basically, i got to tampa, almost peed my pants at the sight of my favorite health food store selling raw milk products for pet consumption, purchased all i could, and now have a fermentation explosion throughout the house. (i have three different strands of cultures and they all need to be kept at least 6 feet apart.)
WhY RAW? WHy CulTUReD? <----(i used to type like that in middle school)
the difference between raw milk and even the best, most organic, low pasteurized and non homogenized milk you can find is like the difference between health and disease. literally. I can testify from a personal perspective, or you can go research it yourself. my four week test on the "better" yogurt products ended after three because it wasn't going well. it would have ended after 1.5 weeks except i was so addicted to the shit i couldn't stop. that is one bad sign. the others were getting a running nose every time i ate it, immediately almost, and feeling cold-ish/sickish. however i didn't get bloated, my bowls moved a bunch at first and then decided to slow down.
So raw milk, from grass fed cows, just taste much more amazing. It contains amino acids that help build the immune system and beneficial bacteria to help build the gut, which totally plays into the whole immune system thing. Pasteurization of milk (which subjects milk to high temperatures) denatured the protein in milk, kills beneficial bacteria (and not beneficial...) destroys the natural enzymes, and diminishes the vitamins (like B6 and B12.) Homogenization is a process to make milk uniform, non of that yummy cream on top like the raw version. Basically the process turns the large fat molecules into tiny itty bitty un-normal molecules which can now pass through your gut lining. why is this bad? because it allows the super toxic enzyme xanthine oxidase into the bloodstream to reek havoc on artery walls. This wouldn't be an issue if we just left the alone, then the particles would remain to large to pass through the intestines into the blood. (goat milk in stores usually isn't homogenized and is more digestible.)
I won't even get into powdered milks right here. The story on how bad the oxidization is needs a whole post. just please avoid powdered milks! (this means pretty much any processed food with milk in it, chocolate, cake mix, little debbies, whole wheat bread are some examples.)
pasteurization allows milk factories to be way more unsanitary, because who cares if the puss from the infected, sore, sensitive cow nipple gets into the milk, they are just going to heat the mess and kill any pathogens.
Raw milk, provided from a local source (because that's really the only way to get it) usually comes from humanely treated cows. The farmers know the risk of contamination and how important it is to keep shit sanitary. also, when you buy the milk you aren't getting 182974 different cows in one jug, maybe just a few, and if you are lucky you can get one, or go milk your own.
if you leave pasteurized milk out of the fridge it will rot, and if you leave raw milk out it will ferment. how freakin cool. so what IS that bastardized milk doing in your tummy? who knows...
SO why culture? well, it's fun, it's yummy, i love rich creamy things....but also because it provides healthy gut flora which is the basis for all health (in my opinion, read the GAPS diet) and also because all the little creatures eat up the lactose, horray! i hate carbs, and lactose is the sugar (carb) in milk. i let mine ferment nice and long, even up to 36 hours, to get rid of as much lactose as possible. This also makes the milk easier to digest, especially for lactose intolerant people (although many lactose intolerant people can actually handle raw milk fine.)
and now we come to my yogic view....raw milk is a much more sattvic food than non-raw milk. It is more pure, and in it's natural state. It's full of life, and provides life, yet is very simple. It doesn't cause a kapha attack (meaning not mucous forming.) Also it's carbon footprint is so much healthier for the planet and i'd bet the animals are much happier then the ones in factory farms.
step 1. buy cream
step 2. culture cream
(i used 2tbls piima starter in 2 cups cream, 19 hrs room tmp)
blend room temp cream in chilled bowl, first at high speed
once you see little globs forming slow down
until it looks something like this...
the liquid is the butter milk
rinse away butter cream
stir, salt, spice, whatever, enjoy!
If it was spring the butter would be much more yellow, the good grass and all...