It is Real Milk Wednesday! I started posting articles about Real Fresh Raw Milk on Wednesdays because Kelly the Kitchen Kopdoes aReal Food Wednesday Bloghop. There are a lot of great links and recipes from the RealFood blogosphere posted there so check it out.
Please join our cowshare for a screening of Milk War February 6th at Rio Theatre in Vancouver, BC.
I started making raw milk kefir around a year ago when we finally took the plunge and went on the GAPS diet. Around the same time a place finally opened up for us to join our local cowshare, which is now Our Cows. These days if I don’t get my daily kefir, my digestion just isn’t happy. We also use the kefir as an anti-fungal skin cream. It works wonders, much better than any other anti-fungal I have used. This was an incredibly useful discovery, because the GAPS diet can push pathogenic micro-organisms from your gut out to your skin, in it’s fight to maintain it’s foothold in your system. We had quite a few serious problems with that the first six months of the diet, which are mostly cleared up (some things reoccur cyclically on the diet, every three months or so as you get to a new level of healing). When I look back, and think about the condition I was in last year I can’t understand how I managed at all. I still have a ways to go, but my health is now improving exponentially–the worst is hopefully behind me.
Most of you know my story by now–my digestive system got infested with a toxic mold while living in slum conditions in New Zealand, after leaving my alcoholic husband. My normally invincible and healthy system’s defence systems were violated. I had diarreha for about three months straight and was getting my period every 10 to 14 days–with severe cramping and exhaustion (normally all I experience is a bit of crabbiness). My partner was getting night sweats so bad, we were woken every night at 4 am with our air mattress, sheets and blankets completely drenched. Soon after that, we moved to Myanmar (Burma) and I stupidly ate a melted popsicle at a pagoda and gave myself typhoid. I was put on a powerful antibiotic for about two weeks. This destroyed any remaining protective micro-organisms in my body, allowing the mold to have free reign. I was in a very bad state, I could barely walk up stairs on my own steam. I had a hard time realizing I wasn’t invincible anymore, and whenever I felt a little better, I tended to overdo it and give myself a relapse. We moved to the Catskills of New York for about a year and a half to recover. We lived on raw goats milk and free range eggs which we got directly from local farms. We also ate a lot of beans and bone broths.
I honestly feel very fortunate for having gone through all of this, as not only do I have a much better understanding of my body and micro-organisms in general, but I have had a chance to develop this website, which I really enjoy. This whole process has been so clear, I had such incredible health prior to the mold getting into my system. I have just been fortunate that I only went on the one course of antibiotics. If I hadn’t known where my health problems had come from, and gone to the medical system to figure it out and cure me, I could have easily ended up with less understanding of my condition and would probably have been declared to have some incurable disease, and given some drug to cover my symptoms. I have heard many people’s stories over the past few years of this happening to them, only to FINALLY discover, when it was nearly too late, that they have a toxic mold in their system and the drugs have actually been destroying the remaining defences their probiotics were struggling to provide.
An interesting thing happened last year when our cowshare’s Agister, Alice Jongerden was given a contempt of court order. For a week we didn’t have access to our cow’s delicious, nourishing milk and I had to resort to organic pasteurized milk. I immediately reacted to the kefir and yogurt I made with that denatured milk, and had to go back on the Intro phase of the GAPS diet (basically chicken and carrot soup, with maybe a soft boiled egg and an avocado every now and then). My system couldn’t handle the dead milk. Most people on the GAPS or SCD diets cannot add milk or even yogurt into their diet for 4-6 months.
Even for me, who has been involved in this movement since 2000 and have devoted a lot of time researching intellectually the incredible benefits of raw vs pasteurized milk, to have it embodied in this way was a real jaw-dropper for me. I remain horrified and disgusted by the BC law that declared all raw milk to be a hazardous substance in 2009, which was more than a year after Home On the Range had been producing raw milk. When I think hazardous substance I think of those horrible chemicals I was made to use to clean greasy hoods and dirty ovens when I first started working in commercial kitchens. It is clearly uninformed obtuse ignorance, fueled by politics and the profit-driven milk industry. I thank god every day for Alice Jongerden who is taking this issue to the supreme court and defending our basic right to put into our own bodies what we choose to.