The Truth about Raw Milk and Asthma

cropped-jersey-in-field.jpgThis is a study and report by Dr. Mercola

By Dr. Mercola

Rates of allergy and asthma have been on the rise in the industrialized world for the past 50 years. It’s now so widespread that up to 50 percent of schoolchildren are sensitive to one or more common allergens.1

There are many contributing factors to the rise of allergic diseases, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that dietary factors may play a role – for better or for worse.

One food that’s shown a protective role against such diseases is one that is, unfortunately, typically demonized by health agencies and the media: raw milk.

Raw Milk Drinkers Have Lower Rates of Childhood Allergies and Asthma

School-aged children who drank raw milk were 41 percent less likely to develop asthma and about 50 percent less likely to develop hay fever than children who drank store-bought (pasteurized) milk, according to one study that used data from more than 8,000 children.2

While public health agencies are quick to say that there are no nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, this study suggests otherwise. The researchers believed that the beneficial effect may have been due to whey proteins, including bovine serum albumin (BSA) and alpha-lactalbumin, in the raw milk, which were destroyed by the heating process in the pasteurized milk.

While the study didn’t find an association between any health outcomes and the bacterial contents of the milk, it did demonstrate noted differences between raw and pasteurized varieties. The researchers explained:

“The results of this large epidemiologic study add to the increasing body of evidence identifying consumption of farm [raw] milk (early in life) to be associated with a reduced risk of childhood asthma and allergies independently of concomitant farm exposures.

The results indicate that the effect is due to the consumption of unheated farm milk. For the first time, associations between objectively measured milk constituents and asthma and atopy could be demonstrated.

…The study allowed validation of parental reports of raw milk consumption against objective measurements of milk heating status and showed very good agreement.

Obviously, parental reports of the raw status of the milk are reliable and not biased by social desirability, as previously speculated.

Under the hygiene hypothesis and given the role of microbial diversity in house dust to explain farm-related reduction of asthma risk, one might assume that a higher microbial load of unboiled farm milk might be responsible for the protective farm milk effect.

Milk is an excellent growth medium, allowing rapid proliferation of microbes. Indeed, the present results showed much higher counts of viable microbes in raw farm milk samples compared with heated farm milk and pasteurized and highly heated shop milk samples, as has been reported by others.”

Whey Protein in Raw Milk May Make Some Cases of Asthma Better

According to Mark McAfee, the founder of Organic Pastures Dairy and, more importantly, one of the leaders in the raw milk movement, increasing numbers of doctors are now starting to prescribe raw organic dairy for children with asthma, recurrent ear infections or chronic inflammation, rather than just telling them to quit dairy altogether.

This is because they recognize that in most cases it’s not the dairy itself—the problem is pasteurized dairy.

Raw grass-fed milk can even be tolerated by most who are lactose intolerant and contains whey proteins that may actually improve cases of asthma. McAfee explained:

“…[T]wo huge studies were done in Europe – the PARSIFAL study done in 2006, studying 15,000 kids, and the GABRIELA study [referenced above] done in Basel, Switzerland.

Peer reviewed, internationally published, wonderful documentation showing that whey protein in raw milk stabilizes mast cells and actually makes asthma get a lot better, and in some cases, completely gone.

What we have is this polarity, these polar opposites between pasteurized milk, which has lots of dead bacteria… which actually trigger inflammation in your body because your body doesn’t recognize these waste products…

Your body then reacts by mast cells breaking open, histamines being released, and things like asthma and inflammation flaring like crazy; mucus being laid down, which causes ear infections. Raw milk does exactly the opposite…

[T]he milk is alive [with beneficial] bacteria and your body recognizes it… [These beneficial bacteria] colonize and become part of your immune system.”

Why Drink Your Milk Raw?

