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

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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.

Nutrition

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.

Tolerance

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.

Health

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.

Flavor

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.

Community

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.

Environment

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.

Ethics

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.

472 Comments

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  1. The link to the Stanford study is dead, I think this what was intended:
    http://www.annfammed.org/content/12/2/134.full

    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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    • You might want to check into making raw milk kefir! You can Goggle Donna Schwenk at Cultured Food Life and find loads of info. I’ve found a great local source for raw milk and kefir grains and been making it for nearly a year now. While I didn’t have Chrons, I did have IBS off and on for years. I’ve never felt better.

      http://www.naturalnews.com/022822.html

    • Just like breast milk, goats milk heals. The best thing with raw milk u can grow probiotics to heal all kinds of things. My daughter had IBS she healed, with kefir, made from raw milk.

      • Thank you! It’s funny that I just received your post today. Another person had suggested making my own raw milk kefir. So I ordered kefir grains and they came today! My 1st batch is currently fermenting as I type! I’m expecting great results! ?

    • I’d recommend looking into the G.A.P.S. diet first. Take care of the leaky gut before risking another allergy or infection. The Raw Milk place in town has to warn against those with digestion issues (even people taking antacids) to avoid raw milk for legal reasons more so than medical. Hope it helps.

  9. 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 ?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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

  15. 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….

        https://heimdairy.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/why-dairy-farmers-separate-cows-and-calves/

      • 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. 😊

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

    dD

  18. 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.

  19. “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 🙂

  20. 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.

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