Invention of pasteurization
Before I get into depth of the topic I would like point out something. Everyone, my ancestors, your ancestors were all drinking raw milk up until pasteurization went main stream. Depending on your personal viewpoints will change the math on my next point. 98 years ago pasteurization was mandated and widely accepted. Let’s say you believe the world was created 6,000 years ago. That would mean pasteurized milk has been consumed for only 2.6 % of the time. Let’s say you believed the world began 10,000 years ago. That percentage now comes down to 0.98% since the world was created, that pasteurized milk has been consumed. Now, if you believe it is older than 10,000 years old, you can do the math but I think you get my point…. Out of curiosity, I did the math on 4.5 billion years ago. It comes out to 0.000002% of all history! :-o…. Please try to remember this information when reading conflicting information about raw milk.
A little history lesson
First and foremost, let’s look at the timeline. The invention of pasteurization was first created by French scientist Louis Pasteur in 1864. Notice I said pasteurization, he wasn’t interested in pasteurizing milk. He was interested in pasteurizing beer. During the time, they were having some issues with beer going bad. Louis Pasteur studied the good beer and the bad beer. Under his investigation, he noticed the bad beer had pathogens while the good beer didn’t. After he heated the bad beer to a high temp, it killed the pathogens. They begin pasteurizing beer. It took a while before pasteurization hit the dairy industry. Americans didn’t want to have anything to do with the pasteurized milk. They felt it would destroy vitamins, nutrients, and make the milk taste bad. (man, were they not far off)
Between 1912 and 1937, 65,000 people died from contracting tuberculosis in England and Wales. Pasteurization was adopted by the dairy industry in order to prevent the spread of disease. Wait. So I’m telling you should drink raw milk after that many died from a deadly disease carried by the milk?! Yep, and I’ll tell you why. Please keep reading.
A look into the past: Why did we begin pasteurizing milk?
During 1912 and 1937, industrialization caused many people to become urbanized. At first, the travel distance for raw milk was short and caused no issues. As the population grew in urban areas, the road trip for the milk from the dairy man to the consumer became longer. Raw milk was being consumed several days old and I’m assuming with no refrigeration since refrigerated trucks were not invented until 1939. It wasn’t until 1917 that milk was mandated to be pasteurized.
During the time of the development of urban areas, the dairy industry transitioned from small farms to largely produced dairy factories. These dairy factories were pumping out milk in high quantities with a lack of sanitation. They were, gross, to say the least.
“As milk production became factory-produced instead of farm-wrought, little sanitary regulation took place. Milk wasn’t refrigerated, equipment wasn’t sterile, factory-farm owners thinned their milk with dirty water and added things like animal brains to give it body. Cows were fed waste from distilleries (creating “swill milk” or “white poison”.) These city milk centers were often infested with insects and rats and workers were unhygienic.”
Tuberculosis spread through cow’s milk, and epidemics of brucella, botulism and cholera killed many.
The rising use of technology created pasteurization equipment. People no longer had to boil their milk at home. Small farmers were forced out of the industry or absorbed by rising conglomerates who could afford the machinery.
The use of pasteurization made sanitary improvements unnecessary and increased the production of milk through crowded feedlots, cheap and unhealthy grain-feed and widespread use of antibiotics and growth hormones. Today, it is E. Coli, Listeria and Cryptosporidium that are the most common food-borne pathogens and these have only emerged within the past 25 years, after the practice of pasteurization has been established…..” (Dr. Axe.com,Raw Milk Myths, Myth 1: Pasteurized milk is safer than raw milk.)
I highly recommend you go read the article, Raw Milk Myths, more information about claims by the FDA, food born illnesses due to pasteurized milk are much larger than raw milk, outbreaks from pasteurized milk and so forth.
If you think times have changed, think again. The unsanitary conditions still exist. The dairy man that I purchase my milk from told me a little bit about the large dairy farms. He told me he stopped by a large dairy farm (don’t remember why) and at the entrance was dead cows laying in the pasture. This is by the front entrance, may I remind you. When he spoke to the dairy man, he told him what he had seen. May I add, here in Texas farmers often will tell one another if they see a cow having a calf, cow is dead, etc. They mean no harm by this. They actually prefer this just in case they didn’t see it. It wasn’t uncommon for my parents to call/speak to another farmer if they saw a cow having a calf just in case they didn’t know or my parents received that call. The dairy man’s reply, “Yeah, I know. They’ve been there for a few days. No one comes out here except the milk truck so no one cares.” WHAT!! Seriously?! The dairy man told me and I agree 100% with him, “That is no way to run a dairy nor a business.” Now, like I stated in part 1, I was raised on a small dairy and you would have not seen this or heard this kind of behavior from the farm I grew up on. This is not to say all dairy farms are like this but you have realize the bigger the dairy, the harder it is to keep up with the sanitation procedures even from the most dedicated. I live in TX and there are a lot of dairies around. As a matter of fact, I live close to the #1 milk producing county in TX. Passing a dairy in my area is not anything out of the ordinary. And let me say, I’ve seen clean dairies and disgusting dairies. Point is, don’t think these conditions don’t still exist. And don’t think your milk isn’t subject to this while everyone else’s is. Once the milk is taken to be pasteurized, all the milk from multiple dairies in mixed together. And if the milk truck didn’t fill up at A-Farms, they stop at B-Farms to fill up.
