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When I lived in Portland, I paid $10 for a gallon of milk.

This wasn't store bought milk, of course, but raw milk. It came from a farm south of the city--a piece of land leased by two wonderful women, Karyn and Carissa, who kept a couple milking cows and a small flock of chickens. These two women deeply cared for their animals and treated them--as well as their customers--as part of their family. Initially, their milk came from a Jersey named Opal; later on, Kaycee, a Fleckvieh, joined the family. They both produced amazing milk, but I started with Opal and she always remained my favorite. Often I would find myself faced with a shelf full of half gallon Mason jars, each one labeled with a name--Opal or Kaycee--and the date of milking. Given the choice, I always snagged Opal jars. The richness of the milk was one of the reasons, as the milk's fat content had been measured at close to six percent in one test. But affection played a role, too.

The first time I met Opal, I fell a bit in love. She was small--for a cow, anyway--and brown, had those long Jersey eyelashes, was calm and clean and on grass, looking the picture-perfect cow. I came near her and put my hand against her hide, spoke to her. Karyn and Carissa raved about how easy she was to milk, about her gentle demeanor. I could sense that gentle spirit when I met her and something about that moment--about putting my hand on her, seeing her eyes, knowing that this was the creature who provided me good food and nourishment--struck a deep chord.

Looking back, I think part of that was a small awakening of the agrarian in me. At that time, I had never farmed and had only started to learn more about food, to better understand what it could and could not be, to better understand the care that could be taken in growing and raising it or the destruction that could be wrought in the same process. It also was a moment of connection unfamiliar to me. Much of my life, I didn't know where my food came from, though throughout much of my childhood we did have a large garden that I worked in. Still, I ate so much from the store and so much fast food and processed food. I grew up mostly in the suburbs and had never known farming, or ever been much interested in it. For a good portion of my life, food had been little more than a requirement and I had literally said numerous times that if I didn't have to eat, I happily wouldn't.

Now, I farm. I've worked on three vegetable farms and currently work for two farms that raise pastured animals for meat, one of which has a dairy component, as well. The presence of cows is routine for me these days. I'm much more familiar with the sight of them, their smell and feel, their sound and behavior. But I still love to see a Jersey and almost every time I do, I think of Opal and I think of her milk.

— ∞ —

As I already noted, Opal's milk had a high fat content, at nearly twice the fat of whole milk bought at the store. Her milk was sometimes so rich and creamy and sweet from the good grass she ate, it felt and tasted almost like drinking ice cream. It may seem silly to wax poetic over milk--it's just milk, after all, such a standard food. Except that's the point. There was nothing standard about Opal's milk in comparison to what you would buy at the store. The store milk couldn't compare. It couldn't begin to. The sweetness of Opal's milk, the freshness, the lack of that subtle burnt flavor often imparted by pasteurization (which one generally needs to drink raw milk to begin to detect in pasteurized milk) the creaminess of it, the health and vitality--it was all there.

It had flavor, and that flavor changed over the course of the year. The changing grass--Opal's fluctuating diet--effected the taste of the milk. It evolved, as well, as it sat in the fridge. Each day it grew a bit different in its taste as it would slowly work its way to the point of souring, which is a natural process in raw milk rather than the putrification that happens with pasteurized milk. Sour raw milk isn't rotten; it's changed. It's going through the same sort of process that creates yogurt, though the result isn't the same. But it still can be used once it sours and remains a healthy and living food.

As I became more familiar with raw milk, I began to understand how it offered a different experience than store bought milk. Raw milk was a real, non-standardized food that functioned within the same sort of systems and patterns that other living food does. It changed depending on its circumstances--the flavor and fat content altered by Opal's diet and it's taste and composition changing as the milk aged and the bacterial ecosystem within it grew and evolved (with that bacteria generally being of the beneficial kind, along the same lines as the critical microfauna found in the human digestive system.) Leave the milk alone for a few hours and the cream begins to rise to the top. Shake it and you're back to having it dispersed within the milk.

This milk hadn't been homogenized or standardized. It hadn't had the flavor burnt out of it or its unique bacteria profile killed via pasteurization. It didn't have an exact expiration date. In many ways, it didn't have any expiration date, as its evolving stages lent itself to changing uses. It wasn't a conglomeration of hundreds or thousands of different cows' milk and it wasn't untraceable or virtually untraceable by dint of it being the end result of a vast, complicated and confusing industrial dairy system. It was Opal's milk. It came from a cow I had met and spoken to and touched, it had been milked by the hands of two women whom I knew and am friends with, it was the result of eaten grass from a pasture I had stood in. I knew exactly where it came from and how it had come to me.

Getting Opal's milk took a community. In fact, learning about Opal's milk took a community.

I first learned of the availability of Opal's milk via a homesteading group I participated in. Started by my friend Eric and his girlfriend, the group met once a month and covered a predetermined topic, taught by a few members from the group who already had knowledge of that activity or had been tasked with researching it and then presenting information to the group. I loved the group and learned quite a bit from it. As it happened, some of the members were interested in getting raw milk and Eric, via his work on an urban farm, had learned of Karyn and Carissa and the milk they had available.

Getting Opal's milk was far different from going to the store. According to Oregon state law, you can only sell raw cow milk on the farm. There also is a restriction of only having two producing cows on the premises and advertising raw milk is illegal, so the only way for people to find out about it is via customer word of mouth. Due to these restrictions and because the farm was about a 35 mile drive from us, we needed to get together a group of people who could take turns driving to the farm each week to make the arrangement viable. We eventually cobbled together enough people so that, with each of us taking a turn, nobody would have to make the drive down to the farm more often than every eight or ten weeks.

All of this required communication and organization. We had an email list and a schedule worked out a couple months in advance. Everyone would sign up for a week and knew that on their day they would have to load up their car with coolers and ice packs, drive down to the farm, pick up the milk, bring it back, and store it in a central location in Portland where everyone would come to get their milk for the week. For the most part, everyone performed well. Every once in awhile some snafu would take place and there would be some frantic rearranging or a notice would go out that the milk was running late. In other words, our little community functioned as you would expect a community to function: mostly well, but with the occasional hiccup. Everyone took these hiccups in stride.

We had a shared goal, after all. In our small way, we were a community working for our own common good.

— ∞ —

Picking up the milk was not a chore. It was a visit and, in its own way, a small celebration.

On the appointed day, I would make the drive down to the farm and visit with Carissa. Sometimes I visited with Karyn, too, but she was often at her job as a dairy tester, so more often than not it was Carissa's company I kept. The beautiful thing about Karyn and Carissa is that they seemed to love the visits and always treated them as one of the high points of their week. On arrival, I was almost always offered tea, with fresh raw cream of course available for it. It was not uncommon for there to be a snack, as well--cookies or brownies or something else delicious. Most important, though, was the conversation. I would arrive, come in, sit down and we would start to chat about the farm, the cows, whatever was happening in our lives. I spoke of my interest in farming, we talked about food issues, we sometimes talked a bit of politics or other news. We shared our observations on society. We chatted about gardening, about chickens, about the weather. The conversations were easy and a joy and they usually ended upon the realization that I had to get the coolers loaded up and the milk back before the official start of pickup time. They always seemed to end out of necessity rather than desire.

Sometimes we would go and visit the animals, saying a hello to Opal and Kaycee, walking in the pasture. I regularly saw the source of my food and always Opal looked happy and content, usually munching away on grass, often paired with Kaycee.

On one of my visits my friend Peter came along, as he was looking for a source of raw milk. He grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania and spoke with Carissa at great length and with much enthusiasm about dairy farming, chatting about different breeds and the differences between the larger farm he grew up on and the very small operation Karyn and Carissa ran. We went out and visited Opal and Kaycee and Jazmine, a young calf. Jazmine came up to Peter and he put out a few fingers for her to suck and attempt to nurse on. She bucked against him so hard that he soon found his hand bleeding. Yet, as far as I could tell, he loved every moment of it,  his enthusiasm boundless, the visit bringing back a multitude of memories from his childhood.

— ∞ —

The land Karyn and Carissa farmed was not their own, instead being leased. As time went on, they became less certain about their ability to stay on the land long term. That led to a period of transition in which they started to look for good homes for Kaycee, Opal and Jazmine. They didn't take them to the auction or sell them off to a high bidder. They researched and looked around and put out the word, visited farms and farmers, and patiently looked for the perfect fit. Giving up these members of their families wasn't going to be easy and they certainly weren't going to make it worse by sending them to less-than-perfect new homes.

Throughout this process, all of us who were getting milk or had gotten milk in the past from this family were sent email updates and given all the latest news. We were told what was happening and why it was happening, and given a window into the process of finding new homes from the cows who had so steadfastly fed us over the months and years.

As Karyn and Carissa found new homes for Kaycee, Opal and Jazmine, they told us where they would be going and gave us updates on the transition. The new owners sent out emails as well, offering updates and providing those of us who wanted to stay with the cows we knew the opportunity to sign up to buy their milk from them. I didn't sign up--not, of course, because I didn't still want Opal's milk, but because I was moving to the Oregon coast to begin work on my third farm. And yet, despite the fact that I didn't sign up to receive milk, I still receive the occasional email update about Opal. When Opal calved a year ago, I received an announcement and a picture of her beautiful daughter. It brightened my day.

— ∞ —

I've seen someone, a skeptic of raw milk, wonder why on earth someone would pay $10 for a gallon of milk. Well, all of the above memories exist because of $10 a gallon milk.

