A year ago, I was a second-time mama of a newborn, working through the kinks of making homemade infant formula and researching the benefits of raw milk. It was a nerve-wrecking experience for me. I had never considered purchasing raw milk, much less giving it to my newborn baby. The internet was filled with FDA warnings about the dangers of raw milk, and I was faced with having to trust my instincts and research or go with the government’s recommendations.
I remember crying for what seemed like hours asking God why I couldn’t just produce enough milk. All I wanted was to give my baby the best nourishment I could. It broke my heart knowing that many could and were able to chose not to, and here I was giving everything I had with no success. I remember venting to my mom and hearing her say, “God can always turn everything for good. (Romans 8:28)” As difficult as it was at the time, I held on to that promise and moved forward in faith . . . and the truth is, He definitely did.
You see, when I researched raw milk I saw a different side of the story. I saw the benefits of raw milk and how superior it was to the pasteurized knock-off sold on store shelves. I learned that raw whole milk was filled with living enzymes for easier digestion and assimilation of calcium and Vitamins A and D, necessary for strong bones, a thriving immune system, and healthy brain development for kids and adults.
I learned that its counterpart sold in stores, however, lacked those precious enzymes, calcium and vitamins. Because of this, many believe they are “lactose intolerant” and don’t realize it’s not the lactose that they are intolerant of but the actual processing of the milk. When raw milk is pasteurized and heated at such high temperatures, everything living is killed and must be replaced. (I have even read that pasteurized milk does not even need to be refrigerated but is sold that way for marketing purposes.) As a result, it is then filled with synthetic calcium and vitamins that many times are not recognized by the body and thus not absorbed.
I also learned that pasteurization is highly unnecessary now due to modern sanitation efforts. According to the CDC, fewer than .000002% of the 75 million food-borne illnesses in the US are attributed to raw milk. (Believe it or not, it’s more dangerous to eat spinach.) The final straw for me, however, was learning that calves fed their own mother’s milk that had been pasteurized did not make it to maturity. (Click here for more information on raw milk.) That was when I took the leap of faith. . . and my daughter thrived!
As I dug more, I learned that the reason the food industry pushes pasteurization is so that they can have their “hand” in the profits. If a farmer sells directly to a consumer, then the “middle man” processor is left out and profits go down. Thus, the FDA and USDA support the big-name food industry in order to protect their profits. So much so, that they are presently considering to allow the addition of aspartame to 17 dairy products to improve taste and sales . . . and they are adamant about NOT listing this ingredient on the label so that the public is unaware. (Aspartame is extremely toxic!)
Yes, I learned all I could about raw milk . . . and then I learned about the dangers of GMOs (genetically modified organisms–found in over 70% of all processed foods without the need for a label), the benefits of traditional food preparation practices, such as those found in Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. I learned about fermenting beverages and foods and the importance of eating whole raw foods. I learned about essential oils and homeopathy, and the list goes on. I am still learning each and every day.
The knowledge changed our practices and those practices soon became habits. My newborn baby is now a healthy 16-month old who has never had a jar of baby food or a dose of antibiotics. We have now grown even healthier and are so blessed with this knowledge and the opportunity to make better choices for our family and those around us.
For us, it all began with a closer look at raw milk to open our eyes to better health. What was your “ah-ha” and turning point to better health?