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Raw Milk & Kefir (Video Library)

This post is the second installment in a series of posts I am creating on the subject of fermented foods and beverages. The first post in this series was on Kombucha Tea.

In this post we will learn about the health benefits of raw milk, and how these benefits may be substantially increased by fermenting it into kefir(also known as "the champagne of milk"). In the “Introductory Videos” section, Mark McAfee, founder of Organic Pastures Dairy, gives an excellent overview on the subject of raw milk. The "Raw Milk & Kefir Testimonials" section is quite extensive and provides a broad sampling of the experiences people have had with both raw milk and kefir. I have placed the kefir videos towards the end of the post after the section with Mark McAfee's presentations. While watching the videos, it may be helpful to keep in mind the difference between milk kefir grains and water kefir grains. Milk kefir grains primarily feed on lactose and water kefir grains feed on sugar (sucrose, glucose, etc.). Also, milk kefir grains may be used to culture non-dairy mediums such as coconut water but they will only propagate in milk. Water kefir grains will culture non-dairy products such as coconut water or juices but will not do well in milk. The term "kefir" originally referred to the milk kefir grains which came from the Caucasus Mountains in Russia, but is now often used when describing water grains or tibicos as well. As you will see in the videos, when left out long enough, milk kefir will eventually separate into curds and whey. The whey may then be used to culture vegetables. This process will be covered in a future post.

At this point, the post primarily covers milk kefir but I may add some additional info in the future on the health benefits of coconut water and coconut water kefir.

Best of Health~

Real Milk Cures Many Diseases - Article by Dr. J. R. Crewe
”The following is an edited version of an article by Dr. J. R. Crewe, of the Mayo Foundation, forerunner of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, published in Certified Milk Magazine, January 1929. We are grateful to Dr. Ron Schmid, ND of Middlebury, CT for unearthing this fascinating piece. The "Milk Cure" was the subject of at least two books by other authors, written subsequently to Dr. Crewe's work. The milk used was, in all cases, the only kind of milk available in those days—raw milk from pasture-fed cows, rich in butterfat. The treatment is a combination of detoxifying fast and nutrient-dense feeding. Note that Crewe quotes William Osler, author of a standard medical textbook of the day. Thus, this protocol was an orthodox, accepted therapy in the early 1900s. Today the Mayo Clinic provides surgery and drug treatments, but nothing as efficacious and elegant as the Milk Cure.”
- - - - - - - - -
“For fifteen years the writer has employed the certified milk treatment in various diseases and during the past ten he had a small sanitarium devoted principally to this treatment. The results obtained in various types of disease have been so uniformly excellent that one's conception of disease and its alleviation is necessarily changed. The method itself is so simple that it does not greatly interest most doctors and the main stimulus for its use is from the patients themselves.

To cure disease we should seek to improve elimination, to make better blood and more blood, to build up the body resistance. The method used tends to accomplish these things. Blood conditions rapidly improve and the general condition and resistance is built up and recovery follows.

In several instances, Osler (Principles and Practices of Medicine, by William Osler, MD eighth edition) speaks of milk as being nothing more than white blood. Milk resembles blood closely and is a useful agent for improving and making new and better blood. Blood is the chief agent of metabolism. Milk is recognized in medical literature almost exclusively as a useful food and is admitted to be a complete food.” Continued...

What is Kefir? - Article by Egon Skovmose
“In November 1881 the German naturalist Eduard Kern reported to Botanic Society in St. Petersburg about a mysterious beverage, which was exclusive common to the higher regions of the Caucasus and said to assure the inhabitants of this area good health and a very long life expectancy.

This beverage is kefir, a fermented milk product whose particular features is that in addition to lactic fermentation it also undergoes alcoholic fermentation caused by the presence of yeast, which yields this sourish, yeasty, sparkling, refreshing end product.

Kefir is not only a very valuable tasty, physiologically nutritional milk product it is said to be a “miracle” product.

Research conducted by East European institutes has proven that there is something to the reputation of kefir. In Rumania where research has been carried out by Professor Dr. Asian on the causes of old age, the effect of kefir on prolonging life is being studied. According to gerontologist at the Genatric Centre of Suchumi (former USSR) the importance of kefir has not yet been completely recognized. The general opinion is that the life-prolonging effect is to be attributed to certain components of the kefir grains. Continued...

Kefir - Article from probiotic.org
“Kefir is a milk-based beverage that is made by fermenting milk (goat, cow, sheep) with kefir grains and is rich in both enzymes and beneficial bacteria. This beverage is made with the kefir culture, and this culture is more commonly referred to as a “grain.” Kefir “grains” are comprised of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and polysaccharides. The live bacteria and yeast found in kefir grains are friendly microorganisms that not only aid the digestive system but also help strengthen the intestines and resist the growth or harmful bacteria or pathogens.” Continued...

