David E. Gumpert has been a long time advocate of Nourishing Our Children, and I’ve been grateful to have found a supporter in him. He reached out to me to review his latest book, The Raw Milk Answer Book: What You Really Need to Know About Our Most Controversial Food and I am delighted to report that I highly recommend it via our Amazon affiliation. I think it is an invaluable resource and I learned a fair amount reading it. I like how thorough, methodical and impartial David’s approach is, and how he answers a logical chain of questions with facts, figures, and extensive research. I would characterize the book as quite “fair” in its handling of both sides of the issue. This book answers over 200 questions on the topic of raw milk which I envision is comprehensive enough to satisfy most of our curious minds. I will most definitely refer to the book again and again. It is available as a paperback, an e-book, and just released as an audio book as well.
A little about the author and journalist before I write about his latest book. David also wrote Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat, and The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind Americas Emerging Battle Over Food Rights, both of which have been positively reviewed by the Weston A. Price Foundation. He also has a blog called The Complete Patient.
The Raw Milk Answer Book Table of Contents
After and Introduction, David covers:
- Raw Milk Basics
- Why All the Fuss?
- Why the History of Raw Milk Matters So Much
- How Risky Is Raw Milk, Really?
- What Are the Health Benefits of Raw Milk?
- Reconcile the Risks and Benefits of Raw Milk
- Buying Raw Milk
- Find the Safest Raw Milk
- Find the Best Quality Raw Milk
- Bring Raw Milk Into Your Home … Peacefully
Is raw milk safe?
In my experience, raw milk safety is often the question folks have the most concern about, so I want to share some of what I learned on the subject. Throughout the book, David serves as an impartial reporter would and illustrates both sides of the issue. Public health authorities claim that raw milk is just too risky for most people, and especially for children and individuals with compromised immune systems, like those undergoing chemotherapy. The CDC even has created a web site with videotaped interviews of individuals who got sick from raw milk, or whose children got sick.
Advocates of raw milk assert that the risks associated with raw milk have been exaggerated. They contend that there are risks associated with all foods, and that even pasteurized milk has made people seriously ill, and even killed a few.
David very methodically analyzed all the available data on how many illnesses are actually reported from the consumption of raw milk: “I have gone through the tedious process of extracting annual data from the CDC database. When you examine CDC data over the last decade, you find that there are generally between 25 and 200 reported illnesses from raw milk each year. In 2008 there were 132, in 2011 there were 60. There is no long-term trend up or down, though from 2006-2010 the trend was steadily up, before the number of illnesses plummeted in 2011. So what I did was take a typical recent year for both raw milk illnesses, and total foodborne illnesses as reported by the CDC. That way, we are comparing apples and apples. What I found was as follows:”
- In 2008, there were 23,000 total foodborne illnesses reported by the CDC.
- 132 came from raw milk and raw milk cheese.
- Thus, slightly over one half of one per cent of the total reported illnesses was from raw milk.
David goes on to explain that to truly assess the risk of drinking raw milk, we need to know whether the risk of getting sick or dying is one in 100, one in 1,000, or one in a million. Unfortunately, like most questions involving raw milk, the answer seems to vary according to the person’s views, for or against. That is due to the fact the data is not complete. For example, we don’t have ongoing data about raw milk consumption that would help quantify the risk on a per-serving basis. Similarly, we don’t have comparative data on illnesses from different foods.
Still, even in this data vacuum, a number of experts have attempted to provide risk assessments. According to Ted Beals, a retired pathologist and professor at the University of Michigan, and a raw milk proponent, you have a greater chance of getting injured in an auto accident on the way to the farm than you have of getting sick from the raw milk you actually buy.
But CDC researchers say raw milk is a terrible danger: “It is important to note that a substantial proportion of the raw-milk-associated disease burden falls on children; among the 104 outbreaks from 1998-2011 with information on the patients’ ages available, 82% involved at least one person younger than 20 years old.” The CDC didn’t say how this percentage compares to other foods.
What is the actual risk?
So which is it? Is the risk as remote as being struck by lightning, or is there a serious risk of children becoming sick? The short answer is that we just don’t know. Part of the reason is that our public health establishment, which monitors food-borne illness, hasn’t done the kind of research necessary to provide a serious risk analysis and comparison to other foods.
David offers his own personal opinion:
I know that a number of children have become seriously ill from raw milk, which I discuss in more detail in Chapter 5 on food safety. The nonprofit organization, Center for Science and the Public Interest, says that 70% of all illnesses from dairy result from raw milk, which is a high percentage, considering that likely three per cent of the population or less is drinking raw milk.
I also know that hundreds of thousands of people are drinking raw milk each day, without any hint of illness. In Massachusetts, where I live, and where raw milk is sold directly from approximately 25 licensed dairies to consumers, there hasn’t been an illness reported from a licensed raw dairy in the state since it began licensing dairies in the 1990s. In surrounding states, like New Hampshire and Maine, the situation is similar. Vermont had a handful of illnesses in 2010, according to state regulators, but from the description they provided during legislative hearings seeking approval of new regulations to broaden raw milk distribution, it seems as if most or all of the illnesses came from dairies that primarily sell raw milk for pasteurization, and not from dairies that are regulated to sell it raw.
One other thing: In my experience, a few dairies with identifiable problems have been responsible for the most serious illnesses. Or, put another way, there are hundreds of small dairies selling raw milk that have been doing it for years without a single illness.
Nutritionist Chris Kressler did an intriguing analysis in 2012. He made the point that most illnesses from tainted food, including raw milk, are mild, with a few days of upset stomach. Then he added:
“The statistic we should be more concerned with is hospitalizations for serious illnesses such as kidney failure and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by unpasteurized milk. This does happen, and children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and more likely to experience a serious illness. That said, hospitalizations from raw milk are extremely rare. During the 2000 − 2007 period, there were 12 hospitalizations for illnesses associated with raw fluid milk. That’s an average of 1.5 per year. With approximately 9.4 million people drinking raw milk, that means you have about a 1 in 6 million chance of being hospitalized from drinking raw milk.”
“To put this in perspective, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, you have a roughly 1 in 8,000 chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident if you live in the U.S. Therefore, you have a 750 times greater chance of dying in a car crash than becoming hospitalized from drinking raw milk.”
