Milk. Dairy. Cheese. Those words alone elicit some of the most heinous comments from people who eat Paleo. I have been called some of the most vicious names, cursed at in emails, told to change my name to The PRIMAL Mama, and despised on Facebook comments because my Paleo family drinks raw milk. Wait…did I just say Paleo and milk in the same sentence? Shouldn’t I say “Primal”? Whatever.
I hate the two words: Paleo versus Primal. It’s like you are forced to choose one-or-the-other. What if I don’t want to choose? Can I still be Paleo and drink raw milk? I think so, but many don’t.
I believe the biggest argument for people opposed to raw milk is they believe that early man did not drink milk or consume any dairy. According to this study, dairy consumption entered the human race 9,000 years ago when they discovered old pottery fragments with trace amounts of milk fat.
Also, this study states:
“Researchers have also been surprised by another new discovery based on Neolithic bones from Turkey. Despite the long-time establishment of dairy herding, the recovered bones of this Mesopotamian farm population didn’t indicate lactose tolerance. (Yes, do the double take.) Apparently, they didn’t like the milk itself but used it to make fermented, no-lactose products like yogurt, kefir and cheese. Their consumption pattern differs dramatically from that of Europeans after dairy herding spread throughout Northern regions (source).”
Wanna know what early man DEFINITELY did not eat?
- Almond Flour Bread
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Flour Cupcakes
- Nut Butter
- Store-Bought Chicken Breasts
- Canned Salmon and Tuna
- Homemade Chocolates
- Homemade Paleo Cookies
*Raising hand in the air* – I am guilty of eating every, single one of those foods on the list. Am I advocating eating dairy? I wouldn’t say that. I am just trying to give another perspective. Obviously, if dairy gives you explosive diarrhea, acne, worsens your allergies, causes your baby to have colic, gives you eczema (although raw dairy usually clears this up), or makes you feel lousy – then don’t eat it!
Why We Drink RAW Milk (Much Different Than Pasteurized Milk):
1. I Know The Source and the Quality of Our Milk– We have our own milk goats and I hand milk then in the morning. I know exactly what they are eating. I control their environment. They have an enormous amount of lush, green pasture to graze on. They are healthy, clean, and happy goats. However, even before I had goats, we drank raw milk but we were very selective about where we got the milk from and visited the farms frequently.
Pasteurized Organic milk bought in the store still has questionable dairy practices. In some organic dairies, the cows or goats are often confined, and deprived of their natural diet of grasses. Instead, they are fed grains and other inexpensive fodder, including waste grains from distilleries. Unless labeled otherwise, you can betcha that store-bought milk is completely grain fed, even organic milk.
2. It Improves Our Oral Health – Hereford, Texas became known as the “Town without a Toothache” in 1942 due to the pioneering work of dentist George Heard and author of Man Versus Toothache. Dr. Heard explains the town’s secret:
After a newcomer has lived in Hereford a few years, provided he had drunk lots of raw whole milk, he develops resistance to tooth decay. Even the tooth cavities which he brings with him when he comes to Hereford will be glazed over, if he has drunk raw milk. For years I made inquiry of my patients as to their milk habits. Almost invariably I found that the possessor of a mouth full of sound teeth had been a consistent milk drinker from early childhood. A surprisingly large number liked either buttermilk, clabber, or both. The significant fact is that the milk those patients drank came from cows that had grazed on native grass…” – (source).
Several Ayurvedic texts, more than 2,000 years old, describe milk, yes, raw grass-fed milk, as a cure for literally hundred of ailments. Milk was either drunk immediately after milking, known as sweet milk, or it naturally began to sour and was transformed into cheese or yogurt.
Why is it so good for oral health though? Raw milk is very rich in fat-soluble vitamins, like Vitamin A, K, and E. It is, also, rich in water soluble vitamins like C and B-complex. A quart of raw milk from grassed cows contain 50% more vitamin E and 7% more folate than pasteurized milk. Moreover, fresh raw milk naturally contains vitamin C which is completely absent from pasteurized milk (source). All these vitamins are extremely necessary for good oral health.
