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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 20, 2015

Is Raw Milk Really Better?

By Mark Sisson
223 Comments

raw milkI don’t drink much, if any, milk. A little cream in my morning coffee, good cheese regularly, some yogurt and kefir on occasion are about the extent of my dairy consumption. But milk? That pure white untouched fluid gushing from swollen udders? No, not really. Not anymore. It’s certainly a nutrient-dense food, don’t get me wrong, and I’m good at breaking down lactose. I just don’t see the need for it in my regular diet.

Ambivalence and lack of personal investment aside, I can’t ignore the bitter debate raging between raw milk advocates and raw milk skeptics. I may not have a personal dog in this fight (for what it’s worth, I seem to tolerate pasteurized milk just fine), and lots of Primal folks reading this are in the same boat, but many of my readers do drink milk — or would like to drink it if a healthier version existed. Raw milk may or may not be that version. Plus, it’s always interesting to wade into the fray to see whose claims are science-based and whose aren’t.

So let’s get to it.

What effects, if any, does pasteurization have on the nutritional content of raw milk?

It reduces the copper, iron, and manganese levels present in raw milk. Of course, raw milk is a fairly modest source of these minerals. You don’t drink milk for the iron or manganese, and a 1922 study, for example, found that the average content of copper in fresh (raw) milk was 0.53 mg/L (PDF).

It lowers vitamins B12, B1, B2, C, E, and folate concentrations. And it degrades beta lactoglobulin, a whey protein that increases intestinal vitamin A absorption, possibly reducing the amount of vitamin A/retinol we absorb from the milk.

What about dairy intolerance?

When a 2014 Stanford study concluded that raw milk has no beneficial effect on lactose intolerance, skeptics rejoiced. Before we grant them the victory, let’s look at the design of the study. Stanford researchers had put out a call for people who suffered from lactose intolerance when consuming pasteurized milk. 440 respondents showed up to the trial, all of whom had what they assumed to be lactose intolerance; in other words, they couldn’t drink pasteurized milk without stomach upset, diarrhea, and/or other acutely negative symptoms. After the screening, all but 16 were disqualified. How can this be? Were most of the volunteers lying? The researchers screened applicants using the hydrogen breath test, a method that detects the amount of hydrogen in a person’s breath following lactose consumption. If lactose is poorly digested by the host (you) and becomes food for gut bacteria, the gut bugs produce hydrogen which appears in your breath. A 10-20 ppm increase in breath hydrogen indicates clinical lactose malabsorption. The Stanford researchers admitted only those applicants who experienced lactose intolerance symptoms and whose breath hydrogen increased by at least 25 ppm after lactose ingestion. People who merely experienced symptoms were excluded.

Nail in the coffin? For clinical lactose intolerance, perhaps (setting aside the small sample size). If that sounds like a decisive “win” for the anti-raw milk crowd in general, though, I’m not convinced. Even though they may not necessarily have clinical lactose intolerance, many people still can’t tolerate milk. Sure enough, studies show that self-reported milk intolerance doesn’t help identify lactose malabsorption. One isn’t necessarily the other. They still have gastrointestinal issues with milk, even if it’s not the lactose. Millions of raw milk consumers, some of whom flout the law and pay exorbitant prices to obtain the stuff simple because they can’t tolerate pasteurized milk, report complete cessation of symptoms when drinking raw milk. Are they all lying or mistaken?

The focus on lactose, then, may be a red herring. The real problem could be some yet-to-be-elucidated effect of pasteurization.

What about immune health?

In 2010, Chris Masterjohn wrote a post extolling and, most importantly, explaining in great detail the “biochemical magic” of raw dairy proteins. The whey proteins beta-lactoglobulin and serum albumin in particular have a unique structure providing two thirds of the backbone required for making glutathione. So when animals — in this case, rats — consume raw whey, their glutathione levels increase because most of the work is already done. Undenatured whey proteins (which, since pasteurization denatured proteins, only comes from raw milk) are able to boost glutathione, the human body’s premier endogenous/homegrown antioxidant used to fight oxidative stress, improve immunity and prevent alcohol-related toxicity, but this effect is greatly reduced or even absent once the milk is heated.

That’s all well and good for lab rats, but does this increased glutathione production lead to any real-world benefits for human raw milk drinkers?

We know that improving glutathione status through other means, like supplementation, certainly helps.

Taking NAC improves glutathione status and protects against PUFA and alcohol-induced oxidative stress.

Taking curcumin (bioactive component of turmeric) improves glutathione status and also protects against PUFA and alcohol-induced oxidative stress.

Taking alpha lipoic acid improves glutathione status and the health of HIV patients.

According to Masterjohn’s calculations, the average 8 ounce glass of raw milk will help a person produce an additional 9.3 milligrams of glutathione, more than double the 4.5 milligrams a cup of pasteurized milk provides. To see if this might translate to benefits for raw milk consumers, let’s look at a pair of studies.

The first examined children from rural communities in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria habitually consuming fresh raw farm milk. After adjusting for farm status (whether they lived on farms), specific location, age, sex, breastfeeding history, family size, and the presence of asthma in the family tree, raw milk consumption was protective against asthma. Compared to children who exclusively consumed pasteurized milk, less-than-daily raw milk drinkers were 40% less likely to have asthma and daily raw milk drinkers were 50% less likely to have asthma. Again, this is after controlling for all other variables that might affect asthma status. Furthermore, if a family boiled raw milk before consuming it at home, the protective relationship between fresh farm milk and asthma was abolished.

Another study from last year found that consumption of unprocessed cow’s milk protects infants from common respiratory infections. Researchers tracked 983 infants from rural areas in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, and Switzerland through the first year of life, finding that raw milk consumption protected against rhinitis, otitis, fever, and respiratory tract infections. Raw milk-drinking babies also had lower C-reactive protein levels than other infants. Overall, raw milk consumption in the first year of life reduced the chance of fever and respiratory infections by 30%. Similar results were found among infants consuming raw milk boiled at home, but the associations were weaker than for untouched raw milk.

Neither study proves causation, but they’re both quite suggestive of real differences between raw milk and pasteurized milk when it comes to immune disorders, especially given what we know about the effect raw milk has on glutathione status — a major regulatory of immunity.

Is it safe?

Interestingly, raw milk is actually somewhat resistant to bacterial contamination and proliferation. As far back as 1929 (PDF), researchers considered it common knowledge that “fresh milk… will inhibit the growth of a variety of organisms, while when milk is heated at a temperature of 80 °C or more the inhibitory principle is destroyed.” But it’s not immune to pathogens, and those who drink raw milk are more still more likely to get sick from milk-borne pathogens than consumers of pasteurized milk. And when a person does get sick from drinking raw milk, however rare it may be, it can be serious. Take the four children from Oregon who ended up in the hospital after drinking milk contaminated with E. coli in 2012, or the Missouri outbreak that put two people in the hospital with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure caused by E. coli infection. No sugarcoating; it’s the simple truth that raw milk can be dangerous. However, the absolute risk of hospitalization from raw milk consumption is low: about 1 in a million. Most things we do and eat are “risky,” in that they carry some modicum of risk. But they can still be worth doing or eating, like real brie cheese or raw oysters on the half shell or tacos at midnight from a Puerto Vallarta side street cart.

Are there actually any documented differences in people drinking raw vs pasteurized milk?

Beside the epidemiological studies of the European farm kids mentioned earlier, there’s not much in the literature to go on. However, it’s well-known that unpasteurized human breastmilk is better for infants than the pasteurized stuff, with an extensive body of literature showing the former’s superiority:

Infants given raw expressed breastmilk gain more weight. They’re less susceptible to infections. Those are major documented differences between raw and pasteurized milk drinkers. Sure, they’re drinking human milk, not cow or goat or sheep milk, but the salient point is that pasteurization is altering the effects of consumed milk. Proof? No. But it makes all those millions of people shelling out $14 a gallon for raw milk because they can finally drink milk again seem a little less crazy and a bit more justified.