Clean milk vs dirty milk
So here’s the thing. When I say “raw milk” throughout the post, I am talking about CLEAN raw milk. Milk that has been produced with healthy cows that have grazed from the pasture under sanitary conditions will have the nutritional values that I am seeking and talking about. The raw milk that was contracting tuberculosis in the early 1900s was toxic because it was DIRTY milk. Plain and simple. You take ANY food, produce it in unsanitary and unfavorable conditions, and your more than likely going to get a toxic food. If you leave raw meat on the counter for a few days, what happens? It goes rancid. How about rolling that meat in dirt and then leave it on the counter? It’s going to degrade faster and the smell will curl your nose hairs. You don’t solve the issue by dumping ammonia on it (yes they really “wash” hamburger meat with ammonia hydroxide in the major meat market today). How do you solve the problem? Stop leaving the meat on the counter and rolling it in the dirt. Same thing goes for the milk. Change the conditions and you have a clean nutritious glass of milk. Clean raw milk doesn’t need to be pasteurized, dirty milk does.
What about the nutrition?
Before I explain the nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized, we must understand what happens when we pasteurize milk. When milk is pasteurized it is heated to a high temp 285° (Ultra high temp pasteurization, normal procedure for store bought milk) for a few seconds and then cooled. This kills the good and bad bacteria, enzymes, lowers Vitamins A,D, K, B6, and B12, and other nutritional benefits. And if you believe the argument, “Pasteurized milk has the same nutritional value as raw milk,” then why is it necessary for them to fortify (add) Vitamin D, A, and whatever else they decide to add back in? They know the milk isn’t as nutritious otherwise why would they bother to fortify the milk?
Let’s take a look at raw milk vs pasteurized milk
- When milk is pasteurized, it tuns lactose into beta-lactose. Beta-Lactose is more rapidly absorbed into your body which in turn makes you hungrier faster. Raw milk keeps you full longer. I can personally vouch for the feeling fuller longer.
- 20% of the iodine is killed after pasteurizing
- Pasteurization makes the majority of the calcium insoluble which can lead to all kinds of health problems such as rickets, decayed teeth, nervousness, and other problems
- Pasteurization kills lactic acid bacilli. After the lactic acid bacilli is killed, the milk can’t sour (sour milk can still be consumed safely) therefore decomposing the milk.
- when pasteurized milk is homogenized , xanthine oxidase is created. This can act as a free radical in the body which plays a part in oxidative stress.
- Modern breeding methods produce cows with abnormally large pituitary glands so that they produce three times more milk than normal. These cows need antibiotics to keep them well. Needless to say, the antibiotics they are given wind up in the milk you and your family drink. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/12/choosing-between-raw-milk-and-a-dead-white-liquid.aspx)
- Pasteurization destroys part of the Vitamin C
- Beneficial Enzymes are killed off during pasteurization (To learn about enzymes, visit http://www.realmilk.com/health/enzymes/)
- Pasteurization decreases manganese value- Manganese is important for formation of bones, connectives tissues, blood clotting, sex hormones, brain function, nervous function.
- Pasteurization decreases copper value- Copper plays a role in the formation of connective tissue, normal functions of the muscles, blood clotting, immune system, and nervous system. Copper also influences the formation of red blood cells, arteries, and functioning of the heart, arteries.
- Pasteurization decreases iron value- iron is required to make hemogloblin. Hemoglobin is what carries oxygen through the blood to your cells. Iron also plays a role in the brain. Neurotransmitters carry messages from one to the other and need iron to function properly.
- Pasteurization decreases the Vitamin A value- Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and skin. It is also an antioxidant. You need both vitamin A and K2 to absorb Vitamin D.
- Pasteurization decreases Vitamin D value- promotes calcium absorption, bone growth, bone remineralization, cell growth, immune function, and reduces inflammation.
