The following is reprinted from a two-part series on the Agriculture Society blog, written by Raine Saunders (see bio at bottom of post):
“Raw milk is a hot topic in the news and media these days. And with good reason. It’s a subject that is near and dear to my heart, and it’s very important to become informed about it, but not because drinking it will make you sick.
Today you will read about the history of pasteurization and the health benefits of raw milk as discussed by health professionals, two journalists, and a steward-conscientious and progressive dairy farmer.
The second installment, Part II of this series will cover my family’s personal testimony of consuming raw milk, what to ask your farmer when buying raw milk, and action steps you can take to assure raw milk is available in the future for everyone.
The reason why raw milk is so important is because of its value as a nutrient-dense and versatile food that has been consumed for thousands of years by people all over the world to maintain health. And now more than ever, raw milk is a symbol of our freedoms and rights as citizens of this country, to preserve our abilities to be able to have access to real food that nourishes our bodies.
If you aren’t familiar with the struggles happening over raw milk and the right to sell, buy, and produce it, now is a good time to become acquainted with what’s been going on. Raw milk has received an unfair reputation for many years as being a food that carries disease and harmful bacteria. But the truth is, raw milk from healthy cows on pasture contains life-giving nutrients and probiotics – something we are lacking more and more in food choices in the modern world.
Processing, packaging, heating, denaturing, and the adding of preservatives, chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and other toxic substances is destroying the value of nutrition in foods we know today. The integrity of milk as nature’s most perfect food has never been in such jeopardy as it is in modern times.
The history of pasteurization
Pasteurization came about as a result of urban dairies springing up in the late 1800s and early 1900s to supply milk to the growing population, and to control disease conditions occurring during that time period.
According to Nina Planck, author of Real Food:
“It was a response to an acute and growing public health crisis, in which infectious diseases like tuberculosis were spread by poor-quality milk [from these dairies]. Previously, milk came to the kitchen in buckets from the family cow or in glass jars from a local dairy, but soon, urban dairies sprang up to supply the growing populations in or near cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati.”
Owners put the dairies next to whiskey distilleries to feed the confined cows a cheap diet of spent mash called distillery slop. For distribution, the whiskey dairies were inefficient: in 1852, three quarters of the milk drunk by the seven hundred thousand residents of New York City came from distillery dairies. The last one in New York City (in Brooklyn) closed in 1930.”
The quality of “slop milk”, as it was known, was so poor it could not even be made into butter or cheese. Some unscrupulous distillery dairy owners added burned sugar, molasses, chalk, starch, or flour to give body to the thin milk, while others diluted it with water to make more money. Slop milk was inferior because animal nutrition was poor; cows need grass and hay, not warm whiskey mash, which was too acidic for the ruminant belly. Cows on fresh grass produce more cream, a measure of milk quality.”
Conditions were un-hygenic, too. In one contemporary account cited in the Complete Dairy Food Cookbook, distillery cows “soon became diseased; their gums ulcerate, their teeth drop out, and their breath becomes fetid.” Cartoons of distillery dairies show morose cows with open sores on their flanks standing or lying in muck in cramped stables. Bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis were common, and cow mortality was high. The people milking the cows were often unsanitary and unhealthy, too. Dairy workers could taint milk with tuberculosis and other diseases.”
This contamination, a prevalent occurrence in commercial dairies, caused outbreaks of various diseases – typhoid, scarlet fever, undulant fever (brucellosis), and tuberculosis. The blame for sickness went to the tainted milk. In looking for a solution, public health officials finally decided that pasteurization was the perfect solution to eliminate the problem of contamination. Use of this practice essentially gave license to dairies to continue unsafe and unsanitary production practices in their milking and animal-raising methods.
