Raw Milk Reality: Benefits of Raw Milk | Chris Kresser
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Raw Milk Reality: Benefits of Raw Milk

by Chris Kresser

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In Raw Milk Reality: Is Raw Milk Dangerous?, we took a closer look at the claims made by groups like the FDA and CDC that raw milk is “dangerous”. We found that, though the relative risk of becoming ill from drinking raw milk is about 9 times greater than it is from drinking pasteurized milk, the absolute risk of developing a serious illness (i.e. one that would require hospitalization) from drinking raw milk is exceedingly small: about 1 in 6 million.

Nevertheless, as small as the risk of drinking raw milk is, we still need to answer the question: why take the risk? What benefits does raw milk have over pasteurized milk that have convinced nearly 10 million people in the U.S. alone to actively seek it out?

Why drink raw milk in the first place?

There are many reasons one might prefer raw milk over pasteurized milk, ranging from nutritional to ethical to environmental. Different people will resonate with different reasons, depending on their value system, worldview and priorities.


Many consumers believe that raw milk is higher in nutritional content than conventional milk, which may have some merit.

Raw milk comes from cows that graze on grass. Some evidence suggests that milk from these cows is likely to have higher levels of fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients. Cows fed fresh green forage, especially those grazing grass, have been shown to have higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and essential fatty acids in their milk. (1,2)  Cows are natural herbivores and are healthiest when they eat grass, rather than the grain they are fed in confinement dairy operations.

The pasteurization process also reduces the nutritional quality of milk products. Research has shown a decrease in manganese, copper, and iron after heat treatment. (3) The FDA acknowledges that pasteurization destroys a substantial portion of the vitamin C in milk, and sterilization is also known to significantly impair the bioactivity of vitamin B6 contained in milk. (45) Beta-lactoglobulin, a heat-sensitive protein in milk that is destroyed by pasteurization, increases intestinal absorption of vitamin A, so the supplemental vitamin A in conventional milk may be harder to absorb. (6) While pasteurized milk does retain some level of nutritional value, it seems that unpasteurized milk is superior in vitamin and mineral content overall.


Many people experience digestive and other problems when they consume pasteurized milk, but have no trouble with raw milk. It’s not entirely clear why this is the case. The FDA insists that unpasteurized milk has no probiotic effect or any other characteristic that could explain this phenomenon. But the collective experience of raw milk consumers suggests otherwise. The Weston A. Price Foundation conducted an informal survey of over 700 families, and determined that over eighty percent of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance no longer suffer from symptoms after switching to raw milk. (7)

While this is certainly not rigorous evidence, it matches my own anecdotal experience and that of many of my patients, blog readers and radio show listeners.  I do not feel well when eat pasteurized dairy.  It gives me sinus congestion, headaches and intestinal discomfort.  Yet I thrive on raw dairy, and fermented raw dairy in particular played a substantial role in my own healing journey.

Is it possible that the millions of people that tolerate raw milk but not pasteurized milk are experiencing a massive placebo effect?  Sure.  Anything is possible.  But a likelier explanation is that raw milk has some quality that makes it easier to digest than pasteurized milk.  The fact that this has not been proven in clinical research doesn’t make it untrue.  Lack of proof is not proof against.

Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to wait long for more reliable evidence on this topic. A clinical study is currently being performed at Stanford University to help determine whether raw milk actually reduces the incidence of lactose intolerance. (8) The results have yet to be published, but will provide scientific evidence to support or refute the anecdotal claims of many raw milk drinkers.


There is substantial epidemiological evidence from studies in Europe that consumption of raw milk during childhood may protect against asthma, allergies and other immune-mediated diseases.

A large cross-sectional study demonstrated a significant inverse association between “farm milk” consumption and childhood asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, sensitization to pollen and other allergens. (9) While we must always remember that correlation does not prove causation, the findings were consistent across children from farming and non-farming environments, indicating that farm milk consumption may have had an independent effect on allergy development.

This protective effect may be related to the hygiene hypothesis, which I recently wrote about. It is thought that low dose exposure to a variety of commensal bacteria may help regulate immune responses outside the gut. Another hypothesis is that the higher level of omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed dairy, particularly in full-fat dairy products, may help reduce childhood atopy risk. (10)  More research is necessary before a definitive mechanism for a reduction in allergies in children drinking raw milk can be established.

Additionally, some research suggests that unpasteurized milk contains antimicrobial components absent in pasteurized milk. (11121314) These studies found that pathogens grow more slowly or die more quickly when added to raw milk than when added to heat-treated milk. This does not mean that raw milk cannot be contaminated with bacteria, nor does it mean that raw milk “kills pathogens”.

Rather, unpasteurized milk may be somewhat less susceptible to contamination than pasteurized milk due to its probiotic bacteria and antimicrobial enzymes.

The evidence for this is not conclusive, however, so there is no excuse for subpar hygiene standards when dealing with unpasteurized dairy products.


Many people think that raw milk has a superior flavor and texture to pasteurized, homogenized milk. They often use words like “fresh”, “real”, “alive” and “rich” to describe it. They also appreciate the subtle shift in the flavor of the milk through the seasons as the grasses change. Consumer research demonstrates that flavor is one of the top reasons that consumers choose raw milk in states where it is legal to buy. (1516) Emily Weinstein, blogging for The New York Times, describes her first raw milk experience:

The milk — oh man, the milk! — was creamy and full of flavors, not white like supermarket milk, but yellow-tinged. It was milk with a taste that wasn’t just defined by it texture — it was distinct, satisfying, delicious. All food should be like this, I thought, so natural it seems to redefine the word.

I’m sure those of you who drink raw milk can attest to the significant flavor differences between raw and conventional milk. While flavor alone is not reason enough for choosing raw milk, it is clearly a driving force in many consumers’ decisions.


Raw milk is almost exclusively produced by local farmers. A growing segment of the population is choosing to support local, family farms and businesses over multi-national conglomerates. There is significant economic potential in the direct sales of milk from small farms, which is often the method of producing and distributing unpasteurized milk in most states. (17) The direct sale of raw milk allows farmers to set a price that allows profit for the farm and equals the fair market value of the product for the consumer. (18) This way, farmers are able to cover their costs while still earning a living to support themselves and their families.

Consumers are reconnected with their food supply, and farmers are held accountable for their products, allowing for the stimulation of the local economy and the promotion of sustainable farming practices.


Similar to above, consuming milk that is produced by local farmers using sustainable methods has far less of an environmental impact than drinking milk produced in large confinement feeding operations thousands of miles away.  Conventional dairy operations are highly destructive to the environment. Air and water pollution from dust and feedlot manure, plus fertilizers and pesticides used in grain production, are damaging to the environment and to the health of farmers, farm workers, and nearby residents. (19) Manure runoff into water can cause the death of aquatic life, as well as contamination of drinking water by nitrate, harmful microorganisms, and antibiotics and hormones.

Raising dairy cows on well-managed pastures decreases soil erosion, increases soil fertility, and improves water quality due to decreased pollution. Cows grazing on pasture reduce the energy needed to grow grains or to mow, bale, and move hay, requiring less fuel consumption. (20) Sustainable small dairy farms that produce raw milk are much more environmentally friendly as compared to typical large-scale dairy farms that are energy intensive.


Cows that live on small farms and spend their days on green pasture are are much better off than those that live in overcrowded and inhumane “factory farm” conditions. This is important to those of us that care how animals are treated. When confined in small spaces under stressful conditions, cows often become ill and are treated with large quantities of antibiotics. (21) They are more prone to morbidity and mortality from diseases including dust-related respiratory conditions, metabolic diseases, and other ailments that can be directly attributed to their confined conditions, as well as their unnatural diet of corn, soy, and other grains. Pasture-raised cows have longer lifespans than conventionally raised cows, as corn-based diets contribute to health problems such as liver abscesses, and breeding practices designed to maximize milk production have caused reproductive problems. (22)

There are plenty of horror stories and disturbing videos that portray the inhumane treatment of cows in conventional dairy operations. (2324) By visiting small farms and purchasing raw milk from pastured cows, compassionate consumers can be assured that the animals are properly treated.

A personal decision

Any one of these reasons might be enough justification for choosing raw milk for a given individual or family. But when viewed together, it’s easy to understand why raw milk consumption has increased so significantly over the last two decades. Consuming unpasteurized milk and dairy products has several positive benefits that, for many people, may outweigh the possible risks. You must consider both the positive and negative qualities of raw milk consumption when making the decision for you and your family.

In the next article, I will discuss the important variables to consider when deciding whether raw milk is right for you and offer guidance on how to find a safe source of raw milk and minimize the potential risk, should you choose to consume it.


Join the conversation

  1. NAD+ is the acronym for coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a marker for mitochondrial and cellular health that is essential to sustaining life and which is found in virtually all living cells. NAD+ is an activated form of vitamin B3 and a substrate of enzymes implicated in longevity and DNA repair. NAD+ is involved in every bodily function and catalyzes more than a thousand metabolic reactions in organs and tissues. Cellular energy production depends on NAD+, a marker for mitochondrial and cellular health.

    NAD+ levels markedly decline with age, creating an energy deficit that decreases the body’s ability to retain youthful function. By age 50, a person may have only half the NAD+ they did in youth. By age 70, NAD+ levels drop to 25% of that expressed in youth.

    Milk is probably the best food source for NAD+ and its precursor NR. (Ketones from caprylic acid also increase NAD+). NAD+ is not damaged by pasteurization but it is destroyed by high temperature pasteurization. All the milk in the stores where I live has been subjected to high temperatures which destroys all NAD+ in the milk. No raw milk is available where I live. My only source of raw dairy is raw milk cheese which I buy direct from the farmer that makes it.

  2. The link to the Stanford study is dead, I think this what was intended:

    It suggests that raw milk didn’t help those with lactose intolerance benefit.

    I’d love to make some yogurt using a mixture of raw milk (goat, cow, sheep, camel), but I wonder if the bugs would play nice together or what happens when heated to make yogurt.

    Mad Cow disease is so scary, so assuming there are beneficial bugs in raw milk, is there any way to lower the number of potentially bad germs?

  3. From someone whose favourite drink was milk to someone who can not even touch milk. I recently decided to try pure milk and to my surprise I found that pure milk is fine no problems but pasturised gives me like many others very nasty problems. A lot of industrial “foods” contain powdered milk ie reconsituted…….with high amounts of lactose….include industrial yoghurts in these….and as powdered milk is cheap then this dehydrated lactose is added as a sweetner and aslo a bulking agent/ filler.
    A programme on French TV recently explained why the difference between “raw” milk and “pasturised”. The research led to believe that in industrial milk there is the DNA from over 30,000 different cows at any one time.

  4. This is all well and good. I prefer the taste and the nutritional value of raw milk and raw cream (even though it costs twice as much as pasteurized).

    However, the reality is that there is a higher risk of bacterial contamination than with pasteurized milk. For this reason, I buy raw milk only from dairies that test each batch of milk before it is shipped out. I would suggest that others do the same.

  5. I have a question about non-raw dairy for toddlers… sorry that this question is a little long-winded!! I love this series on raw milk and it was very influential getting me on the raw milk band wagon. Years later, I’m a (newish) mom with a 21 month old, and the realities of eating a perfectly clean and nourishing diet just aren’t as good as before. These days driving out of the way for an extremely expensive gallon of milk isn’t realistic for me. I still try to eat as healthy as possible and my toddler’s diet consists of plenty of nourishing foods: grass fed butter and meats, wild caught salmon, daily eggs, sauerkraut and kimchi, and as many veggies as I can get him to eat. He has plenty of fruit, almond or peanut butter, pepitas and sunflower seeds and rice during the week as well. We used to have normal full fat milk, full fat plain greek yogurt and cottage cheese in the fridge, but since then my health practitioner told me I have a dairy intolerance so I’ve been trying to cut that out. The problem is my toddler will literally BEG for milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt. He would eat A LOT of it if I let him just eat to his heart’s content. I’m worried that all that dairy is unhealthy for him but then wonder if he’s craving it because he needs it nutritionally. He is also self-weaning from breastmilk right now as I am pregnant. I would feel fine with him drinking raw milk as we have a very reliable source here, but like I said, it’s so expensive and out of the way. Any advice would be welcome and thank you in advance for your help!

    • Hi heather, I believe it all depends on how much you care about your health. Yes, it’s expensive, after taxes and gas, a gallon of raw organic milk cost me $10 which I drive 3 hours every other weekend to pickup 14 gallons ( it’s so sad that it’s illegal in my state and I can’t just pick it up at the grocery store). Personally I’ll never touch a gallon of pasteurized homogenized milk ever again because I believe it is more of a waste of energy for me to consume then nutritional benefit received. Pasteurized homogenized milk is denatured to the point it is fortified with vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption. Raw milk on the other hand I believe has the nutritious balance to allow your body to assimilate calcium without fortified vitamin D. I suggest doing some more research, as this is what has given the value of raw milk that I have now and is the reason why I will not settle for pasteurized homogenized denatured fortified preserved milk… if it is still milk.

    • Oh my gosh if your child is begging for raw dairy then for the love of God please give it to him – it shouldn’t be any inconvenience to get it – it is the best thing to give your child and you know it – don’t compromise his health for decades to come!

  6. When the United States government matures in their reasoning, and is not steered by the money which big business brings, and starts caring about the general health of the population, these silly antics will cease.
    One of the biggest reasons, that in European countries such as The Netherlands, raw milk is safe to drink, is because ALL dairy farms are government regulated and required to regularly bring in the veterinarians to check their cattle, inoculate them, make sure they are medicated according to stringent requirements, without big business trying to have correctly processed, healthy raw milk made illegal. I’ll give an example of how raw milk is introduced to butchers in training: They are all required to attend example farms, which follow procedures to the letter; and during the meals they have there, are given 100% raw milk to drink – straight from the cow. This is also, among other things, to introduce them to the quality difference in the output of healthy cows, and the potential greater profits from dairy products made from healthy raw milk. And as all people who have enjoyed healthy raw milk have experienced, there is a noticeable difference in both taste as well as color. And depending on the season, the flavor will be different. The whole “scare the unknowing public away from raw milk” thing is a farce. Simply because, big business milk, which comes from cows that are kept and fed feed in penns, has no way of competing with 100% grass-fed cattle. There is no way to surpass the experience of pure nature. Greed, then, is the main problem. Because when government gets its act together, and enforces the controls such as in Europe, raw milk will be safe 99.99% of the time. Simply because everyone is held accountable and the cost of failing to comply, is simply not something anyone wants to have to deal with.

  7. In the mid and late 1800’s, a number of doctors used intravenous raw-milk injections to cure terminal diseases. The fist injections were done in a cholera epidemic in Toronto Canada.
    I’ve found about 50 documented cases in the medical journals of the period. It seems to have been abandoned because they were using milk from grain-fed cows, which has a lower pH than milk from grass-fed cows. The acidic milk caused side effects. Another reason for abandoning the procedure was the introduction of intravenous saline solution.
    However, many patients were given intravenous milk on their death bed, and fully recovered.
    I will by happy to share my research with anybody with publishing or blogging ties. (Such as Chris Kresser)

  8. The reason I drink raw milk is because drinking pasteurized milk causes me stomach issues similar to having lactose intolerance (which I don’t think I have, I think I just have issues with fats and grease, since greasy foods give me similar issues). I have a lot of allergies, especially food allergies, and the fact that I’ve never had negative reaction to raw milk is truly astonishing to me.

  9. Does anyone on here know, or have any info on how raw milk could help with Crohn’s disease. I have moderate CROHN’s and refuse to take meds because I feel they only target symptoms. All I’ve read from other CROHN’s patients, I’m just not willing to risk the side effects!
    I have often wondered what the healing benefits of drinking raw milk would/could be!
    Would really appreciate anyone with any info., esp. anyone that has CROHN’s and drinks raw milk! Thanks In Advance

  10. Thought-provoking article ! I was enlightened by the info , Does anyone know if my assistant would be able to locate a template USPS PS 1000 copy to fill in ?

  11. Here in sub-continent , the milk man bring raw milk directly to the households from home raised cows or buffaloes in villages. People always boil it and let it cool before using it allowing a layer of cream to form on top of it. So they use unprocessed milk mostly but they also do boil it and it is there practice for centuries.

  12. I started drinking raw, organic, unpasteurised milk about a month ago. But, unfortunately, I developed mild symptom of food poisoning, because of the e-coli content in the raw milk. This was told by my doctor. He insisted that I boil (or at least get the raw milk to a minimum of 170 F before consuming.

    I may be ONE of those one-in-a-million people who have shown intolerance to raw milk, but not to pasteurised milk!

    • Srinivasa,

      If you have been drinking pasteurized milk your entire life, and did not gradually introduce your system to real milk, you most certainly will experience some side effects, as your body is reintroducing proper good bacteria into your guts! I doubt you got poisoned from e-coli, as there is very little evidence of that occurring from proper clean farms.

    • Might just have been the poor hygiene practice of the farm you got your raw milk from. My son got camplyobacter (sp) from a reputable raw milk farm here that sells in the store and we never went back to that. We found a local farmer who we can get it from and have been diligent in making sure his hygiene practices are up to par. He also tests his cows every few months. My son had protein issues with pasturized dairy and gluten from birth and since switching to raw cows and goats he hasn’t had any issues except for the camplyobacter from the store bought raw milk… Boiling it to 170 kills all the good stuff. Look into low heat pasteurization if you’re truly concerned.

  13. Hello!

    Thank you for all this great information. I am lactose intolerant and have been drinking soy milk or almond milk since I was 10 (I’m now 26). Occasionally I would sip a little milk, because I missed the taste, but my body always ended up very angry :). One day my mom heard about this dairy farm close to her house and decided to buy some raw milk. My family all raved how amazing it tasted and I had to have a sip to see what the fuss was about. 30, 40, 50 min went by and nothing; no stomach pain, no nausea and no irritability…it was odd. So I decided to have a half a glass and waited to see what would happen (I was a little nervous). Again nothing happened. I now drink it all the time and not one symptom. I had not read one thing online about this before drinking the milk. So I know it is not a placebo effect. Just thought I would share that. Thanks

    • Sam,

      I don’t think switching from pasteurized to raw milk has anything to do with your lactose intolerance. Milk has 12-13g of lactose regardless if it’s raw or pasteurized. You may not even be lactose intolerant. It is possible that you don’t handle the casein well and there two types of milk A1 and A2. You can read and learn about it on your own. The farmers that you get the milk from probably have only A2 cows like Jersey and Guernsey.

      • Yes there is a pssibility if lactose intollerance to pasturized milk and not to raw milk. Pasturized milk has had its natural lactase destroyed. Lactase is what we need to break down the lactose from my understanding from my research. There are different degrees of lacrose intollerance like those needing to go on the GAPS diet and have to have the lactose completely taken/destroyed from dairy but that is the extreme case of lactose intolerant.

  14. I enjoy the tone and thorough research going into this series! Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge Chris.

  15. Raw milk, luke warm/room temp, is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. I was lactose intolerant: swelling in nasal and throat after drinking within 15 minutes. I forced raw milk down, did a raw milk fast and after 2 days of being somewhat uncomfortable, the symptoms passed. No symptoms at all. Raw dairy may not “cure lactose intolerance” but it can certainly subside after sticking to it. The body will adjust. Everyone is different, but your body will eventually figure out that you are giving it something good.

    I wanted to share this link to this article, since you can’t comment on it there, but im going to comment on it here: this article below is the nonsense that pollutes the web. Nowhere in this article is there mention of raw milk. The person that wrote it is talking about pasteurized milk. Well, yea, thats not good for humans, as its been ruined. But this article is nonsense and gets a lot of hits from the SURPS. Its bogus! Spread the word: http://www.raw-food-health.net/Milk-And-Health.html

  16. We started drinking ‘raw’ milk two weeks ago, and I have noticed a massive change in my digestion, no more stomach pain and bloating after drinking the milk. Before drinking ‘raw’ milk or as its called in Australia ‘pet milk’ I would suffer from stomach pain within 20mins after consuming ‘dairy’, i tried lactose free light UHT milk just for cereal, and hot drinks,but after drinking that for 6 mths I started to get stomach pains again. the doctor told me that i would have to start having lactese tablets after each time of having dairy, which work out expensive.
    I dont have any stomach pain, nor bloating after drinking ‘raw milk’ and my bowels have returned to normal. I have returned back to normal sleeping habits and I noticed my son’s asthma is much better also. It makes the best yoghurt and we also buy raw cream for our butter making.. Fully recommend it, shame our govt. cant get on board too

    • I love raw milk and make kefir with it. But, I am having second thoughts because of the milk producing process. Even from the best of raw milk farms I don’t know that I can agree to the removal of the calf from a mother so I can drink the milk instead. And then the mom cow gets pregnant again eventually and the process starts again. I guess I always thought we were “sharing”. How do others feel about this?

      • Well I for one know that as a young mother who nursed her child, I certainly didn’t have to get pregnant again to continue nursing. How much milk I produced was entirely dependent upon how much expelled each day. In addition to what my son directly consumed, I also pumped a few bottles to store. We continued like that for nearly a year, when life happened and during a move he got a more bottles than me for a couple days and decided the bottle was better (I believe it’s not as much work for the child, lol). But I’d have happily gone on nursing longer if he’d wanted it. So it’s not that you are getting milk that the calf won’t get….dairy cows can feed calves as well as earn their keep on the farm. I know that from my grandparents farm, some mother cows (actually it happens with all animals) just don’t have a good maternal instinct. So calves might be removed for all sorts of reasons. Have a read below….


      • After the “cow” starts nursing the calf, and the calf is old enough to be weaned ” start eating solid food” you just keep milking the cow to keep her udder from drying up and to keep her producing milk. You don’t kick the calf to the curb so you can take the milk. You just pick up where the calf leaves off. Also as long as you will drain the udder of the cow everyday she will keep producing milk with no harm to the cow.

        • Thanks Charles. I also can’t abide by the male calves being sold for veal. I am limiting my dairy consumption because of this. Even a raw milk farm sells the males.

          • Yep and I buy those calves from a farmer
            I buy milk powder pellets 7 in one and some other stuff and I keep them for about two years
            But I will never buy vealer from a butcher
            There is nothing wrong when buying those little bobby calves from farmers to small time hobby farms like me and the wife

      • We have one Jersey cow currently fresh—producing milk. She makes enough each day for her calf, another calf she’s adopted, and our family of 4. A Holstein cow produces about double the volume of a Jersey.

        There’s enough milk to go around. 😊

  17. Glad to see this topic come up. I’d given up drinking conventional milk. Not because I had any particular problems digestion it….I just didn’t care for the taste. Then last fall I came across some Mennonite farmers that sell raw dairy products (as well as grass fed meat, eggs from pastured chickens, and various fermented foods). Since my grandparents and aunts & uncles all had farms when I was growing up, I had no fear of raw milk. So I decided to give it a try. Interestingly, I’d also sent in a uBiome sample just a few weeks after I found these farmers. I just got my results from my second sample (after 4 months of my diet coming predominantly from raw milk & other dairy, pastured meat & eggs, and organic/non-GMO veggies). The shift to a healthier balance and more diverse population in my gut was outstanding! I didn’t get sick this winter either!

    • I’ve continued to flourish drinking raw milk! I’ve actually doubled my weekly consumption because, a couple months ago, I started making raw milk kefir with grains I got from the farmers. It’s outstanding. If you find a good source, don’t be afraid of raw milk!

  18. Hi,

    I just wanted to thank the author and all contributing commenters. Raw milk, from grass-fed, pasture roaming cows is good stuff. It is one of the few foods that I can literally feel giving me nutrition(i eat a vegetarian diet primarily). It fills me up without having to eat and gives my skin a color I did not have before. It is a clear fact that the government of the US is, for some reason, scared of people having access to such a healthy food. Most likely due to pressure from factory-farmed Big Dairy Industry. Just imagine, if everyone knew how great it was and bought it locally, the whole industry of crap-fake-milk would be obselete. Healthful blessings to all.


  19. Just FYI..I know there is an enormous prejudice against the “usual goaty taste” of goat milk…which yes-me-a dairy goat owner for 30 years now- can’t stand either…

    AND-over many years of dealing with these animals (all breeds of the dairy)-for our climate-and Eco-sytem-I’ve stuck with the alpine/alpine crosses and LOVED the milk…and so do others-who don’t know they are consuming it till its gone. 🙂
    For a single family or group of families-a dairy goat is much more efficient, economical and less problematic in amounts and consistency of manure waste, breeding needs and space-just to name a few.
    I won’t go into it here-but the taste is MOSTLY genetic (how fast the capriolic acid enzyme cycle begins), and definitively dietary, as well as when you milk in relation to when they consume strong flavored feed (including really good alfalfa)…
    This is also true with cows-so goats get a lot of blame they shouldn’t.

    I have over the years bred does that have a very long lactation (3 years or more)-which means I don’t have to deal with kids or bucks all the time. I milk once a day once past the 3-5 month stage-and a good milker will stay above the half gallon a day for several years without re breeding. (YES-ALL dairy animals are Genetically modified to have over productive pituitary glands that over produce lactation stimulating hormones)
    I “share” my bounty (bootie!) with several other friends and neighbors-which makes the critters pay for themselves and then some with the good milk-and yes (shut your ears…) meat.

    They need and deserve a good life-lots of information on that anywhere-but if you are pressed for space, and all the other things that come with a full grown cow (including WAY more milk in one milking than any given family could deal with in a day unless they have lots of ways to go with it)…think about a goat.

    It is all livestock-and will require heavy investment in time, energy, feed, education/experience and basic care of feet, housing and space-but at a much reduced rate over the needs of a cow…and-with the right critter-we don’t get that “goaty flavor” for up to three weeks…and believe me-we’ve experimented around with genetics and milking/storage, and feed/mineral supplementation a LOT over the years.

    • Yes, so many people have a built-in prejudice against goat milk. They do not realize that good raw milk varies in taste depending on genetic and environmental influences regardless of the species being milked. This is part of the beauty of raw milk; it is much like a fine wine or extra virgin olive oil in that regard. One can taste the land upon which they roam as well as seasonal variations within the milk.

  20. “Yet I thrive on raw dairy, and fermented raw dairy in particular played a substantial role in my own healing journey.” Raw milk does the body good 🙂 thanks for sharing Chris. My family and I have started a raw milk dairy just recently, a long a waited dream come true! Please check out our website and follow the action http://www.bossyacres.club/ Thank you 🙂

  21. I use to think I had lactose intolerance because I never handled conventional dairy well, I would get bloated and just feel sick, so I stopped consuming it for many years. After trying Raw milk, I discovered it gives me no problems at all and I actually thrive on it! Industrial Dairy farms are disgusting and wreaking havoc on peoples health, we need to find a better way.

  22. I have had raw milk and cream for 18 days now and i have not had diarrhea for 18 days. I had diarrhea daily for months prior to switching to raw milk.

