Written by Dr. Mark
Referenced article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/08/switching-to-raw-milk.aspx
I recently wrote about milk, and talked about the sugar content and lack of fat in anything but whole milk, and compared it to any other sugary drink. So we should definitely avoid any reduced fat milk. But there was still some question about other milk, like whole milk or raw milk. Its still not simple yes or no, as with many things it depends on the consumer.
But before I go there, the first question, raw vs. conventional. Raw milk is definitely preferred to conventional pasteurized milk. Besides the fact that it tastes great and can be fun to obtain (visiting a farm) it also offers some health benefits. The main reason is because the beneficial bacteria is left unharmed. Raw milk also contains all the fat, unaltered. As I talked about in the previous article on milk, this is what helps prevent the insulin spike you’d get from a reduced fat milk. The article I referenced actually doesn’t go into much more detail on the benefits of raw milk, but talks more about how it has been labelled unsafe, and basically how that label is wrong.
As more Americans demand the right to purchase and consume food of their own choosing, increasing numbers of states are introducing legislation to loosen restrictions regarding intrastate sales of raw milk. Raw milk, by the way, is the only food banned from interstate commerce.
Bills in favor of making it easier for consumers to obtain raw milk are pending in at least a dozen states, from Hawaii to Utah to Wisconsin.
IDFA is actively opposing the legislative efforts and, not surprisingly, has sent letters to state committees warning that allowing raw milk sales would be “opening up consumers to the inevitable consequence of falling victim to a foodborne illness.”4
Really? Frye quotes data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to show how “dangerous” raw milk is, but the CDC is well known for putting out misleading data regarding raw milk.
Public health agencies had previously stated there were 21 reported illnesses linked to raw milk in Minnesota from 2001 to 2010. But that doesn’t exactly scream “danger,” does it? A CDC study then claimed more than 20,500 Minnesotans were actually sickened.5
How they arrived at this number demands scrutiny. If a person was sickened by campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7 or salmonella during the study period, and had consumed raw milk in the week before, the illness was blamed on raw milk (even though many foods could have caused the illness).
Even using the above criteria, this only raised the illness to 530, which were then multiplied based on an assumption that the illnesses were underreported. The Food Business News article then goes on to make a statement that:6
“It seems in this day and age with food safety front and center after Chipotle’s recent situations, and other issues with Listeria in ice cream and cheese and E. coli on leafy vegetables, consumers would want to err on the side of caution.”
This explains the absurdity behind raw milk bans in a nutshell. You can get sick from eating any food — a burrito, a piece of cheese, a fresh salad or, yes, even a bowl of pasteurized ice cream.
I think that last statement sums it up well. You can get sick from any food, will that stop us from eating? I think it i similar to how people stay away from certain exercises, like crossfit, for fear of injury. The simple truth is you can get injured doing a whole lot of things, but that doesn’t keep us from participating. We can’t live life in fear of what could happen. If we are pursuing health, when “sickness” or and injury comes (which no one is immune to either) we can get through it much better.
So back to the question of whether or not we should be drinking milk at all? The article sums it up nicely:
Truth be told, many people should not consume dairy whether it is raw or pasteurized, as they are allergic to the milk proteins. Additionally, if you’re insulin resistant, you would likely be better off avoiding raw and pasteurized milk, as it contains the dairy sugar lactose, which can worsen insulin/leptin resistance.
However, if you are healthy and want to drink milk, raw milk from a high-quality source is generally superior in nutrition and flavor. It will also help to decrease the likelihood of insulin spikes from the milk sugar, courtesy of the thick layer of cream on top. Raw dairy farmer Max Kane explained:
“The cream is perhaps the most important part of the milk because the cream is where all the energy is that’s needed to digest the milk protein casein. That’s why it’s important to consume full-fat dairy products instead of non-fat or skim dairy products. The cream is also responsible for regulating the sugar absorption into your blood. It decreases the likelihood of insulin spikes.
The cream naturally floats to the top of the milk, and it can be skimmed right off the top. Traditionally, people would use the cream line as a visual aid to help them assess the quality of the milk … Homogenization [is] an industry process that fractionates the cream molecule, the fat molecule, into small little pieces.
This was done for the purpose of making the cream line non-detectable to the human eye … That’s how they standardized the milk, by taking away the viewable quality assessment from the consumer, and ultimately left the consumer with no real visual way to assess the quality and the value of the milk.”
Thanks for reading.
- Dr. Mark