Raw Milk vs Pasteurized Milk

Raw Milk vs Pasteurized Milk

Raw milk versus pasteurized milk, which is better?

Generally, the only milk available is pasteurized milk. We have even been taught to only accept pasteurized milk as it is supposed to be safest. But it turns out that raw milk is actually easier to digest and has many advantages.

What if I am lactose-intolerant?

If you are lactose intolerant, you may have better luck with raw milk since its bacteria creates an enzyme called lactase that breaks down lactose.

A survey was done of about 3,000 people, which included 200 that were diagnosed as being lactose intolerant and 90 percent of that group had no problems drinking raw milk. One of the problems with pasteurized milk, which we are all encouraged to prefer, is the rapid heating process it goes through which damages the milk’s very complex proteins so when pasteurized milk is ingested, the body thinks the altered proteins are foreign, which may cause an allergic response.

What about taste?

Raw milk is considered to have a taste richer than store-bought cow’s milk. This is due partly because pasteurization alters the alkaloids that give raw milk its nice flavor. Further pasteurization also destroys the cofactors that help your body utilize all the vitamins in milk, including the binding protein that helps the assimilation of vitamin b12. Also the uptake of calcium, vitamin A and D and iron, is all compromised.

So why isn't raw milk readily available?

The FDA has argued that there is no nutritional benefit to raw milk and claims it is dangerous. However, cases proving that raw milk has caused illness are rare. Per serving many other foods have caused illnesses more frequently. This includes deli meats, lettuce, and fruit, etc. Interesting, too, that the FDA will tout pasteurized milk as being safe but ignore the fact that many milk companies get milk from cows that have been injected with bovine growth hormones.

Some states stipulate that raw milk must be sold only “on-site” at dairy farms. However eight states allow you to buy it in stores. I have seen raw milk at health food stores and in supermarkets in NYC.

While I am not a big fan of milk, when I lived in S. Korea I tried it. I found the milk to have a superior taste. It was so rich, and like drinking cold liquid cream. Add some chocolate to that and life was a thrill!

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Comments 36 comments

laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

I never knew that raw milk creates an enzyme that is safe for people who are lactose intolerant. I will  tell a friend who can't drink regular milk and have her look into possible drinking.

Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Great Hub.

I agree fully - my grandfather was a dairy farmer, and we were brought up on raw milk. Never had a problem, and there is a lot of evidence that children brought up in farming country have much stronger immune systems.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi laringo - I hope it works for your friend. Our food is so overly processed we don't even know what real food is anymore. Our body keeps rejecting it and we keep thinking we are sick instead of listening to our bodies.

And Sufidreamer thanks for sharing that info. When I think of my relatives who lived on farms and had raw milk - and fresh food - well it seems like they always lived to be 100-200 years old! Our immune systems here in the city are pretty bad.

Thanks for stopping by!

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Sounds lovely! :)

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks justmesuzanne!

I may even try raw milk now!

hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 7 years ago from nyc

we only drink raw milk everyday but it would be interesting to write a hub on how to obtain raw milk. The situations that you have to deal with when you travel from state to state or international and dealing with these procedures. It is no argument there is nothing that can compare with the taste of raw milk. What supermarket has it in nyc? Whole foods? Thanks for this hub very good info for all.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

We are seeing more raw milk in the local supermarkets - surprisingly. Since the regular milk tends to have bovine growth hormones I think folks who know that avoid it at all costs - and they should.

While I have never been a milk fan - when I lived in S. Korea I often drank it. Just because it was so rich and creamy - it tastes entirely different from what is sold here. And the chocolate milk - oh wow! The quality is just far far far superior.

I think Whole Foods does carry it!

Thanks for writing!

Andy 7 years ago

I never heard about Pasteurized milk before i came to USA. My father is 58 years old. And all people i know in India drinks only raw milk. They are in very good helth and spirit. I also drink raw milk until 3 years ago i came to USA. I was very very surprised to know about Pasteurized milk and to know that people think raw milk is dangerous to health. I used to drink a full glass of raw milk every night before bed. I feel my bones and health is more better than people drink Pasteurized milk. I miss raw milk in NYC. Anybody know where can i have it.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much Andy for your comments!

Pasteurized milk is designed to last much longer than raw milk and it is incredibly cheap to make - but of course it deprives drinkers of the benefits - it's about profit unfortunately. Even worse, much of the pasteurized milk is made from cows injected with bovine growth hormones. There are many reasons why Americans are unhealthy - including our very poor quality food.

But we are finally effecting some change here.

