The Raw Milk Experiment, Part I


Guess what I tried at the farmers’ market yesterday.  For the first time I noticed someone selling raw milk and they were giving out samples.  I jumped on it.  Not that I was all that excited to drink milk again.  It has been many years since I’ve had it, after discovering I had a dairy allergy, and just the thought of drinking it grosses me out.  But on the other hand, I’ve been reading and hearing about all the benefits of drinking real, pure raw milk and how many people who can’t have pasteurized milk can tolerate and benefit from drinking raw milk.  (See Milk: It Does No Body Good)  I never had a test to determine specifically whether it was the casein or the lactose I was reacting to, but this was one way to find out.  So I decided to try it without hesitation.  It was only a small cup, about a tablespoon-ful, so if I was going to have a reaction to it I figured it would be mild.


What a wierd experience, drinking milk!  It didn’t taste as bad as I’d remembered it, but I’m definitely not used to the taste so it would have to grow on me.  I do think that it tasted different and probably better than the homogenized, low-fat stuff I used to drink as a kid.  No surprise there.


Afterward, I thought, so what if I can drink raw milk without harm?  What am I going to do with it?  I don’t like to drink milk, it would be convenient if I could use it in recipes but if I’m cooking with it then it’s not raw anymore and then I’m defeating the purpose of having it in the first place.  Well, I could use it on granola.  Or in a smoothie.  But I love the taste of my homemade almond milk.  Even though it can be a pain to make.  But perhaps if had a little every now and then it would actually have a healing effect on my digestion.  I have heard that to be true.


I’ve been experimenting a lot this year already.  Last Monday I made pasta with sauteed portabello mushroom.  I tried mushrooms (an old allergy) over a year ago and believe to have broken out from them, an old reaction.  However, it’s been almost a week now since eating them and I seem to be in the clear.  Not that I’m going to go crazy and eat mushrooms all the time.  I learned the key to moderation when I overdid it with goat cheese after discovering I could now tolerate that as well.  Eating it every other day is definitely too much for an old problem food (it just tasted so good!).  This time I’m sticking to the old rotation diet, going four days in between consuming the food in question.  Just to be safe, I’ll try it once a week or once every other week.


So far it’s too soon to tell if I’m going to react to the milk.  I was a little bloated last night but I did have a huge bowl of split pea soup and that can have that effect.  I’ll know if my skin is still clear on Wednesday that I didn’t react.  Then maybe I’ll try a larger portion and see if I still tolerate it before I let my guard down.  If all goes well, is having a glass of milk once a week enough to justify buying it?  It is quite expensive.  I’ll have to get my husband to try it as well.  If we can both handle it, it might be worth it.  At least it would give me peace of mind.


Has anyone else gone through this process?  Constantly trying old problem foods, to see if we are healed?  Sometimes it works, sometimes you need more time, sometimes you can never go back.  I’d love to hear your stories.  In any case, I will keep you posted on mine.  (Click here to read on in The Raw Milk Experiment, Part II.)

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