Is dairy paleo? Revising history with new persectives on flocks of goats, femur bones and feckless nutritionism

Is dairy paleo? Revising history with new persectives on flocks of goats, femur bones and feckless nutritionism

By | January 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm | 53 comments | Nutrition | Tags: , , ,

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If you’ve been eyeing the Paleo diet as a way to lose weight, but don’t want to bid goodbye to butter and cheese, I’ve got good news for you.

One thing I love about the Paleo movement is a willingness to challenge the status quo. A few decades ago, people of Paleo were universally against dairy. Today, the attitude towards dairy is undergoing a transformation. Still, the official word on dairy is a luke-warm maybe rather than the resounding yes I think it deserves to be. I believe many of us can add dairy into our diet not just for good health, but also to more accurately reproduce a true Paleolithic era diet.

You can get a sense of the arguments both for and against dairy by reading informative and entertaining posts written by a couple of prominent Paleo figures, Mark Sisson and Chris Kresser.

Here’s my summary of the pertinent pro-dairy and anti-dairy arguments:

From the anti-dairy camp

There’s a vast volume of published literature on the harms of casein, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Each one of these components has been shown, individually in animal studies, to be associated with health harms. So, the anti-dairy crowd asserts, if each individual component might be a little bit bad, just imagine how bad all three are in combination!

From the pro-dairy camp

This is not milk.

None of the animal studies performed by members of the anti-dairy camp use milk in its natural state. Research comparing whole, fresh milk to processed (pasteurized/homogenized, or dehydrated and reconstituted) shows that animals fed processed milk develop osteoporotic bones, enlarged and fatty livers and hearts, whereas the animals fed fresh milk do not. They conclude that raw milk and processed milk are inherently different and products and it follows that they would have different health effects. This is why they recommend consuming unprocessed dairy, in the form of fresh milk, cream, butter, homemade kefir, or raw milk cheese. (Yoghurt is typically made with pasteurized milk.)

Understanding flaws in the anti-dairy research

We should hesitate before giving any weight to studies that use—rather than actual whole milk—processed and refined milk components. There are a couple reasons for this.

First, the whole food-effect. Milk is a whole food and saturated fat, cholesterol, and casein are not. We know that nutrients in isolation from their food source can actually be harmful. One example is calcium, which has been associated with higher risk of heart attacks http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21505219 when consumed as a supplement but not when calcium comes from whole foods, including dairy.

Second, the extraction-effect. Extracting and isolating components from milk changes their molecular structure in ways that appear to generate toxins. This kind of alteration upon extraction is the reason sunflower oil is harmful (the PUFAs have been distorted by heat and bleaching agents to generated toxic trans fats), while whole sunflower seeds, especially when consumed raw (or soaked and gently dried) are good for us. This extraction-effect is probably why there’s an abundance of research showing that casein can be harmful.

This is a 3-D representation of Lactoferrin, a component of milk that directly stimulates bone growth, among other important effects. Destroying the 3-D structure by, for example dehydrating or heating milk, means milk will no longer have this health benefit.

Casein undergoes significant changes when it’s extracted from fluid suspension as a colloid in milk and transformed to a dehydrated powder. Within the hidden world of milk exists a microcosm of minuscule living micro-organs all working synergistically to create an intended effect: Provide optimal nourishment to a newborn mammal. Disrupting that micro-ecology in any way impairs milk’s ability to serve its nutrient-giving function.

We don’t typically think of milk as being an ecology with a purpose, but it really is. Seen this way it makes perfect sense why dehydration and other processing can be injurious.

We’ve all seen movies of millions of spermatozoa wriggling across a highly magnified slide of glass. And we know that each of those ambitious tadpoles carries the sacred message of life encoded in its packet of DNA. Here again, we have a micro-ecology with a purpose, in this case fertilization with a complete, intact set of haploid chromosomes. Do you suppose that one might lower their chances of having a healthy baby if, prior to introduction, the spermatozoa had been dehydrated to a chalky white powder, stored for a few months at room temperature, and then reconstituted?

Where milk is made. This a diagram of a milk-producing cell. At the top of the diagram, the small and large specks represent milk fat and protein that is excreted into the milk duct. Pasteurizing and homogenizing destroy the 3-dimensional structure, and with it the ability for your body to use the nutrients in milk as nature intented.

