Goodbye Raw Milk in California I have a few thoughts about our impending loss of Organic Pastures Dairy and raw, organic milk in California.


It is my understanding that pasteurization was originally used in order to prolong shelf life — the idea being that lessening milk’s nutritional value by cooking it was better than the milk spoiling on the shelf. Food goes rotten after exposure to oxygen over a period of time.

Various people have found ways to make food last longer on the shelf. But there’s a cost. That cost is the loss of nutritional value to the point where it may turn into anti-food or food that is against itself and definitely against all of us.

Unfortunately, when one’s body is not getting sustainable nutrition, it doesn’t do as well. This, to me, adds up over the long run to laying in the groundwork for illness, small or large — that is, illness that might pass in, say, ten days to a few weeks all the way up to  catastrophic illness. Or, a large number of fat people in society.

I know that it has been fantastically drummed into us that pasteurization is "good" for you and for the food. It’s in books with tests done. And if it’s in books and trumpeted by individuals with great education, why, then it must surely be true.

But there’s no way around it: by pasteurizing milk, one is lessening its nutritional value in order to prolong its shelf life. So this trade-off of nutritional value for shelf life is not balanced at all. But the concept of pasteurization has been "sold" to the public as a good thing.

Pasteurization and e-coli

Now, the "issue" with raw milk, at least according to the State of California, is that raw milk contains more coliform bacteria than pasteurized milk — and coliform bacteria could include e-coli. And so, in its august consideration, the State of California has passed an amendment that places a cap on the number of coliform bacteria that milk may contain in order to be sold. That’s right — instead of requiring testing for e-coli.

This forces raw milk producers to cut down the sales of their legitimate product — and may very well force them out of business.

Pasteurization isn’t going to get rid of all e-coli. Do the large shelf-life-milk producers even test their milk for e-coli? I’m told that their standard for testing is not even close to the standard that Organic Pastures Dairy is put through.

People have been drinking milk for a very long time BEFORE there was pasteurization. A very long time!

When I was in my teens, it was my experience for several years that I drank raw milk every day and I never got ill from it. It just never happened. Then I stopped drinking milk for a very long time, because I couldn’t get that raw milk anymore in the stores.

I was recently reintroduced to raw milk and bought Organic Pasture’s Dairy milk, butter and cheese and I could tell that it was nutritionally high. My wife and I enjoy raw milk and cream every day and we love it.

The other day, I was reading comments in a forum from small producers of raw milk, mainly in New York State. And nearly all of them were talking about ceasing to produce raw milk because they were being harassed by one government agency or another to apply standards not at all applied to pasteurized milk.

If a company produces a product that causes illness, that company should be held accountable.

If a company, such as Organic Pastures Dairy Company, produces a product that’s beneficial for society and that company is being harassed by the government for not doing anything wrong, it is my opinion that Organic Pastures should legally go after those individuals.

It’s simply fantastic that the CDHS (California Department of Health Services) put through the redefinition of milk standards to echo pasteurization nutritional standards (which are low) with AB1735, the anti-raw milk legislation.

One has to wonder whether Organic Pastures Dairy Company is taking market share away from the pasteurized milk producers, who may be using the California Department of Health Services to squeeze organic milk out of existence in our state.

And if Organic Pastures Dairy wants to do business and continue to take market share, it is my opinion that it needs to expose to the light of day this legislation (which was done without letting the people of California decide) – along with the unfounded criticism of organic raw milk. That’s how to fight for the right to take the whole market share and "force" on our population raw, highly nutritional milk. <sarcasm intended.> And make us consumers come to grips again with the fact that food can and will spoil (and will smell bad) after a while and so we better drink it faster and get healthier. And force this sweet food on our children so they will grow up tall and healthy.

In New York State, it sounds like a lot of small raw milk producers are so intimidated, or can’t fight a legal battle, or won’t band together to make a legal stink and are giving up.

It’s my hope that Organic Pastures challenges this anti-raw milk "law" and does something effective. Mark McAfee, if you don’t, you’ll eventually lose. Then we all lose.

You won’t win unless you fight back EVERY time your competition wants to use politicians to do their dirty work, which is what it sounds like has happened here. After a time, your competition (the pro-pasteurization companies) may even join you in producing healthy milk instead of putting you out of business. That’s because consumers are becoming more and more educated and, as time goes on, the heavy-pasteurization companies won’t make money and will go out of business — and so they’d better change their practices to something more healthy. Assuming, of course, that you will fight back effectively using our democratic system. And win.

From what we’re reading, it sounds as if the California Department of Health Services will stab you in the back while claiming that all they want to do is help you (and with such a friendly smile too!). CDHS’ history with raw milk and with Organic Pastures is how you judge them.

There’s nothing wrong with raw milk. There’s a fantastic amount of right.

There’s much wrong with pasteurized milk. They’re afraid of you and will be ruthless with you in a covert way as they continue to force on society THEIR product.

Take their market share.

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4 Comments for "On our impending loss of Organic Pastures Dairy and organic raw milk in California"

  1. Diane Vigil

    Excellent post, George. Phew.

  2. Edward Berbaum

    I enjoyed my own raw goats milk for 15 years. I did not sell it, just drank it, made cheese and whey, ice cream, yogurt and kefir.
    Maybe this is good and it will force many more devoted natural healthy food consumers to leave their jobs after they save enough money to by a little country place and grow their own and milk their own goat, cows or sheep. The planet needs this and it will help reduce the carbon factor. We did this in 1976 and it worked and we love the life style. We are self employed now and have a great life style even though we live below the poverty level. No mortgage and no outstanding credit, Credit is bad and you all know this so change you ways and do your own raw milk thing. Have faith, you can do it.

  3. Diane Vigil

    Thank you for sharing your story, Edward. It’s most interesting — and valuable to hear that country living is so enjoyable.

    We’ve actually thought of raising our own (and we’re self-employed, although moving out to the country may not be entirely workable for us). As pretty much a city person (and a website designer), I’m not sure I’m the right one to be raising cows. It does sound idyllic, though (which may just be an illustration of my naivete in that regard!).

    But did you find that goat milk tastes pretty much like cow milk?

  4. Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California

    […] On our impending loss of Organic Pastures Dairy and organic raw milk in California […]

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