As Ron Schimd points out in his book The Untold Story of Raw Milk, mandatory inspections and cleanliness were neither considered nor required to maintain sanitation and health safety in producing and selling milk to the public. Through the years, the milk itself was continually put in the doghouse as the culprit of the public’s health woes by various health experts and milk distributors. Why not require farmers to keep cows on grass and manage their care and health properly to avoid disease and illness in the first place? But this did not happen. Ultimately, this resulted in President Roosevelt appointing a panel of experts who required all raw milk to be pasteurized in 1914 in New York City. The requirement to pasteurize spread from there and by the 1950s, it was the law most everywhere.
It should be obvious as to where the problem originated. Raw milk is not dangerous to drink because it’s inherently unsanitary. It becomes a threat to human health and the environment when dairies use more and more hazardous substances like pesticides, antibiotics, genetically-modified organisms, are not required to maintain healthy standards of animal and land stewardship, and are permitted to treat animals like commodities instead of living creatures that should have access to pasture, sunshine, fresh air and clean water.
In this day and age, when we possess the knowledge and capability of superior animal nutrition, sanitation, testing, storage, and transportation of the milk that comes from cows, it only makes sense to combine the best of nature and technology to enable our species to have access to the most healthful, nutrient-dense, and safe food available. Pasteurization only puts us back in the dark ages of our history, and does not acknowledge the supreme domain and ability to preserve our health and future that nature ultimately possesses.
What good has pasteurization done?
It has provided commercial dairies with the ability to not be accountable for producing a clean product, and if harmful bacteria are present – which they always are, they are simply obliterated through heat, and so are any good bacteria that might be present in the milk. Then those bacteria can be masked (at least some of the time) with pasteurization practices. It has also provided big agricultural business with an efficient way to sell products far and wide and keep them on the shelf longer, thus making more profits. All at the expense of our health, of course.
What’s left in pasteurized milk is simply dead bacteria. So when you drink pasteurized and processed milk, you are drinking bacteria that has died. That’s the reason there is a shelf life on pasteurized milk, because at some point the milk goes from being dead to completely toxic. You can’t drink pasteurized milk past its date without health problems, but raw milk simply grows more and more plentiful in helpful bacteria and can be used for many things – buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, cheese, kefir, clabbered milk and a variety of healthful foods.
Did you know that pasteurized milk is routinely tested – but for coliforms, not pathogens? What’s the difference? Coliforms are a species of microorganisms which comprise most of the intestinal flora of an organism, while a pathogen is a disease-producing agent.
From the Organic Pastures web site: “These include Para TB, viruses, bacteria and spores that survive pasteurization. This is something that the dairy industry and CDFA will not share with you. These bacteria do not exist in raw milk for human consumption. They are eliminated by specialized testing of raw milk cows and by other sanitary methods not used on conventional dairies.” Because of this fact, a person can contract a foodborne illness from milk even if it has been pasteurized.
Yes, you read that correctly.
In the state of California, raw milk undergoes testing for pathogens thousands of times annually. To date, no pathogens have ever been found in milk from either Organic Pastures (Fresno) nor Claravale Farm (Paicines).
Not only is raw milk better for your health, it is also safer than pasteurized milk. In his book The Raw Milk Revolution, David E. Gumpert revealed that in the state of Massachusetts no deaths are on record from drinking raw milk. But pasteurized milk containing the pathogen Listeriosis was responsible for the deaths of 3 people in 2007.
An In These Times web site article disclosed the following CDC data: from 1993 to 2006 there were 116 illnesses annually connected to raw milk , “or less than .000002 percent of the 76 million people who contract food-borne illnesses every year in the United States.”
There’s milk, and then there’s milk
There are actually two types of raw milk. According to Mark McAffe of Organic Pastures (the country’s largest raw dairy), here are the primary differences between them:
1) There’s the raw milk intended to be consumed raw
2) There’s the raw milk intended to be used for pasteurization, and contrary to popular belief, they are NOT the same.
When you consider purchasing raw milk, you must be certain to find milk that has been produced with the intention of being consumed raw, and not just raw milk from conventionally-raised cows that hasn’t gone through the pasteurization process yet.
