The road to raising tt as an organic, whole foods boy is long and dimly lit. The whole foods principle is an easy one, but food wearing the organic stamp is harder to trust. In other words, eating organic isn't necessarily good for our complex and extraordinarily tolerant growing bodies. Tolerant to a point, though. I expect tt will one day challenge the contents of our fridge with food that I will argue isn't, so for now, I am intent on feeding him the good stuff.
The latest jaw-dropper is good, old organic milk. J and I have slowly come to terms with paying eighteen dollars for a half gallon in Singapore, because the once-trusted, regular, Australian Dairy Farmer brands bulk up product with additives, and don't feel the need to label cartons accordingly (source). Eighteen dollars! So isn't buying organic a safe way to ensure no nasties, with sufficient assurance to cut the endless aisles of label-reading? And when it comes to milk, I thought cows were grass-fed, happy, roaming cows, or they weren't. Wrong on both counts. It's how the milk is treated that makes a difference, and much of the refrigerated organic and non-organic labels are now being ultra-pasteurised - the same treatment given to UHT milk - to extend shelf life. What makes ultra-pasteurisation different is it destroys the enzymes in milk that our bodies require to digest it.. So, the milk is altered to the point where it is indigestible.. (gasp!) In other words, the nutrient-rich protein found in milk is killed off, and we risk developing an intolerance to it as a result.
''According to Lee Dexter, microbiologist and owner of White Egret Farm goat dairy in Austin, Texas, ultra-pasteurization is an extremely harmful process to inflict on the fragile components of milk. Dexter explains that milk proteins are complex, three-dimensional molecules, like tinker toys. They are broken down and digested when special enzymes fit into the parts that stick out. Rapid heat treatments like pasteurization, and especially ultra-pasteurization, actually flatten the molecules so the enzymes cannot do their work. If such proteins pass into the bloodstream (a frequent occurrence in those suffering from "leaky gut," a condition that can be brought on by drinking processed commercial milk), the body perceives them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response. That means a chronically overstressed immune system and much less energy available for growth and repair.'' (source)
So, short of finding a lovely, fat Jersey cow and moving her into your backyard to milk her yourself, how is one to go about buying whole, raw milk? In Singapore, it's very difficult. The real concern is all this adulteration of our whole foods is relatively new, and the long-term affects, unknown. It would seem label-reading just became a day job.