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Why Raw?


Pasteurization is a process of heating milk to kill bacteria. Louis Pasteur developed this technique to preserve liquor. It was not applied to milk until the late 1800s when it was used as a temporary solution for filthy urban dairies to cover up dirty milk. As milk became more mass produced, rather than to clean up production processes, mass pasteurization became the standard. Not only does pasteurization kill beneficial probiotic bacteria, it also greatly diminishes the nutrient content of milk. Pasteurized milk has up to a 66% loss of vitamins A, D, E, K and the water soluble vitamins are rendered 38% to 80% less effective. Vitamin C loss usually exceeds 50% and vitamins B6 and B12 are completely destroyed along with many beneficial enzymes including lipase (an enzyme that breaks down fat) impairing fat metabolism.

We have all been led to believe that milk is a wonderful source of calcium, when in fact, pasteurization makes calcium and other minerals less available. Complete destruction of phosphatase is one method of testing to see if milk has been adequately pasteurized. Phosphatase is essential for the absorption of calcium.



As the dairy industry has become more concentrated, many processing plants have switched to ultrapasteurization, which involves higher temperatures and longer treatment times. The industry says this is necessary because many microorganisms have become heat resistant and now survive ordinary pasteurization.

Another reason for ultrapasteurization is that it gives the milk a longer shelf life. The grocers like this but many consumers complain of a burnt or dead taste. The milk is virtually sterile–is that what you want to drink?

Milk producers are not advertising the fact that they are ultrapasteurizing the milk–the word is written in very small letters and the milk is sold in the refrigerator section even though it can be kept unrefrigerated until opened. Horizon, the major organic brand, is ultrapasteurized, as are virtually all national brands.



Natural cow milk contains cream, which rises to the top. Homogenization is a commercial process that crushes the fat particles (cream) to make them disperse in the milk. This process has been linked to heart disease and atherosclerosis.


Real milk contains butterfat, and lots of it!

Average butterfat content from old-fashioned cows at the turn of the century was over 4% (or more than 50% of calories). Today butterfat comprises less than 3% (or less than 35% of calories). Worse, consumers have been duped into believing that low-fat and skim milk products are better for them. Only by marketing low-fat and skim milk as a health food can the modern dairy industry get rid of its excess poor-quality, low-fat milk from modern high-production herds. Butterfat contains vitamins A and D needed for assimilation of calcium and protein in the water fraction of the milk. Without them protein and calcium are more difficult to utilize and possibly harmful. Butterfat is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids which protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. It contains glyco-spingolipids which prevent intestinal distress and conjugated linoleic acid which has strong anticancer properties. Buy only full-fat milk products.


Q.  Can people with lactose intolerance drink raw milk?

Pasteurizing and homogenizing milk makes it much more difficult to digest. In 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation conducted a survey of raw milk drinkers in Michigan.  Of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance, 82 percent stated that they could drink raw milk without any problems.

We have many customers currently buying milk from us that were previously diagnosed "lactose intolerant." What they have discovered is they were "processed milk intolerant" and have no trouble with "real" milk.


Q.  Is our raw milk safe?

Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system. These include lacto-peroxidase, lacto-ferrin, anti-microbial components of blood (leukocytes, B-macrophages, neutrophils, T-lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and antibodies), special carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), special fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), complement enzymes, lysozyme, hormones, growth factors, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptide, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B12-binding protein. One of the many benefits of raw milk may be its ability to promote the production of a wonderful little compound called “glutathione” — this tiny compound consists of just three amino acids, but it is the master antioxidant and detoxifier of the cell. These components are largely inactivated by the heat of pasteurization. This five-fold protective system naturally destroys pathogens in the milk, stimulates the immune system, builds healthy gut wall, prevents absorption of pathogens and toxins in the gut and ensures assimilation of all the nutrients. Have you ever noticed old pasteurized store milk becomes rancid and putrid while old raw milk goes sour (which is the basis for probiotic products such as yogurt, sour cream, and kefir)? It is obvious real, fresh raw milk contains everything Mother Nature intended it to. The problems arise in poor dairy processing practices.

*See for more details and information

At Saddle Back Ranch our milk is Grade A certified by the State of New Mexico, which involves careful regulation and expectations for cleanliness. We are regularly inspected for milk quality, cleanliness, and pathogens. We have invested in high quality (and expensive) equipment and use the strictest practices in our processing. Our cows’ udders are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized for each milking session first with soap and water, and then with an iodine solution similar to what doctors use to prepare skin for surgery. (In fact, we use several of pairs of medical grade disposable gloves each time as well.) Our milking machine and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized for use. We firmly believe our milk is cleaner than the air you breathe. Each batch is bottled and quickly cooled from 104 degrees to 32 degrees using a high performance blast chiller. We care about what we are doing and spend extra time carefully completing each step to ensure the highest quality of milk possible for you - and for us. We drink it, too!


Like all topics, do your own research.  We are sure you will be thanking us later.

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Milk: It Does a Body Good?