There’s a vast difference between the quality and safety of milk from organically-raised, grass-fed cows, and conventionally-raised, grain-fed livestock. Cows fed on grain, soy, corn, and other inappropriate feeds develop an acidic digestive environment and eventually become ill. Cattle are ruminants, meaning their digestive tracts are designed to consume grasses, not grains. When a ruminant consumes grains, all bets for healthy milk are off. This is why farmers administer antibiotics to their herds – because the feed causes the internal environment to develop pathogenic bacteria and this makes the milk harmful for consumption.
Health benefits of raw milk
Raw milk that is organically-sourced from cows on pasture is naturally rich in healthy bacteria, including lactobacillus and acidophilus. There are also several coliform families of bacteria present in raw milk that are important for health. What most people don’t know is there are actually over 230 different kinds of E. coli. Of those, only two or three of them are actually pathogenic and will cause sickness. The rest are extremely beneficial to your immune system and digestion.
Raw milk also contains vitamins, which are virtually eliminated by the pasteurization process of commercial milk. But it’s the presence of beneficial bacteria are what make raw milk such an outstanding food source to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine, which in turn has a significant, beneficial impact on your overall immune function.
Other health promoting ingredients in raw milk include (source, Dr. Mercola with guest Mark McAfee):
- Valuable enzymes that are destroyed during pasteurization. Without them, milk is very difficult to digest. So if you have lactose intolerance, it may very well disappear once you start consuming raw dairy products. It also contains phosphatase, an enzyme that aids and assists in the absorption of calcium in your bones, and lipase enzyme, which helps to hydrolyze and absorb fats.
- Enzymes are deactivated when you get above 120 degrees. By the time you get to 150, 160 degrees, almost all of them are completely inactivated, which is why you will not get ANY of these benefits from pasteurized milk.
- Natural butterfat, which is homogenized or removed in pasteurized milk. Without butterfat, it becomes very difficult for your body to absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk. Butterfat is also your best source of preformed vitamin A, and contains re-arranged acids with strong anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Healthy, unoxidized cholesterol
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and may help reduce your body fat
- High omega-3 and low omega-6 ratios, which is the beneficial ratio between these two essential fats
From Dr. Al Sears, M.D.:
I come from a family of farmers, and milk was a staple of my diet growing up. We’d have it delivered to the house in glass bottles and go through a gallon a week per person. When I’d go to my grandma’s, she’d pour me a glass straight from the bucket…straight from the cow.
Back then, we never worried about whether milk was raw or pasteurized, and we were healthy, strong, and never sick a day. Today, you won’t find raw dairy products in your local grocery store. It’s against the law in some states.
Raw milk from grass-fed cows has been used for disease prevention since the time of Hippocrates.
Grass-fed raw milk builds immunity. Any time you build immunity, you help prevent disease. When you build immunity high enough, you set up a protective shield around you that prevents germs and viruses from attacking. You can walk into a room full of cold and flu victims and never catch a thing.
Grass-fed raw milk is a good source of important disease fighters like vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and good bacteria to strengthen your immune system. When you pasteurize milk, the heat destroys all of the immune-fighting properties. Grass-fed raw milk also contains the most important health-building ingredient of all: enzymes. Enzymes are inflammation fighters and immune builders too. But they are destroyed within minutes by heat during pasteurization.
Here’s a sample of what is lost:
- Amylase: breaks down carbohydrates in food as it is digested
- Catalase: a strong antioxidant that protects cells
- Lactase: what’s missing when people develop lactose intolerance. Lactase makes it easier to absorb other nutrients as well.
- Lipase: breaks down fats like triglycerides and improves the way your body uses them
- Phosphatase: helps your body absorb and use the calcium and phosphorus in milk.
- Lactoferrin: helps protect you from disease. Lactoferrin defends the body against invasion by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Lactoferrin has the same protection-fighting power as mother’s breast milk for an infant.
Check back tomorrow for Part II where you can read the personal testimony of my family’s experience drinking raw milk and how we have benefited from its consumption.
You will also find information about how to make good choices when buying raw milk, where to go to find it, and questions you should ask your local farmer.
You’ll learn how to become involved to support a vibrant, growing, and passionate community of people who love raw milk and want to continue to be able to have access to it for the sake of freedom as well as health.
This post is part of Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival. Please visit her site and check out all the other real food posts there.
This post is also part of Sustainable Eats Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop. Please visit this great site and share your posts there!”
The Truth about Raw Milk, Part II
“In yesterday’s article about raw milk, we learned about the history of pasteurization, health benefits of raw milk, and some very specific information about the nutrient-dense value of milk and how it positively impacts health.
Part II will include our family’s personal testimony of our experience drinking raw milk for the last three years, questions to ask your farmer when searching for the right place to buy raw milk, and how you can become involved in a vibrant raw milk community with passionate individuals who are committed to helping keep raw milk available for everyone to consume.
To recap what was discussed in yesterday’s article, read Part I of The Truth About Raw Milk.
Our personal testimony of raw milk
My husband spent a good deal of his life fighting with allergies. He suffered through sinus congestion of one extreme or another for many years in his childhood and young adult years. He took prescription allergy medications for nearly a decade. They worked sometimes, and then as time went on, they ceased to work at all. I kept saying maybe he should cut out dairy and wheat from his diet, but he didn’t think he could do it. Finally he decided he needed to do something different since the medications no longer affected him (and had side-effects). And his allergies were not showing any sign of letting up.
Our son was also diagnosed as having a dairy allergy at age 5. We had been giving him a fair amount of dairy like mainstream yogurt and commercial cheeses, although not much in the way of milk to drink for some years. When he was a baby, I couldn’t nurse because my pregnancy was interrupted when I was in my 7th month with a ruptured appendix. The infection I sustained, plus the early birth contributed to my inability to nurse.
Back then I didn’t know a lot about health and food, and so I put our premature son on infant formula. Had I known then what I know now, I would have found a good recipe for homemade formula with cod liver oil, goat’s milk, and other real food ingredients. When he was first born and after he came home, he had “colic”. I now know that the colic symptoms he was experiencing were likely caused from or at least exacerbated by the fact that he was being fed poisonous commercial formulas (first based from pasteurized cow’s milk and later from soy) in addition to having an under-developed digestive system.
Gradually we began to eliminate wheat and dairy from our kitchen. I had been having health issues too, that were finally beginning to make me sit up and take notice about what I was eating. Soon after I began seeing a nutritional therapist and was becoming educated about how food affects health, I learned that raw milk was a healthful food and that people with lactose intolerance and allergies could often consume it, whereas the pasteurized variety made them sick.
I found Organic Pastures web site, read about raw milk, and decided to order some to try. Back then (in 2007), California state laws did not prohibit the sale and shipment of raw dairy products beyond state borders, so even though we live in Idaho, we could order it. After opening our first bottle and drinking it for a day or so, we found that all of us could drink it without any problems whatsoever.
We have now been drinking raw milk for over 3 years with no health issues or symptoms at all. We also make home-made yogurt and kefir, buttermilk, cream cheese, salad dressings, and other dairy foods with our milk. We also soak other foods in yogurt or kefir before we consume them like pancakes, granola, and hot cereals. Although we eat grains very sparingly in our house because all three of us has a fair amount of trouble with them, whenever we do consume them we always eat soaked, sprouted, or fermented, and our raw dairy is one of the things we use to soak.
And the allergies? They have greatly improved. We are still wrestling with getting my husband off grains, which also makes a huge difference in his health and his allergies. But since we no longer consume pasteurized dairy, his allergies have for the most part subsided except for occasional symptoms during high peak pollen count, and they are extremely mild and manageable when he does experience them.
Our suppliers of raw milk
In my home state, sale of raw milk in the retail environment has been legal for some years, but the State Department of Agriculture is not keen on making this a well-known fact. However, just last week for the first time in my life, I was able to walk into my local health food store and see raw milk for sale in the dairy section. And just days earlier, I went down the road to my farmer’s market which is just about two miles from my house and buy raw milk from a local farmer whom I could ask all the important questions about how the milk is produced. I can’t tell you how excited I am that both of these things are now possible, in my home state!
