Let’s dive into a hot topic, and talk about raw milk benefits.
Raw milk is a bit of a controversial thing. I’d like to share with you what I know about it. This topic was a request from one of my youtube channel viewers.
I’ve been talking about the GAPS diet on my blog, and cultured raw dairy is definitely a part of the GAPS diet. It can be a really new idea for a lot of people. Because of that, I want to share some good information on raw milk benefits. That way, you can make informed decisions, and know what you need to know.
Why raw milk?
Why would anyone want to drink raw milk, instead of pasteurized milk? Before we answer that, let’s talk about why pasteurization became widely used. As agriculture grew larger and became more commercialized, it became necessary to pasteurize milk in order for it to be safe. It is just not possible on a large scale dairy farm to keep milk clean enough so that it could safely be consumed while raw.
What does pasteurization do to milk?
In short, pasteurization changes milk. It destroys enzymes, it denatures and diminishes nutrients, and it damages milk proteins. Pasteurization also destroys vitamins, kills beneficial bacteria, and promotes pathogens. As you can see, there are definitely drawbacks to pasteurizing milk.
Why is raw milk better?
Raw milk is much easier for the body to digest and assimilate, because the nutrients have not been destroyed or changed in any way. When milk is in its whole, unchanged, original form, the body can easily use it. Pasteurized milk, on the other hand, because of all the changes it has undergone, is not received the same by the body. In fact, a growing number of people have autoimmune and other types of reactions when they consume pasteurized dairy. Oftentimes, these same people can consume raw dairy and have no trouble at all.
Once you realize what happens during pasteurization, this makes sense. Raw milk is full of enzymes and friendly bacteria that aid in digesting it, and the nutrients are in the original, unchanged state. The body knows exactly what to do with raw milk, instead of reacting to it as a foreign substance, as it does with pasteurized milk.
When you drink raw milk, the cleanliness of the farm and the health of the cows are crucial. That is one of the benefits to drinking raw milk: the milk has to come from very healthy animals, and the milk has to be handled very carefully. By drinking raw milk, you automatically have a higher quality product than the milk from commercial dairy farms. We’ll get into this a little more later on.
Where to find safe raw milk
The first thing to know when wanting to buy raw milk, is that the source is everything. Like I mentioned before, you can’t get unpasteurized milk from any large, commercial dairy, and safely drink it raw. On very large dairy farms, it is pretty much impossible to keep milk clean enough to where it would be safe to drink it unpasteurized. And, as they handle the milk on these large farms, they do so with the knowledge that they will eventually be pasteurizing it.
When you look for a source for raw milk, you want to find a farm that is quite small. Smaller operations can more easily pay attention to all the details regarding handling the milk carefully and keeping it extremely clean. They are also able to pay individual attention to their animals, and keep them in better health.
It is also best to look for a farm that uses old fashioned breeds of cattle. Jerseys and Guernseys are great examples. These of breeds of cows produce higher quality milk with more butterfat. More butterfat means more nutrients! Old fashioned breeds are different from modernized Holstein cattle. Holsteins are bred to unnaturally produce a much larger amount of milk, with less butterfat and less nutrients. Also, old fashioned dairy cattle breeds are designed to live primarily on pasture, which leads to much higher quality milk and far more nutrients than milk from cattle that are designed to eat high amounts of grain and not as much grass. Holsteins are designed to live on large amounts of grain and less grass.
I found our raw dairy farm through my local Weston A. Price chapter. That’s where I recommend looking to find a good place to buy raw milk, no matter where you live. You can find your own Weston A. Price chapter here.
The rules for buying raw milk are different depending on where you live. Some states, like Washington, allow raw milk to be sold in grocery stores. Other states, like Colorado, where I live, don’t allow the sale of raw milk. For those states, a cow share program is usually a possibility. That’s what we do. We pay a certain amount of money each month to take care of the cows, and we receive milk for free.
How to start drinking raw milk
If you’re brand new to raw milk, there are definitely some things to know before you start drinking it. Your digestive tract will have to get used to the new, living form of milk. If you start by just drinking an entire glass, you’ll probably experience some digestive upset.
I recommend following the GAPS diet diary introduction steps, which you can find here. Basically, you start with small amounts of cultured raw dairy, and gradually work up to larger amounts. From there you can transition to consuming it uncultured, and by then you should be able to drink it just fine with no upset.
More great raw milk benefits
There are so many reasons to drink raw milk and avoid pasteurized dairy. I already touched on some of the downsides to consuming pasteurized milk, and there are many more that I didn’t even go into. This is especially the case when it comes to children’s health!
In the early 20th century, one of the leading doctors from the Mayo Foundation used raw milk to cure many serious illnesses. Today, raw milk therapy is used successfully in hospitals in Germany.
Studies show that children who drink raw milk are healthier, more resistant to disease and tooth decay. They have better calcium absorption, and less allergies, eczema, and asthma. My kids definitely love drinking raw milk! Our whole family enjoys it. And I definitely see it having a positive impact on our health.
Raw milk benefits video
Are you thinking about drinking raw milk?
Do you have any questions about it? Let me know in the comments!
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