Raw Milk
Healthy or Not?

What's the big deal over raw milk?  Small farmers selling such milk to friends and neighbors have been raided by SWAT teams, threatened with heavy fines and imprisonment and seen their product dumped on the ground. 

As we will see, unpasteurized milk from pastured, grass fed dairy cattle which have never been given non-therapeutic antibiotics, growth hormones, fed GM grains or genetically manipulated to produce more milk than was ever intended by the One who created cows, is arguably the most healthy milk anyone can ever consume.  

Raw vs. Conventional

For our purposes, there are two kinds of milk.

Conventional milk, the one you buy in the supermarket, comes from large, commercial dairies in which the cows are confined in stalls and fed a diet of grains which their digestive system was never meant to handle. A diet of genetically modified corn and soy causes dramatic changes in the cows gut bacteria which provides a fertile environment for disease.

Compound that with the filthy conditions in which the cows live, literally standing or lying in each others waste. If that wasn't enough, the cows weren't producing enough milk to satisfy the corporate owners so the animals were given hormones to promote the production of more milk. 

In the good old days of milk coming to us from family farms or small family dairy's, usually delivered to our front door, the average milk production per cow was about 28 quarts/day. Today it is around 76 quarts/day and whereas the cows used to live 17 to 20 years, now it's 5 years and off to the slaughter house to become burgers.

A good book on the subject is shown above and can be examined by clicking on the books cover or the link below. 

The Raw Truth About Milk

All this unnatural production of milk causes the cows to develop mastitis, an inflammatory condition of the udders that causes the milk to become contaminated with bacteria.    

The result of such conditions is disease such as e-coli and the solution that the factory farms came up with was to combine antibiotics with the animals feed.

The bottom line of conventional milk is that it has to be pasteurized for human consumption or else around 50% of the people drinking raw factory farm milk would die.  Never, ever drink raw milk from a dairy factory farm, not that you could anyway; by law, milk from factory farm dairies must be pasteurized. 


Custom Search

What is Pasteurization?

Just what is pasteurization?  In a word, pasteurization is heating.  There are several types depending on how hot and for how long the milk is subjected to the process.  For example there is a "high temp, short time" process where the milk is heated at 161 F for 15 seconds as opposed to a "low temp, long time" process where it is heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Then there is "flash", "steam", "irradiated", "ultra" and "ultra-high" pasteurization, all depending on how the milk will be packaged and how long it is expected to be stored. 

Pasteurization is not sterilization.   Pasteurization aims to reduce the number of viable pathogens to a level where they are unlikely to cause disease as long as the milk is consumed before its expiration date and properly stored.  You will never find raw milk from a conventional big farm dairy for sale in the supermarket. 

Health Considerations of Raw Milk

Healthy raw milk, with the stress on healthy, typically comes from small, family operated dairy farms where the cows are grass fed in a pasture and not given unnatural grains, much less GM grains.  They are naturally healthy and antibiotics are not needed to keep them that way.  They are not given hormones to increase their milk production and produce an amount of milk normal for a heritage cow.

The reports on the health benefits of raw organic milk are totally contradictory and prone to cause a lot of confusion; it all depends on the position of the one giving the report.   The American Dairy Association, the FDA and those who make a comfortable living from producing and selling conventional milk are quite loud about the dangers of unpasteurized milk and threats to the health of the consumer who drinks it.

Proponents of raw milk swear by its benefits and ability to maintain health and keep certain diseases at bay.  The former group says that pasteurization does not degrade the nutritional benefits of milk.  The latter group says that heating milk destroys many of its best nutrients.

What is the truth and why does the FDA come out against the sale and consumption of raw milk?  Is it corruption or ignorance or are they right in trying to restrict raw milk?  We will categorically say that the FDA is dead wrong, ignorant of the facts and caving in to pressure from the paid lobbyists of the dairy conglomerates.  Why do we say that?


The Truth Comes Out

The confusion and obfuscation was cleared up with the completion and publication of two very large studies, both done in Basel, Switzerland. 

The first was known as the PARSIFAL study of 2006 and involved 14,893 children, aged 5 to 13, from five European countries.  The objective was to investigate whether consumption of farm-produced products, especially milk, is associated with a lower prevalence of asthma and allergy when compared with store-purchased products.  The researchers concluded that the results showed that consumption of farm milk may offer protection against asthma and allergy.  


The second was the GABRIELA study, commenced in 2011 and completed in 2014, examined 8,334 school-aged children to determine whether or not there is a protective effect of farm life, particularly the consumption of raw milk, on childhood asthma and allergies. 

The findings suggested that there is a protective effect of raw farm milk and that it may be associated with the whey protein fraction of raw milk.  That is a very significant finding is that it has been shown that whey protein is seriously degraded by heating such as that seen in the pasteurization process.  The fairly obvious conclusion is that raw milk protects and conventional milk does not.

