Raw Milk?

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by big ugly bear, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. big ugly bear

    big ugly bear Blue Belt

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    After much searching around, I finally have a farmer who is prepared to sell me raw milk. The problem is that the milk does not come from organic cows. I wanted the board's opinions on whether it was worth going ahead with it. The guy has arranged for me to collect it from the farm early in the morning before the tankers come for it.

    I don't want to turn this into a debate on whether one should or shouldn't drink milk. I have always enjoyed milk, feel stronger after consuming it and don't have any noticeable problem digesting it. So for this thread, we'll take it as given that it is worth drinking. From the research I have read on the net and in books, the basic conclusion is that processed milk is bad for your health and raw milk is beneficial to one's health.

    At the moment I drink milk from the store with the least amount of processing. Organic and unhomogenised, though of course it has been pasteurised. I drink 2 quarts/4 pints/2.2 litres most days.

    The question is, is it worth substituting the organic store bought milk, with raw milk that has not come from organic cows? Basically, does organic milk off set any health benefits of raw non-organic milk? Would I be putting myself at risk of infection by drinking unpasteurised milk?

    Thanks
     
  2. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

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    I'm actually surprised that you can find that in a store. I buy mine (low heat pasteurized but unhomogenized) directly from a local dairy. It's the best tasting milk I've had in my life.
     
  3. dropshot001

    dropshot001 Red Belt

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    could be because he is in england
     
  4. CelebritySexist

    CelebritySexist Foaming with much blood

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    They've been out in the fields all summer filling themselves with grass, so I'd definitely get in.
     
  5. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    If you buy into the whole raw milk vs. pasteurized milk debate, it seems like you would also buy into the organic vs. non-organic...I'm just curious why you'd put one before the other.
     
  6. MGLucas

    MGLucas Brown Belt

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    Yes you would. There is a reason dairies do extensive laboratory testing before even receiving raw milk at their processing facilities. A friend of my father is a supervisor at a dairy and i've discussed this topic with him a few times. The chemicals, bacteria and solid contaminants he said that are always present in raw milk will make you violently ill.
     
  7. immovablestone

    immovablestone Purple Belt

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    Hmm, strange, as I've been drinking raw milk (100% grass fed, at that) from a small local dairy regularly for the better part of 2 years and I'm healthier than I've ever been...

    The regulations, depending on your state, can be rather strict. In many states the dairies who get authorized to sell the raw product have higher standards they must adhere to than the big feedlot producers.

    The rules and perceptions are all about business now, and have nothing WHATSOEVER to do with our health at this point.
     
  8. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

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    That's probably a strong statement. Northern Europeans have been drinking milk for a couple thousand years. We've been pasteurizing in large scale for less than 100 years. I think there are a couple of issues that favor pasteurization in many cases:

    1. If you scale up dairy production for volume, and start to figure out "How many dairy cows can I raise per acre?", then the density of your cows probably increases the risk of disease and other contaminants in the milk.
    2. Pasteurization is more important for milk that is going to be preserved for a long time. The milk that we typically buy at the grocery store may be 3 weeks old by the time we get it. If you are going to let milk sit for that long, clearly some level of pasteurization is probably a good thing.

    If you look at the opposite end of each of those (smaller dairies and consuming the milk quickly), you probably dramatically reduce the need to pasteurization.
     
  9. dza76wutang

    dza76wutang Black Belt

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    Is he not organic in that he doesn't abide by the definition or not organic because he didn't pay for the license to label his products as such. I believe I have read on here that you can be organic without the label, the label requires a special purchase. Conversely there are ways to be less than 100% organic and still get the label because of loop holes.

    I know you're not from the USA so maybe it's different over there, but I'd be curious to know why he isn't organic and how you know this. I'll take a stab that organic milk = grassfed, no anti-biotics, no hormones. So if he abides by those but didn't buy the organic label he's probably de facto organic.
     
  10. PoundUmOut2

    PoundUmOut2 American Gangster

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    people have been drinking un treated milk for a long long time....
     
  11. IDRISCKY

    IDRISCKY Purple Belt

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    Organic milk does not equal grass-fed. Most, if not all, of the organic milk sold in the US is corn fed. At least in the context of grocery stores.
     
  12. Blackice

    Blackice Orange Belt

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    My Mother used to drink milk right after it came out of the cow in a steel bucket while it was still warm when she was a girl. That was after her Mother scooped the cream off the top to make their own butter. None of them ever got sick, so it has more to do with the actual health of the livestock than the fact that the milk is raw. She said it was much thicker, had a tonne more flavour, and that the milk now is watery swill compared to that. I seriously need to find me a farmer who is willing to sell me milk that I actually have to shake first to drink.
     
  13. big ugly bear

    big ugly bear Blue Belt

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    I'm not quite sure you understood my original post, or maybe I'm misunderstanding yours.

