Miracle cure-all! Saves millions of lives every year! Drink this life-giving, fulfilling, natural, nourishing to guarantee health.
What’s the catch? It’s seasonally available and even then, supply is limited. Honest! This really exists in the real world. What would you give to try it? What if I told you that I have witnessed almost immediate death in those denied a drink. Want some? Need some? No worries. I keep some on hand at all times. Actually, I probably couldn’t pay you to drink it! Why? Because I’m talking about colostrum. Gotcha! (If you are new reader, check out my other blog posts about farming, food, and fear to at knowfoods.ca where I build connections with people who are interested in where their food comes from.)
Farm animals are born different from human babies. I can hear you out there… “No sh*t Sherlock!” I mean, immunologically different. Human babies are born with some maternal immunity because the immune cells pass from mother to fetus while the baby in still in utero. The placental structure in farm animals (oh ok… you’re right… explaining that is going too far) means no immune cells transfer to the neonate prior to birth. Calves, lambs, goat-kids, and piglets have to receive 100% of their maternal immunity by drinking the mother’s first milk. This is called colostrum but a better description is liquid gold.
Farm animals have a narrow window to acquire maternal immunity – only 4-8 hours. The death sentence has pretty well fallen if more than 24 hours pass without baby having a chance to nurse. How on earth could that happen you ask? Newborns may not nurse if they are born too cold, have a long or difficult birth, or have a deformity. The mother might be the problem too – she may not have milk, be injured or ill after giving birth, or simply not mother up (i.e. reject the baby).
Ensuring that every baby receives colostrum is a huge responsibility for farmers. It is one that every producer takes seriously. Husbandry (i.e. how we care for our animals) is a forgotten part of the “factory-farm” conversation. Did you know that almost every sow’s birth is supervised? Or that beef farmers check calving cows in the middle of the night to be sure that they don’t need help? Husbandry is the “silver-bullet” that minimizes our need for medications like antibiotics.
The internet is full of promises for miracle cures. Maybe it is just the circles that I run in but most claim to be the next miracle food. I’m an absolute sceptic of all such claims. I sound like a broken record repeating … “Show me some evidence”. Well, today I give you a cure-all with mountains of evidence to its effectiveness. In fact 3.8 million Canadian calves and 30 million Canadian piglets will attest to its effectiveness this year. Now that’s a testimonial!
Curious about farming? Post a comment or question.