My Observations and Opinion
on Raw Dairy Products

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First, let me stress that this site does not purport to be a primary source site on information about raw dairy products nor their place in RAF/RVAF diets. However, via the raw foods lists and via private e-mail, I am repeatedly asked by folks for my opinion, as well as my personal dietary practices, regarding raw dairy products and their place in a RAF/RVAF diet.  Some of the controversy likely arises because dairy products, especially, cow dairy, are not really a Paleolithic food, but rather entered the human diet quite a bit later, and rather only recently (at least as any sizeable percentage of the diet.)  It can be argued that the archeological record shows that some small amounts of raw dairy from goats, yaks and sheep may have been consumed by some humans in the late Paleolithic period, but it is rather obvious that cow dairy products entered the human diet only much later.  Further, it is argued by many that the nature of this latecomer -- cow's milk -- has changed radically from that found perhaps 2,000 years ago because of selective breeding practices to enhance udder size and milk production, and because of modern feeding practices.  Because of this fact, many Paleolithic diet systems (both cooked and raw) exclude cow dairy products, even raw cow dairy products, and often all dairy products (such as even that from goats or yaks, even if raw), from their lists of permissible foods. So do many raw foods systems which embrace raw animal foods as well.  On the other hand, some RVAF dietary systems (such as Johnny Loveswisdom's Paradisian diet, the Essene diets, and Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Primal Diet) embrace raw dairy wholeheartedly, as so some partially-cooked Paleolithic-type diets (such as Sally Fallon's Traditional Diet and the Weston Price diet.)

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To my knowledge (and this has been checked by others as well) none of the RAF/RVAF, near-RAF/RVAF, or partially-cooked Paleolithic dietary systems cited on the accompanying overview page (overview of RVAF and near-RVAF systems) on this site espouse or allow any cooked (pasteurized) dairy at all, and rather, if they embrace dairy at all, they tend to allow only raw dairy products.  Please see other sites -- of which there are plenty if you want to learn more of why some folks feel that cooked (heated, pasteurized) dairy is harmful for you.  Indeed, several of these anti-heated-dairy sites quote even a number of Western medical doctors who are against the human consumption of (heated, at least) dairy products.

Opinion and Observations 

I firmly believe that cooked (heated, or pasteurized) dairy is not good for the human body. As noted above, even a number of MDs and researchers within the Western medical tradition have come to the same conclusion, and the evidence they cite is overwhelming -- there are numerous web sites and books explaining and espousing this position.  Western medical pediatricians seem to be in the forefront of this movement against pasteurized dairy consumption. Some go further and condemn all dairy products, including raw as well, as unfit for human consumption, and some cite numerous statistical and population studies to prove their points. 

On the more "alternative" or "natural health" side, Sally Fallon and the Weston Price folks, among others have documented a lot of reasons why pasteurized dairy may be harmful to the body.  Additionally, Dr. William Douglass has authored a book on the benefits of raw dairy.

I believe that raw dairy is likely very useful for some (not all) people on a RAF/RVAF diet, especially in the early stages.  In private discussions, Aajonus Vonderplanitz, the founder of the Primal Diet, has told me that he believes that raw cow dairy seems to act as a super-fuel to power deep cleansing and healing, far more so than even raw meat; we have discussed this matter several times, and it is apparent that he believes that anyone can benefit from regular consumption of raw cow dairy.  I agree with his belief to the extent that I will state that I feel that raw cow dairy can be useful for some people some of the time, dependent largely upon genetics and other factors (current state of health, etc.)  However, and this is where I differ from Aajonus, I believe that raw dairy can at times be very hard on the body, depending upon a person's genetics (and resultant biochemistry), and I believe that therefore each person must carefully gauge for themselves whether raw dairy is helping or harming them, as well as how much to use, and for how long to use it.  Particularly, I strongly believe that raw dairy can vastly accelerate bacterial "infectious" processes (apparently Aajonus believes this as well, based upon some private conversations, but views this as solely beneficial.) Although it is likely true that most or even all of these internal infectious processes may be attempts by nature and the body to perform deep cleansing of damaged tissues and toxins, it must be admitted that these reactions can range to mildly debilitating and rather prolonged, and even to very disabling and very prolonged.  Witness my own major and violent healing/cleansing crisis (bacterial/infective in nature) in February and March 2001, precipitated by a drastic increase of the percentage of raw cow dairy in my diet.  I was rather effectively disabled for about 6 weeks due to this cleansing crisis, with massive pain, swelling, headaches, fatigue, gut involvement, and fever.  I chose to ride it out, as I knew that this "crisis" would not permanently harm me, but would likely help me to heal, but it still resulted in six very painful weeks.

