Choosing Between Raw Milk and a Dead, White Liquid

When health and business journalist David E. Gumpert, author of the newly released Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights, decided to look beyond the official FDA statement on raw milk and pasteurization, he encountered farmers and producers of nutritional supplements who told a very different story.

In the video above, he shares the history of pasteurization and its exaggerated health benefits versus the health benefits of raw milk, a living food containing beneficial enzymes.


Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

David Gumpert makes two very important points in this video that bear repeating:

  1. Louis Pasteur, father of pasteurization, was researching ways to kill pathogens in wine, not milk, when he developed his heat treatment process. Pasteur did not experiment with the heat treatment of milk!
  2. While you have been led to believe pasteurization significantly reduced childhood illnesses like tuberculosis and typhoid, the process came into prominence in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, simultaneous with the building of sewage systems and improvements in the cleanliness of our water supply. Given this timing, it’s quite likely the benefits of pasteurization alone have been greatly exaggerated.

Pasteurization Kills All the Benefits of Milk

The FDA would have you believe pasteurization of milk protects you from deadly pathogens contained in raw milk. The fact is, however, that if cows are raised as nature intended (free-range and grass fed), there is no need to process the milk these healthy animals produce.

The journey that turns healthy raw milk into a dead, white liquid full of allergens and carcinogens begins with modern feeding methods.

Cows are raised on high-protein, soy-based feeds instead of fresh green grass. Instead of free range grazing, they stand in feed lots and manure all day.

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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.

Pasteurization transforms the physical structure of the proteins in milk, such as casein, and alters the shape of the amino acid configuration into a foreign protein that your body is not equipped to handle. The process also destroys the friendly bacteria found naturally in milk and drastically reduces the micronutrient and vitamin content.

Pasteurization destroys part of the vitamin C in raw milk, encourages the growth of harmful bacteria, and turns milk’s naturally occurring sugar (lactose) into beta-lactose. Beta-lactose is rapidly absorbed in the human body, with the result that hunger can return quickly after a glass of milk – especially in children.

The pasteurization process also makes insoluble most of the calcium found in raw milk. This can lead to a host of health problems in children, among them rickets and bad teeth. And then there’s the destruction of about 20 percent of the iodine available in raw milk, which can cause constipation.

When pasteurized milk is also homogenized, a substance known as xanthine oxidase is created. This compound can play a role in oxidative stress by acting as a free radical in your body.

Why Is Government So Fiercely in Favor of Pasteurization?

When the FDA equates drinking raw milk to “playing Russian roulette with your health,” I assume they’re referring to the milk that comes out of most commercial dairies (the same ones they recommend as good sources for your milk).

The following is a brief description from The Humane Society of the United States (whose undercover video also recently prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history) about what these factory-farm dairies are really like:

“Factory farmed dairy cows are typically kept in indoor stalls or on drylots. A drylot is an outdoor enclosure devoid of grass. Cows raised on drylots usually have no protection from inclement weather, nor are they provided with any bedding or a clean place to rest.

Drylots can hold thousands of cows at one time. Because these lots are only completely cleaned out once – or at the most, twice – a year, the filth just keeps building up. Such conditions are not only extremely stressful for the cows, they also facilitate the spread of disease.”

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It’s true if you were to drink milk from these cows prior to pasteurization, you could indeed be risking your health.

And when state regulators also get in on the act, it is simply inexcusable government intrusion on the freedom of choice of American consumers.

There’s also the matter of very powerful dairy industry lobbies. What would happen to the majority of the dairy industry if raw milk really caught on? They’d be forced to clean up their acts. Raise healthier cows. Give them access to pasture. As only healthy cows are the ones that you would buy raw milk from.

And this would cost them money … lots of money.

Raw Milk Is Health Food

Raw milk from clean, healthy cows bears no comparison – in taste or nutrition – to pasteurized milk. High-quality raw milk will always win out over the pasteurized variety.

It’s important to know that the milk you drink will only be as healthy as the cow that produced it. Make sure to source your raw milk from a clean, well-run farm that gives its cows access to pasture.

Raw milk from grass fed cows is full of things that your body will thrive on, including:

It’s not uncommon for people who drink raw milk to report improvement or disappearance of troubling health issues – everything from allergies to digestive trouble to skin problems like eczema.

As David Gumpert mentions in his video, after years of consuming highly processed foods, we are experiencing skyrocketing rates of chronic, debilitating conditions like asthma, obesity and diabetes.

Pasteurized milk was the very first processed food we were exposed to, and countless numbers of people are experiencing all kinds of health troubles, from digestive upset to perhaps even autism.

This is why even organic milk, which should be from relatively healthy cows, is STILL not a healthy choice for milk, as it is still pasteurized.

Yet, many people thrive on raw dairy. As with nearly any food, the closer you consume it to its natural state, the better. And this is also true for milk.

Are You Ready to Join the Raw Milk Revolution?

Fortunately, no matter how far public health officials go to discredit the benefits of raw milk, a growing number of Americans are choosing natural dairy sources, even though they may be technically breaking their local law.

If you’re still on the fence, I suggest you talk to people in your area who drink raw milk and eat raw dairy products. I assure you there are more raw-milk drinkers around than you may think.

And you don’t have to stop with milk. Most raw-milk providers also offer other wonderful raw dairy products like cheeses, sour cream, kefir, yogurt, butter, and fresh cream. The flavor of these dairy products is incomparable – rich, creamy, sweet and incredibly fresh.

Visit for sources of raw dairy products near you.

You might also consider getting involved with organizations like the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund who are working toward true freedom of choice for American consumers.

November 13, 2009