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By: Alyssa Elbogen

My Ayurvedic holistic health teacher, Dr.Naina Marballi, used to say: “Dairy, when coming from a good, healthy, and wholesome source, can be the greatest medicine. Dairy, when coming from other places, can prove to be the greatest poison.”

Now, because it is so difficult to find healthy dairy products, many people are swearing off dairy completely. Some are ethically opposed to the way animals are treated in the dairy industry. Some want to avoid the unpleasant physical impact dairy consumption has on them or their family members; for example, the onset of osteoporosis or migraines. Some have been deemed “lactose-intolerant.” Some (environmentally-minded) people even feel that the dairy industry is draining our resources and contributing to world poverty.

Thankfully, today we have easy access to the highest quality milk – available in both cow and goat varieties at Organic Circle. I endorse and support two halov Yisrael farm-to-table milks: Bethel Creamery and Wayside Acres. These companies use the lowest possible pasteurization – cooking the milkfor a half an hour, instead of flashing the milk with an incredibly high temperature. The low pasteurization maintains the natural health benefits of the milk without destroying the living enzymes. Additionally, both of these milks are non-homogenized – again allowing for the maintenance of their natural form and maximum health benefits. The shelf life is shorter on non-homogenized products, but that’s a good thing for the consumer; it means we’re buying fresher products!

It is heartbreaking indeed to think about the way conventional milking farms proceed. If you have ever loved an animal, you will relate to this. What they do is inhumane! Despicable, even! Their practices, which practically beg for a revolution, can bring us to nausea or to tears. But if we educate ourselves and change our buying habits, our purchasing power can make a difference. Remember, the businesses we support are those that will grow and prosper. It is so important to support the organic dairy farms – and we need to understand why.

Did you know that, right now, the vegan movement in Israel is booming? Israel is known as the most vegan country in the world. Approximately 10% of the country is currently vegetarian and 5% are vegan. That means 1 in 20 Israelis consume zero meat, chicken, fish, dairy, or egg products. Astonishing, right? This strong increase happened over the course of a five-year period, after the unethical operation of those industries was heavily exposed. That, in combination with research showing the detrimental effects of conventional dairy on our health, was enough to turn a sizable percentage of Israelis into vegetarians.

From now on, when choosing which dairy products to buy, don’t forget this piece of advice: ‘Dairy, when coming from a good, healthy, and wholesomesource, can be the greatest medicine. Dairy, when coming from other places, can prove to be the greatest poison.’

Problematic Issues with Conventional Milk

Harsh machine milking can yield pus, pain, infections, udder destruction, and the usage of toxic germicide teat dips. In contrast, at Wayside Acres farm, monthly inspections by technicians ensure that the machines are pumping at the correct pressure and that the goats (and all of their parts) are in pristine health.

At conventional farms, the above issues lead to usage of hormones and antibiotics. Antibiotics are suspected of causing the formation of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, which pass through the milk. Hormones such as estrogen are allegedly responsible for the earlier onset of puberty in girls. These same hormones are given to the cows so that they produce significantly more milk. However, they also live significantly shorter lives than cows in an organic environment.

As discussed above, homogenization and
ultra-pasteurization reduces the health benefits and nutritional value, of the milk itself.

Cows from whom milk is extracted the conventional way suffer inhumane treatment and subpar living conditions. On organic dairy farms, the animals are sincerely cared for and given ample room to roam when they are not inside
being milked.

Conventionally-fed animals are given
non-organic cheap grains, carcass and waste remains – as opposed to organically-nourished animals who are fed grass and high-quality grain to aid their milking abilities.

Since cows stop milking pretty quickly, conventional dairy farmers are constantly buying new animals, as the demand for milk is high. But in multi-generations models, such as at Wayside Acres, no outside animals are brought in. The quantity of animals grows organically, allowing for naturally husbanded animals to grow amidst a fixed environment.

It should be noted that these issues magnify to varying degrees, depending on the concentration of the chosen dairy product.
For example, the concern is high when it comes to
concentrated cheeses.