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More Dairies Go Raw as Consumers Learn the Benefits of Unpasteurized Milk

March 15, 2008 | 72,045 views

raw milkDemand for raw milk is growing in much of the United States, including the state of Massachusetts, where the number of dairies licensed to sell raw milk has grown from 12 to 23 in the past two years.

Meanwhile, according to the Northeast Organic Farming Association, dairies are selling more raw milk than they were just five years ago, and consumers call in every week looking for advice on where to find it.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, advocates say raw milk is healthy because it contains good bacteria, enzymes and raw fats that help to boost your immune system and aid digestion.

Both anecdotal and scientific reports also support the health benefits. For instance, a study by researchers at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Basel in Switzerland found that children who drank raw milk had a lower risk of asthma and allergies.

Raw milk can be sold for human consumption in 28 states, but only eight states allow it to be sold in stores. As a result, many people have begun to form buying clubs that buy raw milk directly from the dairy.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

There really is no comparison, in taste or nutrition, between a glass of raw milk and a glass of pasteurized milk. The raw milk will always trump the pasteurized version.

Why, then, does the FDA continue to warn Americans that drinking raw milk is like “playing Russian Roulette with your health?”

Well, I’m assuming they’re referring to the milk that comes out of most commercial dairies (the ones from which they recommend you get your milk). Well, here is a brief description from The Humane Society of the United States (whose undercover video also recently prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history) about what these factory-farm dairies are really like:

“Factory farmed dairy cows are typically kept in indoor stalls or on drylots. A drylot is an outdoor enclosure devoid of grass. Cows raised on drylots usually have no protection from inclement weather, nor are they provided with any bedding or a clean place to rest.

Drylots can hold thousands of cows at one time. Because these lots are only completely cleaned out once -- or at the most, twice -- a year, the filth just keeps building up. Such conditions are not only extremely stressful for the cows, they also facilitate the spread of disease.”

Now, if you were to drink milk from THESE cows prior to it being pasteurized, well, then the FDA may have a point comparing it to “Russian roulette.”

Of course, this is not what I, nor any other raw milk advocate, is suggesting when they recommend drinking raw milk. The milk you drink is only going to be as healthy as the cow that produces it. So the raw milk you obtain should come from a clean, well-run, farm that gives its cows access to pasture. It is a rare occasion that milk from a healthy cow such as this would make you sick.

On the contrary, raw grass fed milk is full of things that your body will thrive on: good bacteria, raw fat, cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and much more. It is not uncommon for people who drink raw milk to report that many health issues -- from allergies to digestive trouble to skin issues like eczema -- clear up.

Is Raw Milk a Magic Wand to Health?

Of course not. But then, nothing is.

Yet, many people THRIVE on raw dairy (just read through some of the Community Comments below for a testament to that).

These kinds of positive results are just not coming from pasteurized milk. What does come, however, are countless numbers of people experiencing all kinds of health troubles, from digestive upset to perhaps even autism and diabetes, from drinking milk that is heated to the point where nearly all of its beneficial properties are destroyed, or, worse, turned into harmful ones.

This is why even organic milk, which should be from relatively healthy cows, is STILL not a healthy choice for milk, as it is still pasteurized.

As with nearly all food, the closer you consume it to its natural state, the better. And this is also true for milk.

Looking for Raw Milk?

As demand for raw milk continues to grow, it will, hopefully, become easier and easier to come by. For now, you can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Web site. You can also look here to find out the legal status of raw milk in the U.S. state or country where you live.

[+] Sources and References

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