06 June, 2009

The lesser evil of pasteurized milk

Since we'll be moving in 2 weeks (2 weeks!!!!) i have been thinking about where i'll be buying my raw milk. The options aren't near as plentiful as here in Lancaster so i intend to visit my amish neighbors quite quickly to see if they know of someone. But the thought has crossed my mind of what we will drink until i find a raw milk source. I feel uneasy about drinking store milk, knowing all we know and to be honest, i would almost rather not drink milk at all but this is a milk loving family so that option isn't real practical either. Organic milk at the store is an option but unfortunately it's almost always ultra pasteurized which is, well......not good for you AT ALL! So i came across this article written by Sally Fallon which i found quite interesting and gave me a desperation option until i find raw milk. Enjoy the lengthy read.

A reader at the healthy milk options post had a great question in the comments recently about oxidized cholesterol:


My husband and I are really, really trying to work out this milk issue. He is NOT ready to go to raw milk. We are currently drinking pasteurized skim. After spending several hours reading your posts and making a small dent in some of my own research, I spent an hour discussing it all with my husband. I explained that we should not drink skim, 1%, or 2% due to the oxidized cholesterol. I also explained that pasteurizing was “killing” the milk, so that we should remain open to changing to raw milk in the future. My husband suggested that if all the good things were being killed in any pasteurized milk, that drinking whole wasn’t going to be any better for us either. This is somewhat backed up by what I read today here http://www.full-health.com/partoneFprint.html that stated that one of the main sources in the American diet for oxidized cholesterol is pasteurized, heated milk protein.

So now I’m confused. Doesn’t this mean that ALL pasteurized milks contain oxidized cholesterol and the only difference is that whole milk has its oxidized cholesterol from beginning to end and the lower fat milks have their oxidized cholesterol back in?

And, if that’s the case isn’t the real decision whether to drink raw milk or NO milk? My husband said “if everything in it is dead and you can’t absorb the calcium without the vitamin D being alive, and the artificial vitamin D doesn’t let you absorb the calcium properly either is there ANY reason to drink milk?”

He stumped me. I have a PhD, I’ve read for hours and I’m even more confused. I thought maybe you could help me out.

My reply:

Great question, and although I don’t know if I’d say everything beneficial is killed with pasteurization, you’ve got me in ‘sleuth mode’ on the oxidized cholesterol. I’ll post on this as soon as I get some answers.

I emailed Sally Fallon:

Hi Sally, I have a question for you about oxidized cholesterol. I know from the WAPF site that one of the many reasons low-fat milk is so unhealthy is due to the fact that powdered milk is added, which contains oxidized cholesterol (which can cause heart disease, not saturated fats as we’ve been led to believe). But I’ve also heard we shouldn’t cook our egg yolks, or they will oxidize as well - is this true? Also, I know raw milk is best, and it’s what my family drinks, however I’ve been suggesting to my readers that if they don’t drink raw milk, to at least drink whole milk. But if heating/pasteurizing the milk oxidizes the cholesterol, should I then be suggesting they drink raw milk or NO milk?

Sally’s reply:

The confusion comes about by what causes cholesterol in food to oxidize–it is not pasteurization or cooking (scrambled eggs are fine), but the spray drying of milk or egg yolks when they are forced through a very tiny hole at high temperature and pressure to make powdered milk and eggs. Powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk to give it body.

Regarding milk, the more I learn about pasteurization, the more I realize how harmful it is (for other reasons than the oxidation of cholesterol). And now most milk is ultra-pasteurized, especially most organic milk.

I think if people can’t get raw milk, the next best thing is pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream diluted with water. The fats are much less prone to damage by pasteurization than the water portion of the milk, and at least the fats in cream have not been homogenized. This is what I did for my family when we could not get raw milk. We used diluted cream on porridge and in cooking.

Hope this helps! Sally


  1. You'll just have to drive down to Lancaster and get 50 gallons of milk at a time and freeze it. :) I'm sure your husband could get a nice BIG freezer for you! Haha. Praying for you as you pack up and still take care of your little ones in the midst of it all! I totally know what it's like. :)
    Blessings to you,

  2. Very funny, Connie. :) Thanks for your prayers. My prayer has been all along that God would give me a calm and peace while moving and so far He has been answering far above what i hoped for. But that's just like Him isn't it...........

  3. Hey Darla.. LOVE the muscic on your site. I open it just to hear the music on occasion!! Have a good day!

  4. Hi Carol, i love the music too. We have my husband to thank. :)


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