Another installment in our series on raw milk. There are quite a few links in here and probably a couple references that should be linked to some supporting evidence. I don't want anybody on information overload, so I've tried to only include links that I think are worth reading. Special thanks to Rebekah of Eden Natural Health for all the great articles she posts, including two that I've linked to below.
I'm a little disappointed today; because we're still playing the waiting game. The cooler that we ordered online, that is necessary for transporting our milk from the farm to us (and that was not available locally, except at Wal-mart), is scheduled to be delivered today. The milk delivery is today, so we'll be waiting another week to try this fabulous raw milk.
I really thought it would be here yesterday, but it hasn't arrived, so at 8:00 last night I felt like I was putting my tail between my legs as I typed a quick email to the delivery gal and let her know we couldn't receive our delivery yet.
As I've been reading more and more online about raw milk and health, I'm just super-expectant. We've tasted it before, so I know what it tastes like. And I've purchased raw milk once or twice before from the natural foods store. Of course, I didn't notice any great benefit then, but drinking a quart over the course of few days is different than having it all the time. I am ready for it to be in my refrigerator and a part of our lifestyle.
Gracie's nasal allergies that I mentioned last week have been exploited by a virus. The poor kid has been coughing since Saturday night. We took her to the doctor, who said it was a virus, so no antibiotics are needed. He recommended that we give her Benedryl at night to control cough and help her sleep, so she's taking that, plus ibuprofen for fever/sore throat, plus the two allergy/asthma medications that she takes daily, and she's taking another medication through a nebulizer for her cough. I don't like all those medicines, but right now they all seem to serve a purpose. I can't get past the thought though, that if her immune system were stronger, maybe she'd be less susceptible to this junk. ...And also the thought that pharmaceutical companies profit at least as much as big food companies as a result of the industrialization of our food supply.
As a result of reading this article, I've switched out Grace's normal comfort foods (oatmeal, bagels with cream cheese and cinnamon-sugar and Popsicles) with lower sugar, "immune-strengthening" options (miso soup, veggies in homemade chicken broth--I'd add some chicken if we had some--and homemade smoothie-pops made with plain yogurt, coconut milk, fruit* and just a little bit of raw honey.)* I've also been encouraging her to get some sunshine so that she has sufficient Vitamin D. I want to increase my own immunity, too, so I've been trying to limit my own sugar and carb intake and to get outside in the sun during my lunch breaks. I don't really understand the statement, "80% of your immune system is in your gut." But, doesn't it make since that if our bodies are too busy processing non-essentials and toxins, that there's not enough time/energy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it--and not only that, but not sufficient nutrients-- to process the good stuff into immunity?
As more and more people jump on the "whole foods" bandwagon, it's important to look at what whole foods are and why we think they are good for us. I'd never thought of milk as a "processed food" before, but pasteurization and homogenizing are processing. Not only that, as a society we've been convinced that some or all of the fat should be taken out of milk to make it good for us. But the Weston A Price Foundation and other raw milk enthusiasts say that any of that processing makes for a lesser quality product. There's even research demonstrating that it's not saturated fats that are bad for us, it's the chemical reaction that happens in processing. Raw milk and raw butter, they say, are entirely different products than their pasteurized counterparts. Many of these people say that plant oils may be more dangerous than animal fats. There are even groups of people who think of raw butter, which sells for upwards of $12 a pound, (and butter oil, a supplement) as a healing food.
So I am excited to see what happens once we switch over to raw milk. Will our health improve, or our energy level increase? And I'm interested to see how our lifestyle changes. Will we understand the need to eat grass-fed meats, and therefore, somehow, find room for them in our budget too? Will I want to start juicing vegetables or get passionate about raw foods? (There are lots of enzymes in them, you know.) Or will we be sorely disappointed and decide that the cost and hassle of an extra weekly errand just aren't worth the benfits?
I am so ready for the anticipation to be over and the reality to set in.
*Next year someone please remind me to freeze some strawberries. I'm sure the organic frozen strawberries at Trader Joe's might be more healthful than local, "no spray" berries (which won't be available again in farmer's markets until May), but they don't fit into our theme and lifestyle. Still, apple smoothies aren't nearly as good as strawberry smoothies... Maybe it's time for us to try spinach smoothies?
Sick of these posts about raw milk? This weekend I made my Signature Apple-Onion Tart, which I haven't made for a few years, and I was reminded of how much people rave about it. It's a perfect addition to a spread of holiday hors d'oeuvres. I promise to post the recipe soon.
* Update November 17, 2011: This whole "less sugar" deal: we're gonna have to wait on making any changes to our diets. Most of our grocery money for the month has been spent, so I don't have the time, energy or money to make this change right now. And Grace, who's feeling a little better, but is still coughing incessantly, isn't liking broths and stuff. She wants carbohydrates. So this morning, when she asked for waffles, I made The Joy of Cooking's waffles, and I didn't even swap out whole wheat pastry flour for some of the cake flour. Yes, we ate them with syrup, and not some healthy "whole" maple syrup; nope, just plain ol' Mrs. Butterworth's, high fructose corn syrup and all.