Drinking Unpasteurized Milk

  1. Mary Adamczyk says:

    I was wondering if you have any information on where to purchase raw cows milk in the Puerto Vallarta area. We are about an hour north of PV. Thank you.

  2. Patrick Greenshield says:

    Thank you for a great article. Our family lives in Southern Spain. We drink raw goat milk every day. We would not even consider buying pasteurized milk in the stores.

    We did try a cup of pasteurized goat milk from the same goat. It tasted “dirty” or dry. It had a smell which we found unacceptable. We have made kefir, yogurt and ice cream from the same raw milk.

    I see a lot of discussion about risk. But I can find not one case of someone who has suffered because of drinking raw goat milk.

    Thanks again.

  3. […] How can you tell if your raw milk source is safe? Learn more from Krista Arias, author of MamaMuse.com, here. […]

  4. krista says:

    VERY Cool quote from (Darla Sparrow) a friend’s Facebook update:
    “It has been commonly thougth by vegetarians that all fermented foods contains at least trace amounts of B12. This assumption tends to be true in third world countries where sanitation is poor and B12-rich bacteria proliferate, especially in fermented products. People rarely show deficiencies of tht vitamin in these locales. On the other hand, in most Western countries where santiation is strongly enforced by law, food producers usually mainatain neraly sterile shops. Even though cleanliness is of unquestionalbe value in food processing, it does halt the natural propagation of B12 in ferments.” -Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford

  5. APearl says:

    I love how you mention the importance of our own immune systems function and the need to create a positive bacterial situation before embarking on raw milk. I grew up on a dairy farm where we drank raw milk exclusively. I loathe “store” milk and generally avoided milk when we didn’t have access to “farm milk” from home. We now help with the family farm and have regular access to farm milk (raw) but I do think sometimes people jump on the “raw milk is magic “bandwagon without realizing your body has to adjust its flora to be able to avoid illness. Also, sometimes I wonder about people who have problems with raw milk, may not be handling it properly. Pasturized store milk will last a long time the fridge, compared to raw milk, however; raw milk is meant to be consumed or otherwise fermented in a short amount of time. I generally find the cream I skim off and save for my coffee will last 4- 5 days before it wants to do some unsolicited fermenting on its own. But I grew up knowing this so we usually drink or ferment our milk in short order. These days with growing boys, I generally just have trouble keeping enough milk in the house. On a side note, my supposedly lactose intolerant son has no issues with raw milk or fermented milk products, so it’s a blessing we have a good source of milk (a farm we visit 2x a week and work on). I will buy organic non-homogenized from a local dairy for guests and family (husband’s) who would otherwise freak out at the thought of drinking milk raw and probably shouldn’t because their bodies really couldn’t handle it. And of course, there is always fresh water available to drink:)

  6. During the WWII post-war years we were so hungry that my little brother and I once scavenged a nice set of pig’s lungs from a fresh manure pile. Our aunt cooked them and forced us to eat such. A few hours later we had an upchucking contest. We all won.

    Fortunately, one of the few foods that was most readily available for us, from small nearby farmers, was raw milk and whey. We consumed them raw, as did many other people.

    And this will blow you away: My brother and I were imported to the US by some of our American relatives, who promptly enslaved us on their separate dairy farms. For more than two years I milked their cows and drank their milk that was enhanced with barnyard by-products. Hint: One was green and the other one was yellow. Yet, I never got sick, and neither did my brother.

  7. […] How can you tell if your raw milk source is safe? Learn more from Krista Arias, author of MamaMuse.com, here. […]

  8. krista says:

    Here is a response from another forum that I would like to address: “I drink milk raw from my own goats, but I kind of cringe at this person’s lack of sanitation…the antiseptic teat dip is to protect the GOAT (or cow :), not the person drinking the milk necessarily. Maybe our digestive systems could use more diverse bacteria, but the inside of an udder (and milk from a healthy animal) should be sterile. When you open up the teat orifice to get the milk out, you open up a place for bacteria from the environment to get into the teat — a place where there is normally no bacteria at all, good or bad. Baby goat saliva helps protect the orifice normally, but if we’re taking over baby’s job, it’s SO important that our hands are clean and we use an antiseptic — or at least soap — of some sort, before and after milking. A mammary infection (mastitis) is very hard to treat and many animals die of it. My two cents. :)”

    My response: We have been milking our own goats for over a year with no bouts of mastitis during milking periods. We have a very small herd (7 at its largest) and feed them exclusively alfalfa and pasture (no grains at all). We feel it is important to disturb the local teet bacteria as little as possible (there is nothing truly sterile in nature) and trust that infection is best treated through healthy and appropriate diet. We have also not had to de-worm because our girls’ guts are healthy. Grain feeding is the real culprit here. I do want to make one clarification. We do milk with clean hands using simple soap we make on the farm out of lard and lye, but we don’t scrub and disinfect our hands or our milk jar.

  9. krista says:

    @Ashley: Watch this. Clear information about Fat and which ones to love and which ones to avoid! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvKdYUCUca8

  10. krista says:

    @Ashley: It sorta depends on what is causing your digestive upset (lactose or protein allergy, or other intolerance). But really, the advice is the a lot the same in most any case: I would lay off all dairy and work on “gut healing” for a few months. Bone broth every day (drink it straight and/or you can cook it into all your grains & legumes), abdominal castor oil packs, and as much as lacto-fermented anything you can eat. Then try reintroducing raw milk products slowly (they say 3 days apart, but who can wait that long), starting with yogurt, then cheese and then plain raw milk…. and see how you do.

    p.s. Earth Balance? run…. most people who can’t handle other types of dairy can handle butter so keep it in there unless things don’t clear up! Butter is sacred, don’t you ever give it up!!! he he he…..