- Pasteurization decreases Vitamin K2-promotes healthy arteries and prevents clogged arteries. K2 is also effective against cancer. Look at study some of the benefits of vitamin K here. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/03/24/vitamin-k-part-two.aspx)
- Pasteurization slightly impairs the bioactivity of Vitamin B6
- Beta-lactoglobulin is destroyed by the heating process of pasteurization. Beta-lactoglobulin increases intestinal absorption of Vitamin A which can make it harder to absorb Vitamin A
- Cows that graze on grass (most conventional dairy farmer feed them grain and even things like Snickers bars. This is no joke. My sister’s husband delivers loads of feed to cows. He told us he delivered a truck full of candy bars to a dairy as feed for their cows.) contain CLA
|Nutrient and Immune Factors||Pasteurized Milk||Raw Milk|
|Vitamin A||35% Reduction||100% Active|
|Vitamin C||25 to 77% Reduction||100% Active|
|Vitamin E||14% Reduction||100% Active|
|Iron||66% Reduction||100% Active|
|Zinc||70% Reduction||100% Active|
|B-Complex Vitamins||38% Reduction||100% Active|
|Calcium||21% Reduction||100% Active|
|Enzymes||100% Destroyed||100% Active|
|Whey Protein||Denatured||100% Active|
Upon my research, I came across many claiming those who were lactose intolerant could safely drink raw milk without any issues. In one of the conversations between me and the dairy man I purchase my raw milk from, he stated he had customers who were lactose intolerant who were safely drinking his raw milk without any discomforts. He also stated that there is something ( I can’t remember exactly what he called it. He began to lose me when he started talking about the structure of the milk and lots of scientific names that I have never heard of. lol) in raw milk that helps break down the lactose but this substance is not present in pasteurized milk. I am not lactose intolerant so I do not have a personal testimonial to share with you. But I do find this extremely intriguing. The more I research the more I see lactose intolerant people stating they can drink raw milk but have issues with pasteurized dairy products. I have researched both pro-raw and pro-pasteurized sites trying to see if there was some kind of evidence that proved these peoples claims. The pro-pasteurized sites claim that this isn’t possible while the pro-raw sites claim it is but with no hard evidence.
With no hard evidence available, here are my personal opinions on the subject. There are too many claims for there not to be something to it. I honestly don’t think a lactose intolerant person would decide to drink raw milk just because they want to drink raw milk completely ignoring the side effects they experience. Or better yet, lie about no longer suffering from lactose intolerance when drinking raw milk. What benefit would this do? I could see a business or organization lying in order to benefit from the lie, but not someone who doesn’t receive any kind of benefits. And before you say, “well maybe these individuals are being paid by raw milk producers,” be aware that raw milk producers are VERY small business owners. Raw milk sale laws are VERY restrictive. To put things into perspective, raw milk sales are only legal “on the farm” in 7 states. Retail sales of raw milk is only legal in 11 states. (To see more about the laws of raw milk sales, visit http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/raw_milk_map.htm.) With that being said, I don’t think the small raw milk farmers have the funding to pay people to vouch for their product. Or at least, not as many claims as I have seen.
Benefits of Raw Milk
So what are the benefits of CLEAN raw milk?
- more than 60 digestive enzymes for digestion, immune system support, and growth
- a wide range of minerals and trace minerals– One serving of raw milk contains 400 mg calcium, 50 mg of magnesium, and 500 mg of Potassium. These minerals are important for cellular function, hydration, building bone density, detoxification, circulation, muscle health, and metabolism. It also has Phosphate which helps the absorption of calcium.
- all 20 standard amino acids
- EFA such as CLA. CLA helps fight cancer and reduces body fat
- lactoferrin, an iron bonding protein that has anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-microbial
- higher levels of fat soluble vitamins A,D, K. These vitamins support brain, nervous system, crucial for development, focus, naturally balances hormones, supports bone density, and brain function.
- higher absorption of Vitamin D. You need vitamin A and K to absorb Vitamin D.
- short chain fatty acids, and Omega 3s– short chain fatty acid reduces inflammation, speeds up metabolism, and helps with stress.
- Probiotics– raw milk contains a small amount of probiotics but if you ferment raw milk such as kefir, cheese, and yogurt, you get the highest form of probiotics. Probiotics protect from parasites and E. Coli. They also help Colon Cancer, Diarrhea, Inflammatory bowel disease, Intestinal bowel syndrone, skin infections, weakened immune system, urinary track infections, and vaginal yeast infections
- Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins– Whey protein is good for burning fat, building muscle, high in enzymes, and proteins
- Reduced allergies
- Easier to digest- Many of those who are lactose intolerant state they can drink raw milk
- greater resistance to disease
- better fertility
- last but not least, the TASTE! It tastes SOOOOOO much better. I won’t even touch the pasteurized milk any more
The research and information is so vast that I can’t possibly include all the information on my blog post but I highly encourage you to do your own research. Look it up. You have a whole web of information available at your fingertips. And make sure to compare both sides of the argument before making your own personal opinion. If you only look up why you should drink pasteurized milk, you will only get one side of the story.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed. What are your thoughts? Do you drink raw milk? Why or why not?