How many of us were raised to drink our milk, that it would help us grow strong bones and teeth? Long thought to be a key part to any diet, milk has had a significant transformation over the past 100 years alone. With all of the technology available to us now, and the ease of access we have to grocery stores, it is hard to think of a time when we only had to walk up the street to get our milk.
This was how the majority of Americans used to get their dairy: from their local farmer. And for many American families back in the day, obtaining their food from their own backyard or a neighboring farm was the only way to get what they needed for dinner.
Fast forward to now.
Dairy is big business...we're talking BIG business. The top states for milk production are producing in the millions when it comes to the "pounds" of milk produced. Although milk sales have dropped somewhat over the past couple years, the focus is still on these large-scale dairy operations cramming as many cows as they can.
Not all dairy is created equally, and this is largely due in part to how the source of our dairy products is raised. Conventional dairy farms feed their cows a steady, grain-based diet. This can be dangerous for ruminants, and can lead to painful "gut rot" in a relatively short amount of time. Cows, goats, sheep, llama...all are ruminants and do not have the physiological capacity to digest grains.
When it comes to nutrient value, pasteurized milk or milk from large-scale operations, is on the losing end. When you buy milk from these sources, you are missing out on heavier doses of Vitamin A, D, and higher enzyme content. Milk naturally comes lactase (enzymes to digest the milk sugars, or lactose), and when we pasteurize our milk or milk byproducts, we lose these wonderful enzymes.
This puts enormous strain on our digestive system, with the undigested milk passing through our digestive system, and impacting our small intestine by building up around the 'villi' (think of them as little fingers in the small intestine "grabbing" nutrients).
This is why we support our local dairy farmers the best we can, especially those who offer better alternatives for folks who have sensitivities when it comes to bovine dairy. LeeLaine Dairy, a local goat dairy farm, is a great option if you cannot handle cow's milk or by-products. Goat's milk is much gentler on the digestive system with having smaller fat globules to break down in the digestive tract.
Let's start a conversation!
Check out our Facebook page, or our Instagram and ask us your questions about local dairy, raw dairy, and what is best for you!
Consuming raw milk is still a sticky subject, and we will be sharing more information on it, the safety of consuming raw milk, and what Texas state law has to say about it.