  23. I would just like to say to all the naysayers…. I have Crohns disease and at 19 had to have my large intestine removed. At 21 I had fistulas all down my small intestine … Basically holes in your intestine leaking stool in places you don’t want stool to go… When I talked to the doctors they wanted to either put me on more medication (which I had already been on all of it) and if that didn’t work remove more of my small intestine and get fitted with an illeostomy bag…. Which is absolutely crazy for the 21st century. I decided F that and started doing my own research. After switching to the Specific Carb Diet (which took 4 months to see any results so it doesn’t happen over night) and introducing raw dairy (after being on the diet for 6 months) I have ZERO intestinal issues. I’m just sad that our medical doctors knew this stuff and I’m sad I lost my large intestine for no reason. Raw milk is NOT the enemy. Ignorant doctors and politicians are….

    • Lizzy, How do you discover fistulas in the small intestine. When my small intestines hurt and feel inflamed, my whole body hurts and I get real dizzy and tired. Some would call it leaky gut, but Im not so sure that so commonly used word now a days is true. Im trying to get the pillcam so they can see everything in my small intestine that the colonoscopy and endo couldn’t see

  24. We made the switch almost 2 years ago. I could never go back to grocery store milk. We had a Campylobacter issue at the farm we get our milk from, so we had to buy local pasteurized non homogonized milk from a local grocer, and we hated it.. we do not like the smell of organic grocery store milk, and at least the Traders Point Creamery milk from the store did NOT have that stinch, but our family will buy a cow, if the day comes we cannot buy fresh real milk from a local humane, sustainable farmer.

  25. I wonder about raw, grass-fed milk and meat consumption with regards to tick-born diseases/Lyme disease and co-infections…anyone have thoughts or know of any studies?

    • yes, I am thinking about that with free range eggs, too, since I like them soft-boiled but would not want more Lyme or co-infection organisms in me, thank you very much! chickens love bugs and ticks!

  26. The author states that raw milk only comes from cows that are on pasture. Also the he says that cows in confinement do not eat grass but grain concentrates. Both of these statements are false! Raw milk is any milk that has not been pasturized from a confinement or a pasture setting. In addition cows in confinement do eat grass. Now they do not eat grass dirrectly from the field, but the farmer harvestes the forage/grass and stores it then feeds it to the cow. I know this from growing up on a dairy. Also, most cows in a pasture setting get some kind of grain concentrate. This is because cows that are on pasture cannot always get enough energy just from grass to maintain there body weight and produce milk, so to keep the cow healthy the farmer feeds the cow grain.
    Now, on a pasture setting cows do get fed less grain than those in confinement setting, but they also produce less milk.

  27. This article is so opinionated it makes me more sick than getting milk right out of a cow’s udders. Be smart people. If nothing else, don’t force your kids to drink raw milk. Let them wait until they are old enough to make their own stupid choices.

    • Why are you typing negative comments with nothing to back it up? I drink a couple gallons of raw grass fed milk every week, never felt better. I was born with eczema and genetic mutation from my parents eating a S-tandard A-merican D-iet. Healed it with Weston A. Price indigenous superior nutrition research and mostly drinking raw milk every week. Skin glows now, strong, love it. Grow up. Do your research about living and DEAD pasteurized foods.

      • http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm079516.htm




        I’m a medical student who has taken several courses in microbiology and immunology. Everything I’ve learned comes from credible, scientific sources. I’ve included just a few of the many that can help educate you. I’m glad you haven’t had any problems with it. As you can see, the people most at risk are young children and the elderly. I’ll say it again, don’t force children to drink raw milk. Wait until they’re old enough to make their own life threatening choices.

        • And yet we give our kids all sorts of horrific processed foods and sweets that do far more damage than a natural product like raw milk without being warned by the medical profession that is not at all upto date on the current scientific thinking. Eg fat and sugar.

        • I do honour you for taking the time to comment. What you need to learn though is that some things just aren’t as clear cut as they appear. I felt like you as a medical student and as a young doctor, but with experience came some wisdom. Your teachers teach what they believe in. You nearly never get access to other sources. And who would have the time to look …
          You show the arrogance of the young, you’ll learn 🙂 May your enthusiasm let you become a great doctor!
          (How I sometimes want to go back to all this moms and apologize for my juvenile arrogance as a young and enthusiastic pediatritian …

        • Hmmm, I get that you’re a medical student and you are basically sharing the exact article that has already been shared in “the opinionated” article… BUT a “medical” specialist from a children’s hospital (not an alternative medicine,naturalist or herbalist) has recommended that I give my daughter raw milk due to some issues she has with her digestion of dairy, and eczema. Now they did state that I should introduce it slowly,basically a little bit per day. They had said that now a days to many people jump into the whole bandwagon of “lactose intolerant” drink “soy,almond,lactaid” or whatever. That getting back to our NATURAL roots and ways of eating is what we should be doing, it worked back in history and there was no such thing as lactose intolerant,allergies,gut problems. What about the Amish who still eat this way and drink Raw milk? As long as you know how to use,and store it,it is perfectly safe.

        • Tyler I would not consider the FDA or CDC credible sources at all “my opinion”. Same sources that allow an estimate of 9 million Americans to get sick from food borne illnesses. So you keep eating your CAFO food.

        • Yet we allow children to drink drinks that contain aspartame, which has NEVER been proven to be safe. If anything, the only reason it is allowed to be in our foods is because the FAD director of the time got PAID OFF. I don’t care if you’re learning to become a doctor, you don’t know everything. We sometimes consume things far more dangerous than raw milk, and the FDA ALLOWS it.

        • My dad’s a doctor and my ex-husband was one. I know he had less than 2 days spent in medical school on nutrition. If you research the history of recent medical education you’ll find that the Rockefeller family donated much money to medical schools (and public education before that) and managed through charity and endowments to change the direction of healing and the use pharmaceuticals. They also managed to use their snake oil to make a number of medicines.

          I urge you to follow that rabbit trail. I have great respect for the medical profession, but I feel there’s been a lot of manipulation by the powerful that has led to some questionable practices – while there have also been wonderful discoveries and great progress.

        • Pesticides are “scientific,” herbicides are “scientific.” A great many of the pharmacological products you’ll be pushing to your patients will be “scientific.” Ah yes, they also all have contraindications as well as side effects that at times border on insane. As someone who has spent the last 15 years in the health care field allow me to offer an opinion. Medicine in the western world is outstanding at post traumatic intervention and utterly abysmal at illness prevention. We flat out suck at it.

          Why? Simple. There’s far less money in non-medicated, natural illness prevention.

          I’ve been increasingly shocked, over time, with the number of life altering and sometimes deadly side effects of pharmacological intervention, which mind you have typically passed 10 years of clinical trials and hundreds of millions in investment before coming to market. This is “science,” technically.

          If you graduate and become licensed I’m not sure what route you’ll go, but you’ll always directly or indirectly affect patients/people with your advice (or lack thereof) and decisions. You owe it to yourself and your future legacy as a health care provider to continuously be curious and research and not blindly follow the established protocol. Especially when the macro results of such protocol result in the wide spread health declines of our society over the past century.

        • My mother lived to be 101 years! She grew up on “raw” cow’s milk. Ate a lot of collard greens or as she called them, “greens” and yes, cooked with lard! She was extremely active until 100 years. Even at 100 she wrote poetry, cooked and had beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. She didn’t die from “raw” food, she eventually died from old age. i am trying to follow in her footsteps. i am 71, extremely active, run a non profit, have 9 children (seven adopted). I eat organic. I also eat a lot of “greens” and drink a lot of DELICIOUS raw milk, cow and goat! I take no medication, my blood pressure is perfect and I feel great! Look on Weston A Price web and locate an area somewhere in your state where you too can buy raw products. You will have to become a member, but it is so well worth it. Have a healthy! Rebecca

    • What really make me sick is that the Brainwashed Sheep believe that Government Milk is safer for you, and they offensively attempt to deride and belittle the ones that have opposing views. I’m going to turn the table on you, as it is quite the opposite. Read about the Deadly consequences of drinking Pasteurized & Homogenized Milk. Since I have been drinking Real Milk & Not Government Milk, the skin issues on my body have cleared up after suffering more than 30 years. Not one dermatologist was able to diagnose my condition other than to say that I was allergic to something. I found out that I was allergic to Government Milk. No other changes were made to my diet or lifestyle. It Was the Deadly Milk that I was Drinking. Pasteurized, Homogenized Synthetic Vitamin D Milk. It was supposedly USDA Organic though, so they claim. It was $6.98 per gallon for that poison, and only $7.25 a gallon for the Grass Fed Jersey Cow Milk. I see the cows that I get my milk from every week. They are Beautiful Jerseys. The farmer has a small herd of only about 15 or so cows. He is extremely nice and the cleanliness of his operation is unsurpassed. Go ahead and drink your “poison” A1 Holstein Cow Milk like I did, before I “woke up” and Smelled the Milk. Got Real Milk? YES I DO! Woo Hoo!

      • Right there with you! Perfectly stated! I love my country but was very taken aback at their food regulatory practices…do you also notice how real cow milk satisfies as well….yum!

      • I have begun to steal a litre of milk from one of our breeder cows (for rearing calves) which is quite tame. It takes a while, but to see the difference between shop milk and my cow’s lovely raw milk is incredible. The cream content is obviously so much higher as the milk is more yellow. The calf does not drink a fraction of what this cow produces and I am saving wastage! It is irrational that the supposed dangers of using raw milk results in it’s sale being banned in Australia, while alcohol is freely sold around every corner and causes untold damage to thousands of innocent victims of alcoholism all over the world. Makes sense? Not a bit.

    • Let me liven this up a bit. I am battling breast cancer…stage three, five surgeries in one year…lots of high dose chemo and long term targeted chemo….i worked in high stress positions in the medical field and fed myself processed, packaged, and basically dead food….the epi-genetics of my case are possible for anyone….keep feeding yourself crap and living the high stress no time for anything lifestyle and you will develop that which you happen to be genetically pre disposed to. Raw, pasture fed milk has helped me heal from my surgeries…handle the chemo related arthritis pain (without ANY pain meds) it has improved my sleep and my intestinal function…so, natural is called natural for a reason..no one should have to learn after the fact as i did…I believe the key to raw milk is to know your source and if they use safe clean handling practices…oh, by the way….my raw milk is healing my fathers failing health issues quite rapidly as well…he suffers from a type of lupus…its been six weeks and he is thriving on this addition to his diet. Dont hate…EDUCATE!

    • Our cattle ARE 100% GRASSFED. They have not had grain EVER. Obviously there will be seed heads from grasses in the pasture. They are some of the healthiest on the planet

      They are Heritage Breeds and consequently were not “Bred Up” to be a part of the feedlot system.

      The meat and RAWMILK from these 100 % Grassfed and Grassfinished cattle are superior to all CAFO meat, and conventional pasteurized dairy.

      I would sincerely urge you to immerse into the Accurate knowledge of raw life giving foods


    • Tyler, you are fighting a losing battle. It’s been proven that people will accept “proof” that they believe in and ignore scientific evidence that they don’t (Dunning-Kruger). I dare say the people in Tarboro, NC, (19 of which died from Listeriosis from raw milk) would agree that pasteurization is needed.

  28. I would like more info on grass fed cows and the benefits of their milk and meat.

    I’m asthmatic and on steroids so calcium is important to me.

    • Linda , you do” not” want to be on steroids , whatever the health condition you have find an “herb “, herbs are the way ,with no real side effects , and whole grass fed cows milk is one of the healthiest foods one can put into their body .

  29. Very Little faith I put into any the Federal Government decides what is Best for us, they require Wheel barrows to be Labeled, Not for Highway Use,, I will Always buy Raw Milk, Honey, anything that has not been Tampered with by Humans

  30. Great share on pure milk. Pride of cows is freshest form of milk. It delivers pure cow’s milk at our doorstep within hours of milking that too without compromising on the quality and purity of the milk.

  31. Raw milk is no more dangerous than plenty of other things we can buy freely at the store. People should do whatever the hell they want, and raw milk farmers should be able to supply their product with a warning label. We are all free to make the decisions that we want after doing our research.
    Personally, I do not drink a lot of milk but if I do, I prefer raw. Why? Because having a cup of pasteurized milk will send me running to the bathroom with stomach cramps and diarrhea within 30 minutes whereas I can enjoy as much raw milk as I want without consequence. For those non-believers, call it placebo or psychological, but whatever it is, I just know that I prefer to NOT have stomach cramps and the big D.

  32. Here in the Uk the situation is similar to in the USA though things are starting to change. If slowly. In the past we were told by the “experts” that all eggs were full of cholesterol and salmonella and should only be eaten occasionally if at all. Now we are being told that eggs are a super food, contain the “right” sort of cholesterol and should be part of a balanced diet. Up until recently fat on meat was being lumped together with nuclear waste as something that should be avoided at all costs. Now we are told the initial science behind the claims was “flawed”. Fat it seems is actually good for us! It is far more than just empty calories.
    Raw milk (I believe) is about to become the next super food. Pasteurisation and homogenisation kills and denatures this amazing living product that has sustained humanity for generations. Raw milk is not just a combination of fats, proteins and carbohydrates that the big food processers would have us believe but a complex mix of bacteria, enzymes etc. and a whole load of other things that work together in a way that we still don’t understand. The evidence is mounting that raw milk can protect against cancer, food allergies, heart disease, asthma and a whole range of other ailments in ways that we are just starting to discover.
    I drink raw Jersey milk straight from the cow. It tastes delicious and will keep for nearly a week in the fridge. I also convert some into Keffir and make butter and Yogurt. Even when it goes “off” it just goes sour rather than rancid. I am still very much alive!
    The reason raw milk has been vilified over the years is probably partially down to the big milk processors who cannot cope with “live” milk and the food police who need o justify their jobs. Both groups it would seem exaggerate any negative evidence and ignore the positive and at least some of the science is just plain wrong!
    I am not saying that raw milk cannot make you ill. Any milk produced under dirty conditions can but with modern dairy practices it is unlikely. At 7am this morning the dairy inspector arrived unannounced to check the dairy. Milk is tested before it is transferred to the tanker and at regular intervals on the farm. As a farmer I do not want my customers to become ill not least because it will put me out of business.
    What we need is some common sense. People should be given the information to make an informed choice as to whether or not they want raw milk. If they decide they do then they have to accept any risks involved no matter how slight. Farmers should then be allowed to supply it.
    I can quite legally go out and buy tobacco products and alcohol. I can buy a fast car. I can go rock climbing or white water canoeing. If I do any of these and get ill or killed the fault is mine. I know the risks and have made a reasoned decision.
    The supply of raw milk should be exactly the same.
    In the UK dairy farmers are really suffering because of the low prices paid by the big processors. Selling to a big dairy the price is (for Jersey milk) about 36p a litre and for normal milk about 24p. Raw milk sells for £1.65 a litre collected from the farm!
    With raw milk everybody wins.

    • Are you also making sure that your cows aren’t eating poisonous plants? I know that that was a big problem in America in the 1800’s.

  33. As a farmer I would feel terrible if one of my customers or children got ill from our milk. We take the best care we can of ensuring the cow and the milker are healthy, the udder and the milk is clean and milk is immediately chilled. We throw out any questionable milk instead of pasteurizing it. But we also give our customers all the info on the risks of raw milk and how to pasteurize milk so they can decide for themselves. In our home we drink plenty of raw and cooked milk and butter.

    Seems to me that a few bad bacteria are easily handled by healthy people, and that may even be good for your overall immune health. But when bacteria are allowed to multiply in any type of warm milk they can quickly get out of control. I’m surprised that prior to sterile techniques, ice boxes and refrigeration more people did not get sick from raw milk.

    What is really interesting to me is placing a glass of raw milk next to a pasteurized milk and seeing which one sours faster, in the fridge and on the counter. The raw milk usually wins by lasting several days longer. See http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2012/07/scientists-find-new-culprits-spoil-milk

    • Here is Australia you can easily buy non-homogenised organic milk from grass fed cows which is pasteurized.

      But we have had a baby killed by E. coli from being given raw milk. That baby had no say in whether he wanted to ‘take a small risk’ or not.
      Read what this mum says after her toddler’s life was saved in intensive care after he had a few sips of her raw milk smoothie:

      Perhaps in the US you should support farmers doing non-homogenised organic milk from grass fed cows, rather than raw milk. Perhaps people would find it just as good from a gut symptom point of view.
      At the very least I urge you to not give raw milk to children unless it is straight from the cow in front of you.

  34. I had a question about Raw milk and that was I had heard a rumor that it actually broke up the plaque in arties, compared to store bought milk with was supposed to contribute to the plaque problem.

    Is there any truth to either thing I am asking about?


  35. “…we took a closer look at the claims made by groups like the FDA and CDC that raw milk is “dangerous”.”

    Sure you did.

    The FDA and CDC aren’t “groups”. The views of the FDA and CDC are backed by over a hundred years of peer reviewed science. Not anecdotal nonsense and new-age wishful thinking.

    Farmers sell raw milk to gullible fools, almost always for more than a good gallon of fine, pasteurized, organic milk at the grocery store. They are a disgrace to honest dairymen.

    • Actually, by definition, they ARE groups. Like ALL governmental statistics, they are swayed by the lobbyists that keep them in office. Go Big Dairy to keep the myth alive!

    • Bob, human civilization consumed raw milk for thousands of years. Do you research please ^_^

      Check your genealogy and see how long your ancestors lived, you will be surprised I bet 🙂

    • Well thanks for your honest and no doubt unbiased opinion Bob, but generally speaking, I can’t recall the last time an armed raid was carried out on a factory farm in response to an e-coli outbreak, yet they seem to happen routinely to co-ops dispensing raw milk who have perfect records.

      As a result, it’s literally easier for me to buy heroin where I live than raw milk, which I need to drive to the outskirts of town to obtain, under arrangements with the farmer which exist in the margins of legality in order to protect them from being shut down.

      When the industrial revolution drove people off agricultural land and into large cities, people stopped consuming most fresh foods. In response to milk spoilage during its transport by rail into urban areas, 2 independent approaches were undertaken. One was a campaign of sanitation, which actually achieved great strides, the other was the advent of pasteurization. Both required cold storage during transportation. Pasteurization permitted sloppy haphazard handling prior to packaging. Guess which one was cheaper and easier? Now most people don’t even realize there was ever anything other than cooked, decidedly unhealthful milk.

      On a side note, you know what I’d like to see? Indelible date stamps on each individual grocery store egg. There’s no technical or economical reason this is not feasible, other than it will expose the practice of repackaging unsold eggs week after week for god knows how long, until the shell is brittle and the yolk membrane is wrinkly. There’s really no valid excuse not to. Where’s the decade of peer reviewed blah-dee-blah of the FDA and CDC on the side of the consumer on that one Bob?

  36. Extremely interesting conversation.

    Raw milk is new to us in the UK for the same reasons as it’s new to a lot of customers the US. In Italy, however, most farmers producing milk from organic pastures now sell raw milk from self-service vending machines on their farms.

    We started buying raw milk for two reasons, both concerned with flavour – not simply that it tastes better, although it does. It’s unhomogenised, so you can fight for the cream at the top of the bottle or be altruistic, shake the bottle and feel good about yourself. And using the Italian vending machine our local farmer has bought, you can dispense it into glass bottles which prevents the taste being at least damaged and at worst ruined by the plastic bottles universally used to package pasteurised milk.

    We also like the idea that someone who is working hard to produce the best possible product from a dairy herd is getting a fair reward for it, which is totally untrue of milk sold to supermarkets.

    Two good enough reasons for switching without getting involved in the health issues about which I was more than sceptical. However, if you read the statistics aright, health actually tips the balance in favour of raw milk.


    Though I swore I wouldn’t make health claims, two long term digestive problems have disappeared from our family in the two years we have been drinking raw milk. One concerned heartburn and indigestion which now appears to be a thing of the past and the other – well never mind.

    I’m still sceptical about health claims but living and breathing the same air as the dairy herd, living with the same organisms and drinking the same water might well be a large part of the beneficial effect. Who knows?

    The most important thing for us is that raw milk finally offers farmers a margin which produces a fair return for their work, which in turn produces significant benefits to communities beyond the contribution to health.

    And when we have proper studies, it may turn out that there are significant health benefits as well.

  37. Drinking raw milk is a personal decision. I grew up on a medium size dairy farm in Alabama many years ago (I’m currently 66 years old). For the first 18 years of my life, I drank nothing but raw milk. It was great. Most of the milk I consumed was less than 24 hours old. It was never more than 36 to 48 hours old. The milk was stored in a large refrigerated stainless steal tank that was big enough to hold two days of milk from 150-180 cows. The temperature was maintained at 36-38 degrees. The milk was picked up by the processing company every other day. The milk from the cows went directly into a glass Pyrex pipeline and then to the stainless steel tank.

    Since the milk was being sold for drinking purposes (not making cheese), the milk and the dairy had to meet very high standards of cleanliness. If you failed to meet the cleanliness standards, you had to either sell to the cheese factory or dump the milk. The cows don’t stop producing milk just because you don’t meet the cleanliness standards :-).

    With that background, I’m not sure I would rush out and buy raw milk today. If my dad still had a producing dairy farm, I would certainly drink the raw milk from his herd. That is because I know what went into producing the milk and how it was handled. It takes a lot of work to produce “clean” milk. To drink raw milk from anywhere else, I would definitely have to see how they produce and handle their milk. When I was growing up, we lived close to some other dairy farms. For the most part, I would not drink the milk from the other farms. They certainly didn’t have as clean of an operation as my dad. Some of them had to sell their milk to the cheese factory.

    Is there a lot of risk to drinking raw milk? Absolutely! You should personally check out the place producing and selling the milk. If you see something you don’t like or something that looks risky, pass on it.

  38. Me and my family grew up drinking raw milk! And we never get sick! It’s because we develop an immunity to certain bugs and viruses. I still drink raw milk every day because it’s better than the pasturized crap!
    Drinking raw milk helps your immune system. If u get sick from drinking raw milk …then u know u hav a terrible immune system!

    • My son isartistic and asked burgers and have digestive system problem in allergic to a lot of food is the reason why I’m trying to try this so if you have any feedback or any place that you know that sell raw milk please email melet me know where I can get it and how much it cost

      • Again my son is autistic and has other syndromes that go with that and he has digestive system problems and is bipolar ADHD

          • It is very important that your son have A2 dairy products only (A2 cows, goats, sheep, buffalo, camel). Most all US cows are A1. Your son is likely very sensitive to the BCM7 (how we digest A1 milk). Read the book, The Devil in the Milk, by Keith Woodford and check out his website. Raw is the best of course but more important in milk is the cow. Is the cow an A1 or A2 cow. After you know you have A2 cows then you want to know what the cow is fed and lastly pasteurization. You may buy cheese/butter/dairy from France and Italy (they have A2 cows). Hope this is helpful.

        • I drink raw milk and so do my kids. MORE people get sick by regular milk than raw milk. Raw milk farms are CLEAN, Conventional milk farms are covering in cow shit. When kids died from raw milk back in gnu twenties, it was because peddles delivered cheap milk in buckets to make money off the poor. Doctors and surgeons once operated without washing hands. Should we stop all operations because of their mistakes??

  39. Interesting comments, all. I grew up on raw goats milk. Goats are pretty seasonal milkers usually, so when milk was short at home we got raw cow milk from the neighbor. My parents did not want us drinking pasteurized milk.

    Watching what we used to call “city people” talk about animal husbandry is funny. Pus in milk now is because of overcrowding, overmilking, and trying to maximize everything so much that the cows are much more prone to udder infections. Pasteurizing, like other modern treatments, makes pus and manure filled milk safe to drink.

    I am lucky enough to be out in the countryside and able to have a couple of goats that keep us in fresh milk. I care for them, do the milking, and don’t worry about pus and manure. I pity you city people somewhat, but on the other hand, there is not room for all of us out here.

    • Better not eat spinach either. Or lettuce. Maybe stay out of the pool. Make sure you boil all your water as it might have E-coli. Better yet, don’t leave the house. Better to be safe then sorry.

    • Really? all these stories but one are from people who got an e. coli infection. e. coli is everywhere. You are more likely to get if from an undercooked hamburger, improperly washed lettuce, or drinking Tampa tap water. News flash: if that scare-site elevates your concerns, then you also shouldn’t drive a car, because someone might crash into you! just sayin…

  40. It’s easy to dismiss the words of even organizations like the CDC when they are the same group who tries to tell us that it is dangerous to not mutilate the genitals of baby boys. I have no doubt that the scientific process works, and honestly most of us here aren’t in a position to locate the human error in the studies. All we know, in regard to raw milk consumption, is the benefits we personally experience.

  41. This is disgusting. Typical quack advocacy of something dangerous and unproven.

    Twisting of statistics is irresponsible, and this article is putting people at risk! Untreated (raw) milk has all sorts of undesirables in it, including pus and other nasties.

    I’d like to also point at dismissing the FDA (government agency filled with scientists who study food) is purely idiotic.

    Pasteurisation is simply boiling. If you don’t want to pasteurise, you may as well not cook anything at all. Or just go raw vegan.

    This is absolutely appalling, and probably from the same bunch of idiots that are anti vaccine.

    • Dr. Harrison Ford…you are a clown. Your FDA has approved food products that contain carcinogens and neurotoxins. Nobody ever had milk allergies until humans started ‘producing’ your healthy milk. I suppose B-17, DMSO, MSM, Shark Cartilage, gershwin diet and alkaline diet are all useless in treatment of cancer?? Your FDA foods cause cancer you wanker. It’s self absorbed and self serving turds like you that are depriving the world of cures.
      Great article. The knowledge of benefits of raw milk is now wide spread. Cheers

      • “shark cartilage”
        No. Shark cartilage has been conclusively, nigh-incontrovertibly proven to be an idiotic and expensive scam that directly caused the deaths of millions of sharks and the collapse of innumerable ecosystems. This whole thing about shark cartilage started with people claiming that “sharks don’t get cancer.” That is false. This falsehood originated with an observation that cartilage in general has strong antiangiogenic properties, i.e., it is highly effective in blocking the growth of new blood vessels. Malignant tumors need greatly increased angiogenesis so as to provide the rapidly dividing cells with the nutrients they require. In several studies, the surgical insertion of rabbit cartilage next to cancerous tumors in mice and other animals prevented the growth of said tumors. Calf cartilage produced similar results, as did shark cartilage. The researchers involved with these studies used shark cartilage solely because sharks have skeletons comprised entirely of cartilage, and thus initially appeared to be a decent source of cartilage.

        This research was seized upon and bastardized by William Lane, who wrote a book called “Sharks Don’t Get Cancer.” Spoiler alert: sharks get cancer. Lane knowingly deceived millions to peddle his shark cartilage pills that have absolutely zero effect on tumors of any kind. He is, in part, responsible the continued destruction of the entire superorder of sharks. If you have ever purchased these cartilage pills, or encouraged anyone to do so or even supported them in any way whatsoever, you are also responsible.

        This is important stuff. The fact that you were so easily fooled by a blatant falsehood is compelling evidence that each of the other “scientific” claims you made warrant your increased attention. You’ve made an argument from authority, and you clearly have zero authority on even the most basic of scientific and ethical principles.

