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Dairy is a controversial topic in both the meat-eating world and obviously the vegan world. The vegan world shouts that eating anything animal based is cruel while a majority of the population still relies heavily on dairy products. It’s important to keep in mind that food is more about quality than anything. If you choose to eat dairy it’s vitally important to understand the difference in quality of food that you can ingest.

Before you continue reading this article answer this question… Which two forms of dairy are healthier and preferable to the other two forms of dairy? Butter, Milk, Eggs & Cheese. Which two offer the most nutritional and health value? and which other two would you think should be avoided most? Go on! take a guess, you’ll find out the answer at the end of this article.

Take milk for example, if you just go to the store and buy milk from the grocery store that milk will be much less and nutritionally beneficial than the milk you get by going down the street and getting it raw from a dairy farmer correct? that’s because the milk is fresh, unprocessed and unpasteurized. Take it a step further, make sure that dairy farmer let’s his cow’s roam free range and eat grass all day instead of being confined in barns and fed GMO corn and soy.

Food quality is determined by how it was grown or raised and by how it is processed and packaged for human consumption from there. If an animal is raised in a healthy environment where it eats the diet it was created to eat (which is typically grass, bugs, worms etc.) for animals like cows and chickens then it has what is needed to be a healthy animal. Just like humans animals need exercise and a healthy diet in order to produce healthy dairy.

If a mother is breastfeeding and not eating healthy the baby suffers the effects of this. In fact, many newborns are often colicky (which means they cry for hours each day) because of gas, bloating and indigestion. The mothers breast milk quality (based on the mothers diet and nutritional habits) determine how healthy their baby is.

Quality comes first, and always. The quality of your food should be the number one determining factor in the food you choose.

If you drink milk:

Drink raw milk from a local farmer or avoid it completely because the milk at the store is full of hormones, antibiotics and the nutrients have been voided due to the pasteurization process. Raw milk does have some nutritional value but it’s also difficult for humans to digest because of a protein known as casein. It’s even more difficult to digest when the cow has been fed GMO’s and the milk is pasteurized because then the live cultures which help the digestive process are no longer there. Raw cow’s milk from a local organic dairy farmer is the only option if you choose to drink dairy milk. Otherwise you can drink a variety of other milks. Learn more about why I personally avoid dairy milk from cows and choose a non-dairy source in this article: 6 Reasons You Need To Stop Drinking Dairy Milk Immediately. The biggest problem with dairy milk is that it’s all been pasteurized and nutritional value is now void, it also contains casein which is a protein that is difficult for humans to digest. A majority of people are also lactose intolerant which creates another digestive issue with milk. For these reasons this is on our “Dairy to avoid” list.

If you eat eggs:

Choose eggs that are pasture raised free range eggs. The eggshell should be brown in color and the yolk should be a rich orange color. If the yolk is yellow and the shell is white avoid these eggs. You want the eggs to be pasture raised free range eggs where the hen was able to roam freely and rummage through grass, bugs and worms as part of it’s natural diet. These eggs are easiest to get at a farmers market and are actually very difficult to find elsewhere. You have to think that eggs (human or animal) are very nutrient dense and potent sources of life as they create them! When eggs come from a high quality healthy source they contain a lot of nutritional value. Eggs are a great source of cholesterol but cholesterol is neither good nor bad, it’s needed for the production of testosterone (an important hormone for health and vitality) as well as other factors in the human body.  Eggs are also a great source of other important vitamins and minerals. The right eggs carry plenty of nutritional value and are beneficial in many ways. This makes our “Dairy To Enjoy” list.

If you eat butter:

Choose butter that is a high quality butter. The hidden truth here is that even organic butter is not the best quality butter you can get. Organic butter is better than non-organic butter but much of the organic butter on the market can still be cows fed by organic corn which isn’t part of their natural diet. A cow should be eating grass and roaming in the fields. This is why many health enthusiasts choose kerrygold pure irish butter over organic butter because it’s grass-fed butter.  Butter is extremely rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and vitamin D which is hard to get through a food source. The right source of high quality grass fed organic butter makes our list of “Dairy To Enjoy!”

If you eat cheese: 

Organic cheese is obviously a better alternative but it’s also worth understanding that certain cheeses are more easily digested than others so some are best avoided. Do your research to find out which cheeses are more easily absorbed and which cause more gas and bloating. You can actually get raw cheeses in some countries around the world and this is the best option to get because raw forms of dairy (such as milk or cheese) help healthy gut flora more than processed and packaged kinds as they still contain live cultures. Interestingly enough cheese consumption in the United States has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. Since 1970 cheese consumption in the United States has tripled! Americans eat an average of 23 pounds of cheese per year. Think about that or a minute, that’s almost a 2 pound block of cheese every single month! Cheese is more likely to contain mold than other forms dairy, it is created in a way that can contain pus from cows as milk can be also. For these reasons, this is on our “Dairy to Avoid” List.

When it comes to dairy you want to think in terms of quality. Is it raw? is it pasture raised free range? is it organic? is it free of colorings and preservatives? It all comes down to the ingredient label. Do your homework, read the front and backside of the package and know what you’re putting into your cart before you bring it home and eat it.

Also keep in mind that the more processed something is the less valuable it is to your health. Eggs are great for health and well-being when from a healthy organic source because it’s pure and from the source. Milk could be (but it’s very hard to come by). Butter is made from the fat of milk, fat that we need but it also includes other vitamins and nutrients.

Cheese and milk are the most deadliest forms of dairy. With eggs and butter, at least you get something of value as long as you choose the right source! Shop wisely!

Recommended Reading: The Real Truth About Cooking Eggs (How Should You Cook Your Eggs?)