November 6, 2012

Draft Notes for A Raw Milk Presentation


[This is a first draft, and will use tinkering, maybe some shuffling, and a source list for the evidence.]
[[1. Introduction and Plan – Raw Milk as an Economic and Health Imperative.]] 
*[Open with one’s personal story], and it’s very important to me that I feed my family healthy, nutritious food. I also want as much as possible to buy and eat locally, because this helps me really know my food, my farmer, and helps rebuild the local economy and community.
*I want to include cow’s milk in their diet, but I was suspicious of pasteurized industrial milk. I’d heard that pasteurization destroys many of the beneficial parts of the milk and may have bad health effects. I was also suspicious of the fact that raw milk has been criminalized in many states like New Jersey and is the subject of federal persecution, even though almost all food outbreaks are caused by the very same corporate Big Agriculture system the government does all it can to force upon us. I decided that as a citizen I needed to research this for myself. This presentation sums up what I learned.
*I learned a lot about the economics of the food system, about food safety, and how the government and the corporate media turn ideas about food safety upside down, in order to further the brutal economics of corporate food system, and to suppress our attempts to learn about our food and to find healthy alternatives to the unhealthy system. There are many ways to analyze this subject. Today I’ll discuss as it relates to raw milk.
*Under pressure from the industrial dairy system and systematic government policy, tens of thousands of small dairies have been destroyed since the mid 20th century. New Jersey used to have thousands of dairies which marketed locally, such as the renowned Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm in Plainsboro. Now only a handful remain, none of them marketing to the community. They’re all just cogs in the globalized corporate dairy system. This is one example of how the corporate assault has gutted our local economies, rendering us dependent upon an alien system, degrading our quality of life, driving up our cost of living, and making us and our children sick. In light of energy supply crunches, the escalating price of energy and food, the way the industrial system poisons us, and all the evils of our dependency upon the corporate system, we need to rebuild our local and regional economies.
*The most important part of this is restoring the food economy to its natural local and regional character. A revived network of small dairies serving local and regional markets is a key part of the economic rebuilding. Reviving the traditional raw milk economy can be the road to rebuilding our own dairies.
*This is also a key battleground, in substance and symbol, in our fight for Food Freedom, for freedom against corporate domination and government tyranny in general.
*Raw milk is legal to buy from farms in 26 states. Various kinds of retail sales are legal in 10 states. The result is that a few states have regular legal sales, others allow sales from the farm, others explicitly or implicitly allow cow shares. This is where the customers are part-owners of the cow, and the farmer is just a manager. There’s never any significant safety issue with raw milk in these states. The record proves that raw milk is wholesome and safe. Since it’s legal to buy in many states, it should be legal to buy in all states.
*Although there’s no safety reason why milk should be criminalized, for economic and political reasons it’s currently illegal in New Jersey. In 2011 a bill to partially decriminalize it had majority support and was voted out of the Assembly with a huge majority. That’s why a Senate committee let it die on the vine without bringing it up for a vote. The same bill was reintroduced in 2012*************************
*Why was raw milk outlawed in New Jersey and many other states, and why is it the target of a federal government assault? In spite of government and media lies, it’s not a food safety issue. As we’ll see, the evidence proves this to be a lie. I just gave the real reason – the goal of government pasteurization mandates and its attacks on alternative milk economies is the same as its goal for Big Ag in general and its general attack on all alternative food economies. It’s to enforce total corporate domination of the food supply and destroy all Food Freedom, which means crushing all human freedom.
*In New Jersey, this artificial barrier is why more and more people are traveling to New York and Pennsylvania to get milk, instead of buying it at our choice of New Jersey dairies, thereby helping to rebuild our farming economy and keeping our dollars in our local economies. They’re doing it because they know that raw milk is a safe, nutritious whole food, that it contains a natural mix of nutrients and beneficial bacteria, and that pasteurized milk is nutritionally sterile, causes or exacerbates many illnesses, and is likely to contain harmful bacteria.
[[2. Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized – Health Facts.]]
*Raw milk is a wholesome, beneficial, nutritious, safe food. Like any whole food, it has the right natural balance of proteins, fats, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and micro-organic communities.
*Raw milk has the perfect balance of protein to fat, by natural design. It’s rich in healthful Omega-3 fats and in the fatty acid CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent cancer fighter.
