Are we grown- ups meant to eat dairy food? This is a very controversial and multi-faceted question, and the best biological answer as always is “It depends”. The answer depends on whether the milk was produced organically or conventionally; on your genes and allergies as well as the state of your gut microbiome; the type of animal ( eg camel, goat, deer, yak, sheep, water buffalo) and if we are talking cows milk, the breed and genetics of the cow. But if you can find an organic milk you tolerate and ferment it , there couldnt be a more delicious way to repair your gut microbiome. I assume just about everyone has a damaged bacterial garden within and who doesn’t love cheese! Let’s unravel all this.


From the HEART FOUNDATION website we read: “Not all dairy products are equal. “ Well, they got that right! It goes on with it’s Key Takeaways: “ Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese can be a part of a heart-healthy diet. Reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese are better options for people with heart disease or high cholesterol. Butter, cream … are not part of a heart-healthy diet ”
Oh dear, the last 2 sentences are not true at all.
Whether to continue maintaining the lie that animal fats are bad for us, or to come clean, must have leaders tossing and turning at night. So embarrassing for government health departments, food manufacturers, medical establishments, dieticians associations , press, indeed all those involved in promoting FEAR of FAT in the public for the last 60 years. Apparently the “scientists” who first promulgated the myth, believed our blood vessels could be clogged with solidified fat just like our sewer pipes could. This simplistic notion took root in their brains and could not be exhumed. One researcher, Ancel Keys, came up with the diet- heart hypothesis to explain an explosion of heart disease which began in America in the 20’s, and got worse through the 30’s and 40’s [1] . It was only ever a hypothesis and has long since been disproven but became the dominant theory as to the reason why death rate from CHD had reached a peak in 1950 whereby, one in 10 men was dying from a myocardial infarction. Alternative theories that sugar was the cause were suppressed and Keys theory became accepted. Keys was a bully who found allies in Big Ag and Food INC. His disproven hypothesis has somehow stuck and now huge fortunes and reputations are at stake.
How can the Authorities admit their mistake? The current strategy is to continue to throw money at promoting the bad advice to “avoid fat”, but for how much longer can they silence true science? After all, Nina Teicholz’s book “ The Big Fat Surprise” was a Wall Street Journal, The Times and BBC Food Programme’s Book of the Year. Her groundbreaking study reveals how decades of misleading science and policy unjustly demonizes the high fat diet, which might actually be our healthiest option.
The Brittish Medical Journal has come out in response to her book with the following:
“ Deeply disturbing in showing how overenthusiastic scientists, poor science, massive conflicts of interest and politically driven policy makers can make deeply damaging mistakes.”
Yes, other than making the pharmaceutical industry wealthy, the heart- diet hypothesis has failed, yet it’s shadow continues causing untold suffering to millions. [2] Human’s operate best when fat is our fuel. 80% of our daily calories should come from fat, and throughout the evolution of Homo Sapiens (which spans more 2 million years and takes in an ice age or 2), we have derived most of our energy from fat. Nina Teicholz, Dr Natasha Campbell McBride, Peter Ballersted ( forage agronomist) Sally Fallon ( see her talk The Oiling of America) and a host of other good doctors have cleared the name of much vilified cholesterol, pointing out that for good brain and nerve function, hormone production, a healthy flexible cardio vascular system and a strong heart, we all need this vital nutrient. Cholesterol is so vital that the body makes its own in the absence of dietary cholesterol [3]
Roughly 45 % of the body structure is made up of fat. For the past 60 years we have been told that a low fat diet can protect against obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and research shows most of us have complied with the recommended low fat diet, but just look at any crowd of people, is this low fat approach working? If, after following the links, you still hesitate to welcome delicious fatty foods back into your life with a pork crackling feast or a juicy steak with garlic and cream you need to remember that the Swiss, Inuit, Bedouins, Hunzas, Mongolians and African Massai ‘s main nourishment came from full fat goat, camel and cow milk respectively, most of it fermented. The Massai warriors consumed up to 5 liters of milk a day and , like the other indigenous people mentioned, lived long, active lives in excellent health, when compared to their Western counterparts. Ive come a long way. I use to feel guilty for eating a whole avocado, now I eat 3 at a time with bacon, and have lost weight since ditching grain and starchy veg.


