This might sound crazy to some of you and that's understandable because most people are not aware of the fact that there are two types of raw milk produced by farmers. One type is "raw milk intended for pasteurization" and those cows are normally found in larger numbers in confinement dairies and rarely have access to fresh green pastures. The animals are given antibiotics and hormones and live a short and stressful life being pushed to produce as much milk as they possibly can. Their milk is collected by a milk processor and taken to a pasteurization plant where it is cooked to very high temperatures (which is absolutely necessary to make it "safe") before being bottled and delivered to your grocery store shelf.
The problem raw milk advocates have with pasteurization and ultra pasteurization is that cooking milk to such high temperatures kills off not only the bad bacteria which may or may not be present, but it also kills off the beneficial bacteria, protein and enzymes. There is also a lot of controversy over just how many vitamins and minerals are destroyed by pasteurization but the very fact they they have to "add back" to the milk ("vit. D enriched") should tell you something.
The type of milk we drink is "raw milk intended for human consumption." This type of milk is carefully collected from cows consuming their natural diet of green grass, grazing freely on organic pastures, never given any sort of antibiotic or hormone, and enjoying a stress-free, long life, often only being milked once a day. Grass-fed cows are also much less likely to contain harmful pathogens in their gut compared to grain-fed cows. A Google search on "grain-fed cows and e coli" will reveal solid science on how the corn-based diet acidifies the cow’s digestive tract. Under normal circumstances E. coli O157:H7 is killed by stomach acids. But the increased acidity in the cow’s stomach allows for the more acid resistant E. coli bacteria to survive and thrive. When these acid resistant E. coli enter the food supply, it is especially dangerous because a person’s primary defense against E. coli, stomach acid, is now useless.
After thoroughly researching the safety and health benefits of fresh, unprocessed, unadulterated milk, we decided this type of milk was clearly the better choice for our family. The next step was to identify a "safe" raw milk producer. Using criteria provided by the Weston A. Price Foundation and Raw USA Standards, we set out to find safe, raw milk in Nebraska! RealMilk.com has a listing of raw milk producers in our area and we choose to buy milk from the Branched Oak Farm in Raymond.