(NaturalNews) Moooooved by the right to choose what kind of milk is served at your dinner table? If you're one of the growing number of people choosing raw (unpasteurized) milk to feed yourself and your family, you might want to pay attention here.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) have recently released a "reminder" that 1007 illnesses, 104 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths have occurred between 1998 and 2005 from human consumption of raw milk. A news release, dated June 11, 2008, by the Associated Press states, "Agencies step up effort to contain 'dangerous product' as demand grows".
Raw Dairy Farmers like Organic Pastures of California, one of only a handful of such dairies, are being continuously monitored by government agencies searching for dangerous pathogens that may contaminate the milk. Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures, remains unscathed by the relentless pressure saying, "When you're a pioneer, you have to expect to take some arrows."
There are lawsuits against Organic Pastures claiming E. Coli poisoning. Testing at the dairy, however, did not detect the strain of E. Coli blamed for the illnesses. Even the FDA says the outbreak was "probably" caused by raw milk.
Further investigation finds another article written by Sally Fallon, leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation (a non-profit organization promoting education and advocacy for clean raw milk from grass fed cows and better food and nutrition), dated back to April 23, 2007, citing the same report issued during the same year by the FDA. The Weston A. Price Foundation made several requests for clarification on the claims but none have been substantiated. There are also no accounts of these illnesses, hospitalizations, or deaths in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly or any other FDA or CDC document.
The article by the Associated Press goes on to portray consumers of raw milk as cult-like, fetish seekers, leading in to a quote by Sally Fallon saying, "raw milk is a magical food" . It later reiterates a statement by the FDA that the pasteurization of milk has little to no affect on the nutritional value of milk. Let's take a closer look at this:
The difference between raw milk and commercial homogenized pasteurized milk
Raw milk is a living food packed with live enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. A cow that eats organic green grass in spring, summer, and fall and hay and root vegetables in winter produces a milk high in vitamins A and D (so important for growing children, pregnant women, and, yes, adults), CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), Omega-3 fatty acids, and beta-carotene.
Properly raised, grass eating cows have no need for antibiotics and are not injected with hormones to increase milk production -- both of which end up in the milk. These cows are also raised truly free range: They have access to fresh air and sunshine and are not crowded.
In comparison, modern "confinement" dairies raise cows in buildings or outside paddock areas (many chained to stalls from birth). They are fed commercial grains, like soy meal, corn meal, and cottonseed meal that a cow's stomach was not designed to digest. This causes digestive stress and illness to the animals requiring continual doses of antibiotics. Hormones cause even more stress and illness as their bodies are forced to produce unnatural amounts of milk.
Modern cows are also fed bakery waste, chicken manure, and citrus peel cake (a by-product of the orange juice industry) which is laced with pesticides.
Due to the lack of fresh grass and sunshine, the milk from confinement cows is greatly lacking in vitamin A and D and "Activator X" (a fat-soluble catalyst, discovered by Dr. Weston A Price, that helps your body to absorb the minerals in the milk -- now believed to be vitamin K). This accounts for the labeling of the added vitamins in your store bought milk.
Vitamins are also added because of the pasteurization process which denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys enzymes, destroys vitamins C, B6, and B12, promotes pathogens, and is associated with everything from allergies and arthritis to growth problems in children and osteoporosis.
Pasteurization also, unfortunately, destroys the very beneficial bacteria present in raw milk that help it to clean itself of harmful pathogens. Another unappetizing part of modern milk is the removal of slime and pus: A product of poor nutrition and over stimulated milk glands of commercial cows.
A newer process called ultra-pasteurization, designed to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give milk and cream a longer shelf life, takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in about two seconds. This is a very violent process which completely alters every aspect of milk.
And if you think you're better off with low fat milk, be aware that powdered skim milk is added to 1% and 2% milk. It may make the milk taste better, but it also brings in a source of dangerous oxidized cholesterol and neurotoxic amino acids.
Homogenization is yet another process assaulting natural milk. It breaks down the butterfat so they no longer rise to the top. Thought to save customers the task of shaking their milk with an added bonus of keeping the amount of butterfat the milk contained concealed. This began because competitive dairy companies vying for business no longer had to convince consumers that their milk had more buttermilk than the other guy's milk. (Can you imagine a time when more butterfat was coveted? With good reason, healthy butterfat is a health food!)
Why Pasteurize milk?
There are many books on this subject that go into great detail on the history and politics of why milk was pasteurized. "The Raw Truth About Milk", by Dr. William Douglas Campbell, is a must read.
However, what it all boils down to (excuse the pun) is this: When people began moving from rural areas into cities, the animals and humans lived in appallingly dirty conditions. Not realizing that it was important to keep animals and their stalls clean when milking (and free of diseases and industrial waste), people began getting mighty sick from the plethora of pathogens floating around in their milk.
When that dirty milk was boiled, however, the pathogens didn't seem to bother anyone so much anymore. And so the process continued. It turned out to be more profitable, too. Less work cleaning cows and cow droppings meant you could ship out dirty milk, knowing that it would be boiled to death later.
Oddly enough, pasteurized milk still far exceeds raw milk in cases of contamination and related illnesses. Contaminated vegetation and meats are increasingly making headlines with hundreds, if not thousands, of people affected; yet raw milk is singled out as a "dangerous product."
With the low nutritional value of most junk food today, which comprises a majority of the contents of most Americans' shopping carts, raw milk seems a welcome trend. As more Americans investigate this nutrient-dense food, they are discovering what real milk is supposed to taste like -- no less the health benefits it brings.
Ask anyone who has grown up on a dairy farm how they used to run into the barn to fetch some delicious milk, straight from the cow. No one was getting sick from the milk, they were simply growing up healthier, as nature intended them to.
Mother's milk is unpasteurized, too. Let's hope the government agencies keep out of that one!
Here's a thought: The next time you ingest something, instead of a half-gallon of fear and propaganda, why not try a cold glass of common sense and solid nutrition; raw milk, it's the Real Deal.