Every time I received Opal's milk, I knew where it came from. I knew who it came from. I knew Opal lived a good life. I knew what I was paying for: care and affection, love, good work, good food, community, friendship, authenticity and an overriding ethic that touched everyone involved. I paid to know that the milk I drank was the healthiest and tastiest milk I would ever drink. I paid $10 a gallon to know that I was supporting a farm that made the world better, that I was supporting farmers who bettered their community, that I was supporting an entirely different model rooted in a love and respect that the industrial model of farming can't even comprehend, much less engage. I paid $10 a gallon to live and eat well. I paid $10 a gallon for connection and for a weekly joy that arrived steadfast and unerringly. I have drunk store bought milk uncountable times in my life and never did I know the cow it came from, the people who produced it, or how it came to me. Correspondingly, I never felt a real joy drinking that milk. But almost every single time I drank some of Opal's milk, I felt an honest-to-god joy, a satisfaction I cherished.

Of course I would pay $10 a gallon for that. It's not even a question. And I've never made much money. But I always found the money to pay extra for milk that was worth it--for a community that was worth it.

I wrote in my post on making butter about patterns and systems and it's those exact patterns and systems that have led me numerous times in my life to happily pay more for Opal's milk, for milk that's rooted in my local community and provided to me via love and affection and the sort of good work that's become rare in our industrial economy. Of course that's worth the money. If anything's worth buying--if anything's worth supporting--it's that.

Now I have a source of raw milk that's less expensive. I have over a gallon of milk in my refrigerator right this moment. And I have very limited income. But if someone were to walk up to me right now with a gallon of Opal's milk, I wouldn't hesitate to pay $10 for it. I wouldn't hesitate to part with $10 for the chance to taste her milk again, to relive some of those memories she's given to me, to remember the community that we all built around her milk and the amazing women who provided us with it.

If I can't use what little money I have to help support and build these sorts of communities, what the hell good is it? This is why we're here, folks. Someone asks why I would pay $10 for a gallon of milk? Community and affection is my answer. If we can't be bothered to support those--even when it costs more, or it's less convenient, a greater challenge--than we're in dire straights, indeed. We have to think about and see the patterns. A gallon of milk is not a gallon of milk. A carrot is not a carrot. A human being is not a human being and a community not a community. They're all dependent on context. They can be happy or miserable, healthy or diseased, abundant or denuded.

As Wendell Berry recently said, and E.M. Forster said before him, it all turns on affection. We can't have a good world if we don't love.

We can't do this if we don't care.

(Cross-posted from my blog, Of The Hands.)

9:26 AM PT: Update: Some people think I'm recklessly endangering people's lives by writing about raw milk. This diary isn't really about trying to convince people to drink raw milk--it's me explaining why I would pay $10 a gallon for it for those who are dumbfounded by that idea.

If you're feeling inspired to drink raw milk, though, by all means, do some research. There's plenty online about it, both pro and con. A quick search will get you lots of information.

For those who manage to disagree with me about raw milk without insinuating that I'm secretly tricking people into drinking raw milk or suggesting that I'm recklessly trying to kill people, I thank you. I appreciate respectful disagreement.

Originally posted to aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (109+ / 0-)

    Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

    by aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:55:45 PM PDT

  •  I read your butter post (15+ / 0-)

    and thought about getting a gallon of raw milk to make some myself. I still might, once I am back on my feet. I can't really afford $10 for a gallon of milk right now, though.

    I don't buy regular milk either, actually.

    •  It is a bit pricey, I'll admit (10+ / 0-)

      And I can certainly understand if it's out of the price range of some people, especially these days.

      It's interesting, though, to see the range in it. It depends so much on where you live. $10/gallon was pretty standard in Portland, from what I could tell. It's probably a bit higher now. But out here on the coast, I'm able to get it cheaper. I've heard people talk about getting it for $2/gallon while others talk about paying as much as $20 (!) per gallon.

      Rural areas with a tradition of dairy farming, I think, offer opportunities to get it cheaper. Urban areas, of course, tend to be much more expensive. State laws also influence it. Your locality really matters.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 10:38:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's $10 and up here (5+ / 0-)

        There are three farms that I know of where you can get it here. One sells it by the gallon for $10. The other two require cattle shares, which are more expensive. One you pay $50 up front and then $50 a month to get one gallon a week.

        (This is in AZ)

      •  I pay $7.50 a gallon (8+ / 0-)

        here in Chicago.  It's part of a CSA Coop that delivers every two weeks to a church that's 4 blocks from my house.

        "I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world."--Mayor Bloomberg

        by mkfarkus on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:53:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It also depends on it's legality... (8+ / 0-)

        It can cost more in states where it is legal to sell directly to the consumer - certifications, etc. cost more. People who purchase cow shares and pick up at the farm will probably find better prices because there is less money paid to the gov't for certification. And places where it is plain illegal and people buy under the table probably pay some of the lower costs.

        As always, it's just best to know your farmer, if you can. I love your relationship with not only your farmer but with the cow! That is ideal!

        We just moved to DC and I haven't begun to look at our options for raw milk but was happy to find non-homogenized milk available at the store. It's a good second best for us.

      •  The farmers also matter (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aimlessmind, BigOkie, dotsright

        The things you treasured about Opal's milk were due in large measure to the quality of the grass she ate (probably supplemented by hay and grain?), the care she got which made sure her overall health was excellent, the cleanliness of the people who milked her and washed her udder and teats, the cleanliness of the barn in which she was milked (and where she stayed during inclement weather).

        Really..., it matters.  If a person doesn't treat his/her animals well, or feed them well, or keep a clean barn, etc., the milk production suffers, and so does the taste of the milk.

        One of my uncles had a Grade A Dairy farm and milked a herd of Holsteins.  The floor of the barn was washed in lime.  He had automatic gutter cleaners.  In summer the herd grazed outdoors, and in the winter they were in the barn a lot when temps dipped way down below zero and we had blizzards.  Udders were carefully checked and washed, and milk went straight from the milking machine through the pipes to the spotless and sanitized tank and add-on were kept, then transferred to the milk truck..., and never saw the light of day until someone opened a milk carton in their home, or had butter or cream on their table.

        My normally mild-mannered, soft-spoken uncle who owned the dairy only ever raised his voice once in my presence, and that was at a family gathering when he got on the topic of other Grade A Dairy farmers in the area who were giving their cows BGH.  Holy Cow!  Uncle was dead-set against giving cows BGH and let all who knew him know his opinion on the topic!  [Said uncle is now long gone, but I still remember the rant.  I was a teenager then.  Earlier, when my bro and cousins were younger, we watched a cow give birth in a pen in that same clean barn.  My uncle and my dad helped her because she was having a bit of difficulty, but the cute little calf came out and was healthy and all was well with mama.]

        For years I've paid extra in stores for whole milk minus BGH... supposedly.  But, I think somewhere along the line we're getting BGH milk because it tastes funny..., or else my taste buds have really, really changed in my old age.

        Still, like farm-fresh eggs from free-range chickens whose diets change with the seasons which affects the flavor of the eggs, there's nothing quite like fresh milk or food eaten with fresh milk, or butter made from the cream of that fresh milk, or the leftover buttermilk to make fresh buttermilk pancakes with, topped off with fresh maple syrup....

        I fervently believe that if this country keeps heading down the path it's currently on, natural selection will favor those who can raise a cow or two, a couple of pigs, chickens, grow their own veggies and fruits.  Those who can't manage to grow their own food and food for their animals will disappear, die off, or emigrate to places where corporations and banks and money managers and investment bankers and the like have no part in running the government.

        Farming, even just for one's self on a small farm (not more than a quarter section of land) is very, very hard work, so only the hardiest would be able to do that much strenuous work, not only with tending the few animals and raising food for them, but someone to preserve the garden foods and fruits when they ripen, and if there aren't enough kids for free labor, someone would have to be hired to help around the farm.

        My folks didn't have cattle, but raised grain.  Still, most years we got a pig or two plus chicks to raise..., which were destined for the freezer in the basement in the fall for winter food.  Space was reserved for venison since my dad or brother got a deer every year (I don't like venison).  Mom canned veggies, and bought crates of pears and peaches to can.  We had wild berries around us, so those got picked and either canned or frozen.

        No one ever got rich by farming, but the self-sufficient life - while working hard - is for one's self and one's family, and even for other relatives and neighbors if the garden is particularly abundant, and when things all go right, is very rewarding.  And the food tastes great!  [Neither my folks nor my grandparents ever learned how to keep the veggie gardens in check.  After each canned or froze all they could, they started calling neighbors and relatives, begging them to come get the food before it went to waste; just pick it and take it away (no one charged money for it).  They all lived through the Great Depression, so the mere idea of wasted food was anathema.]

        Good luck to you!  :-)

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:01:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've never had raw milk, (19+ / 0-)

    but from your description, I feel like I can almost taste it.

    Thanks for educating me on this issue.  I'll have to do some nosing around to see if I can find any in my neck of the woods.  Lots of farm country nearby, so the odds are reasonable.

    No, I will NOT sit down or shut up...but, thanks for askin'!

    by HoosierDeb on Wed May 02, 2012 at 10:35:18 PM PDT

    •  It's good stuff (10+ / 0-)

      It's also always a good idea to know where you're getting it from and make sure you trust them. The threat of raw milk is far overblown, but pasteurization--as much as I'm not really a fan--does provide a shortcut remedy for a dirty operation. You'll want your raw milk to come from some place that takes care in how they do it.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 10:53:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is good stuff, but it can also be lethal (29+ / 0-)

        and I think it's wrong for you to encourage people to drink raw milk without advising them of the potential dangers.

