There is a little devil of a protein in milky products that continually defies my body’s ability to digest it. It’s name is casein, and it has an evil vendetta against me personally. When I unwittingly (or stubbornly) eat something of the dairy persuasion, Mr. Casein will generously give me a rash. You would think I would hate him, but I don’t. On the contrary, I love milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, half and half, chocolate, and whipped cream. They are so tasty. But that devilish protein exists in every single one of those lovely but not so innocent foods. Thankfully, I can eat moderate portions of dairy, but tall glasses of cold milk are out. In its place, I’ve become a regular drinker of organic soymilk over the past several years. I am fast learning that soy milk is less than ideal, deemed by some to be a ‘non-food.’ The conundrum: which evil product do I eat my cereal with in the morning?
A good friend of mine had what I hoped might be a solution. She buys raw milk from a co-op up here in the Anchorage area. I’ve heard a lot of people swear by this stuff: non-hydrogenated and also non-pasteurized—both processes that can damage the proteins or enzymes within—it comes straight out of the cow in all its unadulterated creaminess. Because of said mutilation, many of us who think we are allergic to dairy products actually aren’t, but rather have trouble digesting mutilated proteins. Of course, I’ve also heard a lot of argument against raw milk, and some states are or have considered banning it permanently. However, if my main soy fix is bad too, then what to do? Where does a girl like me turn? I decided to give raw milk a trial run.
You can’t buy raw milk in stores, so my friend generously offered me a pint. There was something really lovely about standing at my front door to take the mason jar filled with creamy milk and capped in white. It reminded me of those scenes in old movies when housewives pick up the clanking jars of fresh milk outside their front door (and pay the milkman in pocket change). I sat the proud little thing in the center of the top shelf in my fridge. My husband, who seems to think processed food the best part of our society's civilized modernity, was freaked out by it every time he opened the fridge and it stared him in the face. But I thought it had a homey feel.
For one whole day, I guzzled the stuff. I was surprised upon opening the cap by a really milky smell that hit my nostrils in a powerful wave. You just don't get that in a regular jug of milk. Creamy parts floated separately (and naturally) apart from the thinner. The first taste was wonderful. There’s just something about soy milk that doesn’t satisfy—and now I know that it’s missing that pure dairy yumminess. Breakfast was amazing, down to the last drop. That evening I warmed a huge mug up for some hot cocoa. “Ah…this is the life,” I thought, as I snuggled deeper into my warmest blanket and took a giant swig.
That night and the next day, I felt absolutely ill. Unfortunately, some of us in the world are still allergic to the demonic Mr. Casein, even when he’s in his whole and unmaimed state. One more experiment a failure, but it was a lovely tall glass of milk.