Is Raw Milk Dangerous?

Is raw milk dangerous is a question that many are asking. There is a surge in desire for this luscious and nutritious food – but what about all of the horrible stories of tragedies and loss connected with consuming raw milk? That’s our topic of the day.

But first, I want to welcome everyone who is a new listener. I hope you enjoy this content. And as always, a heart-felt welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. There is no show without you and your input. There is a lot of exciting news to share with you about what is going on at the farm this week. So, let’s get to it.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Is Raw Milk Dangerous?
  • Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

Homestead Life Updates

We had quite the scare last night. All of a sudden, we had no water. Scott went to the tap, turned it on, and only a dribble came out. Less than two hours earlier I remembered filling my water glass with no issues. He immediately went out to check on the water hoses. We have quite of few of them attached at the pump that bring water to various areas of the homestead. Some go to the animals and one goes to the garden. I think there may be one in the orchard. At least one other is attached to the house. These are the usual culprits. One of them will burst or a coupling disintegrates and falls apart spewing gallons and gallons of water everywhere. If we don’t notice right away, the well can temporarily go dry.

In this case, Scott checked all of the hoses and didn’t find any issues. He turned them off anyway. The next plan was to replace the breaker for the well pump. It is on its own 220 circuit. However, some time during the night the water returned. We are grateful. It was an interesting experience.

Usually when we don’t have water it is because the power if off. Habitually I would want to turn on the water and had to remind myself that we had none. When we have no power, it’s easy to remember we also have no water. It was a really strange brain thing.

Let me give you an update on the animals.

The Quail

We have 6 baby quail in the brooder at the moment. There were originally 8 but we lost two. This particular batch of eggs was not very fertile. As the amount of light diminishes each day due to the changing of the seasons, the number of eggs laid and their fertility drops dramatically. I knew it would drop. However, the amount that it dropped was astounding to me. I expected the loss of egg production, not so much the lack of fertility. So often, even though we’ve read up on a topic and have the proper information, it is not until we go outside those boundaries ourselves do we realize the truth of the information. 

Back in the summer, we had 8 or 9 laying hens that were producing about 7 eggs per day. Not bad. That’s nearly one per day for each hen. That’s typical. A little over a month ago we added a new batch of young hens to the mix. They were about 8 weeks old and at the age to start laying eggs. Our daily haul should have increased. Unfortunately, this was also about the time that the light started really diminishing. At the present time having increased the laying hens to 15 laying hens, we are getting 1 egg every day or so. That’s what I call a dramatic drop in egg production. It will continue all winter unless we add some light for them. We have a plan there. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Cows

Cloud is still pregnant. Her belly is very big in circumference, but there is no way of knowing how far along she is unless we get a vet out here. A woman can start to “show” in the 4th or 5th month, it begins to be impossible to miss that she is pregnant at 6 months and the 7th through 9th month is where stretch marks are developed because of the rapid growth in the size of your baby. With cows, the late development of size and weight of the fetus is even more prominent. While a calf fetus is continually growing in size throughout the pregnancy, it is slow in the beginning. Over 75% of the calf’s total weight gain and growth takes place in the last trimester. And like human women, that is in month 7 through 9. A cow’s gestation cycle averages 283 days. I’m guessing that Cloud is in her last month at this point. I could be wrong but that is my best guess.

In any case, we are ready in the milking parlor. She is now trained to come in and stand quietly while we wash and clean her udder like we would any other cow. The only thing she is not experiencing at the point is the actual inflations on her teats. She has heard the sound of the machine over and over many times. We do not anticipate big problems when the event does eventually take place.

The Sheep, Goats, and Donkeys

The sheep, goats and donkeys are doing well. The goats go into any grazing paddock that they choose – no matter the fencing structure. They are goats. Respecting fences is not part of their nature. Thank goodness at this point, while they move between divided paddocks, they at least stay within the perimeter fencing. I should probably knock on wood with that statement.

