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Raw Milk - a Real Food for Everyone
The pasteurization of milk has been around for a century, yet now more than ever many people seek out raw milk. It is illegal to sell raw milk in Canada and about half of the United States, but there are ways around this. In most states it is possible to obtain raw milk, but why would you want to? Isn't pasteurization good for us? The answer to that is both yes and no and as with many topics, it can get a bit complicated.
Back in the early 20th century many people got sick from drinking milk that was contaminated. When pasteurization was invented by Louis Pasteur it was a very good thing. The milk was heated to a certain temperature for fifteen seconds and it would kill the bad bacteria, making milk safer for humans. It worked, as the instances of illness from drinking milk plummeted.
Over the past century though, pasteurization has not proven to be all it was thought to be. There are problems that have cropped up. Some farms have become unsanitary, with the farmers thinking that they don't have to worry about cleanliness so much anymore because the pasteurization will take care of it. Farmers just want their cows to produce more, more, more in an unnatural environment and the manure piles up around them.
On top of that, health problems have increased dramatically. Pasteurized milk does not contain many of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that raw milk does. This led to a serious calcium deficiency among American children until the USDA started requiring the addition of Vitamin D in milk and other products. It turns out the process of heating the milk not only kills many of the bad bacteria, but also many of the good things about milk.
Raw milk is a real food that is beneficial to everyone. The vast majority of farmers that sell raw milk are impeccably clean and have strict standards they adhere to to ensure that none of their customers get sick. Almost all raw milk is safe to drink. Of course you need to know all the pros and cons out there and check out the farm you purchase milk from to be sure.
In the book Real Food by Nina Planck, she talks in great detail about raw milk. Here are just some of the benefits she finds in raw milk on page 57 of her book.
- Raw milk is a complete protein
- An excellent source of vitamins A and D
- Contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and zinc
- Contains folic acid, a necessary nutrient for pregnant women especially as it prevents birth defects
- Contains vitamin B6 and B12 - both essential to our bodies
Many people turn to raw milk to cure themselves or their family members of many diseases or illnesses. There is even a raw milk diet. While I think this is a bit extreme, I do think that if you can get your hands on raw milk your body will absolutely benefit from it. If you would like to read more, I found a great site awhile back and quickly devoured lots of great information. A Campaign for Real Milk goes into great detail on just about anything you want to know. You can even find out the laws for your state and tips of where to find a supply of raw milk in your area.
I definitely think that if you can do one thing to improve your health you should drink raw milk. It is one of the best switches you can make for your body. Read more about the pros and cons and make an educated decision for your family.