Where to buy? - I notice it being sold in regular supermarkets now and in so-called health food stores.

gramon1 profile image

gramon1 7 years ago from Miami

Even though there are benefits to drinking raw milk, there are other issues related to this. If you drink raw milk from the same cows, soon your body will learn to deal with their bacteria. But different caws from different regions and fed differently may have very different bacteria. Your body would get used to some bacteria, and then you get different bacteria from different cows. Supermarkets would have to be consistent getting their milk from the same cows.

Another problem is that we are fed all those manufactured foods from infancy, so our bodies have not developed the antibodies for many of the bacterias found in unprocessed foods. Even worse, the regular milk found in supermarkets has so many antibiotics that it eventually lowers our ability to fight bacteria.

My recommendation to any one is to switch to organic products, including milk and any other animal products they eat. For instance, regular non-organic milk is full of pus that results from the extensive use of antibiotics in the cows.

My own experience with raw milk dates to my childhood. My family is from a farm town in Valencia, Spain. But I was born in Venezuela. My father worked planning oil camps in South America, so I grew up in the campgrounds in the jungle and grasslands, before the oil towns were built. So, For the first years of my life, I only knew powder milk dissolved in boiled water. Then, I was taken to Spain and started drinking raw cow milk. I threw it up the first days. It tasted kind of spoiled to me. But I just loved milk so much that i kept trying it again and again. Eventually, I stopped throwing it up and getting diarreah from it. For many years, I enjoyed drinking raw milk. But I don't think I would make the effort to adapt to it again. Or well, perhaps the vomiting was caused because my deffenses were used to Jungle bacteria, not to spanish farm bacteria.

I think this is a very good blog that desserves to be discussed a lot Discussing these issues brings so much out into the open.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you gramon1! I so agree with you - and as adults we don't even need this type of protein.

And this is exactly why we need locally grown foods as well - we should eat according to our environment.

Your comment really deserves a whole hub article. Maybe you will consider writing one - we do need all the information we can get.

Thanks for writing!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

Hi Bk, I have lactose intolerance, and it is good to know an alternative for pasteurized milk -- raw milk,

Reading this one, I now know about the difference so I am thankful for your sharing of this piece,I will drink raw as it is also tasty also, Thanks BK< Maita

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for commenting Maita - I value your opinion. It seems like more than ever people cannot tolerate the pastuerized milk on the market. Seems the more we do with food, allegedly to make it better - the more problems we have. I hope this works for you.

dumma 6 years ago

can you please tell which supermarket in Bronx can I get raw milk? While in India we always used raw milk,- but we used to boil it before using- the thick cream floats on the top and is used with turmeric for skin and used for butter making. The milk used to taste so good. I boil the supermarket milk for cream and the cream is not oily like you get from boiling the raw milk. I use this cream for my face but it is puffing my face as I just found out that Vitamin D is a steroid. The supermarket milk is not milk at all - there is nothing in it. And , Why everybody is forced to drink with added Vitamin D and Vitamin A in it? Some people do not like milk with added vitamins. Would not have God provided vitamin D if it was necessary? Why do we go against the nature?

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Wow! your input is so appreciated - and I agree, let's get vitamin D naturally - like from the sun! American milk, unless it is labeled organic, is made with growth hormones - I would never give this to a child or drink it myself. We do not need this.

As far as raw milk in the Bronx - a number of large supermarket chains sell it in the dairy section with other milks - or you will find it in a store claiming to be a 'health food store' - but here in the US that means tons of packaged foods and vitamins.

What a great recipe for skin cream and adding the turmeric. Thanks for sharing that!

Thanks for writing!

manyinterests 6 years ago from North Carolina

LOVE IT! I just wrote a hub on raw milk and how it needs to be legal in NC for many of the reasons above! Thanks!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks manyinterests - I'll check out your hub. Thanks for commenting!

dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 6 years ago from India

Now in this modern world, even in villages you can see peoples waiting to get pasteurized milk, because they even think it is safe for their children. In my school days i used to drink only raw milk and not ever noticed to be gone ill of it. Thanks for giving the information about the enzyme so that I could share it with some body. rating it up!!

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

I was brought up on raw milk and loved it and I think it did us a lot of good! But the milk came from cows from our cowshed - not bought. Maybe it's not such a good idea to drink milk raw unless it's from cows that are reared organically - no antibiotics, no hormones. Unfortunately the effects of these are much worse when the milk isn't pasteurised. So maybe what's best for us is to go back to Nature and grow our own food, keep our own cattle and hens :) I really do miss the taste of raw milk but today!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Honestly, I don't recommend drinking cow milk - and certainly not for adults - I've never been a fan. But if you must drink it, it is ideal to know the farm and know the cows. What's on the super market shelf is filled with bovine growth hormones - no one needs this - ever.