        You have given people absolutely nothing to protect themselves with.  And it IS a real danger.  Those 4 children near you are still in hospital with kidney failure from raw milk.

        It's fine if you make an educated decision to drink raw milk.  But you are not educating people.  

        You also do not give any advice on how to make sure it's a clean operation.  Pretty grass does not a clean operation make.  It's a lot of very hard work.  Because animals poo, wherever they go.  They also lie down with their teats in the pasture, which is just brimming with nasties, so the odds of mastitis (any infection of the udder) is much higher in pasture raised animals - along with many other diseases.  Keeping the calf, lamb or kid on the mother for any extended period also greatly increases mastitis, as not only are they quite aggressive about getting milk - they have teeth!  Mother Nature is not a kind lady.  The major diseases are in the environment.  But they are rarely a danger unless you give them a home like warm milk in which they can thrive.

        I own a small, Grade A sheep dairy.   I am not one of those monster Holstein places by any stretch of the imagination.  We are currently milking 65 sheep.  I know all of them by sight, and most of them by name.  They are all pasture fed, and pampered beyond belief.  But I am well aware of the dangers.

        I know one local woman who sells raw goats milk who came by my dairy for a tour.  She asked us why we post-dip their teats.  She had no clue that the teat stays open for a while after milking and is very prone to infection in that time.  She also did not mastitis test.  Or do any other test for that matter.  So she would have no way of knowing if her goats were blowing tons of bacteria and dead cells into the milk until she can actually see chunks.  Doesn't that sound delicious?

        Another woman I know was talking to my one employee  and she sells raw cows milk.  In fact, we had sold her some of our old cow-milking equipment.  They were discussing how cleaning takes up more time than milking.  She confessed to him that sometimes she just rinsed off the gear and left it until hours later to clean it.  What a yummy environment for all those airborne pathogens to set up shop and make a lovely colony.

        Both of them are lovely women.  The love their animals, they're pasture fed and have names.  But they just don't have a clue how to properly guard against contamination.  Obviously neither do their customers.

        Do you know how much contamination you and your friends were potentially bringing onto the farm when you came to visit?  Did they make you sanitize your shoes or wear booties?  Did you even have to wash your hands?  I bet not.  I know I'd never allow a visitor the chance to bring any disease onto my farm from another farm.

        I don't personally have a dog in this fight as I do not pasteurize my milk, but I send it to a licensed artisan cheese maker who makes both pasteurized and raw milk cheeses.  Long aging is another way to render milk safe.  But it horrifies me to see people think that small farmers who love their animals equates to safe practices.

        We have been told by inspectors at ODA that we must have the cleanest dairy in Oregon.  Our somatic cell counts are lower than the University of Wisconsin sheep dairy program.  Do you even know what somatic cell counts are?  So I know what I am talking about.  And it takes a lot of hard work and money to achieve those standards.

        But even then I am not foolish enough to believe that I am never going to miss the one time a tiny fragment of unseen poo falls off one of my sheep into the teat cup, sending potential pathogens straight through the milk filters.  Because I'm human.  But I know with all the other safety measures I have in place (cleanliness, cooling, testing etc.) any dangers from this happening are greatly mitigated.  As with the practice of pasteurizing or aging.

        I think you are not only doing a great disservice to your readers, you are putting them in danger.  "Take care in how they do it".  Why don't you explain precisely what you mean, and how people can ensure that?  

        Because you don't really know, and you are more wrapped up in the romanticism than the factual biological issues involved.  You have done nothing to teach people you are encouraging to buy raw milk how to know a clean place from a dirty one.

        My employee and I have been thinking of setting up a workshop to help educate these small farmers who sell raw milk - and for people like you who don't really know what to look for.   If you are going to sell or consume raw milk it is essential that you are thoroughly educated on all the other practices that must be followed to make the milk as safe as possible.

        And frankly, knowing the name of the cow just isn't on that list.

        And btw, screw you with your comment that pasteurization is a way to cover up for a dirty operation.

        I have to go milk now.  Sorry for the rant, but it's upsetting.

        •  Sorry I offended you (6+ / 0-)

          I do know what somatic cell counts are. I know raw milk operations that post them online for their customers. As briefly mentioned in the diary, one of the women who ran this small operation was dairy tester. She went around doing tests in the area and they tested their own milk regularly.

          Pasteurization can cover for a dirty operation. That doesn't mean that any operation that pasteurizes is dirty, obviously. I apologize--that's not what I meant.

          Look, raw milk is only available in the store in 10 states. It's available for on farm sales in 15 more states. It tends to cost significantly more money. I don't think too many people are going to rush out and blindly buy it and drink it. There are warnings on raw milk products. I trust people here to be smart about what they put in their mouth.

          Honestly, this diary isn't really about trying to convince people who don't drink raw milk to drink it. That's why I wasn't attempting to provide the information you talk about. This diary is me explaining why I would pay $10 for a gallon of milk. It's me explaining myself, not trying to convince others to drink raw milk.

          Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

          by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:04:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough, but that's not how it comes (8+ / 0-)

            across.  And your descriptions put people on exactly the wrong track.  I have so many other horror stories from homestead farmers, I don't know where to begin.  

            I have no objections to people drinking raw milk as long as they go into it with their eyes wide open - and are aware of the dangers.  And don't feed it to their kids.

            But most people are not educated enough to know the difference between a good operation and a bad one - and just hear about all the good qualities,which are more related to being grass fed, non-homogenized Jersey milk than anything else IMHO, and all the soft-lit, romantic stories about green pastures and friendly cows and farmers, and getting back to basics, and WILL go and buy it without knowing what they should ask.  The PMO makes for very dry reading and most people are not going to bother.  And the vast majority of raw milk operations do not test.  For anything.

            Here in Oregon, anyone with a cow can set out a shingle - and they do.  It would be one thing if the public had any assurance that those selling raw milk are complying with all the other safety requirements aside from pasteurization.  But they don't.  What does the general public know about ensuring a thermometer is NIST traceable and properly calibrated?

            You know, most raw milk is usually just fine.  But the consequences of something going wrong - and it could happen to the best of us - are so extremely severe, means anyone involved in dairying - and that means advocating for raw milk too - should take the responsibility to making sure people understand exactly what they are letting themselves in for and how to mitigate those risks.

            •  I was speaking about my life and why (4+ / 0-)

              I choose to buy $10 a gallon milk. I didn't do anything dastardly or devious. As far as I can see, most of the people here on this site are smart enough to figure out there own lives.

              Nobody expects someone to give a bunch of warnings if they write about ground turkey. No one expects warnings if they write about cantaloupes. No one expects warnings for bean sprouts. Yet all these foods and quite a number others have sickened and killed multiple people in recent years.

              You're right, it's important to do raw milk right. But it's important to do all of this right. I'm actually advocating connection to food in this diary, which might help avoid some of these sicknesses. If the people who ate the millions of pounds of salmonella-tainted ground turkey last year had seen the industrial conditions under which it was produced, a lot of them probably wouldn't have eaten it.

              Yet someone can put up a diary with a recipe with ground turkey in it and not get a bunch of people claiming they're playing Russian Roulette with other peoples' lives. So I don't particularly feel it legitimate to throw the same at me just because I wrote a story about why I would pay $10 for raw milk.

              I didn't even tell anyone to go buy the stuff in the diary. I was just relating my experiences.

              Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

              by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:58:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thoughts (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coracii

              "Screw you"?   Seriously?    Pasteurization was indeed implemented due to awful practices at large-scale dairies in the olden days.

              That said, you've done a fine job of elucidating the potential danger of raw milk, almost to the point of scaring people off.

              I trust you also chastise columnists who extol the virtues of bagged salad, or melons, or chicken, all of which can reek with bacteria.   Indeed my only experience with food poisoning was campylobacter, from chicken that was apparently undercooked.  Yes, a very nasty illness.

              Meanwhile, four years of drinking raw goat milk, and no problems, ever.

        •  Catesby, do a diary on this (3+ / 0-)

          The workshop sounds like a terrific idea.   For those who do not live near you, a diary could help educate readers far and wide.

          Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll

          by offred on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:34:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  taste the salmonella too! (33+ / 0-)

      Raw milk is a significant source of intestinal diseases in the US.

      Basically you're playing Russian Roulette when you drink the stuff.

      It really is not worth it.  

      And it's especially egregious to feed it to children.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed May 02, 2012 at 11:29:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  which makes it highly inappropriate (23+ / 0-)

        for certain immune compromised or immature persons - like babies and the elderly - the ones most likely to be fed "healthy" salmonella contaminated raw dairy products.

        If you want to be a foodie that's cool and all - but to tout raw milk as better than commercially available for other people is frankly a bit of a leap.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Wed May 02, 2012 at 11:37:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aimlessmind
          to tout raw milk as better than commercially available for other people is frankly a bit of a leap.
          McD's burgers and twinkies are "commercially available". What's "commercially available" equates to "good" now? Because we are progressives and OUR PRESIDENT AND THEREFORE OUR FDA/USDA APPROVED OF IT, is that the logic?

          Srsly.

