Join the Primal Health Tribe!
Join Primal!


How Milk Became So Dangerous

How Milk Became So Dangerous

How Milk Became So Dangerous

The conflicting information is driving us all mad!! On the one hand we hear: Milk Does a Body Good!. It’s essential for calcium requirements, Vitamin D, strong bones and healthy children. On the other hand we hear: Milk causes mucus. It leads to lactose intolerance and ear infections. It’s too fatty. It contains Bovine Growth Hormone. Our societal response to this confusion is low-fat milk, skim milk, no-fat milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, organic milk, BGH-free milk, no milk. Just more confusion. So what’s gone wrong and where do we go from here?

Once Upon a Time…The Milk Was Raw

As far back as 9,000 years ago, cows, sheep, goats, water buffalo and camels munched exclusively on the rapidly growing green grass of early spring and fall. Milk was squeezed from the healthy animals udders, then drunk fresh by humans. The fresh milk these animals produced provided animal protein and fat, a rich supply of vitamins and minerals, and other life-giving enzymes and nutrients to the healthy nomadic and agricultural societies of some parts of the world. When the milk sat out for too long, it didn’t go off, but instead, it simply soured and became cream cheese and whey. Many of these traditional societies further fermented or soured the milk to produce yoghurt, cheese, buttermilk, kefir and sour cream… foods full of friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes.

Today the Milk is Diseased and Processed

In today’s industrial society, dairy cows have little or no access to their proper diet of green grass. Instead, they are fed high-protein soybean meal which stimulates them to produce more milk but in turn leads to high rates of mastitis, liver problems and other illnesses. The cows are given genetically engineered growth hormones so that they will produce huge amounts of milk, but too much growth hormones leads to growth abnormalities and possibly tumour formations and cancers. With her new diet and hormones, today’s cow is prone to so many diseases that she almost always excretes pus into her milk and needs frequent doses of antibiotics. Needless to say, her milk is just as diseased as she is.

Pasteurisation: Processing the Milk

So in an attempt to protect himself against disease, man pasteurises the diseased milk, subjecting it to extremely high heats. This actually further degrades the milk in numerous ways:

  • Pasteurisation is no guarantee of cleanliness: In recent decades, all outbreaks of salmonella (and there have been many) have occurred in pasteurised milk.
  • Pasteurisation destroys all the enzymes in milk, including lactase, which helps digest lactose (contributing to lactose intolerance), and numerous enzymes which help the body absorb calcium and other minerals. This puts a strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.
  • Pasteurisation destroys friendly lactic-acid producing bacteria in milk which aid digestion and protect against pathogens (making it vulnerable to rancidity and salmonella).
  • Pasteurisation promotes rancidity of milk’s fatty acids and alters the amino acids (proteins).
  • Pasteurisation promotes destruction of vitamins. Vitamin loss is usually 50-80%.
Louis Pasteur
On his death bed, Louis Pasteur, inventor of Pasteurisation, recanted his germ theory

The Final Touches: Toxification

The milk is not quite ready for the supermarket shelves yet. Next, chemicals may be added to suppress the bad odour and bring back the normal taste (both a result of the pasteurisation). Synthetic vitamin D3 is added, which is hard for the body to absorb, and synthetic D2 is added, which has been linked to heart disease among other things. Powdered skim milk is added to certain varieties, which contains rancid fats harmful to the arteries, nitrate compounds that are potent carcinogens, and a neurotoxin called free glutamic acid. Lastly, the milk is homogenised, which has also been linked to heart disease.

Which Types of Milk Should We Drink?

X Non-fat and Low-fat Milk: Diseased and Pasteurised. Plus, these are the varieties that powdered skim milk is added to, which I just described in the last paragraph as a toxic mess.
X Soy Milk: Most soybeans are genetically modified. Unfermented soy can greatly disrupt the hormonal and digestive system. Most soy milks contain sugar.
X Oat Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk: Processed and/or unsoaked grains and nuts strain the digestive system. The extrusion process used to get milk from grains or nuts often involves high heat and pressure which renders the food rancid and devoid of nutrients.
X Organic Milk:Healthy cows, healthy milk but then what a shame pasteurised! If you absolutely must have milk and can’t get it raw, this is the better bad choice.
v Raw Milk:Healthy, life-giving milk like our ancient ancestors drank. The bad news: thanks to pasteurisation laws in Australia and America, it is illegal to sell raw milk as food. The good news: you can buy delicious raw milk sold as bath milk for cosmetic purposes. Contact me to find out where!
v No Milk:If you don’t have access to good quality raw milk, remove milk from your diet altogether. Milk’s main partners in crime cereal and coffee aren’t doing your health many favours either.
Cleopatra Milk
RAW Cleopatra Milk in Australia

What About Calcium?

Many of us are determined to drink milk because we’ve been led to believe that it is the only way to get enough calcium in our diet (by the dairy companies marketing). However, hasn’t anyone noticed that Western nations with high dairy consumption still have high rates of osteoporosis and tooth decay? Reasons for this include:

  • Pasteurisation thwarts all the body’s chances of absorbing calcium from milk.
  • Sugar consumption and stress (both rampant in our society) both pull calcium from the bones.
  • Phytic acid in unsoaked grains (consumed recklessly in our society) inhibits calcium absorption.
  • Sufficient Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption. Yet we shy away from some of the best sources of
    Vit D: the sun, organ meats, eggs, and butterfat.
  • Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Potassium and other nutrients need to be obtained in proper balance
    to provide optimal bone health (the average Western diet is often lacking).