The sheep are plugging along. Let us know if you are interested in grass-fed and finished lamb. We are just about ready to take a few for processing. Holiday season is upon us and lamb is a religious tradition for lots of folks. Again, let us know. You can visit the website at peacefulheartfarm.com/store or send us an email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com).

The donkeys are growing their winter coat and putting on some winter fat. They are the friendliest animals on the farm. I hope you get to come out and see them some time.

The Creamery

The inner walls are rising out of the dust. It won’t be long now. Scott has laid the bottom row of the remaining walls. Two or three more weeks and they will be complete. It will be a building with walls and no roof. Is winter the best time to build a roof? I don’t know I’ll have to ask Scott. I’m just so excited to see these walls. The rooms are now defined. 

In the spring perhaps we will be able to milk the cows in the new barn and milking parlor. That will be a treat. Milking is such a peaceful time and the milk produced is so nutritious and delicious. And the cheese… yum, yum.

Is Raw Milk Dangerous?

This is a question I think everyone who consumes raw milk has asked themselves or others. We know the reality is that we have been drinking milk straight from the cow for thousands of years. But in September 1987 it became federal law that any milk transported across state lines must be pasteurized. Intrastate sales then and now are still regulated by the individual states. I’ve talked a bit about this in a couple of previous podcasts. Depending on the particular State, there are various legal ways to obtain raw for your family.

There has been – and indeed continues to be – quite the scare campaign surrounding the consumption of milk straight from the cow. Each person will have to decide for themselves what is best for them. I make no judgements and everyone knows I love it. In fact, I love it so much that it can become a problem for my waistline. But let’s get to the studies and the data and see what we can see.

The Studies and the Headlines

In February 2012, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study targeting raw milk as dangerous and unsafe for human consumption. The media hype surrounding it was typical. Fearful headlines that get clicks and sell papers were seen. Here are some examples:

“Raw Milk Causes Most Illnesses from Dairy, Study Finds.” – USA Today

“CDC: Raw Milk Much More Likely to Cause Illness.” – Food Safety News

“Raw Milk is a Raw Deal, CDC Says.” – LiveScience

Two of these headlines are technically accurate – raw milk is responsible for more illnesses than pasteurized milk when the number of people who consume each is taken into account. The problem begins with the dramatic overstatements and sensationalism of the findings. Every food we consume comes with risks. But for most, we never even think about it until we see the news article about the recall of spinach, beef or some other product we have in our refrigerator.

If you only saw the headlines from the CDC and FDA reports, you’d be left with the impression that raw milk is a dangerous food and anyone that consumes it or gives it to their children is reckless and irresponsible. In this podcast, I’ll present the other side of the argument, and give you the bare facts as I see them. I can’t say I am without bias but I will endeavor to convey the information without dramatic hyperbole so you can make an informed decision about whether unpasteurized milk is a good choice for you and your family.

I’m not here to convince you to drink raw milk.  Again, that’s a decision each individual has to make on their own by weighing the potential risks against the potential benefits. This podcast will cover the risks and another will focus on the benefits.

Gaining Perspective

Let’s start with putting the current discussion of unpasteurized milk safety into a wider context. Foodborne illness is a concern for many types of food. In 2008 the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) performed a review of foodborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. Seafood, produce and poultry were associated with the most outbreaks. Produce is responsible for the greatest number of illnesses each year (2,062), with nearly twice as many illnesses as poultry (1,112). Dairy products are at the bottom of the list. They cause the fewest outbreaks and illnesses of all the major food categories – beef, eggs, poultry, produce and seafood.

According to the CDC, during the period from 1990 − 2006, there were 24,000 foodborne illnesses reported each year on average. Of those, 315 per year are from dairy products. This means dairy products account for about 1.3% of foodborne illnesses each year. That’s not exactly an alarming number, considering that more than 75% of the population consumes dairy products regularly.

It’s also important to note that the outbreaks and illnesses associated with dairy products are generally mild compared to other foods.

