Raw Milk

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Raw Milk

Postby PatchMonster » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:56 pm UTC

For a few months now my mother has been buying raw milk and other "wholesome" foods from an Amish farm. I've been skeptical on how safe it is, and according to my mother it is safer than homogenized/pasteurized milk. She's shown me a few resources like http://realmilk.com/ and a few pamphlets which I can't locate at the moment. I'm not sure as to whether I should just give up my resistance to it and drink it or not. Am I being paranoid or picky about my food? According to my mother pasteurized/homogenized milk is terrible for you and she refuses to buy it. In addition to the milk, she now buys ice cream, butter, and meats from this farm.

Since I'm only 16, I've been having to buy my own food or eat elsewhere when I want anything dairy related. She's even gone as far as to say eating raw meat is very good for you (yes, but dangerous?). I've been resisting consuming the things she's bought from this Amish farm for quite some time, everything looks very... unsafe. Am I just being picky? If not, how could I explain to my mother that pasteurized/homogenized/reduced fat milk is perfectly healthy? She goes on and on about how these companies are lying, et cetera. I'm afraid my mother has once again fallen for something. I'm no biologist or health expert, so I was hoping someone here might give some useful advice.

Below is a picture of a raw milk container in my fridge, labeled pet milk to bypass health standards. Hopefully this might help you understand why I'm being skeptical:
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Here's what wikipedia has to say: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_milk#T ... zed_Debate
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

PatchMonster wrote:She goes on and on about how these companies are lying, et cetera.

Then it's probably too late for her. All that pasteurization does is raise the temperature of the milk to reduce, not completely eliminate, the number of living bacteria and other micro-organisms in the milk. If you're convinced that *heating milk* is bad for you ... you're pretty paranoid.

Homogenization is pretty useless, really. It prevents the milk solids and fats from separating out of the water over time. Shaking your milk -- or drinking it quickly -- eliminates the need. It's a convenience factor. It's done in industry using a huge blender that breaks up the fats, increasing the overall surface area and the molecular bonds that hold them in solution. If you're convinced that *blending milk* is bad for you ...

As for reduced fat milk - Milk will tend to naturally separate all on it's own, thus homogenization. If you let the milk sit (or go for a spin) the fat content will mechanically separate. If you're convinced that *letting milk separate* is bad for you ...

wikipedia wrote:The disease threat at present is a statistical issue, and is defined in public health terms. Although Mycobacteria bovis (non-pulmonary tuberculosis) is found in raw milk, it is relatively rare in modern industrial societies. The public health issue is that tuberculosis and typhoid will always be present in raw milk, even if in statistically small amounts. These potentially disastrous pathogens in raw milk (non-pulmonary tuberculosis, typhoid, and salmonella) can be safely controlled by pasteurization, animal husbandry, and milk storage methods. The health of dairy animals can be managed by continuous testing of dairy herds and careful storage of milk products. Some of the pathogens will never be eliminated from dairy herds since the pathogens are carried by common wildlife (goats, cats, dogs, pigs, buffalo, badgers, possums, deer and bison). Thus, the public health side of the debate always returns to pasteurization.


RealMilk.com can't even provide a scientific backing to it's claims that there's something wrong with pasteurized milk:

realmilk.com wrote: The second article describes a study carried out by scientists in Salzburg, Austria. Researchers examined the history of allergy, asthma and "atopic sensitization" or skin problems in 812 children, 319 of whom had grown up with a "regular exposure to a farming environment" including the consumption of "farm milk," that is, raw, whole, unprocessed milk. The remaining group of 493 non-farming children acted as a control. Frequency of asthma was reduced from 11 percent found in the control group to 1 percent among the farming-exposed children. Similarly, hay fever occurred in only 3 percent of the farming-exposed children, compared with 13 percent of the controls, and atopic sensitization occurred in 12 percent of the farming group and in 29 percent of the controls.

