In the old days, when grandma and grandpa lived on the farm, the milk they drank was far different from the chemical concoction we call milk today. In those days, cows roamed free on the farm, eating natural grasses, and drinking pure, clean water. The milk was collected once or twice a day, by hand. Some of the cream was skimmed off the top for butter (again made by hand), and the rest was consumed as whole, raw milk. It was generally consumed by the family and perhaps offered for sale to the neighbors.
Today, we have huge mechanized dairy factories where cows are methodically fed chemical-laced food, injected with anti-biotics and hormones and milked by machines. The milk is loaded into huge diesel trailers and trucked to large milk factories where the milk from thousands of cows is mixed, processed, packaged, and trucked again to a store near you.
What impact does this have on your health? Well, actually quite a lot. The milk we are told to consume today is not-nearly as nutritious as milk in the past. All those chemicals and toxins floating in the milk “soup” we find in our supermarkets today, is not the pure milk our ancestor drink.
Packaging is also another problem. In the past, milk was taken from the cow, immediately placed in clean glass bottles (bottles washed by hand by grandma using natural soaps) and refrigerated immediately in a dark refrigerator. Today, milk is collected into huge vats with wide variations in temperature, pumped into tanker trucks, driven for sometimes hours to the processing plant, and then finally separated and packaged.
The type of packaging is important as well. Just recently, scientists are discovering that plastic containers (or plastic milk jugs) are actually harmful to the milk and to the people who consume the milk stored in plastic! Not only do poisonous chemicals leach from the plastic into the milk, but plastic milk containers allow light to pass through. Light is a natural enemy of milk! The exposure to light can actually oxidize the milk in the jug. And the light damage is not only caused by sunlight, but also by the fluorescent lighting used in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Exposure to light causes the milk to taste bad and causes a degradation of the vitamins in the milk. In fact, exposure to as little of five to fifteen minutes of sunlight can degrade the quality of the milk. And paper cartons are not immune to this light-induced oxidation. If the light is intense enough, oxidation can even occur in paper milk cartons.
We’ll explore the problems with our modern dairy practices in future articles. But for now, milk doesn’t necessarily do a body good.