Are you concerned about the quality of the milk you and your family are drinking? Psst… You should be! If so, you may be interested in learning more about raw milk. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized, and many people believe it is a healthier option than processed milk. In this blog post, we’ll explore what raw milk is, why some people believe it’s better for you, and whether or not you should include it in your diet like my family has for over 13 years (without getting sick).
What Is Raw Milk and Why Should You Include It in Your Diet?
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. The raw milk benefits are lost due to the process of pasteurization being done to kill potentially harmful bacteria that could be present in milk; while homogenization is used to make the fat globules smaller so they remain suspended rather than floating at the top. The problem with these processes is that not only do they kill off beneficial bacteria and enzymes (which are destroyed by pasteurization), but they also may destroy some of the vitamins and minerals in milk.
This is bad. Not only that, we haven’t even started on the difference between raw, organic, grass-fed, pasteurized but not homogenized, kinds of milk!
What’s This “Raw” Milk?
For now, let’s stick to the basic “raw” milk – non-pasteurized and non-homogenized white stuff. So, what you’ll see on most milk cartons is that they have been ultra-pasteurized, meaning they have been heated to a very high temperature and pressure. This is done to kill off any harmful bacteria that may be present in the milk (remember, not all bacteria are bad, but killing off the good bacteria will actually encourage bad bacteria to potentially increase in the gut), but it can also lead to a decrease in nutrients – vitamins A & D are especially affected by this process.
Not only is pasteurization destroying the live enzymes and good bacteria, but it’s also damaging the proteins within the milk. This can lead to potential allergies, as the body will be less able to process these proteins in their altered state. Another thing to consider is that pasteurization doesn’t always kill all bacteria – some can actually survive and potentially cause foodborne illness, killing off any raw milk benefits.
You won’t hear about this – but it’s the proteins that are destroyed and damaged that cause the most harm (more than “dangerous bad bacteria”) within humans. Think about it… your great-great-grandparents lived on this stuff. No one was “lactose or milk intolerant”. It was very rare. But once this “safe” pasteurization process became mainstream, all of a sudden, milk intolerance became a common problem and people no longer thrived from raw milk benefits.
Raw milk is also non-homogenzied. Meaning, the fat globules have not been broken down, so they end up floating at the top (the delicious cream line that appears after sitting for about 12 hours). This is a huge plus – these fats are actually beneficial to our health and provide us with the essential fatty acids we need for proper brain function, digestion, and overall well-being. This is why you will never see a cream line with conventional store-bought milk – it’s been homogenized.
The really bad thing about homogenization is, again, it damages the fat proteins. These proteins will then be more difficult for our bodies to digest, leading to possible allergies and inflammation by getting through the lining of the gut and into the bloodstream.
You don’t want anything permeating the gut lining and getting into the bloodstream! This can lead to major health issues down the line, especially with chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases and horrible poop issues. Yes, like irritable bowel syndrome and more.
A glass of cold, creamy raw milk sat atop the counter. Its white hue was like a beacon to anyone with a thirst for knowledge. The surface was so smooth and perfect, like freshly churned cream. It sparkled in the sunlight, inviting all those who looked upon it to enjoy its unique taste and nutritional benefits.
Raw milk is an increasingly popular option for those looking to add more natural products to their diet. Unlike milk that has been pasteurized or homogenized, many of the raw milk benefits are that it contains much of its nutrient-rich properties still intact due to minimal processing. Raw milk is not only a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, but it also contains beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and other nutrients that are absent in regular milk.
Although purchasing raw milk does involve an element of risk around the potential for contamination by harmful bacteria, many individuals find the health benefits far outweigh any potential drawbacks. However, you also need to understand where those risks are coming from. It’s as simple as knowing your farmer, visiting the farm and animals, and asking questions! Cows, goats, and camels (yes, even camel’s milk) all need to supply raw milk that is sustainably and responsibly harvested/milked. It’s really as simple as that.
Should Quality Testing Be Done on Raw Milk?
Yes, and no. As with all food products, quality testing should always be done to ensure that the product is safe and up to a certain standard – this is how you get the best of the best of the raw milk benefits for your body. However, when it comes to raw milk, it is important to remember that in its natural state, it is not a sterile product. As such, testing for bacteria will not necessarily indicate whether the milk is safe for human consumption.
Rather, testing should focus on ensuring that the cows and equipment used in harvesting the milk are clean and free of contamination. Additionally, regular testing should be done to ensure that the raw milk is free from chemical contaminants or other potential toxins.
Ask about testing and cleanliness – but from small farms, don’t expect to see a whole lot of expensive testing results at the ready, but rather simply look at the people consuming the milk (vs relying on the people who tell you it’s dangerous and look unhealthy) and make a judgment call. Heck, just consume it yourself. As a family who has been drinking raw milk for several years, it was a non-organic watermelon from Mexico that gave my family salmonella!! Choose your “raw battles” wisely…
What about deaths from drinking raw milk?
Raw milk can contain harmful bacteria, like Listeria and E. coli, which can cause serious illness or death when consumed. However, the risk of contaminated milk is very low if it comes from clean and healthy cows in a hygienic environment. To date, at the time of this publishing, there has not been a single death since the mid-1980’s from drinking raw milk.
Did you know? Raw milk contains enzymes and beneficial bacteria that are destroyed during the pasteurization process.
By far, drinking raw milk offers health benefits for the whole family. After all, before it is subjected to pasteurization, the milk contains naturally occurring enzymes and beneficial bacteria that would get destroyed in the process otherwise – causing extreme damage to the milk’s proteins (remember – proteins are the building blocks of cells!). These are important components in aiding digestion and maintaining our overall health, which is why some choose to invest in the raw milk benefits for their families (like I do) instead of modern-day pasteurized milk.
While it must be consumed with caution, do your due diligence when finding a farmer, opting for raw milk certainly has advantages – including the fact that your body may find it easier to absorb these healthy bacterial elements that are otherwise lost to processing.
Raw Milk Benefits: Easier to digest and contains natural cream separation.
Many people don’t realize that raw milk is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins and nutrients that will help keep your body functioning optimally. It’s extremely easy to digest compared to modern-day pasteurized milk and many people find they feel better after drinking it. Plus, you’ll get the natural cream contained in the milk, which is filled with dense fats and other essential nutrients.
Raw milk isn’t just incredibly healthy, but has a delicious creamy flavor that can be enjoyed by everyone… even babies! When you cannot breastfeed, foodie mamas turn to making their own homemade baby formula using…raw milk!
You can find raw milk at local farms or health food stores.
If you’re looking for a rich and creamy taste, raw milk is the way to go, hands down. Freshly collected from local farms or health food stores (check your state), raw milk is a great choice for those who want an unprocessed dairy product. Unpasteurized and unhomogenized, this type of milk is higher in naturally-occurring nutrients that are removed from regular store-bought products which are overly processed for shelf stability. That kind of stability lends zero raw milk benefits to the consumer.
With its delicious flavor and nutritional benefits, there’s no wonder why so many people are turning to raw milk as an alternative to store-bought varieties.
Be sure to check the source of the raw milk before you buy it to make sure it is coming from a reputable farm.
Traditionally, people have always been very wise in their choices when it comes to raw milk. Knowing the source of their milk and making sure it comes from a reputable farm is an important part of any traditional culture’s way of life; to ensure they get the full raw milk benefits they need. Every farmer has different methods and standards for producing the best product, and those are what differentiate between farms with reputability and those that are questionable. So be sure to check the source before you buy your raw milk so that you’ll know you’re getting a quality product that maintains traditional standards of excellence.
Ultimately, consuming raw milk can be a great way to get a more nutrient-dense glass of milk. With more enzymes and beneficial bacteria present, every time you pour this elixir for yourself or your kids, and the proteins are intact, it is easily digested and offers improved nutrition benefits. It can be challenging to find quality sources of raw milk, so do your research before you buy. Inquire about the farm where the milk comes from, and how the animals are treated, and inquire about safety protocols. Even better, go visit the farm if you live nearby! To truly get the raw milk benefits, see for yourself where the milk is coming from.
In sum, make sure you take the necessary precautions in order to ensure that you are finding safe, high-quality raw milk. To enjoy the benefits of this special type of milk with peace of mind, always remember to do your due diligence in terms of research and product selection for optimal results.
