The French Paradox refers to the curious observation that French people are slim and healthy, suffering from a low risk of coronary artery disease despite a diet extremely high in saturated fat regularly washed down with glasses of wine.
While the long held belief that saturated fat expands your waistline and causes heart disease has long since been disproven with cardiologists now going on record saying how ridiculous such an assertion actually is based on current research, there is clearly something else at play here keeping the French so healthy.
Is it just me or do the French just get it about what it takes to be healthy much better than Americans?
Case in point, while many Americans seem to prefer the latest and greatest silver bullet supplements that empty the wallet with promises of reduced fat, no wrinkles and perfect health yet never come close to measuring up, the French stick with the tried and true that actually works: nutrient dense food.
Check out this video below of a raw milk vending machine in France.
If raw milk was really as dangerous as the CDC and conventional medical authorities in the USA claim, wouldn’t these machines that are popping up all over Europe be causing some serious food borne illness outbreaks by now?
Perhaps the time has come to set aside the shrill warnings about the clear and present “danger” of grassfed raw milk and try some for yourself!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Did you see this article yet?!
“Amish farm kids remarkably immune to allergies: study”
Direct quote: “Drinking raw cow’s milk also seems to be involved, Holbreich said.”
Raw milk is inherently dangerous; this has been proven over and over again. There are currently two food poisoning outbreaks caused by raw milk. The outbreaks disproportionately affect children, because their immune systems are still developing. In fact, there are five children hospitalized with kidney failure in those outbreaks.f you really are a “home economist”, you know that the bacteria in raw milk, including E. coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria can cause kidney failure, paralysis, and death.
There aren’t more outbreaks caused by raw milk because only 1% of consumers drink it. But it cases 60% of food poisoning cases linked to dairy products. Before pasteurization, as any home economist knows, milk products caused 50% of all foodborne illness. This article is irresponsible, to say the least.
Can you provide the documentation for these claims? Thanks –
Also, there are cases of food poisoning liked to pasteurized dairy products too.
Mae, it’s more like 3% of Americans drink raw milk. I don’t believe there have been any deaths attributable to raw milk, but there have definitely been deaths due to contaminated pasteurized milk, not to mention meat and various vegetables.
Anything can become contaminated, but making the world an antiseptic place is a fool’s errand and will not result in better health. The chances of a child being killed by a motor vehicle, a swimming pool, a gun, cancer, etc etc, are far greater than the chances of illness, much less dying, from raw milk. To drink raw milk or not is a decision everyone should make for herself. It is not your business or the government’s business to tell us what we can put in our bodies.
It’s easy enough to lie and mislead with statistics. Raw milk has a long history in the human diet. Cases of rampant food poisoning were prevalent in the bad old days of swill dairies, those urban dairies that didn’t have the cows on pasture but fed them used and discarded grains from distilleries. These were shady operations that put a priority on profit, not on health or sanitation. They are not reflective of the way good raw milk dairies are run nowadays, and they aren’t characteristic of they way dairy operations have been run throughout history. They were a brief aberration in certain U.S. cities early in the 20th century during a period of rapid urbanization but before refrigeration and stainless steel, etc, were available. Read “The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmid to educate yourself.
Somehow enough of our ancestors survived drinking raw milk, etc., to pass along their genes to us. If raw milk scares you, DON’T DRINK IT! After all, you can always culture your raw milk first.
Whenever I bothered to follow an outbreak related to raw milk it usually ends up to either be unrelated to the milk and/or it can be more directly related to the milk processing, not the milk itself. In a world of recalls of meat and sickness from spinach why does milk become a bogeyman. There is nothing stopping a parent from culturing the milk before children drink it and/or eschew milk and go with aged 60 day plus raw cheese. A gov’t solution that pretty much guarantees a useless, albeit harmful food product in the end does more damage to the humans than e-coli. Raw milk is not a panacea but neither is pasteurization. Everything has costs, what is the cost of slow lingering diseases, osteoporosis to name one, arteriosclerosis to name another versus an occasional problem with a food that is inherently building not destroying. Don’t go blaming raw milk for the destruction of everyones health through the perverted food supply. Instead of castigating a simple healthful product maybe you should research why the food supply has basically turned into a river of garbage and the increasing disease state. Unless of course you think we just get every imaginable disease from breathing. Oh no wait, that’s right the air is now polluted with harmful chemicals too, oh well I guess I just have to wait for the prescribed pill to cure my problems. That’s the difference to the people here, taking action instead of reacting. “No” one has all the answers but at least we are trying and learning, not just accepting the status quo. And believe me I certainly tire of all the rhetoric from many in the “guru” camp who are just jumping onto the latest band-wagon for profit. But then again, when has the rhetoric ever stopped from the mass food suppliers, big pharma and the government. It’s a net sum zero game and I think we have to seek answers elsewhere because neither the FDA, USDA, big pharma and big food business nor the health supplement industry practices work. So viva la raw milk (grass fed) baby!
