How about some education on raw milk?
Half a dozen studies out of Europe over the last ten years all point in the same direction: raw milk provides powerful protection against asthma, allergies, and eczema. Now we have evidence that raw milk also protects against respiratory infections—the kind that can lay your family low during the cold winter months.
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology followed a group of almost one thousand infants from rural areas of Austria, Finland, France, Germany and Switzerland for the first year of life. Consumption of different types of cow’s milk and the occurrence of rhinitis, respiratory tract infections, otitis (ear infections) and fever were assessed by weekly health diaries.
When contrasted with ultra-pasteurized milk, raw milk consumption was inversely associated with the occurrence of rhinitis, respiratory tract infections, otitis and fever; boiled farm milk showed similar but weaker associations, and industrially processed pasteurized milk was inversely associated with fever. Early life consumption of raw cow’s milk reduced the risk of respiratory infections and fever by about 30 percent.
Of course, the researchers were obliged to warn against the “dangers” of raw milk, but in fact concluded, “If the health hazards of raw milk could be overcome, the public health impact of minimally processed pathogen-free milk might be enormous, given the high prevalence of respiratory infections in the first year of life and the associated direct and indirect costs”
Of course, we know that the “health hazards of raw milk are minimal, especially when produced under clean and careful conditions, such as occur at Dutch Meadows. And claims that raw milk is “inherently dangerous” just don’t hold up to the evidence.
Analysis of all reports of illness by the Weston A. Price Foundation indicates that you are at least thirty-five times more likely to contract illness from other foods than from raw milk.
Raw milk is associated with only 0.4 percent of all reported cases of foodborne illness. The key point is that there has never been a confirmed death from raw milk, but there have been more than seventy deaths from pasteurized milk and pasteurized milk products.
A new study out of Sweden found that what’s really risky is drinking pasteurized milk. Researchers followed two groups, one of over sixty-one thousand women and the other of over forty-five thousand men. The authors found that higher intake of pasteurized milk was associated with higher mortality in one group of women and in another group of men, with a higher fracture incidence in women. The study was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ2014;349:g6015).
An amazing letter followed this study, published in the same journal (BMJ 2014;349:g6993). The author is Jonathan R. Kerr, professor of epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Escuela de Medicine ye Clencias de la Salud, Universidad del Rosario, Bogota, Colombia. The title: “Milk and mortality: raw versus pasteurised milk.”
He writes: “A serious flaw in Michaelsson and colleagues’ study is that it did not distinguish between raw and pasteurized milk. These two entities are completely different in structure, content, nutritional benefits and disease associations, and referring to both as “milk” underestimates this difference. “Whole raw milk, from grass-fed cows, is an enhanced source of nutrients, including beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and high levels of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K), enzymes, calcium, conjugated linoleic acid, in a package that optimizes absorption of all its contents.”
“Pasteurization reduces contamination with pathogens but also kills the beneficial lactobacilli that produce vitamin K2, improve absorption of nutrients, and normalize gut function.”
“Pasteurization denatures the fragile and nutritious milk proteins and enzymes, and it reduces the vitamin content. In addition, contamination can occur after pasteurization and lead to outbreaks of serious infection. Pasteurization also negates the reduction in childhood asthma and atopy associated with the consumption of raw milk.”
“The authors also did not measure the fat content of the milk. This is important because deficiencies in fat- soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are associated with decreased bone mass and osteoporosis. Most health-conscious people try to limit their intake of saturated fat, which is widely accepted to be associated with heart disease, although this is controversial.”
“In conclusion, even though legislation mandates the pasteurization of milk, raw milk from grass-fed dairy cows is still available in Europe and North America and is widely available in less developed countries with an agrarian economy, such as Columbia.”