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Live Simply in the Kitchen: Dairy, part 2

We’ve been discussing the benefits of raw dairy and if you missed the first part of this post, you can click here. dairy

The Casein Question

In today’s world of “dairy-free” living, almost everyone is familiar with the word “casein.” Casein is the main protein found in milk and many people are, legitimately, allergic to this protein. The controversy is over whether individuals who are allergic to casein will be helped, or even healed, by raw milk.

What many people don’t know is that the protein casein is stronger in certain breeds of cows than in others.

The type of proteins in milk, and the proportion of various proteins, varies depending on the breed of cow and the type of animal (sheep, goat, cow, etc.).

In older breeds of cows, such as Jersey, Asian and African cows (called A2 cows), the beta-casein contains an amino acid called proline.

In newer breeds of cows like Holstein (A1 cows), however, the proline has mutated into an amino acid called histidine.

This is important because beta-casein also contains an amino acid called BCM-7, which is a powerful opiate linked to negative health effects. Well, the proline that exists in A2 cows has a strong bond to BCM-7, which helps keep it out of the cows’ milk. The histidine in the newer A1 cows, however, has a weak hold on BCM-7, which allows it to get into the milk, and also into the people who drink the milk. (source)

What does this mean? Finding a farmer with a breed like Jersey cows means there should be virtually no beta-casein in your milk – naturally! And this is good news for those allergic to the casein found in pasteurized milk!

How to Find Raw Milk

Depending on the area in which you live, there are several ways to locate raw dairy (milk, cheese, cream, etc.). You can use one of these websites below to find farmers and / or co-ops in your area. I will forewarn you that it will be more expensive. These are smaller farms you’ll be dealing with and they are not subsidized by the big corporations. But, if you take the time to get to know the farmers, I’m certain you’ll find they’re not aiming to get rich – just feed their families. That makes it easier, to me, to pay more for my raw milk.

Also, search out Facebook groups for your area and ask members where they buy their dairy.

How to Consume Raw Dairy Safely

Recently we discussed that pasteurization is unnecessary if raw milk is obtained clean and fresh. Dairy cows’ diets should be primarily made up of grass, not grains. This enhances the quality of the milk they produce, rather than being sourced from fake foods like soy additives, etc. The cows should also be from a smaller-ish farm and not a CAFO where disease can be rampant (most store-bought milk is from CAFOs and therein lies the need for antibiotics, pasteurization, etc.). The cows should be properly cared for and proper milking techniques should be used (cleaning the udder before milking, etc.).

While this can sound overwhelming, this is actually rather easily determined by finding a local farmer, and getting to know them and asking the right questions.

  • How is this farm different from a CAFO?
  • How are your cows milked?
  • What are they fed? What percentage of their time is spent in the pasture or inside?
  • What type of grain are they fed (if at all)?
  • How much time lapses between when the cow is milked and when it’s brought to the market (delivered to the co-op, etc.)?
  • What antibiotics are they given?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you know whether to move on in your search or to pour yourself a big glass of milk!

So, have you tried raw dairy yet? Whatcha waiting for?

Other sources

Comments

  1. I didn’t realize that Jersey cows milk was free of casein. Very interesting! Nice write up on raw milk, thanks for linking it up for Wellness Wednesday 🙂

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