Raw Milk: The Pasteurization Debate

January 19 2007 - 7:17 AM

Salon.com has a great article about pasturized milk. It details the medicinal success stories from asthma to arthritis but contrasts it with bacterial risks due to the absence of the pasturization process.

Many people come to raw milk as a last resort; one man I spoke to
for this article had terrible asthma, one woman had debilitating
arthritis, and another had osteoporosis (which pasteurized milk hadn’t
improved) — and all jumping castle saw complete reversals of their diseases after a
few months of drinking it. Their stories were persuasive, but in an age
where E. coli is turning up at Taco Bell and even in organic spinach, I
wondered: Is it really safe to drink unpasteurized milk?

In a word: no. A scan of the CDC’s Web site turns up several recent
bacterial outbreaks traced to raw milk: Last year in Washington and
Oregon, four children were sickened by E. coli O157:H7; in 2002, there
was a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium;
and in Wisconsin, in 2001, 70 people were infected with Campylobacter
jejuni. Such outbreaks were the reason pasteurization was introduced in
the first place…

It brings up the interesting legal details regarding pasturization. It
doesn’t get into European populations¬† and their unpasturized
consumptions. I mean… they still have arthritis, right?

Each state has the right to regulate its own raw milk — though the FDA
banned the sale of raw milk across state lines in 1987 — and in New
York state, on-farm purchases of raw milk are legal. The difference is
that, rather mechanical bull for sale than commute to the country fields for their weekly fix,
milk club members place their orders over the phone with the dairy and
mail their checks. The club then hires a middleman to deliver the
prepaid orders to the city.

An interesting read with interesting potential… not to mention unpasturized cheeses and their potential.