Health

The Real Reason Raw Milk Is Banned

By Robyn Riley··  8 min read
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When we think of illicit substances, food items aren’t often the first things that come to mind. Although, in the United States and Canada, one of the most taboo and fearmongered products you can name is produced on your run-of-the-mill family homestead.

Raw milk is that forbidden elixir. Raw milk is completely unprocessed and comes straight from the animal. After a cow or goat is cleaned and milked, the milk is filtered through a stainless steel or paper filter to collect debris and then is immediately refrigerated. That’s it! It’s a pure product straight from nature.

Heralded by holistic nutritionists and those who promote traditional diets, raw milk has been one of the most primary food sources in the human diet for millennia. Many claim the benefits of raw milk are not to be understated, as it not only repairs the gut microbiome and strengthens our immune system, but can also heal us from within from many modern illnesses caused by highly processed diets.

So why would such a powerful food product be deemed so dangerous as to be strictly banned in many states and provinces in North America? The answer lies in the history of agricultural industrialization, as do many of modern man’s diet-related woes. 

The History of Pasteurization 

Although the pasteurization process didn’t begin with milk, it was introduced into the dairy industry around the time of widespread industrial advancement in the West. During the early 20th century, sanitation problems within large city centers persisted tirelessly. The growing pollution in natural environments from ever more factories, motor vehicles, and human waste material produced several contamination scares in the dairy farms located close to urban centers across America and Canada. 

Cows were also known to have been fed the spent grains from urban distilleries as a cost-saving measure, which made the cows very ill. The milk produced by these cows was not only contaminated but was so watery and pale that many dairy producers resorted to adding chalk to the milk to make it appear normal. This resulted in the death of many people due to sick cows producing low-quality milk infected with dangerous pathogens.

Instead of addressing the problems in factory farm-style dairy production, where standards of quality and cleanliness are much harder to solve, a cheaper solution was established. Due to the sheer scale of industrial dairy production, it made more economic sense to put milk through a pasteurization process and to demonize raw milk as the problem. Pasteurization can be simply understood as combining the milk from hundreds of cows together in a large vessel and bringing it to a boil, killing all bad AND good bacteria, including any healthy enzymes. 

Due to the dairy industry’s size, it made more economic sense to pasteurize milk and demonize raw milk as the problem.

Pasteurized milk was the industrial farmers’ top choice for a variety of reasons. It allowed dairy production to increase in scale and profitability because it had a longer shelf life than raw milk. This allowed milk to be transported further distances and to reach larger consumer populations. It also enabled neighboring farms to pool their milk and pasteurize it together all at once, which saved even more money.

Industrially produced milk was put through further processing called the homogenization process, where the life-giving fat within raw milk, which normally rises to the top of the bottle as cream, is evenly distributed and no longer separates. As a result, you have a much more aesthetically attractive and shelf-stable-looking product. 

During homogenization, the milk is pushed through tiny holes with tremendous pressure which breaks down the fat structure of the milk. Unfortunately, this process drastically changes the composition of milk to the point where it retains almost none of its original nutritional benefits

When milk is pasteurized, the high temperature destroys all of the natural enzymes and good bacteria, as well as any potential bad bacteria. Homogenization takes all that healthy fat and oxidizes the cholesterol therein to be more carcinogenic for the human body. It has been shown that homogenized milk is even linked to high degrees of heart disease and cancer. 

Raw Milk Is Much Healthier for You

When you drink raw milk, straight from the animal, there are some very small risks concerning dangerous bacterial infections like Listeria. As long as the milking process is done in an efficient and hygienic way, though, the product you get is superior to industrially made milk in every conceivable way, regardless of any tiny risk that may be posed. 

Raw milk is a probiotic and contains a large variety of natural enzymes which support the immune system, as well as the overall microbiome of the gut. It also allows for a high degree of bioavailability of the vitamins and nutrients within the milk, meaning our ability to absorb and utilize these nutrients is far greater than with fortified industrial milk. 

Raw milk is a probiotic and contains a variety of natural enzymes that support the immune system.

There have been numerous studies that have shown a strong correlation between raw milk consumption and an increased ability to deal with allergies, asthma, respiratory infections, and even eczema. For this reason, many people in the raw milk community see it not simply as a healthy food but as a product with holistic healing properties. 

There are countless testimonials that can be read via the Weston A. Price Foundation website from people who have cured everything from Lyme disease to Crohn’s disease by drinking raw milk.

Why Raw Milk Is Banned

Of course, anecdotal evidence isn’t scientific evidence, but we can’t ignore the growing number of stories like this coming out of the raw milk community. Just because something worked for one family doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone, and this can be said of even FDA-approved substances. What we can do, though, is use these stories as a roadmap on the journey to discovering what’s right for our own health. 

We must be willing to find out what’s right for ourselves to ensure our health. 

The FDA isn’t a branch of government that’s entirely transparent about the reasoning behind why they choose to approve and ban certain substances. Over the years, countless lawsuits and whistleblowers have exposed the big businesses behind why some seemingly great products are deemed unsafe and illegal and other dangerous pharmaceuticals are given a green light by the FDA. As with all suspicious activity, one normally only has to follow the money to find answers.

Countless people have suffered life-altering and permanent side effects, sometimes causing death, from FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, and yet the statistical anomaly of risk produced by raw milk is considered too great to be approved for the public. The reason for this is obvious. The FDA’s stamp of approval can be purchased behind closed doors by Big Pharma and huge standardized industries like the dairy farming industry. 

Where Can I Buy Raw Milk Then?

Raw milk is actually illegal to sell in several states, but hopefully, that will change as people become educated about the health benefits of consuming unprocessed milk.

You can buy raw milk legally in retail stores in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. You can buy raw goat milk at stores in Oregon, but not cow's milk. There are also several states where it's legal to buy raw milk, but only if you purchase directly from the farm that produces it: Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon (cow's milk), Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin.

Closing Thoughts

While in theory, the concept of a governing body that looks out for the wellbeing of the populous seems like a good idea, in practice, there are simply too many incentives to do what’s profitable instead of what’s right. As individuals, parents, and community members, we must be willing to find out what’s right for ourselves to ensure our health. This means being willing to rely on more traditional ancestral diets and wisdom from the past rather than blindly relying on modern pharmaceuticals and the government to tell us what’s good for our health when they have such a poor track record at helping us in this way. 

One could almost wonder if they want us to be sick so they can sell us patented cures made in a lab rather than supporting health by eating well and having an active lifestyle. When food products like raw milk are deemed too dangerous for human consumption but you can buy a Big Mac on every second street corner, we have to assume that those at the top are not looking out for our best interests. 

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