My Raw Milk Journey, Part 1: gluta-what?

Albert and I advocate the right to buy and drink raw, unpasteurized milk.  We don’t get up on a soapbox very often, although I’m grateful to those who do.  We just drink it.

I have some friends to thank for my return to raw milk three years ago after not having drunk it since I was a teenager.  It wasn’t their aim though.  They touted a nutritional supplement called Max GXL, a pill that is supposed to increase levels of glutathione in your body.  Glutathione is an important antioxidant that our bodies make to fight disease.  Proponents claim that for a mere $70 a month, Max GXL will ward off all manner of ills, from diabetes and insomnia to weight gain and bad hair.

I listened politely for a few weeks, but they were so adamant that I at least research the product that I finally gave in.  Funny, they didn’t suggest any websites that didn’t sell Max GXL, but I decided to dig a little deeper.  I discovered that cysteine is a precursor to glutathione and that raw, unpasteurized milk has lots of it.  I was raised on raw milk.  I like it a lot.

So I told my pill-peddling chums that I was going to pump up the glutathione via raw milk.  It was their turn to look skeptical.   Nevertheless, I said, I would try it and if I didn’t notice any benefit within a reasonable amount of time, I would consider the Max.

It wasn’t difficult to find a farmer who would sell us raw milk.  The good man we buy from is against legalizing the sale of raw milk – he was furious when Michael Schmidt won his famous Durham cow share case a couple of years ago – but he cheerfully fills our bucket with fresh milk every week.

I never had to make good on that promise to my friends.  Raw milk didn’t produce the miraculous results that slick Max GXL reps claim their product does, but my immune system improved quickly and dramatically.  I rarely even catch a cold anymore.  This isn’t me being arrogant or feeling invincible; I know that sooner or later I’ll return to dust just like everyone else.  But I’m thankful for a cheap, natural way to boost my and Albert’s health for the present.

Choosing raw milk is not as convenient as plopping a plastic bag into a container and snipping off the corner.  It hasn’t been homogenized, which is the process of spinning really fast so that the milk and cream don’t separate.  It takes a day for the cream to rise so that I can scoop it off and have nice, low-fat milk to drink.  I can’t serve it to guests ’cause I don’t want to get sued.  But it’s healthy and cheap (we pay fifty cents a litre which is about half the price of milk in the grocery store), and the cream is free.  Even our butter would be free if I got around to making it.  I have fond memories of butter making when I was a little girl…but that’s a story for another day.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Elbert Fallows on August 9, 2012 at 8:10 am

    L-Cysteine is an amino acid that is closely related to Cystine. Cystine contains sulfur and is formed by two molecules of L-Cysteine. L-Cysteine is also a sulfur containing amino acid. It is used to manufacture L-glutathione and L-taurine..`;:’



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