Why is Milk Not Raw Anymore? Benefits of Raw Milk vs Pasteurized Milk
Raw milk is not widely available in many countries due to “safety” concerns. Pasteurization was developed to kill harmful bacteria and other pathogens that can be found in raw milk; by killing the bad bacteria, it prevents foodborne illnesses such as listeriosis, typhoid fever, salmonella, and E. coli infections from occurring. The pasteurization process also helps to increase the shelf life of milk, but when it goes bad, it’s no longer consumable – it goes putrid versus soured.
Back story…Cows were moved from the pasture, given grains as their source of food, and forced into the city as people wanted to consume milk closer to the towns. With higher populations and more cows living in close quarters, sanitation practices were non-existent which meant diseases were spread more easily. This in turn made consuming raw milk potentially dangerous to some people, as opposed to pasteurized milk. This is also why there are much stricter regulations for the production of raw milk, and it has become a rare product – but not so much anymore.
While pasteurized milk is generally safe – it’s not ideal in the least for optimal health, there are major drawbacks associated with this process; again…important vitamins and minerals are lost in the process, stripping the consumer of the raw milk benefits, as well as beneficial bacteria that naturally occur in raw milk. Additionally, some people are sensitive to proteins (which are often stripped and destroyed in these fats) found in pasteurized milk and can experience digestive discomfort when consuming it.
Raw Milk: The Benefits and Risks
For these reasons, many are now turning back to raw milk as a more nutritious alternative and discovering once again, that raw milk benefits them. While safe handling practices must be followed in order to enjoy its benefits without risk of foodborne illness, with responsible sourcing and proper storage techniques, there are now many ways to access and enjoy the health benefits of raw milk in a safe manner.
So why choose raw milk then? Raw milk is not pasteurized or homogenized, so it contains all the beneficial enzymes and good bacteria that are destroyed in the pasteurization process. I cannot stress this enough!! Moreover, raw milk benefits are also believed to contain higher levels of vitamins A & D, omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid or CLA (an antioxidant that has been linked to a variety of health benefits). Additionally, it’s believed that raw milk can help prevent allergies and other diseases such as asthma.
So, what do you think? Are the raw milk benefits something you should consider for your family or are there too many disadvantages of drinking raw milk? If you are ready to see for yourself, ideally, you want to look for raw milk from a local farmer who is raising 100% grass-fed cows in a healthy environment and has proper certifications for their dairy products – like certified organic and or organic or better practices (remember, certification is costly – just talk with the farmer about their practices – it’s cheaper that way for them and you!
So if you’re looking for an unprocessed, nutrient-rich dairy product, consider exploring your local options for obtaining the raw milk benefits for you and your family. With its delectable creamy flavor and naturally occurring nutrients, body-building proteins, and beneficial bacteria, it’s sure to be a favorite among all your family members! In a future post, we’ll break down the types of raw milk and why they aren’t all created equal…
Is drinking raw milk good for you?
It depends. Some people have gut bacteria that is so out of balance, introducing raw milk enzymes may trigger a negative reaction. It’s not that it’s bad for you, it’s simply a sign that your gut microbiome is severely compromised and needs to be addressed first before introducing live, beneficial foods like this.
Short answer – Yes!
What happens if we drink raw milk daily?
You’ll get the raw milk benefits by drinking it daily and incorporating it into recipes. Grassfed milk is an excellent source of many essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help the body function properly. And since grassfed cows are raised on a diet of fresh grasses and clovers, the milk can have up to five times more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than regular cow’s milk without the harmful pasteurization and homogenizing processes.
How often should you drink raw milk?
As often as you desire!
Is raw milk a superfood?
Yes, one of the benefits of raw milk is that it is a superfood. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help improve overall health. Raw milk also has probiotics which help support the digestive system. The enzymes in raw milk are also beneficial for helping boost immunity and fighting off infections. The fat-to-protein-to-carbohydrate ratio in raw milk is ideal for promoting healthy growth and development. Finally, the fatty acids present in raw milk are beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular health. All of these benefits make raw milk a great choice for anyone looking to improve their overall health with this superfood!
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