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The Truth About Milk

milk, raw milk, dairy cow“Raw milk” is milk in its natural state, Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy, explains in this excellent article. It comes from the cow, without heat treatment or pasteurization, which is used to extend shelf life and to immobilize certain bacteria.

But people, milk, and bacteria can coexist. It is normal for milk to contain some bacteria, and human societies have been benefiting from these bacteria in milk for thousands of years. Fermented milks, for instance, have superior nutrient value and digestibility. Today these products are marketed as containing “probiotics,” as if this is something brand new.

Yet, bacteria have always existed in natural milk. In fact, bacteria:
  • Are earth’s oldest life forms
  • Are everywhere
  • Are essential for human survival
  • Comprise more than 90 percent of the cells in the human body
Public obsession with killing bacteria misdirects efforts at improving public health -- because relatively few bacteria are pathogenic. By constantly sterilizing, pasteurizing, and disinfecting, the balance is actually tipped in favor of the pathogens.

It is difficult to get at the truth because so much research on milk is little more than advertising -- self-interested and commercial. But you can educate yourself directly and make health choices without the intervention of so-called “experts.”

If you do, you will find that raw milk, loaded with beneficial bacteria, is the better choice.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
It is quite an oxymoron to have to call milk “raw,” as though there is something unfinished about it. It is pasteurized milk that we should really be calling attention to, as this is the type of milk that’s been adulterated and turned into something not fit for drinking.

It’s ironic, too, that Louis Pasteur, the mastermind behind the “pasteurization” process, is revered by scientists and food manufacturers alike. As McAfee pointed out, pasteurization is useful if you need to drink low-quality (i.e. disease-ridden) milk.

But it’s the 21st century.

And it’s time you demanded milk that’s safe and healthy as it’s intended to be: straight from the cow.

Even Louis Pasteur Admitted He Was Wrong

Interestingly, Louis Pasteur did not only discover pasteurization. He also came up with the “Germ Theory of Disease,” which states that “a specific disease is caused by a specific type of microorganism.”

This is what spurred doctors to begin disinfecting their surgical instruments in boiling water -- clearly important. But it’s also what became the basis for modern medicine, including the pharmaceutical industry. Now, this theory certainly has some merit. But it’s become largely simplified and over-relied upon, even today when we know that disease is caused by many more factors than a simple germ or virus.

Which brings me back to the milk.

Government agencies would have you believe that if there’s bacteria in your milk, that will make you sick.

Well, this is the same type of oversimplified and incorrect logic that allowed pasteurized milk to proliferate the market in the first place.

In reality, bacteria is in milk for a reason, and as long as it comes from a healthy cow, the good bacteria will keep the bad bacteria in your gut  in check, and will proceed to do the same inside of your body.

So the next time you hear someone talking about the merits of pasteurization, you may want to tell them this:

Upon his deathbed, Louis Pasteur admitted his theory was not entirely correct. Instead, he conceded that physiologist Claude Bernard had it right.

Bernard said that microbes do exist, but that “terrain is everything.”

“Terrain” refers to your body, and his theory means that it’s not the microbes that determine whether or not you get sick, it’s the health of the body in which they exist.

To prove his theory, Bernard reportedly then drank a glass of water filled with cholera to show that the germs wouldn’t make him sick.

Yet, the folks over at the FDA are still spouting off ridiculous statements like “drinking raw milk is like playing Russian roulette with your health.”

Have You Heard of “The Milk Cure”?

Countless anecdotal reports exist from regular people around the world who have experienced the health benefits of drinking raw milk. Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, asthma, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic ear infections and more often seem to clear up when raw milk enters the picture.

Yet, long before milk began being called “raw” or “pasteurized” -- back when milk was just milk -- there was something called “the milk cure,” and it was used by the Mayo Foundation, which today is known as the Mayo Clinic.

An article by Dr. J. R. Crewe of the Mayo Foundation on this very topic was published in Certified Milk Magazine in January 1929. You can read it in its entirety on the Real Milk Web site.

In it, Crewe quotes William Osler, author of a standard medical textbook of the day, who described “milk as being nothing more than white blood. Milk resembles blood closely and is a useful agent for improving and making new and better blood.”

The milk cure was a combination of a detoxifying fast and nutrient-dense feeding, which included milk “given at half hour intervals … totaling from five to ten quarts of milk a day.”

The treatment was used in many chronic conditions, but according to the article “chiefly in tuberculosis, diseases of the nervous system, cardiovascular and renal conditions, hypertension, and in patients who are underweight, run-down, etc. Striking results are seen in diseases of the heart and kidneys and high blood pressure.”

What did the doctors conclude?

“When sick people are limited to a diet containing an excess of vitamins and all the elements necessary to growth and maintenance, which are available in milk, they recover rapidly without the use of drugs and without bringing to bear all the complicated weapons of modern medicine.”

Imagine that!

Ready to Try it Out for Yourself?

Many of you reading this may have heard about raw milk, but are hesitant to take the plunge. Well, I suggest you talk to people in your area who drink raw milk and eat raw dairy products. I assure you there are more raw-milk drinkers around than you may think.

Keep in mind that 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.

And you don’t have to stop with milk. Most raw-milk providers also offer other wonderful raw dairy products like cheeses, sour cream, kefir, yogurt, butter, and fresh cream.

The flavor of these dairy products is probably like nothing you’ve ever tasted -- rich, creamy, sweet and incredibly fresh. And when you add in the superb health benefits, well, you just can’t go wrong.

Unfortunately, raw dairy is still illegal in many parts of the United States, but its popularity is growing and hopefully it won’t be for much longer.

In the meantime, you can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Web site.

+ Sources and References