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You may have heard the saying “Breast is best” advocating breastfeeding infants whenever possible. While mother’s milk may often be the best formula available, it’s not always a feasible, safe, or sufficiently nutritious option. There are myriad reasons why a mother would decide to forego breastfeeding. And that’s where baby formula comes in. One way or another, fed is best! A starving or malnourished baby will never be a healthy baby. Unfortunately, the mass market formulas developed by scientists in the 1950s and 60s and touted initially as a better alternative to mother’s milk are anything but. These formulas were designed with a profit-over-people mindset, and have only become more harmful over the years.

For example, butterfat has often been considered too valuable to put into commercial baby formula since it is used to make ice cream, which has a large profit margin. Many formulas use spray-dried skim milk, vegetable oils instead of animal fats, and sugar or high-fructose corn syrup instead of lactose. Carrageenan (which is difficult for babies to digest) is often used as an emulsifier. Soy-based dairy alternatives began replacing dairy in the 1970s, and companies began opting for ever-cheaper ingredients to win WIC (Women Infants and Children) contract bids. In this essential episode of the Wise Traditions Podcast, Sally Fallon Morell covers all these problems and more.

Now we are now facing formula shortages due to pandemic supply chain issues compounding with a major US manufacturing plant shutdown due to deaths caused by bacterial infections. Thankfully there’s a solution to all of this, and in many cases, it may represent the absolute best nutrition a baby can get!

You can absolutely make baby formula at home, using readily available ingredients, of a much higher quality than most commercially available formulas. I’m happy to share with you these three recipes for homemade baby formula courtesy of Radiant Life. The first is a raw-milk-based formula. The raw milk can be replaced with goat milk or a chicken or beef broth base with organic liver for lactose intolerant babies. 

Despite inaccurate, unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, raw milk is safe and offers many health benefits to a growing baby, such as disease resistance and superior growth and development. Raw milk (fresh from the mother, whether bovine or human) is what baby cows and humans drink so it is obviously safe if it is appropriately extracted and kept cold and not contaminated on its way to the consumer. In the US, farmers are careful about preventing contamination in raw milk. Raw milk also has enzymes and live immune cells, which contain the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Find more on the truth about raw milk here. They note the interesting fact that there are no reports of death from fluid raw milk found in the medical literature going back over 5 decades.

On the other hand, dozens of deaths from pasteurized milk were reported in the same timeframe. This, when most of the raw milk people consume isn’t even regulated! In 2018 there was a report of a single case of brucellosis thought to be due to raw milk from an infected cow; besides that, no other cases were reported. The CDC reported only 1909 illnesses linked to raw milk over a 19-year period. To put that into perspective, around 48 million people get sick from food-borne illnesses yearly. Despite the fact that there have been many ongoing efforts to villainize raw milk for decades, industrial food production, including pasteurized milk, is far more dangerous.

Raw Milk Formula

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole raw cow’s milk, preferably from pasture-fed cows
  • 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey below). Note: Do NOT use powdered whey or whey from making cheese (which will cause the formula to curdle). Use only homemade whey made from yogurt, kefir, or separated raw milk.
  • 4 tablespoons lactose
  • 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis
  • 2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (preferably not ultra pasteurized), more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1-7/8 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder

Instructions

  • Put 2 cups of filtered water into a pyrex measuring pitcher and remove 2 tablespoons (that will give you 1-7/8 cups of water).
  • Pour about half of the water into a pan and place it on a medium flame.
  • Add the gelatin and lactose to the pan and let dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • When the gelatin and lactose are dissolved, remove from heat and add the remaining water to cool the mixture.
  • Stir in the coconut oil and optional high-vitamin butter oil and stir until melted.
  • Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients into a blender.
  • Add the water mixture and blend for about three seconds.
  • Place in glass bottles or a glass jar and refrigerate.
  • Before giving to baby, warm bottles by placing them in hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER warm bottles in a microwave oven.

Variation: Goat Milk Formula

Although goat milk is rich in fat, it must be used with caution in infant feeding as it lacks folate and is low in vitamin B12, both of which are essential to the growth and development of the infant. The inclusion of nutritional yeast to provide folate is essential. To compensate for low levels of vitamin B12, if preparing the Milk-Based Formula (above) with goat’s milk, add 2 teaspoons of organic raw chicken liver, frozen for 14 days, finely grated to the batch of formula. Be sure to begin egg-yolk feeding at four months.

Liver-Based Formula

Makes about 36 ounces.

Our liver-based formula also mimics the nutrient profile of mother’s milk. It is extremely important to include coconut oil in this formula as it is the only ingredient that provides the special medium-chain saturated fats found in mother’s milk. As with the milk-based formula, all oils should be truly expeller-expressed.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Simmer liver gently in broth until the meat is cooked through.
  • Liquefy using a handheld blender or in a food processor.
  • When the liver broth has cooled, stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Store in a very clean glass or stainless steel container.
  • To serve, stir the formula well and pour 6 to 8 ounces into a very clean glass bottle.
  • Attach a clean nipple and set in a pan of simmering water until the formula is warm but not hot to the touch. Shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)

You can visit radiantlifecatalog.com for more information and to purchase homemade formula kits and replacement items as well as Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig that challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

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