In case you missed the news, the main target of the industrialized dairy cartel, well-produced raw milk, has recently been exonerated and judged safe by the most rigorous of scientific standards. In other words, milk that comes straight from a healthy cow, handled in a safe manner isn’t the evil threat to human health that health departments claim. In fact, many say raw milk is better than industrial milk resulting from mass production that alters the natural makeup of dairy.

The term “raw milk,” refers to milk enjoyed right as it came out of the cow. In most of the world, raw milk is the only kind of milk that people drink. It may sound surprising to some, but many people believe that milk should be enjoyed the way nature provides it, as we have for thousands of years. In the United States, we do things differently. We do a lot of things differently. Nearly every state outlaws the sale of raw milk.

Commercial milk in the United States is adulterated by semi-cooking it (pasteurization,) agitating it to break the long-chain fatty acids (homogenizing,) separating and re-blending it to meet the formula of the massive milk industry. Pasteurizing commercial milk makes sense. No one could get me to drink commercial dairy without taking some serious steps to protect me from industrialized danger. See, I happen to believe that milk from cows that are fed hormones, antibiotics and suspect rations made from leftover junk food, candy, ethanol byproducts and chicken feces, are confined inhumanely in buildings on concrete floors, and forced to do the unnatural bidding of corporate keepers who pack tens of thousands of dairy cows onto a single “farm” isn’t the milk I want to drink. Semi-boiling it to kill bacteria found in the milk of those poor animals makes real sense. Avoiding that kind of milk entirely makes even more sense to me.

But consider a cow that lives as nature might intend, with plenty of pasture to roam on, grass to eat instead of “cow food,” loving care in a small herd and not shot full of drugs and hormones. A healthy cow provides healthful milk. At least that’s been my experience. Milk like that doesn’t need to be radically processed just to make it safe to drink. The same can be said of goat milk. Goat milk and goat cheese are enjoying a renaissance. More people around the world drink goat milk than cow milk and Americans are learning more about it.

It’s a Long story. Jim and Kathy Long moved their family to Nebraska from St. Louis in 2004. They found a nice place just west of Lincoln and settled on six acres there. They started raising goats to help feed their 10 children. Soon, even with that large brood, they had a surplus of milk.

“It’s illegal to sell or even advertise raw goat milk for sale off the farm in Nebraska so we found something to do with the extra,” Jim told me. After learning that commercial soap is actually not soap but detergent, they decided to get into the soap-making business. The family also has enough goat milk to sell when you visit the farm.

Like so many things, soap making has been taken over by an industry that identified a useful product made from simple, natural ingredients and turned it into a complex synthetic that incorporates artificial ingredients I wouldn’t want on my skin. Just as commercial milk is deconstructed then reassembled to suit what humans think is better than nature’s version, the same happens with commercial soap.

In a natural soap-making process, fat from either animal or plant is combined with the right balance of alkali, usually from a salt- or ash-based derivative. It becomes soap with its natural byproducts including glycerin, a good skin emollient. But glycerin is skimmed off in commercial soap production and sold as a separate component. Not so with the soap from a natural source.

Raising the bar. “Kathy really took over the research and development and she is the one who pretty much runs that end of things,” Jim said. “I do marketing and things like that.” Jim also commutes to Omaha for his day job as an IT specialist. “Our eldest has moved off the farm now but all the kids who live at home are involved. They formulate the soaps and help in the manufacture. They milk the goats and take care of the animals. They help in design and setup when we do shows and go to market.”

The Longs have developed a line of natural soap products and they didn’t keep them entirely simple, either. Many include food grade oils and emollients, therapeutic grade essences and fragrances and some natural colors, too. They even produce pet shampoo.

Their bar soaps and lotions are available at their website, and at most Hy-Vee stores in Omaha and Lincoln. Daughter Kristen has caught the entrepreneurial bug and also has an online clothing business at Goat milk is available only at the farm.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit for more information.

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