Should you drink raw milk? It’s tough to say. Most adults aren’t really missing out on much by not drinking raw milk. But if you are drinking milk, a good, clean source of raw milk might be worth trying. And you can always heat it up at home if you’re worried about contamination. The tricky part about all this is that the population who stands to gain the most from regular raw milk consumption — children, those tiny humans who are still developing their immune systems and are most likely to develop asthma and rhinitis and other immune disorders, which raw milk may protect against — is also the most susceptible to infectious raw-milk borne diseases.

The decision ultimately rests with you. Yes, you, the individual reading this post. That decision should remain yours to make. Not a government agent. Not the FDA. Not me.

I almost forgot. I will sometimes keep a little raw milk on hand. Not for me. For my dogs. Yeah, after a particularly hard hike or play session, I’ll occasionally give the furballs some raw cow or goat milk. They love it and nothing changes in their stool. Dog owners know: a dog’s poop is a direct conduit to his immediate physiological state. If they eat something that doesn’t agree with them, they’ll let you know in the backyard right away. Now pasteurized milk? Another story entirely. They only got it once, and on accident. Terrible, stinky diarrhea. Audible farts. Whining. That miserable hangdog look man’s best friend is so good at delivering.

What to make of this? Placebo effect’s out. Dogs are smart in their own way, but these are dogs we’re talking about. Milks were all full-fat. The pasteurized stuff was homogenized, which could have made a difference. All were organic. I’ve got to think it was the pasteurization.

This is a tough topic. There are definitely clear differences and some potential benefits to raw milk consumption, but there are also safety risks, however minimal and overblown. Raw milk might help your kid stave off asthma and optimize his immune function, but it could also land him in the hospital (if you’re one of the rare few).

The only person who can answer the titular question is you. So, let’s hear it down below:

Is raw milk worth it to you and your family? Do you notice differences when you drink raw milk? What about pasteurized?

Is raw milk really better, in your experience?

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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223 Comments on "Is Raw Milk Really Better?"

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Erica
1 year 4 months ago

Imma stick to my almond milk …

ed
1 year 4 months ago

Your almond milk SILK or the other is front loaded with CHALK and vitD2 man made -d2 is aspergillus mold , if your making your own –great –store your adding to the decline of your health

healthywings
healthywings
1 year 4 months ago

wow — thanks for this info Ed

Monikat
Monikat
1 year 4 months ago

Tangent alert! Your blog reminds me of John Muir’s irritation with dairy lovers:

“Bread without butter or coffee without milk is an awful calamity, as if everything before being put in our mouth must first be held under a cow.”

Curious
Curious
1 year 4 months ago

I wonder if a mother drinking raw milk while breastfeeding would add any benefits to the infection protective qualities of her milk.

alpacagirl
alpacagirl
1 year 4 months ago

Anecdotally speaking, there are benefits. When my sister began drinking raw milk, my niece began showing improvement. She had a difficult birth and was not putting on weight. I think many of her issues were due to being given antibiotics shortly after birth and having to build up her gut from square zero. Anyhoo, once my sister switched from drinking organic pasteurized to organic raw milk, my niece stopped projectile vomiting immediately after nursing.

inquisitor
inquisitor
1 year 4 months ago

There are types of cow’s milk called “hyper-immune milk” where the cow’s are treated so their milk can have additional so-called “healthy” properties and passed on to those that consume it.

Tenacious
Tenacious
1 year 3 months ago

What about a mother drinking her own breast milk while breastfeeding?

dave riley
dave riley
1 year 4 months ago
There has been a death in Australia and an ongoing debate. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-12/raw-milk-ruling-goes-against-sa-farmer/6460058 and: The three-year-old child who died developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a rare bacterial illness that leads to kidney failure. The death is being investigated by the coroner. The other four children aged between one and five became seriously ill in recent weeks following infections linked to the milk, but have since recovered. Three of the children had haemolytic uraemic syndrome and two others had cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic infection that commonly presents as gastroenteritis with watery diarrhoea. Dr Lester said raw milk could contain dangerous bacteria and parasites and… Read more »
Gino
Gino
1 year 4 months ago

So bottom line spinach is still killing WAY more peeps than raw milk, ya?

Chris
1 year 4 months ago

None of the tests have confirmed the bacteria was present in any of the products sold.

Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago

This is the problem – if you want to be safe, you almost have to get your own cow, otherwise you don’t really know how long the raw milk has been on the shelf, and where it’s been.

Mark
Mark
3 months 9 days ago
I’ve been drinking raw milk for nearly 7 years, I love it, my wife and I were buying and consuming 6Lt per week for about 5 of those years. My daughter asked me how I could go through so much milk, what do I have it in, coffee? tea?… A glass I said. Getting back to your “problem”, I am more confident drinking raw milk from a farm that produces nothing but raw milk because I know the farmer has his staff checked for health issues every fortnight… and a vet checks his cows every week. If someone came to… Read more »
brad
1 year 4 months ago

If I’m reading the article correctly, the boy who died had consumed milk that was intended for bathing, not human consumption.

Mitch
Mitch
1 year 4 months ago

Any milk to be legally sold for human consumption (eating, drinking) in Aussie must be pasteurised.

Non-pasteurised milk is sold in VERY few outlets but can not be sold as food – To get around this issue it’s labeled and sold as “bath” or “bathing” milk ( often with a note staying not for consumption)

The seller knows it will be used as food, the buyer intends to use it as unpasteurised food – if directly asked, the seller will say it can’t be sold as food ( or “it’s not for human consumption”).

sammi
sammi
1 year 4 months ago

Raw goat milk is legal to sell in Australia for human consumption. It doesn’t have the same bacteria that cow’s milk has.

Mark
Mark
3 months 9 days ago

See post above, It would have been “Bath Milk” as it is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption here in Australia, NOT illegal to consume it, only to sell it.

Aussie Sutra
Aussie Sutra
1 year 4 months ago
We, the Australian raw milk consumers, are all still awaiting the results of the coroner’s inquest on the little boy who passed away. The little boy consumed a small amount of raw milk approximately two months before falling ill with e-coli. It is very suspicious to say the least that Australian authorities attempted in any way to connect the e-coli infection that took place in this family with consumption of a food a full two months earlier. No doubt e-coli was the culprit, but I cannot see it ever being connected with the tragic death of that child. For those… Read more »
IanB
IanB
1 year 4 months ago

Strangely enough this incident happened late last year, over 5 months ago now. Why is there no report from the coroner yet? I would have thought it would have been a high priority.

Why not just regulate the raw milk industry so farmers don’t have to sell it for “cosmetic purposes”? It’s all about protecting someone’s profits I think…..and it’s not the farmers.

Tamara
Tamara
1 year 4 months ago

I wish you would have mentioned homogenization too. It is often difficult to find milk which has been pasteurized but NOT homogenized. The two tend to go hand-in-hand in milk production, and homogenization is a bigger threat than pasteurization. As my friend (who runs a raw goat milk dairy farm) says, “Pasteurization makes milk dead. Homogenization makes it DEADLY.”

Lindsey
Lindsey
1 year 4 months ago

Just out of interest…. How?

Brian Smith
Brian Smith
1 year 4 months ago

Lindsey,
Homogenization mutates the milk particles into tiny, microscopic particles. When consumed, these particles get into the blood stream and they cut up the arterial walls. Then your body sends cholesterol to the cuts in your arteries to patch them. This then causes clogs in your arteries. I believe the homogenization of dairy products is one of the leading culprits in our high percentage of heart disease related deaths. Chlorine and fluoride do the same thing.

zach
zach
1 year 4 months ago

Sigh, it’s amazing how people continue to tout discredited ideas like Kurt Oster’s homogenization nonsense. Sounds real scientific too, but then you realize it’s all about “I believe” rather than solid evidence.

castlerobber
castlerobber
1 year 4 months ago

There are two dairies in my state that produce grass-fed Jersey milk that’s lightly (lower-temp) pasteurized but not homogenized, and sell it in half-gallon glass bottles. Good stuff. There’s another that has non-homogenized Holstein milk, but I haven’t tried theirs.

