As I have been learning more and more about the harmful effects of plastics and BPA leakage, I have been continually trying to improve the source of my lifeblood: Moo Juice. Homogenization is another topic that I have been researching, and something that is making me re-think what kind of milk I buy.
Straight out of the cow, milk is what’s known as an emulsion, or a mixture of milk-fat globules, various solids, and water. As time passes, the fat globules separate from the water and rise to the surface, forming a layer of cream. According to some sources, in the past this layer of cream was used as a method by customers to test whether they were getting a decent amount of fat in the milk, as some dairymen would skim fat off the top to make more money off of butter and ice cream.
After some shady door-to-door salesmen tactics, enough people were convinced that these fat globules were harmful to the human body that it warranted a desire for all milk to become homogenized.
Homogenization is a process that is used to achieve a uniform fat content throughout the milk. This happens by running the milk through small tubes with microscopic pores in them, forcing the globules of fat apart as the flow of the milk remains constant. This process of homogenization usually occurs twice to ensure that all globules are broken up and that the milk is the same consistency throughout the whole bottle.
Some researchers believe that this process which creates irregularly heavy globules of protein and fat can cause an increase in allergic reactions to milk, which has been demonstrated in studies involving rats (this may explain why one of my athletes experiences adverse effects when drinking homogenized milk, but not when drinking non-homogenized milk). Along with the pasteurization process, homogenization also kills vitamins, bacteria, and some proteins that naturally occur in milk, which is why commercial milk is supplemented with Vitamins A & D.
Homogenized milk tastes more bland than non-homogenized, but does create a more consistent creamy texture since the fat content is consistent throughout the bottle. I am a huge fan of cream and homemade ice cream, so I actually prefer layers of fat when consuming dairy products.
In an industrialized society, the notion of uniformity is of upmost concern to the higher powers. The same reason they want all milk to smell the same with the same shade of white is the same reason they want all school children to eat the same lunch, regardless of dietary concerns.
Obviously raw milk is the optimal choice for everyone to drink, but it is simply not feasible for everyone. The lack of availability in all states, plus the hefty price tag that accompanies it can make it out of reach for some, especially people like myself who are interested in the GOMAD. While it isn’t as ideal as raw milk, I fully endorse non-homogenized milk to be vastly superior to homogenized milk. This doubly true if it is grass fed and comes in a glass bottle with a BPA-free lid, to avoid any hormone altering compounds that may leak into it from a conventional plastic jug.
There can be a $2 dollar deposit on glass bottles, which at first glance may seem like an annoyance, but no one ever said that getting big was cheap. I would rather pay a couple dollars for a better bottle than save a couple dollars and have distorted hormones. What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments.