Lets talk about Raw Milk
With consumers becoming more aware of the origin of their food, raw milk is gaining in popularity. There are many questions swirling around the raw milk movement, so let’s take a closer look at the benefits, the safety and where to get raw milk.
What is raw milk?
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (heat treated) or homogenized (breaking down fat molecules). Milk only began to be pasteurized here in New Zealand during the second world war, when American soldiers based here refused to drink raw milk.
What are the benefits of raw milk?
Research by people like Sally Fallon, a leading spokesperson for nutrient-dense food, has shown that raw milk is actually much better for us than pasteurized milk. Raw milk is rich in vitamin C and B-complex vitamins – pasteurization removes this from milk. A quart, which is roughly 950mls, of raw milk from grass-fed cows contains 50% more vitamin E than pasteurized milk.
Let’s not forget that raw milk supports the local economy. 100% of the money you spend on your milk stays in your farmer’s pocket and the local economy. As raw milk is exclusively produced by local farmers you are getting your milk the day it is produced – it doesn’t get fresher than that!
The process of pasteurization not only kills any bad bacteria present in the milk, it also kills an enzyme which helps our bodies to digest milk. This may be a reason why so many people now have milk intolerance.
Is raw milk safe?
As with any ‘new’ food movement, there are plenty of people to cast doubt on the consumption of raw milk. Raw milk is not only safe – it’s good for you!
All recent outbreaks in the U.S. of salmonella from contaminated milk have come from pasteurized milk. This is because raw milk contains bacteria that produces lactic acid, which in turn protects against pathogens. We’ve all experienced pasteurized go bad from sitting out too long – you just can’t drink it. But raw milk goes pleasantly sour over time, and its health benefits increase.
It’s also reassuring to know that modern milking practices and equipment make pasteurization less necessary. The development of modern milking machines, steel milk tanks and packaging and distribution of milk are all so well thought out and safe that bacteria growth is highly unlikely.
Raw milk farms in New Zealand are heavily regulated and are subject to meeting NZ standards. Consumers have peace of mind when buying milk from farmers registered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, as these farmers must be verified, conduct regular testing of their milk, keep sales records and have appropriate labelling on their raw milk products.
Where can I get raw milk?
In New Zealand you won’t find raw milk at your local store or supermarket, farmers are only allowed to sell it directly to the public, either from the farm gate or by delivering it to your home. Some farms even have an onsite dispensing machine!
If you are a dairy farmer and are thinking about supplying raw milk we recommend you check out www.villagemilk.co.nz. The team at Village Milk works with farmers throughout New Zealand with the aim of selling raw milk to the public. They provide advice to farmers who would like to get set up to sell raw milk, and also stock a range of dispensing machines and bottles.
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Disclaimer: We have in preparing this information used our best endeavors to ensure that the information contained therein is true and accurate, but accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability in respect of any errors, inaccuracies or misstatements contained herein. Consumers should make their own inquiries to verify the information contained herein.