Susan
Susan
1 year 4 months ago

Same in Minnesota

His Dudeness
His Dudeness
1 year 4 months ago

In MN, you may be close enough to get the Kalona brand whole milk, which is vat pasteurized, but not homogenized. It’s from a co-op of small farms near Kalona, IA. We have it here in eastern SD. Organic Valley’s grassmilk is the same. Non-homogenized, cream top. My kids go through it pretty fast.
Kalona’s cheese, heavy cream, and sour cream are always in my fridge. It’s great stuff. All grass-fed.

Cliff
Cliff
1 year 4 months ago

Kalona Brand is SuperNatural? We get that in Denver.

Karen
Karen
1 year 4 months ago

Yes, if your Hy-Vee doesn’t carry Kolona just ask for it. They will get it in asap.

D. M. Mitchell
D. M. Mitchell
1 year 4 months ago
Cow’s milk has rather large fat globules, the cream, which rises to the top. You will be hard put to make butter from goat’s milk because the fat globules are very small, rather like having been pre-homogenized by the goat, therefore the fat tends to stay in suspension. Goat’s milk is a natural colloidal suspension regarding the fat. Homogenized cow’s milk is a mechanically-made colloidal suspension. Still, there could be a health connection between naturally homogenized goat’s milk and mechanically induced homogenization of cow’s milk. By the way, to make butter from goat’s milk you have to let the milk… Read more »
Manfred
Manfred
1 year 4 months ago

Tamara is right that homogenization is one of the most important issues. While I will not defend or attack milk use, the homogenization process of cow’s milk is definitely an issue for many people. I have friends and several in-laws that have been medically diagnosed as lactose-intolerant, but when they have tried raw dairy milk or cheese, they do not have the lactose-intolerant symptoms/problems. The unnatural homogenization process is just another food manufacturer method of making something “presentable”, instead of useful or necessary. Just like other processed foods, avoid homogenized milk.

andrew
andrew
1 year 4 months ago

Thanks for mentioning the homogenization fact. You are absolutely correct!

Esther Cook
Esther Cook
1 year 4 months ago

Organic Valley and Kalona dairy both now sell “Cream on Top” milk that is pasteurized but not homogenized.

I love it. Raw would be even better, but Cream Top stuff is satisfying somehow. I also get a lot of raw cheese. If raw milk is aged enuf, somehow that handles the offensive germs as effectively as pasteurization. That is something well worth knowing about.

gina
gina
1 year 4 months ago

I would love to give it a try; however, the sale of raw milk is banned in my state. If I wanted to go buy a pack of cigarettes and a 6-pack of beer though, no problem.
I think the risk of raw milk is blown out of proportion in politics and find it really unfair that this is not a decision I’m allowed to make on my own. I’d also love to support my local farmers.

Todd Nelson
Todd Nelson
1 year 4 months ago

Trust me it is not overblown.

Tina
Tina
1 year 4 months ago
My family and I have been drinking raw milk for three years now. We have never been sick. I got to know the farm and her farmer and how it is processed, I buy the milk directly from him, on the farm. The farm that I buy from has never been linked to any E.Coli outbreaks or health problems. There has not been one outbreak of anything due to raw milk in my state for decades. My little boy was having serious nosebleeds, allergies, and all kinds of other health problems that went away after drinking raw milk. During weeks… Read more »
Erik
Erik
1 year 4 months ago

I’m curious if you’ve ever tried vat pasteurized milk and if so how he reacted to it?

Amir
Amir
1 year 4 months ago

My grandparents (mother’s side) were born in Africa and drank raw milk their entire lives, no one ever got sick – My grandfather died at 94 and grandmother at 111. My parents drank raw milk until the 90s. My father died young (drinking, smoking, work killed him likely) but my mother is healthy at 80 and looks more like in her 50s. All except my father were vegetarians (not vegans) their entire lives.

John
John
1 year 4 months ago

It is completely overblown. If you knew the science and politics behind it you would understand but apparently you do not.

Shary
Shary
1 year 4 months ago

I agree, Todd. If I owned the milk cow and had total control over the milking process and cleanliness of the equipment used, I might drink raw milk. With commercial raw milk, there is total control over nothing; there is only blind faith in someone else’s ability and desire to get it right. IMO, the questionable benefits of commercial raw dairy simply aren’t worth the risks.

Richie
Richie
1 year 4 months ago

Right, because sickening your customer base is always good for business. I’m sure they don’t care about the cleanliness of their equipment. Why should they?

Shary
Shary
1 year 4 months ago

Sickening the customer base happens all the time, Richie, or do you not follow the news? It’s incredibly naive to think that any food is completely safe simply because it’s bad for business to sicken the buyers.

His Dudeness
His Dudeness
1 year 4 months ago

Meh. The risks are there, but I’d be more worried about being sickened by commercial raw spinach or melons, as they seem to be doing most of the sickening lately.
I don’t drink milk personally, raw or otherwise. But it should be up to individuals whether they trust their sources.

Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago

Companies will do what they can to ensure quality control – but its the odd cases when something unexpected happens – for example, cases in McDonalds where employees have spat in a hamburger and given it to customers for a laugh – we’ll they did say the sauce in a Big Mac is “special sauce”, at no point do they make a claim as to what the “special sauce” might be

oxide
oxide
1 year 4 months ago

Great, so they can go out of business AFTER I’m dead? Would you still say this if it were you or someone you loved who was sickened? Raw milk is just too risky. And for heaven’s sake, we’re PALEO, remember? We get our nutrients from meat and veggies. Milk is a flavor and texture comfort, not a vitamin pill.

Tina
Tina
1 year 4 months ago
Raw milk is not commercialized. At least not in my state. Nor should it be. I don’t own the cow, but I know exactly what the farmer is doing. I see him every week when I go to buy my milk. I see the cows out eating grass in the field, I see the place where they are milked and how it is bottled. Raw milk is something that needs to be carefully thought about and bought from a farmer who knows what he is doing, it takes an educated consumer and educated farmer working together. It is not something… Read more »
Suzan
Suzan
1 year 4 months ago

Hubby has been drinking raw milk almost every day for 10 years and has never gotten sick from it or anything else.

D. M. Mitchell
D. M. Mitchell
1 year 4 months ago

According to the people at Real Milk (http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/PDFs/pasteurized-dairy-outbreak-table.pdf) who did an extensive search of illnesses caused by pasteurized milk, from 1998 to 2010 there were 2,200 fluid milk-related illnesses resulting in three deaths; 604 cheese-related illnesses (573 from non-Mexican style cheese and 31 from Mexican style queso fresco) resulting in one death (from the queso fresco); and 36 powdered milk-related illnesses.

Then there is the recent listeria outbreak from Blue Bell company, which the CDC says to eat no Blue Bell products. (http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/ice-cream-03-15/) Three deaths have been confirmed.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 year 4 months ago

You had better explain yourself mate, after making such a curt reply! Obviously you are a milk hater?

Jonathan Inskeep
Jonathan Inskeep
1 year 4 months ago

You left out a confounding variable that might be particularly important regarding your dogs. Commercial milk is homogenized as well as pasteurized. Homogenization is the process that breaks apart the milk fat globules so they stay in suspension rather than separating out. I don’t have a ready source, but I have been led to believe that Homogenization is the bigger culprit in the digestablity issues of commercial milk.

Todd Nelson
Todd Nelson
1 year 4 months ago
As with most things in life, I take what I think will benefit me personally from this blog and ignore the things that I might not agree with. This topic however has incited me to write a response. In life we all chose what level of risk we wish to take vs what the potential gain may be. Despite growing up on a dairy farm, I would never drink nor give my children unpasteurized milk or cider. The potential benefits simply do not outweigh the risks. Of course my judgement is clouded by the loss of an 18 month old… Read more »
Stefan
1 year 4 months ago

So true, you only have to think at what end of the animal the udder is situated to appreciate the risks of contamination.

Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago

You have much more chance being killed in a car accident getting the raw milk from the shop, than dying from a raw milk pathegen

Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago

Having said that though, I agree, I drink pasturised, and don’t see the benefit versus the potential risks, its like people who follow raw vegan diets just to prove a point.

David Birney
David Birney
1 year 4 months ago
Being in Kentucky I have no idea where to find Raw Milk (since I guess it is illegal) But is also something I’m not that interested in anymore. I used to drink lots of milk, but it has honesty been decades since I have actually drank a class. Sometimes I use it on cooking, or maybe have a little cream. I do love cheese, and finding raw milk cheese or grass fed cheese is pretty easy. I’m not sure I would drink Raw milk even if it was easy to get, but both my wife and son drink Milk so… Read more »
Tonya
Tonya
1 year 4 months ago

In Kentucky we have J&D Country Milk available which is low temp pasteurized and non homogenized, sold in glass bottles returnable for deposit. It’s friggin awesome! If you’re interested you may want to try it.

Cathy Melchiori
Cathy Melchiori
1 year 4 months ago

I use raw milk to make my kefir. The grains love it. We have a cow share which is the legal way to obtain milk where it’s deemed illegal to sell. As an owner of the cow I can use the milk. The cows are grass-fed which I think adds more benefit to the milk as well.

Mary
Mary
1 year 4 months ago
Yes! You have just mentioned a very important aspect of good raw milk- that it come from GRASS FED cows! And if those pastures are managed organically all the better. Know your farmer, visit the farm. We’ve been drinking raw milk for years and we are all very healthy, including my two small granddaughters who were (of course) breast fed but now drink raw milk. They never have to go to the doctor except for regular checkups. No allergies or ear infections… Also son in law was “lactose intolerant” but is totally able to drink the raw stuff. I have… Read more »
evergreen
evergreen
1 year 4 months ago
We switched to primal/paleo when my daughter was three months old. She was exclusively breastfed for six months, then we did baby led weaning with whole foods following primal principles. I continued to nurse her for a further nine months (or expressed, but rarely, as she refused a bottle). Otherwise she drank water only. Because I started work when she was eleven months old we started transitioning her to raw milk along with breast milk at that point,, and then she weaned completely at fifteen months, drinking just raw cow mik. We are extremely fortunate that she seems so far… Read more »
T
T
1 year 4 months ago

Curious to know if your child was vaccinated? I love the fact that your feeding habits may have contributed to health, but wondering if maybe it was the lack of vaccines that helped her with resilience. Otherwise, it would be very comforting to know that although she was vaccinated – the raw milk/breast milk took precedence and strengthened her immune system. I personally believe that vaccinated children fall to the “typical” colds, illnesses, allergies, etc. more often.

evergreen
evergreen
1 year 4 months ago
Hi! Yes she had her shots (I don’t subscribe to the ‘vaccines are evil’ philosophy, I think hard immunity is essential), which I think were MMR and a couple others when she was a baby. She didn’t have the TB as she’s not high-risk, and she’ll have HPV later. We live in London, high population density so illnesses can spread fast. There were a couple of cases of Scarlet Fever at her preschool recently. But I’ve never worried about sterilizing things or lots of handwashing; she plays in the garden and then eats an apple, and when it’s warm goes… Read more »
JC
JC
1 year 4 months ago
Seriously? Are we still having the vaccine debate? I hope Mark does an article on that research! – and more importantly on the fabricated research the has been touted so often in the anti-vax world. BOTH my children were vaccinated and are EXTREMELY healthy. They are almost never sick – both are teens now and I can count on 1 hand the number of times they have been ill in their lives. They were both breast fed and eat a healthy diet. We don’t drink raw milk because we don’t like the taste of it. We do eat raw cheese… Read more »
Starla
Starla
1 year 4 months ago

Yes, there is still a vaccine debate. A very large one. There is a body of information that raises a lot of questions about the safety and efficacy of immunizations. It’s great that your children responded so well to them, however, not all children do. There is fabricated “research” on both sides of the issue, but either way, there’s not enough to support saying with 100% certainty that vaccines are completely safe and should be compulsory.

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

Huh. I’ll be glad when someone finally comes up with something that’s 100% certain in this world. Apart from “death and taxes”, as the saying goes. Until then, I’m not sure that’s the standard we should require when weighing the pros and cons of vaccination. Clearly there’s still a debate, but it’s largely an emotional one, based on fear triggers (and in recent history, promoted by a fraudulent scientist being paid by lawyers to find a positive link between vaccination and autism).

alicia
alicia
1 year 4 months ago
Please vaccinate your kids! The reason people came up with those vaccines was not to be mean but because children were dying of those diseases. When the vaccines first became available, parents lined up to get their children shot, and they did it because they had seen what the diseases could do. We are privileged to have not seen them, so people think vaccination is not necessary, but the reason that you haven’t seen them is… vaccination. If people start running out and refusing vaccinations, there is no reason whatever that the diseases will not return. Your children are not… Read more »
JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

“Your children are not magical”: Amen. (Even if they are an utter delight.)

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

Or an udder delight, since this was supposed to be about milk.

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago
I’m all for questioning the foods we eat (and even the medical treatments we get), but your comment simply misunderstands vaccines. Vaccines use the immune system, actually calling it into action, and priming it for future encounters. They don’t weaken it. It might be helpful to learn about antibodies, specific immunity, and the actual mechanism of action of vaccines before going down the anti-vaccine path. As for the notion that non-vaccinated children are more resilient, there’s no such evidence on an objective scientific (or objective anecdotal) level. On the contrary, vaccines spare people from crippling diseases like polio and serious… Read more »
JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago
I didn’t say adjuvants in particular use the immune system (though in some cases they increase its response to the antigen), but that’s a red herring as I was responding to the idea that not vaccinating makes someone more resilient, which is a feel-good idea that is, to use your word, “bollocks”. I wonder if you know how much aluminum and mercury we consume on a daily basis, as we live longer than ever before, or if those elements just seem generally scary. As for polio, it’s not even gone. It’s resurging, notably in countries where vaccines have been banned… Read more »
JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

I also didn’t say there was no evidence for the “safety” of vaccines, I said there was no evidence that not vaccinating made children more resilient.

alicia
alicia
1 year 4 months ago

Chris, I went on line. Your information that polio was already on the way out is incorrect. It is true that the highest ever rate was two years before that, but that was a fluke year, and all the previous several years were well above the historical norm. The year after the vaccine, however, rates crashed. I think maybe it was the vaccine!

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

Chris, Trevor Gunn? As in homeopathy?

I’m truly, truly sorry that that quackery has a hold of the hopes and fears of people that don’t have the capacity to assess its claims. It’s a travesty of scientific literacy and healthcare.

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

And let me be clear. A holistic approach to health is wonderful, and necessary.

It’s the “homeopathic dilutions” idea that is flabbergasting nonsense. I can’t take anyone seriously who touts that idea. It’s unfortunate that holistic medicine is polluted by such foolishness. I can hardly think of a faster way of losing credibility.

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago

And Eustace Mullins the conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier…

You had me going there, Chris. Now I know you’re just trolling. Ah, that’ll teach me. I hope you had fun.

JJ
JJ
1 year 4 months ago
Sorry Chris. After your post about Eustace Mullins I really thought you must be joking. I guess I was wrong. I go back to my first impression — that you simply have terrible judgment. I also see, now, that your name on this site hyperlinks to a white supremacist site. Frankly, that makes me laugh on one hand, but on the other hand I feel sorry for you. You’re certainly not worth my outrage. I agree with you that some of these points are extraneous to the issue we first engaged over. But one always does well to consider the… Read more »
Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago

hmm – the good old vaccine debate, the vaccines I have seen are not for common colds, they are for far more serious illnesses.

Go to a third world country and see the absolute carnage of dead children for preventable diseases, and you find the only reason that their parents haven’t got their kids vaccinated is because they don’t have that option.

Let your kids play in dirt and do kid things if you want to build a resistance to the common cold.

Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago

hmm – the good old vaccine debate, the vaccines I have seen are not for common colds, they are for far more serious illnesses.

