Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of dairy. I have the occasional bite or 2 of cheese, but that’s where it ends. While there are some nutrients in dairy, they can be found in many other sources, like bok choy, seaweed & almonds for starters. It’s one of the first things naturopathic & functional medicine drs will have you eliminate to treat inflammation.
Pasteurization treats the milk w. mild heat to destroy pathogens & extend shelf life. However, it’s not 100% effective & also destroys some of the good bacteria, like the lactase-producing bacteria Lactobacillus, which is noteworthy because it’s needed to break down lactose. It became a widespread practice in the US in the 1920s as milk production & consumption increased. Prior to urbanization, there were many more people who lived on or near farms & able to limit the time between when a cow was milked & consumption, which minimized the risk of disease transmission via raw milk. Raw milk isn’t legal in all 50 states. There’s a debate btw. the FDA & raw milk enthusiasts as to whether or not this changes the nutritional makeup of milk.
Homogenization is a mechanical process, that happens after pasteurization, is for consistency/taste versus safety. It prevents separation from occurring by breaking down fat molecules to a small size so they remain suspended evenly throughout the milk instead of rising to the top, which forms a cream.
Skim and 2% – The whole milk is placed into a machine called a centrifugal separator, and spins the fat out of the milk. When you remove fat from milk, this usually means there is a loss of fat soluble nutrients, like vitamins A & D. They’re replaced with synthetic vitamins, sugar and other items to make up for what’s lost during the process.
My take is that dairy isn’t so great for the body as it’s a serious inflammation instigator and is fairly processed in the US, unless you can get raw. Do you think milk does a body good?
Sources in comments:
Curriculum – Natural Gourmet Institute
“Food and Healing” – Anne Marie Colbin