I’m sitting here drinking some raw milk, which is one of my favorite fermented foods. To clarify: yep that’s unpasteurized milk. This is the way humans drank milk before pasteurization was invented. Pasteurization was invented in 1886 to control the outbreak of dangerous bacteria that scientists believed would be transmittable to humans. It eventually discovered that the most common bovine related diseases cannot be contracted by humans drinking raw milk. However, there is still risk of human based contamination such as e coli and salmonella. That is why we still have mostly pasteurized milk in stores today.
There is another obvious commercial benefit to pasteurization: shelf life. I read an article recently that says there is an over abundance of milk being produced in the US and not enough people drinking it. This is because since the advent of pasteurization, milk production has become big business and most of the large agriculture companies produce many more gallons a year than they can sell.
Pasteurized milk is essentially milk with no bacteria in it. But the problem with this is that there is beneficial bacteria in raw milk as well as bad bacteria. They together hand in hand. The beneficial bacteria in raw milk can help boost you immune system and provides a probiotic effect that improves digestion. The obvious thing here is that the milk must be created in very clean conditions using healthy animals. The cows should be fed grass and not grains. As grass is a cows natarual diet, it will produce milk that is high in nutrients and low in bad bacteria. Grass fed cows also have a higher adundance of CLA in there milk. CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is a good fat that is helpful in muscle growth and improves weight loss. Unfortunately, pasteurized milk is produced using cows that are raised solely on a grain diet. The reason for this is that grain fed cows produce much more milk than grass fed ones. Grain fed cows are also given RBST hormone injections to further increase there milk output. The milk from RBST treated cows actually contains compounds that decease the body’s defenses against the formation of cancer cells – yikes!
With all that scary stuff in mind – who wouldn’t want to “make the switch?” I know i would. Besides.. pasteurized milk doesn’t even taste very good. this stuff tastes great! No Debate here. There is however a big debate in our country:
It seems like a back and forth between big agriculture and the small farms, like usual. A small farmer this, CDC that, you know the usual stuff. See for yourselves. But be careful though… in some states raw milk is illegal! Yep many farms caught selling it are regularly raided.
P.S: One thing i forgot to mention is that I’m a big fan of fermented foods because of how much easier they are to digest. Yes raw milk is considered a fermented food. Think yogurt, kefir etc.. all good stuff. One thing to note is that pasteurized milk has somewhat of a denatured quality to it. Some believe this is what causes lactose intolerance. This would seem to be true, to some extent, as there are many cases of people switching to raw milk and there symptoms of intolerance clear up immediately. Just some more “food” for thought.