The researchers found that the timing of exposure to the farm environment and raw milk was critical. Those children exposed during the first year of life showed the greatest protective effect. Continual long-term "exposure to stables" until age five years was associated with the lowest frequencies of asthma, hay fever and atopic sensitization.

Subsequent comments on this article3 stress "exposure to stables" as the determining factor but we wonder whether this is any different than exposure to pets in the typical urban home. It is much more likely that consumption of raw milk is the determining factor because this variable can be uniquely determined.


Um ... no. Raw milk is not much more likely to be the determining factor. Holy fuck, people can actually believe themselves when they're that stupid?

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby PatchMonster » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:22 pm UTC

I agree with you, unfortunately it's not me that needs convincing, she's shown me pamphlets saying that, "A group of cats given pasteurized milk stopped reproducing after four generations", and other things. I've tried telling her why the FDA disapproves of it (link), and she thinks the FDA is being manipulated and the deaths for pasteurized milk are much higher.

Should I just give up? :(
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Gunfingers » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:31 pm UTC

Call a doctor or nutrition specialist? They might could convince her.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby PatchMonster » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Call a doctor or nutrition specialist? They might could convince her.


Hmm, very good idea, maybe if I got them to meet and debate about it. Although I don't think it will be as easy as you may think, she's a doctor of chiropractic, and will believe her opinion to be just as important as another health expert's.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Gunfingers » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

>_<

You may just be screwed. Enjoy your cherokee hair tampons...

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Azrael » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

PatchMonster wrote:... she's a doctor of chiropractic, and will believe her opinion to be just as important as another health expert's.


HAHAHAhahahahahahaha. That's a good one. :mrgreen: Yeah, you're probably going to have to live with it.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby PatchMonster » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:59 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:>_<

You may just be screwed. Enjoy your cherokee hair tampons...


Bah, my friends bring that one up all the time.

Azrael wrote:
PatchMonster wrote:... she's a doctor of chiropractic, and will believe her opinion to be just as important as another health expert's.


HAHAHAhahahahahahaha. That's a good one. :mrgreen: Yeah, you're probably going to have to live with it.


Yeah, I suppose I just needed to be reassured I wasn't being paranoid. Still going to try and seek out a doctor to get him to talk to my mom.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Kachi » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

Uh, it's not only more dangerous to drink raw milk, but if you're otherwise drinking something like skim, it's not as good for you either, nutritiously speaking.

Perhaps you should direct your mother to quackwatch.org. Important consumer health information for everyone.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby wst » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:04 pm UTC

Pasteurisation doesn't kill all of the bacteria in the milk - hence it will still sour when kept in a sealed bottle. Maybe some 'home tests' of simple things, will show how raw milk has so many more microorganisms in than Pasteurised and UHT (if you can get UHT in a clear container).
Have your brand new bottles of each type of milk, unopened, and leave them on the kitchen sideboard somewhere, all together. Then no bacteria will be in the bottle, other than those in the milk/from production. Hopefully a greenish film will form on the raw milk bottle.

As far as raw meat is concerned, it is nutritionally better for you. However, I consider full veganism to be much safer than raw meat. Insist that all meat in the house is properly cooked, or that your mother (who seems to be the only person you've mentioned that has a problem with conventional eating) stops eating meat and becomes vegan.

I hate giving advice like this. It's much easier for me to say than for you to do. And it' dealing with families, which move in ways that are quite baffling, and individual.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby PatchMonster » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

wst wrote:Pasteurisation doesn't kill all of the bacteria in the milk - hence it will still sour when kept in a sealed bottle. Maybe some 'home tests' of simple things, will show how raw milk has so many more microorganisms in than Pasteurised and UHT (if you can get UHT in a clear container).
Have your brand new bottles of each type of milk, unopened, and leave them on the kitchen sideboard somewhere, all together. Then no bacteria will be in the bottle, other than those in the milk/from production. Hopefully a greenish film will form on the raw milk bottle.