          •  really? (0+ / 0-)

            Commercial milk is very strictly controlled.  One screw up will put a family farm out of business - and they take it very seriously.  No one has died from commercial milk because it's pasteurised for our safety.  

            There is a HUGE difference between the restrictions on milk production than choosing to eat processed food at a fast food place.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:56:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whoa there, pasteurized milk HAS killed people (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Prairie Gal, libnewsie, JesseCW

              I'll happily note that raw milk has a higher rate of illness. But pasteurized milk most certainly has killed people. Pasteurization has a role, but it isn't foolproof. Milk can still be contaminated after pasteurization or something can go wrong with the pasteurization process.

              One of the biggest foodborne illness outbreaks in U.S. history was via pasteurized milk. It caused at least two deaths and over 16,000 confirmed cases of illness, with up to 200,000 possibly attributable to it.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

              by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:03:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  still not as dangerous as raw milk (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                libnewsie

                And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:11:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I read the link (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aimlessmind, libnewsie, Mortifyd

                It wasn't so much as pasteurized milk making thousands of  people sick as the fact that there was a valve/piping problem at that IL dairy back in the 80s that allowed a small amount of raw milk from one tank to mix in with the pasteurized milk.

                There are no guarantees with food- cantaloupe, eggs, poultry.  We belong to an organic, community supported agriculture group.  I understand the advantages of small, locally producing farms.

                But I also care deeply about people being safe and if heating milk is a simple, easy fix to destroying bacteria, I'm all for it.

                Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll

                by offred on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:45:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Indeed, there are no guarantees (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  debedb, JesseCW, coracii

                  And I'm fine with people drinking pasteurized milk if that's what they want or are comfortable with. Just also saying I don't see a problem with people also being able to drink raw milk if that's what they want and are comfortable with.

                  It seems imminently reasonable to me to work on making various foods as safe as possible and then allowing people to make their own choices about what they want to eat. Some of those foods will have higher rates of illness than others, and people should know about that. They should also be able to eat those foods with higher rates if they want.

                  Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                  by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:49:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  "Foolproof"vs"Foolish". Cooking raw beef is not (0+ / 0-)

                foolproof, eating rare or raw beef is foolish. The fact that raw milk is not bulk batched between farms and broadly distributed is most likely the only thing that has stopped it from injuring and killing far beyond the scale of poorly pasteurized dairy products. Good farm practices only go so far.

                Raw milk sicknesses in the US have been quite serious, but isolated, due to distribution.

                “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

                by the fan man on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:25:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  o yawn (0+ / 0-)

                  You want to outlaw steak tartare?

                  •  how many parents are likely to think (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    debedb, the fan man

                    steak tartar is a suitable food for children?  WAY fewer than are going to buy into "pretty farm = safe healthier milk" without understanding what they need to inspect and why - much less how to properly do it.

                    Steak tartar comes with a required legal warning in the menu and usually from your server as well that undercooked meats can be a potential pathogen hazard, even when properly handled.  

                    Raw milk doesn't.

                    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                    by Mortifyd on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:33:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  hm srsly? (0+ / 0-)

                      All these tax money spent on FDA and USDA and attendant bureaucracies, and you're saying there's STILL no warning about raw milk?

                      How do American citizens manage to not stumble to their deaths getting out of bed in the morning, I wonder.

                      Our culture's obsession with 'safety' is actually getting pretty ridiculous fast, no? (E.g., http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...)

                      •  yah sryly. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        debedb, the fan man

                        There is no required warning for raw milk in Oregon.  Anyone with a cow can sell it.  

                        5 kids and 2 adults are victims of the latest outbreak traced DIRECTLY to raw milk and one of those pretty but not safe family locovore farms.

                        But those are facts and verifiable, unlike feelings, which seem to be the entire basis of your "argument."

                        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                        by Mortifyd on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:59:16 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I believe those facts (0+ / 0-)

                          But what are we controlling against? People who do the same thing other than drink raw milk? People who do it consciously vs those who disregard the warnings?

                          There are 2 aspects here, science and policy. There's a general scientific argument -- but doesn't necessarily apply to your case (using Popperian definition). Then there's a policy argument -- which can and should be informed by science, but is also informed, in fact, by feelings.

                          So, now -- what do you think should be the policy towards raw milk?

                          Regulation, labeling -- it's all cool. But the diarist is being accused of downright putting CHILDREN in danger (any more so than McD's ads or those of US military, say?). There has to be a corresponding comparison.

                          •  my only concern is food safety (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            the fan man

                            and the limiting of pathogens in food products.  That's my dog in this game.  I happen to also have worked specifically in dairy related food sanitation at family owned farms that sold their milk for commercial labeling.

                            These were good cows, with names and good grazing area - but that didn't mean that the reality of milking a cow and the steps required before, during and after to make sure that just your containers and equipment don't contaminate the milk could be skipped.  

                            At no point in this ode to the wonders of raw milk (until edited) did the author at any time mention the serious, basic sanitation steps followed by the dairy she does use as part of the see why it's good argument.  In addition to that the diarist lives in Oregon not far at all from the recent 5 children 2 adult raw milk contamination I and several others spoke about in other comments.  It was not until other people began to express concern that food safety in regards to pathogens was discussed at all.

                            I don't care what the cows names are, I want to know how often you completely sterilize your entire milking and holding tank operation.  

                            Then I will get to know the names of the cows - as long as neither I nor anyone else not employed or engaged by the dairy operation is allowed to freely roam the property and "pet" the cows at will.  

                            I also expect to be informed I will be wearing clear gear to go anywhere near the milking parlour, the milk holding tanks or the transfer room if the milkers are really really old school.

                            I expect to be told about how they manage natural e coli and other pathogens that are found on cattle, how they isolate and treat mastitis and any other illness - and what happens to milk from animals that have been isolated within the last 48 hours.  

                            Without that as the basis of the conversation - I'm not touching raw milk.

                            If you want to for yourself without that - in Oregon that's perfectly fine.  But the 5 kids and 2 adults are the result of thinking that's fine - and the children were unable to give consent to having their kidneys destroyed because an adult told them raw milk is "healthier."  

                            Those kind of incidents were the reason pasteurisation became the norm in American dairy production LONG before the advent of commercial farming and even national legislation - farmers liked not killing people by accident.

                            Food safety is no accident.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:19:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One last note (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            debedb

                            Though I've said it a couple times here. The diary is not titled "Why You Should Drink Raw Milk." It's titled "Why I'll Pay $10 for a Gallon of Milk" and in the final section I think it's pretty explicit that I'm answering the question of why I would pay $10 for a gallon of milk. My answer is, primarily, that I paid to support a specific community that I valued and a specific way of living that I valued.

                            Again, you'll notice that I'm not telling other people to drink raw milk. I'm specifically answering a question, the question which is very explicitly implied in the title and then explicitly stated in the final section. Many people here seem to think the diary is about why I think people should drink raw milk. It's not, and I don't particularly take responsibility for people who misread it because I think it's very clear what the diary's about--and I think most people, instead, saw the term raw milk and immediately slapped on their pro- or con-blinders rather than read the text of the diary. Much like a homeschooling diary that was also on the Community Spotlight about the same time. That diary was about developments in the educational community driven by ethics from the homeschooling movement, and was not a diary about whether or not homeschooling is good, but almost all of the comments were about whether homeschooling is good or bad.

                            If this diary was me advocating people drink raw milk, then I absolutely would have gone into safety information and linked to sources. But it wasn't. I didn't get into food safety in this diary because it was unrelated to my point--which was that I paid extra money to support a community and way of life I loved. That's what the diary's about.

                            Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                            by aimlessmind on Fri May 04, 2012 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Raw milk advocates want it both ways, (0+ / 0-)

                    like all us overindulged Americans. It's a safe product AND no warnings should be required, or maybe it's not so safe and we still don't want warnings.  Diners and restaurants have warnings for raw egg dressings and deserts, cider presses for non-pasteurized apple cider, why not raw milk at farms? Doesn't cost the poor farmer anything. Why not iron clad insurance (7 mil per incident easily) since this is soooo safe?  

                    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

                    by the fan man on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:30:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  But that's the point (0+ / 0-)
              There is a HUGE difference between the restrictions on milk production than choosing to eat processed food at a fast food place.
              Why should there be restrictions if someone wants to get raw milk when that same person can go and get poison at McDs?
              •  I'm not sure I would have put it so bluntly but (4+ / 0-)

                I agree with this sentiment.  As humans, we tend to fear things that have the most immediate risk.  

                I would be interested to see the health effects of a group of people that drink raw milk regularly against people that eat at McDonalds regularly over say 20 years.

                Heck, I'd be interested to see the effect of drinking raw milk against corporately produced milk from hormone injected cows.

                By the way, as a person that grew up drinking skim milk, I cannot stand the taste of raw milk.  To me it is like drinking a stick of butter.  I go to a local dairy that sells their own pasteurized milk and call it good.    

              •  because McDonalds doesn't cause kidney failure (0+ / 0-)

                or death in small children and the elderly where raw milk can and does with a single off serving.

                Raw milk is fine for adults who want to be foodies or think they are getting health benefits and understand the nature and management of the risks assumed with raw milk.

                I work in food safety.  I know a LOT about dairy production and sanitation.  I have had raw milk.  I grew up with it in Europe.  I also had 3 kids in my neighbourhood nearly die of milk born pathogen related kidney failure drinking raw milk from the same dairy I did.  I was fine, they were not.

