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Homogenized - Pasteurized - Fortified - Is It Better To Have Your Own Cow?



I recently read an article whereby the dairy industry insists you need three servings of dairy a day for strong bones and good health. I have mixed feelings with this statement. I believe that both the calcium and nutritional benefits are important to your health especially in your younger growth years.

I love a good bowl of cereal with fresh fruit and low fat milk some mornings. But now with so many foods and supplements to supply your daily calcium requirements, I think three servings of dairy is a bit much.

But there are many questions now being raised about the processing of milk. And some of the more serious naturalists are suggesting drinking a more natural form of milk such as raw milk. But to help you better understand this basic food that often enters into our grocery carts I provide the following information:

The milk you buy at the store goes through a lot of processing. It's pasteurized to kill any dangerous bacteria. It's homogenized to keep the fatty molecules from separating from the protein molecules. It's even fortified with vitamin D in hopes of making the natural calcium in milk something your body can use.

As an informed health reader, you know that all this processing must take its toll.

In the process of homogenization, the large fat molecules within milk are forced through tiny holes at high pressure. This essentially changes the composition of the milk fat. Animal studies suggest that homogenized milk fat is more difficult for the body to digest and use. 1

Fat isn't necessarily bad, but it's a good idea to be suspicious of fats that have been altered from their natural state.

In pasteurization, the milk is heated to a hot enough temperature to kill most of the bacteria (both good and bad) and other organisms within the milk. Unfortunately, the heating process can also damage the vitamins and amino acids naturally present in the milk, reducing its nutritional value. Pasteurization may also increase proteins in the milk that make it more difficult for your body to absorb folate, an important B vitamin. 2

And of course, milk is fortified with vitamin D and vitamin A. Your body needs vitamin D in order to properly absorb calcium. In response to growing vitamin D deficiencies, dairy farmers began adding vitamin D to milk.

Unfortunately, the practice of fortification has been inconsistent. Sometimes milk has much less of these nutrients than stated, sometimes much more. Surveys show that the practice of storing vitamins and when and how vitamins are added to milk varies widely between dairies and may make a difference in the final vitamin levels. 3

Milk, the Way Nature Intended

Milk in its natural, raw state is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fat, and protein. But raw milk is not easy to come by. Grocery stores can't stock it. In most state's, dairy farmers can't sell it.

So how do you go about getting raw milk without building a barn and buying your own cow? One way is to buy a share in a cow. That’s right…now there are timeshare cows! This means that a farmer will sell you a percentage of a dairy cow along with several other people. You and the other folks with a stake in the cow will pay monthly for the animal's care. In return, you'll get your share of the milk.

I believe this is a little extreme for getting your milk…but to some it’s quite important. I would suggest you visit the farm where your cow is being raised to make sure that it is a clean environment (especially the milk house).

This reduces the likelihood of getting milk that's contaminated. Also, the cow should be grass-fed. A grass-fed cow produces milk with plenty of good bacteria to protect you from any bad bacteria. Finally, check to make sure that the farmer regularly tests his (or should I say your) milk to make sure it is clean.


1 Michalski MC, et al. "The supramolecular structure of milk fat influences plasma triacylglycerols and fatty acid profile in the rat," Eur J Nurt 2006; 45(4): 215-24

2 Wigertz K, et al. "Folate and folate-binding protein content in dairy products," J Dairy Res 1997; 64(2): 239-52

3 Hicks T, et al. "Procedures used by North Carolina dairies for vitamins A and D fortification of milk," J Dairy Sci 1996; 79(2): 329-33

If you are interested in finding out more about the subject matter of raw milk, let me suggest you check out the website http://www.rawmilk.org for more information and possibly a local raw milk distributor if permitted in your state.

Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Institute For Healthy Aging


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Rosenberg,_M.D.

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