Asthmatic kid to goat herder
by Jennifer Logan
Several years ago, shortly after the birth of my twins, I began a slow journey away from grocery store food toward my ultimate goal of self sustainability. It started with a jar of peanut butter.
It was more expensive than the ordinary peanut butter I bought, but I liked the idea that it was made of peanuts, instead of a fistful of ingredients that I couldn't identify. I splurged and took it home with me. I quickly noticed that one "peanut butter lollipop" (peanut butter on a spoon) that my kids liked as a snack would fill them up when the peanut butter was real, while it took several of the regular stuff to even put a dent in their hunger.
I wondered why. Until I ate a bowl of lettuce. It wasn't just any lettuce, it was my first prize from my first garden. There were no tomatoes or cucumbers or anything else you might put in a salad. It was a bowl of plain lettuce. I was sure it wouldn't do much for me, but I needed something to keep my mouth busy until the steaks came off the grill, so I ate it.
My taste buds exploded and there was a tangible feeling inside me. I could FEEL the nutrients being recognized by my body. It was as though I had just tasted food for the very first time. And one bowl of plain lettuce filled me. I wasn't hungry anymore.
Next it was eggs. My husband bought me chicks from the local feed store. Again I was delighted with the difference fresh food made. And I began to think, if I could only make a little milk, I would have everything I really needed to feed my family, just in case.
I settled on goats, since I didn't have room for a cow. After a year of learning, I was ready to milk. And milk I did. Two or more quarts a day from my trusty senior doe. It was creamy and sweet and wonderful. There was no odd flavor or smell, just the smoothest most delicious stuff I had ever had. And that same wonderful feeling of my body recognizing real food, and jumping for joy. A glass of milk and an apple was almost more than I could eat for lunch. Instead of a bloated, heavy, sick feeling in my stomach, I felt energized and invigorated.
In less than a week, the stomach "situation" I had picked up in Mexico four years earlier had gone away. I didn't think much of it. Coincidence, I figured. Finally shook that stomach bug.
Meanwhile, I had nearly lost a son, my fourth child, to a severe asthma attack. He was tested for allergy sensitivity during his week- long hospital stay and was found to be allergic to every animal, grass, mold and pollen. Bad news when you live on a small farm. I feared the storms that would come and trigger his asthma, knowing that each one of them brought the possibility of losing him again. Breathing treatments did little to alleviate the symptoms of an attack. Spring and fall, with their volatile weather were the worst.
We began drinking the raw milk over the summer. As fall came, so did the storms. The first one passed without incident. I breathed a sigh of relief. The second came and went, still with no signs of asthma. How could it be that in just a couple of months my boy could go from dangerously reactive to rain clouds to completely unaffected?
I did a little reading. I was still pretty unaware of the health benefits of raw milk. I had entered into this experiment from a self sustainability mindset, not a health benefit one. A quick google of "raw milk asthma" brought up more evidence than I could read that showed asthma could be treated with raw milk. I was still a little skeptical. If curing asthma was as simple as a glass of raw milk, then why on earth did a single child in this country have asthma?
Late this winter, we ran out of milk. The girls were dried off and what reserve we had were either used up or given away.
I began buying pasteurized milk again. Two weeks later, the first spring storm rolled through. And there we were again, up in the middle of the night with the nebulizer humming, monitoring heart rates and checking for blue lips. I was convinced. And I was furious. If curing asthma was as SIMPLE as a glass of RAW MILK, then why on earth did a SINGLE CHILD in this country have asthma!!!!!???
I am now expecting kids from three does. I will NEVER run out of raw milk again.