According to the CSPI report above, approximately 5,000 people are killed every year by foodborne illness. From 2009 − 2011, three high profile outbreaks involving peanuts, eggs and cantaloupe alone accounted for 2,729 illnesses and 39 deaths. (1) Yet there have only been a handful of deaths from pasteurized dairy products in the last decade, and there hasn’t been a single death attributed to raw fluid milk since the mid-1980s, in spite of the fact that almost 10 million people are now consuming it regularly.

The takeaway is that thousands of people are killed each year by foodborne illness, but they’re dying from eating fruits, nuts, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish – not from drinking unpasteurized milk.

The CDC report Sensationalized

The data in these studies will always be suspect in my mind. An “illness” in these data can mean everything from an upset stomach to mild diarrhea to hospitalization for serious disease. Most food borne illnesses go unreported and one of the reasons is that they are only a passing nuisance.

Have you ever had a bout of diarrhea that you suspect was caused by something you ate? I have. Did you report it to your doctor or the county public health department?  Probably not. I didn’t. It was over in less than 24 hours and I simply vowed not to purchase spinach from Walmart ever again.

The statistic I am most concerned with is hospitalizations for serious illnesses. Kidney failure and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by unpasteurized milk does happen, and children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and more likely to suffer.  That said, hospitalizations from raw milk are extremely rare.  During the 2000 − 2007 period of the referenced study, there were 12 hospitalizations for illnesses associated with raw fluid milk. That’s an average of 1.5 per year. If approximately 9.4 million people are drinking raw milk, that would mean you have about a 1 in 6 million chance of being hospitalized from drinking raw milk.

To add to the perspective, your chances of dying in a motor vehicle accident are 750 times higher than your chances of becoming hospitalized from drinking raw milk.

Raw Milk Risk Compared to Other foods

According to the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR), from 2006 − 2008 there were an average of 13 outbreaks and 291 illnesses per year associated with shellfish and mollusks. According to the CDC FoodNet Survey, about 5.7% of the population (17,869,500) consumes shellfish. This means you had a roughly 1 in 61,000 chance of becoming ill from eating shellfish

What about other more commonly eaten foods?  I’ll use a chart from the CSPI report I referenced earlier. The chart will be in the show notes. This document charts the relative incidence of various foodborne illnesses from 1999 – 2006, adjusted for consumption.

Results:

  • Seafood caused 29 times more illnesses than dairy
  • Poultry caused 15 times more illnesses than dairy
  • Eggs caused 13 times more illnesses than dairy
  • Beef caused 11 times more illnesses than dairy
  • Pork caused 8 times more illnesses than dairy
  • Produce caused 4 times more illnesses than dairy

What this chart clearly shows is that dairy just might be at the bottom of your list of your concerns regarding foodborne illness.

I hope this helps you better understand the risk of drinking unpasteurized milk within the context of other risks that most of us take on a daily basis without a second thought.

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

This recipe for lamb chops is a favorite on our homestead. The title sound fancy but it is an easy and quick recipe for two people (we eat two chops each). Rosemary, basil and thyme give it great flavor.

What You Need

Chops:

  • 4 lamb chops (3/4” thick)
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots (or onions)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup lamb (or chicken) broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter

What To Do

  1. In a small bowl or cup mix the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub onto both sides of the chops. Cover on a plate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat cooking oil on medium high. Place chops in skillet, and cook for about 3 ½ minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
  3. Add shallot (or onions) to skillet and cook until browned. Stir in balsamic vinegar, scraping pan drippings from the bottom of skillet.
  4. Stir in broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until sauce has reduced by half.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  6. Pour sauce over chops and serve.

Notes

  • Try substituting red wine or red wine vinegar for the balsamic vinegar.
  • Doubling the recipe more than doubles the amount of time to reduce the sauce.

