Impatience Brews Experimentation
I’ve been making SCD legal goat milk yogurt with raw goat milk from Claravale since December. It hasn’t been a fix for my gut, and although I’ll give it at least 1 year, being the picture of impatience that I am, I started wondering if this was really the best way to maximize the yogurt’s benefits. SCD legal instructions are simple: sterilize the milk at 180F, let it cool down 100F incubate it, incubate it between 100-110F for 24 hours.
The first step is meant to kill off any pathogens in the milk (whether it’s pasteurized or raw), so that you only incubate (grow) the probiotic strains that are in whatever starter you put in afterwards. The problem I have with this logic: Relying on 3 strains (such as the 3 in GI ProStart recommended by SCD) to fix a severely compromised GI immune system seems a bit like a drop in the bucket, considering “it is probable that 99% of the bacteria (in our gut) come from about 30 or 40 species” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora. I always thought the beauty of using raw goat milk was that it contains various species of beneficial flora.
Raw Milk Gets a Raw Deal
The much-advertised problem with leaving the raw milk unsterilized is that the good stuff grows with the bad when you incubate it. Is this a problem though? Sandor Katz says in his book, The Art of Fermentation: “Back in the old days you simply set some milk aside and sooner or later it clabbered by itself. In this day of pasteurized milk, I guess you would need a starter….the sour-clabbered version of raw milk is still safe to consume curdled so long as the raw milk itself is safe to drink fresh. This is because the very bacteria that sour it protect it from pathogenic bacteria.” (Nod to Lisa P).
Ultimately I decided to take the risk of growing the bad stuff with the good because I felt the risk had been overstated. Chris Kresser provides some perspective here http://chriskresser.com/raw-milk-reality-is-raw-milk-worth-the-risk:
“According to the CDC, during the period from 1990 − 2006, there were 24,000 foodborne illnesses reported each year on average. Of those, 315 per year are from dairy products. This means dairy products account for about 1.3% of foodborne illnesses each year.”
“there hasn’t been a single death attributed to raw fluid milk since the mid-1980s, in spite of the fact that almost 10 million people are now consuming it regularly.”
“The takeaway is that thousands of people are killed each year by foodborne illness, but they’re dying from eating fruits, nuts, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish – not from drinking unpasteurized milk.”
For the chronically-ill, there’s a bit of a chicken and egg issue. Obviously our population is the most vulnerable to foodborne illnesses, but on the other hand, it appears rebooting the gut is more successful when you introduce broad-spectrum as opposed to a few species. MAF314 uses fresh colostrum. Fecal transplants are clearly working for GI disorders, and you’re telling me that transplanting someone else’s poop if you have a leaky gut is safer than ingesting some raw goat milk? Again, a little perspective.
Experimentation in pictures
Just remember: this is the freshest-tasting, least-gamey yogurt I’ve ever had. You may not be able to stop. Count your spoons and skip the eye test! (Seriously this is important when you’re build up slowly.)
I’m alive! Which should never be taken for granted.
Besides that, the first batch was quite gnarly. It appeared to light a fire under my brain, but interestingly didn’t cause cognitive issues. It was like an ever-so-slight fever. The following batches waned in intensity, but continued to produce a slight rush which I never got from the sterilized version.
I’m finishing off the GI ProStart starter, but after it’s gone I’m gonna order one of 2 probiotics that have been recommended by friends that have tons of yogurt- and kefir- making experience:
- 18-strain probiotic sold by Dr. Dale Guyer, a ME/CFS physician in Indiana (317) 580-9355. Last I heard, $45 for a 1-month supply, but will last longer since you only need 1/8 teaspoon (YMMV) to make the yogurt.
- Biokult, a 14-strain probiotic
The goal here: Get closer to the “fecal transplant” idea by introducing healthy microbiota (or the totality of microbes) to the body It may turn out that these probiotics won’t work with goat’s milk (more finicky and delicate.) We shall see!