As far as raw meat is concerned, it is nutritionally better for you. However, I consider full veganism to be much safer than raw meat. Insist that all meat in the house is properly cooked, or that your mother (who seems to be the only person you've mentioned that has a problem with conventional eating) stops eating meat and becomes vegan.

I hate giving advice like this. It's much easier for me to say than for you to do. And it' dealing with families, which move in ways that are quite baffling, and individual.


I assume the experiment is to prove there is more bacteria in the raw milk. She agrees with this, and believes that the good bacteria in the raw milk will prevent it from contracted diseases. And since the pasteurized milk has no bacteria (to fight diseases?), she believes it's more susceptible than the raw milk to diseases. Thanks for the advice though.

It hasn't been a very serious problem, she respects my opinion for the most part. She's not forcing me to eat these things. I haven't seen her eat raw meat yet, she has just mentioned to me that it is a good idea. I hope she doesn't turn into a wild carnivore :P . It's still a hassle getting my own food all the time, I think I'll just have to manage till I have my own house.

Kachi wrote:Uh, it's not only more dangerous to drink raw milk, but if you're otherwise drinking something like skim, it's not as good for you either, nutritiously speaking.

Perhaps you should direct your mother to quackwatch.org. Important consumer health information for everyone.


I'll surely try, I doubt it will get far with her, however.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby eds01 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:34 am UTC

Getting rid of too many bacteria is bad for you - it can help lower your immune system by lack of use (i.e. if you don't use it, you lose it), but there are some genuinely nasty bugs pasteurization can get rid of. Raw milk generally tastes better than pasteurized, because they're 2 general ways to do the pasteurization: lower heat for a longer time or higher heat for a shorter time. With milk, generally companies heat the milk really hot for a fraction of a second or merely hot for a dozen or two seconds. See if your mom will let you pasteurize by heating the milk up to about 150 degrees for about half an hour, then stick it in your freezer in small containers so it chills as quick as it can.

Raw milk is probably not being to be too bad for you, though - people drank it for thousands of years and lived, and people in e.g. France still have raw milk cheese, but it has the potential to be harmful (like undercooked eggs).

As for raw meat, what do you think steak tartar is? It's also similar to sashimi/sushi, or ceviche. Similarly, it has the potential to be dangerous, but you can still take precautions - marinate your raw meat with something anti-bacterial, and you should kill off all of the surface bacteria. As for edible anti-bacterials, there's always alcohol (i.e. wine or other spirits), or a strong acid, like lime juice. As long as the meat is really fresh, and handled correctly, it's possible for it to be pretty safe (just like sushi).

Just like with anything, a lot of this is how much risk of disease you're willing to accept. You could simply become vegan, if your mom won't budge and you think that the risk is unacceptably high.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby scruff » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:50 am UTC

I tend to agree with your mother, but I don't think this is necessarily an issue of who is right or wrong. If you are truly concerned about your own health, then I would hope that your mother would be willing to work with you to allow you to be happy about the food you're eating, especially since you seem old enough and mature enough to be able to make these kinds of decisions for yourself. Perhaps if you framed the issue in those terms?

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby nightlina » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:01 am UTC

It's an interesting debate. My dad and sister believe in having organic foods and so on and will avoid eating chicken and will produce their own fruits and vegetables to avoid harmful sprays.

In most cases I agree with them, however I'm also aware that Australia has very strict rules when it comes to food preparation and safety (we aren't able to commercially sell the things we grow) so I'm pretty confident that anything I find in the supermarket is going to be safe. I wouldn't be so confident about buying directly from a farm when they obviously aren't following the health regulations and are forced to label their milk as being for 'pets'. The same goes for meat. I'd be too worried about things being contaminated.

So, suggestions for educating your mum - it sounds like she's been brainwashed by the Amish people at the farm, so perhaps you could take her to a commercial milk place so she can really see what is going on. Perhaps also to a butcher if she's worried about meat. Let them do some good ol' fashioned brain washing - or perhaps you'll both learn that they are evil and you can then inform us.