    • Hi Harrison,
      I do better with raw milk than pasteurized milk,.. and I do better with unhomogenized milk than homogenized milk.
      A matter of health, how my body responds; most noticeable with sexual vitality the older one gets(I’m age 47), and resistance to getting sick and diseases of accretion, such as atherosclerosis and other diseases of unhealthy ‘accumulation’.
      Disease organisms can exist more readily in raw milk, but it’s a chance I accept. The sanitation and health of raw dairies is paramount.

      • This a great point, as it seems to suggested that the homogenisation process actually makes the particle size smaller to it is more likely to pass through the gut wall. Could the anecdotal correlation between better digestion and drinking raw milk be because pasteurised milk is nearly always homogenised and raw is not.

    • You are an uninformed consumer that believes whatever the government tells you. I have actual proof. Raw milk has cured my lactose intolerance.

    • The so called “food” industries that are basically chemical companies claiming to be food producers have the financial means to push their ideas of health and instill fear tactics into most. As a scientist myself, there are many reasons to be skeptical about published science in some cases. The source of funding for the science, the politics behind scientific support, etc. can often lead us to accept whatever a so called authority or television ad says. Either way FREEDOM to choose what source of food we rely on is the definition of democracy. If I have a cow and a vegetable garden, I fell a whole lot safer with that than something that corporate america or the governing bodies have handled or dismantled.

      • I’m sorry to correct you good sir, because you have many good ideas. But it is not democracy that you seek, because democracy almost always leads to tyranny. What you seek, and what our founding fathers tried so desperately to establish, was a republic based on liberty.

      • True. As a scientist yourself, you are no doubt in a unique position to know just what a big fat liar Louis Pasteur was! Same goes for Newton! That lying bastard!

    • An excellent article!! I tried local Raw milk and the effect on my well being was astounding. I can’t wait to get more. Its creamy and wholesome.
      Pasteurized milk makes I’ll and it tastes disgusting.

    • Boiling kills all of the enzymes (which are life and we get a limited supply so we need as much as we can get from food) as well as much of the other essential nutrients in milk. Raw milk is an incredible source of magnesium and calcium. However, magnesium does not survive heats (it is actually very heat sensitive), so pasteurized milk contains only the calcium. But there interesting deal is, calcium cannot be absorbed and broken down without magnesium. So among other issues, the body has to do WAY more than it should to try and break down the calcium and therefore strips the body of more calcium than it puts in and also causes calcium build ups (which cause arthritis, back issues, muscle and joint problems, and cavities plaque etc. FYI-plaque is a large amount calcium). Pasteurized milk causes a host of issues. It may not kill you right after drinking a glass, but it can be a big contributor to illness, serious ailments, and things that can be potentially life threatening (like heart attacks). I would MUCH rather eat a whole live food that helps my body than something that is processed and contains little useful nutrients.
      I would be far more concerned about the prescription drugs causing all kinds of issues to people’s health than a food that has been consumed for thousands of years. There have been many many cultures who consumed raw milk every day and they would have died out if it was truly dangerous.
      It was in the 1800s when milk and whiskey (interesting choice 😉 were the two most consumed liquids. But during the war of 1812 distilled spirits from Europe became almost completely unavailable. To meet demand, distilleries were opened in most major cities. Someone decided it was a good idea to confine cows in pins adjacent to the distilleries. The pins were filthy due to the close quarters, conditions, and the fact that many workers were sick and did not keep clean. The milk was so poor it couldn’t even be used for butter.
      It was in 1861 that Pasteur invented the pasteurization process and 1891 that the first pasteurizing processing plant went up in the US. At the same time, in 1889 a New Jersey doctor Henry Coit, MD was working to oversee the cleanliness of milk (unpasteurized) due to his son’s death from unclean contaminated milk. He was able by 1893 to put together a Medical Commission to oversee the movement. He worked with dairy experts and farms willing to participate and after many years of hard work, unpasteurized milk was safe again. But unfortunately, it cost up to 4 times the amount of pasteurized milk.
      New York philanthropist Nathan Straus, who also lost a child due to the very unclean conditions, felt it was only safe to drink pasteurized milk and used his fortunes (he was co-owner of Macy’s) to spread the word about pasteurized milk thought US and Europe for decades. He also set up “milk deposits” in NY to provide low cost pasteurized milk.

      But pasteurization and certified unpasteurized milk sales and consumption were happening together peacefully for about 50 years, but in 1944 a smear campaign was launched against raw milk and the rest is history….

      So please note, this idea of raw milk being almost unheard of and ridiculous has only existed about 60 years. That is a blink of an eye in our thousands of years of drinking it. And the issue originated when we began what was basically factory farming.

      I hope this gives an idea of what we are dealing with. We get very short sited and forget that we have changed so vastly in so many areas over the past 200 years (especially the past 75) that we live VERY differently than we did for thousands of years. That does not mean we have to go back to what we did before, but there are things we should look and and readopt, especially when it comes to our food.

      • Right on point. Thanks for your comment. I already knew this, but wanted to thank you for taking the time to inform people about how FDA is brainwashing us.

      • I should be able to drink what I want to drink. I love raw milk. Grew up with it and never get sick. Look at all those fast food places and the diet drinks. They are dangerous, not raw milk.

      • What a mess!

        There is so much misinformation here that it is stunning.

        For starters…. magnesium is a metal similar in appearance to aluminum. It doesn’t get destroyed if it gets warmed up in milk.

        Pasteurization was discovered in 1861, sport.

        I could go on but I don’t have the time to spare.

    • your CDC and your FDA said that between 1993 in 2006 1500 people died from raw milk. Wow!!! to the CDC and the FDA please explain then how you allowed you allowed something like Monsanto patented seeds to be on the market we’re not talking 1,500 people who died we’re talking one and three people will get or have gotten cancer in their lifetime because of this genetically modified organism that destroys our body from the inside destroys our immune system on bility to fight off disease and has carcinogenic effects on the body you explain your rationale for allowing this destructive company to ruin not 1500 not 10,000 but a millions lives have been taken or destroyed because of what you have allowed and our food system and you want to complain about raw milk well you’re right about one thing raw milk from your industrial cow farms would kill us the only reason those cows survive in the Horde conditions is because you give him antibiotics we’re talking about good fresh raw milk from a real dairy farm someone who takes honor and loving their animals so they do provide well.thank you CDC and FDA for loving us enough take raw milk and give Monsanto seed thumbs up on that choice you definitely knew what you were doing didn’t you. totally
      I guarantee that your wife your husband your children do not ingest the poison from this destructive bio enginering.
      from this company’s products.

    • U wouldn’t have a clue. Media brainwashed. If raw milk has pus in it where does the pus go when it’s boiled? Pasture fed cows r the healthiest cows in the world and most humanly treated. They probuce quality milk. Just think about it…

    • Raw milk and pasteurized milk share a common problem, both can contain destructive pathogens. The problem is that both products can be contaminated due to “human error”. Raw milk is safe to drink if it comes from a “healthy herd” and is handled in a strictly sanitary manner. Pasteurized milk is only as safe as the the manner in which it is packaged, labeled, stored, and distributed. Again, human error, human judgment and integrity factor into the safety of milk and milk products as it is with other food sources. Raw milk can be as safe to consume as any other food source, if handled properly.

    • You are a dud! Why wouldnt you go vegan and also eat all raw food instead of cooking it if its beneficial for your health?

    • I bet most of the people that are against raw milk are also against breast feeding as well. (maybe the kids that get sick from the raw milk were never given any “mommy” milk just that nasty formula shit you buy at Wal-Mart ever read any of those labels?

      This country is going right to the gutter that we put the cows $hit in. Raw milk may not be for everyone but probably could benefit most rather than being harmful.

      If you want to drink Pasteurized milk and not get all the nutrition that is in cows milk go for it, your probably over vaccinated as well, I personally hate store milk would rather get it from my cow “Chip” who free ranges on our family farm.

      Like most people have said here that it should be a choice as to what route you would like to take, just like it should be a choice as to which vaccines you would like to inject into your babies, (I do not inject any and my children are never sick). I also have been allowing my children to consume raw milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream you name it, they are very very strong and healthy. Probably better than your kids you should try it sometime before automatically just going with and believing what your freaking FDA says.. (they are not always right you know)

      The FDA leaves out a lot on important information with their research, remember they are after MONEY, they want our money and they want us to be on medication so that they can conduct more research for more money. They don’t care about us and they loose no sleep when they are wrong. Why do you think the cancer rates are so high (oh it cant be from what ever the FDA says, what a bunch of quacks)

      When trying to get your facts strait you should widen your information try reading research from both sides and maybe from scientists that aren’t in bed with these major corporations or the government that want to weaken us.

      • I have to agree with the Farmer’s daughter, when you breastfeed your children, the milk is pure. When I was a child, my Family had a farm in Michigan, we used to milk the cows and drink it, we didn’t get sick! In my opinion, you have to do your research and make you OWN decision. The FDA is not always right, every time you turn around, they change whats good for you and what’s not good for you! It’s crazy and confusing. Do you believe everything you read??? Time to get back to basics….medically, we are all customers, waiting for next “new Drug” to fix something! It’s pure NONSENSE 🙁 DO WHAT YOU WANT Have a wonderful day all 🙂

    • To correct your ‘correction’, raw milk is unpasturized. Period. The term has nothing to do with what the cows eat. Other terms such as ‘grass-fed’ and ‘pastured’ are commonly used for farming techniques commonly used in conjunction with the production and sale of raw milk. The terms, however are not synonymous or interchangeable. Also note that milk can be produced sustainably and healthily from cows solely on pasture, if the pasture is sufficient and healthy, and the cow is genetically is from a breed and family line adapted to pasture-only feeding. Those cows are less common than those who need a little (or a lot) of grain to maintain condition. They do exist, though, and there really are farms producing excellent raw milk from strictly grass-fed cows.

      My advice? Know your farmer. Ask questions until you understand how your food is produced and why this methods are chosen. Then make your own choice.

    • Well, maybe not lying… But misinformed, probably. This is the same gov institution that gave us the death-inspiring food pyramid and a myriad of totally incorrect & bad food advice. I get my raw milk from a local farm, and am grateful to have it & if I get slightly ill from it, that is a trade I’m willing to make for the flavor & other benefits.

    • UHM…the FDA is NOT going to come out with anything that could potentially cripple the dairy industry…remember… money talks. I have to wonder why more people are not curious…no, deeply suspicious about the trend of illness’ happening the last 10 years at least. The greed and goals of producers across the board to get more of their product out there for less and less…profit profit profit! I am a product of whatever is going on…I drink milk ( which I have had in my diet faithfully forever…) or eat bread of any kind…well I am doubled over with pain in my gut all day every day. I eliminate both…replace with raw milk (which is delicious)
      and a gluten free ( or should I say CHEMICAL free) source of fibre and I am FREE of pain! You are very naive if you believe that the FDA has YOU in their sights…they have an entire industry to protect…if they were definitively shown that milk being processed or the crap they are genetically putting in the grains today was bad for YOU , it would take YEARS to get the industries to change. I am sorry…but when studies allow for the ‘small’ percentage of casualties before approving a drug or a process…guess I don’t like being on that end. There is nothing more important to big companies than money…period. More product…more money…less costs….at whatever cost to US! Google Celiac…ask yourself why this is becoming an epidemic. It is a nightmare to live with! Sorry…but I am finding less and less reason to have faith in the FDA and any big company…have all the faith in the world in the small farm where humane and clean facilities are a way of life. Love my pain free existence!

    • Wow…the FDA are the biggest bunch of crooks that there is. Does the phrase “revolving door” mean anything to you?

    • That would be my deduction. The FDA is hell bent on approving all kinds of garbage. You haven’t noticed? Use your thinker. GMO food is approved. High fructose corn syrup is approved. The list is HUGE!!

  42. Raw Milk is so dangerous that the queen of England drinks raw milk…its really shocking the number of fake posters on this website! (government spends millions on hiring paid trolls to go after their enemies).

    The FDA is doing raids with machine guns against Amish farmers who sell raw milk. Just makes me think raw milk is that much more awesome that the government wants to get rid of it. Like the government constantly trying to get rid of vitamins and make them “doctor only”. Great site, and you didnt go far enough into the good qualities of raw milk!

    • AGREED! The government doesn’t want healthy people. All these people citing the FDA and CDC (the mutual handwashers) don’t seem to understand they need to make money. They make money from pharmaceuticals and sick–er– healthcare. If you’re WELL, they can’t make money.

      Logic people. Disney doesn’t sell tickets to Universal. The government doesn’t sell wellness products.

  43. Well I hope you feel very silly now after that little boy died. Stop peddling your fad health ideas. Humans havent evolved to drink another animals milk, hence why it is pastured. I expect you also disagree with vaccines for children.

    • Yeah well… it would be my guess that if that one guy sells 200Lt per day… and only 5 kids got sick then it is probably something else they ate in common and not the milk or there would have been a lot more death.
      Also, If you had taken a closer look at the disease that killed the poor child, you would have realised that the child already suffered from that ailment and it is almost exclusively triggered by E.coli bacteria which as you know can be found to some extent in almost anything we eat or drink… You shouldn’t, and they shouldn’t, automatically blame milk just because you don’t drink it. You instead choose to use that pasteurised poison, do a little study on that crap sometime.

    • You need to know that humans are unique in that we are the only mammals that have a specific enzyme that allows only us to drink milk as adults. All other mammals should only consume milk when they are young.

    • So one boy died after drinking raw milk? do you know how many children die or have serious adverse reactions to vaccines? If you think vaccines are safe how can you possibly not agree with raw milk, when the statistics will show you that hundreds of thousands of people react badly to vaccines

  44. Hi Chris, I’m in the process of making a decision about whether or not to switch to raw milk. I just read an article in Medical News Today on research which suggests that people who consume a lot of milk (3 or more glasses per day) are at increased risk of fractures(!) and of dying at a younger age (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284530.php). It is related to the effect of d-galactose on the body. I was wondering if drinking raw vs pasteurised milk would make any difference to this effect. What do you think?

    • Hey; obviously I’m not Chris but as an aspiring holistic health coach I may able to give you a little re-assurance for raw milk.

      I personally do not believe that raw milk would cause an increased rate of fractures. Decreased, if anything. Raw milk contains live enzymes that help fully digest and metabolize the calcium, along with it’s co-nutrients such as Phosphorous, vitamin D, magnesium, and a slew of other vitamins and minerals such as zinc and K2. All of these nutrients work together to ensure strong bones. The only concern I would have with too much raw milk is excess calcium intake; which can be combated with magnesium rich foods like chocolate/nuts and plenty of green leafy vegetables like kale.

      Conventional milk may cause increased fracture because some of the nutrients are missing or denatured. Vitamin D for example is killed by the heating process, and a synthetic fake vitamin D is added back in; synthetic vitamins won’t do anyone any good. Vitamin D helps you assimilate calcium, and not having enough can possibly cause your body to leech calcium and other nutrients from its reserves. This may be one of the contributors to loss of bone density in those that consume a lot of confinement garbage dairy.

      Hopefully Chris can chime in for you with a much more educated answer. In the mean time, I wouldn’t worry about raw milk compromising your bones. I don’t see baby mammals breaking bones left and right. Drink it within moderation and you’ll be fine. Also, try to get raw goats milk if you can. It’s supposed to have a PH around 7.2-7.4, rather than the slightly acidic PH of cows milk of 6.7. Acidic foods. I don’t think cows milk is acidic enough to worry about; (especially compared to garbage like soda with a PH of 1? maybe 2) but if you want to go all-out with maximizing your bone density, opt for the alkaline raw goat milk if you can find it.

      • PH of 1 would eat through your throat while you drank it. 2 would be like the acid in your stomach. 5.5 is not bad actually, that’s the pH of your hair and skin.

      • Just wanted to comment that developing mammals of all species tend to have softer more flexible bones, and the effects of lack of calcium during growth are likely to be more present in adult years.

    • I had become VERY lactose intolerant. I made the switch 3 months ago, to raw milk and canNOT believe the difference! The taste, the shelf life and how I FEEL is SUPERIOR to ANYTHING I’ve bought in a store. A few families in our area take turns driving over an hour each month to a small, family run dairy to get the milk. My husband is a physician and now says he will NEVER go back to pasteurized milk. He feels the long term health benefits FAR outweigh the miniscule risk of having a contaminated , processed, product. I mean….we COULD get killed in a car accident….but how many of us would quit driving cars?

    • Just saying, it is very scary to think of that. I recently have been think about my health, and want to make it more natural. I am still very young, but know a great deal. Those people (who wrote the article) are like the FDA. They don’t want you to eat raw milk, because some people in Sweden died. The post they made is very racist. They only surveyed Swedish people. Nothing wrong with them, but you need a broader spectrum. Hope that helped.

    • I was on the fence about switching over to raw cows milk too like many others. I went and talked to the local dairy farmer who sells milk ALL DAY LONG to people who absolutely love it. When I brought up the research I have done about raw cows milk and how it can get people sick he and a couple customers who were standing there in the same room actually started laughing at me and shaking their heads. They all told me that pasteurized milk gets WAAAAAY more people sick every year than raw. I went ahead and purchased the raw milk and never looked back. It is very good! I used to have digestive problems (because of pasteurized milk I think) and now I have no issues.

    • For nutritional reasons I’ve been drinking a 1/2 gallon of whole raw milk and Ovaltine per day for 4 years. I’m 87 years old. I eat one small meal a day – usually a Greek salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich w/ tomato, or soup, or an omelet, or eggs Benedict (!), or yoghurt with lemon curd, or left-over lamb or beef stew – you get the idea. Still going strong!

  45. If raw milk were as dangerous to human health as the government would like us to believe, none of us would be here having the debate, because everyone drank raw cow’s milk ‘back in the day.’ Individuals farmers would have been as conscientious/not conscientious in their cleanliness and habits as people are, then and now, and certainly any one thing can be problematic due to hygiene or individual health issues, but in general, healthy raw milk has been a mainstay at least in this country for centuries. Just read an 1870 agricultural census record, where they had a column for ‘milch cows.’ Not ancient history. I remember my grandfather milking his one remaining cow in the 1950s, and keeping a pitcher of cream in the fridge for his cereal. Now it’s practically black market. I am so grateful I found a local farmer who can sell my pets milk:)

    • Can those of us with type 2 diabetes consume raw unpaid turned cows milk without having a glycemic explosion???
      I know milk has lactose, but the taste of raw UM is insaine!! Delish!!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    • Many people, especially before pasteurization, have died from the common pathogens found in milk. Using this article’s reference # 15; Listeria, Yersinia, Salmonella, C. jejuni, and E. coli are found in 13% of raw milk. Pasteurization is considered a breakthrough in science; and if you prefer the taste, that is one thing, but the safety claims are contradicted by most of these references.

  46. This should never have been a public health debate. Adults can make their own decisions for themselves and their families. Unless the business or consumer is engaging in force or fraud in the transaction, there is no legitimate reason for any government body to step in between a voluntary exchange of goods. Stop giving your government the power to make decisions for you before you lose all liberty.

  47. What happens when I’m allergic to whey and my arthritis flares up? I find that when I eat a vegan diet mostly with less than 6 oz meat a week that my inflammation and swelling in feet etc. goes way down. I have tried raw goat milk thinking this would help my stomach but I swell up pretty good. I have been tested and am allergic to whey and no other foods.

  48. The data seems clear that the risks are low enough for one to make their own informed decision, as seems the way that many European countries are handling the debate. So, I’m utterly confused as to why the US cannot follow suit.

    In the meantime, I’ll go across the street and buy a pack of cigs while I think about it some more…

  49. Elise – Here is one of those posts you’re looking for…

    I agree with so many points in this article, especially those dealing with the environmental impact of choosing raw milk. My family consumed delicious, “living” raw milk for many years. My oldest child was only a couple years old when we began. My younger kiddos, one by one, drank it starting at one year old. We believed we experienced better health – stronger immune systems. And we felt good knowing we were supporting a wonderful, local family farm. We appreciated that our Jersey cows lived in green pastures. We LOVED the deliciousness in every jar. (I CRAVE the stuff.)

    In early September of this year, a group of children from our herd-share were sickened; and four were hospitalized with life-threatening E.coli turned HUS. My eighteen month old son was the youngest of them. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, my son was kept alive while HUS ran its awful course. He is recovering. Not all of the children are completely out of the woods yet.

    Sadly, our herd-share families are not now being warned by our local raw milk proponents of the potential risks of consuming raw milk. This is due to the fact that the health department has been unable to find E.coli on the farm, although they do recognize the epidemiological evidence. I know from first hand experience that it’s important for the benefits and risks to be presented side by side – not just separately from opposite camps, as is most often the case.

    When I first began to hear that other children connected by our raw milk were being admitted to the hospital, I didn’t want to believe there was any chance that it could be the source. I said it out loud, “I don’t believe it’s the milk.” But as the connection became stronger (one child at a time), my heart knew… I couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room.

    I do wish we lived in a perfect world. Completely safe raw milk with all the enzymes you could ask for – that would be great. Ultra-pasteurized, homogenized and possibly hormone-laden milk certainly isn’t the answer. In the future, I will probably home pasteurize that wonderful raw milk to protect my family from the dangers of potential contamination. I know now that although that chance may be small, it is way too great a chance to take with developing immune systems (or compromised immune systems). We knew that our farm was clean, but that wasn’t enough for my son. I’ll probably never know why he was the one who got the (un)lucky number.

    My goal now is to share our story in an effort to support education for families. I really appreciate this comment from the above article: “You must consider both the positive and negative qualities of raw milk consumption when making the decision for you and your family.”

    • A. Nordyke:
      That is scary! Has your son recovered? I sure hope so.
      Did your whole family drink the milk? How did the farm respond to this?

      I just got my first order of raw milk, mainly for my 2 year old son. And even though I know the stats, I am still concerned.

      Thanks for sharing your story

      • Both of my parents’ families drank raw milk growing up without any problem. There is a risk. Look at how many E-coli recalls there are every year from lettuce to beef sold in the supermarkets. I feel safer purchasing locally from small operations where I can personally see how well their operations are conducted, rather than assume it’s all good because it has a sticker on its plastic wrapper.

  50. A friend turned me on to raw milk and I just Love it! I think that raw is the way it should be. One of my sisters (I have 6) told me that raw milk is not good for you. I asked her how she knew this and she told me that the doctors say that raw milk is bad for you. I told her that doctors are not necessarily right and that they don’t know everything. Of course she argued her point and what it came down to is that we agree to disagree. I dont know if she will ever change her mind but I will share these articles with her. I am thrilled with raw milk! Thanks for the great articles!

  51. I do think those with lactose intolerance should give raw milk a try. Have spoken with several folks who had this problem, and tried raw milk with no problems. They were thrilled! Can’t say it will work for everyone, but certainly worth a try. You do know pasteurized milk is boiled away, and then chemical vitamins are added back in to replace the D etc., that are lost in the process. This is where the problem lies. Why alter something that is natural and wholesome? If you find a local dairy farm, or a co-op, natural food store that carries raw milk from a certified farm, yes, you will pay for it, but your body and mind will be at peace knowing you are getting the real thing. These small farms are inspected for cleanliness and operations, and are perfectly safe. Their farmers take pride in how clean they are. Go to a big commercial operation, you will be shocked at how poorly their animals are treated.

    • Jill,
      Please have your friend check out A1 beta casein milk vs A2 beta casein milk. If someone is lactose intolerant it is most likely due to the digestion of A1 milk. Everyone I have worked with has not had any problems with A2 milk.
      Good luck.
      Jill too 🙂

  52. Just have to add this in. We live in rural Maine, and there are many small dairy farms, and a few large ones (who produce for commercial). We had a commercial farm right up the road from us, and their cows were horribly treated. They would go from the eating barn to the milking barn, back and forth, all day, that is the only light of day they ever saw. We would see cow parts laying all over, heads, legs. If a cow got sick, they just threw it into a pile. Thank goodness they went bankrupt, but the whole time, they were supplying milk to one of the biggest commercial milk companies in the state, who claim their cows are never given artificial growth hormones, etc. I don’t believe that one bit. Fast forward to the small dairy farmers around us, it is a world of difference. The cows are out in the field all day, and happily trot in for milking, and back out they go. If you could compare a rotten apple to a fresh one, this is it. Those people made me sick every time I drove by their farm, their calves were immediately taken from their mothers and bottle fed with formula, and the poor things cried all the time, as did the moms. THIS is big dairy farming, and you should all make yourselves aware of the practices. Visit one BIG operation locally, and stress locally, and then visit a small natural or organic farm, you will never drink store bought pasteurized milk again, and will probably get sick too knowing you have been all these years. Those poor animals.

  53. My four brothers and I were raised on raw milk. My mother made formula from it, not cooked. We would fight over the cream on top, and had to take turns, and with Gram, who made butter from that yummy stuff. We were rarely sick, only when we picked up stuff from kids at school, but our first five years of life, no one was ever sick. This is the 50s and 60s, so raw milk was delivered to your door. We are lucky to live in a state where there are many organic dairy farmers, and raw milk is legal and readily available. Read the labels of pasteurized milk, and then google those ingredients. You will be shocked!!!

  54. We should have known Stanford University wasn’t about to do a study on lactose-intolerance. The most important findings were not even part of the official report. It turns out that most of their lactose-intolerant volunteers actually could digest lactose so they decided instead to do the study 16 lactose malabsorbers who really weren’t even lactose intolerant. It’s silly to argue semantics. As a matter of fact the Mayo Clinic calls it milk protein intolerance.

  55. Though raw should come only from grass fed cows, it is also possible to pasteurize grass fed milk. Grass fed milk from a very clean dairy is better than milk from a conventional dairy. So the issue really is this: once the qualified grass fed milk exists, should it be pasteurized or not.

  56. Hi, does anyone have an opinion/research regarding if blending raw milk and/or raw pastured eggs/raw yogurt in a high-speed (Vitamix,etc) blender has a negative effect on the protein structure of the milk/eggs ? I like to use my high-speed blender to make a shake using raw yogurt, raw pastured egg yolks, raw grassfed whole milk, frozen berries and maybe some protein powder .

    • I have no research, but can tell you I do this all the time in a simple blender, minus the protein powder. I make eggnog from my chicken and duck eggs, using raw milk. I do not coddle my eggs, I know they are perfectly safe. So in my opinion, if you know your sources for your ingredients, go for it!

    • If you are using egg yolks, yogurt, berries, and milk you really don’t need protein powder since every other item you have contains protein. Everything living has protein from lettuce to steak. Sounds yummy though!!

  57. Question to raw milk/raw yogurt consumers : do you keep it refrigerated (between servings) and drink/eat straight from the fridge , or do you let sit at room temp for awhile before consuming ? I guess what I’m asking is, does keeping and drinking/eating the product refigerated reduce any of the positive nutritional(including good bacteria,probiotics etc) benefits ? Would it be better for me to let the milk/yogurt warm-up a bit before consuming ? Thanx in advance for any advice & feedback !

    • Personally, I keep mine refrigerated, it can go sour quickly, and lasts much longer in fridge. I don’t think there is any benefit to having it at room temp at all, but raw milk is certainly fine for hot cocoa! Keep it in the fridge, will stay around much longer.