Go to a third world country and see the absolute carnage of dead children for preventable diseases, and you find the only reason that their parents haven’t got their kids vaccinated is because they don’t have that option.

Let your kids play in dirt and do kid things if you want to build a resistance to the common cold.

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-raw-milk-really-better/#ixzz3akt5qbqa

Josh
Josh
1 year 4 months ago

Better? Probably. But good or even necessary? Probably not. Adult humans consuming milk from other species just doesn’t seem to provide any real benefit that other foods cannot fulfill. That being said I do love me some ice cream made from raw milk in the vitamix. And i never seem to experience the problems I get when consuming the store bought varieties. But full fat organic seems to help too. So chalk up a partial win for raw milk over cooked here.

framistat
framistat
1 year 4 months ago

There is a small Amish dairy farmer about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester NY that sells wonderful raw milk, bring your own containers. Homemade lavender ice cream made from this milk is heavenly. You can just taste the grass they grazed on; it has good color, not that fake looking white. Good for my leaky gut too.

Mike
Mike
1 year 4 months ago

Glad to see someone sane speaking on this topic.

I suspect that milk intolerance goes much deeper than lactose. Just look at how many people can’t seem to tolerate whey protein or lactaid milk.

After a decade + struggle with IBS, going Paleo and eliminating grains from my diet led to a very big turn around in my gut health.

I was eventually able to tolerate raw milk again. Of course skeptics will say this is “woo”, I’m experiencing placebo and evidence that I’m weak willed and a science denialist, but you know what – screw them.

alicia
alicia
1 year 4 months ago
It makes me crazy when people get symptoms from milk and just assume that it is lactose intolerance, no matter what. If you get symptoms other than gastro-intestinal, it isn’t the lactose. If you still get symptoms after taking lactaid, it isn’t the lactose. If you can do goat dairy but not cow, it isn’t the lactose. Lactose is the name of molecule, which does not vary in kind across all mammalian species. Lactose intolerance is a GI phenomenon that is most severe in fluid dairy, milder in soft cultured and more or less non-existant in hard cheeses, and which… Read more »
Anita
Anita
1 year 4 months ago
My friend was just diagnosed with Q fever after drinking raw goat’s milk. Even though he drank it in his childhood daily, for some reason as an adult he succumbed to the bacteria and was very ill. Antibiotics cleared it up but he suffered for 4 weeks before they diagnosed it because it relatively rare. My 8 year old daughter ended up with similar symptoms (it turned out to be influenza) and they tested her for Q fever. She has antibodies which means a previous infection. After watching him suffer for 4 weeks. we’ve decided to stop the practice of… Read more »
Anita
Anita
1 year 4 months ago

I should also mention that the Q fever caused him liver and heart valve damage as it took so long to diagnose. The bacteria also attacked his muscles, which was very painful. It took him 4 weeks to recover after starting antibiotics.
The milk came from a reliable (and clean) farm. But they risked being investigated because of my friend’s illness. The farmer also stands to lose a lot if someone gets ill.

Kathy
1 year 4 months ago
You made the right decision for you and your family – the right decision will always be the decision that you feel comfortable with! If it is any comfort, one doesn’t have to ingest the milk to acquire Q virus – one can acquire it from breathing in the bacteria from dust in the pens of pregnant/birthing animals, etc (its is most common among vets, ranchers, farmers due to being around female, birthing animals – not because of drinking the milk – breathing in a single cell can cause infection). So if your daughter has access to the goats, she… Read more »
Anita
Anita
1 year 4 months ago
Thanks for responding. What you wrote is interesting. My daughter has every only been around the kids when they are a couple of weeks old and the pens have already been cleaned a few times. And the only milk she drank in her life was raw goat’s milk. My friend is a farmer but doesn’t raise his own goats. He simply collects the milk from the holding tank of a neighbouring farm and fills it into bottles. Now, the holding tank is attached to the barn where the kids are born. Perhaps he picked it up that way? Interestingly, we… Read more »
Kathy
1 year 4 months ago

It was probably the milk for her, then – but I wanted to share about the possibility of actual physical goat exposure, just in case she was around them 😉 I was surprised to learn about that connection myself!

Pattie
Pattie
1 year 4 months ago
Great post! We have been drinking raw milk for five years and my daughters allergy induced asthma is non existent! We started primal, whole food, Weston A. Price type of eating when she was 9 and the difference has been remarkable. I didn’t switch to raw milk because I thought it would help her asthma but once we had changed the diet I noticed her inhaler at home when she started back to school (she would use before P.E.) and she said she didn’t need it. It had been about 6 months. She is now 14, plays lacrosse, basketball and… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 year 4 months ago
Much ado about nothing. Angels dancing on the head of a pin. A few extra milligrams of glutathione? Stop the presses! A reduction is asthma? Nice, but we don’t know the hard numbers. A fifty percent reduction of 3 isn’t much. You are weaned? Don’t, or rarely, drink milk. End of story. Done. I cam of age when eating cooked vegetables half raw was all the rate. You know, you don’t want to destroy those vitamins! I eventually realized I like most of my veggies well cooked, and whatever vitamins were “lost,” I didn’t need. More than enough in my… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 year 4 months ago

Sorry for the typos. I usually do a better job of self-editing and correction

More coffee, Gascon!

Dr. John
Dr. John
1 year 4 months ago
Sorry, but that’s a bias- filled post that demands a rebuttal. I admire paleo, and thus read Mark’s posts. But there is this smug, intolerant, ‘oh-so-superior’ attitude of a lot of Paleo advocates, that makes the most fundamentalist Baptist seem pale in comparison. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I can vouch both for the benefits of raw milk, as well as our family’s response to it, at a time when we needed it. Entire civilizations (namely White Europe) were able to build their suprior cultures and nations, due to the strength and immuno-enhancing elements from a… Read more »
annie
1 year 4 months ago

Excellent rebuttal, except for the name calling.

Whitedaisy
Whitedaisy
1 year 4 months ago

+1 :/

gwen
gwen
1 year 4 months ago
Unreal. Suggested bias of post then said white european cultures were superior because of milk. Neither in my (biased) opinion is true. I come from a native american and european background and can say that european culture is not superior overall. Each culture has things which make it special or superior in its each way. I suppose native canadians (ie not grain-legume diets based diets of more southern tribes) who were healthy smart and vigourous were decimated by the deliberate disease introduction strategies of the federal government because they weren’t sucking buffalo teats. My husbands northern european and so I… Read more »
Heath
Heath
1 year 4 months ago

+1 Hail the ancestors!

Erin
Erin
1 year 4 months ago

I love my raw milk, have been drinking a gallon a week, along with my husband, for almost 4 years. Delicious! I hated milk growing up and never drank it until I was an adult.

Victoria
Victoria
1 year 4 months ago

I had a similar experience. I rarely drank milk as a child–mostly used it for cereal and dumped the extra left over. After trying raw cow’s milk about 4 years ago, I was hooked. SO delicious. My family of three goes through 1-2 gallons per week. Fortunately for us, it is legal for retail sale here in California.

Paul D
Paul D
1 year 4 months ago

My two weaknesses are milk and chocolate cookies and milk and brownies. The combination is irresistible to me.

Having said that though, I just can’t see milk as being particularly primal.

I suppose hunter-gathers who killed a lactating elk might have drank the milk as part of the use every part of the animal approach. But obviously that is not a major part of a diet.

I’ll still drink to occasional glass of milk anytime my wife bakes, but I accept I’m going off the reservation when i do it!