Another option would be to suggest she gets her own cow to milk, at least that would be a bit of an educating experience and you can watch over and make sure her preparation methods are safe.

As to raw meat - it depends on the meat and also depends on where you're getting it from and how they've looked after it. Beef is generally the safest (and the only meat that I would consider eating raw). I believe chicken is most dangerous to have raw, and pork may be next on that list.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

Odds are raw milk won't do you much damage--people survived for centuries on raw milk and with limited (or non existant) cooling options.

That said, milk is pasteurized for a reason--there is a chance of contamination and a chance that raw milk can make you sick. Sometimes we take too many precautions now in order to make absolutely sure there are no germs anywhere--which is just as bad as paying no attention to them at all.

If you are uncomfortable don't drink the stuff or eat the raw meat--you mother seems like she's gone off the deep end into health-nut-hippydom (and that's not necessarily a bad thing--though the health claims of the foods she's eating are dubious at best).
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

People who were raised on raw milk survived for centuries without cooling mechanisms. The ones who didn't, died young. People have been doing lots of things for centuries, but one thing they haven't been doing for centuries is living to an average age of 75 or 80 (the life expectancy for a US male or female, respectively, at birth). Science is good.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Rinsaikeru » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:57 pm UTC

Oh I'm certainly not against science Bakemaster, I didn't mean to indicate that! :D I do think that Mr. Louis Pasteur was a very very wonderful man. I also am against botulism.

I do think that sanitizing your house with lysol is a bad idea though. Kids need some germs.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

Raw meat is just a more extreme form of rare steak. Anything that's pink has already not been cooked to a high enough temperature to kill bacteria; this is safe because beef from healthy cattle is mostly free of bacteria except for what may get on the surface during handling (this is why many places won't let you order _ground_ beef rare - because that possibly-contaminated surface layer is blended in throughout the whole thing) Chicken and pork are more potentially problematic.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby lorenith » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:42 am UTC

I've been under the impression that Raw milk and Pasteurized milk both have their advantages and disadvantages.

On the Raw milks side there's better flavor, and the fact that certain bacteria and lactic acid in it are good for your guts (which are also very good for your immune system). Going against raw milk is...a chance of nasty bugs ending up in it, which is a chance all food has if it's not handled properly in the first place.

Pasteurized milk is less likely to have one of those nasty bugs (although pasteurized milk still has the ability to make people sick). It is nutritionally inferior to raw milk because the heating kind of wonks up the proteins and stuff, and it doesn't have any of those bacteria that your gut likes to have.

I'd suggest you find out how the cows are taken care of and fed and how the milk itself is handled, from some of the poking around I did a lot that is very important, cause it can make the difference between safe milk and milk that might not might not be. If their cows are eating something other than grass it's probably better to not drink their milk.

Honestly though, I think you're mom is a little nutty, but you seem to be a little overly paranoid about the whole thing too.

I wouldn't be so confident about buying directly from a farm when they obviously aren't following the health regulations and are forced to label their milk as being for 'pets'.


Duh, It's illegal to sell raw milk in America that doesn't automatically mean to have zero confidence in it.

Also, whoever mentioned vegan, I wouldn't push it so hard on people, considering vegans and vegitarians generally aren't seen as any healthier than their meat eating peers. There are also a lot of bodily requirements that eating vegan does not meet, meaning one needs to take a lot of supplements daily if they want to stay in good health. This is especially important in young children if you raise a child vegan or vegetarian take extremely special care they get everything they need. There is no "healthiest" diet because everyone's body requirements are different, a vegan only diet might be good for one person, and terrible for someone else simply because their bodily needs are different.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby PictureSarah » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:34 pm UTC

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=91843992

NPR story about raw milk. I think it's probably pretty safe if you're getting it from a small farm that takes painstaking care to keep its cows clean and healthy and its milk uncontaminated. I drank unpasteurized goat milk and ate ice cream made from it for a while when I was a kid, and I don't think it ever did me any harm.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Solt » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:07 am UTC

Have her read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and explain why the FDA was created.

