Pasteurized vs. Raw Milk: Some interesting things to consider

cowPasteurization.  What is it and why do we do it?  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes pasteurization as “a process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time”.  More specifically, the milk is heated to a temperature between 145 and 150 degrees F for no less than half an hour and then is reduced to nothing lower than 55 degrees F.  Of course the FDA sees this as a positive and necessary process, one that must be carried out in order to ensure the safety of the consumer and that, without it, milk would be a very dangerous product.  The FDA and other proponents of pasteurization argue that its more important to consider the possible harmful pathogens that could make us sick than to consider the milk.  The risk of disease, like tuberculosis, diphtheria, e-coli and salmonella is far too great, while keeping the milk houses and udders of the cows clean enough to avoid contamination is far too impossible.  The FDA also claims that there are absolutely no nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, and that this has been scientifically proven.  But instead of backing up their statements with examples or studies, they only shared the opinions of other organizations that agree with them, like the AMA or CDC.  So the FDA and most of the other government-run agencies, in America and abroad, are the main proponents of pasteurization.  They believe it’s necessary in order to protect consumers, does not cause any harmful side effects like allergies or lactose intolerance, does not reduce it’s nutritional value, and that it actually saves lives.

What I believe the proponents of pasteurization are missing in their argument is the full picture.  Maybe they’re telling some truth, but they’re not telling the whole truth.  And the ignorant consumer could be suffering because of it.

I think one of the biggest pieces of misinformation from their story is the discussion about big-business dairy farms versus privately-owned, locally-produced dairy farms.  The argument is that unpasteurized milk is too dangerous to drink … well of course it is if you’re confining the animals in awful conditions and forcing them to eat foods unnatural to their diet.  How can you produce a healthy product from an unhealthy environment?  Sally Fallon-Morell, a highly respected proponent of raw milk, participated in a raw milk debate last year at Harvard Food Law Society and said that she also does not believe raw milk is a good idea when sourcing it from the big-business dairies.  There is no way to successfully produce it in these conditions, especially from cows that are confined and not eating the green grass that nature intended.  It’s this green grass that gives raw milk such high vitamin and mineral content.  Instead, though their unnatural soybean diet produces more milk and costs less for the farmer, it also contributes to the degradation of the animal, creating problems like mastitis, sterility, liver problems, and ultimately compromising the quality of the milk.

Another half truth told by the FDA is that pasteurized milk doesn’t cause allergies or intolerances.  They make this claim by concluding that the allergy-stimulating proteins are found in both pasteurized and raw milk, and therefore, if you’re allergic or intolerant to one, you’ll be allergic or intolerant to the other.  But it’s what happens to the proteins, essential amino acids and enzymes during pasteurization that makes the difference.  The proteins actually get warped, making them look like invaders to our immune system, causing our bodies to mount an attack in the form of an allergic reaction.  So even though the protein is still present like the FDA tells us, it’s been damaged and can create harmful reactions.  And all of the enzymes, such as lipase and lactase, are also destroyed during this process.  It’s these live enzymes that enable our bodies to assimilate the nutrients and digest it properly and with ease.  Without the lactase enzyme, many people are unable to digest lactose, the sugar molecules in milk.  And if one can’t digest it, an intolerance develops.

The FDA’s entire reason for pasteurizing milk is to protect the consumer from harmful pathogens.  However, those on the other side of the fence believe that unadulterated milk is capable of accomplishing this all on it’s own.  They contend that the naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria keep the bad ones (if they occur) in check.  This good bacteria proliferates in our guts and keeps the pathogens at bay.  Amazing how smart nature can be!  In addition, the enzyme called lactoferrin has been approved by the FDA as an effective pathogen-killer in beef slaughter houses.  This exact same enzyme is found in raw milk, along with other pathogen killers like xanthine oxidase, lactoperoxidase and lysozyme.  But you guessed it, pasteurization completely destroys these elements.  I found a compelling example that could support this claim.  Mark McAfee, the CEO and founder of Organic Pastures and Dairy Company, reported that during the span of four years (2000-2004) “there were several listeria-related food recalls in California associated with pasteurized milk products and ice cream”.  Interestingly enough, during this same time period, over 12 million servings of dairy products were produced by his company and not one case of any pathogenic problem was reported.  Nor did any inspection carried out by the FDA or his company find any contamination (McAfee, 2004).  Why is this?  Maybe, just maybe, it was the available enzymes and good bacteria that kept his customers healthy and safe.