 

Because the studies the anti-dairy crowd are so fond of citing do not use real milk but rather reconstituted components, for this reason, those studies have very little to tell us about the potential benefits or harms of real milk. If they want to learn more about real milk, they should start studying real milk.

Since not all of us have access to fresh milk, I’m going to take a brief moment to comment on whether or not pasteurized dairy is better than none. There are studies suggesting pasteurized milk leads to abnormal growth. However these studies should be interpreted with caution because they compared animals only the two milks, and no other food what so ever–hardly a real life comparison. More relevant to the question of can pasteurized milk contribute to an otherwise balanced diet are some depression-era studies on orphan boys who were fed pasteruized milk as part of a standard orphanage diet (who knows how well balanced) versus boys denied the milk and given extra helpings of something else. The boys who got the milk grew taller than the boys who did not, indicating that pasteurized milk may be far better than no milk. (From Third Annual Raw Milk Conference)

The Flawed Science of Nutritionism

Dairy products are not the only foods subject to controversy. One can find arguments both for and against the consumption of just about everything in the grocery store, be it carrots, crucifers, crackers—or cheese.

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto eloquently describes how deeply the science of nutrition is flawed, and coins the pejorative term nutritionism to convey the idea that most nutrition science is not worthy of being considered an honest-to-goodness, objective science. It’s flaws often stem from the fact that research is funded by food manufacturers striving to find a way to call their processed products healthy. He advises extreme caution in interpreting most nutrition-related research and I think that’s wise.

Given that the bulk of the research on dairy is done using processed milk components, no wonder the Paleo movement is struggling to interpret the evidence. I’d like to reframe the argument from the starting point of good old fashioned common sense.

Deciding who to believe: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Carl Sagan and other scientists throughout history lay difficult arguments to rest by reminding us that the burden of scientific proof should rest with the side making the most extraordinary claims. From where I sit, it appears the more extraordinary claims are emerging from the anti-dairy camp.

For example, we know milk is good for babies. I cannot think of a more natural, wholesome image than a mother nursing her child. The anti-dairy folks suggest, however, that sometime between infancy and adulthood, a radical physiologic change occurs, one that re-orders this healthful relationship to dairy into one of antagonism. At a certain age, milk goes from being entirely healthy to not so much. If they are right about this, then milk would be the only food I’ve heard of that goes from good for us to bad for us based solely on our age.

He may talk tough, but he always drinks milk.

If you are fond of dairy, understand that its not your job to prove a negative: This radial physiologic change does not take place. If the anti-dairy folks produce compelling evidence that it does, I’m sure they’ll let us know.

Before anyone jumps in to cite lactose intolerance, which is more common as we age, as an example of an age-related physiologic change let me put a stop to that. Lactase is an enzyme in the intestinal wall that enables us to digest the most abundant milk sugar, lactose. As with any enzyme in your body, lack of use will down-regulate it, and some people are genetically more prone to having this enzyme shut down than others. But even people with lactose intolerance can enjoy the wide world of fermented (yoghurt and cheeses) and other reduced-lactose dairy (butter and cream). In many areas of the world, dairy is drunk fresh only by young children, and everyone else consumes dairy only after some kind of fermentation. This is likely the reason lactase genes tend to shut down as people get older.

If milk is good does that mean its also Paleo? 

That is the question we’ll consider in part 2, of Is Dairy Paleo, coming out next!

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53 Comments

  1. Sheri (1 year ago)

    Do you think organic whole un-homogenized milk that is vat pasteurized much better than organic un-homogenized whole milk that is pasteurized in the regular way? Or do you think calling something “vat pasteurized” is just marketing that attempts to woo folks who are wary about pasteurization? My understanding is that ultra-pasteurization heats milk to 280 degrees for 2 seconds, regular pasteurization heats milk to 161 degrees for 15 seconds, and vat pasteurization heats it to 145 for 30 seconds. Is the difference between 145 and 161 degrees enough to mitigate the problems with pasteurized milk discussed in your book?

    So if I have to drive an hour to get grass-fed raw milk, and there are weeks that I don’t have time to do this, do you think it would be better to get organic whole vat pasteurized milk or to just skip the milk those weeks? I’ve also seen 100% grass-fed un-homogenized pasteurized milk. Does the grass-fed part outweigh the vat vs. regular pasteurization?