There’s more to raw milk than its impact on asthma and allergies. High-quality raw milk has a mountain of health benefits that pasteurized milk lacks. For example, raw milk is:

  • Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract
  • Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies)
  • Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolism
  • Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestible
  • Loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live lactobacilli

It is not uncommon for people who switch from drinking pasteurized to raw milk to experience improvement or complete resolution of troubling health issues—everything from allergies to digestive problems to eczema. When milk is pasteurized, fats are oxidized, proteins denatured and most enzymes are completely destroyed, resulting in a ‘food’ that may be more harmful than beneficial to our health.

Additionally, the bacteria killed by pasteurization are not removed, so their dead cell fragments remain in the milk to ignite immune reactions in those who ingest them, which is one major cause of milk allergies. Often the ‘milk allergy’ is not to the milk itself, but to the post-pasteurization cell fragments it contains.

The Truth About Raw Milk Safety Statistics

Government health agencies have been waging a war against raw milk farmers in the US, claiming that this whole food is a threat to public health. But drinking raw milk produced by grass-fed cows from clean, well-run farms is actually far LESS dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, not only does raw milk contain good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, raw milk also offers protection against disease-causing bacteria.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data3 shows there are about 412 confirmed cases of people getting ill from pasteurized milk each year, while only about 116 illnesses a year are linked to raw milk. And research by Dr. Ted Beals,4 MD, featured in the summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, shows that you are about 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!

The Source of Your Raw Milk Matters

As with any food, where your raw milk comes from makes a major difference in its quality and safety. In concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), large groups of animals are kept in a small space, oftentimes without natural light or access to the outdoors. The conditions are filthy, with animals standing in each other’s waste. Needless to say, harmful bacteria naturally thrives in these conditions.

To combat disease (and promote unhealthy growth), the animals are fed antibiotics, the result of which is they become living and breathing ‘bioreactors’ for the generation of antibiotic resistant bacteria. They may also receive hormones, which increase milk production, and they’re fed a diet of grains and soy (most of which is now the genetically engineered variety) rather than grass, which alters their gut flora and makes them even more prone to disease.

As a result, drinking CAFO milk raw would be extremely dangerous. It must be pasteurized for safety. On the other hand, milk from grass-fed cows raised on smaller, clean farms can be safely consumed without being pasteurized, provided the farmer is committed to providing a safe, quality product.

If you’re unsure of where to find raw milk, you can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Web site.5 The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund6 (FTCLDF, which helps farmers that have been raided and/or charged with a crime, like Hershberger) also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.7

Getting your raw milk from a local organic farm is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting high-quality milk, but even then, if you’re thinking about purchasing milk from a small farmer, it would be very wise to visit the farm in person. Look around and ask questions, such as:

  1. Does the farmer and his family drink the milk themselves?
  2. How long has he been producing raw milk?
  3. Are the cows clean?
  4. What conditions are the cows raised in?
  5. Are there any obvious sanitation questions?

Additionally, look for the following general conditions. If a cow is covered in filth and manure, stinks, is wet and cold and doesn’t look particularly comfortable, that could be a warning sign that her milk is less than ideal for raw consumption, even if it’s from a small, local farm.

Low pathogenic bacteria count (i.e. does the farmer test his milk regularly for pathogens?) The milk comes from cows raised naturally, in accordance with the seasons The cows are not given antibiotics and growth hormones to increase milk production
The milk is quickly chilled after milking The cows are mainly grass-fed Cows are well cared for

Support Your Right to Purchase Farm-Fresh Food

Right now, your food freedom is on the chopping block. In North Dakota, a bill threatens to make herdshare illegal. (A herdshare is a private agreement between a farmer and an individual in which the farmer is paid to take care of an animal, cow for example, that belongs to one or more people. You essentially pay a onetime purchase fee to “buy a share” of a farmer’s herd, which entitles you to the benefits of owning that cow, such as a certain amount of milk each week.)