Also, ask for proof that the FDA is corrupt. Maybe you could even write to them.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby nightlina » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:46 pm UTC

lorenith wrote:...

I wouldn't be so confident about buying directly from a farm when they obviously aren't following the health regulations and are forced to label their milk as being for 'pets'.


Duh, It's illegal to sell raw milk in America that doesn't automatically mean to have zero confidence in it. ...


Duh, I don't live in America... Sorry for not realising. Here in Australia we generally steer clear of eating pet food. I don't think wanting to eat and drink like a normal person is being paranoid :P
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby lorenith » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:19 am UTC

I would hope the OP's mother isn't so crazy as to be eating petfood.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Rinsaikeru » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:20 am UTC

In some lights I can understand the mother's perspective:

In a mainstream supermarket you can't source any of the food you eat properly. It might say organic but that's a very vague and highly marketed angle today. Where did the food come from? How was it grown? She might be a bit off the deep-end IMHO about the raw meat/raw everything extravaganza--but I can sort of see the point of it.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:31 am UTC

nightlina wrote:
lorenith wrote:...

I wouldn't be so confident about buying directly from a farm when they obviously aren't following the health regulations and are forced to label their milk as being for 'pets'.


Duh, It's illegal to sell raw milk in America that doesn't automatically mean to have zero confidence in it. ...


Duh, I don't live in America... Sorry for not realising. Here in Australia we generally steer clear of eating pet food.


But it's the same thing - it's labeled that way because The Government Says you can't label it as being for humans, not because there's something inherently unsuitable about it.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Nyarlathotep » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:20 am UTC

Raw milk is all kinds of bad and no. If she's not making you drink it, well, it's her funeral if she gets some disease from it. Other posters in this thread have given more lucid explinations as to why one shouldn't drink it.

The only reason I'd be truly worried is if she was giving it to someone under the age of fifteen or so (arbitrary number, really...), and especially if she was giving it to a young child or to someone with a compromised immune system. Doing that would be a horribly bad idea; young children don't have the immune systems to deal with raw milk (one of the many reasons people used to die young.)

Also, the arguments for raw milk are completely bogus. All pasteurization does is gently heat the milk; all homogenization does is blend it. oooo, so very dangerous. >>;
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:23 am UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:Also, the arguments for raw milk are completely bogus. All pasteurization does is gently heat the milk; all homogenization does is blend it. oooo, so very dangerous. >>;


The claim that it, or cheese made from it, tastes better is not so easily dismissed.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Azrael » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:13 am UTC

I'll sacrifice taste for less typhoid, thank you.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:19 am UTC

Azrael wrote:I'll sacrifice taste for less typhoid, thank you.


While there are risks, no-one on this thread at least has actually substantiated the argument that it cannot be made safely.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby nightlina » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:14 am UTC

Azrael wrote:I'll sacrifice taste for less typhoid, thank you.


but the typhoid is what makes it taste so good! lol.

Random832 wrote:While there are risks, no-one on this thread at least has actually substantiated the argument that it cannot be made safely.


no, but the fact that you can't buy it with a guarantee of safety is the problem. This is what my point was with the fact that it has to be labelled as pet food - this implies that the people selling it aren't being forced to adhere to safety and quality checks like those selling milk for human consumption would. While they might be doing their utmost to make sure the milk is safe and not contaminated, you just can't have confidence in it without being involved in the process.

I would suggest either trying to get involved in that process, perhaps by getting a job at the dairy; or by buying your own cow and milking it so you can completely control the process; or, by fighting for Raw Milk to become acceptable for human consumption, thereby forcing the producers to follow the strict guidelines in place to ensure it can be safe for human consumption.