Final Thoughts

Again, we have lambs coming available soon. Get on the waiting list now. Shameless plug there. We love our animals and they receive the best life possible. Stay tuned for updates on Cloud and her impending delivery and the progress of the creamery.

Is raw milk dangerous? Remember, it’s your choice whether you consume raw milk and/or raw milk products. It’s hard with all of the negative press out there on just about every food available and raw milk more so than others. I hope I’ve provided a balance to some of the sensationalized information regularly regurgitated. Consuming any food is a risk. But how much? How much risk do we already tolerate on a daily basis that is not related to raw milk dairy?

If you enjoyed this podcast, please go to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. And the best way to help out this show is to share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Recipe Link

Lambs Chops with Balsamic Reduction

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Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

This recipe for lamb chops is a favorite on our homestead. The title sound fancy but it is an easy and quick recipe for two people (we eat two chops each). Rosemary, basil and thyme give it great flavor.
Prep Time18 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Hot Entrée
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Chops:

  • 4 lamb chops 3/4” thick
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots or onions
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup lamb broth or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions

  • In a small bowl or cup mix the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub onto both sides of the chops. Cover on a plate for 15 minutes.
  • Heat cooking oil on medium high. Place chops in skillet, and cook for about 3 ½ minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
  • Add shallot (or onions) to skillet and cook until browned. Stir in balsamic vinegar, scraping pan drippings from the bottom of skillet.
  • Stir in broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until sauce has reduced by half.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  • Pour sauce over chops and serve.

Notes

  • Try substituting red wine or red wine vinegar for the balsamic vinegar.
  • Doubling the recipe more than doubles the amount of time to reduce the sauce.

This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 10/17/19

Hello beautiful people,

No calf yet. Still eagerly anticipating the blessed event. Cloud is a wonderful cow. She has easily worked into the milking routine. With only a few times of special urging, she now readily comes in, puts her head in the stanchion and eats her nutritional treats. She is the only cow we have that has never been milked. That will be her next training event but it must wait until she actually has milk.

Still very light on the number of quail eggs we are getting. Scott found this really cool setup while watching YouTube videos. It consists of a solar panel and a string of Christmas lights. According to the video he watched, it will be enough light for them to start laying eggs again. We shall see. The baby quail hatched. Not a very good return there. I think that the fertility has also diminished with the reduced light. Only 8 hatched and we lost one chick the first day. That makes 7 baby quail are in the brooder. They will stay there for a couple of weeks or until they have fully developed their feathers.  

On the cheese front we will have a new cheese for tasting. It is still very young, but we are going to open a wheel of Pinnacle. This is our alpine style cheese. It is most similar to Gruyere. We will continue to have Ararat Legend and Peaceful Heart Gold cheeses. I hope you herd share peeps are enjoying those.  

The farmer’s market at Independence is done for the season. But all is not lost there. Please check out the online store. I have ground goat (chev), ground beef, and ground lamb as well as various lamb cuts. Register for an account, place your order online and pick it up on Wednesday afternoon at Grayson Landscaping. Email me if you don’t see what you are looking for and place your order now for that holiday “leg of lamb.” Now taking pre-orders via email. 

I have one herd share that just became available. Please email me if you are interested. 

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares

Download the jar cleaning protocol and FAQs.


News This Week


Products Available to Herd Share Owners

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Whole Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Skim/Low-Fat Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Full Fat Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Cream 1/2 pint 1 pint
Ararat Legend 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Peaceful Heart Gold 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Pinnacle 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public

Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $7.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

Let’s Get Together

As always, we’d love to meet you in person.  This week and next week are the last weekly markets at Wytheville. Then we continue twice monthly through the winter. The Winter Market hours are 10 am to noon. Come by and see me on Saturday.  

As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and where the cheese is made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

This week’s podcast is some really great information on “Home Made Whey Protein.” This nutritious liquid is not just for weightlifters. You can make it part of your daily routine. In this podcast I’m talking all about homemade whey protein. What it is, how it might benefit your health, and how you might use it. Whey protein is a traditional food that has sustained humanity since the milking of domesticated animals began about 9,000 bc.   