Thank you dinkan53 - I think the enzyme is important enough to know about if you are going to drink cow milk. It seems enzymes are missing in our industrialized diet - and what foods may have it we cook it out.

Thank you Shalini Kagal - when I visited my grandmother's farm like 50 years ago - they grew practically all their food and had cows and chickens etc. Of course they lived forever too. More than ever we need to know our food source.

Thanks for the comments!

dumma 6 years ago

hi, I had stated earlier that milk cream after boiling supermarket milk had given me swelling in face as Vitamin D in it issteroid- but later I found out it was my asthma medication that was swelling my face- but I am still alergic to steroids though- even som facial creams can swell my face- I just wanted to clear that.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Same thing happened with a friend on asthma medication - Her face got very puffy and the steroids and changed her body shape. I'm glad she stopped taking the medication. Nothing should change your body and face like that if it is beneficial. Thanks for clarification.

Alison 5 years ago

We just moved to South Korea and I was wondering where you got the raw milk? I use to get it for my kids in Ohio before we moved here. Also, any info on finding organic or non gmo food here?

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Alison - it's been over 3 years since I have lived in S. Korea and in such a progressive country I can't tell you where anything is anymore.

As a rule the food was not GM like it is in the US. It is fresh, nutritious and locally grown.

Also unlike the US diet - it is not heavily dairy based so raw milk was more of a novelty and not a necessary part of the diet.

Alison 5 years ago

Ok. Thanks. Guess I'll have to go find the local markets around here. Thanks for the info and I'll keep on the look out for the milk.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I wish you well. I had some of the best years teaching English throughout Seoul.

Ammar 5 years ago

Hi,I live in Saudi Arabia.my son drink powder milk recommended by doctor now I want he drink fresh milk.in saudia the fresh milk is available in bottle with one day expiry but on the bottle also mention it's pasteurize so what s good for my son taking this bottle milk or powder milk.he carry both of milks no illness after using both of them

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello Ammar,

I don't know about the milks in Saudi Arabia. I suppose you can ask for raw milk and try that too.

Hello Kitty 5 years ago

I think that is great information, but I would like to know does pasteurized ultra pasteurized pr non pasteurized molk go bad faster?

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi Hello Kitty, It seems ultra pastuerized milk will last the longest - but that is not a benefit. It is done for profit because work conditions are so filthy it is necessary to take this step. But it does not leave you with a fresh product, just something tasteless and devoid of nutrients. I stay away from milk because it also has bovine growth hormones. I simply do not believe we are meant to drink a cow's milk especially as adults.

Thanks for writing.

Jessica 5 years ago

I noticed you mentioned that you bought raw milk in Korea. We live in Seoul and I would love to get some....any help? Where can I find it?


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello Jessica,

Yes, I lived in lovely Seoul and had the best time but I left in June 2007. There was one store way out in Bangwha-dong, Gangseo-gu which is the last stop on the purple line and the shop was just a few steps from the train station - on the same side of the street as the Dunkin' Donuts. But I do not know if it is still there. It would be best to check with a Korean colleague or use the email address on the sides of the milk cartons to see if they make raw milk and can direct you.

Hope you find it. Milk is generally not part of the diet but it is becoming a bit more popular along with yogurt.

healthywebsites profile image

healthywebsites 4 years ago

I've milked goats and drank raw milk for year. However, after reading about the horrible experiences of people who've gotten food poisoning from bacteria-infected milk, it seems silly to turn a deaf ear to the nearly universal warnings of the medical community. I agree completely with people who argue that they want to take responsibility for their own health choices. However, truly being "responsible" may mean more than just making a buying decision. It may mean getting to know the local people who produce your food (I've seen some dairy barns that are spotless and others that are filthy), planting a garden, joining a CSA or helping a neighbor take care of his or her chickens, dairy animals, etc. in return for farm-fresh food.

car0lina 3 years ago

I can tell you for certain raw milk cannot be sold legally in Korea now. It's a shame, but true. I went looking so that I could make buttermilk.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 3 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

healthywebsites - such common sense advice - thanks so much. We can never assume any foods we don't have total control over is safe. Back in the 60's as our food went into decline the mantra was 'vary your poisons' - you can never depend on one source for food.

This is true even with pet food. I gave my kitty a range of wet foods and dry (and yes so-called people food) and almost every time I checked online, there were pet food recalls - even of the more expensive brands I was buying. Many people lost their cats because they served a single food.

Thanks again!

carolina - thanks so much for that update. It's been several years since I've been there - and things do change. I wonder why? Well, milk is not part of the traditional Korean diet. Maybe is just wasn't worth it.

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