Unfortunately, it's my guess that the reason why it isn't currently allowed to be sold for human consumption is because, even with strict rules and cleanliness and so on, the milk is just not 100% safe.

Thus, I'm happy to stay typhoid free and have my homogenised pasteurized milk... with some sort of chocolatey additive to make it taste fantastic :mrgreen:
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:32 am UTC

nightlina wrote:no, but the fact that you can't buy it with a guarantee of safety is the problem.


And whose fault is that? There's a legitimate case to be made that it's the goverment's fault.

And - you know what? There is never a guarantee. The government is willing to step in to ensure that pasteurized milk is as safe as they can reasonably ensure, but they're not willing to do the same for raw milk. Maybe that limit is somewhat less safe. But there is no 100%, ever. And don't you think people deserve to know for sure what that risk is and make that decision for themselves, rather than have the government create an unregulated market by refusing to act?

Unfortunately, it's my guess that the reason why it isn't currently allowed to be sold for human consumption is because, even with strict rules and cleanliness and so on, the milk is just not 100% safe.


Of course it's not. Pasteurized milk is not 100% safe. It probably is more safe than raw milk, but the government has a duty to ensure that that percentage is as high as possible, and they are REFUSING to perform that duty in the case of raw milk.

Think - If that were the reason, then cheese made from it wouldn't be allowed in France just as it is not in the US. Unless you think the French government doesn't care as much about people as the US or Australian governments do.

----

Consider this - why are raw eggs allowed to be sold? Sure, you're expected to cook them yourself, but some people make them into cookie dough or brownie batter and lick the spoon, some people make homemade mayonnaise, some people drink it as a hangover remedy. At the end of the day, it's their decision to make. Why not the same with raw milk?

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:46 pm UTC

In the case of eggs, the expectation is that you will perform some kind of cooking task with them that will kill the bacteria. Same thing with raw meat. In the case of milk, it's not generally expected that you will have to pasteurize or some other action to make it safe to drink.

But you're right. People consume raw eggs and undercooked or raw meat. People also remove the safety guards on power tools and injure themselves. The government is not in the business of controlling how a product is used - Your inability to follow instructions is not their problem, they simply make sure it's as safe as possible as it walks out the door for the uses assumed. Often, not following the instructions for safe use releases the creator of said product from liability. Use of raw milk to make it safe would require heating it in such a way that the average home user cannot.

And don't you think people deserve to know for sure what that risk is and make that decision for themselves, rather than have the government create an unregulated market by refusing to act?

Unregulated market? How is having certain standards that need to be met before a product can be sold for human consumption creating an unregulated market? Is there something I'm missing, as it seems to be doing the exact opposite.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Azrael » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
Azrael wrote:I'll sacrifice taste for less typhoid, thank you.
While there are risks, no-one on this thread at least has actually substantiated the argument that it cannot be made safely.


Actually, I though that was pretty well covered in the second post of the thread:
Azrael wrote:
wikipedia wrote:The disease threat at present is a statistical issue, and is defined in public health terms. Although Mycobacteria bovis (non-pulmonary tuberculosis) is found in raw milk, it is relatively rare in modern industrial societies. The public health issue is that tuberculosis and typhoid will always be present in raw milk, even if in statistically small amounts. These potentially disastrous pathogens in raw milk (non-pulmonary tuberculosis, typhoid, and salmonella) can be safely controlled by pasteurization, animal husbandry, and milk storage methods. The health of dairy animals can be managed by continuous testing of dairy herds and careful storage of milk products. Some of the pathogens will never be eliminated from dairy herds since the pathogens are carried by common wildlife (goats, cats, dogs, pigs, buffalo, badgers, possums, deer and bison). Thus, the public health side of the debate always returns to pasteurization.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:07 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
And don't you think people deserve to know for sure what that risk is and make that decision for themselves, rather than have the government create an unregulated market by refusing to act?

Unregulated market? How is having certain standards that need to be met before a product can be sold for human consumption creating an unregulated market? Is there something I'm missing, as it seems to be doing the exact opposite.


