I believe that it can be either, depending to a large extent on how it is produced, how it is processed and by whom it is consumed. Admittedly, not everyone can tolerate milk. I personally do not do well with lactose and so the only dairy I consume are butter, cheese and lactose free milk and yoghurt.
Milk in my eyes is a superfood when it comes from grass fed cows grazing actively growing diverse pastures in a natural setting. That is, cows being fed the way nature intended.
Mungalli goes a step further in that the farms are Demeter Certified Biodynamic/Organic and so no soluble fertilizers, poisons, antibiotics or GMO’s are used. On top of this, our permanent pastures are a diverse mix of grasses, legumes, herbs and so-called weeds. Rotational grazing is used so that the pasture is fed off at the optimum time which imparts the maximum nutritional benefit to the milk. Because of our reliable rainfall, temperate climate, fertile soils and pristine environment, our cows have access to high quality pasture all year round.
At the other extreme are the high density feedlot or factory dairy farms, where the cows are kept in confined areas and fed poor quality, often GM forages and excessive grain, cotton seed and protein concentrates. These rations have been formulated to maximize production and the highly bred cows produce an enormous amount of milk often for a relatively short period of time before they are burnt out and replaced. The poorly- mineralised forages are produced from annual crops that require soluble fertilisers, poisons and mechanisation to cultivate, plant, irrigate, harvest and feed out to cows. Imagine how much man-made energy is consumed to produce a litre of milk in this setting?
Because these high producing cows are pushed so hard with grain and protein they often get mastitis, develop metabolic problems and have trouble going back into calf, which leads to a dependence on antibiotics, hormonal treatments and buffers and correspondingly high vet bills.
Could this be the reason that many doctors and alternative practitioners are recommending that their patients give up dairy? Is milk the problem or is it rather the way it is produced and processed?
In my eyes, raw milk is the perfect way to consume milk. As this is illegal in Australia, Mungalli process the milk as minimally as possible, simply filtering and pasteurising for the least amount of time and lowest temperature allowed.
Many other processors however clarify, separate, standardise, pasteurise and homogenise, which results in a watery looking white liquid that is very different from the healthy nutritious food that left the farm.
Could homogenisation, which is an unnecessary cosmetic process that stops the cream rising to the top, be harmful to our health? Is it necessary to drastically change the physical characteristics of milk using enormous pressures and shear?
The less food is processed the better. I personally feel that cows should eat predominantly pasture because that’s what they have evolved to do and the cream should rise to the top in milk as nature intended.
What do you think?