Raw cow dairy is NOT a Paleolithic food, and thus it is likely that our genes have not optimized our biochemistry for handling such a food in significant quantities, and this fact alone helps to bolster my own experience-derived and intuitive wariness and caution about raw cow dairy.  My own belief is that goat's milk (raw, of course) is somewhat easier on the human body than is cow dairy, and closer in composition to the small amounts of (goat, sheep, yak) milk which our ancestors may have ingested long ago.

If you are going to eat raw dairy products, I strongly encourage you to purchase only organic pasture-fed (grass-fed) dairy.

Having shared my reservations about raw cow dairy, now let me state that my own observation seems to be that for those folks who can tolerate raw cow dairy, it does seem to accelerate healing, and specifically, cleansing.  Specifically, I note apparently accelerated iris color change in the eye.  A vast number of Western alternative healing traditions recognize eye color change in the direction of lighter colors (green, blue, gray) as indicative of very deep healing and more specifically, deep cleansing, within the body.  For some reason, my own informal observation seems to indicate that folks on RAF/RVAF diets who ingest significant quantities of raw dairy experience more rapid shift in iris color to lighter colors.  Aajonus appears to believe this as well, based upon prior conversations with him.

For myself, as I noted on the Live-foods list in April 2001, I have chosen (guided by my intuition) to largely eliminate raw cow dairy from my day-to-day diet, effective early April 2001, because I needed my energy for various projects and activities, and while ingesting significant quantities of raw dairy I tend to want only to sleep all day -- feeling very fatigued, likely from accelerated cleansing and healing.  I continue to use moderate amounts of raw cream and small amounts of raw cheese, as well as an occasional intake of small amounts of raw butter - I never drink raw milk, nor do I regularly use raw yogurt or kefir.  It is also true that raw dairy contains large amounts of hormones and opiate-like soporific bioactive substances, and it may simply be that these opiate-like substances were making me sleepy.  Wai Genriiu addresses this point at length in her book listing many reference citations in the scientific literature (incidentally, her book offers many arguments and citations arguing against the consumption of any dairy products at all, whether raw or cooked.) 

Therefore, my current daily raw dairy intake is only modest amounts of raw cream, modest amounts of raw grass-fed organic (cow's milk) cheese at times, particularly the heavily aged and ripened cheeses which have moldy rinds and have a strong smell, and perhaps a bit of butter every other weekend in the form of a modified "lube formula" (aka "lemon meringue": raw butter, raw eggs, raw lemon and raw honey.)

What Do I Think of Raw Goats Milk?

As far as goat's milk: as cited above, the RawPaleoDiet page does not purport to be a resource site specifically on raw dairy (again, maybe someday this will be added as a sidebar feature), nor on raw goats milk.  Any reference to those food products at this time is largely incidental, and not intentional.  My opinion on raw goat dairy is stated above.

How Does Aajonus Vonderplanitz Feel About My Position on Raw Dairy?

In the first quarter or 2001, I wrote an e-mail to the Live-foods list regarding my opinion at the time (it has not changed much) on heated dairy and raw dairy.  I had cc'ed Aajonus on the letter, and shortly received a reply from him, which he gave me permission to publish on the list.

At Sun, 31 Dec 2000 10:26, Aajonus wrote:
Hi, Vinny,
Please post this. I've tried to use a bit of your humor.

Vinny had written:
*note: Cow dairy:  I do not seem to fare really well with large quantities of raw cow dairy, and that, coupled with the fact that I cannot easily find raw milk or cream here where I live, and can find only pre-frozen salted raw butter, helps buttress my choice to keep my raw cow dairy food intake rather low.  If I could get hold of good raw goat's milk, then I might use more (goat) dairy than I currently do.  Lastly, I have some intellectual concerns (prompted by small intuitive nudgings) about cow dairy in any sizeable quantity, since it seems to the scientist part of my mind that dairy is primarily a Neolithic-era (later epoch) food rather than a Paleolithic-era food.

