The Raw Story: Is Raw Milk a Superfood?


photo via ecoliblog

Let's just say I've been curious for a while. Every week I walk by the raw milk booth at my local farmers' market, casting an interested but furtive look at both what's on offer and the sort of people that are in line to make a purchase. Today I finally took the plunge and walked over to bring home some raw whole milk, the same kind that my mother and the FDA have always told me to stay away from. But after I was given a sample of the white elixir, I asked for a quart to take with me. The cost? Just $4 dollars.Why raw milk? As a long-time sufferer of Crohn's disease, and auto-immune disease that attacks the digestive system, I've been interested in raw milk. I've read that raw milk is a sort of super food, known to ease the symptoms associated with Crohn's and other maladies, big and small. The enzymes and bacterias found in raw milk don't come in pasteurized milk, and Crohn's sufferers that I know who drink it say that it has had a dramatic effect on their health.

I'm also a cyclist, and the whey, amino acids, and other proteins found in raw milk have me thinking that a glass or two a day could help my riding. I'm hard-pressed to find a studies supporting my theory, but it can't hurt to try, right?

Well, maybe it can. Twenty-three states have banned the sale of raw milk, and there have been several high profile crackdowns in the Midwest over the past year. The argument against raw milk goes like this: pasteurization was a gift to the world because it removed much of the risk from raw milk. Cows are not the cleanest of animals and they often go to the milking station after having traversed through fecal matter and other nasty things. The only safe milk, government officials say, is pasteurized milk.

But the raw milk that I bought is from grass-fed cows that are not housed in a barn. They are milked from a traveling milking station on wheels that comes to them instead of them coming to the station. The milk is immediately bottled and brought to the market. The woman who sold it to me was a true evangelical. She told me the she was a raw food vegan for many years until her body began to fail her. Her salvation was raw milk. She told me that she wakes up everyday, has a glass of it, and she has the strength to work on her farm all day. She says she's never felt better.

Will I have the same experience? I'll report back in two weeks after I treat myself to a healthy glass of raw milk every morning. In the meantime, will you share your experiences with raw milk with me and others? I'd love to hear your experiences and recommendations. Is this just a fad or does raw milk got the goods?