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  • Maxine Johnson CCWFN, Fitness Coach

DAIRY - Modern-day pasteurization

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Enough change has happened in the world of pasteurization that I just had to write about it. It's weird actually. Whoever thought that pasteurization would be a topic of concern but that is exactly what it has become because no one has recognized what the dairy (cattle) industry has done that has a direct link to the massive numbers of people who have been diagnosed with "lactose intolerance".

Because of the change in farming methods in the late 1980's-early 90's, it has been necessary to administer antibiotics to cattle and dairy cows so that we consumers don't get sick. It has also become standard practice to "ultra-pasteurize" all milk to ensure the killing off of all bacteria - even the good ones. This method also kills off necessary enzymes. We need enzymes to help us digest the food we're eating. So the plastic jugs of ultra-pasteurized milk on all the grocery store shelves are virtually jugs of dead, white liquid that used to be milk but no longer has any life-giving nutrients in it. This "milk" is toxic to everyone, especially young people and children with developing brains and bodies, due to the lack of any enzymatic and nutritional life in it, not to mention the plastic containers the milk is stored in. So far I've not seen one plastic milk jug with a "BPA-FREE" sticker on it or any indication that the plastic is a safer and more environmentally safe so that the plastic chemicals will not leach into the milk. And, as a person who was raised on whole, non-homogenized milk sold in glass bottles, I know the difference in taste and texture between the good milk I had as a child (rich and sweet) and the antibiotic-chemical-laden-over-pasteurized liquid they call "milk" sold in plastic jugs today.

For more information on what has happened to the cattle/dairy industry, please visit this link:

SIMPLE CHANGE IN CATTLE DIETS COULD CUT E-COLI INFECTION (Guts of corn-fed cows grow the deadly forms of e-coli more than grass-fed cows.)

There are now 3 types of pasteurization:

* Vat-pasteurization - almost unheard of anymore. ​​This method is mostly done on small farms in small batches. It is sometimes referred to as "batch" pasteurization. It's a longer process using lower heat that protects more of the delicate enzymatic life than other pasteurization methods. Remember, enzymes are little "workers" that make food digest easily in the gut but they are killed off by high heat.

* Pasteurization - This is the "normal" pasteurization that we are all used to.

It is a method whereby the milk is passed one time through the hot-plates in an effort to kill any harmful micro-organisms. The problem is that it also kills off a few enzymes. However, it still has some enzymatic life left and is considered a "live" food. This milk will culture into sour cream, yogurt, kefir, and other cultured products fairly well, although not as well as raw milk.

*Ultra-pasteurization - This milk has been passed once & in some cases twice through very high heat elements which kills everything living in the milk including the enzymes and beneficial bacteria that helps us digest.

This milk will not culture into yogurt, sour cream, or any truly cultured food at all. Properly cultured yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, etc develop a wonderful thickness unique to the bacterial life in it, and has it's own thick texture and tart flavor. (I always take a large spoon and do one turn in the top of my home-made yogurt to see the beautiful thick blob turned up from the inside.) But yogurts made from ultra-pasteurized milk will always contain starches and thickeners in them (tapioca starch, modified food starch [which is corn-based], gelatin, etc) because otherwise the product would be thin and runny, uncultured, not at all recognizable as true yogurt or sour cream or any other cultured dairy product.

I know this from experience! I found out by accident when trying to make Creme Fraiche one day.

I bought organic cream and I was in a hurry. I poured it into a bowl like normal and added the required amount of organic buttermilk to culture it with. That mixture of cream and buttermilk sat on my counter-top to culture for 3 days and should have cultured into a thick and light sour cream. However, it was just as thin and runny on the third day as it was on the first! I couldn't figure out what I did wrong. Then I recovered the carton that the cream had come in and carefully read what it said in tiny print: "Ultra-pasteurized". I looked it up to see what "ultra-pasteurized" meant and that's when I found out that it had been super-heated in very high heat that virtually killed all life in the milk. That means there was no more enzymatic life that would allow this milk to culture or to even be digestible!

That, my friends, is why I believe so many people are lactose-intolerant today. We are unknowingly drinking milk or consuming dairy products in which all the naturally occurring enzymatic life has been killed off. When I was young and we all were drinking the whole, normally-pasteurized, wonderful milk, we never knew of "lactose intolerance". We were not overweight either and we ate full-fat foods, including full-fat milk that tasted delicious.

So what's the answer? How or where can a person find real milk, raw or just normally-pasteurized that will actually be digestible and culture into nutritious, life-giving food? Shop around your locale and research the Weston A. Price Foundation website. -

Next time you go shopping for milk, and especially if you want to make your own cultured dairy products at home, (and I strongly suggest you do), read the labels and choose RAW milk whenever you can. Do not be afraid of it! Farms that produce raw milk in Washington state are clean! They pass tough USDA standards and are monitored carefully.

What you really should be concerned about is why commercial farms ultra-pasteurize their milk?? What is it that is so bad in commercial milk that everything live needs to be killed off? Maybe it's because the milk is coming from dirty commercial Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's). (Read the book "Omnivore's Dilemma" and/or watch the movie "Food, Inc").

For more information on raw milk go to the Weston A Price Foundation website.

If you have questions just contact me!

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