The FDA also claims that the nutritional value of raw milk is not degraded in any way once it’s been pasteurized.  Just in a quick google search, I was able to find countless accounts and studies to support the superiority of raw milk.  And here are just a few:

  • One rat was given pasteurized milk and one raw.  Though there were the same amounts of B6 in both milks, the one who drank the pasteurized kind developed hairless patches due to a Vitamin B6 deficiency, meaning only the rat who drank the raw kind could utilize it properly.  Also the unpasteurized milk rats had shorter, less dense bones showing a calcium deficiency.  And they were more irritable and biting.

  • 4 studies done in Germany showed that raw milk protected against asthma and allergies, which coincides with the many parents that have contacted The Weston Price Foundation over the years to say the same thing regarding their children.

  • Though the FDA likes to proclaim that pasteurization saves lives, not a single death has occurred because of raw milk since the 1980’s.  Simultaneously, the CDC reported a total of over 3,000 foodborne deaths in 2011.  So if raw milk isn’t contributing to these numbers, I would have to ask: What is causing these food-related deaths and are these foods being as tightly controlled as raw milk is?

I completely understand that the production of quality milk can be a tricky business, especially when our populations are continuing to grow and we’re needing more and more of it.  Even still, I think the answer lies in the local farmer.  We must ask ourselves: How were we managing milk production before pasteurization and big-business farming?  We’ve been living life a lot longer with raw milk rather than without it, and I think quite successfully to boot.  Let’s get back to that time.  Let’s get back to pastured, happy cows and small-scale, local-producing farms.

References

1.  Center For Disease Control. (June 21, 2013). CDC estimates of foodborne illnesses in the United States. Retrieved (July 8, 2013) from www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimate.

2.  Fallon, Sally & Enig, Mary Ph. D. (2001). Nourishing traditions: The cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. Washington D.C.: New Trends Publishing, Inc.

3.  Gumpert, David, Kassenborg, Heidi, Fallon-Morell, Sally & Pritzker, Fred. (February 16, 2012). Harvard Food Law Society raw milk debate. Retrieved (June 8, 2013) from www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLRdihFi6gw.

4.  McAfee, Mark. (2004, modified 2013). The safety of raw milk. Retrieved (July 13, 2013) from http://www.realmilk.com/safety/safety-of-raw-milk/.

5.  Shanahan, Catherine MD & Shanahan, Luke. (2009). Deep nutrition: Why your genes need traditional food. Lawai, HI: Big Box Books.

6. US Food & Drug Administration. (June 17, 2013). The dangers of raw milk: Unpasteurized milk can pose a serious health risk. Retrieved (July 10, 2013) from www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/consumers/ucm079516.

Table Salt vs Sea Salt

sea salt 3We desire salt for a reason.  We were meant to consume it!  All of this talk of salt (mainly the sodium that’s in it) being unhealthy for us is nonsense.  And I’m so happy to finally know this!  The taste of salt is just too good.

Unfortunately, sea salt (or mineral salts), the kind of salt we should be consuming on a daily basis, has gotten a bad rap from table salt’s dark shadow. These are two completely different substances.  One is harmful.  And one is extremely helpful.

WHY IS SEA SALT NECESSARY?:

  • Provides our body with 2 important minerals: sodium and chloride.  The body is unable to produce these minerals on its own.
  • Provides over 82 trace minerals which our body NEEDS to work optimally.  Sodium functions best in combination with other minerals, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.  This is what nature intended.