Aajonus replies:
You drive a car, that is certainly a Neolithic-era tool.  The analogy is a severely weak argument.  If the food or tool works to better life, then the prejudice is detrimental when it comes to health.

Vinny had written:
Further, no animals seem to drink the milk of other species (there are no goat-milk sucking bats, or cow-milk sucking hedgehogs!).. . . .

Aajonus replies:
I don't see any other olive-oil-sucking, electrolyzed-reduced-water-sucking, ORP-of-843-sucking, MegaH-sucking, freeze-dried-barley-grass-greens-juice-sucking, spirulina-powder-sucking, calcium-magnesium-sucking, supplement-sucking animals either.

Vinny had written:
and most importantly, conventional Western medical epidemiologists have compiled an  incredibly convincing and frightening indictment of heated (cooked, or pasteurized) cow's milk and it's nasty effects upon the human body (strong correlations between rate of consumption of heated cow dairy with occurrence of MS, cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and infectious illnesses) and I am not 100% sure if that nasty effect is due solely to the heating suffered by pasteurized milk.

Aajonus replies:
You have chosen to remain in frightening ignorance.  To invalidate this thinking consider that arteriosclerosis has increased exponentially with the increased consumption of pressed oils and the decrease in raw dairy consumption. (see, and As I have said, 90% of the pressed oils, whether cooked or raw, consumed, except for coconut, are converted into solvents that attract minerals ("calcification") and dehydrate the tissues, including arteries.
To further discharge this rationale look at the tribes that thrive on raw animals' milk (especially cow's milk) that have no trace of cholesterol contamination: Masai, Samburu and Hunzas.  The Samburu have a custom that men of a certain age are only allowed to drink milk. For a decade, or there about, they drink only raw milk.
I have consumed massive quantities of raw milk throughout the years, consistently. I developed angina at the age of 15 on pasteurized dairy. Angina is caused by heart-tissue contamination.  I have consumed approximately 32,000 quarts of raw dairy in 30 years.  If the theory above were correct I would have been dead of every disease that they blame on dairy!  Contrarily, from severe illnesses that included some of those blamed on dairy, by drinking tons of raw dairy I have recovered from the very diseases that are blamed on dairy.

You have been reading too many medical and intellectual horror stories that have rare or no basis in reality regarding raw milk.

Vinny, hone your thinking, quickly, you may instil in people rationale that may be harmful to them.

lovingly, aajonus

------ end of reply from Aajonus ------ 

Some Off-Site Links on Raw Dairy and Its Benefits, Including Hazards of Heated Dairy
Check out the pages for the Real Milk movement and the Raw Milk -- Right to Choose Healthy Food movement.

For a unique, supposedly Christian scripture-based argument advocating consumption of organic grass-fed raw dairy products (and arguing against eating commercial pasteurized milk products) which would likely make most modern advocates of raw milk blush, you must read a diatribe/argument on the Essene Diet of Jesus aka "The Jesus Diet", written by Rev Abba Nazariah, DD, of a modern-day Essene church, arguing that Jesus Christ wanted us to drink raw organic milk!

William C. Douglass, MD, has published a book entitled The Milk Book, which promotes the use of raw dairy products and provides sound scientific evidence that raw dairy and raw animal fats are very healthful for the body and do not cause cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis (both are diseases which have been linked in the scientific literature to consumption of pasteurized dairy.)

Some Off-Site Links on Hazards of Eating All Dairy Products - Presumably Raw as Well as Heated (Pasteurized or Cooked) Dairy
Probably the best known site advocating against human consumption of milk is the No Milk website, with numerous links to other such sites.  Then, of course, as mentioned above, there is Wai Genriu's site advocating her RVAF diet, and her page, named Milk Causes Bone Decalcification, which attempts to prove that all milk consumption (raw or heated) is harmful for humans.
Among many dozens of such pages, there is also Robert Cohen's Notmilk site, which also contains many links as well.

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