When dairies can start producing human breast milk, we can discuss the benefits of raw vs pasteurized vs organic. Humans don’t need cows milk. There’s no “benefit” to drinking cows milk, except in terms of it being an easy source of protein.
Raw milk is dirty. My dairy set up is standard – probably much cleaner than most dairy operations. I milk goats in a clean milk parlor, with clean equip. Sometimes I hand milk, and sometimes I machine milk. I wash my hands and I can wash their udders, I can’t sterilize them. I can’t prevent hair and small fecal particles from dropping into the milk and although I can strain it, the dairy filters I use still need to be porous enough to allow the large milk particles to pass through. Believe me, bacteria is smaller than a milk globule. I can wash all my milking equipment, but I can’t sterilize it. And the biggest thing I can not do – I can not control diseases that enter the systems of my goats. I can’t tell by looking at them if they’re carrying a pathogen that’s going to make me ill. I have no idea what they’re exposed to when they leave the farm to be shown, bred, or when other people come to my farm. Not knowing is ignorant. Preventing illness is not ignorant.
Organic milk means something different to every person you ask. There are different standards in every state concerning the use of the term “organic”. Usually it means the animal has not been exposed to inorganic compounds, either through feed or in some cases, vaccinations, or exposure (pesticides and fertilizers). It doesn’t mean the milk is clean. Raw milk (see above) can be organic. It doesn’t mean the milk is free of hormones, if the farmer who produced the milk uses natural hormones to increase milk or growth. The farmer might have used animal based fertilizers on his pasture (increasing the chance of disease transmission between animals). Do you know where the fertilizer came from? Was it an organic farm also? You need to know the standards within the state you live in.
“Grass Fed”. That’s my favorite term. Some people are dumb enough to believe that they’re getting a superior product because the animal was “grass fed”. I have news for these idiots – bovines are grazers – their main food source, either through commercial feed, hay or other – is grass. Grain is the seed head of a grass. You can grain an animal out on oats and barley and it’s still “grass fed”. What these people need to look for is a “corn free” animal. Now, lets go back to that grass, whether its in pasture form, hay, or commercial feed. Is it organic? Was fertilizer placed on that grass? Pesticide? Animal wastes? Genetically altered pasture seed?
Pasteurization, why? To prevent the spread of disease. To increase shelf life. What kinds of pathogens can be present in raw milk? (And keep in mind, both cows and goats possess the particular skill of being nearly dead with illness and never showing any symptoms) I could simply put down my own views, but it’s always better to have “back up”. Here’s a list of articles.
Please do not post comments that direct me to the “realmilk”, “rawmilk” or “mercola” sites. I don’t have the energy to dispel every unscientific myth posted on those sites. Thanks.