WHY IS SEA SALT NOURISHING?:

  • Controls the amount of fluid in the body.
  • Helps to maintain balance between acid + alkaline levels (pH balance).  Did you know is it the most alkaline-forming substance known to man?  Wow, now that’s a statement.
  • Creates electrolytes, which are essential for proper body function.
  • Supports proper adrenal function.
  • Helps to regulate sleep.
  • Helps support the nervous system.
  • Relieves allergies and skin diseases.
  • Prevents muscle cramps.
  • It is a whole food!  Natural.  Unprocessed.

REFINED SALT FACTS:

  • Is chemically made of 2 minerals, sodium and chloride.
  • Contains NO trace minerals, creating an unnatural food that is out of balance with what our body needs.
  • Often times, iodine is added to table salt, which can create a toxic level of iodine in our bodies and potentially harm the thyroid.
  • Toxic additives are included to prevent the salt from caking.
  • Refined.  Processed.  Bleached.  Unnatural.

THINGS TO KNOW

  • 1 – 1.5 teaspoons per day.
  • True sea salt with be a pale grey color and slightly moist.

REFERENCES:

  1. Healing Naturally by Bee Wilder
  2. Weston Price Foundation

sea salt 1

LOCAL + SEASONAL + ORGANIC: 10 Reasons Why It’s Important

  1. 271152_10151449832953277_1619459724_nSeasonal foods are in harmony with nature and help us to adapt to the changes in climate.  Right now where I live, sweet potatoes are in abundance and are deeply nourishing and warming to the body as the cold, damp weather arrives.  In contrast, during the summer season, the wet, juicy foods will appear, like grapes and berries, which help to keep the body cool.  Why mess with nature’s perfect plan?
  2. Local food is CHEAPER!  Who doesn’t like to save the big Benjamins?  (That’s a $100 US bill for all you foreigners.)  I can go to  my local, organic farmers market and walk away with 2 grocery bags full of produce for a fraction of the cost I’d pay buying imported organic food from the local grocery chain.
  3. Local food is fresher and picked at it’s ripest state.  The fresher the food, the better.  Beneficial substances called phytonutrients develop in foods as they ripen.  But often times, when produce is being shipped long distances, it has to be picked before it’s achieved this optimal ripeness, creating nutrient deficiencies in these foods.
  4. Organic food is SAFE to eat.  Pesticides used on conventional produce is designed to be toxic in order to kill insects, fungus, weeds, molds and anything else deemed a “pest”.  So what makes you think it’s okay for you to eat it?  Did you know that millions of birds are killed every year because of these toxic substances?  And that of the 75,000 synthetic substances available today, a large amount of them have not been properly tested to determine their safety?  It’s easy to forget these things when we can’t taste or see these pesticides, but it matters, plain and simple.
  5. Organic food is grown in good soil, which we all need so desperately.   Did you know that the human body needs over 60 different vitamins and minerals?  These nutrients come from the foods we eat, which ultimately comes from the soil it’s grown in.  Lush, hearty, nourishing soil is SO important on many levels, for us and for our planet.  Here in HK, food can only be certified organic if it’s been grown organically for 7 consecutive years.  This means the soil is being replenished and restored through the organic methods of farming, passing all of this good matter onto the food we’re eating.  Hooray for fabulous soil!
  6. Eating seasonally ensures your body is getting a variety of nutrients.  People who eat the same food all of the time are only supplying their body with those specific nutrients over and over again.  But if we eat with the seasons, our diets are continuously changing, giving our body the chance to obtain more of what it needs.
  7. Buying local, organic food supports the right people and companies.  If we buy from local farmers who are farming the “right” way, we’re helping to create demand for these nourishing, clean, whole products, and supporting the people who are doing something good and positive for this world.  And maybe one day, those big business agricultural companies like Monsanto, who are into genetically modifying our food and trying to monopolize global seed distribution (my opinion anyways) will be put out of business and remain only a very distant memory.
  8. Eating local + seasonal + organic food makes your body and mind feel GOOD.  Our optimal physical and mental potential can only be reached by including healthy, whole, loved-up food in our diets and health plans.  How can this amazing creation of a human mind and body be sustained, maintained and supported to thrive by living off of foods with toxic pesticides that have been genetically engineered in a laboratory?  It just doesn’t make any sense to me!  And I really hope it doesn’t make any sense to you!
  9. Eating with wisdom and awareness can help fight the war on disease and be the best preventative care around.  I believe food is the best medicine.  “Pay the organic farmer now or pay the doctor later”.  As we watch the world evolve into a genetically-modifying, pesticide-using kind of place, we also see disease, obesity and mental disturbances soar.  Why does everyone know someone fighting cancer?  Why is obesity commonplace and normal?  Why are random acts of violence on the news more and more these days?  Pure, healthy food can help us conquer diseases of the body and mind WITHOUT.ANY.DOUBT.
  10. Eating locally, seasonally and organically gives us back some control over our health, empowers us with an acute awareness of what’s going into our bodies and reminds us that we are rightfully responsible to take care of this beautiful temple God has given us.