Lectin is found in many foods and we also produce it ourselves. There are many types of Lectins, both beneficial and harmful . Over consumption of foods containing large amounts of the harmful ones can lead to health problems including diabetes, obesity, arthritis and more. Lectin is in A1 cows milk from Fresian Holstein cows, but A2 cow’s milk from the more traditional breeds such as Jersey does not contain Lectin.

Foods highest in Lectins include:

  • Wheat and other grains
  • Beans
  • Legumes (soy, peanuts, lentils & others)
  • Vegetables & fruit – The main culprits are called ‘nightshades’ which includes tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, goji berries, peppers, paprika, chili peppers*
  • Dairy (casein A1 is a lectin found in most commercial milks)

*Nightshades are members of the family Solanaceae, and are known to be the cause of joint pain, arthritis and digestive issues. While they may not be a problem for everyone, those who already have compromised immune or digestive systems are most likely to be affected by nightshades. They contain alkaloids such as solanine (in white potatoes), nicotine (in small, non-addictive amounts) and capsaicin (gives peppers their heat), which trigger an immune response, and cause more severe problems in those with autoimmune diseases. In addition to these alkaloids, nightshades are typically very high in lectins and being very prominent in many people’s diets, they’ll be the cause for leaky gut, digestive issues, inflammation and other related disorders in those who are more susceptible, while healthy individuals may handle them just fine.

How to test for lectin sensitivity:

Because lectins cause an immune response, you can get a simple blood test to look for specific antibodies in the blood. Another way is to simply record your symptoms after eating foods that contain lectins like kidney beans, wheat or eggplant. Notice if you feel any nausea, bloating, headaches, joint pain or diarrhea.

A lectin-avoidance diet is the most common treatment. Dr. Steven Gundry is well known for his book “The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in ‘Healthy’ Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain”. He provides plenty of resources for following a lectin-free diet.

Fermented V fresh

Apparently if you want to stay healthy you have to eat fermented foods regularly. Dr Natasha spells out for us that full fat fermented milk is a wonderful food, and says an important cause of the INFERTILITY rates in the Western world would be the push to low fat dairy. She also says that commercial dairy products are so adulterated it takes 6 to 8 weeks to clear your body from their “debris”. There are big problems with modern dairy production. Even if you can get good milk from a small organic holding there are unfortunately big problems in most of us, and your gut health may make milk consumption initially tricky, but tolerated and very healing in the long run.

….1) the casein in milk can be become like a drug in a person with a damaged microbiome. The microvilli in this case is not producing lactase, so the milk is passing through the leaky gut wall as casomorphins, which can pass through the blood brain barrier also. Many people with schizophrenia and other severe mental illness recover when unfermented dairy is deleted from the diet.
2) Some ill folks cannot handle the lactose, a double sugar that requires a peak functioning gut to digest. The undigested milk sugar remains in the gut and feeds the pathogens. They thrive on sugar, converting it to toxic gases like acetone, formaldehyde, and dozens more.
But these 2 obstacles to milk consumption ( lactose and casein) are pre- digested by the lacto bacillus that create yogurt and kefir out of raw milk , leaving us with a perfect, nourishing protein food which is full of the beneficial bacteria our poor digestive systems desperately need.
Cows must be of Heritage breeds, ie, the type of cows used for thousands of years by traditional people : Jersey, Guernsey, Indian cows, African cows etc. Goats milk is also good.
Dr N informs us modern Friesians were bred in a lab!

A quick search revealed that the father of most of the Holstein Friesian super dairy cattle used today, was Starbuck the Second , a clone of Starbuck the first, the amazing bull bred in Holland by elaborate artificial insemination techniques. Here is a description of the cloning techniques used to create StarBuck Two, courtesy of Wikapedia :


1. Cells from Starbuck are recovered one month before his death in September 1998. These cells are frozen until the time chosen to produce the cloned embryos. Each one can supply what is called a donor nucleus.
2. Oocytes from a Holstein donor cow are collected, representing the host oocytes.

3. The oocyte nuclei are removed for enucleation.

4. Though micro-injection, a nucleus from the donor individual is inserted in each oocyte.

5. Electrofusion allows for the fusion of the donor cell to the host cell.

6. The young embryos thus produced are placed in in vitro culture and develop into blastocyststage embryos. After that, embryo transfer is performed on recipient cows.