In New Mexico, a bill has been introduced that would ban the sale of raw milk, while a proposed regulation in Illinois would similarly restrict access to raw milk. This fight for food freedom isn’t just for those who love raw milk – it’s for everyone who wants to be able to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice. So please, get involved! I urge you to embrace the following action plan to protect your right to choose your own foods:

  1. Get informed: Visit or click here to sign up for action alerts.
  2. Join the fight for your rights: The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is the only organization of its kind. This 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization provides a legal defense for farmers who are being pursued by the government for distributing foods directly to consumers. Your donations, although not tax deductible, will be used to support the litigation, legislative, and lobbying efforts of the FTCLDF. For a summary of FTCLDF’s activities in 2012, see this link.
  3. Support your local farmers: Buy from local farmers, not the industry that is working with the government to take away your freedoms.

Swiss Cheese

20151120_093451Today we will be melting cheese wax for the gouda we made last week, and making Swiss Cheese.

How is this cheese made:

This is a cow’s milk cheese made with a mixture of bacteria. You will need a mesophyllic and propionic bacteria.The cheese is made with whole milk, and I do not pasteurize so it will need to be aged at least 90 days.

You will need?

2 gallons of whole raw milk

1/8 tsp of mesophyllic starter culture

1/16tsp of propionic shermanii culture

1.5 ml of rennet

Let’s begin:

Heat the milk to 86F, temps and amounts matter in this cheese. I put the milk in my STERILE ss pot, always use sterile equipment when making raw cheese. I place over my water reservoir and use a thermometer. We want to raise the temp slowly.  Stir while heating.

Add your culture now. As always, sprinkle the culture on the milk and wait two minutes before stirring. Then let ripen 45 minutes to an hour. After this time, add your rennet and let set for 45 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature and keep it around 85F.

heat 2 gallons of water to 130F. This will be used to replace the whey.

I use my balloon wisk to cut the curd mass into 3/8 inch pieces as evenly as possible over 5-10 minutes. Allow the curds to rest for 5 minutes and then stir gently for another 5 minutes. Allow the curds to settle to the bottom of the vat for another 5 minutes. Next, you will carefully remove 1/3 of the whey . Slowly add back water at 130F to reach 95F in 5 min.

Stir for 5 min. Add as much of the remaining water to reach a curd temp of 102F in the next 5-10 minutes.

Next, stir for 30-40 minutes slowly to keep curds moving. This will achieve the final dryness. Make sure to check the curds for proper dryness. The final curds should be cooked well through and should be examined to make sure that enough moisture has been removed. A broken curd should be firm throughout and the curds should have a moderate resistance when pressed between the fingers. When this point is reached, let curds settle and consolidate mass to one side of pan. Next, drain whey to 1” above cheese surface and add plate large enough to cover the curd mass for moderate pressing under the whey.

Remove remaining whey and transfer curd mass into cloth and then immediately to forms for draining. Here I simply roll my consolidated curd mass into the press cloth and gather it as a single cheese, then transfer this to the mold. Press lightly for an hour. Remove, rewrap and press again for another hour.

Now you will salt the cheese

You should have a brine solution prepared for salting this cheese
A simple brine formula is: a gal of water, 2.25lbs of salt, 1 T calcium chloride and 1 tsp white vinegar.  Set the cheese in the brine for 2 to 3 hours. The cheese will float above the brine surface, so sprinkle another teaspoon or 2 of salt on the top surface of the cheese.
Flip the cheese and re-salt the surface about half way through the brine period.

The cheese should not be over salted because this will also impede the development of the gas producing propionic bacteria

Following brining, dry off cheese and move to the cool aging space at 50-55F for 2-4 weeks. Turn and control mold with a brine damp cloth daily.
Do not wax the cheese until full hole development occurs.

Move to an aging space of 65-70F and 80% moisture for 3-4 weeks of hole development or 2-3 weeks for smaller holes (this will be somewhat determined by the condition of your initial cool aging). Make sure you turn the cheese daily to help even out the moisture, because this will affect the hole sizes and distribution.
The time in this room will determine the amount of gas produced, the size of the holes, and the amount of swelling in the cheese. The cheese may be waxed at this point or simply dry brushed periodically for a natural rind.