I drink raw milk with confidence.
I want to add my own personal experience. I have been drinking raw milk since 2004 while I lived in San Francisco and now in Portland. I am blessed to be part of a local herd share offered through The Abbey Farm. I have visited the farm. I didn’t tolerate pasteurized milk at all but, do very well on raw milk. I have concluded that the benefits of raw milk to those who digest it well far outweigh the risks.
Some of the questions that are answered in the book:
- Is it really healthier than pasteurized milk?
- Can I get the same nutritional benefits by drinking pasteurized organic milk?
- Is pasteurized milk that isn’t homogenized as nutritious as raw milk?
- Is raw milk legal to sell in my state?
- How do I locate a source to buy it from?
- What is a herd share or cow share arrangement?
- How do I determine if a particular dairy is producing safe raw milk?
- Can I tolerate raw milk if I have trouble digesting pasteurized milk?
- Should I serve raw milk to my children to improve their health?
- Will it help my children’s eczema?
- Why is there so much conflict about whether raw milk should be legal?
- What if my spouse and I adamantly disagree about serving raw milk to our family?
- On and on the questions go.
David writes: “Sandrine, Thanks for all your great support, not only for this book, but for all the parents and children and their rights to food choice.”
David has generously offered to send 5 complimentary copies to 5 individuals within the United States. One book per household. To enter the giveaway, please answer the following questions in the comments with at least 5 sentences. Be sure to include the words “raw milk” in your answer. The deadline is Tuesday, August 18 at 8:00P, PDT. Everyone who enters will be notified of the results via email.
[Update – I have randomly chosen 5 qualifying responses and have notified those who will receive a paperback version of the book from David Gumpert complimentary: Sally Goldin, Cynthia Hill, Janna Weil, Kate (Ekstrom) Grenon, and Amanda. Congratulations!]
84 Responses to The Raw Milk Answer Book
I have been buying raw milk from a local farm for a few months now. After doing some research I realized that it’s actually a health food and I can now give milk to my kids. I didn’t give them cows milk until just recently when I found a raw milk supplier. I would love to have this book to have answers for others right at my fingertips. People sometimes look at me like I am crazy when I say we drink raw milk, and they haven’t learned even one thing about it!
My experience with raw milk has been a very positive one. I believe raw milk is a wonderful, natural, God-given form of nourishment for our bodies. Human milk is such an essential part of a baby’s growth and this in turn leads me to believe that cow’s milk in it’s raw form does our bodies wonders. I used to be afraid of fat, especially saturated, but after coming to know the truth, raw milk just makes sense when it’s from a clean, traditional source. And all the awesome things you can do with it – cheese, ice cream, kefir! The possibilities and benefits are endless. I don’t have any specific questions, but the more I learn I become more thankful!
I have limited experience with raw milk. I know one place in my town that sells it for $11 gallon and I haven’t found any local farmers that sell raw milk in my area yet, but i’m looking. I have 3 growing kids and I want to give them the healthiest path I can in life. I really enjoy the taste of raw milk and I know it’s supposed to be healthier than processed milk. A main question I have, and I have many, would be does and why raw milk actually prevent dairy allergies. I’ve heard people with dairy allergies can actually consume raw dairy products and reverse dairy allergies but I don’t understand why this would be true. What are the other health and lifestyle benefits of raw dairy over organic dairy? -Very intrigued
I would love to receive a copy of The Raw Milk Answer Book. I’m fairly new to using raw milk. I decided to try raw milk after reading so much about it on the internet and then I realized I drank raw milk as a child as my grandpa had cows and a small creamery. I think we had the top milk on our breakfast cereal. I have been making kefir which is mostly where I have read about it. Fortunately I still have a small health food store close where I can purchase it. I know they’re struggling so I hope they continue. My husband thinks I’m crazy for drinking it
Doris, you are not alone. Disagreements within families about raw milk aren’t uncommon. I devote a chapter to the challenges of handling this issue when there is uncertainty, or even discord, within families, and I offer suggestions for compromise.
What a wonderful sounding book! Raw milk is gaining in popularity and this sounds like useful information for all of us “newbies”. I recently found a dairy and have started purchasing raw milk. It’s quite a commitment as I have to work in order for it to be a legal employee sale, and it’s an hour drive each way. I’d be interested in learning the best way to freeze it, as I won’t be able to make the trip as regularly during our snowy winters.
I’ve been a raw milk drinker for over a year. Never felt better. Try to educate everyone I know about the benefits.
Raw milk has been a life saver on so many levels. It healed and nourished me during illness, pregnancy, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding and now it is nourishing my child. She is still nursing but is given raw milk kefir daily. I also have a business selling raw milk products, which is not only giving me the ability to contribute to my family but also providing a nourishing and healing option to my local population. Though raw milk is only allowed in my state for pet consumption, it is refreshing to know there is a very large population of people that understand the benefits and will still seek it out regardless of the regulations.
I drink raw milk on a daily basis, and I absolutely love it. I’m lucky that I live in San Francisco where it is legal to buy it in the local stores. I learned about raw milk from the Weston A. Price Foundation and no longer drink pasteurized milk plain; I use it only to make yogurt, kefir, etc. I would love to read David’s book, for many reasons. One is that I would like to have concrete information to share with friends/acquaintances who think raw milk is dangerous. I am also interested in all the knowledge he has to share.
Sally, one of the reasons I wrote the book was because I was repeatedly answering questions from friends/acquaintances about the risks and benefits of raw milk. Now, I can simply refer them to the book. I am sure that after you read the book, you’ll have some great answers for them.
My experience with raw milk is minimal. My sister drinks only raw milk and has for a few years now. As my family and I are moving towards healthier foods. Including organic, gmo free, homegrown and nitrate free. I am very interested in learning all I can about raw milk. I am certain that all my answers can be answered in the book, The Raw Milk Answer Book.
It is quite comprehensive and informative!