Even time I see old episodes of Julia Child, I feel bad that people told her beloved butter was bad for her. You can readily sense the deep disappointment she felt when she had to use vegetable oils and margarine on the episodes to please others.
I was interested in trying raw milk due to all the write-ups on this site, but my friend just experienced an e.coli outbreak on the herdshare she belongs to in Oregon. Her 2 year old son contracted e.coli, and subsequently HUS, a condition which can be life-threatening. He’s better now, thank God, but it was an extremely scary situation to say the least. Additionally, the farmer’s children were sickened and one was hospitalized in critical condition and on dialysis, although she is doing better now as well.
Anyway, my question is, how do we protect ourselves from this type of occurrence, or is it simply chance that these things will happen. The farmers of my friend’s herd-share were conscientious and good farmers, so I am wondering how something like that could happen, and how can it be prevented without pasteurizing the milk? Please let me know your thoughts and if you see any risks with drinking the raw milk (or if the benefits to you just outweigh the risks).
Thanks very much.
Hi Jen D.
I have to go to the next state over to buy raw milk, but the raw milk sold in stores there has been tested by the state to make sure it is free of unhealthy pathogens. I also believe you can buy home test kits. Maybe someone else knows more about these. Here is a cute video tour of a raw milk dairy, and the farmer talks about testing his milk. http://homegrownonahobbyfarm.com/index.php/2010/10/a-visit-to-wholesome-dairy-farms/ Not my video, no self promoting, just a nice video on this topic.
Just saw this:
Looks like the French and the Amish have it right.
Fran Shipp via Facebook
Will cows full of antibiotics produce safe raw milk? Do the French have healthier cows? And is the only milk you can buy raw organic?
If my milk supplier has a cow on antibiotics, he will not add the milk to the bulk tank. He disposes of it. Not all raw milk is organic – you will have to ask your supplier. Mine is not certified organic but he feeds his cows the hay we grow. It’s been growing here ever since we’ve lived here. We didn’t seed it and we don’t fertilize it-but we don’t use pesticides either. But we know what the cow is eating.
In “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” Gary Taubes – an author who seems to have no axe to grind and isn’t selling any sort of diet plan – reviews scientific research over the past 100+ years and concludes that it’s a high carbohydrate diet – especially the simple carbs in rice, potatoes, white flour and sugar – that are the main cause of obesity and most of the “diseases of civilization” – cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc. If the French have a diet high in fat, it means they eat less of something else – carbohydrates. And if they are more physically active than we are – and how could they be less? – they probably find it easier to burn up the carbs they do eat.
Anita Elizabeth via Facebook
After going to France several times I was in total shock to learn they do not sell fresh milk (the pasturized type). The whole country drinks the (to my taste) disgusting UHT milk!! Checked wiki in disbelief, the French drinks
95.5% of their milk in UHT form. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-temperature_processing
Good to learn raw milk is available now. But I think this post is misleading then..
Geri Ann Debinion via Facebook
@Julie. Raw milk from vending machines what a luxury! Ooh-la-la!
Been thinking about this and when I lived in Spain for 5 weeks…we ate lots more healthy fats, lots more fish (antioxidants!?), got lots of sun and did a lot of walking. I, of course, lost some weight but never burned. Didn’t put 2+2 together until now, but I sure felt fabulous while I was there! However that experience of eating more fresh, local and natural [salad dressings (vinegar, oil, lemon, etc.)] made a big impact!