Friday, March 1, 2013

Milk in the Raw - Hype or Hope?

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The milkmaid.  Johannes van der Meer, circa  (1647-1675)
I've been dairy free for 5 years.

This means no mac and cheese, no yogurt, no pizza, no cottage cheese, no lasagna, no ice cream, no cute little blocks of cheese dipped in mustard at the buffet, AND none of the protein and nutrients that come with it.

That is until last week.

While I've dabbled in dairy over the last year or so. I've sampled, with a mixture of hope and dread, goat and sheep milk products, with mixed results. I have stayed far away from cow's milk however.

After consuming 4 years worth of processed cheese and milk like products, I was so tired of faking. I also thought if I'm trying to eat whole foods, why am I allowing these weird chemical combinations in my body?

I started to research raw milk.

Friends and family said, "Isn't it dangerous?" "Why would you want to pay that much for milk?" "Just take Lactaid."

Ignoring their warnings, I bought a quart of raw milk from my local co-op. I figured there was something to the raw milk craze and even though most of the people around me said that it was dangerous, I guessed they were speaking more out of fear than fact. I drank it and had zero ill effects. I decided to order a gallon from a local dairy from grass fed organically raised cattle because it was less expensive than what I found in the store. Besides, with 6 people in the family, a quart of milk goes in half a morning.

Researching the benefits of raw dairy products I came across some some interesting information. A study reported by realmilk.com highlighted some interesting findings with raw milk when it was intentionally contaminated with salmonella...

"To study this issue further, Organic Pastures contracted with BSK labs in Fresno to perform multiple challenge and recovery tests on our raw milk and raw colostrum. When 7 logs (10 million counts) of pathogens were added to one-milliliter samples of organic raw milk they would not grow. In fact they died off. The salmonella was so badly out-competed that it could not be found less than 24 hours later."

After a week of raw milk every day, my celiac symptoms, the gastric pain, the irritable bowel, the colitis, whatever you want to call it...

ceased.

I've also noticed the eczema on my face and nape of my neck fizzled to a mild dryness. Coincidence? Considering that we ran out of raw milk and it, AND my gastric symptoms, are coming back, I don't think so.

I am amazed, ecstatic, excited and NOT scared! Raw milk here we come!

If you find hope, usefulness, insight or help in this information, please consider giving a gift! It helps me to be able to feed these 4 hungry kids! Thank you for your support. :)

2 comments:

  1. I have become interested in this as well and am encouraged by your experience. My problem is finding a place to buy it. Any suggestions for how to go about this?

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    1. Thanks for commenting, and following Elizabeth! Here in PA, buying raw milk is legal. In some states it is not. So if you are in one of those states, you may not be able to buy it. If you live on a small patch of ground, you could get a cow, or a milking goat, but other than that you may have to travel. Here is a map from Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

      http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/raw_milk_map.htm

      If it is legal in your state and you cannot find a retailer that carries it or a farm that sells it directly to you, try the site http://www.localharvest.org/. This is a free listing for farmers and co-ops that focus on feeding the local people. You might even find a cowshare here!

      An update on raw: After a time the digestive issues reappeared. It might be that I depleted an enzyme to properly digest the milk. However, I HAVE been eating a good amount of organic yogurt, and making more with the raw milk that I buy. When putting the milk through this extra pro-biotic growing step, I've not had any problems. In fact, I feel BETTER than I had before! I've also added kombucha, a pro-biotic tea, and no one in my house of 6 has gotten sick all winter!

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