Um, no, it's not "certain standards that need to be met" - it's a product that's banned outright (since there are people who buy it because it is raw milk, it's only reasonable to consider it a distinct product from pasteurized milk).

And i'm referring to the fact that it's sold anyway - and neither buyer nor seller are under any illusions as to who's going to be drinking it - and the government has washed their hands of their duty to ensure that it is as safe as possible.

SecondTalon wrote:Use of raw milk to make it safe would require heating it in such a way that the average home user cannot.


Everything in this thread up until has implied that milk is pasteurized at temperatures that can easily be reached on any stove or oven.

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

I suppose you are right in that.. it would require a stove, container, and a thermometer capable of registering 71.7 °C (161 °F), and the knowledge to not let it boil but to hold it at that temperature for 30 seconds.

Because that's incredibly easy to do on a stove - heat a liquid to below it's boiling point then hold it there for a certain length of time. No trouble at all.

Some states do allow Raw Milk to be sold for human consumption. Most do not. The Feds, after reviewing the data they have come up with in their studies, have determined that it's impossible to make raw milk safe for human consumption within tolerable limits. That's really what it boils down to - even with care taken in the harvesting process, the number of people getting sick is higher than a threshold they feel comfortable with on a national scale. Hence, they will not label it as fit for human consumption. In their eyes, a product has to be safe by a level of X before they can approve it, and Raw Milk has so far been unable to get that low.

Dog food is also not labeled as being fit for human consumption. If I get sick because I eat dog food - how is that the Government's fault? I'm the dumbass that ate something not fit for human consumption.... but you are right, I did misunderstand what you meant by an unregulated market. I, however, don't quite see that the same way you do. They did regulate it. Not Fit For Human Consumption. They said "Humans should not drink this stuff, it's unhealthy in it's raw form and will eventually make you sick."
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Nyarlathotep » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

Random aside: would subjecting milk to irradiation (of the kind that kills bacteria, not the kind that makes it radioactive) kill the bacteria in it?

Which would of course not at all solve the problem of people thinking that pasteurization is Oh me yarm DANGEROUZz! but I'm just curious.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:10 am UTC

Here are some irradiated milk recipies for your enjoyment:

http://www.catesgarage.com/food/rad.html
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Random832 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:43 am UTC

I think that even if they're not comfortable with the risk, they should still take whatever steps they can to make it as low as possible, publicize what the risks actually are, and require warnings rather than a ridiculous "for pets" label. (and, what, it's ok if your pets get sick?)

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Re: Raw Milk

Postby nightlina » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:18 am UTC

Random832 wrote: have the government create an unregulated market by refusing to act?


nightlina wrote: fighting (the government) for Raw Milk to become acceptable for human consumption, thereby forcing the producers to follow the strict guidelines in place to ensure it can be safe for human consumption (and thus creating a regulated market).


Sorry to quote myself, but random832 - I think we're both arguing pretty much the same points, even if you can't see that. Point being - I agree with you.

Random832 wrote:I think that even if they're not comfortable with the risk, they should still take whatever steps they can to make it as low as possible, publicize what the risks actually are, and require warnings rather than a ridiculous "for pets" label. (and, what, it's ok if your pets get sick?)


The government would get sued if someone drank the milk and got sick - it's their duty of care to make it as safe as possible and if they're just slapping a lot of labels on it (which people aren't even obliged to read or may not be able to read) then that's not really enough. As for your pets, it's just a guess, but there's probably a strong chance that whatever is in the raw milk that makes humans get sick is possibly not going to be as harmful to your pet cat.
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Re: Raw Milk

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:17 pm UTC

Have you seen some of the stuff pets consume? They have guts made of iron and the body knowledge to make themselves puke if they need to. :P The specific diseases mentioned in milk can be fatal and epidemic in humans--so I don't see why you'd want unpasteurized milk unless it was some sort of exceptional cheese.
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