I’ve been consuming raw milk for several years now, and I am glad in California that it is available for sale. I have friends in other states who don’t have legal access to raw milk. I have found since I started drinking raw milk (along with other WAPF-friendly dietary changes like organ meats, broth and elimination of processed foods and improperly prepared grains) my hormones have become balanced and I effortlessly regained my body size from high school and college! After 2 pregancies I had imbalanced hormones and the resulting symptoms: low energy, weight gain, pale skin, and generally a sense of imbalance. Research convinced me that raw milk was the way to go, and other research has already convinced my friends that industrial pasteurized milk is a “dealth food.” I’d love to have this resource to back up my arguments showing my friends that raw milk is the way to go, and better than store-bought versions of nut milks and coconut milk.
I have been using raw milk for the past year and a halfby making my own kefir. I buy my raw milk from my local health food store; great results from using the raw milk and intend to use it for the rest of my life. I would try the other raw dairy products but in my local store they are prohibitively expensive; however I have a wonderful system for making kefir and have lots of grains to share if anyone is interested.
My journey with raw milk started during my first pregnancy. My mother had recently discovered WAPF and convinced me to try raw milk. Little did I know, it would consume my life one day! I put my first daughter on the raw cows’ milk formula at 10 weeks old when she was diagnosed as failure to thrive. I had to abstain from pasteurized dairy while I nursed her for 8 months because she was allergic to it (diagnosed via NAET muscle testing). She has only ever consumed raw dairy (cheese, kefir, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, yum!). She’s kind of a celebrity. She’s the chubby little girl on the WAPF FB page cover photo with the jersey cows behind her. 😛 Because of my hardships with her growth, I put together a PDF on how to make the formula and where to get the milk for local like-minded folks. I’ve shared it with midwives, doctors, chiropractors, farmers, etc. hoping to help anyone in my community who may want to go down this path but are scared and to spread awareness that another option besides commercial formula exists. My second daughter was born just 3 months ago. She uses small amounts of the raw cows’ milk formula because I had to return to work and can’t pump enough breastmilk to feed her while I’m gone. We would love a copy of this book as we are researching as much as we can about raw milk and farming. We are hoping to sell our house within a year and purchase a small farm where we can eventually have our own jersey cow!!
My husband and I are fairly new to the raw milk journey, but we have found it to be a gem in our daily diet. We prefer goat milk and use it to make kefir for our morning shakes. We also give it to our baby girl who is a year old. Raw milk is difficult to obtain in our area. Therefore we hope to raise a few of our own dairy goats someday so that we can have our own milk. We are in the process of learning about goats and how to raise them, there is much to learn!
I started drinking raw milk about 10 years ago after listening to a life changing seminar by Sally Fallon. At first extremely skeptical, (I totally bought into the low fat mantra) by the end of the weekend everything made total sense. I went on to start the first local raw milk delivery site at my home. I remember how good & real that first glass tasted! I am soon to be a certified Nutritional Therapist and this book appears to answer a lot of the questions I will be tackling with my clients concerning consuming raw milk.
I ve been drinking raw milk from a local farm in San Jose’. I use the raw milk for my kefir and sometimes I make bread with it also. I wonder if the cows/goats are suffering when the milk is extracting from them through the pumps. It is not like the old days anymore when the farmer was doing it by hand. I am from Milan, Italy and I have some relatives who have a farm just outside the city. I used to drink the milk from their cows when I was visiting them. It taste so delicious.
We have been drinking raw milk for most of 6 or so years. Love it, and my kids think store milk tastes less appealing now. I love how it never ‘goes bad’ but just changes in to a different usable form. I have a question or two on some of the bacterias in the milk. My spouse had a couple different minor hospital stays over the years that involved bloodwork and both times it has come back with a positive test for a bacteria that prompted the health department to soon call inquiring if we drank raw milk. He actually rarely drinks the milk though we use it in recipes. Is there another source where the bacteria could be coming from? Is there a timeline where it would stay in the system after consumption as the most recent event showed the bacteria and we hadn’t had any in the house for months. We always decline that we consume raw dairy and we aren’t necessarily concerned but curious.
My experience with raw milk has been awesome. In 2010, I did a raw milk cleanse, where I only drank (large amounts of ) raw milk and colostrum (and ate no food) for 7 months. It cleared up a lot of my health problems. But when I started introducing solid foods again, I got food poisoning, so I’m not sure if that was from the solid food (veggies) or potentially from the raw milk. So I’d love to read the book and understand more about the good and bad of raw milk. I’d also love to know more about the benefits of drinking plain raw milk vs. making kefir out of it.
I have been drinking raw milk since 2003. I drank raw milk through two very healthy pregnancies and continue to do so, as I reach menopausal years. I find that my body very easily assimilates the calcium available in raw milk. I am grateful to now live in a cow share state–Colorado, where I “own” part of a herd of beautiful Jersey and Guernsey cows that are on a biodynamic farm in Boulder. My son and husband drink this beautiful, delicious health food also…to the tune of 2 gallons a week! (I had not been a milk drinker for over 20 years, because my body did not like pasteurized milk, and I knew it was not good for my body, or anyone else’s!) I deeply appreciate David Gumpert’s work for all of us! Thank you for sharing this great book with us!
I have never had raw milk, but I want to! After my pregnancy in 2013 I started to have joint pain. A 30 day elimination diet, and slow re-introduction of wheat, grains, dairy, sugar, and caffeine, pointed to inflammation being a pretty quick result of dairy intake. I do not want to believe this…I miss my cheeses and milk, so I’d like to learn more about whether I would have the same reaction to raw milk as I do to regular milk! I miss milk!! My son is 2 years old, and I’d also like to learn the benefits of feeding him raw milk…but my mother in law thinks its risky. I think this book could help me educate myself so that I can make a better informed decision. Thanks for the opportunity!
I have purchased raw milk from a local.Jersey herd farm for about six years. It is wonderful to have unpasturized/homogenized milk. It tastes better and we enjoy making butter or whipped cream from the natural separation. The farm is pristine and licensed, I know they have good practices to keep the milk clean, and prevent illness. It is sad that people forget raw milk was all we had until the last century, and vilify it without knowing any facts. I would like to read this book. Thanks.