Bryan
Bryan
1 year 4 months ago
There have been many cultures throughout our evolution that consumed raw milk, such as the Masai tribe in Africa as a famous and more modern example. They would only cook it when someone was sick and mix it with the ground fruits of Maesa lanceolata, which was antiparisitic. They lived just fine consuming it. The Swiss also traditionally consumed raw dairy and were very healthy (see Weston A Price “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”). Remember, pasteurization wasn’t even a practice until the very early 20th century, and it was the result of the industrial revolution and factory farming with its unsanitary… Read more »
Lisabeth
1 year 4 months ago
Just a reminder–pasteurization, antibiotics, vaccinations–these things aren’t evil, they are advances that have enabled millions to eat/drink safe food and to resist deadly diseases and infections. I find that those looking into their health and nutrition too easily forget this. As a historian, it makes me a little crazy to hear people blithely reject the benefits of modern medicine and standardization. It’s not perfect, of course, but food regulations exist for the public good. If you are really concerned about the quality of your milk, find a local dairy that you trust (and no, I wouldn’t drink raw), or don’t… Read more »
Richard
Richard
1 year 4 months ago

“As a historian..”

Historian of what? Probably not of regulatory agencies, like the FDA. Its history doesn’t exactly merit your statement that: “food regulations exist for the public good.”

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Richard

framistat
framistat
1 year 4 months ago

+1

Liz
Liz
1 year 4 months ago
This is a really good point. While I do think that we, as consumers, ought to be able to decide what to feed our children, I also think it’s completely impractical to reject all modern advances as “bad.” You simply can’t feed a huge country full of people without safety measures, and that is the goal of pasteurization. If everyone drank raw milk, people WOULD get sick. It would only be a matter of time. And don’t even get me started on the people who manage to turn things like pasteurization into some kind of conspiracy by the government to… Read more »
Jessica
1 year 4 months ago

Ah, Thank you, Liz. You articulated what I was about to write, but you did it probably better than I would have done. It’s not a good idea to throw the science baby out with the “THIS way is better” bathwater.

LS
LS
1 year 4 months ago
One thing the raw milk haters here seem to overlook is that people drinking PASTEURIZED milk (darn near “everyone”) DO get sick now. You must know your source for the raw milk, of course, but it is highly unlikely that you will get sick from it if the cows are grass fed and treated well. Pasteurization was only necessary because of the unscrupulous farmers trying to increase their yield (hmm, they wouldn’t be considered unscrupulous now, would they–pretty standard practice in the dairy industry). There was a family I knew that said they got seriously ill with listeria from raw… Read more »
Cristina
Cristina
1 year 4 months ago
I would like to see a study comparing health in children who drink raw milk and children who drink no milk at all. I bet the asthma and respiratory diseases are way down in kids who drink no milk at all. I am intolerant to all milks right now, I used to drink a quart of pasteurized milk a day for my first 25 years and then my body had enough and started having horrible intestinal cramps. I tried raw milk numerous times from my local coop, the cramps are not so bad but still get runny stools. After being… Read more »
Tracey
Tracey
1 year 4 months ago
Some people might say it would be hard for me to be objective on this issue because I grew up on raw milk. To the age of 30. Then due to moving and marriage it wasn’t as available to me and mine. But I am a firm believer in raw,grass fed milk -IF- you are going to drink milk. As Dr WC Douglas says,” A cows milk was meant by Mama Nature for baby cows”. But if you are going to drink it,drink it raw and grass fed. And the Weston Price Foundation ( all bow) endorses grass fed raw… Read more »
alicia
alicia
1 year 4 months ago

I find it deeply silly to not consume dairy because it is intended as food for baby cows. Almonds are intended as food for baby almond trees. Spinach is intended to make food for spinach plants. Eggs are intended as food for baby chickens. That doesn’t stop anyone from eating those foods. If someone were trying to live on nothing but milk, it would be relevant that it was optimized for calves, but tossing it in as one of your mix is fine.
Teleology is an utterly illogical way to make food decisions.

Todd
Todd
1 year 4 months ago

“Eggs are intended as food for baby chickens.” Seriously?

You find someone else’s comment silly and this is your response?

Hummy
Hummy
1 year 4 months ago

A small portion of a fertile chicken eggs consists of the chick. The rest of it, inside the shell, is food for the growing chick. By the time is hatches, the balance has changed. The shell is full of chick and the food has been consumed. I’m pretty sure that is what was meant.

Mike
Mike
1 year 4 months ago

We live in Idaho and our family has been drinking locall grass fed raw milk for about three years – since we learned of the Primal Blueprint. Some of our observations.
-tastes great
-have experienced nothing close to getting ill, and no one using milk from this provider has either.
-our two teenage sons experienced a huge drop in acne after switching from pasteurized milk.
-cost about $7.00 a gallon, not cheap but still manageable.
-we’ve found that it works well and is an enjoyable part of a primal diet.

CrunchyMama
1 year 4 months ago
On the occasions I’ve had raw milk, I find I do tolerate it far better than plain old off-the-shelf pasteurized/homogenized milk (or ice cream, or most mainstream cheese) from the store. I suspected lactose intolerance for a while until I noticed that Lactaid only did half the job; now that I’m a mom who’s had to do a lot of reading on food allergies and intolerances, I suspect a MPI (milk protein intolerance) is more likely. I’ve always done OK with cultured dairy, so yogurt and sour cream are fine, so it doesn’t seem out of line to me that… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
1 year 4 months ago

Oooooo Hot Topic!

We can’t buy raw milk here in Oregon but we do get to buy non-homogenized full fat milk in the grocery store. However, I’m 60 now, never had any ecoli contamination growing up on raw milk, eggs from chickens in our yard, home grown vegetables, meat from farmers. Oh, and I didn’t die from all that good food either. Seems a bit comical at times that we now fear things that for thousands of years sustained our ancestors. How do we all push the reset button? One thing at a time I guess.

Hope
Hope
1 year 4 months ago

I agree!

Dyan
Dyan
1 year 4 months ago

We also live in Oregon – (about 30 miles outside of Portland) and we drink raw milk. There are a number of farms that sell it directly. It is not available in the grocery stores but it is legal to buy direct. To find your nearest farmer try realmilk.com for a list.

ShaSha
ShaSha
1 year 4 months ago

I know there are health benefits (to some from drinking milk,raw or otherwise), but in general, even though I grew up on a farm, drinking it myself, I think that as Harvey Diamond said in his first book, “Milk is for baby calves. Even the calves don’t drink it past a certain age. We are the only species who drink the milk of another mammal.” Sounds right to me.

glorth2
glorth2
1 year 4 months ago

No comment about grass fed?

Binki
Binki
1 year 4 months ago

I am somewhat puzzled as to why Mark does not at all mention the reason that the pasteurization procees was deemed necessary by so many countries around the world: tuberculosis. This disease is still widespread in many parts of the world, and was devastating until the connection between bovine and human tuberculosis was found and stopped by pasteurisation. I love the extra-milky taste of raw milk, and drink it when I visit farms I trust, but I am glad that it is not commercially available.

Daniel
Daniel
1 year 4 months ago
Certainly Luis Pasture created the procedure to stop contaminations. That said the process was developed for wine not milk so the question of what is lost through processing was never an issue at the beginning. Whilst I bow to Mark’s superior knowledge and research efforts there is no doubt much to discover in the area of nutrition, which is why we all know that whole foods are better, because nature trumps science. A varied whole foods diet should have you covered including unknown benefactors in your diet. I read this post with apprehension because I’ve insisted that my family have… Read more »
SuzU
SuzU
1 year 4 months ago

True, TB is problematic. However, the TB cure capital of the world was Switzerland, where the regimen included a lot of milk. Humans can give TB to cows just as easily as cows can transmit TB to humans. A herd of cows that has tested TB-free for generations can be infected in one swoop by a worker with TB. Yes, the cows should be tested, and so should any person who comes into contact with them.

Stella B.
Stella B.
1 year 4 months ago

I worked with a guy who got intestinal tuberculosis from unpasteurized milk here in California, a state with a low rate of bovine TB. True, he wasn’t hospitalized, but he did require a long course of medication and medical quarantine. Another disease, toxoplasmosis, has long term neurologic effects and can severely damage fetuses when contracted by pregnant women. Eliding over the question of TB and toxoplasmosis from raw dairy leaves a big, gaping hole in the argument in favor of raw milk.

Rick
Rick
1 year 4 months ago

How many parents will not have their children vaccinated for fear of the chance it will cause harm, but will give their children raw milk because “it’s good for them”.

Susan
Susan
1 year 4 months ago

Know your farmer, visit the farm, see the cows, ask questions and enjoy a pure food. My family can tell a big difference. We buy fresh raw milk yogurt, milk, cream, and quark. Florida!

Jennifer
Jennifer
1 year 4 months ago
I grew up on a dairy farm and milked cows myself until I sold the herd 8 years ago, so I drank raw milk for 50 years. Have never had one illness from that milk, and none of my family or extended family, either (six or seven other dairy farmers in my family, as well). Having said that, I wouldn’t drink raw milk from anyone else’s herd. It’s one thing to trust my cows and my husbandry and milking practices, quite another to trust someone else’s. Above and beyond all of the hoopla about disease, there’s the fact that raw… Read more »
Coco
Coco
1 year 4 months ago

I don’t think that store-bought milk is tasteless, I think it’s disgusting. I’ve never tasted raw milk so I’m really curious. But I’m pretty sure I’ll die before I taste raw cow milk anyway…

Aimee
Aimee
1 year 4 months ago

I”m curious…..I had some really good raw milk about a year ago, but then stopped getting it because it had turned “fishy.” Is that because of the cows being grassfed or having grains in their diet? I would like to start getting raw milk for my daughter who will be 11 months old soon.

Jae
Jae
1 year 4 months ago

Ask the farmer what the cows are eating. Even if they are grass-fed, small changes in the pasture can change the taste of the milk and not just because grains have been introduced. A cow eating wild garlic will produce milk with a garlicky taste.

Liz
Liz
1 year 4 months ago
We have tried raw milk with our family (five young kids). In Michigan where we live, it’s illegal to buy raw milk; but you can get around that by buying into a cow share at a local farm. Essentially, you own part of a cow so are entitled to your portion of what that cow produces. This gave us about 2 gallons of raw milk per week, and more in the summer. We checked out the farm, and it was very clean. The family running the farm drank the milk themselves, so I felt confident they would take the steps… Read more »
Todd
Todd
1 year 4 months ago

That yellow stuff is liquid gold! If you haven’t read Weston A Price research on raw, grass fed milk (and other dietary findings) I recommend it if you have an interest. He argues and his research strongly supports that raw, grass fed milk along with other ingredients actually will cause teeth to re-mineralize! Meaning cavities and weakness in teeth will heal just like a cut on your skin. Read and decide for yourself.

Emily
Emily
1 year 4 months ago
Ahhhh, the great milk debate! I never liked milk. It has always grossed me out. That is, until I tried raw milk. Going Paleo drastically improved my health and how I felt. When I added in raw milk to my diet I was amazed. I didn’t know I could feel even better! the first time I drank it my body was like, “OMG this is amazing and I want more right now!!” It helps my digestion noticeably and helped me lose some extra pesky pounds and maintain that loss. Now I drink my “power smoothie” most days for breakfast which… Read more »
~ Nona
~ Nona
1 year 4 months ago

Your recipe sounds really good, Emily. I’m going to try it.

Sandy
1 year 4 months ago
We love raw (grass fed) milk products!its helped us in so many ways!! Even our pets have improved health. It’s a common misconception that raw milk is a ticking time bomb of bacteria. It’s not. It’s the processing of milk, any foods really, that risk contamination from collection facilities, instruments, machinery that have come into contact with poop. This is why they pasteurize mass milk production products, to get rid of all the poop bacteria because they can’t be bothered to clean their collection instruments first!! Milk does not come out of the cow (or goat) contaminated. So when a… Read more »
Jaye
Jaye
1 year 4 months ago
I grew up on a farm and we drank raw cow’s milk every single day. No one ever got sick, including the extended family we shared with (didn’t know that was illegal at the time). The health of the cow plays a huge role in the healthiness of the milk, as does the cleanliness of the milking operation. Most pathogens are external in origin (feces, etc.), so healthy, clean, pastured cows, milked in clean milking parlors are much less likely to be a source of infection of any sort. Compare that to CAFO dairy lots, which is where most commercial… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
1 year 4 months ago
I recently had an eye exam, and was told I’m at the very beginning stages of cataracts development. My eye doctor said dairy consumption was to blame. Now I’m kicking myself for all those early years of dairy consumption in the fact of an unknown dairy allergy. Now that I’m very much aware of the allergy, and easily avoid dairy, I hope this will slow down the eventual need for cataract surgery in the future. No word on whether modern-day dairy was the culprit in the cataracts, or whether grass-fed/raw milk would’ve had the same outcome. I’m definitely not game… Read more »
Ann Marie
1 year 4 months ago
Just had my first eye exam and the doc said I had allergies and, like you, beginning stages of cataracts. She attributed the cataract development to sun exposure AND aging. My mom had cataract surgery in her 60’s and loved the result. I do not drink milk now, but did as a kid. I still eat small amounts of cheese, mostly raw milk cheese from Trader Joe’s (imported from Europe.) Avoiding dairy–go for it. I did an elimination diet and did not miss the dairy, as I thought I would. However, I still love cheese, and enjoy it in small… Read more »
Maggie
Maggie
1 year 4 months ago

You want the cataract surgery sooner rather than later. It’s a damn miracle.

My vision was too far out of range for lasix, developed cataracts, had surgery and now have NO need for glasses at all.

Kevin
Kevin
1 year 4 months ago

As an adult, I’m struggling with asthma. Does anyone know if there is a supposed beneficial effect (anecdotal or otherwise) for an adult already with asthma drinking raw milk?

Joe Y
Joe Y
1 year 4 months ago
This has nothing to do with milk, but as someone who, after many abortive tries, cured my asthma (almost–if I fly and already have a really bad cold, it will induce an attack, which has happened twice in the past 20 years), I am sympathetic to your plight. As I said, I tried many different cures, but the one that worked for me was vitamin E. I started with a 1200 IU daily dose for the first few weeks, then 800IU for the next few, and finally 400IU as my standard maintenance dose, which I do during the winter. In… Read more »
Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago
I had asthma before going primal, and I still drink Milk and eat cheese, but not as main part of my diet. The cutting out of grains (although I do indulge in the odd toasted rustic bread) and processed food, eating healthy oils and removing the bad oils (which I thought were good), cutting out sugar and flour, and doing a balanced exercise regime, rather than the excessive and inflammatory chronic cardio I used to do – made the difference I think, I kid you not, after 30 years of Asthma, my symptoms have completely gone under the guidance of… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
1 year 4 months ago

Thanks to you both for these comment! I will try the vitamin E and see if there’s a difference. I’m mostly primal, but just can’t seem to come off the inhaled steroids no matter how much I stick to it. Thanks for the ideas and advice!

Tribal Barbarian
Tribal Barbarian
1 year 4 months ago
If you don’t have damaged lungs, or a disease like emphysema, you should be able to slowly scale back off the steroids – but like most things, you build a dependency, and you have to back off very carefully. All I can tell you is I do take things like fish oil, olive oil, butter, no margarine or canola oil, eat vegetables and no sugar as much as possible, I eat eggs, no huge amounts of meat, and supplement with clean whey powder that have no added garbage or flavours. Exercise: 3 heavy calisthenics sessions, and one sprint, sometimes switch… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
1 year 4 months ago

Thanks again for the point made below. I’ll start off with just the recommended dosage of full spectrum vitamin E, and see if that helps. Mark seems to think that it probably doesn’t have any downsides!

Boundless
Boundless
1 year 4 months ago
The article really needed to emphasize that it is principally about bovine milk, and in North America this means beta casein A1 bovine milk. There may be only one herd of A2 cows here, and people reportedly react differently to A2. Are your KerryGold products A2? Beats me. Caprine (goat) dairy is another matter entirely. A family member is apparently adversely reactive to bovine dairy, so we got a herd of goats, which are now coming into milk. We finally ceased buying conventional bovine milk just a couple of weeks ago. We are using the goat milk, as milk, raw… Read more »
Dyan
Dyan
1 year 4 months ago

Goat milk is A2/A2. The raw milk we drink is also A2/A2 from Brown Swiss cows. I believe most Guernsey cows are also A2/A2. There is a vast difference between A1 and A2 milk. (read Devil in the Milk by Keith Woodford)
Many people that cannot drink regular milk have no problems with A2/A2 milk.