                There are so many vectors for pathogens even on small, family farms - actually more in many cases than factory dairies - that doesn't make it actually safer, just feel safer.  And frankly, that's a deadly choice to make for anyone but your adult self.

                And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                by Mortifyd on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:41:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You're not playing Russian Roulette (16+ / 0-)

        The threat of raw milk is vastly overblown. Yes, you should make sure you're getting it from a good farmer working within a clean environment. And yes, there's always the possibility of salmonella. But then, our entire food system quite regularly gets people sick and somehow we haven't decided that no one should be able to eat ground turkey, or cantaloupe, or bagged greens, or bean sprouts.

        Raw milk should be available to people who want it. Ideally, as is ideal with any food, those people who want it should have a basic understand of its risks and benefits and they should pay attention to where they get it from.

        The fact that many other foods that people consider normal and standard have sickened and killed far more people than raw milk but that no one seems to call for the outright ban of them makes me think that it's more the niche market of raw milk and the major press surrounding outbreaks that the FDA drums up whenever it can that leads people to extra super freak out about this food. Frankly, it's silly.

        Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

        by aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 11:55:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's not the "raw numbers" it's the percentages... (17+ / 0-)

          ... that are important.

          Someone ran a whole diary here on the history of pasteurization and milk-borne diseases.  

          It would be really worthwhile to look that up and give it a read.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:30:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read that diary (10+ / 0-)

            In fact, a comment in it inspired this diary.

            And yes, raw milk has a higher rate of infection than pasteurized milk. Not arguing that point.

            I'm saying there's no reason raw milk shouldn't be available to people who want it. Plenty of foods have killed people. We don't make those foods illegal. No reason to do it with raw milk, either. It's perfectly capable of being produced in a safe way and very commonly is.

            Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

            by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:40:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The point you're missing is "scale". (4+ / 0-)

              It's one thing for a relatively few individuals to seek out and find a reputable raw milk farmer but there is no way you could do that for more than a few individuals. We tried raw milk before, like we tried retirement without Social Security or private fire department businesses, and it didn't work.

              And while I agree that we would be better off as a society to return to small scale agriculture as much as possible, particularly with regards to animal husbandry and production, the risk of contaminated milk as it is used so ubiquitously will always mean it must be treated in some fashion.

              •  Go back and read a few public health reports (8+ / 0-)

                from the turn of the last century.  There was a reason that pasteurized milk became the norm, and it wasn't because of factory farms or mechanization.  It's because unpasteurized milk, even from healthy cows, was making people sick and killing children.  

                •  The primary reason was TB. Today, we can (0+ / 0-)

                  test for it.  We've been able to for quite some time.  The same is true of many other illnesses commonly transmitted through milk 100 years ago.

                  Alta Dena Dairy provided whole raw milk to millions until the end of the 80's.  There was a substantial break down in safe handling, and several thousand people became ill, and three or four died.

                  So, the State of California banned raw milk.  

                  You know, like Oregon and Washington banned the sale of hamburgers after the Jack in the Box E. Coli out break in the 90's killed three times as many people.

                  Your vote is your consent.

                  by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:37:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I used to drink raw milk from (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tacet, gerrilea, chimpy, Prairie Gal, JesseCW

                my grandfather's farm back in the day. It was fresh, drunk on the same day as it was produced. I never got salmonella.
                  If you take unpasteurized milk and release it into the food distribution chain, there is more risk. And if you happen to live in a time when refrigeration is rare and unreliable, there is more risk still.
                  "Corporate milk" is not the same as raw milk at all. Not only is it pasteurized, but it is a blend of milk and various otherwise unuseable milk byproducts. And often the cattle are raised using bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.
                  I don't know how fresh raw milk and corporate milk compare as far as healthiness. I avoid drinking milk altogether. I use it for coffee creamer and, of course, I eat various cheeses.

                •  you can get clean milk in many places. (0+ / 0-)

                  Here in the SF Bay Area we are very fortunate to have Clover Stornetta Dairies.  They proudly proclaim "No BGH, never had it, never will."  Their cows are all "free range," and you can see them hanging out and grazing in the grass alongside the main road through the area, just the way dairies were 40 years ago.

                  Costs about $4.50 a gallon, which is about 75-cents more than crappy milk from abused cows pumped full of BGH.  

                  This isn't "organic" milk, though they also produce a certified organic product line.  It's just good clean milk the way it was decades ago before factory farming and hormones.  And it really does taste better than the other stuff.  

                  There are probably oldschool dairies selling as smaller brands in smaller supermarkets, in many parts of the US.  The key to finding them is to go to the smaller supermarkets and "healthy food" oriented small grocery stores.  

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:39:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here in the SF Bay Area (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JesseCW

                    The only way I heard of BGH was because ALL available brands of milk (in the stores I frequented) were already saying they didn't use it, long before I started to hear why it was an issue. When eventually I started looking carefully I did find one brand that didn't say that, and was astonished. Growing up here, it simply seems the norm. Ice cream is another matter, though: it gets shipped farther, from beyond the range where more or less all the local dairies are good guys.

                    Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

                    by rcbowman on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:52:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  BGH is almost gone. Something like 20% of (0+ / 0-)

                    dairy farmers are now using it.

                    It shortens the life expectancy of cattle more than it increases milk production.  In the long run, it's a money loser, even if you don't get a premium price for not using it.

                    Your vote is your consent.

                    by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:40:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  The entire EU allows raw dairy products (9+ / 0-)

                And considers them safe for human consumption. I don't see mass death sweeping across those countries.

                The state of Washington has a grade A raw dairy licensing system. It provides standard guidelines for dairies to follow, the milk can be sold in stores, and it comes with a warning about the difference between it and pasteurized milk.

                With modern refrigeration and the virtual elimination of some diseases like bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis, raw milk is not as risky today as it was at the turn of the century. Add in stricter production and cleanliness guidelines and you further reduce the risk.

                That doesn't mean the risk is gone and I haven't claimed that. At that point, people are free to make a decision as to whether or not they want to drink raw milk. Seems pretty straightforward to me. I don't see any reason people shouldn't be able to buy raw milk if they want to.

                Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 08:55:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think licensing and inspections and enforcement (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aimlessmind

                  of cleanliness standards are key. Of course we are seeing that despite inspections and cleanliness standards there are numerous recalls of food. If the consumption of raw milk were to become widespread, I would think we would be in the same or worse trouble. Though it tastes good I wouldn't advocate for eating steak tartar or even raw oysters these days. Just as the world has changed in terms of refrigeration and the elimination of certain diseases, it has changed in the ferocity of the pathogens in our environment.

                  As for tuberculosis, it exists in wild animal populations and could infect cows and its seeming rarity in cows may be because cattle herds producing raw milk are few.

                  Oh--I think butter can be made from Pasteurized non-homogenized milk can't it?

                  That said--I think you should be able to buy raw milk products if you want.

                  Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. Marx

                  by Marihilda on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:52:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure, you can make butter from pasteurized cream (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bill Roberts, JesseCW

                    That's generally how it's made. And if you have non-homogenized pasteurized milk, the cream will rise to the top, you can skim it and then make butter from that.

                    I agree to a large degree, I think licensing and cleanliness standards have been a major boon and I think any raw milk sold in the store should absolutely be licensed and inspected.

                    And I agree that it should be available for those who want it. We part ways in whether or not we would drink raw milk, but I don't see a problem there, either. I certainly don't advocate getting rid of pasteurized milk for those who want it.

                    Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                    by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:17:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  i'll go with you this far: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LeftyEngineer, Mortifyd

                  I believe in consenting adult rights to do a lot of stuff that might be hazardous in one way or another.  Age of majority = people should be able to evaluate their risks and make choices.

                  For consenting adults, where dairies are inspected for sanitation, if they want to drink raw milk they should have the right to it.

                  But it shouldn't be served to young children and it should always be labeled "Raw milk: not pasteurized" so people know what they're buying.  

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:43:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's been so labeled since at least the 1960's (0+ / 0-)

                    everywhere it's legal to sell.

                    We don't block the sale of honey - even raw honey - due to the fact that children under 2 shouldn't be eating it.

                    We label it with the appropriate warning.

                    Your vote is your consent.

                    by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:45:24 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I missed that diary... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tacet, freesia, JesseCW

              too bad as the answer to higher infection rates is more complicated than it seems.

              I left a comment above about how raw milk is tested... most raw milk that is tested is not intended for the raw milk market. It is milk from regular dairy herds, often in confined spaces, tested before being sent for pasteurization. It is not milk coming from grass fed cattle intended for raw milk sales. Huge difference.

              I learned this from The Raw Milk Revolution by David Gumpert.

          •  That was an excellent diary n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy
          •  Have you read The Raw Milk Revolution? (0+ / 0-)

            By David Gumpert.

            He provides some interesting background to the latest battles about raw milk in the nation - including the history. It's a good read.

          •  Drinking raw milk is about as dangerous as eating (0+ / 0-)

            your steak rare.

            Both are a lot more dangerous if you're being supplied by people trying to cut every corner.

            Both area lot more dangerous when you're buying from producers who aren't being regulated.

            Both are options adults ought to get to pick for themselves.

            Your vote is your consent.

            by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:34:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  not so much (13+ / 0-)

          as someone who works in food and food safety - including in family owned commercial dairies - salmonella is a much larger risk than people think.  Additionally, an estimated 2/3 of all food borne illness is either misdiagnosed or not reported to authorities.  All it takes is one bad ingredient to kill someone - and raw dairy is one that will do it.