  58. Well, growing up in Poland was quite easy. I was drinking fresh milk from the cow and, I was happy as “a little girls” (SNL),

    Now, I am struggling to discover why some milks are resistant to good bacteria found in yogurt. It this good for milk kill good bacteria? Checking with FDA. I think shelve live of milk is the answer regardless of our health.

    • You can make yogurt from “store bought” milk, but you would have to add the proper enzymes. Best to make your yogurt from raw whole milk, very easy, recipes are available online, just heat, add some good raw, pref. Greek, yogurt, let it sit in warm place, covered, overnight, and next morning, you have yogurt. You cannot make yogurt with pasteurized milk that is any good without adding additional enzymes. Tried, failed miserably.

      • Hi Jill,

        Your contention that you cannot make yogurt from pasteurized milk is not true (I.e w/o adding enzymes etc.). Indians, Arabs, the people of the Caucasuses, Southern Russians, etc. Have been making perfect Set Firm yogurt from BOILED, sterile milk for thousands of years. I make perfect mild set yogurt from pasteurized milk all the time, by boiling the milk 1st, allowing it to cool to 37 degrees Celsius (body temp), then adding my own starter culture (a spoon of fresh yogurt from a previous batch), then placing the warm milk and culture in a warm place. In about 4-8 hours I have perfect yogurt. The same us Eurasians have done it for thousands of years.

        Thoroughly boiled milk is far more radical than pasteurization. People in Asia, boil their milk prior to consumption to prevent getting ill (the lack of hygiene in Europe, til the early 20th century, in Asia til present makes this a necessity). It’s easy to die of dysentery or food poisoning in those regions. The key to healthy milk is that it comes from grass fed cows, the milk is NOT homogenized AND it should be free of the chemical detergent residues sloppily left in pasteurization tanks after clean out (the source of severe allergies and adverse reactions). Finally the Indian cow, along with Jersey, Guernsey and Swiss Brown (descended from the Indian cow) produce the Safe Casein variant, Casein A2 (the non opiate version), the European Holstein/Frisian cow produces the harmful variant of Casein, Casein A1.

        I suspect that another reason why raw milk farms milk is healthier is because they are cleaner, use less chemicals (such as those used to clean pasteurization vats) and use superior Jersey or Guernsey cows, whose milk is qualitatively far superior to Holstein milk (and are lower in the harmful Casein A1 portion in the milk).

  59. My 2 cents: I have Celiac/Hashimoto’s. Have never been offered anything from doctors other than pharmaceuticals. Read about a man who put his Crohn’s into remission by drinking raw milk for 6 months. I chose Raw milk. I drive over 1 hour from MA to NH to get it. I drive past the Jersey cows eating their grass in the field look super-healthy in the sunshine to the barn where the cows are milked (A+ clean). These cows are super-happy with their environment as opposed to the concentration-camp cows whose only purpose is to be “milked to death” with machines. I have been drinking Raw milk for 3 weeks with unbelievable improvement. With that said…I would not give raw milk to a child under 2 for personal reasons. However anyone who has negative things to say about raw milk has not tried it because if they had…they would never go back to pasteurization. My milk is a golden yellow with a thick cream line on top….evidence of the green grass and sunshine!! If the cows look sickly (unkept and tick-ridden with wounds) they are unhealthy. If they look healthy..and your milking facility is clean…DRINK UP!!

    • April,

      You are new to drinking raw milk and it is the beginning of E.coli season. Cows shed e.coli in the summer and early fall. You are vulnerable to illness because you have immune issues. Remember, just because the farm looks clean, pathogenic bacteria are invisible. It takes as few as 10-50 organisms of E.coli to make you extremely ill. Also, I hope your farmer told you to keep the milk on ice while traveling. The milk should never get above 40 degrees.

      Maybe it would be wise to stop drinking the milk right now and wait until winter to begin drinking it. In the mean time, take a high potency probiotic to get some of the good guys populated before trying raw milk again.

      • Mary, your pathogenic bacteria are more common in the city than on the farm. Your 10-50 organisms of E.coli is pure speculation. The minimum infectious dose has never been determined. And raw milk is even safer when not refrigerated. Where in the world do you get you information?

        • OMG, I do agree, where in the world did you get this information Mary??? We drink raw milk year round and have never had a problem, ever, in many decades. And we buy from dairy farmers, not
          out own. Someone has given you misinformation. Would like to know who, probably some big commercial dairy “manufacturer.”

  60. Raw milk vs Pasteurized? That really isn’t the question that most people want answered here. Most agree that the properites of raw milk are excellent. The question here is really..can I consume raw milk safely? Or can I give raw milk safely to my child? The answer has always been and always will be twofold: proper food handling/processing (from source to table) and knowing what to do when food poisoning happens. You are not 100% safe no matter where you live, what you consume, or what your age is. With food poisoning, you must stop the bacteria such as E Coli and you must stay hydrated. MUST. Who here knows how to do this? Seriously. It is not common knowledge anymore. With E Coli O157:H7 you also have to stop the toxin from attacking your internal lining. Consider the following article ‘Adsorption effect of activated charcoal on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli’ when researching and making an informed decision. Also there is research on the effect of 1 tsp of cinnamon on E Coli; as well as spices: garlic, clove, oregano, and sage. Also know at what point you need medical attention. Better late than never doesn’t necessarily work with food poisoning. Also some will be reluctant to disclose to a doctor that they

    • that they are drinking raw milk. Well that is plain dumb, if you have reached the point of needing a doctor be straight up honest about it.

    • I was wondering this exact info–it’s like you read my mind!! We are giving my daughter (almost 12 months old) raw yogurt and wanting to switch from breastmilk to breastmilk and raw cows milk (keeping in mind she will mostly be breastfed :)) in a month or two. Do you have good resources for how to battle e. coli, how to know if it’s e.coli (at home, without testing–preferrably in the early stage), etc.? I will be doing some independent research in the meantime, but wanted to know if you had links to articles off the top. Thank you!

  61. I have suffered from major depression and anxiety for most of my life – I am 56 and was diagnosed in my late 20’s – but had progressively worsening issues starting with childhood. I have to admit that this seems to be genetic, because my father and his mother suffered greatly also, as well as some other family members. I have tried so many medications and just want to find some joy in my life before I get too old to do anything about it! Can A2 help me? We recently started milking Mini-Nubian dairy goats and I am drinking the raw milk, but I don’t know how much is needed to make a difference in one’s overall health. My husband and I are also making a real effort to avoid preservatives and processed foods much more than before, and plant a huge garden. We raise our own eggs, and are raising a couple of steers to butcher, although I don’t like to think about that! We keep vaccinations on our livestock at a minimum. I would love to hear some encouragement from someone with major depression who has seen real results from going to A2 raw milk and from making other healthy changes in eating habits. Thank you!

    • My 10 yo son had very bad depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. It kept getting worse and we knew we would have to try medication. Lucky for us, he was allergic to all 3 of the anti-anxiety drugs we tried. Out of desperation, we looked at food. We tried a very strict diet and tested 1 good G a time with a detailed food journal. The results have amazed us, he can not eat preservatives, MSG, artificial color, eggs or canola oil. When everything is home made, he is very happy. When we test something he can’t have he is teary, moody, angry and depressed.

  62. Okay, let’s address the claim that raw milk is dangerous and put it in it’s proper perspective already. If raw milk is so dangerous where are all the posts of people with loved ones who died or suffered terrible consequences from drinking it? If there way any truth to this ridiculous claim, the internet would be full of horror stories in regards to this subject. The proof is only valid from the people who are actually qualified to testify…. those who drink it. With one exception from a man who claimed he got stomach illness from drinking raw milk, and the stupid media literally making up false stories, where are the independent outcries from those who have suffered terrible consequences?????? Surely the raw milk movement has grown considerably and has a vast number of participants. Surely in our social network media based culture people would be running to You tube or making Facebook pages detailing the horrors of their raw milk experience. Quite the contrary; countless reports of increased health, reversal of disease, etc. Let me cite two wonderful old fashioned adages: “You can argue with success” and “A little common sense goes a long way”

  63. Hi friends,Raw milk is good only…Always pasteurised milk gives me some type of irritation in my stomach..I feel it always..Heated milk not good….Raw milk is like nectar when consumed within 3 hours after getting from cows….Its health benefits are really amazing…But using raw milk after 3 hours is like drinking a dangerous poison…..It was also stated by our Ancient Siddhas..Please believe…If U want real strength,,If U r a vegeterian,,then raw milk consuming at once got 4rm a healthy cow will be a best option 4ever

  64. It’s been since 2012 that the Raw Milk Study has been conducted by Stanford University. Why haven’t the results been concluded?

    • The results have been published (last month, March 2014). They found no difference in lactose tolerance of raw vs pasteurized milk. The study was done with individuals who were confirmed as lactose intolerant with hydrogen testing. To give you an idea they found 63 people who self reported as lactose intolerant, but only 27 tested positive using the hydrogen breath test. So while there may be some people who can tolerate raw milk but can’t pasteurized milk, it probably has nothing to do with lactose or lactose malabsorption. I hypothesis that if they did the same study using the 36 people who didn’t test positive the result would have been different.


  65. Chris, thanks for the informative article! Wow, so many comments about if raw milk is good for you. It differs from person to person. Do what works best for your body. Just be open minded and don’t let the USDA tell you that raw milk is unsafe, esp. since our great grandparents and grandparents survived off of raw milk. I believe that it’s hard for most big commercial facilities to have healthy cows that produce nutritious milk. Small organic farms do produce quality milk. I’m not regular raw milk drinker but when I’ve had it, had no ill effects. Happy health to everyone.

  66. I have a picture of a 6 week old baby in his coffin. He would have been my uncle, but he died of undulant fever from drinking raw milk in the 1940’s.

  67. Raw Milk! It’s the BEST! No kidding guys!
    Opt for this, it does wonders! Especially if you’re lactose intolerant! Woohoo!

  68. I’ve just started incorporating raw milk into my diet, after years of lactose issues. I love the taste, and I’m wondering how long it usually takes to see the benefits. Does anyoine know if raw milk consumption helps with hair issues? Mine is a nightmare, breaking easily.

    • Dr Wallach states problems with gluten, and casein are due to low stomach acid, and from my other research zinc deficiency. Sufficient stomach acid is required to activate pepsin the enzyme that digests proteins. Casein, and gluten are both proteins. If you have low stomach acid you won’t activate pepsin, and these will go undigested. Real salt, and calcium are the producers of stomach acid. The problem is most people get unbioavailable calcium. Raw milk, and plant calcium have the highest bioavailability. But, you must also have vitamin D3 levels 80-100 to absorb calcium at all. We’ve been lied to about true vitamin D levels that humans need so we don’t utlilize calcium properly. Serum levels will stay the same due to homeostasis but most people have intracellular calcium deficiency aswell as salt. Plant based calcium supplement, and raw milk with vitamin D3. And, celtic sea salt, or himalayan salt. And , zinc. Zinc is required for MT proteins by your body. This protein digests gluten proteins, and casein proteins. Metalothionein / MT.

  69. I currently stock up on raw milk once a month and freeze it because I have to go a little out of my way to the Co-op. We love it but it’s pricey. The milk comes from Jeresey Cows that are fed grain but no corn or soy, they also have plenty of access to grass. Occasionally, if I haven’t been able to get to the Co-op I will buy 100% Grassfed milk from the grocery store which is a little cheaper but this is pasuerized although not homogenized. I understand the benefits of raw milk vs pasteurized but I also am aware of the benefits of grass fed over grain fed. I am wondering if one of these types of milk is better than the other? Also, how does freezing raw milk affect the benefits it offers? We don’t notice an altered taste. Wish I could just get raw milk form grass fed cows!! I haven’t found raw goats milk around here only pasteurized. Would be interested in waht others think. Thanks.

  70. How are deadly diseases, such as bovine tuberculosis, worth the risk at any level? If a child dies from contaminated, unpasteurized milk, will you just dismiss it along with the evidence of almost every major medical association in the Western world?

    • If raw milk is contaminated, pasteurization will kill microbes. But that doesn’t preclude pasteurized milk from also becoming contaminated. Contamination is the cause of the problem, whether the milk is raw or not,

    • Yes. Because, remembering the article, there have been no deaths due to raw milk consumption in recent decades, while there have been deaths from pasteurized milk. Arguing the odds as you do actually places raw milk on firmer standing.

  71. Although its more expensive…OMG it taaaastes sooooo GOOOD!!!! If your lucky and your milk has got enough cream at the top. Scoop it off and throw it into your coffee. One word…”dddaaaaaaammmmmnnn”

  72. Pasturized dairy shuts down my my digestive system all the way through to my bowels. If I have any pasturized dairy, I am in bed with horrible pain for 3 days. However, I have no problems with RAW dairy.
    I would like to try some unpasturized european cheeses but I am nervous about it. Any thoughts?

  73. You are totally off base in your “Ethics” section. Your comments represent an uninformed position and viewpoint. The vast majority of “factory farms” as you call them, are owned by families that have the utmost concern for the well being of their animals and are dedicated to producing safe, affordable, and nutrious dairy protein for consumers. I suggest you pay a visit to Fair Oaks Farms, in Fair Oaks, Indiana. This will shatter your tainted view of conventional dairy farming and perhaps convince you that you have misrepresented and committed a disservice to the dairy industry.

    • It is true many dairy farms have improved over the years. This however has not always been the case, nor is it true of all dairy mills.

  74. My husband had pleurisy for about 9 months. His dr. prescribed meds that almost caused him to bleed to death. After a week in the hospital he was discharged and limped home worse off than before the dr. gave him the meds. Finally I figured it was an allergic reaction and looked at what he ate. Milk put out the fire of his now bleeding ulcer. I had a friend that swore by raw milk and we did a weekend test. His pleurisy receded. Now months later he has no pleurisy and plenty of raw milk.

  75. For anyone who doesn’t know, you can usually find raw milk being advertised for sale in any state in most areas as “Raw Milk Shares” or “Milk Shares” or “Herd Shares.” Milk shares come in cow and goat form. Basically you pay for or purchase “part” of the milk animal and that entitles you to part of the milk they produce. This is LEGAL because you can pay for your own animals keep and make your own raw milk, you just cant sell raw milk for human consumption in most places/states and if you can there is heavy laws put on it and huge fines. Watch your state laws and keep track of what they’re trying to make a law, some states (like mine Michigan) have tried or discussed passing laws making it illegal for farmers to drink their own raw milk.

  76. It’s amazing that people will literally believe in anything – absolutely anything. There’s groups of people that believed God was behind Haley’s comet and to meet him they had to drink cyanide. That is obviously more extreme than believing the questionable benefit of drinking raw milk is worth consuming liquid full of harmful bacteria (no matter if you get sick or not, you ARE consuming orders of magnitude more bacteria than in pasteurized milk), but at least the Heaven’s Gate cultists who killed themselves for their beliefs (CDC reports 2 deaths from milk borne illness), they only inflicted physical harm upon themselves. People drinking raw milk are criminally endangering children around them that are much more susceptible to these infectious diseases. As an adult, you could feel fine but be swarming with disease that can infect children or infants around you. Bacterial infection is not about if you have bacteria in you or not, it’s about how *many* bacteria you are exposed to – and certain kinds are definitely worse than others and the threshold for all of them is much lower for children.

    If you want to take the risks upon yourself of drinking raw milk and still think there’s enough benefit to warrant them, I would simply ask you to please not do so around children.

    • If you are so concerned about protecting the children then ask yourself: What did you do to prevent the 16,000 that will die this year from starvation or lack of nutrition?

      But more appropriately, where is it written that a child has a greater set of rights than you?

      I suggest you look further into what this government thinks about you, me and the children.

      FDA Quotes
      “There is No Absolute Right to Consume or Feed Children Any Particular Food”
      “There is No Generalized Right to Bodily and Physical Health”

      There are those who live, and those who are arm chair pundits.

    • You are extreme, and it seems mistaken about the nature of bacteria. Bacteria is everywhere, and is essential to life. Bacteria causes problems when it grows in areas it is not supposed to. For example, Staph aureus is normal flora for humans on the skin, but if it gets in other areas it can cause issues if bit checked in time by the normal flora there.
      Same with food, and in this case, milk. The reason, if you read the article, raw milk actually is safer than pasteurized, if we go by mortality studies, is due to bacteria. Raw milk is full of normal beneficial bacteria. Pasteurized is not due to the process of its name sake. If foreign bacteria enters raw milk, it’s chances of growth are minimized due to the natural microbial properties of milk. However that same bacterium has a greater chance of proliferation in pasteurized (after the process) milk due to colony counts of its normal flora being decimated.
      In closing, calm down.

    • Concerned citizen, please do your research before posting personal opinions as FACT.

      CDC: 1 Dead, 7 Others Sickened by Listeria Traced to Cheese
      11 Mar 2014 | 64,690 Views
      Another listeria outbreak has been reported, and once again it has nothing to do with raw milk.

      Raw Milk on the Rise — No Illness Seen
      28 Jan 2014 | 40,300 Views
      Months after the state of Arkansas loosened laws on raw milk, no illnesses have been linked to the sale of the unpasteurized dairy.

      Kids Who Drink Raw Milk Have Fewer Asthma and Allergies
      12 Nov 2013 | 54,703 Views
      This healthful beverage cuts the incidence of asthma and allergies among schoolchildren nearly in half.

      Raw Milk: A Key Ingredient in Some of the World’s Finest Cheeses
      15 Oct 2013 | 48,465 Views
      Raw milk is maligned by the US government, so why has it been an integral part of artisanal cheese-making for centuries?

      Can Adding Fluoride to Milk Help Improve Children’s Dental Health?
      08 Oct 2013 | 234,259 Views
      Hyped as a measure to improve health, even though 100 animal studies link it to brain damage and 25 human studies show it lowers IQ. So why is it being dumped into your child’s milk carton?

      Who Knew this Cocktail of up to 20 Chemicals Was in Your Glass of Milk?
      The number of drugs and hormones lurking in your “wholesome” glass of milk may surprise you
      No thanks. Give me good old raw milk from healthy cows who are not shot up with hormones and antibiotics.

      I have been drinking raw milk for some 76 years. Gave raw milk to my children when I could get it. Though I know it’s possible to be sickened by anything we enjest, I have never known of anyone getting sick from raw milk.

  77. I’ve had a similar experience to those that tried it, liked it, and tolerated it fine. Regular milk makes me a bit heavy, and noticeably tired throughout the day. Raw milk makes me feel energized, clean, and powerful. I’ve been using it post Run, (after a semi intense run), and it’s been a tremendous restoration food. Not exactly sure why – but I would assume the fat content is helping my energy get back to normal, as my diet is primarily ketogenic, about 50G of carbs a day on some days, and rarely ever above. I think it probably has to do with some of the other nutrients in the milk as well.

    Also – free range eggs have been making me feel just amazing lately! Switched to those recently too. Love every bite. Truly amazing.

  78. Chris I have read your article and the comments on it with great interest. In France where I live, raw milk is legal, but farmers selling it are subjected to a higher/stricter ISO level ( in other words the milking environment and the cow have to be even cleaner). I drink raw milk daily. I’m 64 and take no medication and only supplement with magnesium. Dogs are lactose intolerant if you give them pasteurized dairy – but they’re fine with raw milk. I give my dogs a little raw milk twice daily. When I ran out of raw milk one day I gave them pasteurized milk and they wouldn’t drink it, they could smell and taste the difference. It’s easy to buy unpasteurized cheeses and yoghurts here and the French are a lot healthier, and live longer, than Americans, for many dietary reasons. Continue the good work.

  79. I can honestly say that raw milk has cured me of chronic gum disease and my long term dentist is very impressed after I had been drinking raw milk for 2years as there has been no re-occurrence of the disease.

  80. It took me a long time to become accustomed to raw milk after decades of drinking processed milk. The former would upset my stomach. I overcame it eventually, however, and never touched pasteurized and/or homogenized milk again.

  81. I have read (from Dave Asprey, thebulletproofexec.com) that the reason raw milk is tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant is that raw milk contains lactase, the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose (a sugar in milk); pasteurization destroys this lactase.

    I generally don’t drink milk at all, but I am a huge fan of butter, and I go to local farmers to buy raw, grass-fed, (cultured if possible) butter. I love it but don’t know that I notice a difference in how I feel/perform between raw and pasteurized butter. Anyone else have comments on raw v. pasteurized dairy other than milk?

  82. Chris,
    I too am a big believer in raw milk after drinking very little milk for almost 30 years. However, my nurse practitioner has recommended the Paleo diet, which of course doesn’t allow for dairy. How does raw milk fit into the Paleo diet?

    • My understanding is this new petition, if approved, changes the standard definition of certain milk products so terms such as “reduced calorie” (for example) on a product using a non-nutrititive sweetener (such as Aspartame) will not require labeling on the front. The artificial sweetener will be listed as an ingredient, but on the front of the carton it will not be required to be labeled “reduced calorie” or “low-calorie” or anything to tip off kids that this is anything different than the flavored milk or yogurt they are used to, meaning those made with sugar or HFCS. This petition is a misguided attempt to combat childhood obesity by getting kids to consume lower calorie flavored milk/yogurt without their knowledge they are eating or drinking a “diet” product. How wrong this is is beyond belief.

  83. I just have to brag, boast, & praise that as of April 2013, we here in the state of Arkansas just got our rights back to sell or purchase RAW MILK!!!!! from dairy farms!!!!!!!! Hallelujah Praise the Lord!!!!!
    I was having to drive 2 hrs round trip to a neighboring state to illegally purchase raw milk and bootleg it back to Arkansas for the last several years. If this doesn’t prove to the naysayers that we are living proof of raw milk benefits and the lengths we will go to get it, I don’t know what does!!

  84. Maybe this isn’t entirely relevant, and I’m sure it needs some citing, but I remember in History class learning that pasteurizing of milk wasn’t for health benefits, it was for economical reasons. The pasteurized milk could be shipped long distances for selling. Pasteurizing was, I think, originally used for vaccinations as the body would have a response to even the dead or almost dead pathogens and create a defense. Now, I know my memory of what was learned in class is some 30 years old now, but that is what I think I remember. Any one want to check it? Or respond?

    • Cherilynne, You might want to read, “The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmid, ND to learn about the long history of humans consuming dairy products. My understanding is pasteurization came about in this country because of the unsanitary and irresponsible practices of “distillery dairies” in the early 1900’s. After undergoing pasteurization, filthy, unhealthy milk could be sold and not outright kill any one. Not only that, pasteurization did extend shelf life. Homogenization was a boon to dairies as the cream line was no longer evident in the bottle so substandard milk (meaning with little butterfat) and milk with some of the cream taken off (to be used for butter, ice cream, etc. to gain more profit) could be sold without the consumer knowing. As far as vaccinations and milk, you might be remembering the story of Ralph Stolle in the 1950’s and his work to create an immune-enhancing milk for humans, known as “Stolle milk”. Another very interesting subject is “hyperimmune” milk, which has been used in cancer therapy and is a fascinating theory.

    • I’ve considered implementing such a system, but the technical hurdles have prevented it from happening so far.

  85. There are a few people who cannot tolerate milk period. There are people that cannot tolerate pasturized milk but do well on raw milk. Personally, I was raised on raw milk and thrived on it all my life until I developed celiacs disease. Now I can only tolerate Kefir made from raw milk, which I enjoy daily.

    If a person wants to drink pasturized “dead” milk, that’s their preoragitive. However, those who choose to consume raw, grass food milk should have the same choice. However, big government will spread all sorts of lies to try to discredit the small farmer when they start cutting into their profits.

    It really upsets me that the FDA allows damaging junk food, but prevents people from making an educated, informed food choice in purchasing raw grass-fed milk.

    This isn’t the first time the FDA has spent US tax dollars to violently clamp down on “illegal interstate commerce,” by raw milk farmers, all under the guise of doing their job and protecting the public’s health…

    Any level-headed person would argue that this is a poorly shrouded sham, seeing how the FDA has continuously allowed known toxins into the food supply, and those who willingly choose to harm their health are free to do so by consuming too much sugar, artificial non-food-based items, alcohol, and toxic cigarettes.

    Allgyer taking on the FDA in court is a classic case of David vs. Goliath. At stake is the issue of consumer choice and food freedom — something most people would agree is an absolute, basic, and unalienable right

    “The ban on raw milk crossing state lines is an economic regulation disguised as a health regulation,” Pete Kennedy points out. For those who cannot understand what this has to do with economics, you must understand that Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) simply cannot compete with grassfed raw milk farms, and therefore stand to lose a lot of money as raw milk becomes increasingly popular.

    They cannot compete because in order for milk to be safely consumed raw, it should come from cows fed a forage based diet that includes pasture. CAFO-derived milk should not be consumed raw given the elevated risk of hazardous pathogens in the milk—an inevitable side effect of the environment in which these cows are raised.

    The reason why they’re trying to shut down raw milk farmers is because so many people consume raw milk and raw milk dairy products, and the numbers are growing every year. One 2008 survey conducted by the CDC found there were over nine million raw milk drinkers in the US, and today, the number of raw milk consumers is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 12-13 million. When you consider that each family can consume a few gallons of milk per week, it all starts adding up, and Big Dairy is losing business.

    Additionally, Kennedy stated that raw milk can be a “gateway to small farm prosperity”. Families who initially set foot on the farm to obtain raw milk typically end up purchasing other farm products such as produce, eggs, poultry and meat.

    The CDC’s study also highlights the error of the claim that raw milk poses a significant health risk. With that many millions of raw milk consumers, it’s quite clear that grassfed raw milk is extremely safe, because there are so few foodborne illness outbreaks attributable to it.


  86. Hello! Thank you for this great article. I myself have switched to raw milk and as a collegiate athlete have found it as a great source of protein and fat. I am actually doing an undergraduate research project on the benefits of raw milk and was wondering if you could direct me to the primary research articles you base your reviews on. This would be very much appreciated!

  87. Thanks Chris Kresser you helped me write an essay about raw milk! Ill let you know on what kind of grade i get on it. By the way im in 7th grade and did a oaoer about this and it was really fun!

  88. Hi Chris,

    I loved the articles. First-hand experience, although anecdotal, cannot be overlooked in any debate about raw milk. Truly rigorous scientific studies are very hard to perform because no two batches of milk are ever the same, but I agree that better studies are ahead of us.

    Still, there was one point about probiotics that I felt went under-represented in this article (though it is not entirely absent, and you do touch upon it in multiple places). In my experience all properly produced raw milk clabbers (ferments) naturally. This technically starts from the moment the milk leaves the teat, as it comes into contact with lactic acid bacteria inhabiting the skin of the cow’s teat canal. My understanding is that these bacteria basically get here because of the cow’s contact with grass, where the organisms initially reside. I don’t think there is any real debate that grass-fed raw milk has natural probiotic properties–after all, this is the stuff that’s being imitated with artificially innoculated probiotic dairy products such as yoghurt, modern buttermilk, and “sweet acidophilus.”