This would be so great to win! My husband and I are both lactose intolerant. I typically do not care for the taste of milk anyways but my husband loves it. We started reading about raw milk and finally was able to purchase some here. We loved it! We had no symptoms like we usually do with our typical grass-fed organic. Unfortunately we could not keep up with buying due to the price increase but really wish we could. People looked at us like we had two heads when we talk about raw milk and it’s just sad that they think it’s more normal to drink milk that’s been processed and heated to extremes and then fortified with synthetic vitamins. We are so backwards
[…] timing of this new version of the book is opportune, because it coincides with a major review by food writer and blogger Sandrine Love, who oversees the Nourishing Our Children educational initiative. She not only has very nice things […]
I’ve been buying raw milk for over 10 years now and can’t imagine buying “regular” milk at the store. I’ve been very blessed to have found farmers who understand the importance of healthy cows being on pasture. Recently we had some food allergy testing done and my husband’s test came back as cow’s milk being highly sensitive for him. To test for the reaction I’m sure the lab is using the pasteurized, homogenized milk like product that is sold in the stores. :) Before we began drinking raw milk my husband would have issues any time he consumed milk. But he has never had any issues with drinking the raw milk. I’ve come to understand that raw milk and the milk like products sold in the store are nothing alike other than sharing a name. :)
I have been so curious about raw milk and having my two youngest children drink it. They, as well as I, cannot drink cow’s milk due to adverse reactions. I have been apprehensive about drinking raw milk because of that and would love to know of there is any connection. My children’s holistic dentist just mentioned at their last visit about drinking raw milk for overall health. I also would like to know where I can purchase it without worrying about safety and over-pricing. Also, can raw milk assist with weight control and immunity??
I have been buying raw milk locally for over a year. It is more work to buy because I have to meet the dairyman every week. But the few times I have decided it is not worth it and stopped buying for a few weeks, my kids and I got sick. That is enough proof for me. Plus it tastes better!
I am an Herbalist In Poughkeepsie, NY. I teach my community how to live and eat closer to the earth. I have been promoting the raw milk farms in my area.. Trying to spread the word. People are still frightened. I wish to have this book to have available for them to look thru and perhaps order. I am holding a class in september for raw milk . The hostess will be educating as well as showing how to use raw milk for products such as butter, yogurt and cheese. Thank you for considering my entry. Good luck and HAppy Sales!!! <3
Raw milk was what I lovingly call my “gateway drug” into the real food WAPF world! I discovered raw milk through my mother in law who cured herself of cancer (shrunk her tumor and healed herself of stage 3B cervical cancer) with real food and holistic practices–no chemo. I met the sweet family who started a raw milk dairy near my home and signed up for a share of this liquid gold. Now I am a WAPF Chapter Leader and I teach others how to make kefir and butter! Yum! Every morning I take my fermented cod liver oil with a bit of raw milk– what a great start to my day!
I’ve never had raw milk but have wanted to try it for about two years. I’m lactose intolerant but was told that raw milk is tolerated by others with my issue because it’s so different from what we call regular milk. However, I was pregnant at the time and have been breastfeeding since. I still hope to try it someday soon. As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown much more aware of how far we have moved away from real food. I want to change that for my family and raise my girls to have a better understanding of real nutrition and preparation.
Dear Sandrine, thank you for this opportunity to share my personal experiences with raw milk. My first pregnancy without raw milk was a rough one. Every possible terrible “natural” symptom of pregnancy afflicted me. Crackers and sugary commercial ginger sodas made me feel worse. I couldn’t understand why that was even recommended to nourish a new life. All I could eat were raw almonds. My second pregnancy nearly started the same way. I had horrible migraines, vomiting, and excessive peeing until I started drinking raw milk. Everything changed after raw milk. I could wake up feeling nausea and ask my husband for a small glass of raw milk. Within seconds, all my symptoms were alleviated! As my first son grew, we came to realize he has had mal-absorption issues. I have my theories about the nature of those and his difficult labor, delivery and the use of antibiotics on me through crucial hours of his delivery (and how that affected my new breast milk) might have affected his digestion. Long story longer, we started giving him raw goats milk and it was the only thing that helped him digest otherwise indigestible (to him) nutrients. I learned so much reading about the mystery of why this may have been including the name of the medium chain triglyceride group being called the “capra” fatty acids. Raw goat milk is essential nutrition, has less casein (much less than cow’s milk) and heals the gut. Currently, our son is on an introductory stage of the GAPS diet and is digesting well with minimal dairy but for the exceptional and rare raw goat’s milk kefir. His language skills (which were falling short w/ other symptoms of an ASD) have emerged entirely during two weeks on the GAPS diet introduction. We’re excited as his gut heals to bring back his beloved raw goat’s milk. My question about the book is: does it talk about raw goat’s milk as well as cow’s milk? Thank you for sharing this book! It sounds wonderful and I’d love a copy!
I don’t remember when I learned about the benefits of raw milk. It must have been close to 6 years now. When I became a mother (9 years ago) I wanted to know why so many children were sick, so I started reading and learning about food. I am very fortunate because once I learned about the benefits of raw milk I was able to buy it at a local farm. It was delicious! The farm was sold to a new family and the farm continues to sell raw milk, yogurt and cheese. There is a sign on the case of raw milk stating the dangers of drinking raw milk. I sent an email to the farmers stating how interesting it is that I need to be warned about raw milk but gmos don’t need to be labeled. I live in an area where there are many farms selling raw milk without any problems. Knowing the struggles people having in other states makes me feel very grateful.
I’ve always heard and believed that milk does a body good. But, after drinking too much pasteurized milk and suffering the consequences (bloating, gas, mucous) of doing so, I stopped buying milk. With four daughters and a lot of health issues that have came up over the years, my introduction to raw milk was ignited a couple of years ago. I won’t lie, I was scared to drink raw milk, let alone give it to my young children (the fear of a bacteria that could harm us). After realizing that there is more harm in drinking dead milk (pasteurized milk) than it is to drink raw milk, I went ahead and gave raw milk a try. I was amazed to see gas, mucous and bloating where not a side effect of drinking raw milk. The side effects, I witnessed where: finger nails that grew faster, hair that grew faster and the best one of all, when I took my daughters in for their dental appointment, no cavities! I can honestly tell you though, I think my youngest has a harder time digesting raw milk. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, if she drinks too much raw milk, she will get constipated. Can someone please tell me why that is? She LOVES raw milk and I would hate to not give it to her, but I also don’t want her to get constipated. Any suggestion are greatly appreciated! Thank you so much! and thank you for writing about real food that will actually do a body good! =)
We have not tried raw yet do to the fact we have children with dairy sensitivity but I wonder if they could handle raw. We are trying to find raw Jersey milk to try but have not found it yet hopping in a few years to get land and buy a Jersey. Would love this book for more info.