Tammy
Tammy
1 year 4 months ago

I enjoy raw milk on a daily basis – and have for the past 7 or 8 years. It is so important to go with a trusted farmer. Reputable ones will allow you visit the farm, see the cows, the equipment, etc. The family I buy from has roughly 16 cows on the premises and the facilities are always clean and well-maintained.

I have never been lactose intolerant, however I find it interesting that now when I drink store-bought milk for whatever reason, that’s when I get stomach issues. Yet I can drink raw milk all day long without incident.

Mark N
Mark N
1 year 4 months ago
My grandmother used to feed me raw cows milk, ice cold, and the cream on fresh picked strawberry’s. Good memories. My wife had a commercial goat dairy, she made cheese, unfortunately it did not make a go of it, but she still makes great cheese. So, now we found a raw source of cows milk, and Marilyn makes yogurt, Keefer, and a small wheel of cheese every so often. Good stuff, but to drink it strait up, no, not so much. As for the raw milk as a kid? I think I was healthier those summers I stayed with Grandma.… Read more »
Sun24Spot
Sun24Spot
1 year 4 months ago

We acquire raw milk from a local farm. I don’t want what the homogenization does to the lipids in milk, or what pasteurization does as mentioned in the article, so it’s either raw or nothing.

HOWEVER: If I didn’t get raw milk from the cow’s house to my house, then I wouldn’t drink it either. If raw milk were available in stores I have no visibility into how it was handled between cow and me. The issue is now more about the food supply system…

Tracey
Tracey
1 year 4 months ago

Kevin: Have you asked your doc for the IGg test? Try that for an answer to your asthma

Kevin
Kevin
1 year 4 months ago

Hi Tracey,

Which IgG test would you recommend? Total, or a specific antigen? Thanks!

Melanie
Melanie
1 year 4 months ago

My 3 little humans thrive on clean raw milk. I don’t drink it often but nothing beats a glass of springtime cream filled milk!

Anna
Anna
1 year 4 months ago

I’m surprised you don’t mention eczema: I believe there have been several mainstream studies that have found that raw milk consumption by children significantly reduces the incidence of eczema, presumably due to beneficial gut bacteria. (Or maybe you’re lumping eczema in with asthma.) Of course, being mainstream studies, the authors of those I read rushed to add “We’re not recommending drinking raw milk, of course! We’re hoping to figure out how to replicate the effect some other way.” In a pill, no doubt!

Tom
Tom
1 year 4 months ago

I used to be concerned about how raw milk would hinder my workouts till a friend of mine did a 30 day raw milk fast. He increased his workouts during the 30 days to see if the milk would help build muscle. He built muscle, dropped in total body fat and had no end of energy. http://www.cookinggodsway.com/30-day-raw-milk-fast/

Personally I now fast before I workout and then have a shake with raw milk and some veggies to end the fast. I recover fast and have seen no weight gain of fat, just muscle.

Taylor
Taylor
1 year 4 months ago

There may be a decent alterantive…key word may. It’s called VAT pasteurization and it heats the milk low and slow instead of high and fast. It supposedly kills bacteria (good and bad) but leaves proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals intact.

We can buy raw milk direct from the farm here where I live, or buy the VAT in the store. Both are grass fed and not homogenized. I prefer the VAT’s flavor and it gives me more peace of mind. Although we rarely buy dairy in the first place.

Melody
Melody
1 year 4 months ago
Our family has been drinking raw milk for nearly 3 years now. My middle son would experience severe stomach cramps after having pasteurized dairy and a friend suggested we try raw cow’s milk with him instead. He can drink it by the glass full with no complications. Interestingly after starting all three children on raw milk within the month all three had a significant growth spurt. My eldest had been on two types of inhalers for his asthma and with starting the raw milk within a month was off both inhalers and now rarely needs his blue one, maybe once… Read more »
treatlisa
treatlisa
1 year 4 months ago
I always chuckle to myself at the oft repeated line or some version of it – that ‘cow’s milk is for baby cows and people shouldn’t drink it for that reason’. You never hear that eggs are food for baby chickens so don’t eat eggs, but that’s exactly what they are. The egg yolk sustains the growing chick… They are both a source of nutrition. Not the ONLY source – but a source that was important to many cultures for a very long time. I have 2 jersey cows and enjoy my own source of excellent nutrition. Loved your position… Read more »
cow lady
cow lady
1 year 4 months ago
Amen!!! I’m glad someone had the common sense to point this out. Not many people know what the yolk is actually for either. When someone throws out that line about milk being only for “baby cows” (you can tell they know what they’re talking about already with terminology like that! haha) I laugh because they’ve obviously never seen a grown pig nurse a cow if it has the chance, or witnessed the delight of a swarm of barn cats descending on a pan of fresh, warm milk. The pig is an opportunist. So are the cats. And so is the… Read more »
Rendan
Rendan
1 year 4 months ago
I just wanted to throw in a view from the other side, growing up a city kid with ready access to raw milk, for those parents of HEALTHY kids who might be feeling torn about access to, or the expense of, raw milk. For parents of kids who are already suffering, it sounds from this discussion that it may be worth a try. I grew up in the ‘burbs of Los Angeles, at a time when much of the land was still being transitioned from ranches, dairy farms, and groves (“This used to be all orange trees!”) into the morass… Read more »
Chris
1 year 4 months ago
You raise an interesting point. I’ve lived in a rural town, which produced a lot of its own food content and I was very rarely sick. When I lived in a city on the fringes of a rural area still producing some food, I got sick and I don’t mean in a small way. A friend of mine I grew up with in that city/rural landscape got an Autoimmune disease and I got one too. Very different ones, but obviously something was attacking our immune system. There were also a lot of babies being born with cleft pallets in the… Read more »
lisa
lisa
1 year 4 months ago
If raw cow’s milk wasn’t so expensive for a single person (driving, driving, money, & time) to get here in Colorado I would be all over it. I get the grass-fed non-homogenized full-fat cow’s milk from my favorite locally owned health food store when I happen to be in there without burning half a tank of non-renewable fuel products to get there (and be obligated to get there every single week or still pay for it) and a little still goes bad before I get a chance to finish it. I’m half Korean so you would think my lactose intolerant… Read more »
Robert
Robert
1 year 4 months ago
Reading this article there are a few things that come into my mind. As a dairy processor myself, I have been questioned about this many many times. There are two types of raw milk, you must know the difference to avoid any potential hazards. 1. Raw milk (unprocessed and untreated in any way) is the milk that comes out of the cow, chilled to slow down microbial growth (which most certainly contain pathogens like Salmonella sp., Listeria m., E. Coli, etc.) and bottled. I am not a big fan of this milk because of so many factors which could affect… Read more »
LyndyLu
1 year 3 months ago
I live in Western Australia and unhomogenised (but pasteurised) milk has only recently become available in mainstream supermarkets. My 14 yo son much prefers the taste of the unhomogenised milk but I’ve noticed a curious thing. With one brand, which is bottled in glass (very expensive), the cream can be redistributed through the milk with vigorous shaking just before pouring, however, with the other brand, bottled in plastic (half the price), the cream remains in large, solid lumps no matter how vigorously we shake the bottle. I’m assuming that the milk/cream is somehow being affected by the chemicals in the… Read more »
Noel
1 year 4 months ago

One way to convince yourself which is right for you is to go and visit a dairy farm. When my boys were 3 and 6 we went and visited a dairy that was so insanely unsanitary the boys said they would never drink milk again. It’s no wonder they need to pasteurize the milk, the area was contaminated with, well, you know…

Huge difference between the factory farms and the farm where we buy our milk, Organic Pastures. Here’s a video of how they go from grass to glass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI6-UsTFKe8&feature=youtu.be&list=UU-HvDXQykVrCCGBSS1kb4IQ.

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