Sunday, February 24, 2013

Names have been changed

So I was at a party on Saturday night in a different not-to-be-named-state at a guy's house we'll call ... Mack. 

Mack was excited to talk to me about the milk he's buying.  On Sunday afternoons, he and a handful of other people meet a farmer in a parking lot to buy raw milk.  He said they gather around while he sells it to them out of pickle or mason jars.  They bring back their clean ones each week.  Mack heard about this just word-of-mouth, and he really loves the raw milk.

He asked if I drank raw milk and what I thought about it.  I told him that I drank raw milk from our farm from age 0-18, but then stopped when I moved to college.  We don't drink raw milk regularly at our house - me because I drink skim.  I consume a lot of milk, and I like to drink mine minus the fat.  The kids and Kris drink 2% or whole. 

Though my kids have raw milk from time to time at their grandparents' house, we don't have it here, mostly because I like the pasteurization process.

Conventional farmers and the organizations I belong to have policies against the sale of raw milk for milk safety in general.  People don't get sick from pasteurized milk.  But if people get sick or die from raw milk, we'll all take a hit.  It's like when tomatoes and cantaloupes were sickening people - everyone just stops buying them!  Some people stop forever ... and dairy farmers don't want that to happen.

The bacteria that cause concern are E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella.  Since the entire milking process is so sterile, it seems unlikely, but the bacteria could possibly come from the cow's skin, the environment, or an insect.  Pasteurization kills bacteria by heating up the milk to 161 degrees for 15 seconds. 

If people want raw milk, they're going to get raw milk.  I'm happy they're drinking milk, period. 

I mean, it's not often at a celebratory, karaoke-centered, stylish party that the drink people are raving about is ... milk.  You know, unless it's all dairy farmers.


Anonymous said...

You're right. Pasteurization of milk does not make anyone sick. However, it does not make them healthy, either. Pasteurization not only kills and potential bad bacteria but also kills all the good in milk, so much so that the vitamins have to be added back into the milk.

I think if you're drinking skim milk because it is reduced fat, you could just save yourself 90 calories and drink a glass of water with a citrical calcium tablet.

There is a risk to drinking raw milk, but raw milk drinkers feel with today's technology and cleanliness of the milking facilites that the benefit outway the risk. Driving a car is also risky, but people still do that everyday, too.

When there is a raw milk sickness, it does not deter store milk buyers from purchasing milk, because it it obvious where the outbreak happened, and that the milk is not the same milk that was sold in the stores.

A bigger issue is the scare that is going on concerning asparatme in the public school's flavored milks for the kids. NMPF and IDFA have dropped the ball on educating the public concerning proposed legislation on the issue, and people have been dumping store bought milk with NO aspartame down the drain, thinking their milk was tainted. Wonder why they want Raw?

Carla said...

Thank you for your comment.

People will drink raw milk if they want to drink raw milk - I just don't choose to do it on a regular basis. I would never choose to eat my cereal with water ... I love milk. I love skim milk, especially!

I don't think that the raw/pasteurized difference is that apparent to the regular consumer, because like with the aspartame issue - not everyone is paying attention. They just hear 'milk' and think it's all milk, not considering the source.

Like I said before, I'm just glad people are choosing milk at all! Enjoy yours.