  11. krista says:

    @Sarah: TB and Brucellosis are the trickier issues as they might not show symptoms immediately. Do you research, know the symptoms & consequences, and what you would do if you suspected an outbreak in your family…. and then ask your heart to help you weigh the risk and make a decision. But also, let yourself feel that risk a little bit, let it in, and grieve a little… authentic grief is cleansing and can sometimes help the fog clear. Life has risk and repressing this fact doesn’t protect us from it though. I hope that’s not too weird of a response…. smile.

    I love your “Community Test” and will add it if I ever re-write this! It is perhaps the best test there is! Thank you for bring it here!!!

  12. krista says:

    @Elizabeth: Where are you in Central Mexico? We helped start a new Chapter in San Miguel de Allende (very first Chapter in Mexico!) who might be able to help you with sources. Let me know if you need help contacting them?

  13. Ashley Edwards says:

    Hi Krista! I’m wondering – do you also eat raw butter/cheese? For the next month I am not eating any dairy as I have been experiencing a lot of digestive upset and it seems to go away on days when I don’t use any dairy (milk in coffee, etc.). Eventually I’d like to phase in raw milk and see how I fare with that, but I’m not sure what to do about other dairy products. I love cheese, but am happy sticking to goat/sheep’s cheese, if necessary, but I LOVE butter and use it all the time and am not sure if I want to use fake butter, like Earth Balance. Thoughts?

  14. Sarah Zitterman says:

    Wow! I can not thank you enough for this post! It is just what I needed right now. We have been raw milk drinkers for about 3 years, but when we moved to Saudi Arabia about two years ago, we had serious reservations. My DH is a medical doctor, and had me sick with worry about the risk of burcellosis!! We have access to fresh warm camel milk that we drive out and purchase directly from the herders, but had stopped drinking it out of the fear of burcellosis and tb. Your post has helped me regain some of the confidence I needed to make the trip out of town to get more of that goooood milk!!
    I wanted to add for the benefit of some of your readers that one of our “tests” includes drinking milk from the same herder that other people we know have been drinking from and have stayed healthy.
    Ultimately it is in God’s trust that we place ourselves, and as you said we have to weigh and make that choice between good and safe.

    • belinda says:

      Sarah Zitterman:
      Where do you go to get your camels milk? We’d like to know. We are raw dairy consumers and are so worried about reincorporating pasteurized dairy back into our diet when we move to Al Kobar/DH Saudi in November. Can you help with directions or persons to contact for this raw camel’s milk? Does it taste like cow’s milk at all or is it more like goat’s milk? Many Thanks for any information you can convey?! 🙂

  15. krista says:

    @Joy: While in Mexico we experienced regular bouts of exposure to, um,”rough day” consequences, but after 3 months we stopped disinfecting our vegetables (we still got sick plenty in our disinfecting stage) and then after 6 months we weren’t getting sick at all anymore. Our systems adjusted and I suspect, were stronger, as a result. Now we’re back in sanitary-land, despite our filthy ways. smile.

  16. krista says:

    Hi Agi, trusting one’s intuition in these times is certainly a tricky endeavor!
    Thanks for your vote of confidence!

  17. cowboss says:

    You forgot to mention Johne’s disease in cattle which has been linked to Crohn’s disease in people http://canadianfoodfacts.blogspot.ca/2012/03/raw-milk-and-crohns-is-it-really-worth.html

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this post, I loved hearing about your process in Mexico. I live in central Mexico and really want to drink la leche bronca, but I have had no idea how to go about finding a safe source on my own. Where I live there is a lot of milk and cheese production and there have been Brucellosis outbreaks. I find that there isn’t a lot of attention paid in how the animals are cared for, because it’s assumed that the milk will be boiled. Most of the cows are fed hay supplemented with feed and spend all their time in a stable area. I have a source right now that occasionally has access to pasture (I can always tell because the cream turns a gorgeous yellow), but I still do the 145 degree pasteurization technique. He’s an old timer and tends to evade specific questions, but he has a fairly sustainable approach to milking, he leaves half of his heard nursing babies and half for milk production and there is a span of a couple months where there is no milk at all. I appreciate your advice, I will take baby steps toward attaining a true leche bronca status, starting with the clabber test, and continue looking for ranchers who have a real relationship with the animals. Thank you!

  19. Joy says:

    Wonderful! We love our raw milk, have never had a problem drinking it in 3 years. I know the farm and the farmers and I trust them. Still, I’ve worried a bit off and on….. anyone can have a rough day and what if they forgot to sterilize the buckets or the jars or failed to wash the teats with hot soapy water….? I honestly feel a bit better now! I truly do believe in the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ (that being too clean dumbs down your immune system) but there sure is relentless pressure to be 100% SAFE. I like what you said about choosing the GOOD over the SAFE. And now excuse me while I go and gather some eggs from my backyard hens. Best of health to everyone!

  20. Agi says:

    Thanks for a great post about raw milk and how to introduce it into your diet. You have a lot of good information on your blog, thanks for sharing it with us!
    I admire your trust in your own intuition!

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