There are two kinds of raw milk; one for the pasteuriser and one for human consumption. They have two different sets of standards, expectations and values.
Many Australians are waking up to the fact that they are sick due to highly processed, dead, sterilised, immune depressing, highly allergenic foods and what are being sprayed on them. Many now believe that organic and sustainably grown foods from regenerative food systems are more
nutrient-dense and safer, and they want the option to choose what they put inside their own bodies. It is time authorities look at the reasons why raw drinking milk should be available.
Australians have never had the opportunity to explore this properly in open debate. We have had considerable media censorship since ARMM was founded in January 2015. Australia in general knows a lot about industrial milk production but next to nothing about producing raw drinking milk in a regulated system.
The Raw Milk
Worry over raw milk safety
Food safety experts are concerned that raw milk may potentially contain pathogens, however their reductionist approach blinds them to the bigger picture. How can you have a balanced view if one area like microbiology is excessively explored with the intention to prove that raw milk can be dangerous, while other areas like the terrain are ignored? No food can be 100% safe, especially when our planet is being polluted by intensive animal agriculture and unsustainable farming practises.
Testing programs from the Raw Milk Institute, the B.C. Fresh Milk Project and even the research done by the FSA show that raw milk can be a low risk, pathogen-free food. However that does not stop the anti-raw milk camp from throwing obstacles into the path of raw milk access. Their reductionist approach is at the heart of the problem. According to this article both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria – completely ignoring and overlooking the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial and intensive animal farming practices that lead to diseased animals. These sick animals are creating and shedding harmful bacteria in the terrain. Many investigations show raw milk from healthy, grass-fed animals has been wrongfully demonised, and the reasons are often political. There seems to be a desire to keep the illusion in place that all raw milk is dangerous. That is simply not true. Read the entire article carefully for a better understanding.
Microbes are everywhere
We know now that microbes are everywhere and that microbe systems exist in different terrains or places. Farms that practise sustainable, regenerative agriculture can often have high amounts of beneficial microbes like micro dairies producing raw milk for human consumption grazed on grass and hay. The cheese caves in France are another example of terrains where beneficial microbes typically gather in large numbers. In this article Australian soil scientist Dr Christine Jones eloquently explains why it is essential for soil to contain an abundance of beneficial microbes. They help diverse species plants to sequester carbon and make more minerals, trace elements and nutrients available to plants. This leads to robust healthy animals that can produce disease-free milk high in vital nutrients.
There are also terrains where a high concentration of dangerous bacteria exist due to unsustainable farming practises; like large intensive animal feedlot operations where lots of grain are fed to the animals.
New research show that we should be concerned about what we eat and how it affects health and the human micro-biome, because there is a difference in these two terrains. New research show that without soil microbes there are less carbon in the soil and less minerals are assimilated into pasture and vegetables. Grazing animals and humans depend on minerals and trace elements from their food supply for better health and immunity to bacterial infections.
Farming with chemicals can make cattle sick
Antibiotics are given to animals for a wide variety of reasons, some of which include preventing animal suffering when they have a bacterial infection, to help restore health of the animal and to 'promote public health', but they can be a double edged sword like so many other things that is promoted as good in agriculture. They are administered in different ways, which include being injected, added to feed or water or applied as cream or spray or pill form. There are also products with antibacterial properties that are applied elsewhere on the farm.
New research from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand shows that the active ingredients of commonly used herbicides like RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively) cause antibiotic resistance.
A Molecular Biology and Genetics Professor Jack Heinemann, said that antibiotic resistance is estimated to be the cause of nearly a million additional deaths worldwide from infectious diseases. According to the article he said: “The United States, for example, estimates that more than two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying as a result."
According to this article, Grain Producers Australia's chairman Andrew Weidemann said that a large percentage of grain growers were already using the herbicide (containing glyphosate) illegally. According the audio interview many farmers see it as a necessity in weed control issues. It is also commonly used as a desiccant shortly before harvest. Farmer agrochemical dependence in Australia is very concerning.
Many countries ban glyphosate but Australia is not even considering it. Wheat and cane sugar are two of the most commonly sprayed crops. The only way for the consumer to opt out is to stop eating sugar and grains, which is already happening in LCHF (low carb, high fat) and Paleo communities. The other option is to obtain certified organic. Many scientists say chemicals with antibiotic properties do affect microbes in our gut. The challenges that they present to the microbes inside of us result in the creation of antibiotic-
resistant ones, as was demonstrated in the Michael Mosley vs The Superbugs BBC documentary. Mark McAfee from the Raw Milk Institute recently said in comments that it is in the lab or under conditions when pathogens become stressed, like antibiotic abuse or attempts at pasteurisation, that super virulent pathogens are created. "Nature does not naturally create super virulent pathogens. Pathogens yes…. but not virulent pathogens. These are the super adapted sole survivors of an attempt on their lives." Mark says that we should stop blaming farmers for illness caused by pathogens because it is the chemicals produced by big companies that create the dangerous superbugs. Two years ago West Australian scientists were exploring the possibilities for another antibiotic to be used as a herbicide. This article explains how Ciprofloxacin not only kills microbes but plants as well.
