Raw milk is unpasteurized, unadulterated milk derived from grass-fed cows. It tastes much richer and creamier than pasteurized, watered-down milk varieties, and is distinguished by a classic topcoat of cream.
The FDA and the CDC have issued cautionary warnings to consumers that raw milk, because it isn’t pasteurized, can make you sick. But if you break down the findings, the risk is quite small: only 1 in 6 million raw milk drinkers run the risk of developing a serious illness that requires hospitalization.
Meanwhile, raw milk is much more nutrient loaded than pasteurized milk is, because pasteurization strips milk of beneficial bacteria and natural immune builders.
Evidence suggests that raw milk from grass-fed cows contains higher concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients, such as essential fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Studies show that pasteurized milk is significantly lower in manganese, copper, iron, vitamin C, and that processing techniques diminish the bioavailability of vitamin B6 and vitamin A.
The cream on top offers an additional layer of nutrition. It helps the body break down the milk protein casein and helps keep insulin levels from spiking. Raw milk does contain the dairy sugar lactose, which can exacerbate insulin resistance, so if you are insulin resistant, it’s best to avoid both raw and pasteurized milk.
Lactose Intolerant? Give Raw Milk a Try
The Weston A. Price Foundation conducted a survey of over 700 families and found that 80% of lactose-intolerant individuals experienced no symptoms once they started drinking raw milk. So, if you’re lactose intolerant, it may be worth experimenting with raw milk.
Raw milk also appears to have an effect on other allergies. Epidemiological evidence out of Europe showed that drinking raw milk during childhood may help defend against asthma, allergies, and other immune-mediated diseases.
It’s also good for the environment. Because raw milk is produced by local farmers and derived from grass-fed cows, it has fewer environmental repercussions.