Big Brother - The Regulators

The question now is will the FDA and state legislatures take note and give up their attacks on healthy raw milk? 

Important progress is being made in the medical community where more and more doctors are starting to prescribe organic raw milk for children with asthma, recurring ear infections or chronic inflammation.  Normally they would simply have the child avoid dairy products but the picture is changing in that they are recognizing that it is not the dairy itself, but pasteurized dairy products.

A handful of Congressmen have taken notice as well.  Specifically, the Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (HR 4307) and the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (HR 4308) have been introduced by Congressman Massie (R-KY) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and a bipartisan coalition. 

The motivation behind these bills is to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference.  Let’s hope they don't die in committee.  You can help insure they don't by going to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and signing their petition.

The situation is not so good with the FDA or CDC whose interest seems to be able to control, mandate and regulate at will regardless of the facts.  For example in November of 2013, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health raided Organic pastures and recalled all their raw dairy products. 

It turns out that five people in nearby counties got sick and tested positive for E.Coli O157:H7.  According to the agencies, the only common denominator was that all of them had purchased milk from Organic Pastures.  So the knee-jerk reaction was to blame the milk.

The CDFA tests Organic Pastures products regularly and the farm also has a third party test the products.  There was never any indication of E.Coli being present.  Shortly after Organic Pastures had been shut down without any proof of contamination, it was reported that California based Ready Pac Foods was voluntarily recalling 5,379 cases of bagged salad after a random FDA sample tested positive for E.Coli O157.H7.  The questionable salad had been sold throughout California and seven other states.

In light of this incident as well as the studies reported above, has the FDA and CDC softened their stance?  Not on your life.  They still maintain that they are raiding raw dairies with SWAT teams out of concern for our health. 

Their rationale is that in the ten years from 1998 to 2008, two people died from raw milk.  The media has spread this far and wide but it’s another government lie.  Evidence indicates that those two deaths came from a form of cheese, quese fresco, which is not legal under FDA regulations.

The government continues to hide the truth that the risk of food borne illness is much, much higher from other foods such as pasteurized milk, factory farm meat and poultry and bagged greens than from organic raw milk, as long as the milk comes from a dairy that adheres to proper raw milk standards. 

Baker's Green Acres

A similar situation exists for small family farms raising pigs, especially heritage pigs. 

Baker's Green Acres is a case in point where Michigan's Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), who for some unknown reason has regulatory oversight of animal agriculture. 

Mark Baker is raising heritage mixed breed hogs and the DNR decided that his pigs were feral and a danger to public health.  He was ordered to destroy his animals or incur a huge fine.  Two years and $700,00 dollars later, the DNR backed off and decided his pigs were legal after all; coincidentally this was just two weeks before the case was to go court. 

DNR knew they would lose in court and probably be barred from any further interference with family farms.  So without a clear verdict the door is still open for state agencies to go after any small farm that big agriculture feels might present some competition, no matter how small. 

One of our site visitors, Deanna from Maryland was so incensed at the injustice that she wrote a rap song exposing the injustice of the situation.   The song is copyrighted but the song is her donation to the cause, so people are welcome to download it for free and share the link to raise awareness. 

you can give a listen at:

Deanna’s Song

Her song will start playing immediately after clicking the link and the words are helpfully included to follow along with her singing.   In fact, in this on rap song she has fully captured the horror, injustice and government corruption that enables the whole factory farm system.

Digression over:  Back to Raw Milk

Make Your Own Dairy Products: Working with raw milk

In fact the largest outbreak ever of Salmonella resulted from pasteurized milk between 1984 and 1985 where 200,000 people got sick and 18 died. This outbreak and many more concerning pasteurized milk have been kept from public knowledge and no warnings ever issued from either department.

So much for honesty and transparency from the agencies that are supposed to protect our health. Who are they really protecting? It appears that they are pulling out all the stops to protect the factory farm dairies from competition from the healthy alternative of organic raw milk.

One way to beat the system is detailed in the book shown above; make your own.  Click the book's image or link to take a look.

Before leaving, here is a You Tube video courtesy of the McAfee family at Organic Pastures Dairy Company in the San Joaquin Valley of California.  It shows how a small family run raw milk dairy does it.


This is what sustainability looks like.  It's easy on the cows, healthy for the consumer and, at least in California it's legal.  Let's hope that the McAfee's live long and prosper.  You can pay them a virtual visit at:

http://www.organicpastures.com.

It is simply unbelievable that as of 2009 there were 22 states where producing or consuming healthy, organic, unpasteurized milk would make you a criminal.

Leave Raw Milk and return to Home Page

Jump to Dairy CAFOs

Jump to The Environment


Custom Search