My experience with raw milk has only been for a little over a year. My husband and I started milking cows and decided to get licensed to sell raw milk. Throughout our first year of selling, I have learned so much about apart milk and the many benefits that it provides for myself and my children! We have had a very positive experience and find many customers of ours could not drink pasteurized milk but have no problems with drinking raw! We love raw milk and are so grateful to live in a state where it is legal to sell to others so they can enjoy the benefits as well!
I have purchased raw milk off and on for several years now. There is a farm within an hour I have successfully purchased and drank raw milk from, however sickness did occur on 2 different occasions after drinking their milk. They are a farm that gathers milk to be pasteurized and sold that way, raw milk is a small side thing for them. Also, the baby cows are in the open, but kept confined, they don’t get to roam. So I now purchase from a local store that puts their raw milk through the same if not better testing that pasteurized milk goes through before it can be sold. They will not bring the milk to the store if they find even the slightest thing off with it. Their cows are free roaming, grass fed, and very well cared for. No questions at the moment, thank you.
Does this book differentiate between cow’s milk and goat’s milk?
I have been getting raw milk for 2 years. We are lucky enough to have a certified organic dairy that delivers to our home-that is also working on a process to sprout grain to have even more nutritious live food for the cows in our cold winters. I don’t drink much raw (my husband does) because of my Candida/and some digestion issues, but I do culture it for kefir and yogurt. We have experienced a lot of health benefits, and no negative experiences, which has definitely taught me how low the risks are, and how our ancestors’s traditional wisdom of culturing foods to preserve them, is a valuable tool that also enhances our bacterial diversity and released even more available nutrients for our health. After all, our bacteria evolved to adapt to many changes in the human diet in the past, as it will continue to do. I do believe the largest percentage of milk was probably used in the cultured started, since without refrigeration, it would be difficult to have much around to drink in its truly raw state, so when people talk about how “unhealthy” or “unnatural” it is in our diet, clearly they have little education on our history of evolutionary nutrition, and traditional ancestral food preparation. They also have little idea about the differences in structural/molecular changes in milk that is processed and pasteurized vs raw.
For example, if you only have one cow for your whole family, it’s not like you can go pour yourself a milk anytime you want from the fridge like today.
Our family is so happy to have to ability to use this food in the same state as people have for thousands of years.
I LOVE my raw milk. My family goes through gallons a week. If we ever lost access to it I have no idea what we would do. This book would be a valuable resource for helping me explain to others the safety of raw milk. Sometimes people feel “better” with a book resources verses someone just verbally telling them. I would love to read this so I could review it and recommend it to others. Thanks for the giveaway.
My husband and I have been drinking raw milk for years, and we’ve been making raw milk kefir religiously. We have the happiest, healthiest kefir grains I’ve ever seen! And hubby and I haven’t been sick more than once or twice each in the last 8 years, I’m sure because of all the good bacteria in our guts from the raw milk. I also drank lots of raw milk daily when I was pregnant with our now 5-month-old daughter. It was one of the most nourishing things I could squeeze into my ever-shrinking stomach as my pregnancy progressed and baby left less and less room for my internal organs. It gave me tons of energy and made every cell of my body feel nourished. I’m so excited about this book! I’d love to discuss raw milk with others more often but I have trouble condensing all the research I’ve read into digestible, sound-byte answers for them. As mentioned above, questions like “Is that really safe?” (with, y’know, the implications that I’m risking my daughter’s life by drinking it while I’m nursing) are so frustrating, and a simple “yes!” as an answer just doesn’t cut it. I would LOVE to just refer them to this book. SO much easier! In terms of questions … is there anything in the book about how early I can introduce it to my infant, assuming she’s healthy and has shown no signs of dairy aversion thus far? And what’s up with the new “organic, non-homogenized” milk I’m seeing in stores – where does that fall on the raw milk > ultra pasteurized milk spectrum in terms of health benefits? THANK YOU for writing this!
I started reading Nourishing Traditions when I was pregnant last year with my first child. Pasteurized milk made me sick but I was absolutely craving it so I reached out and found a few sources who supply grassfed raw milk. It is delicious and I love the way I feel after drinking it; even my teeth feel cleaner!! My baby is only 9 months old and breastfed but when he does start drinking cow’s milk, it will definitely be raw milk! I’m so thankful I learned about raw milk before my baby got older and drank pasteurized milk. It’s a lifesaver I’m sure.
I began our journey with raw milk when my 4th child showed signs of exzema due to the pasteurized milk she was drinking. Since then I have done my best to locate reputable farmers who sell raw milk. We have had great success with it. We all love it and I can tolerate it. In the past milk have me a stomach ache. I would love a book like this to learn more and be able to answer questions s friends and family have in an educated, well thought out manner.
I have never had raw milk before. I do not have easy access to it where I live. I use batch pastuerized, non-homogenized, whole milk to make yogurt and when I need it. I also eat raw milk cheese. I would love to learn more about it, its benefits and saftey concerns. If I knew more how to find trustworthy raw milk, I would definitely consider it!
I have bought raw milk exactly once. I was so excited to go pick up my raw milk, but that night when I got home I did some internet research. I read a few of the horror stories that the government has online about raw milk and psyched myself out from drinking it. I still have some in my freezer. Now my son has been diagnosed with some sensory issues and I know that raw milk could help him. I’m ready to give it another try!
I have never tried raw milk but I’m interested in trying it. My family has lactose intolerance and I wonder if we could tolerate raw milk better than pasteurized milk. I’m not crazy about the milk alternatives out there like soy so it would be nice to have a different choice. I recently found a dairy nearby that sells raw milk so I know where to get it but I’m still researching it. The dairy tests the batches so that makes me feel better about it but I must admit that I’m still on the fence. Reading this information does make me feel better about trying it.
I’ve had my baby on Weston A Price’s raw milk formula for the past two months and she’s thriving! When I realized I could no longer breastfeed, I initially had her on Earth’s Best Organic formula and she wasn’t gaining weight, had a constant upset stomach and cried all of the time. As soon as I made the switch to homemade formula, she’s been extremely happy and is now a very chunky baby! I’m trying to educate my pediatrician as she’s never even heard of homemade formula. She should’ve been the one to suggest it to me!
I was suffering greatly with pasteurized milk, I believe because I had 3 bouts of food poisoning that wiped out my gut. My friend turned me on to raw milk. After a year of drinking it I felt healthier, got off allergy/asthma meds and hardly got sick any more. It was the beginning of a new era in my life. I now make yogurt, soft cheeses and kefir for the health of my family. I thank God for the chance to heal but I think someday what would life have been like had I not been able to drink raw milk to heal….
Hello David and everyone involved in this project! I am excited to have come across such a great resource. You can be sure that I’ll be purchasing this book to share with my dairy goat coop. I have been involved with 2 dairy goat farms since 2011 and can’t imagine my life without them. The first started as a unique job opportunity. The second, I joined specifically to provide farm fresh raw milk to my family. I go every week and care for the goats, milk, feed, water, and muck the pens. The milk I get to take home and there’s nothing better. Both my girls have transitioned seamlessly from breastmilk to raw goat milk and I am so thankful to have discovered the health benefits that come it. All that said, I don’t have any specific research that I can refer to when answering questions. I just know it’s better than the alternative (store bought, cow’s milk). I relate more to the environmental situations of the animals and would love to expand my base knowledge with a copy of your book. Thank you for all your efforts and sharing it with the world!
After being unable to breastfeed my preemie son and watching him suffer health issues like ezcema and reflux the first 8 months of his life, I fell in love with raw milk when I began using it in his homemade formula at 8 months old. His ezcema cleared up, reflux disappeared, and he became overall a much healthier, happier baby! My whole family drinks lots of raw milk now and I don’t know how we could live without it. I personally cannot tolerate pasteurized milk and thought I had to be dairy free until I discovered raw milk. My first question when we travel out of our state of Pennsylvania (which with a decent amount of affordable raw milk options) is “How are we going to get raw milk there?” I’d LOVE a copy of this book as I am a huge advocate for raw milk but don’t have many good facts and explanations to offer others besides my personal experience.
I was unable to drink milk through out my life. Until I discovered raw milk. I am able to consume it with not abdominal pain. I have to consume milk from cows eating ONLY grass however. Some of the farms we have purchased from let their cows eat feed while milking and I cannot consume this milk. I also cannot consume milk from Holstein cows.
I would love to receive a copy of The Raw Milk Answer Book. I have been drinking and making food with raw milk for over eight years, since starting a MSHN in Holistic Nutrition and joining the Weston A Price Foundation. It’s delicious and nutritious and often people who have a problem with pasteurized milk do not have a problem with raw milk. I plan to give the copy of this book to a cousin who is having a baby in order to get the baby started off on the right foot drinking raw milk. Hopefully this child will not need braces and other dental machinations because of drinking the raw milk like the children in Price’s Nutrition and Degenerative Disease.
My husband is the ‘milk drinker’ and he has milk triggered asthma… but not with raw milk. Every year at Christmas he would ‘give in’ to his desire for eggnog and be sick for months trying to heal from drinking even grass-fed cream.from the health food store. Now we enjoy homemade ice cream, yogurt, milk kefir, as many milk product as we can make from raw milk. Once he had a small amount of pasteurized milk, started to wheeze and drank a glass of raw and it stopped the wheezing. He just requires the enzyme that is destroyed by pasteurization in order to digest the milk.
I only have limited experience with raw milk. I would love to be able to answer questions about the “dangers” of raw milk when asked by family and friends with an authoritative backup reference. I am able to get raw milk through my local buying group. One of our favorite uses is making kefir. (The cream that rises to the top of the kefir is coveted by both people and our dogs.)
My experience of raw milk has generally been good. Obviously, it hasn’t made me ill! I can’t tolerate pasteurized milk at all, but I can generally drink a glass of raw milk now and then with only a tiny bit of gas. In contrast, pasteurized milk gives me cramps and bloating. I have had raw milk from Claravale Dairy and Organic Pastures Dairy, both in California, and more recently, I have tried the raw milk from Redmond Trading company, which has their own farms, with dairy and beef cows, pigs, and chickens raised for eggs, and sold in their six Real Foods Market retail stores in Utah. It’s delicious! And just like Organic Pastures posts their daily milk test data on their website, Real Foods Market posts it in stores next to the refrigerator where the raw milk is sold. I like that kind of transparency, and you just don’t get that with conventional dairies, who seem to believe that pasteurization will cover any and all contingencies. Though I don’t drink raw milk daily, I feel strongly about the issue and proudly display a “Got Real Milk?” bumper sticker on my car.
My family, which includes 3 children who are now young adults (ages 18, 19 & 24), have been drinking raw milk for a little over 10 years now. We love not only the taste but also the benefits. When we can’t get raw milk, we simply prefer to do without. My only question is, why is it not easier to find and why all the different laws? Very frustrated.
We love raw milk! The flavor alone is reason enough to drink it. Our family has been drinking it problem free for 5 years. My youngest is having problems with dairy, as it aggravates her eczema. I have heard that people with with milk problems can drink raw milk without issue. I don’t know if it is milk allergy or lactose issues, however, and I am hoping this book clears that up. I would also like help making raw milk yogurt. Mine does not always turn out well.
Being lactose intolerant and having two children with dairy sensitivities we are not milk drinkers. However, I did buy a gallon container of raw milk from a local supplier, and my husband said it tasted creamier than regular organic milk. Just knowing that raw milk is packed full of vitamins and minerals is a reason to buy it. If it were available in smaller servings I would be purchasing it on a weekly basis. With only one family member who can tolerate dairy this would be ideal.