The name of the farm that sells raw milk at our local health food store and our farmer’s market is Treasured Sunrise Acres. They are located in Fruitland, Idaho which is about an hour and a half from Boise. Their milk is from Jersey cows on pasture and alfalfa, and they use organic practices. This is such a huge step forward for food rights, awareness, and our beautiful state!
We have been buying organic raw milk from a great producer, Saint John’s Organic Farm in Emmett, Idaho. That’s about 30 miles away from my house. For the last year we have belonged to a co-op of other families who also buy their milk from the same farm, and we take turns delivering it on a weekly basis to each others’ homes. Saint John’s Organic Farm is 100 certified organic with cows on pasture and alfalfa – they have Brown Swiss, Jerseys, and a variety of others. They also sell 100 percent grass-fed beef which is incredibly delicious. I am very impressed with how much Peter Dill and his family are absolutely committed to principles of sustainability. Peter has even managed to get aerial spraying of pesticides banned in his city, which is astoundingly difficult to achieve and is most commendable.
I’ve enjoyed being involved in these relationships very much, and it’s great knowing there are other families who are as concerned about sustainability and healthy food as we are.
Should I know anything specific about what to expect from my body if I start drinking raw milk?
If you have maintained a diet with many processed and artificial foods, your body could likely be suffering from not having enough good bacteria, as processed foods neither contain diverse nor good bacteria nor support a healthy immune system. You may also be experiencing symptoms from things like yeast overgrowth, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis, food intolerances, and allergies. due to eating a diet of processed food.
Drinking raw milk will give that back to you, but it may take some time. Some people experience what is known as die-off symptoms when healing begins. As the body goes into detoxification mode, sometimes you will start to notice abdominal symptoms like gas, cramping, loose stools or diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal movement. You may even start to have headaches or body aches for a brief period of time such as days or a few weeks. It depends on your body, how toxic it is, and how long you have maintained a diet with nutritionally-depleted foods.
Everyone needs an adjustment period when they make a change. My family and I experienced no symptoms whatsoever. The only thing we noticed was our health problems disappearing. But I have heard of people having some die-off symptoms when they start a cleanse, new way of eating, or detoxification protocol. Real food heals and detoxifies us, so those things are possible, but not necessarily guaranteed. No matter what, don’t let die-off symptoms stop you from continuing to drink raw milk. They will not last very long, if at all.
Where can you find raw milk in your area?
Visit the Real Milk web site for state-by-state law information, sources, and updates. As laws vary from state-to-state, it’s important to become acquainted with the laws and regulations regarding the sale of raw milk specific to your area. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund site has a good diagram and up-to-date information about state laws.
What should I know before going to visit the farm where I want to buy milk?
Knowing your farmer when buying food is really important because if you are going to make an effort to obtain healthy food, it is essential to have knowledge of the practices your farmer is using in producing it. When you go to the grocery store and buy something, there is an enormous distance between you and the food you are picking up off the shelf or freezer.
Much of that food is produced in ways you may not be aware of and likely wouldn’t buy if you had the knowledge – it comes from feedlots or conventional crop environments which use toxic and dangerous methods. Animals are raised in confinement and are given antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, and are fed the wrong types of feed that are contaminated with pesticides, other chemicals, and are genetically-modified. Produce comes from genetically-modified organisms whose DNA are altered on a cellular level, are injected from seed with substances designed to make it resistant to disease, and is grown in infertile soil and sprayed with pesticides and herbicides.
Milk is no different. Whether you are visiting your local farmer’s market, the farm itself, or just happen to run into a farmer out and about somewhere and are having a conversation, there are some important questions to ask the farmer from whom you buy your milk:
What kind of cows do they have?
If the farmer has Brown Swiss, Jersey, Ayrshire, Guernsey, or some other good heritage breed that’s been around for awhile and the bloodline has not been hybridized, these are healthy cows for milk. Guernsey and Jersey are the best.
