by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) If you read what the FDA says about raw milk, you would believe that you are jeopardizing your life by drinking it. They say (this is taken from their website):
“Raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks to you and your family. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998.”
“Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are responsible for causing numerous illnesses.”
“These harmful bacteria can seriously affect the health of anyone who drinks raw milk, or eats foods made from raw milk. However, the bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.”
The first thing that jumps out at me here is 800 people have gotten sick since 1998. What about all of the millions upon millions of people who have gotten sick since 1998 on junk food, processed food, colorings and preservatives, all of which are perfectly fine according to the FDA?
Personally, I am far more interested in the real story than the propaganda proposed by the FDA.
The Benefits of Unpasteurized Milk
Besides incredible taste, many people claim that raw milk is nearly a super food. Unlike heat-treated milk, it is full of beneficial gut bacteria that are vital for optimum digestion and immunity. Raw milk contains the full spectrum of amino acids and is a complete protein. It is packed with folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are mostly or completely destroyed in pasteurization. It offers a perfect balance of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Raw milk also contains live enzymes necessary for digesting food and enjoying good health. It also contains compounds that combat arthritis, cholesterol, and arterial stiffening.
A study published in The Internet Journal of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology found that raw milk reduced children’s risk of suffering allergy-related conditions by up to 40 per cent.
Statistics show that children growing up on farms are less likely to develop allergies. Children in a study at the University of London were given two glasses of raw milk a week. Their incidence of developing hay fever was cut by 10 per cent and eczema by 38 per cent.
Blood samples were also taken from 4,700 primary-school children in the U.K. The children who lived on farms and drank raw milk had 60 per cent lower levels of immunoglobulin E — an antibody that the body’s immune system pumps out in huge quantities on exposure to an allergen. Levels of histamine, another chemical that is released by cells during an allergic reaction, were halved.
Overall, people have found significant improvements in their health. Many people report clearer skin, better digestion, increased respiratory function, boosted immunity, and fewer allergies.
What Happens When You Pasteurize Milk?
Many claim that pasteurization, where milk is heated to 71 degrees C for short bursts followed by rapid cooling, destroys the nutrition in milk. Pasteurization breaks down lactase, an enzyme that helps digest the milk-sugar lactose, meaning that lactose-intolerant individuals can drink raw milk but not pasteurized milk. This process also renders calcium more difficult for the body to absorb. Homogenization also makes milk more difficult to digest.
The British Nutrition Foundation still claims that raw milk is potentially a source of food-poisoning bugs such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli. “Pasteurization is there as a safety net to kill off any bugs in milk,” says Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation. “Without it, the risks would be just too great.”
But once again, this seems to me a classic case of humans trying to improve nature. Whenever we come up with some new method, some new technique hailed as saving lives and making things better, we always end up destroying the nutrients and destroying our health. If we really want to know how to live in optimum health, we need to look to our ancestors. They have the key to our wellbeing because they lived in harmony with nature. And our ancestors certainly weren’t dramatically heating and cooling their milk.
About the author
Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.