Introductory Videos
The Truth about Raw Milk with Mark McAfee from Organic Pastures - “This video takes a look at the history or milk and provides an easy to understand comparison between raw milk and pasteurized/homogenized milk.”

From Grass to Glass - This clip shows how Organic Pastures brings raw milk to its customers.

Pastured Chickens - Mike McAfee recently adopted some of Joel Salatin's methods on his dairy farm.

Mark McAfee on Raw Milk - “Mark McAfee excerpt from We Are What We Eat The Movie

The Two Raw Milks in America - Mark McAfee compares dairies where cows are raised on green pastures to conventional dairies where cows are raised in unsanitary feed lots.

Organic Raw Milk & Genetic Diversity - Abundant Harvest Organics interviews Mark McAfee

Is Raw Milk Right For You? - “Natural health physician and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola wants you to learn from his personal experiences with raw milk and how you can apply it to all health recommendations you receive.” He mentions that he is not able to take raw milk but in a later video he mentions using raw milk(possibly sheep’s milk) in his healthy breakfast recipe.

Lew Rockwell interviews Mark McAfee - (The Lew Rockwell Show, Podcast #298)(08/03/2012)

Raw Milk & Kefir Testimonials
Real Milk Testimonials (pdf format) - “These testimonials on the health benefits of raw milk and raw milk products were selected from a collection compiled in January/February 2007. Over 200 written testimonials were generated in response to an incident in Michigan in 2006.”

California Raw Milk Association Video Testimonials

Raw Milk and SB 201 - “Information about senate bill 201 and how it affects consumer choice.” Includes some testimonials.

Kefir Cures - EarthClinic.com

Raw Milk Testimonials - From rejoiceinlife.com

Raw Milk Video Testimonial - Brisbane, Australia

Raw Goats' Milk Testimonials - From welltellme.com

Kefir Testimonials - From welltellme.com

Stephie Steele's Raw Milk Testimonial

Dr. Mercola Interviews Mark McAfee about Raw Milk - "Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews one of the leaders in the raw milk movement, Mark McAfee, about being in one of the largest producers of raw milk in the United States and how to educate the public about its importance."

Dr. Mercola Talks About Raw Milk With Mark McAfee
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 - Qualities of raw milk
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Mark McAfee talks about Raw-Milk - “On 10/29/08 Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno Cal., came down to speak at the first Weston Price Foundation Chapter meeting here in San Diego. It was a very good lecture and well worth the time to watch it.”
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

The Raw Milk Controversy: Fact & Fiction -“A conversation between Dr. Dale Jacobson, D.C. and Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy Company, in Nevada City California on June 23, 2007.”
Chapter 1, Part 1
Chapter 1, Part 2
Chapter 1, Part 3
Chapter 2, Part 1

Raw Milk Lecture - Mart McAfee gives a presentation at BonesChiro on the benefits of drinking raw milk..
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Are you doing Immune System Push-ups? - Mark McAfee speaks to a Von James Extreme Burn exercise group.

How to make milk kefir - Presented by Will, Teaming With Nature’s Probiotic Kitchen
Part 1
Part 2
Kefir Making FAQ
THE Kefir Smoothie Recipe

Homemade Kefir - Presented by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist.
Homemade Kefir
Kefir Grains - Milk kefir grains vs. water kefir grains
Coconut Milk Kefir
Making Coconut Milk

Milk Kefir - Presented by Steve Jacobson, Cultured Probiotics
Making Milk Kefir for both Probiotic Benefit and Taste
Coconut Water Kefir

Miscellaneous Videos
How to Make Kephir - Organic Pastures
Qephor Meat

How to Make Milk Kefir - Presented by Julie from CulturesforHealth. Good presentation but not made with raw milk.

Raw Milk Kefir using Kefir Grains - LifeWithLivingFood

Best Post Workout Drink: Kefir - Presented by Dane Miller, GarageStrength.com

Kefir in the Kitchen - Presented by Jeff Wahlen.

How to Make Milk Kefir - KefirMaker

My Astounding Yoghurt (actually Kefir)

Related Links
A Campaign for Real Milk - RealMilk.com (a project of The Weston A. Price Foundation)
What is Real Milk?
Where can I find Real Milk?
Fresh, Unprocessed (Raw) Whole Milk:
Safety, Health and Economic Issues

The Health Benefits Raw Milk: What the Science Says - Power Point pdf for Sally Fallon Morell’s presentation at the 2010 Raw Milk Symposium in Madison, WI

What is RAW USA? - A good general guideline of what to look for in a dairy that sells raw milk.

