The Rising Cost of Milk

dairy cow, Brennaman's dairy

Dairy Cows in the Flathead

By Cat, originally on my old blog, June 2, 2007; moved to Cat’s Kitchen May 2019; image, right, from D. Morgan, used with permission.

Did you catch “Will Milk Become America’s New Oil?” AP article in your local paper this week (2007),* by David Mercer?    It warns that consumers can expect a sharp increase in dairy prices this summer, and predicts an average price of $3.78 per gallon for whole milk in the US this year (2007).  This increase will be driven largely by two factors:

  • higher costs of transporting milk to market (due to rising cost of fuel);
  • increased demand for feed corn to produce ethanol for fuel.

A third factor may also have an impact:  increased global demand for milk, primarily in China and other Asian countries, where milk protein is used in animal feed.

This trend just might have an unexpected — but welcome — impact, as consumers demand better prices for milk:  

  • Farmers might switch from feeding corn in feed lots, to allowing their cows to range in pastures and feed on grass, the preferred food of ruminants.  What, you think that’s the way it has always been?  Think again.  The contented cows we remember from the first half of the 20th century have increasingly become disgruntled cows, as farmers move them from pasture to feed lots and crowded barns.
  • We might hope for another return to older times:  homemakers might switch to buying milk directly from the local farmer.  This would certainly eliminate the high cost of transporting milk across the country, and would also ensure a fresher product.
  • The new trend in gourmet cheeses made in local kitchens might experience even greater interest in their products.

These changes will not only take a smaller net chunk from the family budget, but will provide health benefits as well.  Milk from cows fed on pasture grass is of higher quality and improved taste.  Compared with commercial milk, milk from grass-fed cows is:

  • Higher in the good Omega-3 fats;
  • Naturally lower in fat and calories;
  • A richer source of a fat called CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), a potent defense against cancer;
  • Higher in natural vitamins A, D and E.

Families who visit their local farmer to purchase fresh milk and other dairy products, will experience a deeper connection to their communities, and develop a richer understanding and appreciation for our agricultural industry.  Children will no longer have to go to a petting zoo to experience the joy of petting farm animals.

And consumers just might begin to question the need for pasteurization, once they see how well the enlightened farmer cares for the health and cleanliness of his grass-fed cows, and the purity of his product.  Raw milk has many known health benefits that are eliminated by the pasteurization process:

  • vital, living cultures of probiotics (beneficial bacteria such as acidophilus);
  • natural antibiotic activity that discourages proliferation of disease-causing bacteria, such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, typhoid, e. coli, salmonella, and listeria;
  • vital, active enzymes;
  • vital immune factors.
  • in-tact proteins (pasteurization denatures milk’s proteins; 

[To denature means to make it unnatural, leading to allergies and possible auto-immune problems. Denaturing proteins causes the long amino-acid chains to unravel and form new, foreign shapes.]

These healthful factors could result in (not a complete list):

  • fewer asthma attacks;
  • increased ability to lose weight;
  • increased resistance to diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and Crohn’s;
  • improved lipid profile (blood cholesterol and triglycerides).

Perhaps you think pasteurization protects you from milk-borne disease, but the fact is, many pathogens that cannot survive in raw milk will proliferate in pasteurized milk.  For example, MAP bacteria that is suspected of causing Crohn’s disease; (1) 

For more information on the health benefits of real milk, visit the website: A Campaign for Real Milk, a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation (2).  Also visit my health article on Raw, Real Milk.

* (Article appeared in Kalispell’s Daily Inter Lake on Thursday, May 31, 2007; Portland’s Oregonian on Friday, June 1, 2007)

References

  1. BBC News | HEALTH | Bacteria survives milk processing (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/697469.stm)
  2. A Campaign for Real Milk, a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation: realmilk.com
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Does Commercial, Ultra-pasteurized Milk Make You Sick?

Dairy farm with pastured cows

By Cat, originally on my old blog, Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (original source of photo, right, has been lost; this is a copy from my old blog)

Back in the 1950s when I was a kid, a refrigerator without milk, butter, and cream was an empty refrigerator. Everyone drank milk. Every town had a local dairy that delivered bottles of fresh milk to the doorstep each morning.

Today, most local dairies are gone, replaced by large, national, dairies that ship milk cross-country. Yet people are not buying milk like they used to; America’s dairies are struggling. Why? Is it a matter of marketing?

Or is it because people are getting sick from milk? They suffer from lactose intolerance and other milk allergies; asthma; skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis; headache; constipation and diarrhea; hay fever and other environmental allergies; osteoporosis.

But is all milk to blame? Prior to the 1930s, before pasteurization of milk became the norm, milk did not make people sick. In fact, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota used milk to heal people from conditions such as diabetes!