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (1 year ago)

      I’d go for the 100% grass-fed un-homogenized pasteurized milk.

      Another band-aid option would be the yogurts and kefirs and other fermented (though pasteurized) dairy products that are grass fed.

      And of course the raw milk grass fed cheeses are in some ways and for some ages even healthier than the ideal raw, pasteurized milk, due to the fact that the fermentation reduces the sugar content.

  2. Princess Pink Paw (1 year ago)

    I was never one to consume large amounts of dairy but five years ago I became lactose intolerant. Luckily in the UK we have lactofree milk, cheese,yogurt and ice cream. My friends and family thought it was in my head and would substitute lactofree for normal without my knowledge and were surprised when I became ill. I think I found a cause of my intolerance, as around the time I became intolerant the helicobacter pylori bacteria was found in my stomach and there has been some correlation between this and lactose intolerance nothing that health professionals will note though, but then we are all different. I have found sheep’s milk to be a good option for myself and although I follow paleo I do enjoy the odd bit of dairy.

    • JR Hunn (1 year ago)

      I enjoyed the “spermatazoa” metaphor. I had never heard that one before.

      Below is a link to some more recent humor from me, with this one culminating in a mockery of the idea of invasion by contagious nutritional imbalances (like scurvy, diabetes, cancer, etc) as in external of myths of demonic possession applied to the labels of medical diagnosis- like being possessed by diabetes or blindness or cancer or intoxication. “The bottle of wine attacked me and forced me to open it and pour it all in my mouth, and then, shockingly, I was possessed by a contagious intoxication as myself and a cluster of other people got totally sloshed on New Year’s Eve.”

      http://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/mds-on-nutrition-my-eyelids-are-blinding-me/

  3. Marsha Bennett (1 year ago)

    I forgot to say I am in Australia, so there is no raw milk option.

    • Mary Collis (1 year ago)

      Hi Marsha, I live on the edge of Sydney and me and my friends have been able to get access to raw milk in large quantities for years. For a few years I milked a friend’s cow twice a week and got over 16L a WEEK (and up to 13 L a week in Springtime)!!! Then another friend did the milking for me. The I found a man who milked lots of cows and sold the raw milk. Then I bought it shipped from organic farms in both Victoria and Queensland. Don’t believe it’s not there. it’s all around – but it illegal, so you have to ask people, and eventually you’ll find a suitable local source. I’ve given talks to groups on the importance of raw milk , declined to give details out publicly, and many people have gone away and found their own raw milk sources that I didn’t even know about! Australia is a good place to live if you want raw milk and fresh produce and free range meat. All the best with your search.

      • Mary Collis (1 year ago)

        That is – 23L in springtime…..not 13L

  4. Marsha Bennett (1 year ago)

    Dr Cate, I have recently started the paleo way of eating. I have a 2.5 year old daughter who drinks a lot of cow’s milk (she was breastfed for 26 months and weaned herself).
    I’ve just read this statement on Dr Cordain’s website which is really quite alarming:
    “Early consumption (less than 1-2 yrs of age) of cow milk by infants increases the risk for type 1 diabetes”. My daughter started drinking cow’s milk from about 12 months of age, in addition to breastfeeding.

    I am confused as to whether I should switch her over to coconut milk. I realize that if I do, I will need to make sure she gets calcium from other sources – she’s a pretty good eater but goes through phases where she won’t touch a leafy green vegetable!
    I was leaning towards keeping butter and cheese in her diet, but am unsure what to do in regards to milk. I’d love to know what you suggest, if you have time. Thank you.

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (1 year ago)

      The research on correlations is always to be taken with a grain of salt. Correlation does not equal causation and there is no plausible mechanism by which milk might cause type 1 diabetes. We have almost no research to support use of coconut oil over cow’s milk, and we do have abundant reason to believe cow’s milk is perfectly fine for children over 2 years of age.

      I’d get the best quality cow’s milk or, even better since raw is not available, yoghurt, cheese, or kefir (unsweetened) that is available to you and let her enjoy. Do the best you can today. You can always do better tomorrow.