          If you want to be a foodie - knock yourself out.  But don't advocate for other people based on "health" when you don't know what their access, health or local dairy sanitation is like.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:32:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've already said in a couple comments (7+ / 0-)

            that people should make sure they're getting raw milk from a good, clean dairy. Check up on it. I never said in the diary that people should rush out and blindly buy and drink raw milk. In fact, the diary is as much about supporting community as it is about raw milk.

            Yes, raw dairy can and has killed people. Two since 1996. And a lot of other foods have killed a lot of people in that same period of time. There's risk to all foods. I don't think there's any reason raw milk shouldn't be available to people who want it.

            Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

            by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:37:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think most lay people (10+ / 0-)

              are capable of being truly sure about a dairy production cleanliness routine without being in food safety or dairy production themselves.  There are far too many places where it is easy for contamination to enter.

              You are more than welcome to consume it yourself - but if you serve it to others without warning you are intentionally exposing them to possible pathogens.  

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:50:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea, debedb, JesseCW

                Where did you get the idea I'm secretly serving it to others?

                Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:57:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If it's your primary dairy source (0+ / 0-)

                  you may very well serve it to others in dishes without mentioning it - not intentionally perhaps - but simply because it's part of the dish.

                  I did not accuse you, I simply warned you of the dangers of doing so.  

                  And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                  by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:47:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, thank you for your concern (0+ / 0-)

                    Friends and family members have had raw milk from me before, and they've always known it was raw milk. That's pretty much why they've tried it, out of interest.

                    Otherwise, any time it's been a part of a dish it's been cooked. But I live alone, most the food I make goes to me, and when I cook for other people milk's generally not a part of it.

                    Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                    by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 02:02:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  3 kids I knew lost kidney function (0+ / 0-)

                      drinking raw milk from the same dairy my milk came from in Belgium.  I get how good it is.  I also get how dangerous it is as well.  I work in food safety.  I worked in dairy safety.  I know what I'm talking about whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

                      Enjoy it for yourself.  But to suggest that raw milk is in any way safer or healthier than pasteurised milk is simply dangerously untrue.

                      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                      by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:21:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I've acknowledged multiple times raw milk (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Prairie Gal, JesseCW

                        has a higher rate of infection than pasteurized milk and I don't give my raw milk to kids. I do enjoy it for myself. That's what the diary was about, if you would actually pay attention while reading. You're the one who warned me not to give it to people without their knowledge, based on absolutely nothing I said. Just because I said it's my only source of dairy means nothing about whether or not I give it to other people.

                        So yes, I felt a bit dismissive toward the person who made unfounded assumptions about me. Still do.

                        Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                        by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:29:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you equated pretty grass and cows with names (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk

                          to safety and being better than commercial milk.  That may be your feeling, but it's not the way to promote local raw milk.  

                          Tell me about how often they steam the hell out of their equipment and forced you to wear booties and a mask and your dirty hands can't pet the cows and I might be interested in their milk.

                          Your enthusiasm is fine, the part where you promote it for health is not.  As a food safety specialist and someone who worked specifically in dairy sanitation - I have an issue with your lack of safety concerns - despite your intention to show them.

                          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                          by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:36:46 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh, and to clarify (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mortifyd

                        You do seem to know what you're talking about in regards to dairy safety. What I don't care for is you making assumptions about me without any basis. Any dismissive tone you detect is based in that, not in what you say about dairy safety.

                        Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                        by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:35:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  look, I just write what I mean (0+ / 0-)

                          and any inflection is in your head as you've never heard me speak.  I am atypical and very blunt, but it's not about you it's just how I am.  I just want people to understand that there are things to consider in detail that you didn't get into your diary.  I don't think you want sick people.

                          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                          by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:38:54 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Not capable? (0+ / 0-)

                It sounds like you Want the government to interfere in this, but not, apparently, in all of the more dangerous foods.

                •  I'm sorry, when were you last in a dairy? (0+ / 0-)

                  NOT CAPABLE.  There are so many places in dairy production that a single mistake can allow pathogens to grow it's amazing we actually still drink milk.  Family farm or commercial - pathogens are there.

                  I don't want small children and elderly people dying.  I don't want kidney replacements for milk borne illness to be the number one reason kids need them.  

                  Walking around talking about how loved the cows are has nothing to do with how sanitary the processing rooms and equipment are.  Pretty grass still has pathogens.  Udders take a good hour to fully close after milking.  It is a constant battle to make sure dairy productions are sanitary with pasteurisation.

                  To walk out the trope of "you must want the gubmint to regulate this but not other things" is flat out bullshit, since I said nothing of the sort.  As someone who works in food safety - lets just say I'm glad I keep kosher and process my own food at home.

                  Just because you don't know what is involved doesn't make it bullshit.  

                  And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                  by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:28:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Clean dairies? (5+ / 0-)

              There's a raw milk dairy near my office.  They do their best, but there is still cow manure everywhere.  Farm animals are not precisely sanitary.

              •  Yes, cows poop (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea

                There does tend to be manure around. How the dairy is run and if the animals are confined or generally out on pasture makes a huge difference, though. And, of course, the milking parlor is going to be different from where the animals spend most of their time. That doesn't mean the cows can't shit in the milking parlor, but they're also not milking in the holding pen, either.

                But yes, animals can be milked in a clean environment. It is possible.

                Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

                by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:27:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Commercial dairies, no matter how clean, (12+ / 0-)

            are much more likely to have salmonella in their milk than a small dairy farm with a couple of milk cows. For one thing, they are likely to get their milk from a large number of sources, and one bad farm can spoil the entire batch.

            Same with eggs. I regularly make mayonnaise using local eggs from free range chickens whose owners I know. I would not think of doing so with an egg from a commercial egg operation. The likelihood of getting salmonella from commercial eggs is hugely greater than from my friend's chickens.

            Likewise, the lettuce, spinach, and other greens we grow are significantly less likely to contain salmonella than commercially grown greens, even organically grown ones. Same with green onions, tomatoes, etc.

            I buy a quarter of a local, grass fed steer each year and have it butchered at a small processor (which I know to be clean). The chances of getting a food borne illness from that is tiny, especially compared with buying commercially produced beef, which is fed corn - which it cannot digest -  and which then stands in its and other cattle's diarrhea and is  then process with the crap all over it in a huge line with other sick cows.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:28:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I do all that as well, but I'd be a idiot to trust (9+ / 0-)

              the consistency of raw milk. I work in agriculture and have seen with my own eyes that small farms and diary herds are just as filthy and contaminated, often more so, than mass production places.  Virtually all small farmers feed corn to cattle due to economics, increased weight gain and scale of operation; that's why grass fed is so noteworthy.  The presence and scale of inspection and monitoring to ensure safety and quality would quickly over power any benefits of consumption of raw milk.

            •  except where pasteurisation is required (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WereBear Walker

              in commercial dairies to prevent salmonella and other pathogens from contaminating the milk batch - raw milk is specifically not pasteurised to allow all those lovely pathogens to mature.

              Small dairy farms are great.  Clean raw milk is a wonderful treat.  But it's not safer than commercial milk no matter how hard you try to spin it.

              Milk isn't spinach.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:53:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did not mean to imply that pasteurized milk is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aimlessmind, JesseCW

                not safer than raw milk. I mean that there is more likelihood of contamination in a large operation than in a very small one, just as there is more likelihood of contamination of ground beef in a huge processing plant than in a small local one. And of eggs in a huge commercial operation than from yard chickens. That is why commercial milk is pasteurized - as it should be.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:50:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  More on salmonella in cows (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aimlessmind, freesia
                It is estimated that from 27 to 31% of Dairys across the United States are Salmonella infected. Bulk milk can often be contaminated by Salmonella in cow manure and environment on farm. ...
                It was shown that having a closed herd (not introducing cattle into the herd) was protective against Salmonella in the preweaned calves (Berge, Am J Vet Res, 2005). The most important risk for introducing new strains of Salmonella on Dairys was raising heifers on calf ranches with co-mingling of calves with other Dairys (Abdikari, JDai Sci, 2009)...
                 Do not drink raw milk unless regular tests are carried out to verify that Salmonella is not found in milk and do not drink raw milk if there are any suspicions or confirmations of salmonellosis in animals on the farm.
                http://www.knowsalmonella.com/...

                The farm I used to buy milk from had been tested and does not introduce new cattle nor did they buy their calves from calf ranches. I would assume that most buyers of raw milk would take reasonable precautions. It seems to me that it is the commercial dairies that are more likely to have salmonella contaminated milk per the reasons listed above - bulk milk, introduction of new cattle into the herd, the use of calf farms to buy their calves.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:03:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  it would seem, but it's not. (0+ / 0-)

                  Smaller dairies that specialise in raw milk have very little oversight - nothing near to what a family commercial dairy undergoes.  It looks clean so it is clean is far too often the way we look at things until something bad has happened in food handling.

                  Raw milk is a wonderful taste treat.  It is not safe for everyday consumption and cows having a name and a grass diet doesn't make the milk safer - it could make it less so.

                  And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                  by Mortifyd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:32:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Probably just good milk that happens to be raw (3+ / 0-)

          Keeping it raw might preserve some enzymes important to making good butter and cheese. Keeping it raw also forces more a more thorough cleaning discipline and short shelf-time. So, raw milk is probably served much fresher than pasteurized milk. But I don't think the fact that it's raw makes the milk that much better for drinking. I think chilling it quickly and keeping it out of sunlight makes the biggest difference.

