My milk man is Martin Wilson. I see him every Friday when I go to the farmers market to buy milk for my family. While there is no law against buying raw milk for human consumption, it is not legal for him to “sell” raw milk for human consumption. I say it is for my cats. Yes, I buy, an average of 4 gallons of raw milk for my cats each week. The milk costs $10 per gallon. You may wonder why I would go to such expense and trouble to buy milk. Why wouldn’t I just go to the grocery store like everyone else? The reasons are many.
The Cows Diet:
One of the reasons is the way the cows are fed. I am not some fanatical animal rights activist. I just know the quality of my food is based on the quality of life of the animals that produce it. Martin’s cows only eat grass. They spend most of their days meandering in a large lush pasture. This grass is organically grown and never sprayed with pesticides. The cows are so healthy that they don’t need to be given antibiotics. They are never over milked so they have no need for hormones to make them produce more.
The Milk’s Content:
Because the cows are not injected with chemicals and because their grass is not sprayed with poisons these are not passed on to me in the milk
The milk is bottled and given to me, on average, one day after it leaves the cow. I know it is fresh.
Pasteurized milk, on the other hand, according to the Cornell University Department of Food Science, in an article titled, “Dairy Foods Science Notes,” and published on the Cornell.edu website, is transported from farms to the dairy processing plant and heat processed “within a few days after milking.” If properly stored under 45 degrees Fahrenheit the shelf life “can range from 12 to 21 days post processing.” That makes me question how fresh conventional milk is when I buy it.
The raw milk has more live enzymes and nutrients. For thousands of years mankind has consumed and adapted to thrive on raw milk with all of the live enzymes naturally in the milk.
In a Reuters Health article dated May 28, 2010, titled, “Is milk from grass-fed cows more heart-healthy?” by Lynne Peeples, Peeples wrote, “Experiments have shown that cows on a diet of fresh grass produce milk with five times as much of an unsaturated fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than do cows fed processed grains. Studies in animals have suggested that CLAs can protect the heart, and help in weight loss.” Hania Campos of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and her colleagues found, in a study of 4,000 people, that “people with the highest concentrations of CLAs — the top fifth among all participants — had a 36 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to those with the lowest concentrations.” The article went on to reveal that when the study included factors such as smoking and blood pressure the findings still held true.
There is nothing done to raw milk. The cow is cleaned and the equipment is sterilized. As seen in the picture below and to the right, often cows are hand milked to avoid chafing seen in machine milking.
After milking the milk strained, bottled and refrigerated immediately. The natural enzymes and beneficial bacteria are still intact. These help my family to process the lactose in the milk. Before we found Martin, my mom never drank milk because of lactose intolerance. With the raw milk she has no problems.
In March 2014, an article written by James Andrews, in Food Safety News, titled, “Study Examines Relationship Between Raw Milk and Lactose Intolerance.” said, “Despite claims sometimes made about the health benefits of drinking raw milk, evidence does not suggest that drinking raw milk will relieve or lessen the symptoms of lactose intolerance, according to a study conducted by nutritionists at Stanford University and published this week in Annals of Family Medicine.
In Michigan a survey was taken to which 731 raw milk drinkers responded. It was published in an article titled, “A Campaign for Real Milk,” by Ted Beals, MD. Beals is a board certified pathologist with 31 years on the faculty of the University of Medical School. He states, “Question #37. ‘Number in household told by healthcare professional they had lactose intolerance.” Result: 155 people (that is 6% of the total in the survey) Question #40. “Number included in #37, #38 or #39 that do NOT have symptoms after switching.’ If we confine the responses to those that reported only people with a professional diagnosis, there were 118 people that did not have symptoms of lactose intolerance after switching to fresh unprocessed milk. That is 81% of those with a professional diagnosis of lactose intolerance in those surveys.”
This 81% had the same result experienced by my mother.
I know a family of five on a tight budget. They choose to buy raw milk and to eat organically as much as their budget allowed. To enhance their ability to do so they dropped a $120 per month cable bill and live happily without cable TV. It was a choice they made. It was a priority they felt was important.
For months my family of seven ate at a restaurant once each week at an average cost of $75 per week. We decided we wanted to spend that money elsewhere and last month we quit eating out. Each week we pay $40 for four gallons of raw milk. If we purchased conventional whole milk at the grocery store it would cost us $3.55 per gallon. We pay $26 per week more for our local farm milk, but we save three times that much just eliminating one restaurant meal.
You must choose what you believe is healthy. You must choose your priorities. You do have choices. If you can buy a new TV, have cable, eat out, go to movies and participate in a host of elective activities, then you have a choice. You may agree or disagree with the studies I have sited, but if I can help you to be more health conscience, and if in so doing I can add years of health and happiness to your life, my purpose for this blog will be achieved.