Imagine then how these agrochemicals may affect cows who, like humans, are also dependent on good microbes for their fermentation, digestion and health. According to Austrian veterinarian Dr. Nicole Herout in this video "sick animals impose a much higher risk of infection - also on human beings". In another video she explains why feeding antibiotics to livestock has fatal consequences. Another recent article explored how feeding high amounts of grain to cattle can make them incubators for harmful microbes, which shed in their manure and in the terrain around the farm.
In April 2018 California Appellate Court sided with the State of California and Center for Food Safety (CFS) affirming that Monsanto’s glyphosate can be listed as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65, more here.
We should ask ourselves: why are food safety scientists, health departments and governments so concerned about low risk, clean regulated raw milk?
Why are unsustainable farming operations that breed disease allowed to exist? Why are these justified by food sterilisation? Where are the morals and ethics behind this?
Intense Animal Agriculture
In the image above dairy cows walk around in a feedlot operation. Australia doesn't have many of them, but they do exist, and may not look exactly like this. The feed can consist of large amounts of grains which may have been sprayed with agrochemicals and can be cumulative. The effects may not be visible immediately but may result in lowered immunity as time passes, and perhaps also lead to increased need for antibiotics to help with bacterial infections when they manifest. These may damage the rumen (the terrain inside the cow) because the active ingredients may act like an antibiotic killing off the gut microbes. The cow's
gut is a fermentation vat powered by microbes. When these are killed it can lead to sickness inside the animal. Without gut bacteria mammals become ill and malnourished. They become mineral deficient, mentally depressed, and pathogenic bacteria overgrow. These harmful microbes shed in the faeces, ending up in manure lagoons, rivers and waterways (example). This milk has to be pasteurised (sterilised) because it is not safe to consume. These animals have become a vehicle for breeding and spreading disease. Why do global governance allow this sort of thing? Click to enlarge image.
Experts say glyphosate builds disease and pathogens in the terrain
In the video below Professor Don Huber explains how glyphosate builds disease and pathogens in the soil. Pathogens are microbes that may be harmful to human health.
In this video Dr. Gary Fettke explains how harvesting these mass-produced grain crops are responsible for destroying the beneficial microbes living in the soil, the organic matter and the nutrients.
In another video Dr. Stephanie Seneff speaks on how glyphosate disrupts the gut microbes and how that can lead to obesity and other kinds of problems. At the 3:28 time marker she provides a graph showing how autism has risen since the introduction of glyphosate into the American food system in 1975. At the 6:30 time marker she says that glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic, antimicrobial agent and kills gut bacteria. "It kills the good guys and allows the pathogens to grow and that causes all kinds of gut problems autistic kids often suffer from." This may explain why many autistic kids have benefited from
cultured raw milk and its beneficial microbes. These crowd out the bad microbes. She also explains how glyphosate disables the body's detoxification system. Also how MRSA and Clostridium difficile infection can be caused by exposure to chronic low grade antibiotics through the diet.
In a recent Wise Traditions podcast a research microbiologist and expert on the human microbiome explains the science behind the damage the agrochemical ingredient glyphosate causes to the human body's microbiome. Kiran Krishnan says that it disrupts the shikimate pathway of plants and microbes. It "selectively kills the good bacteria and allows for the growth of a significant amount of bad bacteria". He says it allows problematic pathogens to flourish, while targeting good microbes. Many scientists make similar bold statements like this. It is a big concern when experts risk their reputation and livelihoods to speak out like this. Raw dairy farmers cannot afford to take risks like these especially when it can be avoided. Raw dairy farmers have to farm biologically, not chemically.
Louis Pasteur on "The Terrain is everything"
Pasteurisation (a sterilisation technique), invented by Louis Pasteur in 1864, kills harmful bacteria that may be present in dairy products, especially in the absence of refrigeration. At the time, the discovery was rather revolutionary; it allowed milk to be consumed less immediately and prevented many illnesses of the day.
On his deathbed Louis Pasteur reportedly said "Bernard was correct. I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything."
