Milk is Nature’s perfect food. When it is whole and unprocessed, it has almost equal parts fat, protein and carbohydrates, as well as a host of beneficial vitamins, minerals and enzymes. 

No wonder breast milk is baby’s first food!

Raw breast milk, but not raw cow's milk?

Why do humans drink cow’s milk anyway? Isn’t that for baby cows? Actually, humans have been consuming raw dairy for over 6,000 years. Like breast milk, raw milk—whether from cows, sheep, goats, water buffalo or even camels—is a healthy and natural food that supports good health all through life.

Health Canada recommends exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months, and breastfeeding with solid food for up to 2 or more years, and states:

Breast milk has the perfect amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals for a growing baby. It’s the easiest milk for your baby to digest….Your breast milk contains antibodies and other immune factors that help protect your baby against infections and disease. This immunity protection can last a lifetime.  Health Canada

However, Health Canada does not apply this logic to raw milk from dairy animals. In response to a 2016 petition to the Minister of Health, Health Canada wrote: “there is little evidence to suggest that raw milk has a higher nutritive value than pasteurized milk”. CADA disagrees!

There are many peer reviewed studies showing that unprocessed dairy has many health benefits including the enhanced absorption of micronutrients, support for a healthy gut biome populated with “good bacteria” and protection from inflammation, infections, allergies and asthma.

Nutritional Value of Raw Milk

When milk is pasteurized (heated to 72°C), it inactivates beneficial enzymes, damages fats, and destroys probiotics and other good bacteria. These alterations make it more difficult for our bodies to absorb essential minerals in the milk. It also makes the sugar (lactose), protein and fat more difficult to digest. The destruction of naturally-occurring digestive enzymes puts an unnecessary strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.

Pasteurization of milk also:

To restore the natural vitamin D found in abundance in the milk of pastured livestock, and destroyed/reduced through pasteurization, synthetic vitamin D is added to commercial milk. Synthetic vitamin D is more difficult for the body to absorb.

Other Health Benefits

Besides being nutritionally superior to processed milk, raw milk provides other significant health benefits as demonstrated though various studies. Some findings are:

It’s clear that milk the way Nature intended—full-fat from a healthy, grass-fed cow, goat, sheep, water buffalo, or camel —is an amazing food, with significant health benefits, that Canadian consumers should have the right to access safely.