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5.0 out of 5 stars facts not urban myths - update August 2009, July 15, 2004
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This review is from: The Untold Story of Milk: Green Pastures, Contented Cows and Raw Dairy Products (Paperback)
Milk is bad for you. No mammal needs milk after being weaned. Raw milk is dirty, dangerous, and a major health hazard. Only pasteurized milk is clean and only ultra-pasteurized or irradiated milk is really safe. Pasteurization was created to make the milk supply safe. Raw milk has no greater health benefits than pasteurized milk. People want pasteurized milk, and prefer it over raw.

Supposedly educated people will tell you these things and be dead serious. Unfortunately, they are dead WRONG on every single point above, and the health of tens of millions suffer greatly for their ignorance or intentional deceit.

Ron Schmid is one of the most important proponents of traditional diets. His first book, Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine, is the best introduction to the nutritional research of Weston Price currently available. With this new book, he once again proves his voice is a beacon of intelligence and clarity in a sea of disinformation and corruption.

This book is a scholarly, well researched and documented look into the trials and tribulations of milk use in society. While its primary focus is on the raw milk issue and the scientific and political shenanigans surrounding the milk business, it also delves into the related issues of the history of milk use and traditional diets.

There is a great deal of information in this book. Schmid traces the history of milk use from the distant past to current times. He cites considerable research and published works regarding the healing power and nutritional value of milk from healthy animals. He examines in detail the use of the raw milk cure, milk in traditional diets, and the political/economic battles around milk production in this country during the last century. An immense amount of hard work went into the writing of this book, and it shows. (Good job, Ron.)

Schmid unmasks the unscientific propaganda in the raw milk debate and gives the clearest and most objective report to date on the real science and history of this issue. His analysis of the research is in-depth and thorough, and his presentation of the information is calm and balanced. This stands somewhat in contrast to the other major work on the issue, The Milk Book, by William Douglass, which contains some factual errors, suffers from many typos, and can come across as snide and derogatory when it is intended to be humorous. (It is still quite worth reading, however, and I recommend it as well.)

Schmid's book is level-headed, comprehensive and powerful. He addresses all the issues of the raw milk debate in detail; disease, cleanliness, quality, politics, economics, nutrition, and health attributes. He adroitly dismantles the lies, propaganda, incompetence, and villany of the powers that seek to deny the American people one of the most potent health foods on the planet, and addresses the science and historical facts in an irrefutable manner. This is currently the definitive work on milk. It is difficult to believe that one could do a better job. It is an easy 5 stars.

There are many lies and urban myths about milk, and the real history of the milk industry is every bit as tawdry as most other histories of corporate interference in our lives. The scare tactics and other, considerably less ethical, manipulations of industry and of government agencies who are too often the bought dogs of industry, are shown to frequently be extreme distortions or outright lies. The behavior of some of the agencies and people described in the book is just about the strongest argument for capital punishment I have ever seen. (And I oppose capital punishment!) It amazes me that such people are allowed to walk the streets, much less wield such unchecked power over the health and lives of the citizens who trust them and pay their salaries. Bad dog. Bad, bad dog.

Every statement in the opening paragraph of this review has been proven false. Raw milk from clean, healthy, grass-fed cows is not only healthy, it has nutritional properties that could help alleviate many illnesses that currently plague our society. Even one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic used raw milk therapy to cure serious illness. (But you cannot patent milk. At least, not yet.)

It is vital in this day and age for people to take charge of their own health, and to do that they must have good information. If you want to know the facts about milk and the history of the milk industry in this country, get this book. It is a wonderful antidote to the urban myths and lies about milk that pervade our culture.

UPDATE August 2009:

There is a new second edition of this out. Very well done update, well worth getting.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 2, 2007 2:11:44 PM PDT
Thea Hardy says:
And then there is clean, healthy raw milk from goats - truly awesome, creamy, delicious and great for easy cheesemaking.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007 8:50:57 PM PST
Ross Bagley says:
A couple of weeks ago, 87 people in Kansas got sick after drinking carefully extracted raw milk or cheese made from raw milk. The implicated bacterium was a strain of campylobacterium which is known to be killed by pasteurization and ultra-pasteurization. There were no fatalities (campylobacterium is similar in symptoms to salmonella, but less severe). Over the last 10 years, there have been more than 1000 cases of food poisoning in Kansas attributed to raw milk with no known fatalities.

I only mention this to make it clear that there are actual risks when you choose to drink unpasteurized milk. I'll admit that my family only gets part of the benefit of milk because we only drink ultra-pasteurized, homogenized organic milk (even though raw milk is available at two stores near me). But we do drink a lot of it (3-4 gallons per week).