Holstein cows the milk volume from these breeds is higher but the quality is substantially lower due to less cream or butterfat content, which is a primary standard by which milk quality is measured. Because of hybridization and cross-breeding, many of the good heritage breeds have become contaminated or have disappeared. A1 milk, as produced by Holstein cows, the most common variety found in conventional milk purchased from most any grocery store.
Most heritage breeds produce what is known as A2 milk. Holsteins produce A1 milk.
According to BetaCasein.org, the differences are as follows:
On the other end of the spectrum is A2 milk. It is the original ancestor milk, and and milk from this cow can be tolerated by most anyone. Milk Protein “Beta casein A1 is a genetic mutation and contains the amino acid Histidine. A1 variant beta casein in cow’s milk is unique amongst all mammalian beta caseins, in having a histidine amino acid. Beta casein A2 has the amino acid Proline. Other species milk contains beta casein that can be considered A2 like, as they have a proline amino acid at this equivalent position in their beta casein chains. Water buffalo, yak, goat as well as human breast milk all contain the A2-like form of beta casein.”
A2 milk from healthy cows like the ones listed above is a life-giving substance that can prevent disease and health issues. For some scientific study information on the health benefits from this type of milk, visit Beta Casein.org.
What are they feeding their cows?
Cows should be fed grass and alfalfa, not grains, soy, or corn. If the farmer in question is feeding their cows anything but grass or alfalfa, the milk will not be healthy to consume because those other substances contribute to nutritional imbalances in the milk which offset good bacteria numbers, and Omega 3 content, among many other things. Many farms use a practice called “grain” or “feedlot” finishing where the animals are fed grass until the last 90 – 120 days or so of their lives and then converted over to grain, feedlot, or both. This is not 100 percent grass-fed and can greatly reduce the quality of the milk you are drinking.
Is the farm certified organic?
If the farm is not certified organic, are they at least using organic practices such as natural fertilization (no chemicals), no pesticides or sprays, no genetically-modified organisms on their land or in feed for their other animals/birds? Are the animals treated humanely and allowed to exhibit and engage in natural behaviors and are turned out on land, and do they rotate fields and provide the land an opportunity to regenerate itself ?(both of these are critical to manure and land stewardship)
Are cows given any foreign substances or growth promoter drugs?
Are they hormone/antibiotic use free? Are they using rBGH or other growth hormones to speed up the growing time of the cattle? By law, certified organic farms are not permitted to use antibiotics, genetically-modified organisms, nor growth hormones in their practices.
Want to know more? Take action! Become involved in helping to keep the raw milk movement alive in your city, state, and country
- Start by learning all you can about efforts being done to keep our food and milk safe from misdirected laws and prevent the loss of rights to procure real food
- Support your local, sustainable farmer – and especially those who sell real, clean, raw milk from healthy cows. Don’t give your money to factory farming corporations who don’t have your health or the environment’s best interests at heart.
- Go to The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund web site to learn more and become involved in one of our nation’s most important civil, social, political, environmental, and health movements. Read this informative article on Dr. Mercola’s web site which poses a not too-critical eye at the condition of our food safety system and the current conditions surrounding the production and sale of raw milk. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is putting donation dollars to work to defend the rights of farms to sell healthy food to consumers in court. Please consider donating to this worthy cause.
Read all you can on the subject of raw milk. Suggested reading:
- The Untold Story of Raw Milk by Ron Schmid, ND
- The Raw Milk Revolution, Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights by David E. Gumpert
- Devil in The Milk, Illness, Health, and The Politics of A1 and A2 Milk by Keith Woodford (foreword by Dr. Tom McCowan)
Watch food politics film documentaries, videos, join networking sites, and spread the word!
- Keep up on the latest news about raw milk at The Bovine.
- Join the Organic Pastures Facebook page
- Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale page – with links to information for all 50 states plus various countries. Join up now!
- Food, Inc. – watch it!
