Saturday, April 7, 2012

Raw Milk In Houston

I've recently found a fantastic dairy.  They are one of a only a handful of certified organic RAW milk dairies in the state of Texas.  I highly recommend them.  

Just the thought of unpasteurized milk can cause a frenzy these days. But I'll tell you, there's more to unpasteurized milk than germs.  

For thousands of years, humans have sought after and consumed the milk of other mammals.  For the vast majority of that time, the milk was left in its raw state, uncooked.  The  protein, fat, water, enzymes and natural live bacteria found in milk was used to make us healthy and strong. Cattle, goats, sheep, yaks, reindeer, and other mammals were bred to give more milk, better tasting milk.  Enough milk to feed their babies and ours too.  As long as the animals were raised in environments natural to them, with fresh air and sunshine and plenty of fodder, the animals gave good milk and humans feasted on it.

Milk from other mammals, as well as human milk, is full of enzymes and bacteria. Colostrum, the first milk, also has antibodies passed from mother to new born. These these are the elements of life.  These, combined with yeasts and molds, take other foods and make them more healthy.  They make the best tasting and most nutrient dense foods, like cheeses, yogurts, and sour creams. Our grandmothers and grandfathers knew this and valued milk in its natural form.

When these animals are kept confined, without sunshine and fresh air, without the food they evolved to eat, they become sick and stressed.  When milk from sick animals is consumed, it can cause people to get sick as well.  

Since nobody wants the dairy industry to waste milk by throwing away milk from sick animals, the answer, since the day of Louis Pasteur, is to cook the milk till there's no life in it.  Cook the whole batch, from healthy and sick cows. Cook all the milk even if there are no sick cows.  This is called pasteurization.  Once milk is pasteurized, there are no good bacteria to stop the bad bacteria. There's no enzymes to help our bodies digest the other foods we eat.

If you buy a gallon of milk from the grocery store today, it is pasteurized.  That is because of the FDA regulations state that all milk produced and sold commercially must be pasteurization for the safety of the masses.  If you leave that gallon of milk on your kitchen counter at room temperature for a day, it will start to smell funny.  If you leave it at room temperature for a couple of days, it will breed bacteria that can cause illness.  This is because the milk is already dead.

On the other hand, if you buy unpasteurized milk, available only at certified raw dairies, that milk will be alive with enzymes and bacteria.  If you leave that milk on the counter at room temperature for a day, the bacteria will grow and turn the milk to buttermilk.  If you leave that milk on the counter at 90 degrees, the bacteria will turn the milk to yogurt.  If you use rennet or vinegar to separate the liquid from the protein, you will have a solid mass to make cheese and a liquid whey to drink.  The solid mass will collect yeasts and molds from the air, which will grow and age over time.  The whey is full of bacteria that when added to raw vegetables and allow to ferment will make the crunchiest and most sour sauerkraut and pickles.

Again, your grandmother and grandfather knew these things.  So, why don't we all know this?  

Why are we paying for dead milk that has been injected with yogurt cultures to heal our digestive systems?  Because we are not getting those natural bacterium in our food.

Why do we buy pickles and olives and cabbage that has been cooked in vinegar instead of raw fermented vegetables, teeming with life and health?  Because it is impossible to produce and distribute these items on an industrial scale without cooking them and killing the healthy organisms.

There are many articles on this topic.  Don't take my word for it.  Do your own research and determine what's best for you and your family.

Support local businesses is important to building a sustainable community.  See our previous post on this locally owned dairy.  Gramen Farm dairy