  5. Pauline (1 year ago)

    I believe Loren Cordain proposed dairy contributes to gut permeability. What are your thoughts regarding this? I recently heard discussion on superhumanradio that there are different health effects between A1 and A2 milk. If memory serves me well A1 milk is associated with ill effects. It is possible to eat well without consuming dairy – no.

    BTW out of all the books and blogs I have read re ancestral eating et al., for me yours has been the most fun, interesting and well argued. Thank you.

  6. Mike (1 year ago)

    Dr Cate, it seems odd to me that humans are the only species to drink the milk of other animals. Moreover, comparing breast milk (human milk which is more consistent with paleo) and supporting its health benefits doesn’t provide evidence that cow milk is good for you. Of course, cow milk was not consumed in the paleolithic era – another clue that it is not intended for humans as many people struggle with it (lactose) and another inconsistency with the Paleo Diet.

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (1 year ago)

      Most of the points you raise have been addressed elsewhere by others, for example the “only species to do X” argument. However, in part two of this discussion I’ve described evidence about the origins of humankind’s dependence on ungulates that I think has gone ignored by Dr Cordain and his followers.

      • Mike (1 year ago)

        I’d like to focus on my points regarding cow milk and the Paleo believe system if ok with you. If you are aware of counterpoints available at other locations, would you please pass along some sites I can visit? I’d love to carefully review the arguments – thank you.

        • Dr. Cate

          Dr. Cate (1 year ago)

          Mike, I offer my reasoning behind my dairy IS paleo assertion on the next chronological post. Mark Sisson drinks cream in his coffee so perhaps he would agree… Also please read my pertinent posts on dairy and the comments to the posts, which address all the issues you raise.

  7. Samantha (1 year ago)

    Yes, all dairy affects me the same way, even a couple of small squares dark chocolate, or a blob of cream in coffee, yogurts – full fat and reduced fat, and definitely all cheeses. The more I have, the worse it is, and the longer it takes to go away. No other symptoms are obvious, except that in the last few years I tend to get sinus infections with a cold, and also my energy levels are not greatly increased after cutting out a lot of carbs – but I guess, low energy is caused by many things….

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (1 year ago)

      Hmmm. There’s some troubleshoot tests we could go over if you like to better establish what your dairy issues come from and find out exactly what you need to avoid and — this is the potential payback — what you can have to nourish your body and avoid symptoms. This would be something we could do over a couple half hour phone consultations, if you want to pursue this. In June I’ll be establishing this kind of service, so stay tuned!

  8. Samantha (1 year ago)

    Hi Dr Cate,

    Every time I consume dairy I get mucous in my throat, almost immediately, and it bothers me for about 30mins and then goes. In Australia, we can’t get raw dairy, so I can’t swap to see if it would be any better. I absolutely love eating dairy, but I’m wondering if this reaction to it is a sign that more damage is being done to my body in the long run, as I might be able to put up with the mucousy throat if that is all it is. Also, I’ve recently gone low-carb too, trying to be Paleo.

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (1 year ago)

      Do cheese, cream, or yoghurt affect you this way?

  9. Michelle (2 years ago)

    Hi Dr. Cate,
    I LOVE your book! But now I’m even more confused about dairy because I’ve read most of the Paleo books and Paleo blogs/podcasts out there. My main concern is acne. I have a new, unopened bottle of Lifeway’s Organic Whole Milk Kefir, and am now unsure if I should start drinking it because it may cause future breakouts. Can you explain more about the connection between dairy (kefir) and insulin spikes (which I think is linked to acne)?

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      Much is written. Not all of it should be.
      I have never found the arguments for a supposed dairy induced insulin spike compelling. Some people are sensitive to the mixture of growth and sex hormones in milk and develop a specific type of acne, called cystic acne, which clears on stopping the dairy.

  10. Brooke (2 years ago)

    Can drinking raw milk when you are lactose intolerant cause long term damages to your digestion system or are the symptoms just temporary and have no long term impact?

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      Gassing and bloating is due to bacterial fermentation of excess sugar (lactose). No tissue damage and totally temporary.

  11. Anders (2 years ago)

    What about the lectin? Cordein talks about the harm of lectin in dairy. What are your thoughts about that?
    Is lectin a part of all dairy products?