- FRESH, the movie – watch it!
- The Future of Food – watch it!”
And now a little biographical background on the author:
Hello! My name is Raine (pronounced ‘rainy’) Saunders. I write and manage content for Agriculture Society living in Boise, Idaho.
I have taught nutritional education at the Treasure Valley Downtown YMCA, organized an initiative for reform in school lunch menus in the Treasure Valley, have spoken about real, traditional foods at various nutrition and health events, and have also served as a volunteer to educate the public at various public events about traditional foods using Weston A. Price educational materials and models.
I earned my B.A. in Communication from Boise State University in 1996. After working in the technology industry for over ten years as an information developer (technical writing and editing content), I gained an interest in health and nutrition due to personal health issues. As a result of these issues and out of a desire to provide assistance to others and educate the public, I developed this resource site.
I am a wife, mother, and full-time home-schooling parent of my 9-year old son Tristan. I feel very blessed to be able to provide my son with not only an excellent, loving, and supportive academic environment, but also that he is not exposed to unhealthy food choices everyday in the public school setting.
My husband and I recently embarked upon a life-changing event – starting our own business. Last summer we took the plunge and decided to open a family-based solar and green IT company with some of our dearest friends in the world – Treasure Valley Solar and TVS Green Tech. It is our desire to make the solar lifestyle accessible to everyone – and we hope to encourage people not only to help the environment, but to view solar as a sound investment choice for the long-term in their future.
Everything I do on this site is as a result of wanting to maintain the health of myself and my family. I want my son to have the best foundation for health possible – especially since my husband and I never had that growing up.
My concern for my own family extends to that of others, and I finally feel like I am doing what I was supposed to in this life – helping others to learn about the wonderful ways of eating for better health, and sustainable living in various aspects whether it be through the use of alternative energy, consuming less, supporting merchants or food producers who use ethical and conscionable methods in their products, or growing our own food.
I believe fats, protein, and cholesterol from clean animal sources are not only delicious but essential to good health – especially for that of development in children and infants. Our brains are almost completely comprised of fat, so its no wonder we require it for good health. This is particularly true in the case of young children. Just think of all the problems children face in modern life – a rise in Diabetes, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, and many others. So many of these can be solved with proper nutrition. And aren’t our kids worth it?
Many of the principles on this web site are from things I learned from a fantastic organization, The Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to educating the public about the importance of traditional diets and sustainable farming around the world, and how they profoundly affect human health. Above all, their efforts are dedicated to sustainability, activism, and education. Because those things are important to me too, this organization receives my full endorsement and support.
Continually in the process of conducting extensive research in the fields of health and nutrition, careful attention is paid to methodologies, sources, results, and peer-review. I’ve been conducting research on these subjects for over ten years, but I am always learning new things and welcome the opportunity to discover a new piece of knowledge that will enable me to share with others.
I also spent over six years in my local underground music/artistic community, and worked as an event organizer and show promoter. My web site, NightSpun was a resource for show and event listings during that time. I have spent the last 20 plus years designing and creating jewelry, and have sold various pieces along the way. Soon, NightSpun will become home to my jewelry designs.
I am available for consultations, speaking engagements, and classes. To schedule a consultation, please see the Contact link on the front page of this site for more information.
The information found here is based on research with individuals, scientific literature, and experiences that are both personal and observational. It is not intended to treat or diagnose any illness or condition, but it is my sincere hope that you can use what you find here to make smart decisions about your health, nutritional choices, and well-being.
My philosophy does not dismiss the ability of modern medicine to solve health problems; I believe that allopathic philosophy relies too heavily on prescription medication and surgical procedures for health solutions without considering significant factors such as nutrition, environment, and alternative or natural treatments.
It is my hope that Agriculture Society promotes sound nutritional advice and successful preventative and curative methodologies not commonly utilized or acknowledged by modern Western practices.
Agriculture Society always welcomes comments, contributions, and suggestions.”
Thanks to Augie at the Natural Food and Healing blog for helping bring Raine’s work to our attention.