    I do buy into both debates. If I could buy Whole Raw Milk from a small, local dairy that follows organic procedures to the letter, whilst feeding the cattle exclusively on grass, then I would jump at the chance.

    What I obviously didn't get across in my OP is that I don't have access to Organic Raw Milk, only raw milk in which the cattle have been treated with hormones/antibiotics. What I was asking learned people on the board like yourself, is which would be the wiser choice from a health standpoint. Store bought Organic but processed milk, or raw milk that is not organic?

    To be fair i haven't spoken to them direct myself, it's a contact my dad has made for me. I have been asked to go to the farm on sunday morning before 8.30am. I will have plenty of questions for them. My dad seems convinced that it is not an organic farm. I'd like to have my decision ready before I turn up on the day. Basically, if I find out it is not organic, should I still go ahead and buy?

    For those on here that buy raw milk, what kind of price are you paying for it in the UK, and for those in the US and elsewhere, how much more(or less) are you paying compared to the average milk you would buy at the supermarket? I currently pay
     
  14. immovablestone

    immovablestone Purple Belt

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    The raw, grass fed milk that I buy in the US is at least double the normal price, at my best guess as I don't even look at normal milk in the store. It's $5 for a half gallon ($7 if you don't return the glass bottle it came in when you buy more).

    The flavor is beyond comparison to other types of milk, you'd have to try it to believe it. Plus the benefits of being raw, grass fed, etc etc, makes it a no brainer as long as it fits into your macros.

    I'd go with organic processed vs raw that is full of antibiotics and hormones if I had to choose, but honestly I'd just get the calories from somewhere else at this point if I couldn't get raw, thoroughly grass fed (organic, etc) milk.

    Ask the farmer what the cows are fed, what the animals are treated with, etc. If you don't like the answers, skip it.
     
  15. CoreCanyon

    CoreCanyon Geez, lots of new people.

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    Animal antibiotics under tougher United States scrutiny as consensus grows on "superbug" risk to humans -- Woodward 182 (11): E513 -- Canadian Medical Association Journal

    There was a less "end of the world" sounding article on MSNBC today (earlier) but I couldn't find it in the time I had allowed to look.

    It basically said that the shit we are pumping our livestock with are making it to where we are more susceptible to getting sick, or making it to where our bodies cannot fight off certain hybrid strands of bacteria, something like that.

    I don't know if it helps you make your decision, but I thought it was somewhat relevant.
     
  16. superking

    superking Poet — Traveler — Soldier of Fortune

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    No more so than you would by eating deli meat.
     
  17. superking

    superking Poet — Traveler — Soldier of Fortune

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    The potential for raw milk to cause disease is dependent on the cows' diets, how streamlined the process from getting the milk from the cow is, and how clean the equipment to store and move the milk is.

    I wouldn't consume raw milk from grain-fed cattle, and I wouldn't consume raw milk from someone whose equipment is dirty as hell.

    Get to know your supplier. Find a dairy farmer whose cows are grass-fed and who takes pride in their milk.

    Also, Jersey cows > Holstein cows.
     
  18. superking

    superking Poet — Traveler — Soldier of Fortune

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    Around me it's $7/gallon. Which is pretty much double the price of pasteurized whole milk. So you're on point price-wise.

    There are only two farms allowed to sell raw milk in Bucks County, PA (where I'm from). If anyone is near the Philly area, this is the farm I get my raw dairy from and I highly recommend them:

    http://www.birchwoodfarmdairy.com

    I've spoke with the family that runs it, I've seen their equipment and even petted their cows. They are very clean and very friendly. The cows are grass-fed Jerseys and the farm is certified organic. They have a small store on premises from which they sell their products.
     
  19. Hojo undo

    Hojo undo White Belt

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    Could someone link me som research because as far as I am concerned scandinavian people have NOT been drinking milk for more than 100 years. Consumption of milk only began when the pasturization became industrialized and more common. It was actually refered to as ''The white death'' by common farmers due to how easily it would spoil. And I'd assume that the rest goes for the rest of europe. Dairy PRODUCTS such as cheese and yougurt is a completely different business and I'd assume that's why northern europeans have built up such a resistance, but drinking raw milk is NOT an old tradition.

    It was seen as a valuable raw material to produce into other goods, and only elder people and children would -occasionally- get a serving of raw milk.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  20. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

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    Gene Expression: Lactose tolerance/intolerance

    The ability to digest lactase as an adult is not part of the standard human genome. There are a pair of mutations that seem to allow adults to digest lactase - one that developed in Europe, and another that developed independently (a different mutation with the same effect) in Africa.

    That mutation wouldn't have spread unless if somehow conferred on people some benefit that allows them to have more children.

    As to Sweden in particular, I don't know, but most everything I've read points to a high prevalence in Scandinavian countries, which I usually take to include Sweden. Wikipedia (which I don't cite as a necessarily reliable source) claims that Sweden's milk consumption is second only to Finland. If that is the case, I feel like that's probably not a cultural shift that was a result of pasteurization.
     

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