But Does Raw Milk Do a Body Good?

13 01 2009

I swear I wasn’t looking for more information on raw milk.  I told myself about a month ago that I wouldn’t be trying raw milk after all, or at least that I wouldn’t be trying it out with Masher as my guinea pig.  I realized that I couldn’t possibly look at myself in the mirror every day if anything were to happen to him as a result of drinking raw, or unpasteurized, cow’s milk, and I abandoned my plan to visit a few of the dairy farms located in what are now the outer suburbs of DC where you can actually purchase a cow-share and thereby acquire this illegal substance.  But, lo and behold, I was Googling to try and figure out why almost one-year-old Masher only wants to nurse three times a day now, and I stumbled upon a really thorough and interesting article on raw milk from Harpers.

So, what’s the deal with this raw milk thing, you may be asking?  Well, the article explains it better than I ever could, but the basic gist of it is that raw milk provides some bacteria that our bodies are proven to benefit from; bacteria whose absence from pasteurized milk might be part of the reason why we and our kids are suffering from so many allergies these days; and–unfortunately–some bacteria that could make us very, very sick.  Obviously, it’s that last category that concerns me.  But it’s not as though we would just be taking the milk from your average industrial drugged-out, grain-fed heifer laying in her own poop and pouring it into Masher’s sippy cup.  The milk we’d be getting, ideally, would come from a farm where the cows are walking around eating grass, where there’s an ecosystem that supports good bacteria and keeps the E. coli to a minimum …  which is why we would be visiting the dairy farms in person …  because I know all there is about inspecting the health standards of a dairy farm, right?  Um, no.  And there we’ve hit the nail on the head.  I just don’t feel as though I have enough knowledge to make this decision.  

But in the meantime, what about Masher and his self-weaning?  Don’t get me wrong …  I’m OK with it.  I never planned to breastfeed longer than a year in the first place.  But I thought I’d be the one in control of the action, deciding when to remove feedings and pacing our weaning process out over several months.  He’s gone from five nursings a day to three (7 a.m., 11 a.m., and 4 p.m.) in just a few weeks.  AND HE’S NOT EVEN ONE!!!  Well, OK, he’s like 10 days from being one.  BUT STILL!!!  I’m a bit worried I’m doing something wrong here.

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