The Douglass Report August 2006

August 2006 PDF

Dear friend,

There's just nothing like fresh, raw milk. I've told you before that you might want to consider buying your own cow in order to get your daily dose of raw milk. (Once you've had it and see how good it is, this won't sound so crazy.) But I have to admit that I don't have my own cow--I get my raw milk from Alberto, a local dairy farmer.

At one point, though, I did consider buying a dairy farm--in Ecuador. The sanitary conditions were horrible--the people there only washed the cows once a week. (They're supposed to be washed before each milking.) Yet, the owners, an American couple, had drunk the raw milk from those cows for the past seven years. She was 85 and he was 90, and they hadn't gotten sick once from this supposedly dirty milk.

And they're not the only ones. Millions of people all over the world have lived well on raw milk for millennia--most without even the luxury of refrigeration. In many parts of the world, raw milk is still a dietary staple. Yet in most modern, industrialized, "forward-thinking" societies, even learned professors and scientists think it's dangerous.

Try asking one of these dietetic dandies what's so great about pasteurized milk. I guarantee you he'll be astonished that you would ask such a childish question. "Well," he'll reply with a touch of condescension, "milk gives you stronger teeth, stronger bones, calcium, and a lot of other stuff, and because it's pasteurized, it's safe to drink."

When people are this ignorant about the basics of nutrition, it's no wonder they rely on junk science and end up denying young children the benefits of REAL milk.

5 arguments against pasteurization

Since none of the university eggheads will do it, let me tell you what's wrong with pasteurized milk. This is just a partial listing, but it should be enough to get the point across.

1. For starters, pasteurization covers a multitude of dirty deeds--or in this case, dirty milk. Because heat destroys a great number of the bacteria in milk, the pasteurization process is able to conceal the evidence of dirt. This promotes carelessness and discourages the effort to produce clean milk. Inevitably, this results in the sale of dirty, low-quality milk.

2. Pasteurization alters the quality and structure of the milk itself. For example, when milk is pasteurized and homogenized, the lactose sugar is converted to beta-lactose--a form that can cause milk allergy. And as far as quality goes--I know that there are more important concerns with pasteurization, but one that I can't help but rank high on my list is its effect on the taste. If you've ever had raw milk, you'd understand--the pasteurized variety just isn't the same. But beyond that, pasteurization destroys the creaming ability of milk. It also destroys the souring bacteria of milk, causing it to putrefy if kept long enough instead of souring normally. It kills the bacilli in milk, too, causing it to decompose when exposed to air.

3. Pasteurization sucks the nutritional life out of raw milk. The process diminishes the vitamin content and destroys vitamins C, B6, and B12. Raw milk is an excellent source of calcium, but once it has been pasteurized, your body can no longer absorb many of the nutrients that are left. Plus, the pasteurization process destroys all the beneficial enzymes, antibodies, and hormones.

4. Pasteurized milk can lead to a variety of health problems. The most obvious evidence of this is that infants do not develop well on pasteurized milk. (Even calves do poorly and sometimes die when given the pasteurized junk food.) Pasteurized milk is more likely than raw milk to lead to tooth decay, constipation, allergies, arthritis, cancer, and osteoporosis (so much for the whole "milk for strong bones" theory). And it may diminish resistance to disease (especially in the young).

5. Pasteurization isn't perfect. Most people are willing to give up all of the benefits of raw milk because they're concerned about safety. But the truth is that pasteurization is not infallible: It may be carelessly done, which could result in various bacterial infections such as helicobacter pylori, the cause of peptic ulcers.

One of my favorite organizations, the Weston A. Price Foundation, presented an enlightening report on outbreaks of food borne illnesses--specifically comparing raw vs. pasteurized milk. This information was presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors when the board was considering whether or not to allow raw milk in the county.

What the board found was that between 1982 and 1997, not a single person reported getting sick from consuming raw milk. But in that same time frame, more than 220,000 people became ill from some form of salmonella they got from drinking pasteurized milk.

The whole idea behind pasteurization was to protect people from diseases like TB. But it's obvious that the pasteurization process has no safety guarantee. So why waste your money on a product that has virtually no nutritional value and that has made hundreds of thousands of people sick? Besides, raw milk just tastes better. And with modern production methods, it's safer today than it has ever been.

I'm not just pulling these ideas out of thin air--there are piles of studies on the safety and healthfulness of raw milk. So much so that I wrote a book on the subject called The Milk Book--The Milk of Human Kindness Is Not Pasteurized. It was widely popular, too--selling a million copies. Of course, it didn't receive a single review in the medical or popular press. But I guess that shouldn't surprise me--my ideas aren't usually very popular with the press. The Milk Book has now been revised, enlarged, and renamed. You can get The Raw Truth About Milk from or from starting in a few months. (Don't worry. I'll remind you again in the future.)