Mark McAfee owns Organic Pastures Dairy Co. in Fresno, California. McAfee explains that "raw" milk is milk in its natural state, since it comes from the cow, without heat treatment or pasteurization. Pasteurization is used to prolong shelf life and immobilize certain bacteria, he said, and public health officials in general seem convinced that this process is highly desirable. But McAfee believes that the pasteurization process is bastardizing milk.
Are the bacteria really that bad?
Even when it occurs in the most hygienic conditions, he said, it is normal for milk to contain some bacteria, and human societies have coexisted and benefited from these bacteria in milk for thousands of years. Nowadays, the products are marketed as containing "probiotics", as if this were something new. Of course, said McAfee, several active bacteria have always been in these foods. Some of what he called "truths of mother nature about bacteria" are the following:
… They are the oldest life forms on earth. …They are everywhere. … are essential for human survival. … comprise more than 90 percent of the cells in the human body.
It's no wonder, then, that McAfee suggests that public obsession with killing bacteria diverts efforts to improve public health, because relatively few bacteria are pathogenic. By sterilizing, pasteurizing and disinfecting constantly, he said, we tip the balance in favor of the pathogen. "Is it possible that the reduction of the microbial biodiversity of the human body has created more diseases than it has prevented?", He asked.s.
Raw milk is another truth of Mother Nature, McAfee said. Raw milk is "new" only in the sense that it used to be called "milk", without the adjective that implies that there is something unusual about it, pasteurization is what is relatively new. In American cities in the early twentieth century, pasteurization allowed the safe use of poor quality milk by destroying pathogens introduced by their production method.. That's a plus if you need to use low-quality milk, McAfee said. But milk has always been the first food of newborn mammals, how could it be intrinsically dangerous? Human societies developed and prospered in milk (raw) for centuries.
"When mothers breastfeed their babies, do we mean that babies are drinking" raw "breast milk?" McAfee asked rhetorically.
Milk destined for direct consumption must meet high production standards, he said, starting with genetics, feeding, bedding and cows' housing. McAfee uses rotary grazing of well-managed pastures and keeps its cows mainly outdoors, in a diverse forage ecosystem. He believes that grass-fed cattle do not have the acidified rumen of the industrial dairy cow fed with cereals, so it is less susceptible to developing acid tolerant intestinal bacteria. Without the use of antibiotics, McAfee said, there is no problem with the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Conjugated linoleic acids are higher in the milk of grass-fed cows, and the vitamins, natural fats and enzymes are intact.
According to McAfee, it is difficult to arrive at the truth because so much research is little more than advertising, self-interested and commercial. The stories offered by those who have been helped to take charge of their own health are largely dismissed as "anecdotal". But if you take a large collection of anecdotes and add statistical analysis, you have a study, McAfee said. He believes that this type of research would actually benefit the public, so it is appropriate that the National Institute of Health or other public agencies fund such work.
Many anecdotes about raw milk involve people who report that chronic diseases such as arthritis, Crohn's disease, asthma, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic ear infections are eliminated by changing raw milk.. These diseases are grouped under the heading "autoimmune problems," McAfee said, and in general are not explained or cured by modern "Western" medicine.
McAfee shared one of those anecdotes about Kimeli, a member of a Masai tribe from East Africa who came to the United States to study at Stanford University. Kimeli grew up drinking milk (known in the US as "raw milk"), but after arriving in the states she became more ill and was diagnosed with severe lactose intolerance and Crohn's disease. Ultimately, it was recommended that part of your colon be removed. He resisted this idea and began to drink "raw milk". Your lactose intolerance somehow does not apply to this milk. For most of the year, he drank half a gallon a day of raw whole milk. Kimeli, said McAfee, remains convinced that this food is what allowed him to heal his damaged interior.
McAfee warned the audience that it is illegal to say that anything other than a recognized pharmaceutical product can cure an illness and reports that he was fined several thousand dollars for putting such customer testimonials (anecdotes) on his business website. . (Presumably, private citizens are still allowed to share their own stories, as long as the anecdotes do not appear on commercial websites).
The message to take home from McAfee is that people can educate themselves directly and make health decisions without the intervention of the so-called "experts". An informed consumer, he said, is always his best client.
Loren Muldowney, the author of this article, has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a master's degree in soil and water from Rutgers University, where she continues her studies in sustainable agriculture. Your backyard is home to nine compost units, organic gardens and is a certified habitat for wildlife.
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