God made milk perfect. Mankind in search of increased profits through pasteurization and homogenization is changing it to the point where people have allergies to milk and can’t digest it. More and more consumers want raw, organic, grass-fed milk or raw, non-GMO grass-fed milk. Let’s examine why raw, grass-fed is best.
Recent studies from Europe have found the raw milk consumption is a significant factor in preventing allergies and asthma. If you talk to Jordon Rubin, the author of The Maker’s Diet, he nearly died of Crohn’s disease back in 1996 and 1997. He drank raw milk and kefir and recovered fully from it. Here’s a story of a mom being cured of Lyme Disease by drinking raw milk
The key is that dairy cows feed on what they naturally eat. Organic standards help lower risk of contaminated feed. However, remember that organic by itself does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the cows. Grass-fed cow’s milk comes from cows who have grazed in pasture nearly year-round rather than being fed a processed diet (grains) for much of their life. Does this mean the dairy cow cannot eat anything but fresh grass? No, hay is dried pasture and grain is grass seed. A dairyman would say a dairy cow cannot thrive on green pasture alone. Feeding non-GMO dried pasture (hay) and non-GMO grain (grass seed like barley, preferably no corn or soy) in the diet is feeding concentrated pasture. When pasture is dried into hay the nutrient content is tenfold, important for good quality milk.
Grass feeding improves the quality of cow’s milk, and makes the milk richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and CLA (a beneficial fatty acid named conjugated linoleic acid). Whole milk is the form of grass-fed milk that will provide the most omega-3s and other key nutrients.
Based on research studies, 8 ounces of whole grass-fed milk contains about 8 grams of total fat. About 2 grams (or 25%) come from monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid, omega-9 fatty acid. This fatty acid is linked to reduction in high blood pressure as well as high blood cholesterol levels. About 4.5 grams (or 56%) come from saturated fat, a type of fat often associated with unwanted health consequences. However, the type of saturated fat in 100% grass-fed cow’s milk does not fully fit this “unwanted” category. About 6-7% of the saturated fat is “short chain” saturated fat and can function as a “probiotic” that supports the health of friendly bacteria in the intestine. Nearly half of the saturated fat is “medium chain” saturated fat—the kind that is predominant in coconut oil. Medium chain saturated fat is more easily digested and metabolized in the body, and in some studies, it’s been associated with immune system benefits. Within the 4.5 grams of saturated fat in 8 ounces of 100% grass-fed whole milk only 25-30% come from palmitic acid—a long chain fat that’s been more closely associated with heart disease risk than other saturated fats. When taken as whole, the fat composition of 100% grass-fed whole cow’s milk is much more balanced in terms of benefits and possible health risks than many people assume.
Did you know raw milk can raise glutathione, an antioxidant, in the body? Raw milk whey contains powerful glutathione precursors—lactoferrin, beta-lactalbumin and serum albumin. They are very easily denatured by heat and mechanical stress during pasteurization and homogenization of milk. After digestion the products of those compounds’ breakdown pass readily into the bloodstream, serving as cysteine and cysteine delivery systems, thus enabling cysteine to get into the cells for glutathione production. This is how our ancestors used to get their cysteine from diet before pasteurization became mandatory. Raw milk is also a very good food source of MSM (methylsulfonylmethane).
Raw milk is a unique, whole food. As someone once said, “Raw milk is a healing food, not so with processed milk.” Raw milk contains most essential nutrients. Just like any other raw product, fresh is best.
An Interview: The Secret History of Milk, The Truth about Nature’s Miracle Food. ACRES USA. April 2004, Vol. 34, No. 4, 26-29.
MSM Supplement: The Role of Sulfur in Maintaining Glutathione Levels. http://www.immunehealthscience.com/msm-supplement.html
Cow’s Milk, Grass-fed. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=130