Got Milk? Keep it Raw

So says this writer of a recent letter to the editor in the Surrey Leader. See excerpt below. Surrey is a suburb of Vancouver, where local raw milk suppliers Alice Jongerden and Gordon Watson of Home on the Range cowshare will be in court Monday defending people’s right to choose.

"A letter writer argues that exposure to dirt and grime is helpful to children, for building immunity to asthma and allergies...." Photo via Surrey Leader

“The doomsayers who are utilizing Louis Pasteur’s theory for labelling our raw milk products a health hazard almost make me feel I am lucky to be alive, considering that was the only kind of milk available to me for the first 17 years of my life.

They conveniently forget that he is also the founder of the science of immunology, and ignoring the fact that pasteurizing is the simplest part of the legacy he left us. Just heat the stuff to a certain temperature, and hope that the good bacteria will still be alive.

Immunity on the other hand is difficult to detect and measure, but has probably been a vital ingredient in many people’s life, without them knowing it.

I was born in Denmark in 1922 on a farm named Granly, where the hygienic condition for raw milk was primitive to say the least, but it did improve substantially in 1936/37, when electricity and milking machines arrived on the scene. Literally overnight the uncovered milk pails disappeared.

Until then our forefathers must have benefited from the law of immunity without knowing it. The cows’ udders went unwashed, dirt and fecal matter was something we did not talk about, but it was there – we saw it in the sieve sometimes when we poured milk into the churn.

There was simply nothing we could do, but leave it to the creamery to filter it, hoping the British did not notice. After all, Danish butter was number one…..”

Read the whole letter on the SurreyLeader.com

Editor’s comment: I’m sure this is just the sort of attitude that’ll have public health types rolling their eyes in despair at mentality they have to deal with. And while conscientious raw milk farmers no doubt employ all the means at their disposal to avoid contamination of raw milk with fecal or other foreign matter, who can say, based on human survival through long eras of exposure to milk contamination, that the hypothesis put forward by this reader is totally untrue? By comparison, how long a sample do we have of the effects of current milk processing techniques, which have been in use for a relatively short period of time, and how are the results of that experiment going?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Got Milk? Keep it Raw

  1. a "real farm" mom

    Well, I have to say that I agree with this post! We milk a few Jerseys (grass-fed, of course) and before we got a can-milking machine, we did it by hand for a couple of years and it did leave you with “stuff” in the pail, for sure. We strained it out and made everything with it – cottage cheese, mozzeralla, icecream, butter, creme fraiche, kefir…
    Nome of our 4 kids(ages 5,4,2,&7mo) have ever gotten sick (there are days I’ve wished a little bug would slow them down but no such luck!)
    A few close friends and neighbors got milk from us and they never had a problem – and this was not “clean” milk! Most of them had grew up milking cows by hand and they knew that “stuff” get strained out – no big deal.

    Now are milk is much cleaner – but personally, I don’t think it would have mattered.
    The sickest kids I know are the ones who’s moms’ carry Isogel everywhere – the families I’m thinking of have asthma, exema, allergies to NO end! One of these kids is my nephew(5) and when he stays for a sleep over a Grandma’s he comes with a baggy of 6 different medicines!! It breaks my heart to know what his mom – with her best of intentions – is doing to the poor child! Call me crazy, but I think some capsels of composted garden dirt might be a good thing for these kids!
    I haven’t quite got there yet but I sure give him all the raw milk he wants at our house!

    Before our cow, I really stuggled with candida issues – I had tried may diets and things but never really had lasting sucess until we got raw milk – now I haven’t had any symptoms for 3 years. Interestingly though, I just seen my Live Bood Analyst (just for a routine check) and I actually still do have some yeast in my blood but not ONE sysptom of it – what does that mean? I don’t know but I’m going to keep on doing what we’re doing!

    On a different note, my husband, who never used to like milk (even for a year after we got our Jerseys) has decided that it’s actually really good – not only does he love the taste but he’s convinced there’s a “Viagra effect” happening! I have to ration him now – or I’m to tired to look after the kids! How that for “anecdotal evidence”. 🙂

  2. Ken Conrad

    Re editors comment,

    I like to think of it as enriched, not contaminated.

    Ken Conrad

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