In many Asian countries and other societies where dairy is not consumed, bone broth is a diet staple. This is a highly nutritious addition to any diet.Other good sources of calcium include leafy greens, nuts, oranges, broccoli, sweet potatoes, sardines and wild salmon.

RAW Cheese Ingredient List
One of the few raw cheeses for sale in Australia. Made in Europe, where raw milk and cheese is considered the standard for high-quality dairy.

Other Dairy: Yoghurt, Cheese, Butter and more

Only in the West is milk consumed in an unfermented or uncultured state. Pre-industrial societies consumed milk as yoghurt, cheese, butter, sour cream, buttermilk, kefir, curds and whey. If made properly from good-quality dairy, these foods have tremendous health benefits. Raw is still best, but these foods can still be beneficial when pasteurised. The process of fermenting or souring milk partially breaks down lactose (milk sugar), predigests casein (one of the most difficult proteins for the body to digest), and increases vitamin content. Adding a culture to the milk (such as with yoghurt) restores many of the enzymes destroyed during pasteurisation and provides friendly bacteria and lactic acid to keep pathogens away, guard against infectious illnesses and aid in digestion of all food intake.

Your Final Decision

Since we have veered so far from our ancestral ways, food choices are an increasingly confusing and stressful issue. After all you have read here, you will also find lots of articles and people telling you that raw milk is unsafe and pasteurisation is very safe. My advice: instead of following the pack or stressing (both detrimental), do some reading, gather some information and make the right choice for you. If you need guidance in doing this, just give me a shout !

Yours in health, Bex


– Nourishing Traditions; Sally Fallon. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing, 1999.
– The Primal Blueprint; Mark Sisson. California: Primal Nutrition, Inc. 2009.
– How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy; Paul Chek. California: C.H.E.K. Institiute. 2006
– The Bovine: Freedom of Choice.

How Milk Became So Dangerous – July 2012

  • Donna
    Posted at 21:48h, 01 August Reply

    Hi could you please tell me where I can get Cleopatras milk from. I live in Diamond Creek Vic. Many thanks

    • Bex
      Posted at 11:05h, 03 August Reply

      Hi Donna, The best way to is ask at your local organic stores or co-ops. In addition to Cleopatra’s, there is another brand called Swampy’s. I found this info. with a bit of internet searching: “Swampy’s Real Milk can be found in various organic stores around Melbourne, VIC – Swampy is based in Warrnambool, and he’s a truly lovely bloke that loves his farm and his animals. His eggs are AMAZING, and he’ll soon be producing butter! The best way to get in touch is to ask at your local organic store. Mine is Organically Yours in Balwyn, and they usually have a good supply of milk after Swampy makes his delivery on Wednesday afternoon.” If you find some, feel free to comment where, to help out others in your area. Thanks! Bex

      • John
        Posted at 16:18h, 02 April Reply

        I just got some Swampy’s unpasteurised keifer milk from The Fruit Peddler’s in Westgarth, High Street. I’m about to drink it but a bit scared but will try it anyway

        • Bex
          Posted at 18:48h, 02 April Reply

          That’s great that you found some high quality kefir, John! Do your research and talk to people about the milk and producer before drinking, so you can feel more at ease about having it. Remember that we can make anything toxic that we put in or on our bodies, if we have negative thoughts and feelings about it. Thanks for letting our other readers know where they can buy that milk in Northcote, VIC, Australia!

          • John
            Posted at 15:39h, 03 April

            Thanks Bex for providing this great informative site. I did lots of research on it but felt a little scared because of the labelling laws for raw and fermented milk. I’m having trouble finding swampy’s contact details. I wanted to ask about the shelf life of Keifer milk once I open the bottle???
            I’ve already tried it in cereal and its great.

          • Bex
            Posted at 12:19h, 05 April

            We make our own kefir, as it’s sooo easy and cheap (just the cost of the raw milk), and the kefir grains can be reused to make more forever. If you can get your hands on some kefir grains, just google how to make kefir from raw milk and there are great how-to videos that we followed. Another awesome thing about raw milk is that when it is no longer fresh, it doesn’t spoil or “go off”. It just sours and if left out will become curds (cheese) and whey. Because kefir is a fermented food, or rather drink, it will last indefinitely in the fridge (think sauerkraut, pickles, etc.)! Glad you’re enjoying it!

  • bradrasmus
    Posted at 20:36h, 12 August Reply

    Great debates going on at the channel 7 FB page. RAW milk baby!

  • Primal Health - Why Breakfast Cereal Ruins Your Day | Primal Health
    Posted at 18:32h, 27 December Reply

    […] The short answer is that the milk is just as detrimental. For the long answer, read How Milk Became So Dangerous. […]

  • The Dangers of Kids Living on Healthy Treats | Primal Health
    Posted at 14:36h, 09 February Reply

    […] of serving up snacks that are nothing more than nutrient deficient processed grains, pasteurised dairy, or fruit dehydrated of everything except its sugars, how about a nutritious raw vegetable or fresh […]

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Sorry - Our ancestral wisdom is protected!