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Home>Why raw milk?>Milk FAQs

Milk FAQs


 Why is milk pasteurized?


In the 1800s, many US dairies began commercially producing low quality raw milk in the inner cities of Boston and New York and others. These dairies would feed their cows poor quality "brewer's mash." The resulting milk was very weak and nearly blue from lack of protein, mineral, and fat content. During this same time period, the dairy industry did not use or have access to refrigeration, stainless steel, milking machines, rubber hoses, hot water, or chlorine as a sanitizer. TB and Brucellosis were rampant (not to mention horse manure on the streets, flies, and lack of public sanitation and sewage) and the cows were milked by hand without mechanical machines. The cows stood in manure and there was no access to pasture (sounds like some confinement dairy farms of 2010). The resulting unhealthy milk from these sources literally killed millions. The heating of milk to high temperatures reduced this horrible blight. However, during this same time period, milk from the countryside taken from pasture grazed healthy and clean cows was the best medicine of the day. In fact, the Mayo Clinic used this high quality country raw milk as a basis for many disease curing therapies. This was the untold story of raw milk. Because of pasteurization successes, commercial interests prevailed and all dairies (the good, bad, and the ugly) then began to pool their milk so that "nobody would die," even if milk quality was very poor. This was great news for milk mass marketing, and creameries created high profits. These pasteurization practices continue today with the chief benefit being extended shelf life. These modern dead milk products now cause allergies and lactose intolerance to huge sectors of the population. Current (PMO) Federal standards for pasteurized milk permit 100,000 bacteria per ml for milk going to be pasteurized with as many as 20,000 injured or living bacteria to be alive after pasteurization, and this may include pathogens (this is arguably the reason why milk is pasteurized).1

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 Why do you say raw milk is alive?

Natural organic raw milk has in it vitally important living things. These include the following: beneficial bacteria, enzymes (including lipase, protease, and others) lactase forming bacteria, and many enzyme based pathogen killing systems. The common practice of pasteurization inactivates or dramatically reduces the effects of these important active (living) elements. As a result, you may be lactose intolerant when drinking pasteurized milk, but not lactose intolerant when you drink raw milk. This is because lactase enzymes are being formed when you digest raw milk. That is why we say, "only living milk brings life."1

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 What are enzymes?


Enzymes are specialized proteins that assist in the breaking down (hydrolyzing) and digestion of foods into useful elements that can be utilized, absorbed, or stored by the body. Enzymes are identified by the use of the ending "ase" associated with their name. For instance Lipase helps digest lipids (fats). Lactase helps digest lactose sugar (milk sugar). If your body does not produce and have available specific enzymes, then you may not be able to utilize certain food sources, or absorb certain minerals, etc. Phosphatase, which is key to the absorption of calcium, is inactivated by pasteurization. In fact, the test for effective pasteurization is called the "negative phosphatase test." Is it no wonder that Americans are suffering from osteoporosis at a rate higher than ever. It is now considered a US health crisis. A little trick that is not commonly known is that if you drink plenty of raw milk, lactose intolerant people can then tolerate limited amounts of pasteurized milk products, including ice cream. There is a sharing of required missing enzymes (lactase) and bacteria that are required in the gut, making a person not intolerant of lactose containing products.1

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 What are probiotics?


Probiotics are "good bacteria" that are found in unprocessed foods, in some yogurts, and in raw milk.  Keeping a healthy balance of these good bacteria can aid in digestion, help with digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, and assist a healthy immune system in fighting "bad bacteria." When antibiotics are necessary, health care practitioners use probiotics to replace the good bacteria, destroyed by antibiotics along with the bad.   

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I have heard that unprocessed milk can carry bacteria that will make me sick- Is that true?


Any food can harbor bad bacteria and make a person sick. Milk from a healthy animal that is allowed access to fresh pasture, fresh water and clean living quarters, will not have the bacteria from the various illnesses caused most often in confinement dairies. On occasion a new raw milk consumer may have some diarrhea from over drinking raw milk for the first time.

Government regulations now require many living foods to carry a warning label, including meat, poultry, fish, and fresh juices. This came about because of the ever weakening immune system of the average American citizen. More and more US consumers have severely weakened immune systems and can become ill by eating small amounts of foreign bacteria that their bodies are not familiar with. It has been estimated that about 70% of the strength of a healthy immune system is made up of the diversity of living bacteria found in the intestines. Raw milk provides a perfect source for the "seeding and feeding" of these diverse populations of living bacteria. The average American diet is practically devoid of living bacteria (all killed foods and few bacterial sources). Our immune systems have suffered as a direct result. Consuming raw milk and dairy products is an important step towards regaining immune strength and overall health. On occasion a new raw milk consumer may have some diarrhea from over drinking raw milk for the first time. This is rare and should be considered very normal. After all, the intestine has never seen such an incredible introduction of new and diverse beneficial bacteria and does not have any idea what to do. It is possible, but highly unlikely, that pathogens may be transmitted in raw milk just as they may be transmitted in all other foods. Organic Pastures Dairy California has demonstrated that even when high levels of pathogens were introduced into raw milk, they die off and do not grow (BSK tests). In fact, pathogen killing safety systems are hard at work, keeping raw milk safe even if it has been contaminated. Pastures Delights products are highly pathogen resistant also. Because Pastures Delights cannot predict the future and know what is yet to come, it is possible that someday a pathogen may be detected in your raw milk. If you are a healthy Pastures Delights customer this should have no noticeable effect. Your immune system will deal with it and you will probably not even know that a pathogen was in your raw dairy product. This is evident when reading CDC reports of raw milk illness. The farm and dairy consumers never get ill; it is the first time raw consumers (with weak immune systems) that become ill. This is exactly why all people should drink lots of raw milk. A strong immune system is a gift of freedom and of health. It is your choice, and with raw milk (exercise, good hydration, a whole-food diet, and plenty of love) you need not become ill, ever. Choose life!

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Are you organic?


We are not currently certified organic. We do follow organic protocols on all our land which is either organic, though not certified, or in transition to organic (leased land originally farmed conventionally). It takes three years to get land certified organic and one year to get a cow certified organic, if it is not from an organic farm. Regarding the dairy cows, initially we may have to resort to using some conventional therapies should the rare occasion arise. We simply do not yet possess the knowledge and experience in organic dairying as we do with organic cropping. Much like there is much to know about different styles of medical practices there is also much to know about organic health remedies for dairying. We believe it is wise to take progressive steps toward organic dairying.

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Why is being grass-fed important to me?


Studies suggest that eating milk and meat from ruminant animals that only graze will reduce body fat, will be anti-diabetic, be anti-atherosclerosis, will reduce cancer, and improve psychological well-being (healthier Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid ratio).

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What does raw milk taste like?


Our herd-share owners say their real milk tastes great! (Dont dare try taking it away from them!) Cream does separate to the top and you will probably want to shake the milk jug to mix in the cream before consuming. The milk does taste richer because the milk is real milk with all the good fatty acids still in it. Since real milk is a whole food, the taste varies from season to season depending on what the cow is eating (you are what you eat the milk is what the cow eats). There is just something right about real milk that agrees with people and after having it you will not want to go back to store bought milk. We guarantee youll be satisfied with the taste and benefits of real milk and if after 3 months you are not satisfied we will buy back your herd-share!

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What do the cows eat in the winter months?


Ideally we want to graze the cows at all times, pasture conditions permitting, even in the winter. Whether it be from the water-logged muddy soil, too much snow over the ground, or drought there will be times when the cows cannot graze and will have to be fed hay and supplemented with molasses for energy.

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1 information courtesy of Organic Pastures Dairy California

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