The ideal, healthy terrain is the sustainable farming example explored in the Farming is all about Microbes article. There is abundant green pastures, sunshine and a balanced ecosystem where good microbes dominate. The herd size is proportionate to the size of the land available. Cows are happy, content and not subjected to stressful situations. This terrain coupled with good hygiene standards in the milking parlour and a fair testing regime can result in the kind of milk that is suitable for human consumption. The manure from grass-grazed cows goes to feeding the soil instead of causing pollution. Pasture based (grass and hay), happy cows are unlikely to shed pathogens in their manure because those microbes are unlikely to dominate inside the healthy animal. Experience show that a 100% pasture-based diet increases their health when it's from regenerative food systems.
Science show that when the terrain is packed with abundant and diverse species good microbes, they suppress and control bad microbes.
This has been demonstrated on the farm, in the raw milk and in the gut. It is all connected. Now it becomes evident why only studying the petrie dish under the microscope can lead to an inability to see how systems in nature come together and operate together.
True intelligence operates on whole system recognition. We have to be able to see the interconnectedness, and learn to understand the nature and structure of existence.
It is also worth reiterating that according to Mark McAfee campylobacter was not considered a human pathogen in America until 1972. It was considered normal to have campylobacter immunity once you've had it. It demonstrates that our ever decreasing gut bacteria bio-diversity, which is our immunity, has a direct relationship to some microbes becoming a problem for us. Ingesting pathogens can make some sick and others not (example).
In this video Gastroenterologist Dr. Robynne Chutkan talks about why good microbes are an integral part of a healthy ecosystem. She talks about three microbiome studies showing how the terrain inside us can be influenced. Dysbiosis is where the ratio of good to bad bacteria inside the gut is thrown off balance.
A recent research article is pretty persuasive evidence about the power of biology and healthy soils in regenerative farming systems. It shows we can farm biologically and profitably, without these chemicals.
Louis Pasteur was right... the terrain is everything.
Systems thinking is the solution
Systems thinking is where we put the world back together again and see the interconnectedness of many systems. It is where we realise that pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant microbes are widespread. They are on our skin and in hospitals right now. We cannot get rid of them by the usual killing-off methods. Systems thinking involves embracing terrains with abundant, diverse species probiotic microbes for the health of our planet.
Probiotics act like internal healers.
They keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and balance our immune system. They regulate the movement through our intestine. They help your body to produce vitamins, absorb minerals and aid in the elimination of toxins. Probiotics counter the effects of environmental toxins.
Food safety experts and government health departments may continue to produce reasons why raw drinking milk from cows should not be legalised in Australia. We have proof that raw milk and its abundant beneficial microbes should be available. Here are three reasons:
1. To counter the damaging effects of the unsustainable farming practises that global governance has been endorsing for many years. Some studies now show what many scientists have been saying for years: beneficial microbes are an essential ingredient for plants to sequester carbon. Microbes like Mycorrhizal fungi are essential to provide more minerals, nutrients and carbon
to plants, which in turn leads to healthier, more robust animals. Soil Scientist Dr Christine Jones is one of many who believes that agrochemicals kill these essential beneficial microbes, more here.
2. To replenish and re-wild the microbiome of those who choose to drink raw milk because 46% of Australia's population had been prescribed antimicrobials in 2014 alone according to this article. That's a national disaster. In addition, the 30 year research from a British professor shows that missing microbes from early childhood can lead to disease like childhood cancer (leukaemia). The immune system can become cancerous if it does not "see" enough bugs early in life.
3. To ensure abundant good microbes in animal manure to be fertiliser for vegetables patches and pastures used for grazing. We want animal manure with lots of beneficial microbes to increase the nutrient value of our crops. Access to good microbes, minerals and trace elements in the soil are essential for the health of humans and grazing animals.
Bronwen and Francis Percival are British raw milk cheese advocates and experts who recently visited Australia. At an Australian event in May Bronwen said that in the future raw milk cheesemakers will be testing for large amounts of good microbes in their cheeses to crowd out unwanted microbes, instead of testing primarily for pathogens. That is something to look forward to!
Beneficial microbes may be the antidote to systems that create disease-causing microbes.
Creating a system for producing low risk raw milk can lead to an abundance of microbes that can heal many environments and terrains.
Hand carved antique cheese form found at @formatgeria_taull in the Catalonian Pyrenees. Now nearly forbidden in the production of European cheeses, wood would have made an excellent material for forming a cheese because of its tendency to hold onto good microbes, thus discouraging the bad. Made by shepherds with a bit too much time on their hands... imagine the beautiful cheese this would have made! #cheesetour #woodisgood #formatges
For more information on how to identify and manage risks on the farm see the 11 categories of the Risk Identification and Risk Reduction program: