Growing up in Canada or as a Canadian you might not even know that homo milk is basically just a True North thing. Much like toonies, toques, double-doubles and “eh,” it just happens to be one of those exact things that are distinctly Canadian (who knew?!) And with a name that actually sounds so misleading, you can bet that the world is more than confused about what we Canadians are doing to our milk and really honestly it’s hilarious.
What is Homo Milk?
“Homo milk” is short for homogenized whole milk. This isn’t even conversational or colloquial, it is just straight-up perfectly printed on milk containers. Almost any milk you buy at a grocery store is homogenized, but in Canada, “whole milk” perfectly refers to creamline (unhomogenized) milk. Still, homo milk sounds pretty funny.
In short, for anyone who really does not know what homo milk is actually, or hasn’t heard about it up till this point; homo milk is just a slang word used when referring to homogenized milk with a 3.25% fat content – and no, it’s really not the same thing as whole milk at all.
Typical milk actually consists of fat globules suspended in a nutrient solution. These globules of butterfat will separate very easily from the milk – they float to the top of the solution, as what we commonly call cream. The left over other liquid is skim milk.
With homogenized milk or homo milk one shoots the milk through a really fine nozzle to break up the fat globules. As a result, the pure butterfat does not rise to the top and the milk is creamier – this process is actually called homogenization.
Homo Milk Confusion
And you would think – with the rise of the internet world wide and the ability to Google just about anything – people would be over the whole ‘homo milk’ thing by now. But alas, everyone is just still really so confused.
Lucky for all of us, we can sit back and actually enjoy the convo all while sipping on our ice caps and hanging out at the cottage (or is it camp, or chalet, or maybe cabin?).
Is Homogenized Milk Good for You?
- Homogenization is a process that is done after the pasteurization process of milk.
- Pasteurization involves heating milk up to 72 degrees Celsius for 4–5 minutes to kill the bacteria. While homogenization actually involves processing milk so that cream does not separate from milk.
- Homogenization perfectly increases homogeneity making uniform beverage throughout final milk product.
- Reason for homogenized milk– Naturally milk contains water and oil. So it doesn’t remain uniform for long periods. You see sometimes cream of milk flows to upper side in a bottle after keeping for a long time. Customers don’t want this non-uniform mixture of milk and cream.
- Risk to heart and cancer from homogenized milk– There is sometimes difficult to digest fat in milk for some people. This makes them unable to drink milk. In homogenization milk fat molecules are made so small so that they bypass our stomach and reach directly to our bloodstream.
- This causes direct injection of hormones of cows that properly produces mil into the human body and causes cancer and heart-related diseases.
- This theory is actually based on research but not proved. So, there is no problem with homogenized milk.
Is Homogenized Milk Bad for Cancer?
Homogenization of whole milk is a process whereby high pressure is perfectly applied to break down the large fat globules in milk to micronized (smaller) particles. So that they can actually disperse within the milk and not precipitate at the top.
People argue that it distorts the normal properties of milk but many studies did have not shown any actual proof that it causes cancer.
There are substantiated claims of Atherosclerosis due to the effect of these micronized fat globules on the Intima of blood vessels with a counterproductive action by the body’s defense system.
A similar hormone IGF1 seen in bovine milk has also been linked to cancer and autoimmune diseases.
We cannot say for a fact, these are actually proposed theories. Homogenization also aims to prolong the shelf life of milk.
How does unpasteurized milk differ in taste from pasteurized milk?
Pasteurized milk is almost always a ‘milk blend’, that has been blended and totally processed to ensure a specific milk-fat content, consistency, etc. Most pasteurized milk sold today is actually also UHT treated. UHT (Ultra High Temperature) processing changes the flavor of milk. So, many milk products at the grocery store have additional harmful chemicals added for various reasons, including texture and flavor. If you take the time to read the full content of the label, you might really never buy processed milk again. What you buy in the store is not just only pasteurized milk, it is very heavily processed.
Actually, processed milk is perfectly designed to taste the same every time. It is also perfectly designed to taste the same, or almost the same, after a week in your fridge. However, if you leave it out at room temperature, it can quickly acquire a bad taste and texture in a very short time. Processed milk often doesn’t naturally ‘sour’, it simply ‘goes bad’. But you can create fake ‘sour milk’ easily from pasteurized milk by adding vinegar or lemon juice. Most processed ‘sour milk’ is milk with harmful acid added to make it sour. It is sometimes labeled as acidified milk.
Raw milk can come from a single cow, or a very small herd, and is likely to have much more variation in taste as a result.
Raw milk, left at room temperature, actually changes in ways completely different from pasteurized milk. It can actually separate or partially separate, it can clabber – go sour thicken and curdle, which can still be healthy food or drink. When raw milk sours, it is due to bacterial acid production, not to an added any harmful acid. This also sometimes gives raw sour milk a different flavor than pasteurized acidified milk.
How Safe is it to Drink Homogenized Milk?
Why would homo milk be any more or less safe than non-homogenized milk?
Homogenization is actually not done for safety reasons, it is done to create a consistent product.
Homogenization only prevents the milk from separating into milk and cream, by properly forcing them both through a plate perforated with thousands of very fine holes. The smaller the holes, actually less likely the milk will separate.
This is a totally physical process, like shaking the milk up to mix it, so there would be nothing to make it less safe.
How safe is it to drink pasteurized or homo milk?
Milk has actually two defects. It contains growth hormones that may not be in the best interest of human body. Second, most of it contains A 1 type protein which is really inflammatory. So consumption of milk in large quantities is never good at all.
Marketed milk is often from farms where cows are actually not grass-fed. The goodness of milk( with the mentioned above problems) is from the grass they eat.
Pasteurization and homogenization are not in health interest, but for easier marketing. How it compares with fresh milk is not clear. Many of the nutrients become really unavailable to the body.
Most of the milk marketed is with reduced-fat. When fat is properly removed so are Vitamine D3 and K2, and cOnjugated linoleic acid which is protective to the heart. And the skim milk just calcifies your arteries and other soft tissues from your body. In short, we can say it is a slow poison.
The best option is to use ghee. Cheese and butter also are fine if your response to A1 casein is mild.
What’s an actual difference between pasteurized standardized homogenized milk and pasteurized homogenized milk?
When the milk is directly taken from the reception tank at the dairy, all the milk is taken through a centrifuge that separates the milk into skim milk and cream.
Standardized milk “full cream milk”, where skim milk and cream are actually mixed in a ratio that leads to the fat content of 3.5% all year regardless of what the fat content was coming from the farmers. This perfectly leads to a small gain of cream for the dairy, as the fat content can be up to 4.3% from the cow.
Very few or some specialty dairies will sell the milk unstandardized. That is only an organic straight from nature kind of thing.