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      It is my understanding that lectins are detected in numerous, perhaps all, multicellular organism and some bacteria, and I’m quite sure we’ll never tease out exactly what all of them do but generally they function to assist with cell adhesion and determination of self-nonself. I suspect whatever biological activity they have for the organism that made them is largely deactivated by digestive acids and enzymes of animals that ingest them.

  12. Helen South (2 years ago)

    How do raw milk producers address concerns about infection? I realize some reports are sensationalist, as industry seeks to suppress small competitors, but there is certainly some validity to the concerns and health issues need to be dealt with.

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/299/4/402.full

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      Hi Helen
      Raw milk producers take safetly issues very seriously. After all, they are usually feeding their own children with their product. If you are interested in the farmer’s processes and the microbiology you could check out recordings of the milk conferences, available here: https://www.farmtoconsumer.net/EducationalDVD-RMS2011.asp

  13. Jim Kling (2 years ago)

    Melanie, just north of most of the Amish and PA Dutch, but I have pretty easy access to raw milk, and it’s closer to $5 than $7. There are a lot of farms I’ve gotten bulk pastured meats from that also sell raw milk, but usually I just go to a local farmers’ market because it’s closer. There’s also a health food store nearby that sells it.

    Just curious if you’re buying directly from the farmers? If not, eatwild.com is a great resource. Lancaster County should have plenty of raw milk suppliers.

    Karen and Cate, I agree that it’s possible to eat well on a budget. I find it amazing that so many people cite the cost of eating well, but still find a way to work fast food and eating out at chain restaurants into their budgets. Quite often, I think it just comes down to the fact that people don’t want to be bothered to do their own cooking. My wife is quite happy that I don’t share that point of view!

  14. melanie (2 years ago)

    FYI, CA raw milk is around $15 per gallon. I think he left out a “1.” I just moved from DC where we could be a gallon of raw milk from Amish farmers in Pennsylvania for around $7. A lot of the price difference has to do with how lush the grass is where the cows graze…

  15. Dr. Cate

    Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

    Karen
    I lost count of the many healthy 70 and 80 year old patients of mine who report they feel “blessed with good health” and have offered testimony to the success of their hard working, good-planning moms (and dads) with the simple phrase “We were poor, but we always ate well.” Thank you for your story.

  16. Karen JOy (2 years ago)

    Holy buckets. I had a lot of typos! Sorry about that!!

  17. Karen JOy (2 years ago)

    I love this article (and part II — can’t wait for part III!). I have long been a “clean eater”, and am in a “continual improvement process” for my diet, and for my family’s diet. We’re a one-income family, as I stay at home (and homeschool) our five children. We’ve been gluten-free for nine years, since the celiac diagnosis of my now-10yo son and of myself. Lately, I’ve been eating “Paleo plus cream and hard cheese and some legumes” and am thrilled about your most recent articles, which really confirm what I’ve innately chosen, at least as far as milk is concerned.

    A few thoughts:

    1) Addressing Patrick’s comment: I was just thinking, last night, (before I read this article) that it *IS* possible to eat clean/healthy/organic/raw/whatever on a really tight budget. However, it takes EFFORT. I typically spread my shopping over seven different stores. For instance, I can buy a 10 lb bag of organic carrots at Costco for $5. That’s cheaper than “regular” carrots, but I have to make sure we consume all 10 lbs to make it economically viable. We eat a lot of carrots. :) Also, I do virtually all of my grocery shopping at stores 25 min+ from my home, even though there are a both a Walmart and a Kroger-based chain about 7 min from my home. Why? Because Walmart and Kroger don’t carry enough healthy foods at good enough prices to make it worth it. I can only get raw dairy about half of the year, when I participate in a CSA (for $25/week) which provides raw dairy (cow and goat) and myriad veggies, organically grown. That’s an effort, too — an extra trip. That’s worth it. I’ve found it’s NOT worth it, though, to drive 25 min to buy one $10 gallon of raw milk from a different provider on the off-CSA-season. With very few exceptions, I don’t buy pre-packaged, pre-made, boxed or frozen items. I pay less and prepare more. I also have a small but fruitful garden — it’s only about 6′ x 18′, and it doesn’t meet all our veggie needs, but it meets some of them, and I feel FABULOUS feeding my family with organically-raised produce that is nurtured by our homemade compost. We’re on a really, really tight budget, and we have a lot of mouths to feed, but by golly, we’re all eating extremely healthy!!

