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Is your organic milk the real thing or a McMilk?

I used to think any organic animal milk was okay, just by virtue of being organic.

Not so, folks. In this post I share my big sleuthing discoveries on the organic milk scam and what you can do about it.

Dairy milk is not a health food

The first thing to remember is that organic and conventional dairy milk are known to cause food allergies, chronic mucus, sinus issues and weakened immune systems. Cow milk in particular creates an acidic environment in our bodies where cancer can thrive.

All dairy milk (except raw) is McMilk

There’s no question in my mind that “certified organic” milk is miles better than the conventional kind if we trust that the companies are following the strict criteria (GMO free, hormone and antibiotic free, happy animals etc). The problem, I learned, is that as soon as milk is processed in any way through heat treatment or homogenization, it is no longer real or healthy – just like McDonalds food.

You have options

Its important then to be well informed about your milk and choose wisely. Based on my research, organic plant-based milk is the most natural kind, followed by raw animal milk and I explain why below. I also share my opinion of the top two store-based animal milk options to choose from – on occasion.

Top two real milks

1.    Organic home-made nut/seed milk

Granted, plant-based milk is often an acquired taste if you’re used to animal milk, but it is the most eco-friendly, gentle and healthiest kind to have.

Although store-bought brands are widely available, they often include unwanted oils, starches, gums and thickeners. Why not follow Natural Chef Alison Anton and make jars of your own fresh nut milk with flavours and sweeteners if you like.

To save money, buy your nuts/seeds from the bulk sections of stores that have a high turnover of these items to ensure they are fresh.

2.    Raw, clean milk straight from a happy and loved grass-fed cow or goat

Local Ayurvedic practitioner Todd Caldecott says that in the right environment “milk is best consumed fresh and warm right out of the milk bucket,” because it is full of vital nutrients and is most easily digested in that state.

Even then he has concerns about milk and says it is not a food for everyone.

Raw milk however, is still illegal in Canada because authorities believe that it contains harmful, disease-causing pathogens and must be pasteurized (heat-treated) to kill the bacteria.

Pasteurization does help to prevent contamination along the production chain but it also greatly reduces the nutritional value of milk and destroys some of the good enzymes which make it easier to digest.

The way I understand it from Todd’s article, the real thing is raw milk directly from a small, local dairy farm that adores its animals and practices safe hygiene. Anything else is bascially a Mc-version of milk and is best avoided.

If you really want to have milk, then I believe the next  two options are possibly the top ones in the McMilk line.

Sources: Breast feeding, Ayurveda and the first principles of raw nutrition

Raw milk reality: benefits of raw milk

What is pasteurized milk?

Top two McMilks

3.    Organic whole goat milk

In short, whole goat milk is a much better fit for human consumption than cow milk and has an alkalizing effect on our bodies.

Local milk from Goat’s Pride (where clean, happy goats live) is less allergenic because it has low levels of a protein allergen called Casein that is highly present in cow milk.

Goat milk is naturally homogenized, which means the fat is evenly spread throughout the milk and does not separate like cow milk (more about this below). This translates into one less step in the production process and a more healthy product.

The smaller fat globules and lactose in goat’s milk are also easier to digest even for many who are lactose intolerant.

Source: Benefits of goat milk vs. cow milk

4.    Organic unhomogenized whole cow milk

I know its probably counter intuitive for you as it was for me, but like I said before, natural full fat milk is your healthiest option and it is easier for digestion.

The low fat varieties (skim, 1%, 2%) have been over-processed to remove the initial fat, pasteurized, homogenized and then mixed with strange additives to maintain the creamy texture and taste of milk. They are not considered food.

During homogenization, milk is run through a high pressure nozzle to break down the fat globules so that they stay mixed in with the milk rather separating at the top as cream. In the process, milk is once again forced to self-destruct and release harmful chemicals. I’ve never understood the logic of this step anyway. Why not just shake the milk bottle before use and everything will mix up just fine?

Gort’s Gouda produces 1.8 litre bottles of grass-fed unhomogenized whole cow milk; available at Whole Foods Market stores and Ethical Kitchen in North Vancouver. Avalon’s 1 litre bottles of the same kind are more widely available but I believe that their cows are primarily grain-fed. I didn’t hear back from them on this question.

Source: Milk 101: Whole, Raw, Fat, Organic, etc.

What do you think?

If you love your regular dairy milk and feel frustrated by what you’ve just read, you’re not alone. Even though I barely have dairy milk, I was pretty disappointed to learn what I’ve shared with you and more so when I noticed a mucus build up from having my complimentary Gort’s Gouda milk.

Change isn’t easy, especially when we are time-pressed and left to make sense of so much confusing information. By sharing my research, my intention is to help you make better decisions in a short space of time. Does this post make a difference in improving your food choice? I’d really like to know what you think.

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