A few weeks ago Kate wrote about changing her (our) diet from non/low-fat dairy to include more full-fat dairy. The studies she had read about a possible link between low-fat dairy and infertility surprised me. Certainly this would be more well-known if it is true! I grew up with a low-fat diet, as did most people I know. Who in their right mind would drink full fat dairy? All that excess fat and calories are just unnecessary, right?
As most of you know, I am a videographer. Last month I started work as director of photography on a documentary about small farmers and food legislation with two local film producers. One of the big focuses of our documentary is the production and distribution of raw milk. I had never really heard of raw milk prior to this project (which, in case you haven’t heard of it either, is unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk… basically milk straight from the cow). Apparently the USDA and FDA try their hardest to keep this milk out of the hands of consumers. There are a few states where raw milk is legal to sell, but in most states it is illegal, or at least highly regulated, making it very difficult to obtain. Apparently in NYC there are Speakeasy-type establishments where people are illegally obtaining raw milk!
What I am finding, though, through working on this project are the HUGE health benefits of raw milk. Many milk drinkers who had digestion problems or lactose-intolerance switched to raw milk and were cured, drug-free (yes, apparently what most people think of as lactose-intolerance can often be more of pasteurization intolerance, but since no one can get their hands on raw milk, many don’t realize that). People have had serious allergies to all kinds of different things that have been cured by a diet of raw milk. We heard about an Amish community, too, that was experiencing widespread infertility problems, and were advised to switch to unpasteurized dairy. Lo and behold, many of the women became fertile as a result of the switch! So, is this some miracle drug? I don’t know… maybe. I have been drinking some as we have gone from farm to farm, and I have not turned into Superman yet, but there are some pretty remarkable findings. And what I am also finding is how important dairy fat is to us humans, especially women. WE NEED FAT. And it doesn’t mean we’ll be fat; quite the opposite, in fact. So Kate and I are slowly and reluctantly working our way UP the milk-fat chain. It feels strange and completely counter-intuitive… but it tastes so good!
(I DID bring Kate (illegally, actually) a ½ gallon of raw milk last week. A couple glasses and bowls of cereal did not immediately jump start her baby-maker, but it can’t hurt, right?)