his book, (aff. link) Nutrition & Physical Degeneration.
Why you should put your fingers in your ears and say “la, la, la, la” when other talk smack about milk.
Because many disorders & diseases are exacerbated by store bought milk, you’ll probably be told by either your friend, family member, nutritionist, or doctor that milk is bad for us and that you should avoid it.
What everybody seems to forget is that milk in itself is not bad, it’s the pasteurization that is the culprit.
Pasteurized milk has reduced nutritional qualities. Lower levels of iron, copper, & manganese, as well as lower levels of Vitamin C & B6 are what’s left after milk has been pasteurized. Toss in the indigestible nature of pasteurized milk proteins along with the elevated immune response and you’ll find that pasteurized milk isn’t a great choice.
On top of that, studies have shown that children who consume raw milk not only have a greater resistance to disease, they also have better growth, stronger teeth, better fertility, and better overall nutrient assimilation.
Is raw milk safe or is it chock full of bacteria?
Of course it has bacteria, but why should that mean it isn’t safe? The word “bacteria” can ignite paranoia faster than any other word, but the truth is that raw milk is completely safe. Raw milk has good bacteria that has the ability to overtake bad bacteria in milk.
Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system. These include lacto-peroxidase, lacto-ferrin, anti-microbial components of blood (leukocytes, B-macrophages, neutrophils, T-lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and antibodies), special carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), special fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), complement enzymes, lysozyme, hormones, growth factors, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptide, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B12-binding protein. (source)
How to pay for milk without selling your firstborn child:
We all want to pay less and let’s admit it, it’s nice to pay around $3-4 for a gallon of milk. Raw milk is definitely more expensive than $3-4/gallon, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the cost. The price of raw milk can vary across the country, so depending on where you live you could pay $5/gallon or $20/gallon. In my area, the price for primarily grass-fed raw milk is around $10/gallon.
If your family currently drinks, let’s say, 4 gallons a week, then you’re probably freaking out at having to pay $160 per month just on milk. The good news is, because raw milk is so nourishing & filling, you’ll probably notice that your family drinks less milk once you switch to raw milk.
All it takes is a little prioritizing to make room in the budget for raw milk. If you’re new to real food, you’ll notice a decrease in your grocery bill once you cut out all that processed food. That box of fishy crackers are ‘spensive! It’s time to make the sacrifice for raw milk!
Starting your search (you’re going on an adventure!):
Searching for raw milk is an adventure! No need to get stressed out, just keep looking, and you’ll find the right farm just for you! Here are the sites I recommend to begin your search:
- Ask friends & family
What to look for at your first farm visit:
I’m gonna keep it simple for ya’. You know how you see those pictures of cows grazing in fields? You basically want as close to that as possible. You should be looking for:
- A farm that is happy to have you visit is a MUST! Owners that act weird about you visiting their farms are a big red flag. Trustworthy farms are those who are excited to show you their place and will talk your ear off about their products.
- Animals (goat,cow,sheep) that have access to a pasture for most of the year. Obviously they may need to be in smaller pens depending on weather, etc., but for the most part, you want them to have SPACE.
- Primarily grass-fed. People get all caught up on the “100% grass-fed” idea, but they often forget that we live in a world with SEASONS. Whether it be a harsh winter or a hot summer, we are ultimately at the mercy of the season. Unless you live in an area that has perfect weather year round, you can understand that animals sometimes cannot be fed 100% grass. Alfalfa, a hay, is usually fed during these times, and is perfectly okay as is a small amount of grain. Animals can digest grain just fine, if fed in small amounts.
- Cleanliness. You want to make sure the farm you visit is clean. You don’t want to see mounds of poop and feral cats running around. You want to see a well-taken care of, clean barn and milking area. Also, you’ll want to buy raw milk from a place that 1)cleans the udders & teats well 2) milks into a clean stainless steel bucket, 3) strains & cools milk within 10-15 minutes of milking.
- Testing. The farm should regularly test for diseases specific to the animal. By regularly, I mean they should do blood testing 1-2 times a year.
- TIP for storing milk. I store my milk in (aff. link) half-gallon glass containers and clean them out with warm water first, then sterilize them in my dishwasher.
If you still can’t find raw milk, check out my previous article on what to do if you can’t find raw milk.
Have you made the switch to raw milk yet?
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