Listen to “Home Made Whey Protein” here.


Free Downloads

I want to follow up on a previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

chocolate peanut butter protein shakeChocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake: There are tons of protein shake recipes out there, but if you love that chocolate and peanut butter combo, a chocolate peanut butter protein shake is a great way to curb the craving without reaching for the cookies or peanut butter cups. This chocolate peanut butter protein shake can be whipped up in your blender or smoothie maker in no time. It is packed with protein to keep you full, satisfied, and healthy.

hot buttered rumHot Buttered Rum: This is a rich and delicious beverage. It can be made with or without alcohol so everyone can enjoy it! This is as large recipe that makes 52 servings. No problem though. It is a mix that stores well in the freezer.

ice cream baseIce Cream Base: When it’s warm outside, a cold refreshing dish of ice cream can really hit the spot. This is a basic ice cream recipe that can be used as a base for many different flavors. I’ve included a download link to the flavorings. This silky, luscious and very classic custard can be used as the base for any ice cream flavor you can dream up. These particular proportions of milk and cream to egg yolk will give you a thick but not sticky ice cream that feels decadent but not heavy. For something a little lighter, use more milk and less cream, as long as the dairy adds up to 3 cups. You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three.

bone brothBone Broth: This rich and nutritious drink and flavoring for soup, gravy or sauce is made with bones that have bits of meat still clinging unlike “stock”. It is also generally thinner than “stock”. Most people use the terms interchangeably. It has been made for centuries. Roasted bones will add flavor to the broth and will darken the color. Bone broth is now a popular health food. Try it?

This recipe includes fresh herbs for an added bit of flair.

Homemade Whey Protein

Today I’m talking all about homemade whey protein. What it is, how it might benefit your health, and how you might use it. Whey protein is a traditional food that has sustained humanity since the milking of domesticated animals began about 9,000 bc.

Before I get to far into today’s topic, as always, I want to take a minute to say welcome to all my new listeners and welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars. Thank you so much for stopping by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. I can’t wait to get to today’s topic. It has been whey too long in making it to the top of the list of topics.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Homemade Whey Protein
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Homestead Life Updates

There is never a dull moment.

Cows

Can you believe it? We are going to have another calf. I don’t really know when, I just know a very pregnant cow when I see one. We were sure Cloud was not going to have a calf. After all, the other calves were all born in April and May. Egwene, the jersey calf, was the last born and that was May 11th. Here we are five months later, possibly six months before the calf is born, getting ready for another calf to be born. We haven’t had a fall calf in some time. It will be yet another learning experience on the homestead.

I think it is time for the bull to go back to play with the other two bulls in the front field. This is the normal way to control when calves are born. The cow can’t get pregnant five or six months after everyone else if there is no bull there to impregnate her. It is a common practice to control calving season to remove the bull after two months or so. We have let it go on for three. Just when you think you have the thing of managing your livestock down pat and there can be no more to learn, you realize there is always more to learn.

Quail

The quail aren’t laying very many eggs at this point. They are eating and not producing. The most likely issue is the reduction of the amount of light. They need about 14 hours of light to consistently produce nearly an egg every day. Without that, we are lucky to get an egg once a week. There are artificial lights that we can install so they will be able to make their eggs regularly. However, that would require taking time away from other tasks to make it happen.

Creamery

Amidst all the animal husbandry, Scott is moving forward with the creamery. He is racing the season to get all of the blocks in place while it is still warm enough for the cement and/or mortar to set up properly. Along the way, the wood for winter heat is not be cut. He feels these tasks weighing on him. There is always more to do than hours to accomplish it. However, it will all get done in the end.

