My Baby's Got a Secret (Part 2: Pasteurization & Homogenization)

Tim and I are relaxing on the couch with Indy, How It's Made is on Science Channel, and Flynn's diapers are in the wash. Today was an extra stinky diaper day. Once they start solids... things get REAL. That's part of the "fun" of cloth diapers. Even though I work, I still have the pleasure of seeing everything that came out of my sweet baby boy at the end of the day. This is definitely something only a mother could love.

Flynn still poops two or three times a day. He's never constipated and never gassy. Seriously... never! I credit 3 things: half of his milk still comes from me, the probiotic powder in his formula, and the fact that he's getting natural enzymes from raw milk. A digestive trifecta.

Here are some crazy stats for you:
- 40 million Americans are lactose intolerant.
- 75% of all African-American, Jewish, Mexican-American, and Native American adults are lactose intolerant.
- 90% of Asian-Americans are lactose intolerant.
[Even Leonard Hofstadter, everyone's favorite TV nerd is lactose intolerant]
This is my crude understanding of lactose intolerance. Bear with me, I'm no scientist. Lactase is the enzyme our bodies naturally create to digest lactose. Most people worldwide experience a drop in lactase production around age 5. When our bodies don't produce enough lactase, we become lactose intolerant. 

I realized I was lactose intolerant in college. Growing up, I fought my parents about finishing my milk and ice cream always gave me a stomach ache. Duh - my body didn't know what to do with it! I've tried going dairy-free a few times, but it's so hard. Those sneaky food manufacturers use casein (a dairy protein) in practically every processed food as a binder, especially cheese. Eating too much casein has also been linked to cancer.

So why is raw better?

Milk straight from a cow contains awesome enzymes specially designed to make it easier to digest. However, these enzymes (and all the other lovely nutrients in milk) are very fragile. Once milk is heated to a certain temperature through pasteurization, these enzymes are destroyed forever. The molecules that comprise them are literally flattened and the enzymes can no longer do their thing.

Pasteurization heats milk to just below boiling temperatures, while ultra-pasteurization forces milk through pipes and steam outside of the pipes heats it for 15-20 seconds at 171 degrees, and for 1-2 seconds at up to 275 degrees. Bacteria is killed, as well as all the good enzymes.

[See this website for more details]
Pasteurization is very helpful to Big Dairy because it extends shelf life dramatically and allows them to ship their products all over the country without the risk of it going bad. Obviously when you support a local farm and buy their milk, it's a much shorter distance from cow to store. I'm sure you've taken a whiff of conventional milk that's past it's prime - gag. Do you know what spoiled raw milk smells like? Sour cream! The way it's supposed to be if you think about it.

No homo

Now let's talk about homogenization, which is the process that removes cream from milk. When I buy raw milk, the cream naturally rises to the top and I have to shake it up before I pour it. According to my Mom, who grew up drinking raw milk on a farm and is still alive to tell about it, everyone used to just skim the cream off the top themselves and use it in their coffee. Now, the dairy industry uses centrifugal cream separators to speed up the process. And then we buy our cream separately with a bunch of additives thrown in. Makes total sense.

The Weston A. Price Foundation sums up the problem with homogenization better than I can: During homogenization there is a tremendous increase in surface area on the fat globules. The original fat globule membrane is lost and a new one is formed that incorporates a much greater portion of casein and whey proteins. This may account for the increased allergenicity of modern processed milk.

[The good old days]
Enter Digestive Aids

After pasteurization became the norm, people started feeling all icky after eating dairy. Instead of wondering WHY this was happening, they turned to drugs to solve the problem. Gas-X, antacids, Pepto, Mylicon for babies. The pharmaceutical industry started reaping the benefits of pasteurization big time. People wanted to enjoy their ice cream without the unpleasantness that followed, so they popped a few pills and ate it anyway. This paved the way for "alternative" milk products like Lactaid, and even lactase drops. Ahh, problem solved. Butttt, not really.
[Silly Lactaid, conventional cows are too sick to dance]
Who wants to rely on drugs their whole life just to eat dairy? If you choose raw dairy products, you don't have to. You're giving your body everything it needs to do its job.

In Part 3, I'll give you all the details about Flynn's homemade raw milk formula. Breast milk is always best, but I'm so glad I found a healthy alternative to commercial powdered formula when I needed it.

Are you lactose intolerant? If so, how do you deal with it? Do you love Big Bang Theory as much as I do? Discuss...

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