The Benefits of Raw Whole MilkSaturday, June 7th, 2008
Several years ago I was filling the glasses of my family at supper time. I poured rich, creamy, cold milk into each of my girls’ tall glasses as well as my husbands’. Then I turned to put the milk jar away. I heard a clearing of my husband’s throat and turned to see him looking at my empty glass. You see this was the first time we were having milk from our very own cow. None of us girls drank milk. I hadn’t been able to drink milk, without getting stomach cramps and bloating, since I was in kindergarten. I reluctantly poured a small amount into my glass as well. Amazingly I felt fine after drinking it. Sometimes now I even crave a tall, cold glass of our milk.
So what is the difference? First of all we have a small herd of jersey cows. The size of our herd allows us time to keep up with the health of each animal. We believe in small farming where individual attention can be given to each animal. Most dairies today are quite large and sick cows may go unnoticed for quite some time. Each of our cows has her own name and personality. They are like pets to us.
Another difference is our cows feed on lush green pasture. There is virtually no grain in their diet and they are not confined to small pens or worse yet a life indoors on cement floors. In the winter time the cows are given hay from our fields and a place indoors if the weather is especially severe. By eating the mix of grasses and other forbs in the field the milk our cows produce is high in vital nutrients like vitamins A and D
And yet another difference is our milk is neither pasteurized nor homogenized. Fresh raw milk without the hormones and antibiotics that are routinely fed to dairy cows is great tasting, safe and healthy. Pasteurization destroys the enzymes in milk, diminishes vitamin content destroying some vitamins, kills beneficial bacteria, and promotes pathogens. When the enzymes in the milk are destroyed through pasteurization the lactase in our bodies is not activated to digest the lactose in the milk. Thus we have lactose intolerance. Homogenization is a process in which the milk is forced through a screen to break down the butterfat globules so they do not rise to the top. Some have claimed this process causes the milk to be a foreign substance our bodies cannot even recognize. Homogenized milk has also been linked to heart disease.
The butterfat of jersey cows is very high. Although the “health industry” promotes low fat milk as being the right choice butterfat contains vitamins A and D which are used by our bodies to assimilate calcium and protein. Without vitamins A and D the calcium and protein in milk may possibly be toxic. Butterfat is made of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. The butterfat is also high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has strong cancer fighting properties.
Since that first glass of milk our family has begun a small production dairy. The laws in Nebraska allow for the purchase of raw milk if bought directly from the farm. Since we are a distance from Omaha we have had several groups form to help each other out with the pick up of milk. One of these groups meets at West Omaha Chiropractic Office and Sport Clinic. To find out about this group or one of our others please e-mail us @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call us @ 402-685-5263. There are no fees to be part of one of our co-ops and you need not be a member to purchase milk. For more information on the health benefits of raw milk visit www.realmilk.com or read Dr Ron Schmid’s book “The Untold Story of Milk”.
— Molly Kvam