7. Starbuck II is born on September 7, 2000 by caesarean section, weighing 54,2 kg at birth

Most dairy farmers use AI and frozen semen so no doubt Starbuck 2’s progeny have populated dairy farms the world over. My treasured copy of Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette De Barclai Levy, frowns upon artificial insemination and says it cannot produce a vital calf and must be avoided at all costs, so the fact that nearly all modern dairy cows hail from such disgraceful tinkering and lack of respect for Nature means the modern cow, bred only for production, is unhealthy from the start.
So our modern dairy cows are bred all wrong, husbanded all wrong ( space precludes me from describing) and suffice to say these hapless animals usually die at less than half the age organic cows do.

Cows Diet

In America and some parts of Europe, cows are kept chained up in sheds and forced to eat an un- natural diet of mainly corn. Even if walking free in the sunshine and eating predominantly pasture, as around here, the pasture of hybrid ryegrass and clover is continually force fed with synthetic fertilizers with very few exceptions. The proteins in such pasture are “funny proteins”, a phrase coined by the late, great, Jerry Brunetti. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NTczJ969s0
The fact that high grain prices forced the closure of pretty much the last of the dairies in our district last year highlights the fact that they received a significant amount of chemicalized grain. To add to the insult, Genetically Modified canola is now grown for canola oil in WA. It is processed in Pinjarra, and after the oil is expelled the residual canola “meal” is shipped out to feed not only dairy and lot fed beef cattle, but pigs , broiler and egg laying chickens. Mt Barker “ Free Range” chicken is no exception.
The modern cow is denied the “weed” species such as dandelion, chicory, dock, Golden Rod, marshmallow. Many have tap roots which bring minerals up. Old organic farmer Bert Farquar in Tasmania use to deliberately sow weed seeds. Having very diverse pasture and a huge earthworm population, Bert had the healthiest cattle around. He didn’t need to medicate for worms or lice as neighbours did. His cows were never seen chewing on fence posts, a habit the conventional cows develop in an attempt to get the minerals their “improved pasture” lacks.
So summarizing the importance of a decent milk supply , only an organic farm will do. You want to avoid conventional dairy which likely contains pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Look for a farm with diverse pasture, running traditional dairy cows ( including a real bull with A2 genes) and ensure they are milking healthy animals in hygienic conditions whilst shunning pharmaceuticals and chemicals at every step of the way, from fertilization through to packaging . In WA, this is type of farm is so rare that you may even consider becoming a dairy man or maid by buying a cow or goat. We can help there.

Milk Allergy

Having secured a supply of safe milk or properly prepared dairy foods, we need to introduce them gradually to our GAPSter, and in the proper order. Who is a GAPSTer ? Someone with chronic disease. Seeing as all disease begins in the gut ( Hippocrates said so 4000 years ago) , it stands to reason that if we stop irritating the gut , heal and seal the gut lining and re-populate it with beneficial bacteria, every thing will come right . GAPS nutritional protocol has indeed cured 1000s of children of “incurable” conditions. Adults can be helped too but it takes longer . But thats OK, health is worth the wait.

Even the best milk contains a wide range of antigens (immunoglobulins) and allergy to milk is one of the most common allergies around. If a baby has colic, suggest to mum she stop drinking milk. After a couple of years on GAPS she and her child could possibly digest milk again.

