Pasteurized vs. Raw Milk: Which One Is Healthier for You & Your Family?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on April 20, 2015

glass of milk

Since the early 1930’s our government has been “protecting” us from the “dangers” of whole, raw milk. How do they do this? By actually killing the whole, raw milk by pasteurizing it! Interestingly, pasteurization also increases the shelf life of milk, making it much easier to mass-market, maximizing profits for the dairy industry.

Real milk comes from real goats or cows that are allowed to graze in toxin free pastures. Besides tasting great, raw organic milk is a precious, life-giving food. But extreme temperatures used to pasteurize (“cook”) the milk can actually render it life-depleting.

Pasteurization destroys almost all of the nutritive value of cow’s milk. The milk everybody drinks today is far from a whole food, and in my research is not fit for human consumption.

Pasteurization also destroys beneficial bacteria found in raw milk [1]. It kills the natural enzymes and destroys the chemical make-up of calcium in raw milk. Calcium is vital to the growth and health of children. Pasteurization has been implicated in everything from allergies to heart disease to cancer. Truly, the resulting product after pasteurization is not raw and living, but rather “killed and dead.”

Raw Milk: Why the Fuss?

The fuss about raw milk has to do with pathogens – organisms that can cause diseases such as Salmonella. But whether or not raw milk carries pathogens depends totally on the way the milk is produced, how the animals are fed, and the care that’s taken to keep the milk clean during production.

Today’s pasteurized milk comes from cows crammed in cages loaded with synthetic hormones and antibiotics. Homogenizing purposely destroys raw milk’s natural butterfat in an effort to separate and hide the cream from the consumer. European studies show that this is dangerous and may cause heart disease [2]. Of course our FDA disputes this. Homogenized milk is quite unnatural!

Back in the 20’s Americans could buy raw, clean, grass-fed milk and cheese – and at that time milk-borne diseases were rare. Can you believe that suppliers of organic, raw milk today are required to display the words “Not fit for human consumption”? It’s true!

I firmly believe that true health starts in the colon. Raw milk contains the milk sugar “lactose” in its purest form, and lactose aids in digestion and elimination. And organic, raw milk is the only food that has it in a usable form! I personally am not a animal milk drinker, but if I was I would only consume raw goat milk.

The Nutritional Benefits of Raw Milk

Here’s just a sampling of the nutritional benefits of raw, organic milk

  • Organic, raw milk is a complete food, loaded with minerals, protein and vitamins. Raw milk contains an amazing selection of minerals ranging from calcium and phosphorus to trace elements. Pasteurization destroys them and they must be re-supplied.
  • Raw milk has 20 of the standard amino acids. [3]
  • Up to 80% of the proteins in raw milk are easy to digest — some are complex antibodies. [4]
  • Raw milk is abundant in calcium — legendary for its benefits for teeth, bones etc. [5]
  • It is also loaded with enzymes that have an array of health benefiting functions. [6]
  • Raw milk is alive with beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and protect against disease-carrying organisms. [7]

A Historical Look at Raw Milk

Humans have drank raw milk, long before the pasteurization process began. Here’s a look at the history of raw milk and how it was used for many generations before ours. [8]

  • The earliest possible records show that man valued milk intensely, including milk from goats, camels, horses, even reindeer! And most certainly it was of the unpasteurized, raw organic variety. Herdsmen in Asia coveted milk even before the Bible praised the “land of milk and honey.”
  • Most people don’t know that raw organic milk from grass-fed animals was actually used as a medicine in the 1920’s. The Mayo Foundation used a diet of raw milk as a remedy for heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, chronic fatigue and obesity. [9]
  • From the time of Hippocrates until just after World War II, this miracle food nourished and healed millions. Today, in Germany, successful raw milk therapy is provided in many hospitals. [10]
  • Studies show that raw milk is very effective in preventing scurvy and protecting against flu, diphtheria and pneumonia. Raw milk prevents tooth decay, even in children who eat a lot of sugar. [11]
  • And it’s amazing to think that, almost always, the folks known most for their great health and long life, like the Bulgarians and Russians, are heavy consumers of raw milk and milk products, not to mention that they eat hardly any meat!

How to Find Raw Milk

Raw Milk

There’s a huge demand today for organic raw milk and milk products. That’s because people are becoming more aware of the life-giving benefits of raw milk. But dairy farmers who have been supplying raw organic milk to consumers are increasingly at odds with local and state government, who are oblivious to the adverse effects of pasteurization.

