Until the early part of the 20th century, raw milk – natural, untreated milk straight from the cow – was considered a medicine for a plethora of chronic diseases. Even in the tropics, long before refrigeration was invented, raw milk was an essential and safe food source for many cultures. It was regarded as “white blood,” a kind of “stem cell” of foods, and people understood that in trying circumstances, you could live on it exclusively and remain perfectly healthy. After all, just as eggs contain all the nutrients needed to nourish a growing chick, raw milk contains all the nutrients needed to nourish a growing calf; it needs to be a near-perfect food.
Below is a list of reasons why raw cow’s milk enjoys such a positive, time-honored reputation. Throughout the list, comparisons will also be made with processed (i.e. pasteurized and homogenized) milk.