An Udderly Conundrum: The Skinny On “Raw” VS. “Real” Milk

Anytime you hear the word “raw” you probably envision a hip sushi joint with more designer rolls than Chanel knows what to do with. You also hear or see the word “real” and immediately your brain synapses associate it with anything untainted yet tangible. The two go together quite symbiotically like cookies and milk. (pun intended) Somewhere in between the industrialization era and the dawn of television, America managed to contradict its own definition of the word “real”.

Browse through any magazine, watch any television advertisement, or walk down a grocery aisle and you’ll see the word “real” appears as often as a red light. Jessica Rabbit was dressed in all red to make a statement and so are many of our “real”, packaged foods. Most monopoly food corporations, (i.e General Mills) are silent suspects of such crime. A pre-packaged box of cereal with graffiti red letters written on the front should implant a consumer breadcrumb in your mind that leads you to do the right thing and glance at the nutritional information before purchase. (Sidenote– The FDA acts as more of a liasion in this case as they suggest the wording and text formatting which appears on your nicely packaged cereal box.) Nonetheless, this is an easy case for any food sleuth to crack.

Now…onto Case #2…which involves a milk processing plant VS. a free-range, non-government controlled dairy farm. So basically Shoprite VS. any Warwick, NY farm. You pick up milk each week at the store and probably leave with the notion that you’re doing yourself a favor. Why? Well…we as a consumer culture are lead to believe “talking heads”, on top of bombarding billboards and advertisements, which in many a case are misleading.

We’ve grown up with the simple logic that milk is good for you because it contains Calcium and Vitamin D, which helps “grow big bones” and “prevents osteoporosis.” Those “Got Milk?” mustaches seem to cleverly distract us from the “real” issue at hand, which is pasteurization.

Pasteurization…in layman’s terms… is the process of basically cleaning milk so it’s available for human consumption. So the milk processing plants assuage our “germ” fears by extracting the bad bacteria and claim to leave the nutrients and vitamins behind unadulterated. When alien lasers shoot at the earth, will they just kill the bad and leave the good behind? Lasers are machines and so are the processing plants.

From what I’ve deduced from intellectual reading, (my local magazine- Dirt & a few MSNBC articles), I’d say yes, the milk you get from the grocer is generally safe to drink, but the vitamins and nutrients are null and void. The proof is in the milk according to Rick Vreeland. Not to get all MLA news format on you but he is a local farmer from Dirt Magazine who claims ‘the milk you buy at Shoprite is just white water,’. GASP. THUD.

Vreeland, the owner of a dairy farm in New York, turned his back on pasteurized milk 26 years ago to open his own facility milking 30 cows producing raw milk and since then has never looked back. The article claims that raw milk cures maladies such as: colds, asthma, allergies, chronic headaches, and sore throats. I know you’re thinking since it’s not pasteurized, it’ll make me sick. According to raw milk converts, there have been no reports of illness or even weight gain as some may stereotype. The price is about $5 per gallon, so maybe a dollar or two more than you’re used to? The other word on the street is that it’s not sour. I personally cannot attest to this but would like to become an udderly raw convert.

I’m not telling you to completely swear off your store bought pasteurized milk. Go ahead and gulp by the gallon. I’m providing you with my opinion (NOT in favor of the FDA). The puppeteer has many puppets and factories in which he can manipulate or even choose to “overlook” at any time. Do we not remember the man of historic meat factory history, Upton Sinclair?

So in the “raw” VS. “real” case, who do you believe? You are the judge now. You already know who I think is guilty.

P.S.- It would be nice to revert back to hunter/gatherer times. They were thinner, spry-er, and best of all, healthier. Perhaps the loincloths could be mandatory too to conquer body image and food image all in one package.

Peace, love, and raw milk!


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One Response to An Udderly Conundrum: The Skinny On “Raw” VS. “Real” Milk

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