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Raw Milk is not only Delicious, Advocates say it Comes with a Host of Health Benefits

Raw milk is a cult health product

If you’re anything like me there’s probably nothing you like more than a big glass of Irish dairy milk. 

Milk is not only delicious, it’s also a great accompaniment to spicy dishes or a way to ease heartburn. 

While our ancestors thrived on the consumption of milk -more or less -straight from the cow, the vast majority of milk available to us now has gone through pasteurization and homogenization. 

For the purposes of this article let us leave any heavy discussion of the possible benefits and drawbacks of these alterations aside, and focus on what advocates say makes milk in its raw form so important. 

On a recent trip to Sweden I was given a glass of raw milk by a friend in Uppsala who buys milk, butter, and eggs from a local farmer.

It was absolutely delicious! The cream from the milk was harvested and heaped upon some pear tart. 

Since then I have been mad, as they say, to get hold of raw milk at home. After some eager searching I came across a supplier called Natural Milk Company

While the leading ladies (the cows) live on a beautiful farm in Galway, the Natural Milk Company delivers to quite a few stockists on the road between Galway and Dublin. 

Advocates of raw milk list a host of reported benefits from assisting gut health, easing allergies, improving skin conditions, and more. 

They also clearly point out the differences between consuming raw milk which is intended for pasteurization, and consuming milk which is specifically cultivated for the purposes of being consumed raw. 

Milk intended for pasteurization is “generally commingled with milk from multiple dairies, which increases the risk of pathogenic exposure”, they say. 

On the other hand “Raw milk intended for direct human consumption is produced in sanitary conditions, with much care to ensure that the animals are healthy and that the milk is clean. This type of raw milk is tested often and held to rigorous standards to ensure that it is being produced in a way that discourages pathogen growth.” 

It is legal to sell raw milk in Ireland, and a number of studies have suggested it is beneficial for conditions like asthma. According to one of these, a study of over 14,800 European children  found there was a “significant inverse association between farm [raw] milk consumption and childhood asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, sensitization to pollen, a mix of food allergens, and horse dander”. 

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