Farm to Table – Your Health – Why Raw Milk?

  • Posted March 25, 2012

Keep it real. Keep it local!

That’s the message you get at the 6th annual Farm to Table Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. But really, no matter your location, whether it’s Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania or a Pittsburg (no ‘h’) in Texas or California….it is a message that needs to reach more people.

As you look around your current locale, you may see people who are oddly shaped, always ailing, or just plain weird. Or you may notice that autism in children is not only rising, but is doing so exponentially. Why? Have you ever gone out somewhere and asked yourself… What planet am I on? Or where did these people come from?!

Well, maybe we can turn to the old adage “you are what you eat.” Does the meat you consume come from an animal that was raised naturally and is fed a natural diet of grass?  Or does it come from an animal injected with antibiotics and steroids to foster unnatural growth and substandard quality? Or the worse question…. Do you even know?

How about milk? Do you drink milk that comes from a free roaming naturally fed cow or goat? Or does your milk come from some rBGH laden, imprisoned cow hooked up to a mechanical contraption of a milking machine?! Or, yet again, the worse question….Do you even know?

Well, unfortunately, when I see these odd creatures that are supposedly humans meandering about, all that comes to mind is some kind of unnatural manipulation…Biological? Genetic? Bad Methods?…..Which leads me to a speaker at Farm to Table, Edwin Shank of The Family Cow.


Edwin Shank – The Family Cow

Edwin and his family run an organic, whole food farm and deliver to multiple locations throughout the state of Pennsylvania. He sells grass fed organic meats, but his passion is raw milk. His goal is not only to return people to “Organic’ and ‘Whole’ foods, but also ‘Living’ foods. And raw milk boasts of having these ‘living’ essential probiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms which benefit the host (you). How? They line your gut and ward off the detrimental bacteria from causing you problems and illness. Edwin calls it “competitive exclusion” and as an example he says to imagine your gut as a city street. If your city is already heavily populated (helpful probiotics) and all the street parking is taken, then the bad guys (harmful bacteria) who come to wreak havoc have nowhere to park and move on.

Why does this matter so much? Well, up to 80% of your immune system is dependent on these ‘friendly population’ of probiotics in your intestines. If they are lacking, then the harmful bacteria or parasites have places to latch within your gut, and as a result, you are more easily exposed to diseases of every kind, even mental.

So where does your milk fit into this? You see, modern conventional methods use pasteurization to kill harmful pathogens from milk and extend its shelf life. But this high heat not only kills the harmful stuff, it also destroys the original beneficial antimicrobial properties and the vitamins within the milk. Then the ‘manufacturers’ actually make vitamins to mimic the ones they had just destroyed, and put those BACK into the milk and call it ‘fortified vitamin D milk.’ Hmm…   Now women….when breast feeding your child, do you milk yourself, then pasteurize it, then give it to your child? Or do have your child consume it in its raw state (as has been done for all of history)? Or maybe God’s design was wrong from the start, and the current humans now have it all figured out….

Don’t get me wrong, science and technology is great, and its the only way I could communicate with so many of you now. However, Procinctu and Edwin agree, when man becomes so arrogant that he believes he can find a better way than God intended, then the science isn’t so great.

Edwin also spoke a few words about kefir. Though the FDA forbids its sale for human consumption, you are encouraged to do your own research. I’ll only add that the benefits of kefir deserve their own post.

Luckily, there have been recent victories in the war for raw milk and the commitment to educating the public on behalf of raw milk proponents and farmers has only just begun. The public has been brainwashed for so long that many people don’t even consider that the milk is originally raw before it is ‘treated’ into a pasteurized state.

In closing, Edwin sited Hippocrates from 460 b.c. “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”



   Weston A. Price Foundation

 The Weston A. Price  Foundation also had local volunteers at the conference. This foundation was created to disseminate the research of nutritionist Dr. Weston A. Price. His research showed that optimum physique and health can only be obtained through the consumption of nutrient-dense whole foods and the essential fat-soluble activators found only in animal fats. Basically, lots of cage free organic eggs and grass fed beef.

Here are a few “Myths” that they dispel:

  • Heart disease is caused by cholesterol and saturated fats from animal products
  • Saturated fat clogs arteries
  • For good health, serum cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dl
  • Animal fats cause cancer and heart disease
  • Children benefit from a lowfat diet
  • Lowfat diets prevent breast cancer
  • Coconut oil causes heart disease
  • Beef causes colon cancer
  • Soy formula is safe for infants

When attained through natural means, meaning not factory farmed nor manufactured, they explain the importance of these in your diet:

  • Animal Fats
  • Raw Milk
  • Saturated Fats from animals
  • Cholesterol
  • Coconut oil
  • Cod liver oil (certain brands)
  • Fermentation

Check out their research. Much of it has to do with the benefits of “fat-soluble” activators, which are the vitamins found in meats of grass-fed animals and certain seafood. It is counter to much of the mainstream health misinformation you get today where lean meat, lowfat milk, and protein powders are encouraged. All of those lack the essential building blocks and vitamins that can only be attained naturally through animal fats.


Other Exhibitors at Farm to Table


   Green Pasture


Green Pasture, also of the Dr. Price school of thought, is a family owned business which focuses on handcrafting beneficial health products such as:

  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • Fermented Skate Oil
  • High Vitamin Butter Oil
  • FCLO/HVBO blended gels

Only you can decide if cod liver oil is right for you…..Is cod liver oil the number one Superfood? – 402.858.4818






Prevalent at Farm to Table was the  ‘live food’ theme, and Zukay was no exception. They showcased their Kvass drinks that were raw, probiotic, and with no sugar….made totally from vegetables. Flavors include:

  • Carrot Ginger
  • Beet Ginger
  • Super Gold
  • Super Root
  • Super Green
  • Beet
  • Veggie Medley

Click the links to see the benefits of incorporating Probiotics and Fermentation into your diet.


Quiet Creek Herb Farm

Quiet Creek has a 30 acre farm in Brookville, Pa. They not only sale herbal products, but they also host workshops and classes on the farm. Their product categories:

  • Oils
  • Herbal Salves
  • Herbal Seasonings
  • Herbal Soaps
  • Herbal Teas
  • Medicinal Herbs




   Rosary Acres


Rosary Acres is a general store of natural and organic foods in Ligonier, Pa. They use local suppliers (including the aforementioned ‘The Family Cow’) to stock the following:

  • Organic Produce
  • Fresh and Wild Fish
  • Grass Fed Beef and Chicken
  • Honey
  • Bulk Herbs, Teas, Spices

For those living in the region, they also deliver the products to the customer’s home or office.  –  724.238.4140  –  1869 Route 30, Ligonier, Pa


To wrap up, though the Farm to Table was in Pennsylvania, the jist of its message applies to you wherever you are. Your body is your temple and everything you put into it has an effect. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is brought to market directly impacts your life. Everything from your immune system to your mood is dependent upon what you consume.

Aside from seeking out naturally raised meats and whole foods, you also should definitely look into the benefits of ‘live foods’ and decide if you and your family could use them. Gather all the information you can and make the decision that’s right for you.