Real Milk? Isn’t all milk real milk? For the past 3 years, my family has made the concious decision to buy locally produced milk. For most of these 3 years our milk came from Picket Fence Creamery. The milk is non-homogenized/vat pasteurized from Jersey Cows pasturing on grass. Over the past 3 months, we’ve moved to raw milk from Jersey cows pastured on grass.
Many people ask me, “Why do you go to the trouble to buy milk from these sources when you can buy it at the grocery store. This is the reason why.
My boys! After having my firstborn son, Nehemiah, the organic/local foods movement really started to take off. Knowing that our health is so dependent on what we eat, I started to research milk since I knew it was so important and something I’d have to start feeding my child at one. What I found out, well… made me angry, sad, and at the same time appreciative that local family farmers were providing my community with something better for my child.
So here’s what I’ve found that I’d like to share with you. Please remember that I’m not an expert, but would only like to share because in numbers we can make a difference. The consumer and only the consumer can drive our nation to make changes for the well being of our people.
In the United States, unfortunately, the dollar is held highly and many times above what’s best for our people. First I would like to point out that there are three types of milk. Traditional Milk, Commerical Organic Milk and Industrial Milk.
Traditional Milk is:
- Free of synthetic growth hormones
- Fed mostly on fresh grass and hay
- Raw and Unpasteurized
- Unhomogenized (Homogenization blends the milk and cream, so they never seperate. This process is unnecessary and ruins the flavor and texture of the milk, also causes the milk to sour more quickly.)
Commercial Organic Milk:
- Free of synthetic growth hormones
- Usually grainfed, some have small amounts of room to pasture, supplemented with grains.
- Sometimes homogenized
Industrial Milk is:
- Treated with genetically engineered bovine growth hormone called rBGH (or rBST) to boost milk production.
So why should I care if the Industrial milk I buy at the supermarket is treated with growth hormones?
The bovine growth hormone rBGH or rBST was created to boost milk production in cows. Sounds like a great deal, right? Industrial factory farms get more milk and inevitably more money. The genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) produced by Monsanto in milk increases cancer risks. Milk from cows treated with rBGH contains higher levels of IGF-1, a naturally occuring growth hormone that is identical in cows and humans. When you drink a glass of milk from a cow treated with rBGH, you get a dose of IGF-1, one of the most powerful of many insulinlike hormones that prompt cells to grow and proliferate. IGF-1 is linked to cancers of the reproductive system, including breast cancer. (Click here for more information from the Cancer Prevention Coalition) Besides the cancer risks, cows treated with rBGH are literally exhausted. Usually milked three times a day and prevalent to mastitis (If you’ve ever breastfed, you know this is NOT fun but painful!). Of course this means more antibiotics for the animal which ends up in your milk.
But we’ve always drank milk from the supermarket and we’ve been fine.
I’m currently 31, and our system is no where near what it used to be. The industrialization of farmlands is driving family farmers out of the fields and deteriorating our environment and health. The rampant use of hormones and antibiotics is at an all time high.
For me, it opened my eyes that this is a real problem in the US when I found out that…
Wow, I’m almost crying here, I feel so passionate about this subject. Our farmers do so much for us, and it’s up to us to keep them in business to deliver wholesome, nourishing foods.
So on the upside, what I wanted to share were the benefits of drinking fresh milk from pasture raised Jerseys!
From Real Food, What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck
Raw milk is more nutritious than pasteurized milk. Pasteurization destroys folic acid and vitamins A, B6, and C. In 1941, the U.S. government issued a report stating that “the cows of this country produce as much vitamin C as does the entire citrus crop, but most of it is lost as the result of pasteurization.” Pasteurization inactivates the enzymes required to absorb the nutrients in milk: lipase (to digest fats); lactase (to digest lactose); and phosphatase (to absorb calcium). Phosphatase explains why raw milk contains more available calcium. Pasteurization also creates oxidezed cholesterol, alters milk proteins, and damages omega-3 fats.
Raw milk also has beneficial bacteria, including lactic acids, which live in the intestines, aid digestion, boost immunity, and eliminate dangerous bacteria.
Besides the facts that raw milk provides essential nutrients, has enzymes to help absorb the nutrients, aids in digestion, and boosts immunity, it taste GREAT! The cream is delicious and any recipes using raw milk, tastes fabulous! There is quite honestly no substitute for raw milk, cream and butter!
Unfortunately, it also happens to be illegal in many states. Before you do try raw milk, make sure to visit the creamery, see the cattle, how they are treated, where they are pastured, and especially take note of the cleanliness.
If you don’t have a creamery like Picket Fence Creamery or have a source of raw milk, buying organic at your local grocery store is always best.
So really, it’s up to you America! Let’s stand up for our rights to drink hormone free, chemical free milk to nourish our family’s and children for generations to come!
- Real Food, What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
- The Complete Guide to Natural Health Care for Children by Karen Sullivan
- Cancer Prevention Coalition
I’m submitting this post to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!