  1. Move to cold room 45-50F and 85% moisture for a month or more for flavor development.




Pork Breakfast Sausage

I never have fresh ground pork made into sausage. A good sausage is easy to make and far superior in flavor. Here is a new sausage recipe. I have our fresh pork just ground and packaged, then frozen. I take it out two to four days ahead of seasoning. When you add seasonings be sure to use the fresh sausage in a day.
You Will Need:
•3 pounds of ground pork
•1 small onion, minced very finely
•1 Tablespoon sea salt
•2 teaspoons dry, ground sage
•1 teaspoon dry, ground mustard
•3/4 t. black pepper
•1/4 cup real maple syrup

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. I just use my hands– it’s messy but effective.
Place it in the fridge for a couple hours to help the flavors develop, or, you can use it right away.

Homemade Ranch Dressing from Nourishing Traditions

1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1/2 cup milk kefir (I use a homemade yogurt)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
2 teaspoons dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1.Spoon the mayonnaise into a mixing bowl, and then whisk in the kefir and olive oil. When the oil and filmjolk are completely integrated into the mayonnaise, whisk in the onion and garlic powders, salt, herbs and dried parsley. Taste it, and adjust seasoning as necessary to suit your preferences.

Pig Project

The Pig Project is headed by Luke and Danielle Sanders.

Now we all love bacon, and fresh pork chops are the best. Bob and I have been raising pigs on the farm for years and we knew this would be one of the best ways to utilize the excess milk, eggs and veggies. We made a make shift pen and raised a couple of hogs in 2014 as a test. They were very delish by the way…

So Luke and Danielle thought they would like to head up the 2015 “Pig Project”. You have to admire Luke’s enthusiasm, he found some old metal forms and brought them out and with a few boards lying around the ranch, he and Bob took a couple of days and built the


20150929_135040 (2)

With their new home in and cozy with straw the girls laid, I headed up north to buy 6 little piggies who went wee wee wee all the way home.

Sept 29th 2015

I finally convinced Danielle that it was HER pig that kept getting out (LOL) so after milking this morning she, Yatang and I worked on the fence and built a new dining table for the hogs who were constantly up ending their dinner.

20150929_135031 (2)

We think we may have solved the overturned water trough problem as well. Pounding 4 t- posts all around the water trough, they still can climb into it!

20150929_135040 (3)

After stringing electric fence around the bottom of the fence panels, we turned it on and turned the piggies back into their boudoir, and they have settled in nicely.


The pipe runs the clean water into the trough.

And oh, did I mention it was three GIRLS that built all this luxury for your pigs?

Yogurt Cheese

I make a lot of yogurt, it is great but at the end of the week if I have yogurt left over I like to make it into cheese. Yogurt cheese is more flavorful than cream cheese, it has a bit of a tang to it. Excellent with fruit for a desert, or into cakes and dips. Alone I prefer hard cheeses.

I have never understood why people try to make cheesemaking so mysterious. Simply stated, you take your yogurt and run it through a cheesecloth overnight. That is it. It will drain without any weight and make a nice soft cheese. I put it in a clean jar and then in fridge.

Doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Oct 1 2015 to Dec 31 2015 Session

Our new session begins in just a few weeks. Please remember to pay your herdshare fees if you are getting milk. If you are interested in delivery, we do have a member who is willing to deliver to your house for a small fee. Contact me and I will get you in contact with her. Weed delivery to Kathy’s house will switch to Thursdays after Oct 1, and a donation box for Kathy’s electricity use should be handled by a member? Elizabeth will have a jar for delivery fees to be placed in.

Jars: you will need 6 jars for every gallon of milk you want to receive. Two will be for your recent milk, two will be left at Kathy’s and two will be taken weekly to the milk room when the delivery is made Thurs (most likely evenings). I am sorry about all the confusion however this seems like it will resolve the jar shortage problems. Solano’s building supply in Weed has half gallon canning jars for sale at $12.99 a case. Please put your name on lids and jars with permanent ink or fingernail polish.