Thursday, March 28, 2013

Got (RAW) Milk?

This is a pretty controversial subject, and I have debated posting about this.  However, I try to be as transparent as possible, educate, and let you know what successes and failures we encounter along the way.  As I have mentioned before, Raegan has a milk allergy.  She can't drink milk, and for quite some time, couldn't even eat cheese, yogurt or anything with milk in it.  So, I started researching alternatives.  At a year old, we put her on almond milk, which she drank for about 6 weeks and then just flat refused it.  At her 16 month check up, she was underweight, and only in the 14th percentile for weight.  I did MORE research and this is what we've decided to do: drink raw milk.  Raw milk is just milk straight from the cow, unpasteurized and not homogenized.  Please don't leave me any nasty comments or when you see me, make a cross and run away.  We have researched this.  I have my Masters in Public Health, and YES!  I'm a public health employee that drinks RAW milk!  EEEEKKKK!!!!  Let me tell you why we made the switch.  Again, this is not to change your mind on the issue, but to instead educate you about WHY we switched. 

Here are our top 10 reasons for the switch:

1. Raw milk is vastly more nutritious than pasteurized milk.

2. Raw milk contains enzymes.  “Pasteurization destroys all the enzymes in milk— in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes. These enzymes help the body assimilate all bodybuilding factors, including calcium. That is why those who drink pasteurized milk may suffer, nevertheless, from osteoporosis.” — Sally Fallon-Morell,

3.  Raw milk contains probiotics.  “Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.” — Harvard Medical School, “Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics”

4.  Raw milk is easier to digest — even for the lactose intolerant.

5.  Raw milk is safer than pasteurized milk. It contains “built-in safety systems” that help destroy pathogens:

While raw milk often gets blamed for food-borne illnesses, the truth is, raw milk is safer than salad:

6.  Raw milk is better for cows.

 I always figured “organic milk” was the very best. But I was wrong. Organic milk often comes from cows in factories. Did you know, for example, that Horizon is a factory farm? I didn’t. I believed they were “happy cows”.

Unless the cows are raised on pasture, they are not healthy and they are certainly not happy. And if a cow is not healthy, how can her milk be healthy?

A cow in confinement lives on average for just 3.5 years. A cow grazing on pasture? Twelve years or more.

7.  Clean, nutritious milk comes from healthy cows that eat grass, not sick cows eating grain.  Most cows, even at the “organic” dairies, are fed grain — corn and soy. Cows were never meant to eat grain. They are meant to eat grass, and to graze on pasture. When cows are fed grain, even organic grain, it makes them sick.

8.  Raw milk is better for farmers. Raw milk can help turn the economy around in rural America.  This is one of my biggest reasons. I don’t know about you, but I hate what’s become of rural America. A few decades ago, people still raised their own food on small farms. Now our small farms have almost been completely wiped out by corporate America. Now instead of small farms with organic vegetables and cows grazing on pasture, we have Wal-Marts full of processed crap.

9.  Raw milk doesn’t go “bad” like pasteurized milk does.  If you leave a gallon of pasteurized milk on the counter overnight, what happens to it? It goes bad! But if you leave a gallon of raw milk out, you can do all kinds of things with it. You can separate the cream. You can make butter, buttermilk, and whey. You can make yogurt. You can make cheese. You can add kefir or filmjolk culture and make all kinds of fermented treats.

10.  Raw milk tastes better! Ask my family!!!  Pyper went from rarely drinking milk to asking for 2-3 glasses a day.  She has always suffered from constipation, but since drinking raw milk, her bowels have regulated.  I chalk it up to the probiotics.  Raegan still wont DRINK milk (in her mind, the white stuff makes her sick), but I put it in custards, puddings, yogurt, butter, and other recipes and Raegan has had zero issues with digesting it.  Even Shannon, who was very skeptical, has admitted to preferring it.  I love how rich and creamy it tastes. 

It is illegal in the state of Va to buy raw milk, but we have joined a herd share at a local dairy.  They deliver our milk every Monday to the pharmacy.  The dairy has an open door policy, and we can go there anytime unannounced.  They don't have anything to hide.  They have happy, healthy cows.  The herd share costs $40/month, and we get a gallon a week.  Yes, if you do the math, it costs $10 a gallon, but I am able to make butter, yogurt and siphon off the cream for baking or my coffee, so it evens out.  I do want to try my hand at cheese making.  Maybe one day...

**Thanks to for her informative post, that I have essentially plagiarized.  I just couldn't have said it better!**


  1. I remember the first time I had raw milk. People acted like it was going to taste awful. It was wonderful! I hope we can enjoy it again some day. :-) Horizon is The Man.

  2. I grew up drinking raw milk right out of the bulk tank from my grandfather's dairy. It didn't harm me, my 3 sisters or brother even though the pediatrician repeatedly told my mother how bad it was for us. I remember loving the taste and always being anxious for my friends to try it when they came over to play. (it was several years drinking store bought before I quit shaking the milk container before I poured it) I would have to argue on one point, grain doesn't make cows sick, it is more the proportions of grain vs, forage. Too much grain and not enough forage can make them sick. Glad Raegan is doing well with it.

  3. Yes, Kay, you're right...grain (in moderation) doesn't make sick cows. But when it is their entire diet, it's not healthy. Even the dairy where we get our milk feeds grain to the milking cows when he brings them in to milk as a treat. And let me tell you, those are some healthy, happy cows!

  4. Never would have known. Thank you for the insight. A few of my friends have dairy cows. I just thought they liked having something to do every morning and night. Lol! Makes me want to have raw milk for my family.