Let’s get one thing straight:
You don’t need milk to be healthy or build strong bones.
Shocking, right? The commercial dairy industry has spent insane amounts of time and money to convince you otherwise, but I’m here to tell you that you CAN survive—yes, even thrive—without milk.
That said, there are some people who do very well with consuming certain milk products. If you’re going to eat dairy, do it right. The goal of this post is to help you to differentiate between healthy dairy products and harmful dairy products.
The truth is, dairy can either be the most dangerous and toxic thing in your diet, or it can be super nourishing. I avoided dairy for many years because I thought ALL dairy was the devil.
It’s important to understand that there is a HUGE difference between a gallon of milk you buy at a supermarket that comes from unhappy and unhealthy animals versus milk that was lovingly and freely given by a local farm family’s pet. The differences are both scientific and philosophical.
1) Purchase UNPASTEURIZED and NON-HOMOGENIZED dairy products.
Pasteurization is a process that essentially heats milk at high temperatures to eliminate bacteria and make it more shelf stable. Unfortunately, this makes it very hard to digest and disrupts its delicate fats and proteins, causing allergic reactions in many people.
Homogenization breaks the long chain of proteins in milk down into abnormally small units. These smaller protein chains don’t digest properly and end up slipping through the digestive tract filter, eventually entering the bloodstream and increasing the risk for heart disease and other illnesses.
When undigested protein enters the bloodstream, it has the potential to trigger an immune response which can lead to inflammation and a myriad of unpleasant symptoms.
NOTE: There is no more danger in consuming raw milk than there is in consuming raw spinach or some other raw food. However, it has to be the right type of milk. You definitely want to be smart about it. Which brings me to my next tip:
2) Choose LOCAL milk products
Find a local farm that treats their animals with love and respect and doesn’t load them up with hormones and antibiotics.
Conventionally raised cows often get sick due to the inhumane living conditions they’re subjected to. Because of this, they are regularly given antibiotics and other drugs. Additionally, to speed production and increase profits, they are often given growth hormones.
These toxic drugs and hormones inevitably end up in the breast milk of the animal. And because of the level of contamination that exists in this mass-produced milk, it undoubtedly NEEDS to be pasteurized.
The solution? Find a small farm in your area that produces milk in small batches. Maybe it’s a family farm that sells quarts of milk and kefir at your local farmer’s market. More often than not, the people who produce these types of products are doing it more for the love rather than the paycheck. They’re not mass producing anything and in many cases the animals are “part of their family” in a sense. There is more love, hence better living conditions. The animals are eating their natural diet and not a concoction made up of the dead carcasses of other animals (yes, this happens on many conventional farms). This also means no hormones or antibiotics are needed to produce this milk, which ALSO means that it isn’t contaminated and doesn’t need to be pasteurized.
3) Choose cultured dairy products
I personally ONLY eat dairy products that have been cultured or fermented and honestly highly recommend doing the same. Throughout history, milk has more commonly been consumed in this form. There are two main reasons for this: to preserve it longer and to prevent food borne illness.
While modern canning preservation methods work by killing bacteria that is present, fermentation takes an opposite approach: promoting life. The purposeful and controlled growth of certain bacteria—like in yogurt—creates an acidic environment in which only certain microorganisms can live. In this environment, Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria, Costridium, and other food-borne pathogens cannot survive. In other words, healthy bacteria prevent harmful bacteria from contaminating your food!
Examples of these types of foods are kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese, butter and sour cream. These can all be made raw and all have the health benefits that come with any fermented food.
4) Choose goat’s milk over cow’s milk
I ONLY drink goat’s milk and highly recommend it over cow’s milk for a number of reasons. It’s far more digestible and closer in its nutritional profile and molecular structure to human mother’s breast milk. Click on the links below to find out a little more from MtCapra.com.
I’d love to hear any questions you have about this subject!
In abundant health,