The “farm-living phenomenon” puts asthma and allergies out to pasture

I briefly touched on something called the “farm-living phenomenon” in my book The Allergy and Asthma Cure. Which is that children who grow up on farms are about 40% less likely to have asthma, and 50% less likely to develop allergies. However, one thing I didn’t stress enough in the book is WHY this phenomenon occurs.

So when I came across a study the other day that delved deeper into this topic and explained why “farm-living” has so many protective benefits against allergies and asthma, I wanted to share it with you.

Researchers from Munich enrolled over 1,000 children who lived in rural areas in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and France in a study called “The Protection Against Allergy-Study in Rural Environments” (PASTURE). The children’s mothers kept records of their child’s nutrition and illnesses from birth to age 6. And after analyzing these records, the researchers found the children who regularly consumed untreated “raw” milk had significantly lower incidences of asthma compared to the kids who consumed commercially processed milk.

The researchers believe there are two main reasons why raw milk has protective qualities.

First of all, raw milk isn’t heated, so the nutrients aren’t stripped away. The researchers also believe the higher fat content in raw milk (particularly the omega 3/omega 6 ratio) helps to manage the inflammatory response that can trigger asthma.

As you probably know, I’ve never been a proponent of commercially produced cow’s milk. The main reason I’m against it is precisely what these researchers pointed out: It’s been pasteurized and homogenized to the point that it’s no longer a real food, but a processed one…leaving very little nutritional value.

Yes, the heat kills potentially hazardous microorganisms. But it also alters the proteins in the milk. Heating also alters the fatty acids to the point where the bioavailability of these beneficial fats is nil.  And when you remove the fat, it takes away the last bit of nutrition left in the milk, leaving behind far too much sugar.

Then there are high levels of phosphorus you find in pasteurized, homogenized milk, which actually interfere with calcium absorption. And let’s not forget the antibiotic and the growth hormone residues that come from commercially raised cows.

So really…is it any surprise that raw milk is superior to processed milk?

Milk in its raw form is the way Mother Nature intended it to be. Our grandmothers didn’t drink milk that was homogenized or pasteurized and they were better off for it. As were the children in this study. The fact is, the longer the children drank the raw milk, the lower their risk was of developing asthma.

Raw milk is a way of life in Europe. In fact, it is so common, you can get it from vending machines. But in the U.S. raw milk is illegal in many states, because most farms lack the safety measures it takes to produce it.

You may not be able to get raw milk here in the U.S….but you can reap the other benefit the researchers attributed to raw milk.

You see, the researchers determined that the second reason raw milk imparted such strong protection to the children in the study is that it exposed them to the microbes and bacteria present in the untreated milk. (The very substances our government is so desperate to “protect” us from.) And because of this exposure, their immune systems are better equipped to handle pathogens that trigger asthma and allergies.

Indeed, the “farm living phenomenon” I mentioned in The Allergy and Asthma Cure is all about the concept that exposure to dirt and bacteria (like what you encounter on a farm) actually helps strengthen your immune system.

Now, I’m not suggesting you send your kids or grandkids to go play in a pigsty. But as the saying goes, “a little dirt never hurt.” So please, throw away those antibacterial wipes and gels. They strip away all bacteria — including the good ones that protect you.