Shumway Farms, LLC

2325 Hwy 241

Afton, WY 83110

(307) 885-0110

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© 2016 - Shumway Farms, LLC

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All About Raw Milk!

Raw milk in a natural state has many important nutrients, such as enzymes, protein, heart-healthy fats, carbohydrates vitamins, minerals and beneficial bacteria that help build our immune systems. Here are a few of the excellent nutritional benefits that raw milk brings to your fridge:

 

Natural Probiotic

Raw milk is an excellent source of beneficial bacteria that helps keep your gut healthy. These bacteria help with milk digestion, boost your immune system and "crowd out" bad bacteria or viruses that can cause illness.

 

Digests Easy!

One of the unique bacteria found in raw milk is Lactobacilli. This bacteria breaks down and digests dairy products easily. This is one of the reason why many people who are typically lactose-intolerant, and who cannot drink pasteurized milk, can drink raw milk easily.

 

Super Food

Raw milk is loaded with other healthy nutrients and natural fats, including: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Omega 3 fatty acids, bio-available minerals, enzymes, antibodies, amino acids, good cholesterol, calcium, vitamins, phosphorus and immunoglobulins. And the best part is that they are all present naturally!

 

Immune System Booster

A healthy immune system depends on a healthy gut, which hosts many beneficial bacteria. About 80% of our immune system is made of protective gut bacteria. Raw milk has many of these bacteria, plus the nutrients to help feed the bacteria. This results in a strong immune system. There have been numerous studies which show that consuming raw milk will greatly reduce illness and allergies!

 

To learn even more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page!

Raw Milk has been proven to help heal or improve:

 

Asthma & Allergies

Digestive Disorders

Autoimmune Disorders

Osteoporosis

Raw Milk has been proven to help heal or improve:

 

Asthma & Allergies

Digestive Disorders

Autoimmune Disorders

Osteoporosis

Raw milk that comes from healthy cows has many amazing components that help keep our bodies healthy and our immune systems strong! Conventional milk is pasteurized (cooked at a high temperature) and homogenized (fat globules are broken under high pressure). When this occurs, many of these healthy components are damaged or altered. Therefore, our bodies cannot recieve all of the benefits that nature bestowed upon milk.

Is it Safe?

Is it Safe?

Is it Safe?

There are two different kinds of raw milk:

 

1. Raw milk intended for human consumption.

2. Raw milk intended for pasteurization.

 

A dairy whose intent is to produce milk as a commodity to be sold for pasteurized products operates very differently from a raw dairy whose end product is meant to be consumed raw. There are different standard operating practices and milk testing methods.

 

Over the years, there have been a small number of illnesses and deaths that have been attributed to raw milk consumption. However, it is important to know that NONE of these instances have been from raw milk that was intended for human consumption! This is an important distinction that media outlets, the FDA, CDC, and other food safety officials fail to understand when these rare instances occur and are reported. It is true that raw milk can serve as a carrier for harmful pathogens. However, there are many simple practices that can be done to dramatically reduce, if not eliminate, the risk of pathogens being in the milk's environment. 

 

Here at Shumway Farms, we are very focused on producing raw dairy products that are safe, nutritious and delicious! Here are some of our practices that are very different from conventional dairies that produce milk as a commodity intended for pasteurization:

 

  • We do not give anti-biotics or Bovine Growth Hormones (BST) to our cows - This ensures that our cows maintain healthy gut bacteria levels and strong immune systems. This means that their manure is full of the same good gut bacteria. This will ward off pathogens from developing in the manure. Stagnant manure in a confined space is the number 1 source of pathogens found on conventional dairies.

  • We pasture our cows as much as possible - While we cannot graze our cows all year round (it is Wyoming...), we do operate a very efficient grazing program to maximize the growing season so that our cows can be grazed a good 4-5 months of the year. Healthy pastures cannot support pathogen life. This also means the cows are not confined to a small barn space where large amounts of manure can collect (dairy cows do produce a lot of manure!). Even in the winter months, we try to allow our cows the freedom to go outside at their leisure so as to mitigate too much confinement. Obviously during harsh weather it's best for them to hunker down in the free-stall barn, which is why we will, at times, keep them confined to shelter.

  • We limit the amount of grain our cows consume - Grain is a very essential part of a lactating cow's diet. She requires extra protein and calories in order to stay healthy during her lactation cycle (extra calories that she cannot obtain by grazing or eating forage alone). This is why grain is very important. A healthy dose of grain is about 1% of a cow's body weight in pounds. However, too much grain is not healthy for a dairy cow. A cow's rumen is very sensitive and too much grain can ferment in her system, killing much of the good gut bacteria that keep her immune system strong and her milk healthy. A significant overdose of grain can result in even more health problems for the cow. Many conventional "factory dairies" feed their cows more grain than they should. This may result in higher levels of milk production, but cow immune systems are weakened and milk nutrition levels decline. A cow with healthy gut bacteria and a strong immune system will produce antibodies and other healthy bacteria that will be present in not only her milk, but also her manure. This makes it very difficult for pathogens to develop in manure, which is typically the number one source of pathogens on conventional dairies! Hence, healthy cows not only procude healthy milk, but also healthy manure, which mitigates the growth of pathogenic bacteria on a farm. Cool, huh?!

  • We keep our barn and milking equipment super clean - Clean milking procedures are a must when producing raw milk intended for human consumption! When you know your milk is going to be pasteurized, then it is easy to get a little lax in your processes.

  • We test every batch of milk! - For conventional dairies, states require that periodic testing is done on milk that is being sent for pasteurized products. However, these tests primarily look for anti-biotics, somatic cell court, and butter fat levels. They are not concerned with pathogens since pasteurization will take care of anything harmful that may be present in the milk. Here at Shumway Farms, we have our own lab where we test every batch of milk before releasing it for sale. Our tests specifically look at Standard Plate Count the coliform count. These tests look at the overall levels of bacteria in the finished product and serve as indicators of whether or not pathogens might be present. Low counts are good. High counts for these tests are risky and indicate that pathogens could be present. The good news is that by keeping our herd at a managable size, and by employing good, clean milking practices, we have yet to see questionable sample results with our milk! The amount of testing we conduct is way beyond any traditional standards, but we feel that it is an important component of our food safety program. For more details about our testing program, CLICK HERE.

 

As with any food you consume, you are never guaranteed safety, but we certainly can ensure a high level of safety with our products!

 

To learn even more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page!

Did you know...

 

That raw milk technically never "goes bad"? It will sour as it begins to change into a new product, but it will never mold or cause illness if consumed sour! Cool, huh?!

LEARN MORE

More Resources

Raw Milk Institute - Organization to help producers with safe raw milk standards. The site includes good educational material as well.

 

Real Milk.com - Great website for article links and studies about raw milk (the site is a little outdated).

 

Interviews with Mark McAfee - Mark owns Organic Pastures Dairy in California, the largest raw milk dairy in the country. He is one of the foremost voices leading the fight for expanding education and legalization of raw milk. These videos contain fantastic information about raw milk and the proven science and health benefits.

 

 

History of Raw Milk - Good short article and video that shows how raw milk got a bad rap.