A very common question we get asked here at the Well is, “What is raw dairy, and why do you recommend it?”
Raw dairy products are made from milk that has not been pasteurized. The pasteurization of milk was instituted in the 1920’s, and it involves a process in which the milk is briefly heated to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (and sometimes as high as 275 degrees), and then immediately cooled. Pasteurization was first introduced to combat tuberculosis, infant diarrhea, undulant fever, and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. Today, with the use of modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks, and improved testing methods, the main reason for pasteurization is to extend milk’s shelf life; in fact, the process of pasteurization is also called the “Extended Shelf Life” treatment.
The reason we so strongly recommend raw dairy is because this process of pasteurization destroys beneficial enzymes that are naturally-occurring in the milk. These enzymes are essential in order for the body to properly break down and digest milk’s protein molecules. Prolonged intake of commercial, pasteurized milk often leads to a condition called “leaky gut”, in which these undigested protein molecules pass into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response. A chronically overstressed immune system can lead to allergies, lactose intolerance, and many different auto-immune diseases.
If you don’t know where to get raw dairy products, check at your local farm!