Money or your Health!

by Helen Lobato

"But how much more will it cost?"

"I won't be able to pass it on to my customers?"

"Not now, I will need to know more about it before I can look at it!"

The above were the pathetic excuses given to me by the manager of a coffee shop which sells fair trade coffee.I mistakenly thought that he might be amenable to my suggestion that he sell organic milk along with his fair trade coffee. In purchasing a cup of fair trade coffee you ensure that the farmer gets a fair deal and in this way we are acting as ethical consumers. Similarly the purchase of organic milk is an ethical choice in that the cows are not fed Genetically Modified grains or antibiotics and are not housed but are free to range on green pasture.I had prepared flyers and posters for his customers to read and even offered to buy the organic milk for him. I thought that he might like to conduct an experiment and see if his customers asked for organic milk when given the information and choice. This was not to be.

We need to be pressing our coffee shops to stock organic milk but judging by the ignorance of this retailer who although he had obviously caught onto the fact that fair trade coffee would attract a clientele, had little or no knowledge about organic milk. Now that the Victorian state government has allowed the first GM seeds to be grown we will have our milking cows being fed GM produce. And have no doubt that what the cow eats will make its way into the food supply and into your very cappuccino. GM crops are not safe for humans or animals to eat and yet they are already in our food supply. Support organic food for you and your family's health!

What is so good about organic milk as opposed to conventional milk?

Organic milk is without the antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides used in the commercial dairy industry. Increased demand for organic milk acts acts to encourage conventional dairy farmers to go organic , which furthers the environmental and nutritional benefits. Organic milk is legal and is being sold in quite good amounts in most supermarkets.

Better still is Raw milk which is unpasteurised milk straight from the organically pasture fed cow. Raw milk contains delicate enzymes and essential bacteria which are destroyed with pasteurisation and it is the lack of natural enzymes in pasteurised milk which makes it indigestible to many people. For thousands of years raw milk nourished our ancestors allowing for generations of strong, healthy humans. For well over a century it has been illegal to sell nature’s real milk, the raw product. Instead we have all been fed the inferior pasteurised product. However raw milk is illegal and is sold under pseudonyms such as Aphrodite's bath milk which is becoming popular in various health food stores across the country.

Why was milk pasteurised?

What is the history of Pasteurisation?

Early nineteenth century USA saw a rapid growth in the population with immigrants making their way to the cities. These newly settled people wanted to access milk but with the cities a long way from the farms and lacking the transport and refrigeration of today this was no easy task. At this time the whiskey industry was booming and the waste product of the distillery was swill or slop which was fed to cows that were conveniently housed next to the whiskey distilleries. This waste product of the distilleries was obviously not a food that cows generally ate but it made the cows produce a lot of milk. These cows were sick, crowded, dirty, poorly nourished and forced to spend their short lives chained in one place and handled and milked by often very unwell people who poured the milk into dirty containers and sold it to the unsuspecting public. Very soon and not surprisingly the death rates of infants and childrens soared and it was generally recognised that there was a ‘milk problem’.

Whilst many recognised the correct source of the problem and sought to bring about real safe milk from healthy cows there was at the time the emergence of the new science of microbiology that saw germs and microbes as the cause of all illnesses. This led to the call for pasteurization, or heating, of all milk in order to make it free of any potentially harmful bacteria, no matter how it changed the quality of the milk.

Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

As the media and governmental spin continued, dairies found it easier to go with pasteurization than to clean up their acts. Many people now have milk allergies and other allergies and ailments, and some pediatricians are now advising against giving it to children.

This is the largely unknown and tragic history of milk that has led to the practice of giving our children a grossly inferior product that is not even organically produced, let alone Raw and unpasteurised as nature intended.