Raw milk is extremely necessary if you are interested in remineralizing your teeth and healing present cavities. There was a 6 month period that I could not find a decent source for raw milk for my family. In those 6 months (and all the while eating Paleo) my daughter came down with 2 cavities in her teeth and so did I. Coincidence? I, immediately, got out my trusted resource, Cure Tooth Decay, and started the remineralizing process on both our teeth. We are, currently, in the process of curing the few cavities that we obtained from lacking vitamins in our diet. If you are interested in this protocol, then I, HIGHLY, recommend you get this book.
3. Fermented Raw Milk is Loaded with Beneficial Probiotics – Having probiotics in your diet is an essential aspect of nutrient absorption. Soured milk, yogurt, kefir, whey, and buttermilk have highly absorbable forms of calcium. Soured or fermented raw milk is, also, low in sugar, known as lactose.
Pasteurization Kills Milk – pasteurization came into being to try to clean up dirty milk from factory feed lots.* It was never meant for clean milk from healthy animals grazing on a healthy green pasture.
In order to absorb calcium from milk, we need the enzyme phosphatase which is naturally present in raw milk. Pasteurization at 165 degrees or milk, destroys phosphatase. Pasteurization also cooks and destroys the other signifiant vitamins found in raw milk, including Vitamin C and the probiotic organisms.
4. Raw Milk is Very High in Calcium – most people have been told that milk makes them sick, or they can’t digest dairy, or even have experienced negative side effects from drinking pasteurized milk. However, for the majority of these people, these negative effects do not occur when they drink raw milk. However, eliminating raw milk in your diet brings up the question of where to get proper calcium. On average, an adult needs somewhere between 1-1.5 grams of calcium per day. On a dairy-free diet, you will need to consume lots of vegetables, 1-2 cups of bone broth, and a moderate amount of sea food to get the adequate calcium in your diet.
According to Nutrition Data, here are some of the top foods with calcium:
Food Calcium in Milligrams
Hard/Soft Cheese – 2 ounces 404
Canned Sardines with bones 351
Yogurt, Whole Milk- 1 cup 296
Canned Salmon with bones 277
Whole Milk – 1 cup 276
Cooked Collard Greens-1 cup 204
Cooked Taro Root-1 cup 171
Cooked Kale-1 cup 147
Cooked Broccoli – 2 cups 120
Cooked Scallops – 3.5 ounces 115
So What? Are You Saying I Need to Include Raw Milk in My Paleo Diet? Absolutely not. And I even recommend you eliminate for a one month period if you have never done that. During this elimination process you can evaluate how you feel and if any issues that you may have clear up or lessen with the removal of dairy. I think that the addition of raw milk is a matter of preference and taste and being able to source it.
I just think that we need to take a more holistic look at raw milk and not discredit it nor compare it to it’s evil counterpart – pasteurized milk. They are not the same thing and if you cannot find raw milk near you, then I recommend you don’t drink milk. It’s not necessary to your Paleo diet, however it can be very beneficial to your WHOLE health.
This is where I believe Paleo is lacking. I believe that Paleo should be a guideline of health. We know modern grains are bad for you. We know that beans and legumes hold nowhere near the nutrition that a steamy pile of vegetables holds. We know it’s best to choose healthy meats from trusted farms. We know that processed foods are loaded with crap. But how can the Paleo world be so two-faced that it can recommend you eat a Chocolate Cake made with store-bought almond flour, processed coconut sugar, and chocolate and then go and throw sand at you for drinking a glass of fresh, raw milk? I don’t know…I don’t get it and I wanted to express my point of view. So, there ya go! Take it for what it is!
- *McAfee, Mark. “The Fifteen Things that Pasteurization Kills.”
Shared on: The Prairie Homestead