A skin sensitivity test to screen for allergy should be done before each food is introduced. This was described earlier but involves placing a drop of the new food on the inside wrist of the patient at bedtime, allowing it to dry on the skin. If there is an angry red spot there in the morning, do not proceed. Wait a few months before repeating this test, because in some cases the gut has healed by then and allergy is gone.
Unless organic raw fermented milk products are already part of the client’s life, we need to start at the start of the dairy introduction protocol ( DIP) with the easiest one that most people (even those with milk allergy) can tolerate, ghee. Ghee, or clarified butter, is easy to make at home from organic butter, and it is best to do this as commercially available ghee often has preservatives and other additives in it.
Butter which is introduced next , about 6 weeks in, may contain tiny amounts of protein if residual buttermilk is there, so do the test. Organic butter and ghee contain valuable nutrition ( vitamins A, D, E, K2, and beta carotene) and should not be avoided unless true allergy is present. If true allergy is present, coconut oil and animal fats , meat stock and fermented vegetables will be the mainstays of your healing.
After 6 weeks of butter and ghee, we are ready to add the protein- containing, lactose free, probiotic foods: yogurt , kefir , sour cream and cheeses. On the GAPS Introduction diet stage 1 , we can try whey first, the clear liquid which drips from a cheesecloth bag of draining yogurt. Even if it looks like water it contains a lot of protein, so do that sensitivity test. Yogurt, drained yogurt and whey are full of beneficial bacteria. Whey can be a starter in making fermented vegetables and nuts and is a good first step in starting someone with Annorexia Nervosa’s journey back to health. It is best to have give one teaspoon of whey and watch your patient for several days for symptom return or intensification. If no regression, commence a daily teaspoon. If cows milk whey is not tolerated you may want to try goats milk instead. Some people who cannot tolerate conventional whey are fine with an organic one. As you can see, GAPS treatment is very bio individual and tailored for the client. If all clear, progress gradually from a teaspoon a day to 2 cups a day over 6 weeks, watching intently for return of symptoms after the first teaspoon. This is the way to introduce new foods on GAPS. This approach allows us to control the die off reaction which in some people, particularly adults, is so severe that 2 drops of a probiotic food can put them in bed for a week. Once a new food is tolerated you keep it going while adding ( carefully as above) one new food at a time.
Next comes the well fermented yogurt . The raw milk has to be long fermented at 43 degrees C, a whole 27 hours is optimal. By the 27 hour mark all of the milk sugar has turned to lactic acid and each mouthful is a real probiotic hit. Go slowly as above. Once yogurt is well tolerated you can be adding it to warm meat stock meals, draining it to make a “cream cheese” .
Sour cream is the next step. It can be added soon after yogurt is tolerated. Sour cream will naturally accumulate on the top of raw milk yogurt. I scoop it off and put in glass jars in the fridge where it keeps for a month. Later, on more advanced stages of Gaps diet you can add fruit and honey to it. If you start getting too many jars of sour cream you can have a cultured butter making session with it.
Six weeks after introduction of yogurt we can add kefir to the diet. Kefir contains beneficial fungi as well as bacteria and is quite good at taking control of pathogenic type of candida albicans, and a die off reaction is likely, so go slowly! You can gradually build up to 1 or 2 cups a day, but in some cases of severe yeast infection, 2 liters ( quarts) a day is recommended.

From kefir we move on to a mouthful of organic cheddar cheese. Cheese is concentrated milk protein and a breeding ground for moulds and yeasts which some GAPS people cannot tolerate, so again watch for patient’s reaction.
In the final step of the DIP we can introduce other kinds of cheeses (one at a time) the types that are on the ALLOWED LIST found in Dr Natasha’s yellow book, commencing on page 160
Some months after the final stage of the DIP, many GAPS people find they can now tolerate a nice variety of cheese and may try commercially produced live, natural, additive free yogurt, Crème Fraiche, and sour cream . These would have to be organic I presume.

A GAPS health coach can really help you through the maze of information you need to navigate. If you are interested to try GAPS, the first step would be to obtain the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome and read it. Please get in touch and tell me your story by email to merribeefarmacy@gmail.com , private message or in person at Margaret River Farmers market on a Saturday morning. I may be able to suggest ways you can support your marvellous body in It’s effort to heal

Just as Elaine Gottschall (1921-2005) helped 1000’s of children with intestinal health using the SCD diet and raw milk in Canada, ( she wrote an excellent book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” ) Dr Natasha’s GAPS diet has cured 1000’s of kids with auto immune diseases. She has even seen a few kids with diabetes type 1 throw away their insulin. It takes at least year on GAPS protocol to heal up the very leaky gut found behind a case of diabetes type 1, which most doctors consider impossible cure.

[1] https://www.crossfit.com/…/malcolm-kendrick-part-1-take-on-…
[2]. Liptor, Thief of Memory….Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol by Duane Graveline MD, MPH, Former NASA Astronaut.
[3] Vegetarianism Explained by Dr Natasha Campbell- McBrideThis book discusses the diet-heart hypothesis, the main reasons why it became dominant, and how it has led to dietary guidelines that have driven an unprecedented change in eating habits in most of the developed world.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Evans says:

    Another great post Bee, really appreciate the time you put in to these articles.

    1. Bee Winfield says:

      Thanks Tom, really appreciate your comment ! Even so I think there is plenty more to this subject. You should see how every omnivore animal on this farm goes crazy over milk : dogs, cat, pigs, chooks , ducks , humans. I say the cows feed everyone on the farm and the cows need heaps of good pasture for a reason .

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