    Now I agree wih you that the presence of lactic acid bacteria, or the clabbering process, is not enough to guarantee pathogen-free or entirely safe milk, but the fact that lactic acid (which is produced by these bacteria as by-product of their consumption of lactose) has antimicrobial properties is a matter of scientific record. That these organisms eat milk sugar is plain evidence for at least one reason why raw milk can be better tolerated by those with lactase deficiency–these organisms produce lactase and “eat” milk sugar, thus reducing the lactose content. Anybody who has clabbered milk knows this from the sour taste. That sourness comes from the milk sugar that has been converted to milk acid. Now milk acid (lactic acid) is an organic acid, so it has calorific value as well. If I am not mistaken, lactic acid bacteria also produce B vitamins.

    Pasteurization of course kills these organisms before they can multiply too greatly and sour the milk.

    Obviously clabbering also has effects on the convenience of preparing various products from milk (cottage cheese/clabber, sour cream, butter, etc.), which I felt was another topic a little under-represented in this article. You can’t really make anything from store-bought milk.

    So, it is very hard to tease the nutritional/health/tolerance/convenience aspects apart on this issue–but it’s “plain as day” to anyone who’s watched a jar of milk clabber over a few days, and then eaten it, that nutritionally speaking, properly produced raw milk cannot be the same as pasteurized milk–this single difference is responsible for so many other differences! And even if you introduce one or two strains of bacteria artificially, how does that compare to the number of wild strains that would be in the milk otherwise?

    Although significant research has been done into these organisms and their role in milk (mostly before pasteurization became so common), I think further research into this aspect of raw milk is going to go a long way toward explaining its wholesomeness and why so many people can tolerate it so well.

    Again, I really appreciate the wonderful article. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write them.

    Just another fan of the ‘good stuff’…

  89. “Many people experience digestive and other problems when they consume pasteurized milk, but have no trouble with raw milk. It’s not entirely clear why this is the case. The FDA insists that unpasteurized milk has no probiotic effect or any other characteristic that could explain this phenomenon.” – C. Kresser

    But it does!!!
    It’s a living enzyme called lactase, which is NOT in pasturized milk because the process KILLS IT.

    “…the collective experience of raw milk consumers suggests otherwise…over 80% of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance no longer suffer from symptoms after switching to raw milk.”

    That result is a no-brainer outcome considering they are now drinking raw milk with living enzymes.

    Raw milk is an enzyme-rich living food. Unpasturized, it’s rich with enzymes, most importanly lactase, which helps digest the lactose people have issues with. Raw milk with lactase digests itself and for many, it doesn’t cause the digestive problems pasteurized milk does. Hence, those who are lactose intolerant find raw milk is OK.

    Raw milk also comes with its own defense system: One of the biggest criticisms and fears about raw milk is that it’s dangerous because we haven’t killed all the bad bacteria in there. Unfortunately, when we kill the bad stuff (pasturization), we kill the good stuff – pasteurization doesn’t just target the things we don’t want. This good stuff – beneficial bacteria (those great probiotics we’re all trying to get more of in our diet) – acts as a defense against any pathogenic bacteria introduced into the milk. Yes, that means raw milk comes with its own defense mechanism – a mechanism completely destroyed by pasteurization.

  90. I switched to organic milk after finding that it tastes MUCH BETTER (even though it’s still pasturized/homogenized) than “conventional” milk. “Conventional” milk tastes watered down in comparison to raw milk. I have no idea why this is, but it’s just…not right.

    I recently rediscovered raw milk (I used to drink it as a child, my mom would buy it for me). It tastes even better than the organic milk and much to my surprise, I don’t get a stuffy nose when I drink it!!! I can’t get enough of the stuff. I have no idea why that would be, either, and I found your article while trying to research why this might be.

    They say that there’s no nutritional difference between raw milk and “conventional”, processed milk, but I can’t imagine that something that tastes so watered down and…weak…has the same amount of nutrients as it’s rich, creamy, flavorful raw counterpart!

    Any idea why organic milk tastes so much better though? The difference is striking, but it’s still processed, so what makes the difference?

    • Organic milk is usually pasteurized in a different way than normal milk, a process called “Ultra-high temperature” (UHT) pasteurization. About 80% of organic milk uses UHT. This causes a Maillard reaction, which makes the milk taste better (to some people; others describe it as burnt tasting). That might be what you’re experiencing.

  91. CCM & Lynn’s comments have us wondering now??! We live in a state where all RMS(I’m starting the acronym here for Raw Milk Sales) are illegal and we go to a neighboring state to purchase. We have always made jokes on our 2 hr round trip home, that we might get busted when we cross the state line with our purchase, however now we’re wondering if there really is a law concerning this????? I would’nt be surprised if there is given the way they send in SWAT teams to bust dairy farmers! I am so sick and tired of this kind of gov. control! This is soooo rediculous!

    • vmarq: Yes, there is a federal ban on interstate transport of raw milk. I take my milk through an ag station that is state operated and doubt the workers have any clue of the illegal nature of my “milk run.” Funny thing is the state in which our herd share is does not allow retail raw milk sales but I bring it in to a state in which retail sales are legal. Doesn’t matter, crossing state lines with it is illegal. Our herd share is in a state where on-farm sales are possible but heavily regulated (i.e. no more than three lactating cows, consumer brings own container and has to buy at the farm, farmer cannot advertise, etc.). In this state herd shares are in a gray area and mostly left alone. I chuckle at the border ag station when asked if I have any live plants or fruit and I have coolers full of raw dairy.
      This interstate ban needs to be taken off the books. I urge all raw milk drinkers concerned with this issue to join the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund as they are challenging this law. From the FTCLDF web site:
      “The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of its members against the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) challenging the legality of FDA’s ban on the interstate distribution of raw milk for human consumption.”

      Read more here: http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/case-updates-092210.htm

      You might also want to check this out, a group of raw milk drinkers (mostly moms) who publicly announce when and where they will be illegally transporting raw milk across state lines in defiance of the ban:

      From the above page:
      “The Raw Milk Freedom Riders evolved out of the frustration many consumers and raw milk advocates have regarding the FDA’s policy to investigate, spy and raid farmers across the Nation who are delivering fresh, raw milk across state lines. The Farm Food Freedom Coalition organized the first Freedom Riders event on November 1, 2011 which transported fresh milk from Pennsylvania into Maryland this caravan of moms then proceeded to join the Rally in front of the FDA headquarters in Silver Spring Maryland where they distributed and drank the milk along with cookies. The FDA released a statement the same day, which states ” The FDA has never taken, nor does it intend to take, enforcement action against an individual who purchased and transported raw milk across state lines solely for his or her own personal consumption.”

      So the FDA has publicly said they won’t come after us if we are drinking it ourselves. What about if we are “distributing” it to our children? If we bring it across for friends and neighbors, even if they also own a herd share? Then we can be thrown in jail?

      Stand up for your constitutional rights!

  92. Chris you should add “Like this” or a thumbs up & thumbs down under these comments. Would also like to see more research and dialogue on A1 vs A2 Cows milk. My research has shown there is a significant difference in these and I ONLY use A2 raw milk now.

  93. What should one do if raw milk sales are illegal in their state? It is also my understanding that a herd share is also illegal (per state law). A neighboring state where raw milk sales are legal is too far away to make a weekly trip to purchase dairy impractical and I would be worried that crossing state lines would also be illegal.

    • “What should one do if raw milk sales are illegal in their state?” Easy. One should defy bad laws. The more we capitulate to government tyranny, the more we will find ourselves strangled by their death grip. Seems that we as a people need to remember that if we are not damaging or injuring others, then we should be free to make our own choices. These are ‘”unalienable rights” granted by our Creator, guaranteed by the Constitution. Government officials have obviously forgotten that, and we need to remind them their place. THEY exist to serve us. WE do not exist to serve them.

      • I couldn’t agree more with CCM! I break federal law every month when I cross the state line to bring raw dairy home from the herd share my husband and I own in a neighboring state. We can all be Rosa Parks in our own way by standing up to laws that are unjust and harm no one. I feel very strongly in my right to choose the foods I eat!

  94. I appreciate Chris’s article and everyone’s comments and opinions. I have decided that the statistic of one, namely myself, is what is important to me. I have been lactose intolerant for 20 years and 2 years ago I discovered I have Celiac disease. The question was, what do I eat and maintain my weight? Well, I eat a modified Paleo diet but still have a hard time keeping my weight. Unlike most people, I have a hard time gaining weight.

    Then, a miracle happened. By accident I ate some cheddar cheese at a restaurant and I didn’t have a reaction. I was amazed! I did some research and discovered that some lactose intolerant people can eat cultured cheeses and Greek yogurt. Well, the next day I tried a tablespoon of yogurt and I was fine. Being able to eat cheese & yogurt was like heaven to my taste buds. I have since added Kefir which is a developed taste and I now enjoy it.

    But the biggest surprise to me was trying raw milk. I tried 1/2 glass and I had no reaction. I was very happy. I had a quart but didn’t want to overload my system so I had the bright idea to freeze it. bad mistake! after I drank the frozen milk I had a major intestinal distress! It was a while before I was brave enough to try it again. A few days ago I took the plunge, bought a pint and tried it again. I didn’t have any bad reaction so I know I can drink it and be OK. But I have to be careful not to freeze it (like make ice cream) or heat it. Buy it raw, drink it raw.

    I find answers to my questions by being my own guinnea pig (within reason, of course). I found I am lactose intolerant to pasturized milk but not to raw milk. For me, being able to add a nutritrous food to my diet really adds quality to my life. After saying NO to so many foods, now I can say YES!

    • I like how Mark McAfee switches the words from “lactose intolerance” to “pasteurization intolerance.” Certainly a better description!

    • Argh! Gutted. I just bought 12 bottles of raw milk and froze 11 of them. I have to drive an hr round trip to pick up my raw milk, and was trying to limit my trips to once a month….bummer.

  95. i switched to raw grade A Jersey almost a years ago.. i also gave up wheat and the two together completely healed my leaky gut syndrome in just a few weeks.. very thankful to live in a state (SC) where raw milk sales is perfectly legal and accepted widely.. also thankful to be able to purchase my milk fresh at the farm just minutes from my home.. the sweet taste and creamy texture of Jersey milk has no rival.. they are without question, the queen of quality.. my health has improved dramatically since making the switch.. as you swallow your first mouth full, you’ll feel the raw milk difference..

  96. It is too easy to discard the CDC and say they are in the pocket of the dairy market, but let’s look at the body of research that is there. Here is the link, please take your time and read. http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/MilkSafety/ConsumerInformationAboutMilkSafety/ucm247991.htm
    To me it doesn’t matter if you drink raw or pasteurized milk, but you need to know that you are probably wasting your money if it cost more than “regular milk”. It is kinda like the line from the commercial to use baking soda to make your drain smell fresh! (check your p-trap and just rinse it out!)
    The farmer may be the best and cleanest milker in the world, but once that milk leaves the cow and enters the world, every bacterium is doing its best to get into that milk and drink it too. You must learn to handle it in a sanitary way or you may pay the price. It is not like buying milk at the store. The regs on handling milk are onerous and were written the hard way-one sickness at a time, which is why comparing illness from raw and pasteurized milk is not very effective. Both producers need (and probably) to know the safe handling practices of milk production. But do you now how to store it and handle it? Are the jars clean? Are the hands clean? What about air quality?
    Now are they any benefits? Not really much to crow about.
    Are you lactose intolerant? Then no milk is for you.
    Do you have digestive issues? Then no milk of any kind will help you. Probiotics have to be added to dairy. (Think, if ‘good’ bacteria are growing in milk, then what else is??)
    Again, it is your choice, but the reasons really don’t stand up. Just enjoy the ability to have a choice.

    • Your comments at the end show you have not considered raw milk as a living food or taken into account that pasturized milk has none of the enzymes that raw milk does. It’s NOT about ‘good bacteria’ or ‘probiotics’ when digesting dairy. It’s the enzymes that make a difference.

      “Are you lactose intolerant? Then no milk is for you” is just flat out incorrect. Why do you suppose so many can tolerate raw dairy (milk or cheese) when pasturized creates illness? The enzyme lactase found only in unpasturized dairy.

      The raw dairy that is found at my local Sprouts market is very safe- even more so as raw dairies are subject to more regulation/scrutiny. It may not matter to you and you think it’s a waste of money, but I prefer to know the truth and not misinformation. I can then vote with my money everytime I go to the store.

  97. Hello Chris
    Does heating myself raw goat milk at low temperature will affect its digestibility ? I guess it will destroy some enzymes in the same way pasteurisation does. I am asking because I am thinking about doing a recipe called “lait de poule” in French ( milk + egg yolks) . What are your thoughts ?

  98. raw milk is beneficial l but it contain some bacteria which is harmful .if we are using Pasteurization, irradiation, boiling or homogenization processes its work but. All of these processes destroy or damage the wonderful nutrients in raw milk.so the question is that how will we isolate microbes from raw milk without destroys of nutrients .. if any one know then kindly tell me i m working on research plan{Isolation
    of Bacteria from Raw Milk?

  99. I am not sure if someone pointed this out already or not since there are quite a few comments. Just fyi, the author states in this article that raw milk only comes from grass fed cows, that is incorrect. Raw milk can come from any farm, it just means that it is direct from the cow, without any other processing. My husband and I run a dairy farm in NJ where raw milk is illegal, although we of course drink our own milk. I would urge anyone that is interested in raw milk to do their homework before they purchase. Check out the farm yourself, make sure it looks clean, and the cows look clean and cared for. Ask to see their milk records, what their somatic cell count is, PI count, and bacteria count. These numbers are serious indicators of milk quality. Educate yourself before you purchase, and I would not recommend giving to young children, the rewards do out outweigh the risks.

  100. I’m glad to see a pro-Paleo standing up for raw milk. I just finished Robb’s The Paleo Solution, and as much as I appreciate the scientific explanations, it annoyed me that he demonized milk across the board. Fermented raw milk products esp. seem to not have the casein issue that is the main Paleo anti-milk concern.

    Thanks, Chris!

    • I so agree Emily! I sent a question to Robb a few months back asking for evidence that pastured, unprocessed and fermented dairy is not a good food for human consumption if well-tolerated. I believe all the damning evidence re. dairy is from tests/studies on that swill found in supermarkets. Just because Paleo-man did not have ropes, buckets and had yet to stay in one place long enough to domesticate animals, doesn’t mean we should not eat this highly nutritious food when produced correctly and drank either fresh from the farm or fermented. Robb did not answer my “Dairy bashing” question….

  101. An extremely interesting article Chris. I think too many people miss the underlying point – rather like an investment Risk has to be juxtaposed with Reward. If it is accepted as a general observation that the risk of drinking raw milk is small, particularly when compared with other foodstuffs (and I don’t see anyone here disputing that) then the argument rests on Reward.

    Reward is both subjective and objective – if it works for YOU then ignore the naysayers and get on and do it – it matters little whether you can measure the outcome – lifestyle choices contribute at least as much to one’s happiness and well-being as diet….

    Just sayin 🙂

  102. You indicated that “Raw milk comes from cows that graze on grass.” I wish that were always true. Unfortunately, it is not a guarantee that because the milk is raw that it came from a quality source. Each consumer needs to do their own research to decide if they approve of the practices on the farm where they purchase raw milk. In our area there is a large confinement dairy that sells raw milk, probably the most in the area, and many consumers believe that because the product is “raw” it must be from a small farm with grass-fed cows, and that is not always the case. The state agriculture department does not regulate diet or living conditions of cows that produce raw milk, that is up to the consumer to research. the Weston A Price Foundation has a great list of producers in all states to help assist with this, but all raw milk consumers should visit the farm they purchase milk from to be sure they approve of practices! Cows that graze and are not pushed to maximum production with grain-feeding produce less milk than cows on a confinement dairy, perhaps even a third of the quantity. The difference is largely higher water content in the highest milk producing cows, which translates into dilution of vitamins and possibly missing components that are derived from green food (such as CLA and Omega 3s). Beware, not all raw milk is created equal! The best raw milk is primarily grassfed, is nutritionally dense, and is worth paying for! There is a great article on eatwild.com that is reposted on our website at http://www.purefoodco.org that discusses the nutritional changes in raw milk based on level of grain feeding used.

  103. I am really enjoying these articles. I jumped wholeheartedly into raw milk when I realized that it didn’t cause the horrible stomach aches that pasteurized milk does. There is ABSOLUTELY a difference in the way it affects my body. There is nothing placebo about it – the differences are striking.

    However, I did contract campylobacter last winter from raw milk. The results were confirmed both by my doctor and the farm where I buy the milk. All 3 of my kids had the runs for a few days, but I got extremely sick, almost to the point of going to the ER, with cold chills and fever and sweats and feeling almost out of my head. It brought on severe IBS attacks in addition to the cramping and diarrhea that the whole family experienced. I’ve struggled with IBS my whole life, and I definitely have a weak gut. All that to say, I was scared into not buying the raw milk anymore. I miss it, but I fear going back, because of the severity of my symptoms.

    I guess I just think as wonderful as raw milk is, it wasn’t really intended for mass consumption. (Of course, no food is.) I’d rather not drink milk at all than drink pasteurized milk, but my kids love milk so I buy pasteurized from a local farm that grazes their cows on grass for them.

    I still debate the wisdom of that choice almost daily, which is why I have been enjoying your series. I am always open to new information that might change my mind. Thanks for doing this research and compiling the data in such a thorough and methodical way.

  104. I grew up on a dairy farm during the 1940’s. Drank raw milk every day; everyone in our farming community drank raw milk. I was very healthy during my childhood years. My husband was a “town” boy and had asthma. For many years we did not have a source for raw cow’s milk; however found one about 5 years ago with a wonderful dairy farm in Pa. My husband was on drugs for colitis and asthma. Since drinking the raw milk and raw milk kefir, he has been able to get off all drugs, and the colitis and asthma have disappeared. We are both in our 70’s and drug-free.

    Check out this website http://www.realmilk.com/milkcure.html

    Thanks Chris for your wonderful articles.

  105. Hey Chris,

    I know there are various lactobacillus bacteria as well as yeasts in kefir made using kefir grains and raw milk, but what about bifidobacterium? Should someone consider supplementing bifidobacterium in small amounts along with fermented dairy or is it already present (or are there any natural food sources)?

  106. I’ve found that I can drink raw milk without getting painful GI results, but I fart a lot, which is unfortunate– otherwise I really like raw milk. Are there any solutions?

  107. Chris – Have you looked into the A1 vs A2 milk debate? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it. Many people discussing this mention the book, “The Devil in the Milk” by Keith Woodford.

  108. Chris, just wanted to say thanks for all the information.
    The way I see it all this fear of raw milk stems from the fact that people want to have a safe, cheap product. The only way to do that is to pack the animals in confined spaces spreading disease, handle the milk on a massive scale that combines the milk from thousands of animals, and then heat it in an attempt to undo all the potential contamination that has been done.
    The reality is that if you have a healthy animal, and the famer handles the milk like he himself is going to drink it, and then refridgerate it, the chances of getting a pathagen are slim.
    I would bet that everyone on this post has gotten some sort of food poisening at some point in their life, I have. It’s kind of part of the human experience, the fact of the matter is ‘life will find a way” and food will get contaminated, cooked or not.

    Looking forward to next article and podcast.

    Ted Z.

  109. Chris,

    I’m working on gut healing for acne and have been grain free, dairy free for about 2 months now. I’d really like to add the nutritional benefits of raw milk. If I’m still having minor breakouts, do you think it’s a bad idea to add back in raw dairy or should I just try it and see? I’m taking HCL and probiotics and starting more fermented foods.


  110. I wonder if you would consider writing or podcasting about Yin and Yang foods and exercises and the diseases associated with too much Yin or Yang. If I remember right, milk is fairly yin, but raw milk is more yang than processed milk. I am especially interested in how the concept of Yin and Yang foods relates to gut health and bacterial and fungus (especially candida) balance in the body. I ran across this website which brought up all of these questions. Thanks, as always for all you do to guide us in our health journeys. 🙂

    DrLWilson (.com)


  111. Wow lots of great insight here. I’ve been making my own kefir with raw milk lately. I bought some nice kefir grains online and really enjoy the milk after it’s been fermented. My tummy loves it! 😛

  112. Dr. Garb,
    Thank you so much for your input. In the first part of this series, Chris points out that milk has as a food group has the lowest numbers for foodborne illness compared to the rest of the foods listed. The very reason being is that we have had mandatory pasteurization of milk for over 60 years. When pasteurized milk does become contaminated, there was faulty pasteurization or post pasteurization contamination. For example, an incident happened years back where many people were sickened by eating ice-cream that came from pasteurized milk/and or cream. Unfortunately, the truck used to transport the milk/and or cream had previously shipped raw eggs and somehow it hadn’t been cleaned out. Thousands of people became ill from this freak accident.

    Another aspect of the statistics we don’t know about is how many of those illnesses for vegetables, fruit eggs, poultry and meat were caused by crossed contamination in the home (sharing the same cutting board used for raw poultry or meat and then later used again for vegetables or fruit) or people not using a meat thermometer when cooking to make sure the temperature of the meat was high enough to kill the pathogens, or rinsing their poultry in the sink, or eating their eggs sunny-side-up. With a little education, people can be taught how to prevent foodborne illnesses.

    In this argument about foodborne illnesses, what seems to be left out is that FOODBORNE ILLNESSES ARE PREVENTABLE. We now have a group of people advocating for the use of raw milk and pregnant women, infants and children are the target group for consumption. This group wants to turn back the clock on foodborne illness prevention. If you want to support your local farmer and also want milk that is free from hormones, antibiotics and homogenization buy raw milk and pasteurize it at home. Raw milk is not worth risking your child’s life over.

    Dr. Garb, here is our story and how we found our way to raw milk. My son had HUS and was in the hospital for 2 months. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04/is-the-foundation-of-good-health-found-in-a-bottle-of-raw-milk/

    I share my son’s story with the hope that it prevents other parents from making the same mistake we did. My motto is: If you can’t name all the pathogens that can be found in raw milk, along with naming the illnesses these pathogens can cause, you can’t make an informed decision about raw milk consumption.

    I am also a member of the working group for Real Raw Milk Facts. It is an attempt to present both sides of the story on milk. http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/ .

    • @Mary – I appreciate your passion in warning people in the hope they will not experience the trauma that your son went through. My question is: could you be misplacing blame on raw milk for your son’s illness? Is it possible that the “the microbes are nothing; the terrain is everything”? Our bodies are 90% microbes, 10% human. Was your son a victim of unhealthy microbiome? Were you taking antibiotics before or during pregnancy? Were you on NSAIDs? Hormonal birth control? Steroids? Was he born c-section? Were you under a lot of stress? All these factors would impact his microbiome at birth and possibly make him more vulnerable to infection from any source. Did he himself receive any antibiotic treatments or any other medications? We can sterilize our foods and environment to the utmost – maybe avoid food-borne illness – but make ourselves more vulnerable to that errant tick-borne infection, or nasty virus someone sneezes on the door handle we touch. More and more it seems our compulsive hygiene as a society is wreaking havoc on our health, with devastating auto-immune and chronic diseases esp. among young people at epidemic levels. Those of us trying to heal without medications and their unacceptable side-effects are finding that sometimes we NEED the bacteria and enzymes and heat-sensitive vitamins that only raw milk can provide.

      • Charlene, the blame for my son’s illness is owned by E.coli 0157:H7. The vehicle for its transmission was raw milk. Cows harbor E.coli 0157:H7 in their intestinal track. In the hot summer months they shed Ecoli. Contaminated cow poop found its way into the raw milk. E.coli 0157:H7 is an extremely virulent pathogen. It can take as few as 10-50 cells to make someone ill. 250,000 can fit on the head of a pin. Raw milk is a great medium for pathogens to grow. Also, if the milk is not chilled properly and a pathogen is in the milk, it grows like a wildfire. My son became ill because the milk he drank was extremely contaminated.

        As for the list of “blame the victim” reasons you give as to why my son became ill, are you not aware that children with autism, ADD, allergies, & asthma are encouraged to drink raw milk? All of these children have “gut issues” and are at a high risk of becoming ill if a pathogen is in the milk. Children in general are at risk do to an underdeveloped immune system.

        As for my pregnancy, my son is adopted. I guess I should call his birth mother and blame her for his illness.

  113. Thanks Charlene for posting your daughter’s story and your very important comments on our freedom to choose our food. We must educate consumers who care about what they eat that this freedom is fragile. If we don’t remain vigilant, our only choices will be Kraft, Cargill, and the like. We must support and protect those who bring us life-giving foods; the small farmers and ranchers who sell direct. I own a herd share and told my dairywoman I’d lay down in her farm’s driveway to stop anyone coming to harass her. Join the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, together we have strength!

  114. I have seen 3 children ages 17 months to 10 years old in the last 2 months with E. Coli 0157-H7 gastroenteritis all of whom drank raw milk. The two youngest had the complication of HUS which is Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. This causes renal failure and other life threatening complications. One child is still in the hospital going on 2 months now. I would not recommend drinking unpasturized milk for anyone under the age of 3 or 4 years old. It is simply not worth the risk regardless of statistics as mentioned previously. If it is your child the incidence is 100%!

    • I agree that statistics become a lot less compelling when your child is the 1 in 6 million or whatever the numbers are. That said, I still think they’re important in terms of evaluating overall risk. I’m going to discuss the fact that children, the elderly and pregnant women are more vulnerable in my last post (Friday) about determining whether raw milk is worth the risk on an individual level.

      Out of curiosity, were these cases related to the Oregon outbreak?

  115. I’ve been drinking raw home produced goats milk and cow’s milk from friends for 26 years. I practice good animal husbandry, aseptic utter cleaning and chilling my milk to high grade B standards. I have experienced one 24 hour GI illness over those same 26 years. I’m an RN by Profession, so I have lots of occupational exposure on a daily basis. I’ve called in for personal illness 4X over my career. I initally got into drinking raw goats milk when my daughter stopped breast feeding and was unab;e to tolerate any type of milk, formula and an older Pediatrician suggested raw gots milk as a possible solution. I lived in a rural area and actually had a coworker who raised and milked goats. Daughter tolerated and we changed to raw milk eventually getting a herd start from the coworker who became a close friend. My personal experience is prrof enough for me on the benefits of raw milk.

    • My uncle Johnny passed away last year at the age of 82. At his funeral a family member gave an account of how he was born.

      He was born at just under 6 months gestation (on October 31, 1928 of all days) and Va, my great grandma, was told by the doctors that he wouldn’t survive and that they could keep him at the hospital in an incubator until he passes. Va told the doctor that if he was going to die then he was going to die at home. They fashioned a bed for him out of a shoe box and kept him by the stove for warmth. He was too young to breast feed so he was given goats milk (presumably raw) and obviously survived against all odds.

      Milk, regardless of what animal it comes from, is a life giving substance. There is much more to this food than we know.

  116. Thank god for the heroic Minnesota dairy farmers who provide us with unprocessed milk in the face of oppressive harassment by the MN Dept. of Agric. My daughter has almost completely recovered her health – was bedridden for most of 2011 with severe pains from rheumatoid arthritis – drinking raw milk 3 quarts daily and WAPF diet. She is out of pain, back at school full time, no medications, and ready to fight for her right to access this healing food.

