The USDA, FDA and CDC would have you believe it will make you deathly ill ALL the time when in fact, if produced under sanitary conditions from healthy cows, it is very safe. Millions here in the U.S. drink it on the sly, most purchasing it as a ‘cow share’ because in most states, it’s illegal to sell milk that hasn’t been pasteurized.
Laws requiring milk be pasteurized date from a time when unsanitary conditions were the norm in milk production. From the mid to late 1800’s “distillery dairies,” were established to provide milk to families in cities. Unfortunately these “dairies” were an outgrowth of the alcohol distilleries. Opened as an adjunct to the growing grain alcohol business, the spent grains were fed to cows, which sickened them. Unhealthy cows produced unhealthy milk. Many people died from typhoid & tuberculosis in milk in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Along with animal health, sanitation, cross-contamination and refrigeration practices had a lot to do with the high death rate.
Today, however, modern sanitation practices and testing, as well as the recognition of animal health has eliminated many of the dangers of raw milk. True, there is still a need for milk to be produced in clean conditions. Those who insist that all raw milk will make one deathly ill are hysterical. An interesting read is the pro and con discussion between raw milk activist David Gumpert and Bill Marler, an attorney representing those recovering from food poisoning.
For years I lived with a guy who worked on the family dairy farm. He brought home milk right out of the tank a few times a week. When we ran out we took our jug, went up to the barn and scooped some ice-cold milk straight from the tank, which sat in a hole where a spring ran around the bottom. The cold water kept it very, very cool all the time. I can’t ever remember getting sick from drinking milk we’d gotten right from the tank.
The government should stay out of trying to regulate direct farm-to-consumer affairs.
The government insists it is just doing its job by ferreting out farmers who are selling raw milk. Federal, state and local agencies are conducting SWAT-like armed raids, with guns drawn, on small dairy farmers and buying clubs with increasing frequency. They claim it is to “protect” the public but we all know it is just one thing: harassment.
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