Raw Milk Controversy: Fact or Fiction

Dairy CowMy only personal experience with raw milk was years ago on a friends farm I visited in Manitoba. I was curious to try unpasturized milk, so she pointed me to a pitcher in the fridge and said, “Help yourself.” It was horrible, but I was too polite to say so. When she asked me later, I mentioned I hadn’t really cared for it, at which point she realized she’d pointed out the pitcher of sour milk she was saving for baking!

On a purely logical level, it makes sense to me that if a farmer is feeding his or her family milk from their cows and is taking proper and more personalized care of them because the herd is small and s/he can, the milk will be fine. Statistically, that is the case.

Now that we know more about beneficial bacteria in food than we did in the late 1800’s, when it became the norm, we know that pasteurization isn’t necessarily the holy grail of health and safety. Well, we do if we read beyond what is published by commercialized industry and the governments they lobby.

Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s place. If you consider that back in the day, regular daily personal hygiene was sketchy (at best), you can see why sterilizing everything you put in your mouth seemed like such a good idea. Now that farming operations are so much cleaner, maybe it’s time to reconsider what we’re giving up by not allowing raw milk products — a variety of absolutely delicious cheeses, to start.

I just think we should have a choice.

For more on the topic, read Did You Want Your Milk Raw? in today’s The Tyee.

One thought on “Raw Milk Controversy: Fact or Fiction

  1. Sinisa Nojkovic

    Pasteurization was necessary when we started having larger (beyond settler/smallholder) size farms and when milk needed to be collected, transported, packaged and then sold into cities. Raw milk spoils fast and this was the thing to do. This, however, is NEVER an issue on small farms where milk is either consumed (drinking or cooking) or made into butter, cheese and so on.. It all comes down to how far are we from the cow. Much like with anything else..

    And yeah, I would love to be able to get my hands on raw milk. I am making my own cheese from store bought organic but it does not even come close to tasting like the real thing.

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