I have been consuming raw milk and other raw dairy products for over 10 years now. From years of learning from the Weston A. Price Foundation and the work of Weston Price, I believe strongly that dairy is best for human consumption in its raw form. Of course this does not mean that I would drink raw milk from any farm! For raw milk and dairy products in general to be of the greatest health benefit they must come from cows raised and kept out on pasture eating grass, hopefully organic, as their main food of sustenance. And the milk must be handled in such a way that contamination (the only real health danger with milk) is carefully and completely avoided. Another good reason to get to know your farmers! Then you have the best tasting, healthiest dairy food there is, for you and the cows!! As a child I drank milk (fortunately always whole–thanks Mom!) but as I grew up I got away from it. I didn’t find it satisfying to drink and I certainly couldn’t stomach the reduced fat versions that were being toted as “healthier.” Then when I discovered raw milk from grass-fed cows, I discovered that i loved drinking milk and found it very refreshing and desirable as a beverage. I believe the difference is the fact that it is in a more palatable form for the body and that it comes from healthy animals. Books such as this one is of most use when I am talking to others about raw dairy. If I am educated about the facts then I can communicate them better to others.
Our family loves raw milk. We started getting it from a local farm 2 years ago through a herd share. It was so delicious and rich. We made fresh butter from the cream and ice cream. I felt it made a huge difference in our health and wellness. This book would be a great reference to have on hand to help educate others about why we need to go back to the basics and reap the benefits of raw milk. I can’t believe we used to drink low fat milk. Ugh!
I have owned a cow share for a little over three years now and have loved it. The raw milk that I get each week is like gold. Butter, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese and whey are added benefits with the fresh thirst quenching raw milk. The fact that it only sours and doesn’t spoil for a very long time makes it so useful and well worth any cost. Convincing family members that it is okay and that I know my farmer is a challenge but I just have to let the record speak for itself. I have never been sick from it and I feel that it is helping my health.
I have been drinking raw milk since I started milking cows following my graduation from college. Knowing where it comes from, what the risks are, and how to mitigate them removes all the unknowns. Raw milk is the food I have been able to tolerate and recover on when I have had the worst GI disturbances. It has powered me through some long split shifts on the farm; I know many farmers whose daily first breakfast consists of a quart of raw milk with an egg in it. Since I stopped milking cows for a living, I have continued to faithfully seek out good sources of raw milk to maintain my health (even without health insurance, at times).
Thank you for turning your passion to this important subject, David!
I love raw milk. We have made cheese, yogurt and pudding so far. All are so delicious and creamy. I have been getting raw milk for a few months now. I have tons of questions! That’s why I want the book.
I’ve been buying raw milk from a local farm for more than 3 years now. I’ve never had any issues with its safety, and it tastes GREAT. I love the fact that it also contains the cream, as well as the enzymes. If I don’t happen to drink all of it within a week or so, I like to make yogurt or cottage cheese out of it, and both are the best I’ve ever had – not because of my ability but because the milk used to make it is so good. The research I’ve done on raw milk shows that it is no more “risky” than pasteurized milk and has many health benefits pasteurized milk does not have. We love our raw milk!
I would love to have a copy of this new book. Maybe it would FINALLY provide all of the answers to the folks who question my sanity for drinking it. Also, I hope it will totally explain to me whether or not, and how to find out, if I can drink it again…or at least the cream or butter from it. I have had IgG testing that shows an allergy to lactalbumin and have been told to avoid all dairy, even raw. I grew up on raw milk until high school, when my dad sold the last dairy cow. Would love to have the go ahead to drink it again, as it is available in my area.
I grew up drinking raw milk as a child. My father had one jersey cow, and I remember as a child loving to drink the milk warm from the cow as soon as he came in with it. For many years in my later childhood, adolescence and into adulthood I had no access to raw milk. Then I had children of my own and decided that I wanted to give them the same nourishing milk I had drank as a child. So I searched out a source and found one right here in New York City of all places! A co-op on wheels that delivers right to your door! It is a real blessing to have access to raw milk from grass fed Jersey cows. My kids and I love the milk and have been drinking it for over two years now. Even my husband, who comes from Turkey where they religiously boil the milk before touching it, has started to enjoy drinking it with us at meals too! I would love to have this book as a reference because I am always promoting raw milk to my friends and anybody who will listen. I have read some about the history of raw milk and pasteurization but I would love to know more. IF I don’t win the draw I will probably buy the book anyway as it sounds like something that should be in my library. :)
This is helpful information about raw milk. I had tried drinking it for about a year and tolerated it really well. But when I became pregnant I stopped drinking it because I was worried about the safety implications. I have wanted to introduce my (now) two young children to it, but needed to find the time to study the pros and cons first before making the switch as a family. Glad someone has taken the pains of collecting the data and compiling the findings. I could certainly use this book!
I started drinking young milk after a couple years of my husband I trying to get pregnant. A friend encouraged me to check out Nourishing Traditions and start drinking raw milk. I had been on a low fat/no fat diet for a couple years prior (no wonder I couldn’t get pregnant!) After educating myself we made the switch to raw whole fat milk, and all real food. After a year of eating this way we got pregnant with our first child and have since had another child. All four of us now enjoy daily raw milk, straight from our wonderful farmers. We LOVE it!!
I too, like many of your readers, am very thankful for having raw milk to drink not only for it’s nourishing qualities, but simply for pleasure. Presently I have health challenges that will be addressed in a number of natural ways, food and drink being one of the main ways and raw milk is on my daily menu for that reason. I am comfortable using raw milk despite many people’s unsubstantiated concerns (along with the silly notions of governmental agencies) knowing full well that when raw milk is bottled in a clean and purposeful way, it is to be highly prized as a modern day “superfood”. I have a very hard time understanding that in our day and age of so many freedoms, that something as foundational as feeding oneself is a freedom we in America cannot fully enjoy, especially knowing that unbelievable health benefits of consuming raw milk. Thank you for compiling this answer book on the subject of raw milk for it is when we understand the truth that fear is driven away and freedoms are enjoyed!
fourth sentence should have read “….especially knowing the unbelievable health benefits of consuming raw milk”
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia for years. Terrible bouts of all over pain and fatigue. Then a naturopath suggest I might me low in vit D. He was right! I was so low they put me on a prescription for vit D for weeks. I had stopped drinking milk for over 10 years because it gave me terrible cramps and constipation, but my doctor suggested I try raw milk. I researched and decided my best choice was raw organic Jersey milk. My vit D levels have improved and the pain I had for years has disappeared. I have no stomach cramps. I got so excited about all these healthy probiotics I was getting from my raw milk, I expanded my kitchen to have milk kefer as well. I’ve also learned to ferment vegetables.