Dom’s Kefir Site - Probably the most comprehensive collection of information about kefir on the web. (Caution: I would advise obtaining kefir grains elsewhere as many people have reported not receiving their orders from Dom.)
Dom’s Yahoo Kefir Making List

Toronto Advisor’s International Kefir Community
Kefir Grain internet list - "Real Live Kefir Grains shared by members worldwide"
The International Kefir Grain List
Kefir Resources

Yogurt Versus Kefir

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Global Gardener (Video Library) - Permaculture, Forest Gardening, Urban Gardening, etc.

Natural Sequence Farming (Video Library) - Peter Andrews and his system of Natural Sequence Farming for converting salt-ravaged properties into fertile, drought-resistant pastures.

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Such a good post......

and, once again, deserves to be reexamined. This stuff is seriously important and tasty too.

DPers really gotta learn this stuff and teach others. The lost knowledge of this can save millions.

I'd much like to see a discussion on fermentating fruits and veggies get going.

Thanks for the hard work stillwater!

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Raw milk and kefir

helped me out a lot. Lately I've been looking at fermented and pickled fish. I think Mark McAfee mentioned that fermented fish is the only fermented food that might be more nutritious raw milk products (paraphrase from memory). I recently listend to Dr. Mercola's interview with Randy Hartnell about how he sources the best quality fish. You might enjoy it.



right on. fermented foods are

right on. fermented foods are the way to go. kombucha is a staple in my diet.


I've made a few changes to the summary and added some hyperlinks to help clarify some of the issues with kefir. I've also added another video with Mark McAfee to the OP.

Organic Raw Milk & Genetic Diversity - Abundant Harvest Organics interviews Mark McAfee

reedr3v's picture

Stillwater thanks so much.

You have the BEST links! Are you making your website yet? I'll definitely link to it.

I haven't yet.

I've been thinking about it off and on since you mentioned it a while ago. Most of the time I don't create original content but instead collect, reorganize, and condense the best information I am able to find from other knowledgeable individuals on the net. So, I'm not sure exactly what type of website to create. Maybe I'll start looking at other sites to help generate some ideas. Hmmm... sounds like a new research project ... :)

reedr3v's picture

Stillwater, if you don't know Willie Smitts'

work, here's one for you:

He is having great success combining private investment with deep permaculture awareness plus local entrepreneurship that makes his projects sustainable for the people.

Wow! That's quite

an accomplishment. I like how he used satellite technology to monitor the changes in the vegetation on the landscape as well as its cloud cover over time. This project took a lot of organization and coordination. The prickly bamboo fence was pretty cool too.


Is great. Been drinking it for years.

This is the abridged version...

I kid you not. lol
This post could have gone off in many directions but I wanted to keep it focused on raw milk and milk kefir(cultured w/ milk kefir grains). There are a few videos on "water kefir" and "coconut kefir" which could cause some confusion because of the different grains which are used to culture them. I've included videos which explains the difference but I'll probably add a few clarifications to the summary later.

Nice post – thanks stillwater

Surprisingly for me, this is the first time I have heard about kefir. I have goats and love drinking the raw milk they give me. I would like to try making kefir using raw milk from my goats.
I have a couple of questions for you Stillwater – Do you make kefir? If you do, where do you get your kefir starter grains? Are all kefir starters of the same quality and taste? I live in SW MO - Do you have any suggestions as to whom or where I could get a good first time kefir starter?

I only recently found a

source for raw cows milk in my area. I haven't made kefir yet but I plan to start once I buy my kefir grains from Dominic Anfiteatro in Australia. He only cultures his kefir grains in raw goat's milk or raw cow's milk from a biodynamic farm so his culture stays strong. It's kind of costly to ship it over here but I think it's worth it. Also, Toronto Advisor’s International Kefir Grain List has people who share their extra kefir grains with each other. Some of them have cultures that originally came from Dom.

Dom’s Kefir Site - Probably the most comprehensive collection of information about kefir on the web.
Dom’s Yahoo Kefir Making List

Toronto Advisor’s International Kefir Community
Kefir Grain internet list

There are many other people who sell milk kefir grains but not all cultures are of the same quality. Also, taste varies from culture to culture and even the same culture will sometimes give the kefir a different taste depending on the quality of milk and other factors. Just stay away from the starter packets. It you buy the grains themselves you can keep reusing them and they will grow so you will have extra for yourself or to share with a friend.

The videos cover most of this but it takes a while to wade through. :)