          The sweetness of Opal's milk, the freshness, the lack of that subtle burnt flavor often imparted by pasteurization (which one generally needs to drink raw milk to begin to detect in pasteurized milk) the creaminess of it, the health and vitality--it was all there.
          Set aside the science of enzyme denaturation, bacteria proliferation, and comparisons of different varieties of fat molecules. Do one simple experiment: Take a gallon of Opal's best, and pasteurize some of it. Do small batches so you can heat and cool it quickly and accurately. Choose two or three of the legally recognized time & temperature profiles. Use pyrex so it won't impart a metallic taste, but so you can still chill it back down fairly quickly. Then take a blind taste test. I'll bet that at least one of those temperature profiles is agreeable enough.

          For 6% milk from a grass-fed champ like Opal, $10.00 per gallon should still make sense even if it's been pasteurized. If you're baking or cooking with it, pasteurization is unnecessary. If you're making cheese with it, then it's a detriment. But, for leaving in the fridge to serve with cookies, pasteurized milk is the way to go. Pasteurization knocks the bacteria population down so low, that the milk stays drinkable all week.

          Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

          by chimpy on Thu May 03, 2012 at 01:00:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't get Opal's milk now (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpy

            Though I do get raw milk. It actually would be very interesting to do some home pasteurizing with a blind taste test and see if I could tell the difference. I don't disagree that most of the difference in taste was likely due to it being non-homogenized, grassfed Jersey milk from a healthy cow with great genetics, rather than being raw. I've had some non-homogenized, glass-bottled, low heat pasteurized milk from a local dairy before that was pretty tasty. I might give the blind taste test a try out of curiosity.

            My raw milk stays fresh a pretty long time, though. Opal's generally lasted a good week and a half to two weeks before it started to taste a bit ripe and my current milk--kept in a pretty cold fridge--has been keeping about two weeks before I no longer want to drink it. If it gets that old without me having finished it, I'll just use it in backing or separate out the whey from it if I need some live-culture whey for various uses.

            I still like having the milk live-culture, though, even aside from whether or not it truly tastes better. I like that the milk doesn't putrify the way pasteurized milk seems to, I can still use it in baking no problem, and I enjoy the evolving flavor over time. Also, as mentioned, I'll sometimes extract whey from it and I want it specifically for the cultures in it, so pasteurizing would eliminate that.

            Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

            by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 01:21:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What are you talking about? I get raw milk from (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpy

            a local dairy and it's "drinkable" for up to ten days, easily. And then I just use it to bake with...

              I've been drinking raw milk for over a year. I've been buying my beef, pork, chicken and eggs directly from small scale, humane, primarily organic farmers, for nearly a decade. Interestingly, the ONLY TIMES I've gotten tummy distress (to outright food poisoning attacks) have come when I've strayed away from my wholesome, home made food and eaten at a restaurant or someone else's home made food....You KNOW the feeling of "bad food"--it hits within minutes or hours, usually.  I haven't had the slightest stomach distress whatsoever since switching to raw milk, last May--except one weekend when I was out of town, and broke down and ate some fast food crap.

              The very worst cases of food poisoning I've ever gotten, in the past 30 years, were from an un-refridgerated jar of Skippy peanut butter, and from a horrible sandwich at Subway.

            •  Some are more fussy about taste (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aimlessmind

              I don't mind milk that's been kept nice and cold from one weekend to the next. As the taste evolves, I know it's mostly enzyme action plus some metabolism of harmless bacteria. Other family members might have less forgiving palates (not mentioning names, of course). Another (still no names) might leave it on the table all during breakfast, or even bogart all the cream from the top before anyone else gets to the jar. So, storage conditions aren't always ideal in a busy house. I usually end up making oatmeal with anything more than a few days old. Besides, there's always more fresh stuff coming.

              Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

              by chimpy on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:18:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackNGreen

        Dr McDougall has some great youtube videos about the dangers of dairy.  

        Educate, educate, educate yourself!

        MItt's general campaign strategy is to trade in the etch-a-sketch for a magic 8 ball.

        by jackandjill on Thu May 03, 2012 at 07:06:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on what you're talking about... (5+ / 0-)

        most of the raw milk that is tested in the US is meant for the pasteurized milk market - it's tested before pasteurization.

        If you look at at raw milk intended to be sold as raw milk, the tests are much better.

  •  Your prose is quite good, however... (17+ / 0-)
    I paid to know that the milk I drank was the healthiest and tastiest milk I would ever drink.
    An average glass of whole milk, at 3.25% butterfat, provides 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of which are saturated fat. Milk measuring at 6% butterfat would provide nearly 10 grams of saturated fat in an 8 oz. serving.

    Note:

    The American Heart Association recommends reducing saturated fat to less than 7% of caloric intake, less than roughly 20 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet.
    Regularly consuming whole milk at 6% butterfat can not be part of a healthy diet.

    While you may enjoy the taste, it would be incorrect to deem such milk "healthy." Saturated fat is unhealthy regardless of the source.

    •  I don't think saturated fat from well raised food (6+ / 0-)

      is unhealthy. I certainly am aware that's not the standard view taken by many doctors and medical associations. There are studies that question the supposed link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. Here's a recent one I've seen linked, though I haven't delved into it:

      http://www.ohsu.edu/...

      Of course, I'm sure you could cite back plenty of studies saying the opposite. I'm not that interested in a long back-and-forth, I'll just note that I absolutely think raw milk is, in general, a healthy food--however much saturated fat is in it.

      Although, I'll also say that I find it silly that we try to make these arguments based on imaginary human beings, rather than talking about specific people. How much fat a person who regularly engages in heavy physical labor can eat healthily compared to somebody who spends most of their time sitting in front of a computer is going to vary.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 10:50:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  anti-scientific woo does not sustainability make. (27+ / 0-)

        Saturated fats are chemicals, and chemicals don't care how they were raised.   To assert otherwise is nonsense.  

        Bacteria don't care how they were raised either.  And the bacteria that cause intestinal diseases don't care whether they came from a warm & fuzzy family farm, or a cold & brutal factory farm.  

        Really now.  Let's not go giving in to anti-science and pseudo-science, that plays right into the hands of the plutocracy and the religious right.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed May 02, 2012 at 11:35:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And not all bacteria is e. coli and salmonella (7+ / 0-)

          And the human body is full of beneficial bacteria. And the way cows are raised and the environment they live in effects the presence of good and bad bacteria.

          Furthermore, the diets of animals effects the composition of their body. So when you eat those bodies, that can mean a difference in the healthiness of that food. So yes, the way they're raised can alter fat make up, the presence or absence of various nutritional elements, and so on.

          None of that's anti-science. It's just reality.

          Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

          by aimlessmind on Wed May 02, 2012 at 11:41:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, this is not true. (6+ / 0-)

          Saturated fats are not all the same. Some saturated fats are quite healthy while those  produced by adding an extra hydrogen molecule in order to extend shelf life are quite unhealthy.

          In addition, grass fed cows produce significantly more CLA than those who are also fed grain. Therefore, their fat is healthier than grain fed cattle.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:16:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How can you add an extra hydrogen molecule (5+ / 0-)

            to saturated fat? It's already saturated. You probably mean trans fats but they are not saturated.

            •  Right. Quick fatty acid review: (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FG, aimlessmind, dpryan, chimpy

              Saturated means that each carbon atom in the chain has a full complement of all the hydrogen atoms it can bind to.

              Unsaturated means that some of the carbon atoms have a double bond with an adjacent carbon, so that it is attached to one less hydrogen atom. i.e. the fatty acid molecule is not "saturated" with hydrogen. If there is one carbon-carbon double bond, the fatty acid is monounsaturated, and if there are more than one, the fatty acid is polyunsaturated.

              The carbon atoms don't rotate around a double bond. In naturally occurring unsaturated fats, the carbon atoms usually wind up along the same side of the double bond which is called "cis". In industrially produced partially unsaturated fats, many of the carbon pairs wind up diagonal from each other which is called "trans".

            •  Okay, when fats are hydrogenated, I thought they (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea, chimpy

              were then saturated but I will change my statement to most natural saturated fats are healthy and most trans fats are unhealthy. (CLA being a natural trans fat that is healthy). Hydrogenated fats are unhealthy.

              You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

              by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 08:31:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Saturated fats are almost as bad as trans fats. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erush1345, Fixed Point Theorem

                They are solid so they block the arteries.

                •  Not so. From the 2010 Am J Clin Nutr (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aimlessmind, gerrilea, chimpy, Prairie Gal
                  CONCLUSIONS:
                  A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.
                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                  From other studies, it appears that if one replaces saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, there is a slight improvement in blood chlosterol and thus CHD. If one replaces saturated fats with carbohydrates, there is an increase in CHD.

                  Study after study recently has shown that it is the carbs, particularly high glycemic carbs, that is the main culprit in CHD.

                  While anecdotal evidence is not indicative of general truth, I can tell you that I have been eating butter, drinking whole milk, cheese, and eating red meat for 66 years and I have very good HDL and triglycerides, good total cholesterol, and have no CHD, in spite of smoking for almost 50 of those years. My echogram last year did not show any build up of plaque in the arteries. And it is not genetic because I come from a long line of people with heart disease. I do eat well and do not eat junk food and rarely have ever eaten junk food or processed food in my life.  There is the answer, IMO.

