Milk is the only substance specifically designed and prepared by nature as food. In her wisdom, nature populated the planet with species of animals that could provide an abundance of this nourishing elixir for humans. Antelope, reindeer, sheep, camels, goats, water buffalo, bison, zebras, yaks, oxen and cows have all served humans in this way.
Historians link human consumption of animal milk with the beginning of civilization, dating back at least 30,000 years. In fact, no state of civilization has ever arisen without the shepherding of pastoral animals and the use of their milk as food. The earliest human artifacts include vessels containing traces of milk residue. The ancient Egyptians and Hindus considered the bovine species to be sacred, elevating the cow to goddess status. The constellation Taurus, depicted as a bull, is home to the Pleiades and is noted by many cultures around the world as the origin of the human species.
Hippocrates, Galen and other ancient physicians used raw milk in the treatment of disease. As late as the 20th century, modern physicians prescribed the raw milk cure to their patients for treatment of most diseases. During the 1920’s, Dr. J.E. Crewe of the Mayo Foundation used an exclusive diet of raw milk to cure Tuberculosis, high blood pressure, prostate disease, diabetes, kidney disease, chronic fatigue and obesity. Raw milk therapy is still successfully used today in German hospitals. There have even been reports of people living for decades on nothing but raw milk.
How is it that a food that could sustain our ancestors around the world for thousands of years is now presenting health problems for modern man? Before the beginning of the practice of pasteurization in the late 1800’s, milk allergies were not an issue. In fact, prior to the 20th century, many of the degenerative diseases we have today did not exist.
In the early 1900’s Canadian born dentist Dr. Weston Price noticed that the children of his patients had problems that their parents didn’t have. He noticed an increase in tooth decay and what he called dental deformities such as crowded and crooked teeth. He also noticed that the condition of the teeth generally reflected overall health. He suspected that changes in nutrition were the cause and to prove this, he embarked on a journey around the world to research the diets of native populations that were untouched by modern society.
During his extensive travels in the 1930’s and 40’s he discovered 14 primitive groups that enjoyed superior health with no evidence of tooth decay or dental deformities. He also noticed the complete lack of degenerative conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Only when they ventured into “civilization” and the white man’s diet did they develop these conditions. The traditional diets of these people consisted of raw or fermented raw animal foods including meats, eggs and dairy foods from grass-fed animals. They also ate raw organ meats and animal fats, insects, and smaller quantities of legumes and grains which were mostly fermented. Biological analysis of their foods showed that they were high in nutrients found in animal fats that were largely missing from the modern diet including vitamins A and D and a fat soluble nutrient that Price called Activator X that played an important role in mineral absorption. Notably, the foods that Price found to be the most health-giving are the same foods that the current medical establishment warns patients to avoid.
Widespread pasteurization came about around the same time that Price started noticing his patients’ health problems. As big city living began to replace more rural lifestyles in the 1800’s, cows were taken off their natural pasture land and corralled in inner city pens where they were given grain feed. Since the war of 1812 cut off the supply of whiskey from the West Indies, grain distilleries were built which produced a grain byproduct that could cheaply be fed to cows. This produced inferior quality milk which, combined with the filthy crowded conditions in which the cows were forced to live, created dairy products that were deficient in nutrients and laden with disease-causing microbes. Impure water and poor sanitation added to this bleak situation and tuberculosis reached epidemic levels. The infant mortality rate rose dramatically during the next several years, and it was thought that the milk was largely to blame. It seemed that pasteurization, a process by which the milk is heated to at least 161 degrees to kill pathogens, was the answer.
For awhile, some doctors fought to make certified raw healthy pasture-fed dairy available. However, in spite of a study that showed that children fed raw milk had more resistance to TB and less tooth decay than children fed pasteurized milk (Lancet, 1937), pasteurization of all dairy became mandatory in most states by the 1930’s.
The commercial dairy industry and public health officials claim that pasteurization does not change the chemical composition, nutrient availability, taste or digestibility of raw milk, however an abundance of evidence proves otherwise. Raw milk from healthy pasture-fed cows has a rich array of essential nutrients including vitamins A, D, C, all of the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, essential fatty acids and trace minerals. Pasteurization destroys up to 50% of these nutrients.