Sometimes I think we make ourselves worry just for the exhilaration of having stress and pressure. Sounds crazy, right? Why would anyone intentionally create stress in their lives. Well, I’m not saying we intentionally create stress in our lives. Life is very stressful all on its own. But I am saying that sometimes we create additional stress that is unnecessary. And I am speaking for myself here. There is a compulsive way of thinking that permeates my brain sometimes that is unhealthy in regards to stress. I find myself thinking, “I have to do this” and “I have to do that” and “it has to be done by this time or that time” or else . . . or else what? What disaster is it that will happen if I get the laundry done a day later than I had on my schedule. How will my world come crumbling down around me if I plan to cook a great dinner and end up too tired to pull it off. We will still eat – and we will eat well. It’s crazy. Do you ever have thoughts like that?

When I catch myself thinking that way, I stop and take a deep breath and remind myself that all is well in this moment. I get out of my head and come back to my body and look around me. I see the sunshine. I smell the fresh air. I feel the cool breeze on my face. I hear the animals all doing their thing. The donkeys are braying. The geese are honking. The cows are mooing. The sheep and goats are baaing. I have to slow down and smell the roses every once in a while. Being in the present moment brings peace in a chaotic world. In fact, the chaos disappears in the present moment.

Now that you have some great ideas about bringing peace into your lives, let me move on to adding some sound nutrition information. It has to do with adding protein to your diet via whey.

Homemade Whey Protein

As I said, today I’m talking all about whey protein. But not that powdered stuff you buy at Walmart. No, I’m talking about traditional homemade whey protein. What it is, how it might benefit your health, and how you might use it in your healthy diet.

What is whey? Remember the nursery rhyme describing Little Miss Muffet eating her curds and whey? Have you seen the body-building enthusiasts with their plastic containers of whey protein shakes? What about the diet gurus and their protein shakes? Whey is the health food at the center of each. Some people talk about liquid whey. Some are talking about whey in the form of powders, hydrolysates, isolates or concentrates; there is sweet whey, acid whey, chocolate whey, strawberry whey, goat whey, mineral whey…it is all very exciting! So, in the midst of all this whey hype, how about looking at what real whey is? That wonderful, nutritious, whole food that has been consumed by traditional cultures for thousands of years.

Traditional Dairy Culture

Most people today think of dairy as plain, white, unfermented milk. Remember the commercial, “Got Milk?” with someone sporting a white mustache after drinking a tall glass of the cold creamy stuff. This has not always been the case. Before the industrialized practices of refrigeration and pasteurization became commonplace, many people enjoyed their milk products soured or fermented in the forms of yogurt, cheese, kefir, clabber, creme fraiche, or curds and whey. I’ve discussed most of these products in previous episodes.

When left out to sour or when cultured with friendly lactic-acid-producing bacteria, raw milk undergoes a process of fermentation wherein the bacteria start to digest or break down the milk sugars (lactose) and milk proteins (casein).Through this process, there is a natural separation of firm white globs of curds from the liquid whey portion of the milk. These white curds are the casein-containing portion of the milk, which are further fermented and processed into cheeses. The remaining tart liquid is whey.

Commercial Whey Protein

Whey has been used in traditional cuisine for centuries, and was known by Greek doctors as “healing water” for its strength-building properties. Today however, whey is considered a waste product of the cheese and yogurt industries. Many small cheese makers struggle with what to do with it. The wildly popular Greek yogurt industry makes a lot of whey. Plain yogurt contains all of the whey from the milk, but the thickness of Greek yogurt is achieved by straining out some of the whey. The larger Greek yogurt producers have been under scrutiny from environmental agencies for the gallons upon gallons of “whey waste” that they must get rid of after processing their strained yogurt products. For every four pounds of milk, only one pound of Greek yogurt is made, and the rest is a mixture of whey, chemicals and other acidic byproducts.