    Those of you who fear the risk of getting sick: Good news. No one is forcing you to eat raw dairy. The choice is yours. The choice should be ours.

  117. I’ve been around the animal industry (factory farms) a long time, not that it provides credentials in itself. I’ve always been taught that poorly treated animals do not keep a facility running smoothly. Many farms generate revenue based on animal production, and mistreating said animals does not make money. I realize that some farms concentrate on the bottom line to the point of seeming like a unfeeling business, but almost all of the farmers, managers, and students in the animal industry I have interacted with seem to actually care about the animals upon which they found a business. As in all businesses, efficiency leads the way to increased profits. This has led to streamlined farms with lots of animals, however, animal welfare is going to be the first priority of any farm that wants to stay afloat and not incur the wrath of fines and bad publicity from the government and animal rights movements. Every action revolving around the treatment and production of an animal has a logical foundation that makes “sense” to the industry. Some methods have been weeded out or replaced as humane handling has been increasingly explored, and room for improvement is always present in any industry. There are bad apples in every bunch, and farms who grew beyond small-scale production shouldn’t be blamed for growth. Beating cows/calves with crowbars, stabbing them with pitchforks, and stomping on their heads is not standard production, and I have to wonder from a production standpoint why an animal who a farm has invested money in would be treated in such a way…unless the video was staged or meant to be a forceful message. Dehorning is real, though not in the rough manner seen in the reference. N=1, and I care about both animal welfare and making money to feed families on a large scale. I agree that factory farms are too dependent on grains, which I hate. Also, as farms get larger and products feed/ are distributed to more people, food safety becomes an issue not only of quality but accountability. It’s much easier to sue a farm with more money than a small farmer who got manure in a milking bucket by accident. Otherwise, great post. I’m always willing to assess my views and evolve; I’ve just grown up on the other side of the fence (am working up the courage to try raw milk, though my factory farm dairy friends claim it is delicious).

    • What about all those froz hamburgers, chicken, lettuce, green onions with ecoli ? Its not just raw milk. Most of the above come from Engineered farms, not sm local farmers. Get your head out of the sand and start living.

  118. There are many aged (60+ days), hard cheeses imported from Europe that are truly raw and have been artisanally made the same way for centuries. On the label look for “milk” or “fresh milk.” A good source in the U.S. are the Amish, if you are lucky enough to live nearby. Otherwise contact the Weston A. Price Foundation and order their Shopping Guide. There are pages of cheese sources in the Guide. I buy Sierra Nevada Cheese Company’s raw cheddar and jack, though not in stores, but via Azure Standard. Or find the best specialty / gourmet / cheese store in your area and start asking questions!

  119. I’ve been living in Norway for the past 3 years and whenever we go to our mountain cabin, we make a point of getting a bucket of raw milk from the local milk farmer. It just tastes better. I feed it to my little children and they love it. We’ve never had any problems with it and people around Norway feed their children raw milk every chance they get. So far, I’ve never heard anyone having problems with it. I use it to make yogurt, cream cheese and ricotta cheese. It’s delicious! My husband and I’ve noticed that it lasts longer than the milk we buy at the store. Perhaps because the ones at the store have been sitting in storage longer? Whatever it is, we think bacteria grows slower in raw milk (and my husband is a scientist/engineer).

  120. Great article, Chris! Do you think it likely that clabbered milk would be safer than fresh raw milk? Would the probiotic bacteria multiply and crowd out any pathogens? Or does it depend on the balance of bacteria already present in the milk?

    Many thanks

  121. I buy raw milk and let it sour for a good source of probiotics.
    Pasteurizded milk does not sour; it rots, because the natural bacteria are gone, and other bacteria get into it.
    I grew up on a small Iowa farm in the 30’s. We had two cows. Later, we had goats. If a cow put its foot in the bucket, we strained the milk through cheesecloth, and never worried about disease, and never heard of anyone getting sick from milk. It happened, of course, but it was not so common that any of us thought of it being a problem. Then, with less hygeine, as now with very well controlled sanitary facitities, raw milk was and is among the safest of foods.

  122. Not all raw milk is 100% grass fed. Organic Pastures, the biggest raw milk operation here in California, supplement their cows’ pasture with corn. Disappointingly true. See their FAQ.

    • Chris,

      I, too, was surprised to learn this as they say their cows are 100% grass-fed on their label. I even wrote a blog post about it: http://farmmuckraker.blogspot.com/2011/12/californians-whats-in-your-raw-milk.html (this was back when I was drinking raw milk)

      These videos came out showing that OPDC cows eat a substantial amount of grain, amongst other questionable practices:

      Of course, I was also angry from a consumer standpoint because saying your cows are 100% grass-fed on your label when they are not is not honest marketing. The last comment from an experienced dairyman on the blog post of the videos above is very telling.

      As Chris Kresser has said, he will be writing about what to look for in a raw milk dairy in part 3, so maybe he will cover this issue.


      • Where I am in Santa Barbara, CA, I can also get Claravale dairy milk, which comes from Jersey cows and is delicious. They also partially grain feed and address this on their FAQ, stating that dairy cows, unlike beef cows, need pasture, hay, and grain to thrive due to the breed differences and the demands of producing milk.


        I’d be intereste to know if there are dairies producing solely on pasture, what breeds they use, and how they manage their herd?


        • There is a lady in New Mexico with mini-Jerseys that are pasture only.
          Shalali Infante of PintsizedFarm.com
          I do think you will have to look for a very small scale farm. Basically, the reason for grain is consistency in the amount and quality of the milk (and it increases yields, a pro if you’re in the milk selling business). This is a highly interesting thread on pasturing dairy animals http://www.permies.com/t/2355/critter-care/milk-cows-grass-fed
          Believe it or not, cows have had less time to adapt to grains than humans have.

    • The Amish haveto do that, because druing the Winter, grass doesn’t grow in cold states. During the warm weather their milk is such a pretty light yellow, and in the Winter the cows are fed hay and straw to supplement. I still love raw milk any time of yr. Besides the milk is hormone and pesticide free. No gmo, gluten or Monsanto involved.

  123. For those whom feel the risk of raw milk is too high:
    do you have asthma? Does your child have asthma? 9% of US children have it and according to the CDC, 1.75 million ER visits in 2007 were asthma related.
    One of my children has (had) asthma, however, he would have never had so much as a wheeze if I hadn’t consumed ice cream while nursing him. I have been nearly dairy free my entire life due to intolerance. My sweet baby developed asthma & eczema at about 3 months old. Drawing on my own childhood experience with abdominal pain & allergies directly related to cow’s milk (I was switched to goat and did fine) I eliminated dairy from our home. Asthma & eczema both cleared. 5 months later, I ate ice cream. Both symptoms returned acutely in baby the following day. Dr. Convinced me it was a coincidence, but we stayed without dairy. Whoops! I did it again! Ice cream at a special occasion, baby to the ER with bronchospasm 12 hrs later (very scary if you have never experienced it). Good bye, milk.
    My boy is now 4 1/2 and has had no wheezing since that ER visit. I started making homemade yogurt recently, no asthma symptoms but the eczema is creeping back up his legs (I’ve only given him about 4 oz once/week.)
    My point is this: don’t we deserve a study to see if our bodies react differently to supermarket dairy than farm- fresh? Is it the pasteurization or the diet of the cow? The argument for the cow’s diet being the primary factor in reactions is very plausible to me (because of my knowledge of how my diet while nursing affected my babies). Is the risk of food borne illness so intimidating that we are willing to risk asthma?
    We have never tried raw milk ( State law) but I would know how it affects my child in 3 days or less, and I would like the government to butt out so we could give it a try.

  124. Thank you for this most informative article about the raw milk.
    I am very much looking forward to your next article, telling us about sorces where to obtain it.
    Will you include Canada, specifically Ontario as well?
    For people who can not tolerate raw cows milk might want to try goats milk or sheep milk.

  125. Chris, 2-3 years ago the ‘root of all diseases’ was insulin resistance, and milk was the worst offender. Dr Cordain is still saying that milk creates a massive insulin response. What are your take on this?

  126. I was worried about raw milk and whether or not to even give it to my 9 year old son. Although it’s not easily purchased in NY and so expensive it cannot be a part of my son’s daily intake, I’d heard of many of the positive benefits yet didn’t even consider it out of fear. But now your articles have given me the information I need to make my OWN decision. The federal, state, and local governments are making more and more decisions for me that I would prefer to make myself. I can’t afford to filter/ro my water so my son bathes in fluoride and Monsanto is successfully pressuring state goverments to not require labeling of GMO foods; at least here I can make my own choice using the real statistics and reports and not skewed and manipulated interpretations of the data.

    Thank you, Chris for giving me the tools to make up my own mind.

  127. I could not have written a better response myself. Especially the conclusion, which needs to be repeated:
    “And I am particularly worried about parents who make the decision to give their small children raw milk daily, exposing them to increased risk of serious illness with only theoretical benefit.”

  128. We raised our kid’s on raw milk, and also use it to make yogurt, yogurt cheese, and kefir. You can use the whey from the yogurt for lactofermentation (kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.).

    If you can get access to a clean farm, I highly recommend. Good article Chris.

  129. I have to say, I’ve been anticipating this post in hopes of finding some convincing reason to take on the risks of raw milk, especially for small children. But I just don’t see anything in this post that illustrates anything beyond theoretical benefit.

    From the PARSIFAL study you mentioned:
    “The present study does not allow evaluating the effect of pasteurized vs. raw milk consumption because no objective confirmation of the raw milk status of the farm milk samples was available. Parental answers to a question on consumption of boiled vs. raw farm milk are likely to be biased due to the social desirability of responses because raw milk consumption is not recommended especially for young children. About half of the parents indicated that they usually did not boil the milk before consumption but no differential effects were observed between those boiling and those not boiling the milk. This might be a result of biased parental answers or may indicate that pasteurization is not of key importance because compounds other than microbes may play a role.”

    As you mentioned, the authors speculate that observed differences could be due to pathogenic make-up, but could also be due to nutritional differences in the milk, which are not related to pasteurization but more to how the cows are raised and fed. They also specifically state that “At this stage, consumption of raw farm milk cannot be recommended as a preventive measure.”

    I agree that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but we DO have evidence that raw milk causes more infectious disease than pasteurized milk. Even when you reevaluate the numbers as you have done, this is still the case.

    The argument about community, ethics and environment does not really apply to the raw vs. pasteurized debate. There are plenty of small, local, sustainable dairy farms that offer pasteurized milk products, both in the grocery store and direct to consumer.

    To me, it still sounds like drinking raw milk is taking on known risk with no proven benefit. I am not one to write off anecdote completely, and if you or your patients feel it has helped you, the relatively small risk may be worth it to you. But you seem to be really partial to evidence, which I truly respect, and from what I’ve seen, the evidence is just not there. And I am particularly worried about parents who make the decision to give their small children raw milk daily, exposing them to increased risk of serious illness with only theoretical benefit.

    • The benefits of raw milk are not theoretical if you’ve experienced them first hand. They’re simply unproven by randomized, clinical trials. I can’t tolerate pasteurized milk. I can not only tolerate raw milk products, I thrive on them. It’s as simple as that for me. I am interested in further research to elucidate the differences, but if it never happens it won’t change my experience.

      As I’ve said all along, it’s a personal choice. You’ve weighed the risks and benefits and you’ve chosen not to drink raw milk. That’s your prerogative. Many other individuals have concluded otherwise, for themselves and their children.

      The risk you’re concerned about (a child developing a serious illness) is about 1 in 6 million, according to this dataset. People put their children in cars every day, at a much, much higher risk of injury and death. People are willing to take such a substantial risk every day of their lives because the benefits of driving are so great. Most don’t even think about it anymore – possibly because if they did, they’d be a lot more reluctant to strap their child into the car seat and drive somewhere.

      Of course the safest option for someone that doesn’t tolerate pasteurized dairy is to avoid dairy entirely. That is a perfectly valid choice, and I’ll discuss that in Part 3 of this series. But for those that can’t tolerate pasteurized milk and still want to enjoy dairy, this is more than an academic question. Personal experience matters.

      • Chris,

        I’m glad that raw milk has helped you, and I would never want to make your decision for you or anyone else. However, this article is written in such a way that it implies that there is good evidence that raw milk has “several positive benefits” with only “possible risks.” In fact, there are actual risks associated with raw milk and the evidence of benefit at this point is speculative or anecdotal.

        You cite the PARSIFAL study as potential support for raw milk’s benefit. You do mention that the findings are correlative and there was speculation about fatty acid content of grass-fed cow’s milk providing the benefit. However, you omit the fact that the authors explicitly state that this study cannot be used to evaluate benefits of raw vs. pasteurized milk, because in-home boiling of farm milk was self-reported and there was no difference in health outcomes for those who claimed to boil their milk vs. those who did not, meaning either pasteurization is not the issue or the self-reported data is flawed. You also fail to mention that the authors explicitly state that they do not recommend consuming raw milk as a preventive measure. Your readers deserve to know this.

        In terms of lactose intolerance, the preliminary findings of the Stanford study are readily available online (though they are still unpublished), and they thus far show no benefit of raw milk for consumers who are lactose intolerant. You don’t mention this. Instead you mention the WAPF survey, which is extremely flawed by confirmation bias. Even if you qualify it by saying it’s not “rigorous evidence,” you are only giving part of the picture, to people who may be willing to accept the part of the picture that they already agree with.

        The argument about environment and community concerns does not apply only to raw milk. There is plenty of local, sustainable, pasteurized milk to be had. And in the case of vitamins and minerals content reduced by pasteurization, many studies show either the reduction is minor or milk is not a good dietary source of the nutrient in question to begin with (e.g. vitamin C).

        I can’t really argue with you about the flavor.

        If you feel you benefited personally from raw milk, then it is reasonable that you would form a hypothesis that posits there is proven benefit. However, when the data do not show this, you seem to retreat to an argument of anecdote and appeal to ignorance. One of your greatest strengths is your use of evidence, but if you live by the numbers, you must die by them, too. The way this post is presented now, it is misleading to readers, many of whom already want to have their pre-existing beliefs in the benefits of raw milk confirmed by someone who knows the science.

        • Where did I imply that raw milk has only “possible risks”? I outlined the data clearly in the first article. There were 12 hospitalizations from 2000 – 2007, and according to the reported illness data during that period there was a 1 in 94,000 chance of becoming ill from drinking it. All foodborne illness estimates for a particular food vehicle employ data from reported illnesses, so this is what I used. I did not suggest that those risks are imaginary in any way. 12 hospitalizations are 12 hospitalizations, and hospitalizations for raw milk can be serious – especially in children. I will discuss this further in Part 3.

          What I did suggest is simply that, statistically speaking, the risk of becoming hospitalized from drinking raw milk is very, very low (1 in 6 million, according to the 2000 – 2007 data). Neither you nor Joe seems willing to acknowledge this.

          Furthermore, I did not make any claims in this article that aren’t supported by the available data. I pointed out that epidemiological data doesn’t prove causation. But nor does your objection to the PARSIFAL study, or the authors own interpretation of their data, dismiss the possibility that that raw milk has some protective benefit.

          I’m not particularly concerned with the results of the Stanford study. Once again, many people cannot tolerate pasteurized milk, but they thrive on raw milk. You can posit some kind of widespread placebo effect, or you can accept that there is some as yet undiscovered characteristic of raw milk that allows people who can’t drink pasteurized milk to drink it without symptoms. It doesn’t matter to me whether that has anything to do with lactose intolerance. On a practical level, that’s inconsequential. If someone wants to consume dairy, but cannot tolerate pasteurized dairy, the only choice left to them is raw dairy – regardless of what the science says.

          Those people deserve to know that the risk of developing an illness serious enough to require hospitalization from drinking raw milk is extremely small.

          • My 13-month-old drinks raw milk daily with no problem, but any time he has a small amount of pasteurized, uncultured dairy, he spits up within a few hours. And he doesn’t know what he’s eating, so it can’t be placebo. I know one person’s experience is not very convincing to a skeptic, but it’s pretty convincing when you’re the one who experiences it!

          • Chris, I don’t want my argument with you to detract from your attention to others’ questions. Let me sum up my frustrations and be out of your hair.

            The phrase “possible risks” is a direct quote from this post. The available data does not support the claim of “several positive benefits,” which is also a quote from this post. The only benefit shown thus far is the anecdotal perceived benefit of some raw milk drinkers. You cite a study that according to its own authors does not address the benefits of raw vs. pasteurized milk, and you neglect to mention that they explicitly state this. You mention the Stanford study, but neglect to mention that it also doesn’t support your assertion, and now you are saying that it doesn’t matter what it says. You cite several benefits that are not specific to raw milk. This piece has several shortcomings and it is disappointing that you are not willing to admit to any of them.

            As for risk, I have acknowledged several times that the absolute risk is small. I find your individual analysis of the raw data compelling and a good challenge to the CDC’s assertions, but I don’t necessarily except it at face value, especially because it has not been corroborated, and you have a known bias in that you believe you have benefited from raw milk and favor its consumption. There are many ways to manipulate raw data.

            I wasn’t put on this earth to argue against raw milk. There are far more pressing health issues in the world. We agree on far more than we disagree, and I respect the work you do. I only object to the way this information is presented; I find it disingenuous.

            • I’m sure you agree with Obama Care health ins. I’m quite sure you haven’t read the health care law.

              Ms self annointed raw milk expert, your lack of intellegence shows that you never had a drop of raw breast milk as a child. Bottle fed and educated by our Govt in Pub Schools.

            • And should he, the person writing the article, completely discount his own real life repeated/replicated experience, as well as that of many people he knows, in favor of merely a dry recitation of someone else’s statistics? Why shouldn’t he say several positive benefits, when he has hands-on eye-witness experience of this? He did not claim some research study found that.

              Science begins with observation and experience. It is a full spectrum of human endeavor. The idea that anything without a formal doubleblind study is inherently unscientific is inaccurate.

              Any human being writing a blog post about something they have direct and indirect personal experience with, I would hope would have a post that in some regard reflects that real life experience. If I merely wanted CDC statistics, I would go to their website, and not Chris Kresser’s.

              • Quick question,

                With all the big advocacy money, why haven’t the Weston A. Price foundation and Mercola just funded a study to show that lactose intolerant people can tolerate raw milk? It’s been years now.

                Answer – because they can’t do it. The study showed that the placebo effect is very real. People apply it to themselves with all of the latest greatest woo trends, be it yeast or chemical leaveners, or gluten or whatever Gwyneth Paltrow tells them is bad.

                I’d bet good money that the idea of doing a good study on lactose intolerance with raw milk has been investigated or even attempted, but they results just don’t get them there.

                Dear Chris Kesser – you should go get a diagnosis to show why you allegedly can’t tolerate pasteurized milk.

                I find all of the veiled “fairness” you are feigning to be appalling and disingenuous. Your recalculation of the risk in another post is highly misleading with your addition of a massive outlier data point for a suspected pasteurized milk.

                Now you’re using anecdata to show that you innately know something that neither rigorous science, nor well funded advocates have been able to adequately even indicate much less illustrate.

        • Sarah, I research and write around the subject of health, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t read a study or 10… so I love a good study as much as anyone. I developed a severe intolerance to lactose when I was about 24. I’ve always loved milk and one summer I just couldn’t get enough of it. I’ll bet I drank close to a gallon a day for a couple months. It was hot, I was thirsty… what can I say? Then, I just lost the taste for it and drank almost no milk for a couple months. When I started drinking milk again… bam. Cheese… bam. From that point on, I consumed very little dairy and carried lactase pills for when I did. Fast forward about 9 years. After researching raw milk, I decided to give it a go. No issues! None! I’m 41 years old and can still only have raw milk.

          In this case, I don’t need a white coat from Stanford to tell me what’s going on. If you ever need proof, you are welcome to bring a gallon of milk to my house. My youngest son (5 yrs) and I will give you all the proof you need. We will blindly drink 4 ounces of raw or pasteurized milk… ok maybe just 2 for him. Just for the record, I could easy drink a quart of raw milk with zero issues. Over 8 years drinking raw milk now with no issues.

          Studies are great and I can’t have enough of them, but they are often used as an excuse to ignore good anecdotal evidence. Getting punched in the face hurts… “I couldn’t find a study to back that up, so we don’t know that for sure”.

      • Chris, have you ever tried buying raw milk and pasteurizing it at home and seeing how your respond to that type of heated milk?

      • Dr. Mercola also has some good articles on the benefits of raw milk.
        “Millions of Americans get sick every year from eating contaminated foods. Among them, at least 325,000 will be hospitalized and 5,000 will die, according to FDA statistics.

        Many foods are responsible for these illnesses. Most recently, romaine lettuce sold to wholesalers was recalled in multiple states after concerns of E. coli contamination, and a few weeks later romaine lettuce-based, ready-to-eat salads were recalled due to possible Salmonella bacteria.

        Americans are no strangers to such recalls.

        One of the most memorable occurred in 2006, when all spinach was pulled from store shelves. Alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, beef and jalapeno peppers have also been recalled in recent years after serious illnesses have been reported.

        Yet, only one food — raw milk — has been unfairly singled out and targeted by the FDA, the USDA and even the FBI as a “health risk” worthy of armed raids and crackdowns — a food that also happens to be so low on the food-borne illness risk scale it’s hardly measurable.”


        • Remember Pink Floyd’s song, about trusting the govt. The Govt is protecting Engineered farming trying to squeeze the little guy. I thought the Libs were for the little guy. Ha.

          This is all political, so make your choices wisely. The Libs and Dems are for huge Govt, which is job security, and big business. Where’s OWS when it comes to all the lies big Govt is telling us, taking away our choices and stealing our money.

    • Sarah, to expound a little further on what Chris explains is the risk:
      Even if we take Joe’s number (which adjusts reported illness with the “unreported” 97.7%, thus raising the chance of getting ill to 1 in 2800, consider that they are saying a child or adult has 1 chance in 2800 to come down ill in any given YEAR. That means they might become ill the first year, or they might become ill the 2800th year (37 lifetimes mind you, using 75 years as a lifespan). That means on average, the average child might take over 18 lifetimes to get ill from drinking raw milk at this rate. But remember, they will be an ADULT most of that time, so their chances of getting seriously ill as a child are not really even that great.
      And this doesn’t take into consideration that people can take matters into their own hands and inspect and question the prospective dairies, and safeguard the sanity of the milk once it is in the home better than the average case.
      Risks, remember, can be adjusted by your day-to-day behavior and the intelligence you apply to the “problem”. If you don’t use an ATM after dark, and you don’t drive drunk, why would you assume careless behavior regarding contamination of your food supply. Anyone can improve on any of their statistics. You don’t have to assume you are just a member of the herd, and have to accept the herd’s statistics.
      I may not convince you that there is any benefit to drinking raw milk. I’m not trying. I’m just trying for myself, and for others, to put some more perspective on the risk side of the issue.

      • Glenn, I don’t agree with how you’ve presented the statistics here. If we were to accept 1 in 2800, that is a very high risk for foodborne illness. This does not mean one child will have to drink raw milk for 18 lifetimes to get sick. More accurately, it means among 9.4 million milk drinkers, which would mean as many as 2.3 million children, every year about 840 children will become ill, and up to 58 (based on 2-7% HUS complication rate overall, probably higher in children) of those will experience acute renal failure. (I don’t think Chris accepts that figure, but I’m going based on the number you mentioned.) That’s up to 58 children on dialysis for something that might not even be beneficial.

        I appreciate that the absolute risk of getting sick might still be low. My point is, why should I assume that additional risk, and why should I impose that risk on my child, when there is no proven benefit? My child rides in the car because that is necessary in order for us to live where we live, carry out our daily lives and assure our livelihood. The benefit is considerable. In my mind, if I am going to knowingly expose my child to an increased risk of serious illness, when it is perfectly easy for me to dramatically reduce that risk (i.e. by giving her pasteurized milk), there’d better be some proven benefit involved in assuming that risk. In this case, there is not.

        Knowing the supplier and keeping tabs on their inspection policies helps, but it doesn’t solve the problem. Some of the suppliers involved in recent outbreaks regularly checked their supply for contamination.

        In reality, I am generally less risk averse than my writing may imply. Life is full of risks and we as autonomous individuals choose to take on some and avoid others, based on the perceived benefits. I don’t object to people making subjective decisions that go against compiled evidence (except maybe in issues of public health), based on the power of their personal, lived experience. I only object to presenting that subjective decision as if it is supported by evidence.

        • I think you have a great point Sarah.

          In keeping up with the car analogies:
          If we could modify our car and reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident by 10-150 times, would we still drive our unmodified car because it (possibly) has better performance? Keep in mind if we got into an accident, our children are more likely to be the ones injured.

        • Sarah makes a number of good points in her comments. Having some extra time this weekend, I came to read the raw milk set of posts, and I’m disappointed by them.

          Perhaps what bothers me the most is that this post sets up a false dichotomy between raw milk from small, family farms and pasteurized milk from factory farms. In fact, some raw milk comes from farms that are not close to 100% pasturing and/or are large operations (look up non-marketing videos of Organic Pastures’ operation, as one example), and some pasteurized milk comes from small, family farms with entirely pastured/grass-fed cattle.

          I’m nearly always wowed by Chris’s posts, but this raw milk set isn’t compelling like they usually are. And in the comments, Chris comes off as far more defensive than he usually is, which surprises me, because he usually seems rather more objective about what he’s reporting on.

          • Don’t forget engineered farms give hormones and antibiotics to the cows. Poor creatures are tortured on their feet making twice as much milk as normal. Then the milk is boiled to oblivion and coloring and vitamins are added back. Why would you want to drink that ?????

            If you like raw, know your farmer, visit the farm and look around. I wouldn’t by govt milk from a dirty store. You don’t haveto purchase the milk, it’s your choice. I don’t like the govt getting involved and telling me to drink engineered milk. All you people out there who want choice, well I want choice of what iI put in my body without big Bro getting involved..

    • Why eat dairy at all? I stopped all dairy (supermarket type) 8 years ago and got rid of nose congestion, headaches, pimples on the back, and so on. I started to eat butter 2 years ago with no bad effect at all. I will be hard pressed to start dairy again (apart from butter), especially conventional. So if worried about the risk of raw milk why not stop all together. Various negative effect from conventional milk products including cancer potential.

      • Hi Stan,
        Not to answer for anyone but myself, but I assume this article is addressed to those who can drink milk in most any form, and are just weighing the benefits vs risks of using raw milk, as they consider milk and it’s byproducts a valuable part of their diet.
        I agree with you for my personal case. Sinus problems made me consider forgetting about milk. Once in the non-milk state of mind, I don’t miss it and I’m sure I can get complete nutrition without it.
        There are arguments that say it’s only for calves and there are those which say it isn’t paleolithic. I’d love to get into those discussions, as I think they are relevant to humankind, but I’m sure I don’t want to add any substance to that expansion of this current discussion.
        Maybe Chris can take that angle up as an additional article though? I would like that.

    • Besides destroying part of the vitamin C contained in raw milk and encouraging growth of harmful bacteria, pasteurization turns the sugar of milk, known as lactose, into beta-lactose, which is far more soluble and therefore more rapidly absorbed in the system, with the result that the child soon becomes hungry again.