    So, it’s all about the choices you make, and how much of an effort you’re willing to take to eat healthy, instead of just doing your shopping at the cheapest, closest place. And, deciding which food-battles are worth fighting, and which are not.

    Also, to Linda, my 10yo son is severely allergic to dairy — even small amounts of cow dairy of any kind trigger an asthma attach, and larger amounts of dairy produce near anaphylaxis. HOWEVER… we discovered that he can drink both cow and goat dairy — with ZERO problems — when the milk is raw. When we can’t have raw milk, I discovered that sheepmilk cheese is well-tolerated by him. (No, I don’t pay the $20+/lb a price from a “normal” grocery store for sheep cheese. I buy it at Trader Joe’s, where it is still $6-10/lb, but I buy small wedges, and we make it last.)

  18. Is Dairy Paleo? From drcate.com « Kind Food Farm (2 years ago)

    [...] the rest see:  Is dairy paleo? Revising history with new persectives on flocks of goats, femur bones and feckless n…. Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrintMoreStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the [...]

  19. Dr. Cate

    Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

    Mike
    There’s no single food that’s ever an absolute requirement, so just focus on their love of cheese and explore that wonderful world. Also, don’t forget bone broths, dark green veggies, and seeds as mineral sources.

  20. Kim (2 years ago)

    Patrick says that raw milk is expensive at $5 a gallon in Calif. Here in Boise, Idaho, raw milk is $18 per gallon. That is just plain taking advantage.

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      KIM!!!!!
      You’d be better of buying an acre and a miniature Jersey.

  21. Mike (2 years ago)

    Dr. Cate, I’m hoping you could address whether teenage girls and young women who are healthy, active in sports, and otherwise following a paleo diet (with butter and cheese) must drink whole milk strictly for the purpose of fulfilling calcium requirements, in order to ward off osteoporosis later in life. In this case the milk would be processed. Thank you for your informative and valuable website!

  22. Linda (2 years ago)

    Dr Cate,
    I have been told that I am allergic to dairy. My symptoms are sinus congestion and runny nose. After cumulative days of having dairy I even find that my voice becomes hoarse and I experience post nasal drip. I was told that I can have goat’s milk/cheese. Not my favorite. Would you recommend that I go off dairy all together or should I try to go raw and free range? Thank you!

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      The symptoms you describe may be due to IgA allergy, in which case switching to a different species may help. Or due to hypersensitivity to the compounds in milk that trigger mucus production, in which case low fat dairy (since the compounds are fat soluble) or fermented dairy (since the compounds seem to degrade during fermentation) may be alternatives. Bottom line, if you have problems no matter what you do, skip dairy and just make sure to round out your diet with bone broths or bone-in meats (ie canned salmon w/ bones) and high-mineral content foods.

  23. Kathy (2 years ago)

    Hi Dr. Cate — Thank you for addressing the topic of the healthfulness of raw milk, especially the fermented products. However, from what I have picked up on Weston Price’s research, it seems that native peoples who consumed a lot of milk did so in tandem with consumption of sprouted grains (i.e. sourdough bread) or perhaps blood (i.e. Maasai). My question is, if one is not able to consume these (for example, I am strictly gluten-free), does this affect the benefits of consuming raw/fermented dairy?

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      Kathy:
      Remember, Weston Price only visited 11 places. Sounds like a lot, and it is for one single person especially back in the 1930s! But there were once thousands and thousands of cultures spread over the entire globe, each with their own subregional cuisines and many of them in Europe, Africa and Asia were known to raise dairy animals. So we can imagine that there would be many more variations on the theme than the few Dr. Price encountered. They all had similar resources in common, however, ie plants and animals from land and sea, the ability to boil water/cook, and their local microbiota. This is why we broke traditional diets down the way we did, into the Four Pillars. As long as you get some of each of the Four Pillars you will be doing very well.

  24. Patrick Winn (2 years ago)

    It is too bad that you have to be rich in order eat well. (you should see the food choices in my neighborhood!); no where is this especially so when it comes to raw milk. Basically 5 bucks a gallon here in California. Way out of reach for us poor folk….