The cheese and yogurt industries drowning in whey scrambled to figure out just what to do with all of this tangy liquid. They found an outlet in the sports nutrition industry where leftover whey is being powdered, flavored and marketed as a muscle-building, energy-boosting supplement. Sounds like a very solid plan, except for the fact that the whey from big industry is truly waste. The milk is exposed to high heat pasteurization and subject to several acid baths. Any potentially beneficial nutrients are obliterated and mingled with nasty toxins during production.

Supplement companies have tried to “purify” their products by isolating different parts of the protein portion of the whey. So you get many different formulations on the market such as isolates, hydrosylates, concentrates, etc. This additional fractioning subjects the already destroyed whey to even more sketchy chemical processes and eliminates co-factors, rendering any possible remaining nutrients completely un-bioavailable. So despite the luring claims on those big black tubs of peanut-butter chocolate whey protein, these commercial powders are questionable as to their ability to help your body get stronger.

Traditional Whey Protein Nutrition

When made properly in small batches from cultured dairy, whey has incredibly unique healing properties. Rich with biologically active proteins and protein fractions, it has a high concentration of essential amino acids that are readily used to support vital biological functions in the body. Among these beneficial factors is:

  • Lactoferrin, a multifunctional protein with iron-binding properties that acts as a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory
  • Bovine serum albumin (BSA), a substance high in amino acids that has been shown to support infection-fighting white blood cells, increase antioxidant activity and maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body
  • Immunoglobulins to support disease control by bolstering immunity
  • Probiotic organisms to promote optimal digestion and full nutrient absorption by balancing the gut flora
  • Essential amino acids in a highly bioavailable form to act as building blocks for proteins
  • Glutathione precursors, to boost production of the body’s most powerful antioxidant
  • Minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc are available in balanced amounts
  • Vitamins notably vitamin B2 or riboflavin which helps the body to convert carbohydrates into fuel

How much protein is there in homemade whey protein?

1/2 cup = 15 grams.

1 cup = 30 grams.

If you are interested in obtaining homemade whey, let me know. As cheesemakers, we have lots of it. Most of it will go to our animals, supplementing their protein needs, but there will still be plenty for your needs should you request it.

Homemade whey has many uses including making lacto-fermented vegetables, condiments or beverages; soaking and sprouting nuts or grains; or as an additive to smoothies, sauces and stocks.

It’s no surprise that today’s recipe uses homemade whey protein. Let’s get to it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

There are tons of protein shake recipes out there, but if you love that chocolate and peanut butter combo, a chocolate peanut butter protein shake is a great way to curb the craving without reaching for the cookies or peanut butter cups.

This chocolate peanut butter protein shake can be whipped up in your blender or smoothie maker in no time. It is packed with protein to keep you full, satisfied, and healthy.

What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup homemade whey protein
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

What To Do

  1. Blend all ingredients for 30 seconds
  2. Serve

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories, 465
  • Protein, 43 g
  • Carbohydrates, 39 g
  • Fats, 17 g

Final Thoughts

I trust your life is filled with activities and that you remember to stop and smell the roses occasionally. This is an absolutely beautiful time of year. Take the time to let it seep into your bones and your being. Your health is your greatest asset.

Homemade whey can be a part of your healthy diet. It’s a traditional food that strengthened our ancestors and ensured our survival – then and now.

Let me know how that whey protein shake works for you. What variations did you try? Drop me an email, or better yet, comment below the show notes.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. Tell everyone how wonderful homemade whey protein is. And the best thing you can do for my podcast is to share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

 

Recipe Link

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

There are tons of protein shake recipes out there, but if you love that chocolate and peanut butter combo, a chocolate peanut butter protein shake is a great way to curb the craving without reaching for the cookies or peanut butter cups. This chocolate peanut butter protein shake can be whipped up in your blender or smoothie maker in no time. It is packed with protein to keep you full, satisfied, and healthy.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Beverage, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup homemade whey protein
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey optional

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients for 30 seconds
  • Serve

Notes

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories, 465
  • Protein, 43 g
  • Carbohydrates, 39 g
  • Fats, 17 g
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