Raw milk vs Pasteurised – which is better for you?

MilkHuman consumption of raw milk is an ongoing controversy around the world, and while it is legal to sell it for human consumption in Europe and some states in America, it remains illegal in Australia. But why is that, exactly?

The pasteurisation process is meant to kill any pathogens remaining in the milk, but some believe that this is only necessary because of the large scale operations that produce it. Unfortunately, pasteurising and homogenising milk also destroys a lot of nutrients as well. These include live enzymes, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins and good bacteria that are great for the gut.

How is raw milk different?

Raw milk produced by dairy farmers is completely different to what you find in the supermarket fridges. The cows are pasture fed, and production is small. The milk is creamier, and usually a different color.

Many converts to raw milk say that long standing skin conditions such as eczema simply disappeared after making the switch to raw milk. [1] While it is available to buy in some parts of Australia, it is sold as ‘bath milk’, and if suppliers even hint that it can be used for human consumption, they face massive fines. However, raw milk is increasing in popularity and in Melbourne alone one particular raw dairy supplier distributes 3000L/per day across the state.

But is raw milk really as dangerous as we have been led to believe? Perhaps not. Pasteurised dairy has also been the cause of many cases of food poisoning and product recalls due to contamination.

The Wall Street Journal published the results of studies in June last year that shows raw milk is a ‘low risk’ food, the opposite to what was previously thought. The study reviewer writes;

“… increasing evidence of raw farm milk’s unique health benefits to young children, as well as the possible detriments of industrial milk production practices, will need to be carefully considered in future risk analyses. “[2]

Other studies indicate that children who drink raw milk are far less likely to suffer allergenic reactions, including asthma.[3]

Research by Dr. Ted Beals, MD, featured in the summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, shows that you are actually about 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!

Europeans Can Buy Raw Milk from Vending Machines

In sharp contrast to Australia, some European nations sell raw milk in vending machines!

The safety measures are remarkably simple. If the temperature of the milk rises above the regulated level, the machine will stop dispensing milk, and the farmer is notified via text message. The milk spout is sterilized by a UV light between each purchase.

 Raw Milk Has Many Health Benefits

Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tractHigh in omega-3 and low omega-6, which is the beneficial ratio between these two essential fats
Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies). These enzymes are destroyed during pasteurization, making pasteurized milk much harder to digestLoaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live Lactobacilli
Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolismRich in healthy unoxidized cholesterol
Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestibleIt also contains phosphatase, an enzyme that aids and assists in the absorption of calcium in your bones, and lipase enzyme, which helps to hydrolyze and absorb fats


Support local farmers…

While it remains illegal to supply raw milk here, getting other organic food products directly from the farm is a great way to support our local producers. Farmers markets are operating around Australia, providing great produce straight to the consumer.


[1] http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/raw-milk-shake-up/story-e6freuy9-1226055951281?nk=6cb85987371fd5bb917e793c2eb39c6f

[2] http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130611-909875.html

[3] http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/05/09/raw-milk-promotes-health/