      Probably pasteurization’s worst offence is that it makes insoluble the major part of the calcium contained in raw milk. This frequently leads to rickets, bad teeth and nervous troubles, for sufficient calcium content is vital to children; and with the loss of phosphorus also associated with calcium, bone and brain formation suffer serious setbacks.

      Pasteurization also destroys 20 percent of the iodine present in raw milk, causes constipation and generally takes from the milk its most vital qualities.

      • There is no substitute for clean, raw milk as a food, so far as children are concerned. Science has not yet succeeded in providing, in the pasteurized variety, those essential qualities that are the only real foundation for a healthy child.
        Unfortunately, many grossly distorted statements are current regarding our milk supply. If we are to believe the protagonists of the Pasteurization-of-all-milk-at-all costs Party, raw milk is as good, or rather as bad, as rat poison–although as the Minister of Agriculture recently stated, “the human race existed long before Pasteur was heard of.”

        I and my large family were raised on raw cow milk. I use raw milk to make kefir which I consume daily.

      • The thing about beta-lactose is false.

        There is no digestibility differece, and – you may need to understand alpha and beta anomer beheviour in a solution – the molecules move freely back and forth from alpha to beta.

        Heating then cooling doesn’t lock the molecules into the beta configuration.

  130. Isn’t another benefit of raw milk the fact that, except in some rare case, it will also not be homogenized? As I understand it, when pasteurized milk is homogenized, something called xanthine oxidase is formed, which has a role in oxidative stress by acting as a free radical in your body. Does anyone have any other drawbacks to list that come with homogenization?

  131. With regards to your questions about why raw milk may be better tolerated by people, Catherine Shanahan, MD, in “Deep Nutrition,” talks about how processed milk’s micro-structure becomes disrupted through heat (pasteurization) and homogenization. Most, but not all, pasteurized milk is also homogenized for stability, and the homogenization process basically squeezes the large casein micelle complexes through small pores to break them up. Here is a quick image of raw, intact casein micelles for reference: http://www.dairyscience.info/forum/uploads/public/casein.gif. The micelles are held together by calcium phosphate, so when the micelles are broken up in homogenization, this exposes the nicely held together fats to the calcium, which forms calcium soaps (“saponification”). The calcium soaps not only cause a lot of irritation to the gut, but also make calcium much less bio-available.

    The high heat of pasteurization can alter amino acids found in milk and transform them into more allergenic proteins that are less recognized by our immune cells, which could explain why some people can develop sinus congestion and/or increased phlegm to modern dairy.

    I’m sure there are many additional explanations at the molecular level as to why unprocessed dairy is better tolerated.

    • Cynthia, Its finally good to hear from someone who presents valid facts instead of lukewarm info or ignorance! Bravo! Raw Milk has nourished humans for centuries and the bible speaks of “a land flowing with MILK and HONEY!!!! It was definately NOT PASTEURIZED, HOMOGENIZED, OR FULL OF ANITBIOTICS, STEROIDS, OR NASTY GMO GRAINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just amazes me how people are so easily decieved by government regulators and big businesses, just like sheep being led to slaughter. Even with all the evidence before them, they will follow satan every time!

  132. Good article, Chris. On the nutrition issue, it is unfortunate that we talk only of “raw” milk nutrition. Clouding the issue is the fact that our raw milk, especially coming from the smallest, family owned herds (or even a single cow) are likely is likely to be coming from a free-range animal, with less exposure to grains and commercial feed. While I have studies on file that show the superior nutrition of free-range beef as well as eggs laid by free-range hens, I’ve seen nothing on the superiority of milk from free ranging cattle. I just assume it is superior. So while it may be difficult to show statistics on the nutritional gains from drinking raw milk, I am inclined to feel the extra nutrition is there, depending on the amount of forage the cows are able to gain for themselves, and the absence of GMO grains and grain products from their feed. It’s hard to imagine any large commercial (pasteurizing-type) dairy herd getting the quality nutrition of even the average raw milk dairy herd.
    I have to admit I am one of those who still got sinus congestion from ingesting even just home-made yogurt from locally obtained raw milk. For that reason, I quit using any kind of dairy except butter and occasional cheese long ago. But for the rest of my family, when the kids were still at home, raw milk and yogurt was always a very healthy part of our diet and we enjoyed making our own yogurt and butter.
    I learned a lot from the “Is Raw Milk Dangerous” article, and because of its information, would take a few new precautions now if I were to be in a family that wanted to purchase raw milk. But I still think it is worth the minuscule risk to drink it instead of less nutritious, and possibly more toxic, pasteurized milk from large dairies.
    Your article was all positive on raw milk, without being negative on pasteurized milk. It refrained from mentioning that by drinking only raw milk, one can avoid possible toxins and other questionable substances (more drugs?) that will more likely be in milk from pasteurizing producers. I would be open to hearing also about the negative nutritional aspects of milk from dairies that never allow their cattle to range freely, and are kept constantly in dirt (mud) lots, if anyone has information on this.

    • Glenn,

      There’s still one more article in the series. In the next article I’ll discuss pasteurized milk as an alternative to raw, although I don’t plan to go into great detail on it.

      • Thanks, and woopsie, I had an old screen up and didn’t see this reply when I put in my latest on homogenization. I’ll wait for your (and others’) input on that also.

  133. Chris —

    I have been adding unpasturized (raw milk) cheese to my diet. Do you think the fermentation process has any significant deleterious impact on the potential benefits of raw milk?

      • Yeah, this was my assumption. I might proffer that the fermentation process could result in a marginally “safer” product, given the chance of purchasing a poorly stored/handled or inadequately refrigerated raw milk. So why purchase raw milk when I can readily buy (raw milk) cheese?

          • Thank you Beth. So it may or may not be “raw”. Clearly, a lower temperature is preferable to a higher one, but 98degrees is far superior to 145degrees or higher. I will check and discover exactly what their “raw” terminology really means. Appreciated.

            • Follow up –

              After checking, the store which sold the cheese as “raw” was actually selling a product which had been exposed to 130degrees of heat for 10 seconds. While 130degrees is better than 161degrees, and 10 sec. sure beats 15 seconds, it is, as you say, not really what one would normally call “raw”.


              • Speaking of using low heat to make cheese, or too ferment raw milk, I buy a Bovine Colosterum, as I have Gerd real bad, as well as I can’t tolerate wheat, esp Franken wheat by Monsonto the GMO Bastards. Chris’s diet, as well as raw milk and products and the Bovine colosterum to help my immunity system, was a chemo victim in 97. This lifestyle and diet change has put me on the road to recovery. The pain at one time from Gerd knocked me off my feet. It crippled me but no more. We are what we eat.

        • No reason, unless you want to be able to drink fluid milk or make stuff with it, like kefir or yogurt.

          • “No reason” ??? Apart from the fact that you just agreed that part (if not most) of the benefits are in the whey, which cheese is devoid of.

  134. Chris wrote: “the absolute risk of getting sick from raw milk is exceedingly small: about 1 in 94,000.”

    Once again Chris, this is simply not true. There are no statistics that measure the absolute risk of getting sick from raw milk. The vast majority of foodborne illnesses (98% by the best estimate put forth by scientists) go unreported. I implore anyone who reads this article to first read Part 1 and especially the comments section before believing any of his bogus numbers. You also continue to ignore the well-known fact that children are immensely more susceptible to suffering debilitating illnesses from raw milk than adults.

    The fact that you continue to put out these false claims shows your lack of character and credibility. Please don’t insult the intelligence of the reader any more by claiming to be unbiased. This is the most biased fluff piece I have ever read on the subject of raw milk.

    By the way, have you considered that there are local small farmers who sell pasteurized milk? Yes, there are even those who raise grass-fed cows. The Community, Environment, and Ethics arguments are LOL-worthy, they have nothing to do with raw milk.

    • Joe you’ve made one or two valid points in the comments, but why not make them without coming off as a condescending dick and a hater?

      And as for if Community, Environment, and Ethics have anything to do with raw milk – why not let people decide that for themselves, alright.

    • why not start your own blog Joe, you seem to have opinions aplenty, you have made your comments time and again here, and have been heard, now it is just unecessary. thank you.

    • Joe. How often do you have to try to make the same point? Chris has addressed it in spades in the prior piece. Do you just enjoy being a condescending jerk who needs to be acknowledged?

      • @alix, Mario: Well, in case you haven’t noticed, Chris edited the article to fix the incorrect comparison that I pointed out, after I made this last comment. So yeah, I had to keep making the same point until it was corrected. I was not pointing out subjective interpretations but rather what was factually incorrect. The reason for my tone and for being a “condescending dick”, “jerk” and “hater” is because Chris wrote several times that this is an unbiased look at the subject, absent hyperbole. In fact, it is far from unbiased in the content and analysis. It has been corrected some, but as Sarah points out, it still has several shortcomings and it’s disingenuous to claim that it’s an unbiased look at the subject.

        @Josh: Not alright, friend. The point I was trying to make is that the arguments in the article put forth about Community, Environment, and Ethics are really just the benefits of selecting a small local farmer for your milk supply instead of big agriculture. These arguments apply whether or not the local farmer pasteurizes his milk or not, so these points are inconsequential to the raw vs. pasteurized milk debate.

        • @Joe “The point I was trying to make is that the arguments in the article put forth about Community, Environment, and Ethics are really just the benefits of selecting a small local farmer for your milk supply instead of big agriculture. These arguments apply whether or not the local farmer pasteurizes his milk or not, so these points are inconsequential to the raw vs. pasteurized milk debate.”

          Well Joe,your point is taken,but unfortunately it’s false. If I lived next door to a large factory dairy, then it WOULD be local to me, but still missing all the quality benefits of a small grass fed dairy delivering raw milk. If I have a feedlot dairy featuring antibiotics and grain feed, suddenly the pasteurization becomes mandatory to protect the user from an inferior product. Furthermore, why would a local dairy want to incur the expense of pasteurization only to lower the value of their product to that of the factory farm?

          It’s clear you miss the point entirely when it comes to the marketing of quality food and I’m ok with that. Keep eating your 6 to 11 servings of grain a day and never mind the tap water; The politicians assure us it’s safe.

    • Children may well be more susceptible to food borne illness than adults, but I am even more susceptible than children. I am the recipient of a full intestinal transplant (both small and large) and am on immunosuppressant medication. If anyone was going to drop dead from raw milk, it would be I. But I have been consuming raw dairy for nearly 2 years since my transplant and consider it a large part of my unique recovery. No other recipient I met has made a swifter and more complete recovery than I have, and all of the other recipients I befriended have been back in the hospital several times for systemic infections and I have not. All of them drink no milk, because we were told that all intestinal and multivisceral tranplant recipients become lactose intolerant, which is erroneous. Doctors always consider that any indigestion of milk is lactose related – I have proven that isn’t the case.

      After my transplant I attempted to drink pasteurized milk and was unable to digest it. It gave me severe diarrhea and cramps and I lost nearly 10 pounds, because everything was being flushed out with the milk. I am not lactose intolerant (never was before and I digest the raw milk just fine). Because my transplanted bowels seem to be more sensitive than a native bowel (to many foods – including wheat), there is something wrong with the processed milk that my intestines wants to flush out. I personally believe it is denatured proteins, both whey and casein, that is not recognized nor digestible any longer.

      But a transplanted bowel works at a much lower rate of absorption than a native bowel, so it is imperative to consume foods as nutrient dense as possible to regenerate from such a traumatic surgery and few foods are as nutrient rich as raw dairy. I also ferment raw dairy into kefir, which I believe has been very critical in the healing process.

      The doctors would certainly not like the idea of me consuming raw dairy, but it is hard to argue with the results as I am the only recipient NOT to have a sepsis since being initially released from the hospital. BTW, I do get my raw dairy from and extremely reputable dairy where all of the cows are certified A2 protein, are grass fed and all the milk is handled with sterile conditions, far beyond what milk slated for pasteurization would be. I do not recommend anyone get raw dairy from a commercial dairy where the milk is scheduled to be pasteurized.

      But your opinion that somehow a small family dairy having superior pasteurized milk to commercial dairies makes little sense and the heat from the pasteurization process would still render unnatural proteins that would cause stress on my grafted bowels. If raw milk was inherently as dirty as you suggest, I’d be the first to die from it. So far, so good. Sure there are risks, but I could just as easily die from an infection from a salad or raw fruits. Milk handled properly is not naturally dirtier than any other raw food, somehow people have been brow-beaten into believing it is. If I could not drink raw milk, I wouldn’t be able to drink milk at all, like all the other patients, because processed milk stresses my intestines. I agree with Chris, in my case, the benefits outweigh the risks, given the risks are so small and I have a special need for very high nutrition.

      All minor infections may not be reported, but on the flip side, you have not considered that many illness attributed to raw milk consumption was proven not to be or undetermined. There was one case where raw milk was blamed and it turned out to be infected chickens and another where it was found to be from an imported cheese from Mexico, and yet the CDC still reports these as infections from raw milk, and these were the ones that had deaths involved. If I were to become ill from any other raw food I may eat (like the recently tainted cantaloupes) the doctors would immediately report it as the raw dairy being the root of the infection, with no further investigation.

      So as arrogant and cocky as you come across, you’re really not very observant and want to believe that thousands of infections are under-reported, but every incident reported is the gospel truth that raw milk was the instigator. This has been proven not to be true. The FDA and CDC look for any way to blame raw dairy as a scare tactic and will blame any infection immediately on raw milk consumption without further investigation – the exact opposite of what your erroneous point was. And even when proven that raw milk was not responsible, the CDC refuses to change or retract their original statement – so yes, there are ethics involved and your reply is the only LOL-worthy essay going on here.

      • Wolverine, come on dude, read my post. Here is what I said:

        “I’m not discounting the idea that raw milk numbers are skewed. In fact, as I stated earlier, if you believe the numbers are skewed against raw milk, then you can’t use any of the data. If they are skewed, then you can’t use the reported statistics!”

        I’m arguing for consistency. You can’t use statistics only when it’s convenient. You either trust them or you don’t. That’s it!

        Wolverine said: “But your opinion that somehow a small family dairy having superior pasteurized milk to commercial dairies makes little sense…”

        Well, I don’t know where you got that from. I never said anything about that. Pot, kettle, black. Who’s the unobservant one?

        • You either trust them or you don’t. That’s it!

          This assumes that all statistics, and the studies reporting on them, are equally reliable. They’re not. Ascertainment bias, which is what Wolverine was referring to, is one of the most common problems in research. Part of good science is determining the quality of the underlying data, and whether it can be taken at face value.

          • I agree that ascertainment bias is one of the common problems with science. That is precisely the point. Biased data can not be used in any capacity. Since you chose to accept this data and included it in your analysis, that implies that you ascertained that it is reliable. You can’t pick and choose when to use it or to call it questionable when it doesn’t support your argument. It’s all-or-nothing. I have not called into question the reliablility of the data, but you and Wolverine have implied that it’s skewed. If it’s skewed, take it out. That’s the only scientific thing to do.

            • I didn’t get that from the article, I got that based on their own cited statistics, they had reported incorrectly. Isn’t that using their own words against them?

          • I find it interesting that we hear so much about the “supposed” dangers of raw milk, but not about the dangers associated with so many other foods that people consume every day. We never hear about the many illnesses and deaths associated with pasturized milk or , for example, processed meats.

            BMC Medicine published their study on the link between processed meat and premature death.

            It confirmed what we’ve been saying all along…even if it shocked the researchers.

            Their findings? Processed meats are dangerous stuff. But here’s the rub…
            The researchers first concluded that eating “junk” meat was strongly associated with other bad choices—excessive drinking, smoking, not eating enough fruits and veggies. So of course people who ate this garbage died sooner. But then they dug a bit deeper.

            You see, they studied almost half a million people. That let them really look at processed meat consumption without any of the other factors added in. And what did they find?

            An even higher correlation between processed meat and early death!

            Here’s the conclusion…directly from BMC Medicine:

            The results of our analyses suggest that men and women with a high consumption of processed meat are at increased risk of early death, in particular due to cardiovascular diseases but also to cancer.

            Note, they said processed meat. Not all meat. In fact, eating red meat—fresh—didn’t show an increase in mortality at all. Just meat with “bad stuff” added to it.

            It’s no surprise why…

            Beef jerky…bacon…hot dogs…deli meats…sausage…they are usually manufactured with sodium nitrite. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite results in the formation of cancer-causing compounds.

            Another study, this one from 2005 out of the University of Hawaii, found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. And yet another study indicated that if you eat just 50 grams of processed meat every day, your risk of colorectal cancer jumps 21 percent. For reference, that’s about how much deli meat you’d put on a sandwich…if you don’t like a whole lot of meat on your sandwich.

            But if sodium nitrite is so dangerous, why do the FDA and USDA continue to allow this cancer-causing chemical to be used?

            The answer is obvious. Food industry interests now dominate U.S. government regulators. The USDA, for example, actually tried to ban sodium nitrite in the late 1970s. But the meat industry overrode them. It insisted the chemical was safe and accused the USDA of trying to “ban bacon.”

            Today, the corporations that dominate American food and agricultural interests hold tremendous influence over the FDA and USDA. The scary truth is, nobody is looking out for us. And it’s putting your health in serious jeopardy.

            Here’s another example…

            “Diet” Drinks For Everyone…Whether or Not You Want It

            People usually think of both these drinks as healthy. One definitely is… the other, not so much. And the one that’s secretly not good for you? Well, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

            Low-fat, low-calorie diets are all the rage these days. As a result, people are drinking less and of this popular drink. So Big Business has cooked up a way to compete.

            They want to dump aspartame and artificial sweeteners into it to rival Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi. And they want to do it without adding it to the label. It’s outrageous! Worst of all…

            This beverage is especially popular with kids. In an FDA issued notice, the industry behind this movement states that offering a low-calorie, artificial sweetened version would help reduce childhood obesity. That it will be better for kids with chemicals added to it.

            Here’s hoping the FDA makes the right decision (we’re not holding our breath).

            In the meantime, what about that other “healthy” drink I mentioned earlier? It should be good for you…if no one had ever tinkered with it. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. So it could be quietly chipping away at your health each and every day. Yet it’s so common your kids, grandkids—or even you—most likely drink it.

            The WWI Poison You Nad No Clue You Were Drinking.

            You know by now that artificial sweeteners like Sweet-n-Low and Equal are nothing more than little packets of poison.

            But a recent report shows that as many as 28 million Americans unknowingly drink artificial sweeteners every day. That includes a chemical that’s used in bleach, disinfectants, and insecticides. It was even used in a WWI poison gas!

            Dr. James Bowen from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine went so far as to say, “In terms of long-term human toxicity we should regard [this substance] with its chemical cousin DDT, the insecticide now outlawed.”

            Studies show it can attack the nervous system and make your liver swell and your kidneys calcify. And here you thought you were safe when you threw away those packets of Splenda.

            Safest to just stick to bottled water, right? Well that’s what you’ll find out in our newly published report—Why These “Healthy” Foods Aren’t Healthy Anymore. In a moment, I’ll show you how to claim a copy for free. But first let me tell you about another natural food the FDA had no problem compromising…

            • Copying your own entire blog posts in as a comment along with your ad at the end is kind of silly. And I might add that all the research on ‘processed meats’ seems to ignore that almost nobody eats processed meats without hamburger and hot dog bugs and sandwich bread and transfats often with soy mayo, not to mention the requisite fries or chips and drink.

        • Joe,

          You’re quite a pro at the “straw man fallacy” aren’t you? I was quite observant. Here is your quote, “By the way, have you considered that there are local small farmers who sell pasteurized milk? Yes, there are even those who raise grass-fed cows.”. Why would someone pay more money for locally raised pasteurized milk, if they didn’t believe that it was somehow superior to commercial pasteurized milk? Why would you even make mention of local farms with grass-fed cattle if you weren’t suggesting that it was superior to commercial milk? Now, you try to deny what you have said by more of your crass insults.

          Just because the cows were grass-fed would not make the denatured proteins any easier to digest. I wasn’t making any argument concerning statistics, because statistics can be skewed to fit the desired out come of the one reporting – both in favor of and against raw dairy. I was pointing out the fact that you (and the CDC) are the ones cherry-picking the data that supports your belief.

          Again, you pull out your trusty straw man by accusing me of arguing with statistics when I never sighted any statistics in favor of raw milk, but only pointed out the bogus negative numbers touted by the CDC that you place so much trust in. I could care less about your precious statistics. I look at the many people I know who have consumed raw milk for decades with no ill effects. A straw man argument is a pretty weak defense and sort of makes you seem desperate and confused. Hopefully you can learn better debating techniques in the future.

          • On the contrary Wolverine, you are the one attacking the “straw man” by failing to comprehend what I have written. I’ll address your post point-by-point.

            [quote=Wolverine] Here is your quote, “By the way, have you considered that there are local small farmers who sell pasteurized milk? Yes, there are even those who raise grass-fed cows.”. Why would someone pay more money for locally raised pasteurized milk, if they didn’t believe that it was somehow superior to commercial pasteurized milk? Why would you even make mention of local farms with grass-fed cattle if you weren’t suggesting that it was superior to commercial milk? Now, you try to deny what you have said by more of your crass insults.[/quote]

            The point I was trying to make and which I have coninued to reiterate is that by choosing a local, small farmer the same arguments in the Community, Environment, and Ethics paragraphs of the article still apply whether the small, local farmer pasteurizes his milk or not. This is why I made mention of local farms with grass-fed cattle. Because you CAN get pasteurized milk from local farms with grass-fed cattle! I do believe that pasteurized milk from grass-fed cattle is more nutritious than that from conventional dairy, but that’s not the point. It’s obvious why people would pay more money for pasteurized milk from grass-fed cattle, just as people pay more for steak from grass-fed cattle, because it’s better! This has nothing to do with raw milk!!

            [quote=Wolverine] Just because the cows were grass-fed would not make the denatured proteins any easier to digest. I wasn’t making any argument concerning statistics, because statistics can be skewed to fit the desired out come of the one reporting – both in favor of and against raw dairy. I was pointing out the fact that you (and the CDC) are the ones cherry-picking the data that supports your belief.[/quote]

            Please find me a quote where I mentioned anything about digestion. With regards to statistics, I have not cherry picked anything. The statistics are not mine. I have pointed out the bias in the analysis by Chris. You claim that the statistics are skewed by the CDC against raw milk. I have no reason to defend the CDC and I have not done so. I have pointed out the fact that if you believe the statistics are skewed, then they are invalid and Chris cannot use them in a scientific argument which was the basis of the ENTIRE first article. You are blinded by your raw milk fanaticism and cannot see the logic of the scientific method.

            [quote=Wolverine]Again, you pull out your trusty straw man by accusing me of arguing with statistics when I never sighted any statistics in favor of raw milk, but only pointed out the bogus negative numbers touted by the CDC that you place so much trust in. I could care less about your precious statistics. I look at the many people I know who have consumed raw milk for decades with no ill effects. A straw man argument is a pretty weak defense and sort of makes you seem desperate and confused. Hopefully you can learn better debating techniques in the future.[/quote]

            Again, please find me a quote where I have supported the CDC’s numbers or placed any trust in them. I have never said that they are reliable. I am arguing for impartiality of the statistics being presented, unlike you who is arguing without rational thought. I don’t care how many people you know who have consumed raw milk. If you lived in Clackamas County Oregon, your personal experience would be very different. That is why people use statistics, to avoid generalizations from small sample sizes like you and your circle of friends.

            In closing, please go back and read what I have written (a few times). Perhaps if your reading comprehension was better, you wouldn’t be falsely accusing me of straw hat arguments.

            • Joe, I am glad to have your voice in this discussion. Wolverine, I’m glad to have yours too. The biggest obstacle any group advocating a nutritional ideology can face is a lack of “Joe’s”. Joe’s are needed because it’s that critical, analytical, and methodical, accepted type of process that is going to get the right ears listening. The Wolverines are important too, our personal experiences and anecdotal evidence is what can spark the Joe’s with the means to make a real study happen to do so. If you really believe in your diet choices and you really want the average person to be privy to good nutritional information, you should hope like hell for thinkers like Joe to find reason to join the cause because that’s the way to making the biggest impact. There are charlatans out there, and these nutritional debates get so dogmatic it’s like arguing that one religion is the true path while a thousand others argue the same. Think about all the ideas out there, just about health, and all of them have someone speaking with passion and conviction that it is THE way. Wolverines should embrace the Joes for their commitment to empirical evidence on a journey to truth. Joes should embrace the wolverines for raising new questions and challenges to consider on the journey.

              As for myself, I’m proudly a sceptic by nature. But I’m curious, and passionate about learning and discovering, I believe there is a great deal of mystery and I’m grateful for always having more to learn. I’ve explored many groups and ideas, had many amazing and intriguing experiences. With diet it’s the same. It’s been a journey for me. I’ve got close friends and aquaintences who have healed themselves by choosing diets that no conventional Doctor or nutritionist would consider safe or correct. Some of them have been at deaths door at the end of the best of what medicine and many alternative diets could offer, only to defy all we’re told about food and not only survive, but completely thrive. I have a friend who is very intolerant to lactose in pasteurized dairy yet feels great with raw dairy. But there are so many variables. The only constant thread I see is the less processed food someone eats the more radiant and robust they are. My journey with health is going down a raw vegetable based path for now. Don’t assume I’m against anything, or haven’t tried other paths before this. You’d probably be mistaken. It’s a journey and an experiment. I’ve found that my body seems to be building muscle and recovering from activity more quickly than I have experienced in the past with a more conventional diet, a more paleo diet, a diet containing raw animal products, yet I have friends on a raw animal diet experiencing the same thing. Who knows why, I hope good scientist can get behind these questions with some good science to answer. Science is the quest for quantifiable truth. It is only limited because we are, corrupt because we are.

              Kind of losing my train of thought here as it gets late and I write this with big hands on my small phone in bed. I’m sure that last bit starting about me is evidence enough.

              Anyway, a few questions I’d love to have data on.

              Casein, some good studies show an increase In casein having a positive connection to an increase in cancers. Usually the isolated protein seems to be tested. Is the protein raw or heated? How is it isolated and what differences might there be from casein found in raw animal products?

              Some studies showing a decrease in heart disease being connected with a decrease in animal products, but also using the blanket term of processed foods and also suggests the animal products are replaced with whole plant foods, may be making a conclusion using too many variables. For one might the excess use of oils that can be found in processed foods being reduced need to be considered as a factor of reducing heart disease?Studies have shown that heart disease is more prevalent in people consuming more oils and fewer animal products.

              Ok, this is getting worse. Goodnight. Arguing is good, fighting is not. Please don’t fight.

          • I totally see Joes point, and think you’re so caught up in trying to make your argument that you argue just to argue. Our local grocery stores now carry glass milk bottles from local dairy farms. Our local farm stands do too. I can buy local pasteurized milk in many places. It sells a lot. So obviously people are willing to pay more for local milk even if its pasteurized, because it IS happening every day.

      • @Wolverine “I do not recommend anyone get raw dairy from a commercial dairy where the milk is scheduled to be pasteurized.”