In California, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation requiring pasteurization of all raw milk in California. California will go from being one of the most raw-milk friendly states to one of the most restrictive. And that’s a pity. [12]

Fortunately, an abundance of small organic farms across the country are willing to continue to stick their necks out and sell raw organic milk, and raw organic milk products like cheese, butter and yogurt – in spite of the risk from the long arm of the FDA. To find your own local source of raw organic milk check out The Weston A. Price Foundation, as well as

Or you can share part “ownership” of a healthy organically fed cow or goats. You just split the cost with other folks and the milk becomes yours, and thereby legal to drink! Believe it or not some people are forced to skirt the law by claiming its for their pets! In the meantime, it’s best to follow the advice of one of the pioneers of the natural health movements in America, Dr. Paavo Airola:

“If you cannot get a high-quality milk, raw and unpasteurized, guaranteed to be from organically raised animals and 100% free from chemical additives, drugs, detergents, and insecticide and herbicide residues, then you will be better off to omit milk and milk products from your diet.” [13]

As a vegan alternative, try drinking organic nut and seed milks. My favorite is Hemp Milk.


  1. Armchair Science, London. Raw milk vs. pasteurized milk. The Weston A. Price Foundation. 200 January 1.
  2. Does drinking milk contribute to heart disease? 2008 April 8.
  3. Healthy Eating Politics. Raw Milk: One of Nature’s Healthiest Foods.
  4. The Health Benefits of Raw Milk.
  5. Calcium.
  6. Sally Fallon Morell, Mary G. Enig PhD. Enzymes. The Weston A. Price Foundation. 200 January 1.
  7. Raymond Robinson, Pamela Robinson. Benefits of Raw Milk. Robinson Farm.
  8. The Weston A. Price Foundation. A Brief History of Raw Milk’s Long Journey.
  9. Terri L. Saunders. The Case for Raw Milk.
  10. Gordon Watson. Raw milk seen as an important part of natural-cancer-therapy-protocol. The Bovine. 2009 June 2.
  11. Ramiel Nagel, Dr. George W. Heard. Raw Milk Beats Tooth Decay.
  12. Ramiel Nagel. California’s Life-Giving Raw Milk Will Become Illegal March 2008. Natural News. 2007 November 28.
  13. Paavo Airola, Ph.D., N.D. The beauty of raw milk. The Facts on Milk. 2003 July.

  • Innes

    Repeated personal experiences makes for proof with ones person.
    From what I’ve known/seen/experienced,… optimum dietary is variable per person, even within the course of ones life beyond infanthood. Different people have different processing abilities, and different takes on what is adequate and appropriate for theirself.
    It’s beyond science, except if science makes allowance for all the variation.
    The pharmaceutical/standard doctor stance typically does not seek the source cure, but rather just masking the symptoms, rather than reducing/stopping what is causing the symptoms.

  • brian

    The reason raw milk has caused any problems is due to cows that are fed an unnatural diet of grains, hormones, and antibiotics, as well as being treated in horrible conditions stressing the animals. A sick animal will produce unhealthy milk that must be pasteurized.

    An animal that is fed grass and hay, alfalfa, and pasteured and not exposed to such horrid conditions is very unlikely to produce dangerous milk.

    Pasteurization makes all milk drinkable whether it starts off dangerous or not, but it is only neccessary when you have unhealthy cows treated poorly

  • deede

    What a corrupt business. Scary. Raw milk will turn into yoghurt in a day or so…for the enzymes are not destroyed…..remove cream from top, use it as U wish /we made butter out of it/ There is nothing mysterious about so called “greek yoghurt”…What are we feeding our children w/ is unreal!!!

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  • tina

    This is so far from the truth. Farmers work harder then MANY other professions and taking care of their herd comes first. Producers know that the key to improved milk production and ultimately profit for their career and family is through cow comfort. Just like any other business, there may be individuals who cut corners, but that doesn’t mean all farmers do and it’s unfortunate you say that cows are being treated in horrible conditions. Also, when a cow is sick, do you just want the farmer to not do anything? If you child was sick, would you not try and fix the problem to comfort them? Last, the hormones are mainly estrogen at a smaller doze than what women have in their birth control. Check your facts before you start bashing the hard working men and women who put food on your table. Technology is improving everyday as well, these farmers are very well educated and each day the industry is improving.

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