*Raw milk has more nutrients than pasteurized. It has high levels of whole vitamin A, the B-complex, D, and E. These are all degraded or destroyed in pasteurization. Today’s factory farm cows are crammed full of hormones and drugs to maximize production, which dilutes the milk’s nutritional content. Pasteurization then further destroys what’s there. That’s why pasteurized milk has to be “enriched” with synthetic versions of these vitamins. These synthetics are potentially harmful, as in the case of synthetic vitamin D which has been linked to heart disease.
*Raw milk is great for the digestive tract. Its proteins, fats, and lactose are easily digested. Beneficial micro-organisms help with this. Meanwhile, pasteurization kills these micro-organisms and changes the molecular structure of many proteins, fats, enzymes, and nutrients in the milk, rendering many indigestible, others digested in potentially harmful forms. Its lactose is indigestible to more and more people.
*Raw milk is also has its vitamins and minerals in an easily digestible form. Calcium and phosphorus absorption are highest with raw milk. The whole vitamins A and D in butterfat are needed for the assimilation of calcium and protein. Milk’s beneficial bacteria help with the uptake.
*These beneficial bacteria also help to enhance the immune system, as a recent study demonstrated. [AMISH] Beneficial micro-organisms contribute over 70% or our protective immunity. By natural design, raw milk is one of the main sources of those natural immunofactors.
*Another new study [CALIFORNIA] provides further reinforcement for the fact that the control of harmful bacteria is a function of natural balances of micro-organisms. In a symbiotic microbial environment, as with raw milk, beneficial micro-organisms compete with potentially harmful ones and secrete antimicrobial factors against them. By natural design, raw milk contains antibodies against potentially harmful bacteria.
*Raw milk is a key part of the diet that’s best for dental health. In the 1930s, studies by Dr. Weston Price established that where tribes had cuisines based on raw milk, the people were healthy and had near-perfect teeth. Meanwhile cavities and other dental problems are associated with processed foods including pasteurized milk.
*The nutritional, molecular, and microbial distortion and destruction caused by pasteurization creates a kind of food which is hard to digest and contains many potentially harmful adulterants. This is why pasteurized milk is associated with causing or aggravating a long list of diseases and other ailments, while switching to raw milk leads to the alleviation or complete cessation of these illnesses. Such studies as [********], as well as the testimony of millions of raw milk drinkers, attests to this. In general, most diseases are directly or indirectly associated with the industrial food system, and their cure or alleviation is associated with switching to a traditional diet of healthy whole foods. The case is especially clear with natural raw milk vs. pasteurized industrial milk.
*Food allergies are a clear-cut disease of industrial food. They’ve especially skyrocketed in recent decades. Pasteurized milk is the #1 most allergenic food in America. Studies have documented how milk allergies cause nasal congestion, asthma and other chest infections, skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, and many other digestive and other problems. For many of these sufferers who would otherwise have to give up milk completely, switching to raw milk cures the illness.
*Pasteurized milk is the cause of lactose intolerance, an ailment so common as to be practically endemic to our society. The reason for lactose intolerance is that pasteurization destroys lactase, an enzyme necessary for the digestion of lactose.
*Pasteurized milk is associated with arthritis, while raw milk is associated with its remission[, especially rheumatoid arthritis in children].
*Rates of autism have also skyrocketed, and here too there’s a clear link with diet, and with pasteurized milk in particular. Pasteurization destroys many enyzmes in the milk necessary for its proper digestion and renders the key protein casein indigestible. The milk is then digested in such a way that naturally occurring opiods and other factors which would normally be broken down are instead directly assimilated. This aggravates autism symptoms. But many parents of autistic children testify that switching to raw milk has greatly alleviated their children’s symptoms.
*Infants show reduced growth and health on pasteurized milk vs. raw breast milk.
*Those are some of the most important examples. A partial list of the ailments where the same pasteurized vs. raw milk dynamic has been observed includes multiple sclerosis, Attention Deficit Disorder, prostate and urinary tract problems, obesity, diabetes, thyroid conditions, osteoperosis, and kidney disease. 
[[3. Food Safety and CAFOs.]]
*What about the safety issue? The government and the mainstream media claim that raw milk is unsafe. But the numbers don’t bear this out. In fact, the numbers show the opposite. Dairy products in general are responsible for far fewer acute outbreaks than meats or salad greens. And pasteurized milk has caused far more outbreaks than raw milk.
*There have been few illnesses attributed to raw milk. Those which have been are often attributed through a fraudulent epidemiology which performs extensive tests only where the patient has ingested raw milk, and which assumes the raw milk as the cause, but which doesn’t bother with the tests or with further inquiry into the cause where the patient did not drink raw milk. It’s easy to see how under such a procedure raw milk’s outbreak record will be falsely inflated and will be inflated relative to all other foods. 