    Along with a bunch of other food…..for us the controvesy has political meaning. If researchers could come to a conclusion, maybe attitudes would change and maybe laws could change and more people could buy and the price would drop….

    then maybe we could actually afford to buy good food….

    in the mean time……hello Food-for-Less or Grocery outlet….. I am busy enough just trying to keep the poison know as sugar out of our diet.

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      Patrick
      You bring up some very charged, very important points, including the elephant in the room few people want to address.
      Here’s another way to see this problem:
      The clean parts of the planet are shrinking and the access to real food — like wild-caught salmon, real milk from pastured cows, and veggies grown on naturally rich soil — is now the bottleneck restricting access to the tools of health. Some people will not want to share the ‘good stuff’ and will continue to support the idea that there’s no difference. Only when more people start producing good stuff will there be any chance of research coming to consensus. So for now, I strongly support the growing homestead movement. http://www.commonsensehome.com/

  25. Vanessa Foley (2 years ago)

    I was fascinated when I heard you speak at theCMC Wound Conference last year. I love the field of nutrition especially with my diagnosis of Lyme….my PCP, whim I am eternally grayeful, was a collegue of yours in Bedford and I saw you once for a sprained ankle. I am following a loose version of the Paleo diet to keep my CRP down and feel the benefits in many ways. I have noticed that I can eat unlimited amounts of fermented dairy but milk (no not raw) makes me very bloated. I will try more raw milk and see if I notice the difference.

  26. Laurie (2 years ago)

    Dr. Cate, just shared this on the Common Sense Homesteading facebook page – lots of positive feedback. Looking forward to the next post.

    • Dr. Cate

      Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

      Laurie
      We made an offer on a short sale house with enough yard to raise a few animals. If we are lucky enough to get it I will be mining your site for help and how tos. Such good stuff!

  27. Susan (2 years ago)

    I LOVE raw milk…….So yummy! And I know how much it helps my health, because recently here in CA, our raw milk was taken away for 5 weeks by the government. I didn’t sleep well, my body ached and I just plain missed it!

    As soon as it became available I made smoothies, raw egg nog, and of course had a big glass with my almond flour pumkin cookies!

    Life is right again! :)

    PS- Not once during those 5 weeks was I ever tempted to pick up some pasteurized milk. Yuck! I would rather go without than sacrifice my health -and taste buds!

  28. Ira Edwardsw (2 years ago)

    I just read Loren Cordain’s The PALEO ANSWER. While he brings up important points deserving our attention, my overall reaction is negative. He sees in black and white, and does not see the good sides of foods he rejects. He often equates corrlation with cause and effect. He is totally against any form of dairy. I think we get a balanced picture in the Weston A. Price website, where natural dairy is approved, with some caveats.
    Judged “paleo” can often be mis-judgement, and “paleo” is not a final determination of good or bad. I understand that primitive people often have 2 to ten times the mineral intake compared to modern foods, and we do not match that without supplements, with any present attempt to eat paleo with available foods.
    I define “nutritionism” as over-concern with healthful eating, and the stress of trying to be vegan or paleo can do more damage to the heart that some degree of carefree eating.
    I am the author of HONEST NUTRITION, which I call an orthomolecular nutrition textbook. It is not a source of many final answers, but introduces ways of thinking about nutrition and health.

  29. Dr. Cate

    Dr. Cate (2 years ago)

    SP
    You are correct. If you have access to other dairy products made from raw milk, that is preferable to processed milk, given equally well-fed cattle.

  30. SP (2 years ago)

    Hi again Dr. Cate,

    Oops! I guess I should have read the entire article before posting ;) However, if you do have anything else to say about pasteurized milk vs. no milk I’m all ears!

    Thanks again,
    SP

  31. SP (2 years ago)

    Hi Dr. Cate,

    Just got your book Deep Nutrition and am really enjoying it. Regarding milk, in my area it’s difficult to get raw milk, but I have found organic, grass fed whole, but (ultra) pasteurized milk. Do you recommend drinking that? (in DN I believe you do recommend it, however this post sort of leaves me wondering if I’d be better off sticking to other dairy products that I can get that are made from raw milk, like butter, cheese and yoghurt.)

    Thanks,
    SP