Thanks for your review, I'm very curious to read the book.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 7:32:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2008 7:33:31 PM PDT
Sylvia says:
Hmm, I wonder why over 50% of the world population is lactose-intolerant-? I also wonder why the longest living human beings are Japanese and they don't drink milk, raw or otherwise-? Raw milk health cures/theories are about as fascinating as the no-milk/all plant food theories, but every single health provider, advocate or opponent of this diet or that is forgetting a major fact: everyone has a different body, there is no one size fits all and we should eat according to what's right for our own body. So you like milk? Good for you. Think milk is bad? Good for you too. May none of us get cancer and may all of us die of old age!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2008 3:20:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2008 3:21:31 PM PST
Totally agree with Sylvia. I have given up consuming all dairy products following a cancer diagnosis, and have had a lot of positive changes in my skin, a lowering of my resting heart rate, much less mucus in my body, and much better breathing when I am running. For me, milk is definitely out.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2009 4:34:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2009 8:16:04 PM PDT
Jon Norris says:
What is the source for your statistic about 50% of the world being lactose intolerant? One has to be careful about research quoted in mainstream media, as it can easily be created and spun by industry run "independent" organizations. In point of fact, the oldest living person documented in recorded history was an English peasant who lived to be 152, and ate mostly dairy products and some coarse bread.

A large percentage (85%, according to some researchers) of people who are "lactose intolerant" do not have that problem with raw milk. Raw milk has lactase and other enzymes which aid digestion and actually kill germs like salmonella (documented). If one is really concerned about germs, then one can use a small amount of pure silver in the container to suppress harmful bacteria. (Like our pioneer forefathers and mothers used to do.) Virtually all the enzyme content is destroyed by pasteurization, and in fact is how they measure the completeness of the process.

To compare our modern, dead ultrapasteurized milk with clean, raw milk is much like comparing pure, clean spring water with city sewage. They should not even be able to call that dead liquid milk. There is considerable research which shows that milk damaged by heat can cause health problems, clear back to Pottenger's cat studies. Removing mainstream dairy from your diet is very smart, and I, too, avoid it like the plague.

It is very true that biochemical individuality is an important consideration in any health discussion. This is why "one-size-fits-all" approaches like allopathic medicine are so often failures. We are not machines, we are living biological systems.

As far as the post about raw milk disease issues, in at least one case authorities were caught trying to blame raw milk for a disease outbreak caused by bad hamburger. They knowingly "filtered" cases in the E.R. and were caught and exposed by nurses who were more interested in patient health than political lies. Authorities spend a tremendous amount of time and energy (and taxpayer money) harassing raw milk producers and advocates while allowing far more serious (and deadly) health threats to continue unhindered. While there may be a history of hundreds or even thousands of legitimate cases of raw milk causing illness, the numbers of cases of "mainstream" food causing illness numbers in the millions. And yet, nothing is done. Witness the con game around tryptophan, MSG, and Aspartame, for example.

It is really important to understand the history of how these ideas came into being, and this book will give you a tremendous insight into how industry cons and scams the government and the public in its pursuit of the almighty buck.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2009 12:46:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2009 12:47:16 PM PDT
L.R. Young says:
I drink raw milk every week and try to purchase only raw milk cheeses, the health benefits are amazing. Check this out -- Got Lies?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2011 2:23:32 PM PDT
Actually, we learned this in biology. The enzyme in your body that breaks down lactose is non-essential, so if you don't consume much lactose, you don't create the enzyme. So you drink little to no milk for a while, then one day eat a big bowl of ice cream, and you get gassy. But if you gradually build yourself back up in dairy consumption, your body will start making the enzyme again and eventually your intolerance symptoms will go away. Few people are truly allergic to milk. We just have so many dairy substitutes that people don't bother. It also explains why lactose intolerance seems to pop up suddenly out of the blue. It really is a condition that you develop, but it is usually one that can be "cured" with ease. That said, some people truly cannot create the enzyme, or have an absolute allergy to dairy, and those people should give it up for their own health.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2011 12:03:31 AM PDT
Jon Norris says:
Digestion is a bit more complex than that. Gas can be caused by a number of things, mostly an improper balance of good to bad gut bacteria causing various types of fermentation.

Raw milk contains lactase, so it is not necessary for the body to make it.

I certainly agree that if a person has trouble digesting a food, they should add it back into their diet carefully, if at all. Shocking the system by going too fast does stress it more than necessary. I also agree that lactose intolerance is not a milk allergy. Not digesting something well is very different than producing antibodies against it, or having hystamine (or related) reactions to it.

Lack of production of an enzyme like lactase can be caused by not having the proper amounts or quality of precursors to the enzyme, or by other deficiencies which interfere with its production, as well as by inherited/genetic predisposition.

Most dairy substitutes are not healthy, and some are not even safe. There are some recipes using coconut milk as a base which can come close to the nutrition of good, clean milk. It is hard to get a flavor similar to milk, however (I have tried).

Granted, if a person has an allergic reaction to a food, which cannot be moderated or "cured," it is very wise to avoid the food. Sustained allergic stress is not good for the body.
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