*The Centers for Disease Control itself counts 422,000 cases of illness from pasteurized milk since 1973, including 20 deaths (80 counting miscarriages). in the most recent fatal case, in 2007 three people died in Massachusetts from listeria-contaminated pasteurized milk. This is compared to 1100 cases and zero deaths from raw milk. All salmonella outbreaks from milk in recent decades were from pasteurized milk. Both in absolute numbers and compared to the proportion of people drinking pasteurized vs. raw milk, these data demonstrate that industrial pasteurized milk is not the “safe food” the government claims it to be, and is far less safe than raw milk.
*These numbers involve acute outbreaks of food-related illness. When we get to chronic illness we get into a whole new realm of difference between harmful industrial foods like pasteurized milk and healthful whole foods like raw milk.
*Industrial milk is produced in factory farms, or CAFOs, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. That name’s more honest than “farms”, hmm? Thousands of animals are packed into small enclosures under horrific and filthy conditions where they can be most “efficiently” fed synthetic food, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and have their products harvested.
*CAFOs are cesspools of germs and filth. The animals are permanently sick. The system requires massive injections of antibiotics and other drugs just to keep the animals alive and producing. Dairy cows also receive antibiotics and hormones to boost their milk production. This use of antibiotics is reckless and against medical science. The milk is produced under such filthy and germ-infested conditions that it’s badly contaminated. It’s laden with the residues of all the chemicals injected and force-fed into the animal. On account of the stress on the animal’s system, as much as 30% of CAFO milk is pus. That’s what an open sore a factory-farmed dairy cow is.
*The residues of the antibiotics are in the milk, and this reckless and unmedical use of antibiotics generates antibiotic resistant bacteria which are also in the milk. Pasteurization doesn’t always kill all of these harmful CAFO bacteria. We then drink these antibiotic-resistant microbes, which can transfer their resistance to other microbes in our bodies. This makes it less likely that antibiotics will work if we get sick from bacteria. That’s how CAFOs are a public health ticking time bomb for all of us. Drinking pasteurized milk may render us more vulnerable on the level of our individual health.
*CAFOs are cesspools, where animal products including milk are produced in a filthy manner. The milk is full of CAFO germs, fecal particles, drug residues, pus, and other pollutants. The industrial system then uses pasteurization as a panacea.
*Raw milk dairies are by their very nature small and for local and regional distribution. In spite of government and media lies, raw milk dairies are far more clean and safe than those for pasteurized milk. Proper inspection can confirm this. (Incidentally, the government makes almost no effort to inspect CAFOs. What would there by to inspect anyway? It’s government policy to allow industrial milk to be produced under cesspool conditions.) 
*Pasteurization as a practice is part of the false ideology that proper sanitation and safety measures means total sterilization. In truth sterilization of food is impossible, unnatural, and unhealthy. In truth natural whole foods include communities of micro-organisms where beneficial and neutral microbes tend to keep naturally harmful ones in check. [CALIFORNIA study] But quasi-sterility, as is temporarily generated by pasteurization, is a monoculture, and monocultures are always bad for biodiversity and favorable to vermin and pathogens. Pasteurized milk, even if the pasteurization does initially kill all the bacteria, becomes over time a favorable environment for harmful bacteria to return and proliferate, while the organic bacteria communities in raw milk tend to maintain their bacterial balance over time. That’s why raw milk sours over time, while pasteurized milk rots.
*The facts, contrary to the sterilization ideology and pasteurization practice, are that we depend upon beneficial bacteria and that it’s not possible to destroy only harmful bacteria. The fact is that imbalances of harmful bacteria are rare in nature but common in CAFOs, and that an imbalance can infect an entire commingled industrial batch. Pasteurization was a response to this need of industrial milk production and corporate distribution systems. It has nothing to do with the inherent safety of natural milk or of local production and distribution.
*Pasteurization is a scorched earth tactic in the form of scorched milk. It’s the equivalent of wiping out a whole ecosystem to get rid of one intermittent pest, which wouldn’t be a pest if you worked in harmony with that ecosystem instead of against it.  
*The CAFO system incubates the MAP bacteria, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, which causes Johnes’ disease in cattle and Crohn’s disease in humans. In addition to its faulty record in eradicating other harmful bacteria, pasteurization often does not kill the MAP bacteria, according to [European studies] which found that 5-20% of pasteurized milk contains this potentially harmful bacteria. The surge in Crohn’s disease has occurred in the age of filthy factory farm production and the pasteurization necessary to make this filthy milk consumable by humans.
*We already discussed the vast array of chronic diseases which are caused or aggravated by consumption of pasteurized milk, but which are alleviated or not affected by consuming raw milk.
*The CDC counts 5000 deaths per year from food-borne disease. This does not include deaths from MRSA, Crohn’s, cancer linked to pesticides, diabetes or asthma linked to diet, Mad Cow disease, all the chronic diseases caused by the factory farm cesspool and GMOs. Then we must add the chronic diseases and acute afflictions of the industrial food system in general – heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, many cancers, high blood pressure, obesity and its related maladies.
*All this proves once and for all that the government lies when it claims to care about food safety at all. No one who cares about food safety would build a planned economy around commodity grains and “food” processed from them. No one who cares about food safety would have commercialized GMOs with zero safety testing. No one who cares about food safety would allow the practice of nonmedical antibiotic use. No one who cares about food safety would be doing anything but fighting to abolish all these. Anyone who’s involved in these policies, or supports them, has zero credibility to then turn around and claim to be concerned about raw milk.
*And then we see the government’s overwhelming record of neglect, lassitude, cover-ups, and obstruction where it comes to outbreaks caused by big corporations like Wright Eggs, or Cargill, or Taco Bell, or Westco Peanuts.
[[4. The Real Political Import and Conclusion.]]
*The government’s real interest is not food safety, or serving the public in any way. The government’s real interest is Big Dairy’s interest. That’s why the government imposed industrial pasteurization in the first place, and why it wants to outlaw raw milk. As I mentioned earlier, pasteurization was never a response to a naturally occurring safety problem, but a special response to the special problems generated by the industrialization of milk. It has nothing to do with the needs or issues of natural milk production or the natural economy of milk.
*This is a microcosm of how all government policy has the solitary goal of further centralizing, further consolidating, further concentrating the corporate food system, increasing corporate profits, and maximizing corporate enclosure and domination of food and of everything else.
*In response to this joint corporate-government onslaught, the people are rising with a new movement to take back our Food Freedom and rebuild our local economies. The raw milk movement is part of this. As with every other aspect of the local food movement, its dual goal is healthy food instead of the toxic food of the industrial system, and healthy local economies instead of the toxic and tyrannical corporate economy.
*This is the real reason for the government’s assault on raw milk. This is a microcosm of and template for the government’s assault on all alternative food production. As we speak, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act is planned to be the centerpiece coordinating legislation for the total domination of food. It’s meant to use the “food safety” scam we’ve been highlighting here to impose upon the produce sector the same level of corporate concentration and government control as already exists in the meat sector. As we’ve seen with meats, the government policy does not make the food more safe, instead makes it less safe, but does serve to bring it more firmly under the control of a handful of big corporations. This is the federal government’s one and only imperative where it comes to all food policy.
*Raw milk isn’t an isolated food issue, but is in many ways the most typical food issue of all. It perfectly crystallizes all the aspects of Food Freedom against corporate totalitarianism; and real nutrition, health, and safety against the toxic opposites of these being forced upon us by the industrial food system. On the broader level Food Freedom crystallizes all the aspects of nature vs. corporate industrialism, individual and community freedom vs. tyrannical government, prosperity based on productive local economies vs. the stagnation, sterility, dependency, and despair of the corporate global economy being imposed upon us by government policy.
*Raw milk is a wonderful food. It’s good for us. It’s a delicious, nutritious whole food. It helps build our immune system. It helps cure or alleviate many of the diseases caused by industrial food. It’s economically and politically beneficial. It’s part of the social movement toward getting to know farmers and real food, and becoming producers of such food ourselves. It’s good for us, body and soul.
*So the fight for raw milk freedom is the fight for our individual liberty and health. It’s the fight for Food Freedom. Beyond this it’s part of the fight for human freedom itself. 
*STUFF ON RM OUTBREAKS, RECALLS, SLANDERS – FOR SUPPLEMENT – The government does not publicize these systemic figures. It does try to turn each alleged raw milk incident into a three ring circus. But alleged raw milk outbreaks are seldom well documented, often simply invented by the fraudulent epidemiology we discussed earlier. And in many cases the government retracts its initial allegations, as in the case of some illnesses in California in 2006 which were initially blamed on Organic Pastures Dairy, but which turned out to have nothing to do with raw milk.
*(insert somewhere?) They’re literal cesspools when you include the vast manure lagoons which spread out from any big CAFO, toxifying the entire landscape and atmosphere. 


  1. I’m still working my way through this… in several places near the beginning you mention the following things: (1) the desire to keep your family healthy, (2) “brutal economics” and “the unhealthy system”, (3) “rendering us dependent upon an alien system”.

    I would include somewhere in your intro, or in the first 3 paragraphs, something about the ongoing health crisis and obesity epidemic in this country. Some specifics would get heads nodding and help people understand the strong language you use (which is merited, but will be unfamiliar to a lay audience). It also underscores the importance of an alternative, local system of healthful food while you set up your presentation on raw milk.

    Comment by reslez — November 7, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    • Thanks reslez. I think a sentence or two in the intro about the health crisis of industrial food is a good idea. Anyone who gives the presentation’s going to get into that in detail later on, but there should be a brief summary of the problem at the beginning as well.

      Comment by Russ — November 8, 2012 @ 1:41 am

  2. hi…I’ve really enjoyed your posts. have you checked into the homogenization process? harmful, as well, I believe.

    when I am able- rarely, unfortunately- to get raw milk I feel like I’m in a drug deal.

    Comment by trish — November 8, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    • Hi Trish. Yes, homogenization is part of the pathology. It probably contributes even more to autism aggravation than the pasteurization does. In these notes I was conflating the two without thinking much about it, but you’re right that I should mention both at the outset, and include a few more specific mentions of homogenization in the body.

      Why let them make you feel like the disreputable one? They’re the criminals. Choosing our own foods is not only necessary for our health, but is a necessary part of good citizenship (contrast the transient lumps who voted No in California) and living as a free human being.

      Comment by Russ — November 8, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  3. Hey Russ, love your writing (my vocabulary’s been improving since reading you in thecompletepatient.com blog. I try to encourage people to seek out people in the community who drink raw milk and ask them about their first hand experiences. This is probably the easiest way to debunk govt fear mongering and govt always focusing on alledged disease and always leaving out healings and disease prevention with raw milk. I only recently began drinking raw milk, and quickly lost ten pounds of flab effortlessly. I had been drinking a lot of organic pasteurized, and switched to the same amount of raw. I don’t know if the flab loss was due to the minerals you absorb with real milk, or because you digest it properly. I don’t have a big healing story to tell, as I was already in good health, but facts like I’ve cited show there is a clear difference between pasteurized and raw, and the govt is obviously lying about this. There are tons of healing stories out there with raw milk for anyone that wants to look for them though.

    Comment by Tom M Culhane — February 2, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

    • Thanks Tom. I’m glad to hear real milk’s done you good. I became interested in the politics of it well before I had the opportunity to drink it myself. I wrote a bunch of posts on it, some of them listed here:


      (I need to update that list, though. It doesn’t include 2012 posts.)

      Since I started drinking real milk a year and a half ago, I’ve have some health improvements as well. And it tastes wonderful!

      Keep up the fight. We need a real Internet forum for coordinated discussion of Food Sovereignty, toward building a coherent movement organization.

      Comment by Russ — February 3, 2013 @ 6:58 am

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