There will always be people who say milk isn't necessary nor even
desirable for anyone not an infant. There will always be those who
say 'drink more milk, build strong bones'. Both are right, both can
And, milk isn't just 'milk'. Cow milk varies greatly from goat's milk
and sheep's milk even more so. The way the fats live in the milk
fluids are extremely important as to how the body takes up those
fats. Cow milk can take up to 4 hours to be absorbed in the
intestines, while sheep and goat milk only 30 minutes to an hour.
A LOT can happen in a warm environment to turn milk sour in 4
hours. So, many people who have stomach distresses over
drinking milk may just need to switch the animal it comes from.
Even if you own a backyard milk cow, you can easily have her
blood tested for brucellosis. Goats CAN harbor the disease, but it's
extremely rare to find that they've transmitted it to any human.
Seems like US records report little to no incidence of goat-
transmitted brucellosis in the States. (I'm not up to date on that, I
could be wrong, but it is unusual for goats to harbor the disease.)
BUT, what you get in the store, almost isn't milk anymore. They've
taken the solids out for the higher cream and butter markets.
They've added enough % fats back to make 4%, 2%, etc., but
whole, raw milk can vary in the amount of natural fats it has, well
above the 4% point.
There are other factors that the buying public never hears about
such as somatic cell count in milk, the inline cleaning agents that
are 'percentage allowable' in Grade A milk, etc.
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, that is, the fat globules are
totally in suspension throughout the milk. It makes it very hard to
collect cream, but it makes the milk more easily absorbed into the
system that drinks it. Cow milk separates readily into fat and 'skim'
milk, so, to 'standardize' the product, mechanical homogenization
processes have been instituted. (To keep the remaining fats in
suspension, prolonging the life of the milk and to keep it from
separating while still in the carton.) It's being shown lately, that
this strips the milk of some properties, turning it from 'neutral' to
slightly acid. Which adds to milk intolerance distresses, and can
actually harm the lining of the stomach.
I guess by now you can tell that we milk goats. I pasteurize the
milk for my baby goat feeding chores, but for ourselves, we prefer
raw milk totally. I do send monthly samples to DHIR labs to test for
somatic cell count, protein and butterfat content, and other factors.
I'm not to the point that I can feed totally organic grains to the herd,
but I do monitor medications, wormers, etc. Excess milk goes
either to my soap making or to the occasional pig or steer that we
may sell for freezer meat or put in our own freezer. Any way it's
used, I know the origins of the milk.
Knowing how milk is created, processed and handled, I'd never feel
comfortable drinking anything from the store again. Horror stories
from high school kids who work dairies for part time jobs, the way
the inline machine milkers are handled, the treatment of mastitis
infected cattle, would be enough to turn me into a non-milk drinker
totally, if it weren't for the goats.
The commercial dairy industry may turn into it's own worst enemy.
The way dairy cattle are bred and fed, creating a weak animal that
produces enough milk to require 3x per day milk outs, short lived
livestock, and the subsequent requirement of drugs, are all turning
the dairy situation into something I don't think even the regulating
agents can control.
See TexCat Web page:
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