I’m 24 months out from surgery, chemo and radiation. My gut hasn’t healed in that time, and I’ve been to the emergency room a few times with severe bloating and discomfort. Every dr has a different guess as to what is happening to me, every one of them tries to write me scripts for more antibiotics and steroids, which I refuse, much to their consternation!
Not one western trained medical dr is even willing to discuss diet—only the grad student Fellow from India asked me about it but his boss shut him down immediately.
In June I tried raw milk for the first time.
Within four hours I had a normal bowel movement, the first in TWO years.
Since then I drink two big glasses a day with excellent results. I’m not yet cured by any means, but my bloat and discomfort is at a chronic level three, no longer a chronic eight—so I know im on the right path to health.
I live in an area where I can only get raw milk that is not organic. The source is trusted, and I have gotten their milk in the past (over 6 yrs ago) without issue. Now that I have a family of my own, I’m not sure which is better – Raw Milk from cows that are grass fed but also supplemented with GMO feed in the cold PA winters?? Or Organic (pasteurized) Milk from the store… because it’s organic/Non-GMO? We do as much organic produce/gardening as we can and also try to use as many non-GMO products for the processed foods we buy. My husband is not convinced that Raw Milk is safe (but MAY consider it if it were available as organic in our area). We have two (of 3) young children with food allergies (egg and peanut) and he is paranoid about them getting sick or having a reaction from anything. It’s so hard to know what is the right thing!
Our family has been consuming raw milk since 2004. It began when my then 2yo daughter developed a rash, which we traced back to pasteurized milk products. We did a raw milk trial, and the rash disappeared. We have since started milking our own Jersey, and make our own raw cream butter, yogurt, and ice cream. My kids won’t drink “store bought milk,” and even their friends prefer our milk, especially when we make hot chocolate with all the cream still in the milk.
My family has been drinking raw milk for around 10 years. We have tried goat milk & cow milk from a number of somewhat-local farms. We enjoy it, and believe the health benefits are significant enough to be worth driving out of the way to get it. I like raw milk in my coffee, and I sometimes cook with it, pancakes, pudding, etc. I don’t mind if it goes sour either.
I have been drinking raw milk for decades. I began in the mid-1970s when I lived in the middle of a dairy farm. I think that it tastes like ice cream. It has never made me or my children sick. I make my own whey from it to use in beet and fruit kvass as well as my own homemade fermented mayonnaise and ketchup. I make yummy dips from the curds. My only question would be: Why doesn’t everyone drink their milk raw?
We only just discovered the benefits and availability of raw milk in the past few years. We had an amazing farm that delivered to our area, and we really loved the milk and the farmers. They recently stopped delivering to our area because of the distance, and now we’re searching for another farm. We struggle a lot with my daughter’s tooth health and are trying to follow a protocol to heal them– part of which is raw milk! My only question, something I’ve been thinking about as we look for a new raw milk farm/cowshare, is which is better, cow’s milk or goats milk? All I know is that goats milk is closer to breastmilk, but are there other nutritional differences that would be good to know as I look for another raw milk source?
Raw Milk has brought so much to our family. Not only nourishing our bodies but also our souls by connecting us with our local farmer on a weekly basis. We drive to the farm to get our raw goats milk and visit the little lovers that supply us with such a crucial part of our overall health. I would like to learn more about other ways to use the milk to produce Yogurt, Whey etc. In doing so i would really like to focus on what would give me and my family the largest nutritional value.
My experience with raw milk has been pretty fantastic so far. When I first looked for raw milk, I didn’t know which questions to ask. I just kind of assumed it was safe. Thankfully, the raw milk farmer I found took safety very seriously, and I loved that he was familiar with Nourishing Traditions! After three years of his wonderful milk, we switched to another farmer who had a better location and prices for us, as well as more products to choose from, but this time I knew all the right questions to ask. Raw milk has been a blessing to us. I don’t tolerate pasteurized milk well, and almost cut milk completely out of my diet. I was healthier without pasteurized milk, but then I was healthier with raw milk than no milk at all. I can definitely see the benefits to consuming it. My children drink it also. It’s nice not to stress over them having milk, as I did with my first before we started on raw milk. I let them have as much as they want!
I have friends who are interested in raw milk but do have concerns about safety. I hope this book can be a great resource to pass along to those with questions. I do still have some questions myself, such as why do those against raw milk say that it has no health benefits over raw milk, and why do e. coli or other contamination issues occur that cause people to get sick. A few years ago some people getting raw milk from a farm in Oregon got sick with e. coli, but there was zero information available as to why this might have occured. Only years later did I meet someone who knew one of the people whose child got sick, and she was able to give me some information on what might have caused that particular farm to have an outbreak. The farm wasn’t following good protocol. I think it would ease people’s minds if they could see that farms following good safety protocol don’t have outbreaks, and to also see what issues could be causing outbreaks–so we know what to avoid!
We have just begun to use raw milk again. We moved to Pennsylvania and I found I wonderful Creamery that sells it. I was raised drinking raw milk. We used it for everything from a glass of milk to ice cream. We never had any problems. There were four kids in my family, we were hardly ever sick, had no allergies, no lactose intolerance and grew into healthy adults. I believe this had a lot to do with drinking raw milk.
As an adult, finding raw milk has been an issue. I was not able to provide my kids with it and I regret that. My kids have had some issues and I think that is because they drank store bought pasturized, milk.
I do have some concerns drinking raw milk. Growing up it was from our family farm. I do like the nutritional value of raw milk so am now putting my trust in our local creamery.
When I tell others I drink raw milk, I often get a lecture on how I am going to end up sick. I come back at them with how much healthier it is for me. There are still huge misconceptions.
I am currently making my own yogurt, kefir, ryazhenka from the raw milk. For myself, I can drink a cold glass of milk and there is no upset stomach. That is something I get from pasteurized. So for me it will be raw milk.
I borrowed your book on Raw Milk from a friend and was fascinated by what I read. I didn’t know anything about Raw Milk but now feel educated enough to buy it safely. I know the right questions to ask Raw Milk producers to ensure I’m getting a quality product. I’m excited to share this information about Raw Milk with family and friends. Thank you for providing the easy-to-read Raw Milk book and providing answers to questions I didn’t know to ask!
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