Warning: Super long post ahead about something which I’m very passionate.
The milk that is sold in the grocery store, pasteurized milk, is not something I am able to drink. It was one of those discoveries that came about gradually, because I didn’t realize it was the culprit or exacerbater of many of the health problems I had been experiencing. For example, within 15 minutes of consuming pasteurized milk, it makes me desperately sick, with diarrhea, chills, feelings of anxiety and depression. With those kind of side effects, is it any wonder that I avoid pasteurized dairy products as if they have a cross and skull bones on their label? Pasteurized milk, to me, is like poison.
In January of 2005, I was diagnosed with osteopenia at -2. I was 34 years old. For several years prior to that, I simply avoided all dairy products, which really was no simple matter at all. Dairy is, quite literally, an ingredient in everything. Think for a moment about what YOU ate today and then think about how many of those items may have contained some form of dairy. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, most Italian dishes, pumpkin pie, ice-cream, cheese, coffee creamer, hot chocolate packets, etc., then there’s the recipes that you wouldn’t even suspect, like some versions of guacamole. The list goes on and on.
In November of 2006, I visited my cousin in Nebraska whose family runs a dairy farm. Their method of “getting milk” means going to the barn and using the spicket at the bottom of the milk tank to fill their milk bottle with milk that is very nearly straight from the cow’s teet. I was very leery of trying some of that milk, I thought for sure it’d make me sick. So, I took the tiniest of sips and waited for the cramps to start. Nothing happened. I took another sip, nothing. I drank the entire glass of milk, and I was fine. It was at that time that I discovered that I could drink unpasteurized milk. Raw milk. Real milk.
I didn’t understand how that could be possible until my aunt explained to me that during the pasteurization process, milk is heated to an incredibly high temperature (162 degrees) in order to kill off any harmful bacteria, but in the process, it also kills off the beneficial bacteria that many people need in order to digest dairy products. That the beneficial bacteria, in fact, helps your body’s immune system to be stronger, which in turn fights off bad bacteria. Interestingly, many people who think they’re lactose intolerant actually are not, they just cannot digest pasteurized dairy products.
In July of 2007, my bone scan revealed “normal” bone density. I attribute that, at least partially, to being able to partake of dairy products, especially raw dairy products. Did you know that a recent 4 year study showed that people who eat organic produce reap 60% more beneficial compounds and up to 90% from organic milk? (I can’t find the official link right now, but here’s something for now: Link)
The ironic part of all this to me is that we’re encouraged by the media to ingest so many things that aren’t at all healthy for us, things that oftentimes cause our bodies to get all confused with the crap we put in them. We’re even allowed to buy things that have been proven to harm us, our unborn children and/or even those around us. I’m simply fighting for something that has been proven to be beneficial to me and to others. The dairy that produces the milk that I purchase is a Grade A rated dairy, the milk from a Grade A dairy has never been proven to cause anyone harm and, in fact, has been linked to many, many stories of healthier people. The thing is, if you buy milk from a Grade A dairy, it doesn’t need to be pasteurized. Much of the milk from other dairies, that is pasteurized, is done so because they are “dirty” dairies who short-cut their sterilization practices because, hey, it’s gonna be pasteurized anyway. Pasteurized milk is actually dirtier than my raw milk!
If it comes right down to it and this bill does go into effect, I’ll probably try to partake in cow-sharing or having my cousin send me milk or something. But, the thing is, I shouldn’t have to. I should be able to go to the store and choose to buy the milk I can drink. It’s not like it’s an illegal substance or something. Last I checked, this is America.
What I’m asking is this, even if you don’t want to drink raw milk yourself, please help give me, and thousands of other families in California, the right to choose to buy raw milk. Even if you don’t live in California, you can still help by sending a letter or e-mail to our Governor. That’s right, you can help me by writing to the Governator.
Link to various sample letters & contact information: Link
Link to further information about the bill that’s threatening my milk: Link
Please, won’t you help me save my milk?