Could it be that pasteurization is behind all the trouble with milk? Now families are turning to organic milk to avoid the genetically engineered hormones present in commercial milk. But commercial organic milk is still pasteurized, and thus can still make you sick.

Raw milk consumption is on the rise in America, as people rediscover its wonderful taste and wholesome, health-giving goodness. That’s a good thing, as long as it comes from a clean, certified dairy or farm. Even better if it comes from a certified organic or biodynamic dairy!

But, in Montana you have to have your own cow or goat, because the sale of raw milk is illegal. Visit realmilk.com for more information

[This article was originally part 3 of a series on my old iWeb blog: What’s Wrong with the Modern American Diet. See Part 1: What’s Wrong with Modern Medicine and The American Diet; and Part 2: Do Bad Carbs Have to be Bad? on that old blog.]

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Weight Problems: Obesity 101

by Cat,  June 2007; updated May 2019

Do you cringe when your doctor casually describes you as obese? You object, “But I’m only 35 pounds overweight!  I’m just a little plump!” 

The doc responds, “You’re 30% overweight and your BMI* is over 30.  You need to lose weight to avoid type 2 diabetes!”  He wheels around in his office chair and searches for something in his files, then hands you a pamphlet on weight loss.  “Try this diet for 2 months.  You should lose 5 – 10 pounds in that time.”  *[BMI is Body Mass Index]

You scan through the pamphlet:  Calorie restriction; tips on reducing the fat content of your meals; advice on eating low-glycemic foods.  Nothing new here. 

“But, Doc, I’m already doing all these things,” you protest. 

He looks at you like you’re a 3 year old.  “Are you being honest?” he asks, and you can tell he doesn’t believe you.  You stare at your toes.  “I am being honest!  I haven’t been cheating!” you think to yourself; the shame of his disbelief is just too much.  You don’t have the energy to argue.

  • Includes: 1. “It’s a Lifestyle Problem;” 2. The Low Fat Myth; 3. A Metabolic Problem
  • See also: 1. Diet & Health Menu; 2. Obesity 102 (not yet) update link in text when moved

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Supplements I Use to Reduce Estrogen Dominance

by Cat,  June 2007; updated May 2019

As women reach middle age, we begin to experience changes in our bodies, emotions, moods; from peri-menopause, through menopause and into post-menopause.  The common thread that links these changes — and underlies many female reproductive diseases such as uterine fibroids, edometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, cancer, and PMS — is known as ‘estrogen dominance.’  That is, a relative excess of estrogen, and an absolute deficiency in progesterone.

For the last 40 years, conventional wisdom has attributed the changes during menopause to a deficiency in estrogen, brought on by shrinking ovaries that can no longer produce the hormone at pre-menopausal levels.  Hormone replacement therapy was introduced in the mid 1960s to alleviate this lack, but many women did not respond as expected.  Some women did indeed require estrogen supplementation; some required a combination of estrogen and progesterone therapy; other women got better relief from natural progesterone alone. (1)

Clearly it is not necessarily a lack of estrogen that causes the menopausal symptoms.  Perhaps it is an imbalance in the complex interplay between hormones that lies at the root of the ‘problem.’

  • Includes: 1. General Foundation; 2. Conversion of Estrogen Metabolite; 3. Liver Function Enhancement; 4. Control of Estrogen Dominance Symptom
  • See also: 1. Diet & Health Menu; 2. Supplements I Use
  • See also articles on my old iWeb site (not yet moved): 1. Estrogen Dominance in Disease section; 2. Female Hormones in Metabolism section; 3. Menopause & Peri-Menopause in Metabolism section. When move these articles to new blog, update links here and also “Female Hormones” in this article (below)

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Supplements and Whole Foods I Use in My Morning Smoothie

By Cat, June 2007; updated May 2019.

This was originally part of my article on Cat’s Kitchen, Supplements I Use. But that article was getting too long, so I moved the section on my Morning Smoothie to this article. For more detail on each of the supplements (powders, liquids and oils), see my original article: Supplements I Use.

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Supplements I Use

By Cat, June 2007; updated May 2019

My goal is to get all the nutrients I need from my diet. Unfortunately, that becomes more difficult as we age; I find that I need more supplements than when I was younger. I have two main health issues: gut microbial imbalance, and insulin resistance. I also have food sensitivity to sulfur-containing amino acids: lipoic acid and cysteine, which is problematic for me because I need all the help I can give to my liver’s need for glutathione. Since I first wrote this article, I’ve added supplements for these issues, including spore-based probiotics, inositol, glutamine, and sublingual glutathione.