*** For more information regarding the effects of genetically modified food, please click here.

*** To know more about Hong Kong’s food system, please click here.

*** For a list of local Hong Kong organic farmer’s markets, please click here.  In addition to these, there is one in Sai Kung at the Lion’s Nature Reserve on Sunday’s from 9.30-11.30.

Why is Butter Better?

facts sourced from the Weston Price Foundation

I don’t know about you, but I grew up thinking and believing that butter is BAD.

B. A. D.

After we heard from the “experts” that saturated fats were the cause of heart disease and cancer, and that real, unadulterated butter would contribute to weight gain and clogged arteries, my family opted for margarine and stuck with it for most of my childhood.

I must say, I do weep a bit for all those glorious, missed opportunities I could have had with butter, and even more so, by how much it could have nourished my growing body.  But at least I’m getting the Truth now!  Butter is healthy.  Butter is good.  Butter is better!  And I’m not going to waste any more time not enjoying it.  Only big blobs allowed from here on out!

Below you will find the true facts about butter and why it is superior to all the other alternatives and imitations out there.  As I’ve mentioned before, I get a lot of my information from the Weston Price Foundation, and this time is no exception.  I really trust the research Mr. Price did, and the community of people that have carried on his legacy and mission.   This information is sourced from their findings.

Why Butter is Better

VITAMINS: Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape.  Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins D, E and K2 which are often lacking in the modern industrial diet.

MINERALS: Butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant).  Butter provides more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring.  Butter is also an excellent source of iodine.

FATTY ACIDS: Butter provides appreciable amounts of short and medium chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract.  Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.  Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health and prostaglandin balance.

Continue reading

Fluoride : more poisonous than lead, slightly less poisonous than arsenic

This blog/website definitely isn’t intended to create fear in people, but definitely a place to post/share truths.  And sadly enough, the poisonous properties of fluoride is one of them.

Here is some info I recently read from “The Great Fluoride Scam” by James Donahue:

  • The Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine have both reported greater incidence of hip fractures in fluoridated areas.
  • The National Institute of Environmental and Health Services has linked fluoridation with cancer.
  • In areas where fluoride is consumed in the drinking water, there are higher rates of bone disorders (skeletal fluorosis, osteoporosis and arthritic pain) and people suffer from brown decaying teeth.
  • The 1984 issue of Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products lists fluoride as more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic.
  • It has been used as a pesticide for mice, rats and other small pests.
  • A 10-pound infant could be killed by 1/100 of an ounce and a 100-pound adult could be killed by 1/10 of an ounce of fluoride.
  • The Akron Regional Poison Center indicates that a 7-ounce tube of toothpaste contains 199 mg. of fluoride, more than enough to kill a 25-pound child.
  • There is compelling evidence that the program of water fluoridation began as a massive effort to cover up bad publicity from one of the most toxic materials to emerge from the government’s secret nuclear weapons program. The idea was that if fluoride could be presented to the country as beneficial, then no one could sue the government for being harmed by it.
  • Fluoride is a key chemical in atomic bomb production. Millions of tons were used during the Cold War period to manufacture high-grade uranium and plutonium.
  • Documents show that the first U.S. lawsuits levied against the atomic weapons program were over fluoride poisoning, not radiation damage.
So please find fluoride free toothpaste!