The Safety and Dangers of Raw, Unprocessed, Unpasteurized Milk

(BeWellBuzz) In my previous article, The History and Problem of Pasteurization, we looked at the early decades of milk processing in the USA; namely, how and why it entered the scene. It turns out that people created the widespread need for it by getting our cows sick through poor farming conditions.

In the beginning of the shift, there was a somewhat friendly coexistence between clean raw dairies and those with lower standards, higher yields and pasteurization as a failsafe. But brewing under the surface was a battle for market share and a movement to change the way dairy was done. At the same time, America was slowly becoming more “germaphobic,” leading us to the crises we have today. There are numerous studies giving evidence that the increase of asthma, allergies and overall illness is a direct result of an overly sterile, bacteria-free and unnatural environment.

By 1949 most states required, by law, the pasteurization of milk.  The law nixed clean unprocessed unpasteurized milk and other dairy products, and made way for increasingly nasty conditions for the animals, such as tight enclosures where they’d sleep in their own poo, and where illness would spread among them rapidly. Cattle are fed cheap grain that fattens but doesn’t nourish their bodies or their milk, reminiscent of the white flour and sugar products that stock our grocery shelves and make us both sick and fat.

Overarching these events, can you see the trend in all sectors away from the natural design of life to a man-made, manipulated system? Our livestock, our children, we ourselves, and now even our vegetables are being stripped of vitality as a result of artificial, man-made processes, synthetic foods and “modifications” that were never necessary. Raising cows on grain is like raising our children on frosted flakes and cheez-whiz. Thus, the milk they produce is already nutrient-deficient, and depleted of the fat burning, muscle building fatty acid, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). What’s more, in order to produce more milk in less time, and prevent death of sickly cows, most commercial dairy farmers will inject antibiotics, growth hormone and steroids, which many of us would never inject into our own bodies. All of this adds up to a completely different milk product than what humans have been enjoying for millennia.

So what about raw (unprocessed) milk? Are the concerns about contamination valid?

Killer Milk?

People who understandably fear consumption of raw milk will mention disease outbreaks such as bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis. Back in the 19th and 20th centuries these absolutely did occur from raw milk in frightening numbers, but it wasn’t the result of pure, clean milk from healthy goats, sheep or cows. Disease infestation in milk was the direct result of unsanitary conditions and unhealthy animals. Dr. Mercola reported:

According to CDC data, from 1993 to 2006 there were only about 116 illnesses a year linked to raw milk — that amounts to less than .000002 percent of the 76 million people who contract a food-borne illness in the United States each year!”[1]

“Clean” raw milk is life giving, not life threatening. In the past decade there have been no reports of major illness or outbreaks as a result of pure, unprocessed milk. We have heard about salmonella breakouts from milk. In the 1980s there was a salmonella breakout brought on by pasteurized milk, which infected 16,000 people.

Go Raw or Go Home

In an article published in Natural News Paul Fassa wrote:

Conventional milk is both dead and toxic. Organic pasteurized milk is not as toxic, but probably almost as dead. Only raw grass fed milk is a truly beneficial health food.[2]

Organic milk is often still pasteurized. If you want to drink dairy milk for its life building nourishment but avoid the destroyed, it has to be raw. And if it’s going to be raw, unless you live in California, you most likely need to go to the dairy farm to get it.

I think this is a less convenient but excellent part of this change. At one time people personally knew their neighborhood dairy, butcher, baker, etc. Visiting your dairy opens the door for you to know, personally, your dairy farmer. As you build relationship with her or him, which is most likely a family, you’ll know whether they’re passionate about quality or not. And raw milk, just like any food, is exceedingly dangerous if it’s dirty. Keeping it clean is hard work and it’ll require a passionate farmer.

How to Inspect for a Quality Dairy

Amanda Rose is author of The Raw Milk Consumer Guide, and was recently interviewed[3] to inform the public how to sniff out potentially dangerous dairies. She affirms that raw milk can absolutely be contaminated, and each buyer should check out their local dairy and make sure it scores high for cleanliness. In the interview she recommends some questions to ask:

Large dairy (30+ cows)

• Do you test for pathogens? How often?
• How did you respond after your last bad pathogen test?

Medium dairy (3+ cows)

• What kind of equipment do you use for milking? How often is it cleaned?
• How quickly do you cool down the milk? How do you keep it cold?

Small dairy (1-2 cows)

• How do you prepare the animal for milking?
• How quickly do you cool down the milk? How do you keep it cold?

(Source: theKitchn)

Rose warns that any major dairy that’s been around for a few years will have experienced an incidence of bad bacteria, and made adjustments. Be wary, she advises, of anyone that says they’ve never had to make adjustments and improve their practices. It’s a normal part of their business. The key is that the owners can admit it, and then explain what changes they made to improve conditions.

You can and should always ask for a tour of the facility. Then you will see with your own eyes whether the milking floor is muddy and muddled with feces; or if it’s well-kept and clean.

Stand For Purity

We need to know the people who are putting food in our mouths, and we need to know what drives them. There are people who are in it for the money; and others who eat, drink and sleep cattle. They take pride in their work and love to provide good food. These are the ones I want to buy from.

Could it be that our efforts to manipulate and control nature will always lead to destruction? Our attempts to “improve” upon the earth’s designs, her very DNA, are proving unwise. I believe this is a time when “we the people” must support good farming and business practices to starve out corruption. Our new choices will bring much needed healing to our food supply (the earth) and our bodies, saving us time, money and heartache in the long run.

To find a local dairy that provides raw milk, and to get more facts about drinking raw milk, check out


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