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Raw Milk

Updated on January 14, 2008

My children love raw milk.

I know, I know, the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend unpasteurized dairy products for pregnant women, infants, young children ... or anyone.

But I drank raw milk while pregnant with my youngest son, and all three of my children (ages 1-5) drink fresh, raw, organic, grass-fed cows' milk. In fact, my youngest was the healthiest of all my children, weighing 9 pounds at birth. My other two children have enjoyed robust health since we cut out pasteurized dairy and started on raw two years.

Raw Milk: Why My Kids Drink It

We didn't make the switch from processed to raw simply because of the health benefits, but they were a large incentive. We'd read about the healing properties of raw enzymes, and about how many people with chronic health issues found healing and diminished negative symptoms when they switched to raw milk. We found these testimonies inspiring, to be sure.

But for us, the main impetus was a combination of the nutritional impact of raw milk and the superior production standards for the beverage intended for raw consumption, compared to the grain lot dairy operations producing milk for large-scale commercial processing.

A quick study of commercial milk production makes one shudder. Thousands of animals kept in squalid conditions, fed foods unnatural to their native diet and pumped with hormones and antibiotics, hooked up to milking machines several times a day, is the reality at many (though not all) major milk farms.

Contrast that to the Amish farm where our milk is made. Cows move slowly through grassy fields where they have full access to their natural food, sunlight and fresh air. Twice a day, their milkmaids call them by name and with a bell. The girls lead the cows to the milking barn where they sing or chat with eath other as they milk their cows ... by hand.

The benefits of raw milk for my family have not been limited to exceptional health and improved nutrition. We haven't been sick to speak of since we made the switch, true, and my children are robust with strong bones, naturally, but that is only the beginning.

Since we started drinking raw milk, we have become a more solid part of our community with connections to Amish farmers and small, local producers. We have lessened our own footprint on the world by buying locally, and eliminating our use of plastic jugs (our milk comes in glass bottles, washed and reused every week) .

More Raw Milk Benefits

Drinking raw milk led us to reevaluate our other food choices. Slowly, our kitchen's contents changed. Our beef, chicken and eggs are now also local, fresh, and humanely raised and processed. Our wheat and rice are organic and bought in large paper sacks.

We began to read more about natural health, whole foods nutrition and organic produce. The more we read, the more we changed our eating habits. We got rid of processed flours and sugar products. We began to make most of food completely from scratch... for bread, that means beginning with wheat berries and a grain mill.

Thanks in large part to raw milk, my family is healthier, happier and living a more sustainable life than we were before.

And as for the American Academy of Pediatrics, I don't think they have my children's best interests in heart. How can they? They've never even met David, Rose and Patrick, let alone watched the effect of raw milk in their lives.

On this issue, mom wins.

Benefits of Raw Milk

Raw Milk for Health


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    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 8 years ago from United States

      Very informative.

      I grew up on raw milk and am raising my kids the same way.

    • CoinMan profile image

      CoinMan 9 years ago

      You've really done your homework. Great site. Super information.

    • profile image

      gnett 9 years ago

      Wow, I never would have thought there would be so much of a benefit -- I grew up hearing never drink raw milk. Another dietary myth gone my the wayside!

    • Great World profile image

      Great World 9 years ago

      I'm a supporter for taking raw food. A lot of processed food taste too good. I believe too much unneccessary things have been added to make it taste better without paying much attention to health concern.

    • WriterGig profile image

      WriterGig 10 years ago

      laurag-- I think there is limited, if any, benefit to pasteurized dairy products, and you were wise to cut them from your diet. I heartily recommend that you look into raw dairy and its incredible health benefits. P.S. My children benefited from extended breastfeeding, too, but until my own diet improved (switched to raw milk) they were not as healthy as they are now.

    • laurag profile image

      laurag 10 years ago

      Wow - this is really interesting. My husband and I cut all dairy (except eggs) out of our diet years ago and haven't been sick more than once or twice in 5 years. Now that we have an toddler, we're raising her on the same diet and she has never been sick. I attribute that more to extended breastfeeding but that's another issue. :-) Lately I've been reconsidering introducing small amounts of dairy back into our diet and this is really helpful information. Thanks!

    • SparklingJewel profile image

      SparklingJewel 10 years ago from upper midwest


      I will use your site as reference for others. I am involved to a degree with the farmers and families that are trying to promote this "lifestyle" in my area. The most beneficial aspect of raw milk and the healthier lifestyle aspects thereof that I have dealt with is the intestinal health focus. If more people knew the importance of our intestinal health they would appreciated it more.


    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 10 years ago

      absolutely. I agree 100% I think we eat way too much processed crap. Great hub.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 10 years ago from New Brunswick

      I have read good things about raw milk, good information here, thanks.