Cows fed on rapidly growing spring grass produce milk that contains high levels of beta carotene and five times the amount of CLA found in pasteurized milk. CLA is an essential fatty acid that has a strong anti-cancer effect and helps to maintain optimum weight. The “Price Factor X” is only found in raw grass-fed milk butterfat, fish eggs, and the organs and fats of animals. The beta-carotene in grass-fed raw dairy is most evident in butter that is a rich deep yellow color. Grain-fed cows produce a butter that looks white, so yellow coloring is added to it to make it appear more appetizing.
Raw dairy is rich in vital enzymes that enable us to digest the milk, including the enzyme lactase. Those who are lactose-intolerant and therefore “allergic” to milk, often find that they can drink raw milk without difficulty. In fact, the test for adequate pasteurization is the absence of any enzymes. Pasteurization also destroys the beneficial microflora such as lactobacillus acidophilus normally present in raw milk which are an important part of our immune system. Fermented dairy products such as yogurt and kefir produce even more enzymes and beneficial microflora which further enhance the digestibility and nutritive value of raw milk.
A 1999 study demonstrated that children who drink raw milk have fewer allergic skin problems and far less asthma than children who drink pasteurized milk. Research also proves that raw milk is superior to pasteurized milk in promoting growth and calcium absorption. Studies have even shown that baby calves fed pasteurized milk become sick and die before they reach maturity.
Unlike the cows that provide us with healthy organic, certified raw dairy, commercial confinement dairies keep cows in 4 ft. by 6 ft. stalls contained by metal bars that keep the cow in position for milking. There she stands, at times in up to 3 ft. of her own excrement, for her entire miserable existence which averages 42 months compared to 15 years for a cow on pasture.
Natural food for cows is green grass in spring, summer and fall, and green feed, silage, hay and root vegetables in winter. Commercial cows are fed an inferior diet of grains often laced with soy meal, cottonseed meal and chemicals. They are given antibiotics for frequent udder infections and growth hormones to increase milk production. In some cases, the carcinogenic genetically engineered bovine growth hormone is administered. Testing often shows commercial milk to be full of disease-causing microbes, so to protect the public it must be pasteurized.
Even so, pasteurization is not a guarantee of safety, since it does not always kill the commonly found bacteria for Johne’s Disease which is suspected of causing Crohn’s disease in humans. Ironically, all of the many cases of salmonella contaminated dairy have occurred in pasteurized milk. Raw milk contains lactic-acid producing bacteria that protect against pathogens. Frequent testing shows unsafe levels of disease-causing microbes are rarely if ever found in the milk of organically raised pasture-fed cows.
Homogenization is another man-made process that breaks down butterfat globules so they do not rise to the top. Studies link homogenized milk to heart disease. While whole milk, cheese and butter have been blamed for high cholesterol and heart disease, 10 major studies comparing consumption of cholesterol by heart disease patients and healthy people show no statistical differences. In fact, the heart disease groups had lower cholesterol. Despite this evidence, the medical community still tells their patients to drastically reduce their consumption of cholesterol and animal fats.
Butterfat has essential fatty acids that protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. Raw butter has been used successfully to help heal autism since it helps nourish and heal the leaky gut associated with this condition. In addition, butterfat helps to protect the nerve cells from demyelinization. The disinformation campaign of recent decades, has led to a marked increase in heart disease and other degenerative conditions since people began replacing healthy butterfat with margarine derived from unsaturated vegetable oils.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence of the safety and nutritive benefits of organically raised raw dairy, the commercial dairy industry and the politicians they support have successfully campaigned to outlaw or restrict the sale of raw dairy products in most states, and put thousands of independent dairy farmers out of business.
To preserve our access to healthy raw milk and find out where you can still obtain real milk, call 202-333-HEAL or visit www.realmilk.com. “The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmid, ND is an excellent book on the subject for those who would like more information.