I’ve played around with raw cow milk and kefir before and I’ve been using goat yogurt and kefir for a while. I’ve REALLY wanted to switch to raw cow kefir though. I’ve wanted to make the switch not so much because I think cow milk is better than goat milk – I’m not so sure it is – but because I can easily get raw cow milk locally and raw goat milk is a bit harder to get around here.
So, yesterday I substituted raw cow kefir for my usual pasteurized goat yogurt in my shakes. Everything else remained exactly the same for the day. The results? Quiet stomach all day, no gas or bloat and I felt good all day. This morning I’m doing fine as well and all was good in the poop department. Overall, a very successful introduction of a food that is SUPPOSED to be very healthy for me.
Now, the question remains – Is raw cow milk or kefir Paleo? I think the strict Paleo answer is NO! But let’s take a few steps beyond that…
Advantages of incorporating raw milk and kefir into a Paleo diet:
- Raw cow milk has high levels of digestible protein and LIVE enzymes
- Raw grassfed cow milk has high levels of CLA
- Kefir made with raw milk incorporates not only the probiotics from the kefir but also the good bacteria that remains in the milk because it isn’t pasteurized
- Raw kefir is a lot more digestible than milk
- Raw cow dairy contains a good amount of saturated animal fats and a ton of other great stuff
- Raw cow milk from healthy animals contains a high level of Vitamin D
If you move away from the “Paleo” paradigm for a second and just think “primitive” I think you can see that cultured raw milk from grass fed cows on a local farm is about as “early” as you can get in the agricultural time-line. We’re basically talking Paleo plus a few hundred years or so. This is still very primitive and there’s a fair amount of evidence that primitive and hunter gatherer cultures have used raw dairy to good effect.
Another thing I find really cool about making my own kefir is the absolutely HEAVENLY butterfat thing that happens at the top of the jar when the cultures do their thing. That stuff is SO sweet and creamy and full of CLA and who knows what other good stuff!
The “making it” process is a little involved and can go wrong sometimes, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. Currently, I’m getting my kefir starter from Body Ecology.
Really the only thing I have left to do here as far as testing is to keep using the kefir and make sure there isn’t any kind of delayed immune reaction. If I continue to do well on it, I’m going to keep eating it and see how I do. My hope is that the big doses of probiotics I get from the kefir daily will really help out my health and digestion. We’ll see what happens!
[Note: I was ORIGINALLY planning to include a bunch of references here to back up my points in this article. I haven’t found the really good stuff I’m looking for so I’ll update this post as I find better info.]