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Why use of colloidal silver to extend the life of raw milk freshness is a short sighted practice that has the potential to harm health.
I read an article the other day about the growing glut of organic pasteurized milk across North America. A Big Dairy darling until only recently, consumers are increasingly shunning this pseudo-healthfood in favor of healthier alternatives. One option is grassfed raw milk, whose popularity continues to increase by leaps and bounds worldwide. Wholesome non-dairy beverages are also making significant inroads into the once-thriving organic milk business.
As more consumers make the important transition from processed (organic) milk to more nourishing, less allergenic alternatives, education about proper handling is very important. When it comes to raw grassfed milk, knowing how to keep it fresh for drinking without compromising the significant health benefits is critical.
I’ve written before about how to keep raw milk fresh for as long as possible. Since that article was published, I’ve received a number of inquiries from people asking about using colloidal silver for this purpose. Apparently, it is popular in some raw milk circles to add a few drops to containers of raw dairy (both milk and cream) to keep it fresh longer.
Let’s examine whether this is a good idea or not.
Colloidal Silver and Raw Milk
There’s no doubt that colloidal silver is one of the best natural antibiotics out there. That said, I’ve always recommended to readers of this site to confine its use to external areas of the body. Limiting internal use to gargling for sore throats or other oral infections (and then spitting it out), for example, is optimal in my view. There are a number of far better, natural antibiotics than colloidal silver to use internally, such as fermented garlic.
The reason colloidal silver is best not used internally is because it is powerfully anti-microbial to both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria.
In other words, if you swallow some, it has the potential to disrupt or destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut in the same way drug based antibiotics do.
For this reason, the practitioners I know who specialize in gut healing recommend against its use internally.
In addition, more recent research has revealed that colloidal silver is harmful to the brain.
Destruction of Probiotics
Let’s extend this line of thinking to raw dairy.
While using a small amount colloidal silver in a container of unpasteurized milk or cream might buy you a few extra days of freshness, the downside is profound.
For one thing, this practice will likely destroy some, and possibly all, the probiotics. These critters are more than just healthy. They are an important safety feature in raw milk. I’ll explain more on that below. First, though, let’s look at what they actually do.
The beneficial bacteria in raw milk gradually use up the lactose in the milk. It serves as food for them. As the lactose is consumed, the raw milk naturally sours into clabbered milk, a very healthy beverage similar to buttermilk.
Remember that pasteurized milk contains no probiotics. Heat processing, even low temp (vat) pasteurization, destroys them. This is why pasteurized milk goes putrid after the “use by” date and doesn’t transform into sour milk like fresh from the cow.
Most people I know consider the probiotics in raw milk to be a big health benefit. Hence, compromising these friendly critters in any way reduces the value of your Real Food investment. Good quality raw milk is expensive, so why degrade it in any way?
As mentioned above, adding colloidal silver to raw milk is a dangerous practice. Compromising the probiotics in raw milk – its safety mechanism – eliminates the natural and effective protection from pathogens. This is why raw milk left on the counter does not spoil … it clabbers.
If raw milk is not able to sour naturally due to reduced probiotic content, the result is a beverage more susceptible to going putrid. In other words, drinking raw milk with added colloidal silver has the potential to make a person very sick. Beware!
In addition, from a purely practical perspective, using colloidal silver to extend the drinkable life of raw milk prevents its use for other purposes. This includes making raw whey and cream cheese among other dishes.
In sum, it is best to never add colloidal silver to your raw milk to keep it fresh longer. While this trick does work, the cons far outweigh the pros.
This article details the best ways for keeping raw milk fresh that won’t compromise this traditional food’s integrity or nutritional value.
I heard that cs only damages bad bacteria not good because of their different make up. Ever heard anything about that?
Nope. Colloidal silver kills ALL bacteria. It is not a food or prebiotic like garlic. It is a METAL.
My youngest daughter, Lara, wasn’t even 2 1/2 years old when she got hit with a nasty E.coli strain that caused Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). She started having bloody diarrhea and we took her to the ER after consulting our on-call Pediatric office. She ended up in Phoenix Children’s Hospital for 4 weeks, spending 2 full weeks in the ICU. She experienced Kidney failure, needed supportive dialysis and critical medical care, and actually arrested in front of our eyes in the ICU one day. She could have died, or she could’ve ended up with permanent Kidney damage. We were very fortunate that she made a full recovery. We were consuming raw grass fed milk as a family at the time.
Most E.coli strains are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a bacterium that can cause severe food borne disease. The worst type of E. coli, known as E. coli O157:H7, causes bloody diarrhea and can sometimes cause kidney failure and even death. E. coli O157:H7 makes a toxin called Shiga toxin and is known as a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Primary sources of STEC outbreaks are raw or undercooked ground meat products, raw milk, and fecal contamination of vegetables.
Notice that raw milk is one of the prominent sources of this very dangerous pathogen? Do I believe that raw grass fed milk is very nutritious and healthy? Yes, I do. Does that cancel out the fact that this particularly dangerous pathogen, that mutated into existence and became a serious problem starting in the mid 1980s, could kill or cause kidney damage to you or your loved ones? No, it absolutely does not. Be wary and take this seriously, because you or your loved ones could end up on the bad end of the worst Russian Roulette game you ever chose to play.
I guess you don’t eat cantaloupes, bagged spinach, deli meats, restaurant meals and dozens of other foods then either which have much HIGHER risk of food borne illness than raw milk. Come to think of it, you shouldn’t ever set foot in a car either!
And, if you ever dug into the CDC data, you would see the evidence for yourself that raw milk is one of the safest foods on the planet. I’m sorry your daughter got ill, but the truth is that it is very rare for this to happen, and banning a very healthy, nutritious food for the rare occasion when raw milk gets someone sick is as silly as banning sidewalks because sometimes people trip, fall and hurt themselves.
Using colloidal silver once 15 years ago, pulled me out of a very long respiratory illness that other herbs couldn’t totally cure. But I have not used it since. Taking CS daily is the same as using antibiotics from the doctors every day as a prevention. Plus, it can accumulate in your system, having done so has turned some people’s skin silver. And I’ve heard this can be irreversible.
New article published in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Cambridge University Press.
Here is the link to Securing fresh food from fertile soil, challenges to the organic and raw milk movements
I have often used CS by adding it to water when I have been very ill. It does always work for me, but I would never add it to milk
Thank you so much for this advice Sarah!
I’m glad you wrote about this Sarah. I am a strong advocate of colloidal silver but agree with you 100% about keeping it away from raw milk (and kefir, yogurt, sourdough, and all fermentations!). I gargle, nebulize, and do drink CS if I feel the need, but I keep it away from all foods and food containers. CS is actually absorbed or neutralized in the stomach, so I do not feel it is a danger to the gut. Your recommendations are spot on in any case.
I would also add that while CS is a great sterilizer, and can be used for countertops and all surfaces, again, I would not recommend that in the home. I did do that in the past, but I have actually gone in the opposite direction and advocate using EM (Effective Microorganisms) instead. EM can be thought of as kefir for the environment 😉 The point being that we want to spread the good bacteria as much as possible.