        Funny you’d mention that. I had a roommate many years ago who was working at a factory dairy and bringing raw milk home. It didn’t have a pleasant smell, left an odd, waxy buildup in the container and didn’t have the light custard color of the raw milk I purchase locally. It looked a little more like whitewash for a fence. Within a week or so he developed bleeding from his lower intestine. Don’t know how he got cured but he did stop drinking the raw milk that was slated for pasteurization.

        I have to admit I would probably have started on raw milk sooner if it wasn’t for my memory of his uncomfortable condition.

      • How do you ferment raw dairy into Keifer? Are you talking yogurt? Loved your story. The CDC would love to hang the little farmer with the best milk around, to make more room for the Engineered poison milk.

        I read there are licensed raw milk farms, I have never come across one, would like to know if there are any in the state of Md or Va.

        • Google kefir. Kefir is a bacteria which feeds on lactose. It is a probiotic, similar to yogurt, in the form of a “grain,” which is a soft, roundish object. It can be obtained from various places online, like this site: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/ for the cost of & shipping.

          Regarding raw milk in MD or VA, try looking through the sources at http://www.realmilk.com. I suspect there will be some source, as MD is an agriculturally abundant state, unless raw milk is illegal in the two states you mention.

          • I was diagnosed with Celiac about 5 years ago. I was told by my doctor that I probably wouldn’t be able to tolerate any milk or milk products. I tried cottage cheese and it made me sick. I tried yogurt and it made me sick. I made my own yogurt out of raw milk and it still made me sick. So, I got some kefir grains online and made me some kefir from raw milk. Wow! Finally, a milk product that my system will tolerate. I make a smoothie each morning with my kefir. Frozen fruit, organic peanut or almond butter, stevia, kefir and 2 raw farm raised eggs. My diet is very restricted but this is one thing that I look forward to each day. I don’t get tired of it because I can change the taste by changing the fruit I use.

            Since both yogurt and kefir are fermented forms of milk, I wondered why I could tolerate one and not the other. It seems that the probiotics in kefir are stronger than the ones in yogurt.

            • Kefir might be essentially lactose-free, whereas yogurt, cheese, and other milk products still have enough lactose in them to make you sick.

              • I have since had two doctors tell me that I can tolerate the kefir because of the stronger probiotics it contains. The other milk products were doing damage to my intestines. When I first told my doctor I was making and drinking kefir, he got very quiet. Then at the end of our session he gave me a stool test he wanted me to do. After he got the results back from the stool test, he said: “keep doing what your doing, I can find no evidence that it is harming you. what a blessing.

      • Well said Wolverine. I too am recovering from a health issue that doctors say is usually fatal. I have a smoothie made of raw milk kefir, frozen fruit, an organic nut butter and 2 raw (free range, grass fed, local) chicken eggs.

        When I told my doctor about my breakfast smoothie, (on the phone) he got very quiet for a minute. Then he sent me a spit test. (I’m now out of state). When I got the test, I immediately checked the diagnoses codes to see what he was testing me for. Sure enough, it was for the results of the milk that I was consuming. (He had earlier told me NO milk or milk products.) When he got the results back from the test, he said: “I can find no indication that the milk is hurting you, continue doing what your doing. BTW, He is both a licensed MD and NP.

      • I have a reconstructed rectum. I have been hospitalized for about 7 days for blocked bowels or diverticulitious. they are not sure. Finally got bowels moving. I have had extremely high diahrea for days since they got the bowels working. For two weeks before being hospitalized i was drinking raw milk because i have been on so many intervenious antibiotics for so long I didn’t want anymore anticiotics in my body. Is there any chance that the raw milk caused this blockage or diverticulitious. if my source of milk was bad wouldn’t everyone drinking it be sick. Is there any chance that the raw milk could have caused my problems. I am afraid to tell the hospital. I was drinking raw milk they would just say thats the cause. have always had problems but not like this. I haven’t been able to eat for many days (7) and am very weak. I need to sleep but bowels won’t let me they are no stop. Any help out there

        • Virginia –
          I think I know what you mean:
          When I first started drinking raw milk, I loved it so much I quickly worked up to a gallon per day! Then I stayed overnight in a crowded house, so had limited bathroom time & skipped my nightly magnesium supplement. After that, had a large, painful bm which caused bleeding. Also, bloating & fever. (So this was like diverticulitis.)
          The next week, same problem only worse, so I began using chamomile enemas to pass the stool. Straining can be very dangerous!
          Now, I drink no more than 1-2 quarts of raw milk per day, drink aloe vera, take double my magnesium / potassium supplement, and use the warm enema if I go a day without eliminating.
          I’ve also just been eating a lot less fiber to allow my guts a rest (see ‘Fiber Menace’).
          I think my colon was a bit compromised to start with, so this has made me extra careful & aware of the need to protect it.
          The raw milk has stabilized my blood sugar, eliminated sugar cravings & depression, improved my formerly dry skin – just so many signs of better digestion & endocrine function. It’s been a lifesaver; though now I am also committed to healing my colon.

    • A single glass of milk can contain a mixture of as many as 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones. Using a highly sensitive test, scientists found the chemicals in samples of cow, goat milk.

      The Daily Mail reports:
      “Researchers believe some of the drugs and growth promoters were given to the cattle, or got into milk through cattle feed or contamination on the farm … [The] breakdown … revealed that cow’s milk contained traces of anti-inflammatory drugs niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen … It also contained the hormone 17-beta-estradiol”.

      Milk is thought of as a wholesome food, which is why so many parents give it to their children with every meal. And the truth is, it is wholesome when it’s in its raw form and sourced from cows fed non-contaminated grass and raised in clean conditions.

      Unfortunately, the milk that winds up in most Americans’ glasses is far from this unadulterated state and, as the study above revealed, instead may be a veritable chemical cocktail.

    • Those sm farmers haveto according to the govt regs, heat the milk or big Unk will come in and take the farm.

      By the way, if raw is so dangerous, don’t you think the CDC and CNN would blast it all over our tv’s that raw milk hurt a child.?? They would love a chance to do that but they can’t because, it isn’t so. Wake up people. Quit letting the Gov kill you, little by little.

  135. Chris, this is a fantastic article on Raw Milk.

    I love that you don’t try to convince either way. Just laying out the facts or at least what we think to be true given the studies and anecdotal evidence we have today.

    I know that Undenatured Whey is believed to increase Glutathione levels in the body. I’m assuming since Pasteurized milk is heated it destroys the properties in Whey that increase Glutathione. Have you found that to be true?

    • Ascorbic Acid recycles Glutathione up to 50%. (And reduces Cortisol output up to 20%.) Just a note, if people were pointedly interested in the whey protein for the sake of the Glutathione.

  136. In the large European cross-sectional study on ‘farm milk’ you cited, the authors tested and controlled for fat levels as well as bacteria levels and found no correlation, eliminating the hygiene hypothesis or some magic property in the fat. Instead, they state in their conclusion that raw milk whey is the protective element.

    • Chris. I have been recovering from a severe fungal infection. It has been a long hard battle. Keeping my system alkaline has been a significant part of my recovery. By the time I found someone who would help me, I was in stage four and not expected to recover. Now some 5 years later I am feeling pretty good and continuing to improve. I only drink kefir, which I make from raw milk, because I have Celiac & cannot tolerate milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. It’s my understanding that diseases cannot survive in an alkaline environment.

      • There is debate about that, and the acid vs. alkaline is probably the most misunderstood and hence worst internet meme ever.

        Unsweetened diluted lemon juice; and apple cider vinegar; and unsweetened cranberry juice; all highly recommended for helping with the liver and kidneys and body in general, are very acidic, and are prone to make the urine more acidic. Many vitamins are acids in their natural form. So acidic is not necessarily a bad thing.

        Also note that the pH of many different parts inside the body varies. Your saliva is likely to differ from your urine even during a water fast, as one easily measurable example.

        The body will self-regulate the pH as needed for health or ‘healing’ if you give it ‘real’ food to include all the spectrum of nutrients (aminos, lipids, enzymes, minerals) it needs and clean water.

        • Outside the body, lemon juice is acidic (pH is below 7). This is a non-issue. Everyone knows this. It’s a citrus fruit.

          Inside the body however, when lemon juice has been fully metabolized and its minerals are dissociated in the bloodstream, its effect is alkalizing and therefore raises the pH of the blood (pH above 7 is alkaline). Please notice the difference.

        • Even though vinegar is acidic, when we take apple cider vinegar it has an alkaline effect in our bodies. The fact that apple cider vinegar causes our pH levels to become more alkaline could play a large part in it’s curative properties.

          Please get your facts straight.

        • There is often misunderstanding of lemon’s pH outside the body versus inside the body
          Outside the body, lemon juice is acidic (pH is below 7). This is a non-issue. Everyone knows this. It’s a citrus fruit.

          Inside the body however, when lemon juice has been fully metabolized and its minerals are dissociated in the bloodstream, its effect is alkalizing and therefore raises the pH of the body (pH above 7 is alkaline).

          Raw Apple Cider is one of those amazing healing foods that has lived up to its health benefits for almost 2,000 years. I always say, look at the ‘tried and true’ if you are looking to add better staple foods to your diet. I’d say a 2,000 year success rate is pretty good, don’t you think?

          Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. is the only vinegar that is alkaline-forming to the body. All other vinegars (white, balsamic, red wine, etc) are acid-forming. For a health balanced pH, raw apple cider vinegar is one of the best things to add to your diet.

  137. Chris, thanks for writing and sharing. Question: When I have my (delicious) raw milk in my (Paleo) diet, I occasionally test body pH using those urine strips and my pH seems significantly more acidic than without. I’ll keep testing to check if it is consistent; but this area confuses me. Any thoughts on pH, milk, animal protein as it relates to long term health would be so helpful to me! Thank you!

    • Amely I don’t know how raw milk affects the P.H. balance, because I have Celiac and can’t tolerate any milk or milk products except a fermented milk called kefir. I make my own from raw milk. I test both urine and saliva for P.H. and mine is fine….very alkaline. However, I do have a fermented green drink that I drink each morning. Vitality Super Green by Body Ecology. (recommended by my N.P.) and that seems to have a positive effect on my P.H.

      • Any way I can get the little pearls to make the kefir?
        Does anyone have any I can purchase? Not sure what they are called.

      • Do you have to ferment this yourself, or is it already fermented? I have fermented my own veggies before and made homemade raw milk kifir. I have the “Idiot’s guide to fermenting food” – great education tool on probiotics and enzymes!

  138. I’m heading out to a farm tomorrow to pick up some raw milk. I’m interested to see how it is, and we do well with it, my 1 year old will try some as well.

    • Oh Please don’t feed this to your infant. While the risk for adults is “relatively low”, for the immune compromised- such as children- the risk increases dramatically.

      And the diseases you can catch from raw milk are MUCH worse than that you typically get from pasteurized milk.

      • cythia, Please get your facts straight. Good, clean raw milk is fantastic for babies. Myself and my siblings were raised on it!

          • Ester. I and my 11 brothers and sisters were raised on raw milk, as were our children. Raw milk is much better for kids then homogenized milk.

          • Me and my family grew up drinking raw milk! And we never get sick! Its much better for kids to drink raw milk because they become healthier and hove a better immune system! Raw milk is the way to go!!!

        • B’H
          Ditto Steve. I get really sick of the hysterical tirades by people who go off half a$$ed about raw milk. I have my own goat and she is healthy and I drink her milk, make yogurt and cheese. I can check her health daily and was pleased to see that she gives over three litres of milk a day and has a butter fat content of 3.92 and it is wonderful healthy milk from a happy healthy goat. Often children drinking the pasteurized milk who have skin problems and eczema find that it clears up within days after starting on raw milk. In Israel it is known that raw goats’ milk clears up foot and mouth disease within 48 hours. Give me raw milk handled appropriately without pasteurization or other fiddlings any time over the white bland liquid being foisted onto an unsuspecting public as milk. I believe a lot of this rubbish about the so called ‘dangers of raw milk’ relate back to the big dairy industries who do not treat their animals well and are after profit, profit over the animal welfare and people’s health.

      • I HAD to be given raw milk as an infant, I was allergic to pasteurized milk. 40 yrs later I STILL don’t tolerate pasteurized milk well. It gets worse, progressively. I can’t even have ice cream anymore. Raw milk, real butter, no issues at all. Take the raw milk and make ice cream, no problems. I grew up on it and now I have to take calcium pills because I can’t buy raw milk where I live. I’m the 5th of 7 children and we NEVER got sick on raw milk.

        • Hi Erb, lots of other foods contain calcium, eg broccoli. The need for dairy to get calcium is overstated. Just Google which foods and no more need for pills! Hope this helps.

      • i was raised on whole raw milk and im very thankful to my parents for doing so! pasteurized homogenized milk is no more then poison in my mind

      • Farms that are licensed to sell raw milk are heavily regulated by the state. Samples are taken at least once a month and if the milk does not meet the state’s standards, the farm’s license is suspended. The disease would be worse, but the chance of it happening at all is pretty slim, as long as the farm is licensed by the state. I have been drinking raw milk since I was an infant and have never gotten sick from it.

        • Liz, where is that “land of raw milk and honey”? I’m pretty sure it’s not Canada

          Even raw goatsmilk and its products are only available “on the black market” here.

        • What States have farms that are licensed ? How about in Md ? I heard you can buy a share in a cow and it’s only 100.00 and you get a gal a week from the farm. I have never found a lisc farm where you can buy raw milk.

        • Nothing wrong with the RAW milk but it must be tested very regularly , You could really get sick on Raw if it isn’t done correctly. these test protect you and allow farmers to really watch over the health of their cows. local milk cows not confined grazing on local land are farm better in some regards to a standard dairy produced product. if you want to play it safe bring your Raw milk to a slow boil at around 145 to not more then 165 degree`s for four to five minutes then let slow cool place in refrigerator then enjoy without the risk ………. Steve

          • @Steve, boiling raw milk is basically pasteurization, which turns milk into a dead allergy causing liquid that is no better than the adulterated pathetic disease causing excuse for a nutritious beverage that you buy in grocery stores. The point of consuming raw milk is to reap the benefits of all the healthy bacteria, vitamins, enzymes and nutrition that naturally comes from Jersey or Guernsey A2 cows that are grassfed only and never given any grains, steroids or hormones. I usually ignore the ignorant comments that pop up on here, but I just couldn’t let this one go.

            • Heating milk to 145 degrees is not boiling. Heating the milk to a temperature in that range releases some of the good probiotics. It is similar to you heating your milk before bed time. I’m sure your mom probably did that for you when you were a child.

      • Cythia: please look further into this topic before you offer your unfounded advice and scare away people who desperately need the wonderful benefits that raw milk can offer.

      • apparently you have not READ this article and the ones that go with it thoroughly. Please read all three again and then think twice before opening your mouth. I grew up on RAW milk in both Germany while my parents were stationed there and still when they were sent back state side and purchased a farm. We made all our own milk based products and even when chicken pox hit our school, I was the last to get them and had the most mild of outbreaks. Only 7 total pox, and only 2 days of any fever what so ever. Then if you still fear RAW milk for children and infants, you need to contact the LaLech League.

        • How can you possibly know that raw milk attributed to your chicken pox experience? Could it also not be a million other things?
          Everyone’s comment is so anecdotal. Thats not convincing. From what I can gather from this article is that pasturised may contain less nutritional value. But nothing else is added during pasturisation, so what makes it bad for you?

        • I grew up on a dairy farm. We never drank raw milk, just store milk and a lot of it. I was rarely sick and the few times it was were short and the fever would burn out in less than a day. Also, I’ve never broken a bone despite doing things I’ve see a good number of other people break bones from. I will admit I did partially tear and ACL and slightly dislocate a rib but neither involved cracked bone and healed relatively quickly without needing anything more than some scans to see what had happened.

          Based on this the factor influencing this would have to be having grown up on a farm rather than consuming raw milk.

          But on a serous note, raw milk is more “dangerous” simply because it spoils more quickly and in large quantities it could have been easily contaminated before leaving the farm. Personally, I view pasteurized milk as little different than cooked meat and the same with raw milk to raw meat.

          Now homogenized milk, that seems to have the potential to cause issues for people with intestinal sensitivities or allergies by breaking up the fats in the milk and releasing more potential allergens that might never be absorbed otherwise.

          • Raw milk does not spoil quicker than pasteurized. Once it sours, it is still healthy to eat. Once pasteurized milk sours, it is only good to put down the drain.

            • I second that. Store milk actually rots when spoiledand even the containers smell rotten.

              Raw milk left out of the refrig =sour milk, aka sour cream. Great yogurt.

              I buy fr the Amish and know the milk is pure, know your source. In the summer I add about 10 drops of food grade peroxide to the milk, shake and put in refrig. A half gal lasts a mo. No kidding. Same with the cream. I was raised on engineered milk, Modern, Mom, sickly all the time. As an adult switched to raw milk and much healthier. Don’t let the Govt scare ya. They want your money and don’t care what they sell you too get it. Just like Big Pharma and all the chem drugs. Buyer beware.

          • I don’t believe you. You must have been a commercial farm and did not let your cows roam and feed on grass. I know of not one true dairy farmer that would not drink there milk raw. If you leave a glass of raw milk sit on the counter for a day it is still edible. If you do the same with pasturised it will be rancid.

            • This is absolutely right. I’ve never had my raw milk “go bad”, it will sometimes separate… but we just shake it up and drink it anyway. Store milk, on the other hand… yuck.

          • You must have been raised on a dairy CAFO. I consider my small local dairy farmer an essential part of my life. I will never give up my raw milk. Raw milk sours when you leave it out on the counter. I deliberately do this each day and consume it regularly. The bacteria in soured milk is extremely beneficial for good health.

          • You should not be posting your FEELINGS about things you know nothing about. That is what they are, simply your feelings with no facts involved. Raw grass fed milk does not go rancid when left out.

        • Just drinking raw milk had nothing to do with contracting the Zoster virus. If you had only one bump you caught it and your immune system is compromised. Anyone who had chicken pox as a child has an 80% chance of getting shingles later in life. The two are unrelated. If it works for you, good. Discussion is an exchange of ideas not accusations.

      • My children and I consume raw milk, yogurt, cream and cheese when we are able to get out to our local dairy. They love the taste. My 4 year old son especially loves the cheeses made from it. I trust this dairy. I’ve personally toured their family owned facilities. Wonderful people who put a lot of love and care into their farm. After tasting the amazing raw cream in my coffee, it’s hard to drink my coffee without it!

      • Hi, I drank raw milk when I was a toddler, each year, I spent summers on a farm and helped milk the cows and had their milk straight afterwards, rich and foamy, and I never got sick, I know that I will forever be grateful to my mother for breastfeeding me for so long and then making sure I get raw milk, fresh vegetables, and grow up to love all the natural foods. Raw milk is not dangerous at all, I’m puzzled why it’s so hard to buy in USA, I lived in Europe most my life and you always had a choice if you want pasteruized or non pasteurized. The non pasteurized tastes heavenly and has good bacteria in it, helpful not harmful. As with everything, there are risks, but it’s much worse to consume processed foods which cause the population to get all sorts of cancers, than have a big cup of foamy fresh milk.

      • 1. You don’t get different diseases when you get sick from raw milk vs. pasteurized milk. It’s the same illness, and it’s potentially awful either way.

        2. The only risk that “increases dramatically” in the immune compromised is just how serious the sickness would be once infected. It does *not* make you more likely to become infected.

        3. As Chris mentioned in his article on the actual risks of raw milk, you are more likely to be hospitalized and DIE from food-borne illness caused by other foods than you are to be hospitalized from drinking raw milk. Furthermore, the risk of dying in a car accident is FAR greater than it is for the risk of getting sick from raw milk, and I don’t see recommendations stating, “oh please don’t drive your infant around in an automobile.”

      • The risk of getting sick from raw milk is the same in adults and children which only happens if the milk is contaminated with pathogens (the risk is very very very low though), but young children will get more serious illness because their immune system is not as strong, the whole idea is NOT to consume a contaminated food (milk or none-milk) to start with.

      • The Crave Bros. Cheese was pasteurized in this outbreak where six ill persons were hospitalized. One death was reported and one illness in a pregnant woman resulted in a miscarriage.
        http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/cheese-07-13/index.html There have been no deaths from raw milk in the last ten years. The milk produced and sold at the turn of the 20th c. was of very poor quality. Also, raw milk sold directly to the public must pass higher standards than milk sent for pasteurization. http://www.twelvearound1.com/files/5_1_addt_l_McAfee_The_15Things_that_Pasteurization_Kills__2_1.pdf

      • Bet you can’t catch autism , or ADD fr raw milk, but I”m sure you have a greater risk of getting autisim and ADD from the Govt innoculations . Our Public schools have the highest rates of ADD from pasturization. Good luck.

      • Dr. Mercola’s comment.

        Milk is thought of as a wholesome food, which is why so many parents give it to their children with every meal. And the truth is, it is wholesome when it’s in its raw form and sourced from cows fed non-contaminated grass and raised in clean conditions.

        Unfortunately, the milk that winds up in most Americans’ glasses is far from this unadulterated state and, as the study above revealed, instead may be a veritable chemical cocktail.

        Excerp from study.
        (A single glass of milk can contain a mixture of as many as 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones. The highest quantities of medicines were found in cow’s milk.) Sorry, but give me good old raw unadulterated cow’s milk for me and my family.

        The Daily Mail reports:

        “Researchers believe some of the drugs and growth promoters were given to the cattle, or got into milk through cattle feed or contamination on the farm … [The] breakdown … revealed that cow’s milk contained traces of anti-inflammatory drugs niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen … It also contained the hormone 17-beta-estradiol”.)

        For instance, did you know that every year U.S. inspectors find illegal levels of antibiotics in dairy cows? And that when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made plans to test milk from cows that had shown high levels of drug residues repeatedly, the dairy industry protested … and the FDA backed down and postponed the testing?

        It’s true.

        And now, instead of looking out for Americans’ health and taking action against what could be dangerously high levels of antibiotics in milk (not to mention contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease), they are planning to “confer with the industry before deciding how to proceed,” the New York Times reported. Dairy cows raised on CAFOs also eat grains that are heavily treated with chemicals that are transferred to the milk.

        Hormone-treated milk is different from non-treated milk because:
        1.It contains increased levels of the hormone IGF-1, which promotes (cancer tumors). According to Dr. Epstein, professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as major causes of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
        2.Hormone use “induces an unnatural period of milk production during a cow’s “negative energy phase.” Milk produced during this stage is considered to be low quality due to its increased fat content and its decreased level of proteins, an Ohio court, which ruled that milk in Ohio can still bear an “rbGH-free” label, stated.
        3.It contains increased somatic cell counts (SCC’s). This means the milk contains more (pus), which makes it turn sour more quickly. Increased SCC count also affects the milk’s taste, smell, texture and color. Raised SCC levels is typically caused by the high incidence of mastitis in rBGH-injected cows

        Further, Dr. Epstein has pointed out several additional differences between rBGH milk and untreated milk and all of these factors can cause or contribute to health problems:
        1.Contamination of the milk by the GM hormone rBGH
        2.Contamination of the milk with illegal antibiotics and drugs used to treat mastitis and other rBGH-induced disease
        3.Increased concentration of the thyroid hormone enzyme thyroxin-5′-monodeiodinase
        4.Increased concentration of long-chain and decreased concentration of short-chain fatty acids
        5.A reduction in levels of the milk protein casein

        Want Better Milk? This Option is Even Superior to Organic

        You may be thinking that the solution to purer milk is to buy organic. Organic milk is clearly better as organic dairy cows will not be given rBGH or routine antibiotics … but it will still have been pasteurized, and this seriously compromises the quality of the milk.

        A better option is (grass-fed RAW milk), which is nearly always better than organic milk if it is purchased from a conscious farmer. In that case, it may not be certified organic, but it will essentially be organic anyway, and drinking your milk raw is the superior choice. Milk from grass-fed cows, unlike grain-fed cows, will be high in CLA that is loaded with many health benefits including helping you lose weight.

        I and my 10 brothers and sisters were raised from infancy on RAW milk. I continue to use raw milk and raised my 3 children on it.

        Pasteurization also 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.

        Raw milk, on the other hand, contains good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, and offers protection against disease-causing bacteria … so I don’t recommend you waste a penny on pasteurized organic milk — seek out milk (and other dairy products) from a reputable raw dairy instead.

        • I dont trust anything from the daily mail. Its commonly known as the daily fail for a reason. If they cant find a story they make it up.

      • Cynthia,

        Please don’t believe the brainwashing you’ve received by the fda and cdc etc.,

        I am English born and raised, grew up drinking raw milk, and grew up to be a very healthy individual. My children were born in this country and after weaning then from the best,I originally have them the milk available to me at the time, two of my children were diagnosed with asthma, one was diagnosed with allergies, and finally my last child was diagnosed with ADHD, which is why I started researching the diet we were eating in this country. As a result of this my family and I started drinking raw milk, and low and behold no more asthma, no more allergies and no more ADHD, and my husband’s skin eczema and allergies, which he has had since childhood have also disappeared. So please research for yourself and don’t believe the lies, just because they come from an agency that is supposed to ensure our health, but actually works for big business.

        Be blessed in life and health!

        • Hmmm…. Your husband has allergies and eczema and now multiple children he has fathered have similar autoimmune disorders. The logical conclusion here would be that your children have inherited the same genetic defect as your husband. Although diet may play a role, allergy issues are most strongly influenced by genetics, not diet. Blame yourself and your husband for repeated poor gene combinations. Not the pasteurized milk.

          • First, ADHD is not an autoimmune disorder, and that is beside the point.

            You could be completely correct that a weak aspect in the fathers genes caused allergies and asthma. However, instead of being insulting…like you were trying to be…you really just highlighted that the raw milk was used to overcome this genetic issue (if one actually does exists).

            So, April’s entire post is valid, and you just appear said and angry.

        • i believe that this would help. people are being told lies by the agencies that do not want us to eat nonprocessed food or drink.

      • My little girl was raised on raw milk and especially colostrum from the grass fed cows. She is extremely healthy. Please please do not feed your babies pasteurized milk as it is dangerous to their health!!!

        • Don’t go from one extreme to another. There are millions of healthy children raised on pasteurized milk. Pasteur was a hero when he figured out the dangers. If you like raw milk. Good. Don’t attribute any positive or negative effects thst are not related to the milk. Diseases like Asthma and ADD are unrelated. Children usually grow out of Asthma, while adults who are stricken don’t. Probiotics affect the symptoms not the cause. ADD is a modern phenomena. Studies point to the genes and environment rather than anything else.

          • Obviously you dont know that pediatric cancer is up 10,000%, autism went from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 32, and 48% of kids develop neurological conditions after vaccination. Kids aint doing that well! (adults either). “trust the system” is no longer an option.

    • I started drinking raw milk two months ago and my endometriosis pain has dramatically gone away. I’d say by at least 90%. I also no longer get reoccurant large ovarian cysts that would burst every month. This raw milk is gold to someone like me! I would go out and buy cows if I was told I could no longer buy it! If anyone with girl pain is debating on trying raw milk, try a glass a day for a month and see how it does you 🙂

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