9 Facts on Drinking Milk From a Nondrinker

Tidbit #9: Pasteurization and Raw Milk: Pasteurization is a heating technique used to kill bacteria in the milk before it’s packaged and sold. This process cleaned up our milk supply in the late 1800s and people stopped dying from listeriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and brucellosis. But it could have been a combination of the pasteurization, chlorinating water and less horse poop on the roads as people started driving cars, that actually stopped the spread and transmission of the pathogens.
The FDA stresses the importance of pasteurization for keeping pathogens and bacteria out of the milk supply, and saving the lives of adults and children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that of 239 hospitalizations caused by tainted dairy products from 1993 through 2006, 202 involved raw milk or raw-milk cheese. The world of raw milk fires back that most of these incidences were caused by people drinking raw milk that was intended for pasteurization. This means the cows were not milked in the most sanitary and careful ways a cow making drinkable raw milk would be.
It is now illegal in most states to sell raw milk, and also illegal to transport raw milk across state lines. In California you can purchase inspected raw milk at the grocery store, and I couldn’t find record of illnesses or deaths. I know of an underground black market for raw milk in Nevada, which is not only dedication but pretty awesome. These guys believe that pasteurization is actually destroying all the vitamins and enzymes we think we’re getting from milk (the FDA disputes this, obviously). They also believe raw milk has healing properties from all the gut-happy enzymes, working magic to improve allergies, arthritis and even autism. This is all anecdotal but worth reading into if you’re looking for that kind of thing.

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1 Comment
  1. Michelle K says:

    Note that while you didn’t find any instances of raw milk sicknesses or death, if you search journalism databases like LexisNexis, AP, BBC newswire, your results would have pulled sicknesses resulting from raw milk. Here are two examples:
    Lumping sickness/death together in your article allows the reader to assume neither have occurred due to raw milk consumption. That is inaccurate.