Talk to almost anyone about raw milk, and you’ll probably be told that raw milk is "dangerous" — followed tentatively by … "Isn’t it?"
Thing is, people don’t know. We’re not all chemists or food-ologists. The presumption is that we consumers have been protected from various health hazards by the safety measures provided by pasteurized milk.
But I had also heard that the negative publicity about raw milk arose in the 1930’s due to poor sanitary conditions at an inner-city dairy at that time. So it was time to determine where this came from. Which is true?
According to Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz, a Ph.D. in Nutrition located in Washington, D.C., in Raw Milk; Udderly Health-giving!:
The bad rhetoric about raw milk as a carrier for disease began in late 1930’s when, as Knudsen Dairy employee Alton Eliason testified, conglomerate Knudsen Dairy began a ruthless conspiracy to eliminate its small competitors and ensure less spoiled milk. Knudsen began pasteurizing its dairy products but few people bought them because they were inferior in taste and health-giving properties. Knudsen claimed that pasteurized dairy was the only safe dairy and hired doctors, without research, to testify that raw milk caused diseases. They paid and worked with health officials to outlaw public and farm sales of raw milk. They paid writers to tell gruesome tales about dirty raw milk being a carrier of disease. City dwellers began to believe that anyone who drank it was crazy or stupid. However, the people who worked with raw milk and drank it regularly were not fooled. The campaign to force pasteurization down people’s throats is still alive today and your article continued it.
"Over 290 billion glasses of raw milk have been consumed in the USA since 1960 without one epidemic and not one scientifically associated case of sickness," reported biological attorney Raymond A. Novell. "However, pasteurized dairy has been scientifically proved to have caused numerous epidemics, including one that affected 197,000 people; and that fact is from CDC."
Further, from the Boston Globe, in Got Raw Milk?:
Until very recently, there was no such thing as "raw" milk; people have consumed milk straight from the cow for centuries. In the 1860s, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur discovered that bacteria and other harmful organisms contaminating beer or wine could be killed off by heat. The widespread pasteurization of milk starting in the 1920s "was one of the major breakthroughs in public health," says Eric Decker, a professor of food science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (There are several methods of pasteurizing milk before it is bottled; most commonly, its temperature is quickly raised to 161 degrees and kept there for 15 seconds.) Before pasteurization, drinking industrially produced milk in America was a gamble. In The Untold Story of Milk, Ron Schmid, a naturopathic physician and raw-milk advocate, writes that as city populations skyrocketed in the mid-1800s and pasture for cows in urban areas became scarce, dairies began feeding their cows waste grain from local distilleries. The cows quickly became diseased and emaciated, producing poor-quality milk that, coupled with inadequate sanitation and refrigeration, caused a host of health problems, mostly in young children, and created a scandal around the milk industry. Pasteurization was seen as a solution to what was known as the "milk problem."
So. That was the 1930’s. The "rhetoric" is the same. What’s changed?
1 Comment for "Raw Milk versus Pasteurized Milk"
Share your thoughts:
Comments from first-time posters will be held for moderation (but are appreciated). Comments that violate common sense or courtesy will be deleted. If your name is a bunch of search terms, your comment will be deleted. We value your privacy (you must be 18 or older to post).
To make a long dash (—), type three hyphens and our software will convert it.