The Health Benefits of Raw Milk From Grass-Fed Animals, Part 1

In 1970, I went to live on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. I was quite ill with gastrointestinal problems.

I began living mostly on seafood, fresh vegetables, salads, and raw milk and eggs purchased from a local farmer, with a little meat and whole grain bread. My health problems, which had been intractable for years, disappeared.

Raw milk remained a mainstay of my diet. Since 1981, I have strongly recommended raw milk to thousands of people who have seen me in my practice as a naturopathic physician.

I practice in Connecticut, where we enjoy the right to purchase certified raw milk throughout the state, with the exception of the town of Fairfield, where a local health board has instituted an unchallenged (for lack of funds) town ordinance prohibiting the sale of raw milk.

The raw milk available in the part of Connecticut where I live is from Debra Tyler’s farm in Cornwall Bridge, called Local Farm. Debra has nine cows on 14 acres. Eight health food stores in central and northern Connecticut pick up milk regularly at Local Farm. There are about a dozen other certified raw-milk dairies among Connecticut’s 210 dairy farms.

Debra has Jersey cows. Most farms have Holsteins, which provide large quantities of milk, but milk that is lower in protein, fat, and calcium. Jerseys were originally bred by the French to produce milk for cheese making. The fat content of Debra’s cow’s milk during the warm months is about 4.8 percent, well above the normal 3.5 percent for whole milk.

Debra’s cows eat mostly grass in the spring, summer, and fall and mostly hay in the winter (each cow consumes a 40-pound bale a day!) with a few pounds a day of ground corn and roasted soybeans (5 to 1 corn to soybeans ratio).

Local Farm milk is certified organic. Certification costs several hundred dollars a year in fees and considerable paperwork. It also means that Debra must sometimes pay more for certified feed from faraway places than for locally produced feed she knows to be organic but is not certified.

This raises the question: If you know and trust the local farmers who produce your food, does it really have to be certified?

Next week: Dr. Schmid’s testimony to the Connecticut Environmental Committee regarding the safety and efficacy of raw-milk consumption.

Reproduced with permission from Real Milk Articles, a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation,


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