I also have trouble absorbing most minerals from foods and supplements. I’ve learned the importance of brazing dark leafy greens, to maximize the availability of minerals in these and other vegetables, and drinking raw milk (for the minerals that are not available for absorption in pasteurized milk, especially calcium). But I also take the recommended doses of most minerals supplementally (calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, and trace minerals). At my naturopath’s suggestion, I also take the following supplementally: vitamins A, D and E, and also Omega-3 fats (as krill oil and fermented cod liver oil). And I’m working on ways to remove my food sensitivity to sulfur-foods/supplements.

Article is too long; need to break it up; perhaps put Smoothie in its own file and make reference to “Cat’s Supplements” file. Perhaps also put sups I no longer use in a separate file?

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Inositol, Choline and Insulin Resistance

By Cat, May 2019

Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder that is the precursor to Type-2 Diabetes. It means that the insulin receptors on cell walls no longer respond to insulin, starving the cells of glucose for fuel. This typically starts as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but eventually leads to weight gain and hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar, or Type-2 Diabetes), if not resolved at the cellular level.

For me, I first noticed the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as crankiness, light-headedness, impatience, and shaky hands when I was in my early 20s. This was before medical science acknowledged that hypoglycemia was a real problem at the cellular level. My doctor said it was “all in my head.” I knew that it had something to do with my diet primarily comprised of sugar and starch, with very little protein and fat, because I was unemployed and couldn’t afford a better diet.

I wasn’t diagnosed with insulin resistance until my mid 40s, but even then, my doctors didn’t know what caused it nor how to treat it. So I started researching the literature. I learned it meant that while my cells needed fuel, they were unable to respond to insulin when it knocked on the cellular door (insulin receptors), and thus could not take-up the sugar waiting for the door to open. But what kept the receptors from doing their job? Now, in my 70s, I’m finally beginning to find answers.

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Braised Spring Vegetables, with Herbs

Radishes

By Cat, May 2019 (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons, and below left from Wikimedia Commons)

Over the years of testing others’ advice on how to prepare vegetables, especially leafy greens: raw, steamed, and boiled, I eventually reverted to the method used by my parents: braising (as well as raw for salads, etc.).

Green Asparagus at Market

I learned that while leafy greens are rich in minerals, they are all bound-up in oxalates, and cannot be absorbed if eaten raw or steamed. But lightly sautéing them in a good oil or butter/ghee, then adding a bit of water to steam them, breaks up the oxalates, freeing the minerals for absorption, without over-cooking (that would otherwise destroy many of the other nutrients).

Usually I just braise one or two veggies together, sometimes with chopped garlic. But then I saw this amazing recipe that combines many veggies for the braise: shallot and garlic, radishes, asparagus, green peas, plus several herbs. It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to give it a try.

See also: 1. Sides & Condiments Menu; 2. Basic Braised Greens (About) Continue reading

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Supplements for Insulin Resistance (IR)

by Cat,  June 2007; updated May 2019

Healthful meals are comprised of whole foods as much as possible, especially fresh (or home canned/frozen) organic or biodynamic foods grown by someone you know.  It means avoiding prepared and processed foods (commercially canned, bottled, frozen), and especially avoiding foods made with highly processed or artificial ingredients.  Know your ingredients; know your cook. Refer to my article: Diet for Health, Part 3: Procuring healthful food for more on this.

  • Includes: 1. Supplements Recommended by Others; 2. Vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K; 3. Minerals; 4. Miscellaneous Supplements; 5. Supplements to avoid if you are insulin resistant
  • See also: 1. Diet & Health Menu; 2. Choline & Lecithin

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Supplements Intro

by Cat,  June 2007; updated May 2019

I don’t intend to suggest that taking supplements can provide the same health benefits as eating healthful meals made from whole foods. Supplements are intended to support our health when there is a dietary lack, or when a health condition causes the body not to assimilate a particular nutrient properly.  They should not be used as drugs to “make something go away,” and they should not be abused.  Overuse of supplements, just as overuse of drugs, can lead to other health problems.

The best supplements are made from whole foods, not those made synthetically. Also, beware of “one-a-day” multi vitamin and/or mineral supplements; they likely lack much of what is listed on the label (they are not large enough). That is, they may contain all the listed ingredients but not at the levels listed; or they may not contain some of the listed ingredients; or the ingredients may be primarily synthetic and ineffective.

It is best to select supplements that need to be taken more than once a day (each dose contains only a portion of the daily requirement), because that makes it more likely your body will absorb what is provided.

NOTE: I am not a doctor and am not qualified to advise you on your specific health situation.  My intent in writing these articles is merely to raise awareness and express opinion.

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