                  You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                  by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:41:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Carbs are definitely the worst. But what this (0+ / 0-)

                    data seems to show that there is little difference between any types of fats (including trans fats).

                    •  Not how I read it, though it is certainly above (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FG

                      my pay grade to understand the whole thing. But since this was a meta-study, I do not think they were looking at trans-fats at all and I did not notice any reference to trans fats. I think they looked at just the amounts of saturated fats the subjects ate and determined that there was no difference in CHD or CVD in those who ate the most saturated fats. There have been lots of studies to show that trans-fats and processed foods are bad for you.

                      Here's the link to the full article:
                      http://www.ajcn.org/...

                      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                      by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:49:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're right, they didn't really look at trans (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sewaneepat

                        fats. But it's quite unlikely that trans fats would be all that different. They may be bad for you in some other way.

                      •  Actually, it's not clear what it means. Levels of (0+ / 0-)

                        saturated fat don't seem to have a statistically significant effect, they didn't look at either trans fats or the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat. Carbs are definitely bad but beyond that it's hard to say anything. I guess the only think you can say is that fat is not as bad as carbs.

        •  Science is ever evolving (7+ / 0-)

          not static. There is legitimate controversy regarding the health benefits of meat and milk from grassfed cattle compared to conventional (corn-fed) cattle. This is nothing to do with the plutocracy or the religious right, both of which are more concerned with their God-given right to subsist on Twinkies and fast-food burgers free of government interference.

          It is important to respect science which is the basis of the considerable regulation which the diarist describes limiting the distribution of raw milk. In my reading, the diarist does not complain about these restrictions, only to note that there are a lot of hoops to jump through. The diary actually shows a good standard for partaking of raw milk...i.e., you should be on a first-name basis with your cow and get regular updates on her health.

          As for there being no difference between a factory farm and a family farm--is that based on actual science or anti-sentimentalism? They're not necessarily the same thing..."science" can be turned into a bias in favor of sterilizing everything, which leads to an antibacterial arms race that (newer) science finds we are doomed to lose.

          Note--I am not at all into "woo" and fully understand that "natural" is not a synonym for "safe." I'm also well aware that "probiotic" has reached critical mass as a full-blown fad and don't buy the hype (or the supermarket yogurt) on it. Still, scientific understanding of nutrition and biology has come a long way since the 70s.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:17:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Saturated fat (5+ / 0-)

          If two lumps of fat or oil are chemically identical, of course it doesn't matter how you produced them.  But fats are very complex and how you handle fats produces different chemical compounds in the final product.  And different fats, even different saturated fats, have very different effects in the body. Some saturated fats are bad for cardiovascular disease (CVD). So are some unsaturated fats. Some unsaturated fats are bad for CVD. Some unsaturated fats reduce your risk of CVD, but so do some saturated fats (e.g. oleic acid).  Just as we now know you can't generalize about fats, research that breaks down different kinds of saturated fat shows it's risky to generalize about saturated fats as a class.

          So what about full-fat milk? The advice to avoid full fat milk is based on the general assumption that all saturated fats are bad for you, but recent research shows very little evidence of harm from dairy fat consumption. Some studies even suggest dairy fat may have beneficial effects on CVD and diabetes risk.

          So what about full-fat milk produced on small organic dairy farms vs. larger, more modern farms?  Who knows.  I'm not a person who believes that natural automatically equals healthy; oxalic acid in rhubarb is natural, and it's bad for you.  But I think it is plausible that milk produced from cows fed and cared for in radically different ways would have different chemical compositions.  We know that fat from grass fed beef resembles fat from game more than feedlot beef fat; it's higher in CLA and omega 3's (like fish).

          As for actual proof there is a health differences, we'll probably never have it. Nutrition research is hard and expensive, and nobody is going to pay for a study that might show that small producers make a healthier product than larger producers.

          I've lost my faith in nihilism

          by grumpynerd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:25:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your opinion is just that: your opinion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mem from somerville

        Sorry.

    •  First, there is saturated fat and there is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, Mi Corazon, Prairie Gal

      saturated fat. Some saturated fats are healthy and some are not. Margarine is unhealthy, butter is healthy. Crisco is unhealthy, coconut oil is healthy. The American Heart Association has done much harm in all the years of promoting low fat diets and they have only recently begun to discuss the difference in naturally saturated fats and trans-fats.

      In addition, even if one were to believe that one should only consume 20 grams per day of saturated fat, one glass of 6% butterfat milk is only half that amount plus it has significant CLA. Presumably  one eats other food which do
       not contain saturated fat and one could still eat 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil and not exceed the 20 grams per day of saturated fat.

      But the larger point is that there is a huge difference in health depending on where the saturated fat comes from. People on a low carb diet like Atkins not only have better weight loss, but also lower their cholesterol and triglycerides and have  better heart health than those on low fat diets. Dr. Atkins was, after all, a cardiologist.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:10:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The $10/gallon price helps mitigate this risk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind

      I think paying ten dollars per gallon lowers the risk of overconsumption here. A special treat of some fresh grass-fed milk, even from an extra-rich favorite cow, is not a problem when it hits the wallet harder than the waistline. A perpetual binge on a few subsidized and overly refined crops, over-salted and larded with trans fats, comes too easily and cheaply for our health.

      So, sure, watch the fat. But, we'd do better to leave a few special treats on the menu, as long as we pay attention to what we consider our staples.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:28:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  However, the difference in butterfat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind, Prairie Gal

      has nothing to do with the pasteurization tho.

      It's that most milk bought commercially comes from Holstein cows which give large volume, but low in butterfat.

      Raw farmstead milk usually comes from Jerseys who are pasture-fed, which have much higher fat content and will always taste 10 times better, whether pasteurized or not.

  •  A local farm here in GA sells raw milk (8+ / 0-)

    He has to label it "For Pet Consumption Only" as it is illegal to sell raw milk for human use apparently. I've contacted my legislators on his behalf several times as I can't understand why such a prohibition exists.

    That said, I've never tried raw milk myself. I've been curious about it and it sounds delicious, but there's something that turns me off; probably 40 years of conditioning to Pasteurization and Homogenization that has left me with an irrational fear of this natural product.

    •  Collectively, this is quite schziphrenic website (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind

      encompassing everything from your POV to the regular diary series titled something like "Why Regulations Exist"

    •  Conditioning (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for acknowledging how much of what we believe was programmed by folks who control the information flow. I get raw goat and cow milk from a local farm that is righteous, similar to what is described in the diary although the milk from a number of animals in the same herd is mixed together. Properly done raw milk is far healthier than commercial, even organic commercial, milk.

      "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

      by US Blues on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was vegetarian for 12 years (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, chimpy, ladybug53, JesseCW

      When I first started eating meat again, I felt really weird about handling raw meat. I felt like I could get e. coli at any minute.

      Eventually I realized that, no, every bit of raw meat isn't infected with e. coli. While I should be careful in handling raw meat, of course, I didn't need to be terrified of it.

      I think that's how some people view raw milk. They think all raw milk is contaminated, which is far from the truth.

      All that said, don't drink raw milk if you're not comfortable with it. I don't see much of any reason for people to eat any food their not comfortable with, assuming they have other choices.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:34:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  try reading up on regulation history (5+ / 0-)

      "I can't understand why such a prohibition exists."

      Because bad milk used to make lots of people sick. You could start with this recent New Yorker articleif you want to know more.

      "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

      by joey c on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:23:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Poor phrasing on my part (0+ / 0-)

        I guess I understand why the regulation exists, but I think it's unnecessary. There are plenty of other foods out there that are potentially dangerous when consumed raw, but they are perfectly legal. The local farm can sell me all the raw eggs, pork, beef and chicken I want - all of it could potentially harbor harmful organisms that could kill me - it's only the milk that is banned.

        What I don't understand is why the regulation can't be changed from a ban on raw milk to a requirement for the raw milk to carry a warning label, the same as eggs and meat.

        •  interestingly enough, that was also addressed (0+ / 0-)

          in the article i linked to above, though you may not credit the explanation, which IIRC was something along the lines of "safe milk has become like clean water in terms of people expecting that government insure it's availability."

          "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

          by joey c on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:12:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I prefer my milk pasturized (19+ / 0-)

    it does come from a local dairy though that uses no antibiotics. Pennsylvania is a huge dairy state with lots of family farms that sell pasturized milk. Sometimes in the old fashioned glass bottles! But I won't touch raw milk. In my area, dozens have been sickened with salmonella poisoning, forcing the state to propose some regulations. It's far more common than people think.

    I drink very little milk as it is, though, and much prefer soy.

    I'm struck by how the meanest, cruelest, nastiest people brag about how they live in a Christian nation. It's rather telling.

    by terrypinder on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:59:29 AM PDT

  •  Sadly, this is roulette (10+ / 0-)

    and dangerous. Raw milk is 150x more likely to sicken you than pasteurized milk.
    CDC: Raw milk outbreak rate 150 times higher than pasteurized milk

    Adults are free to make this risky choice. But giving it to children ought to be considered child abuse. And some people do that--some clueless advocate brought raw milk to a school event, and sickened a whole classroom of kids and their families.

    But hey--if you think your community needs more hemolytic uremic syndrome, go for it.

    And then call me so I can contact the Darwin Awards team.

    “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

    by mem from somerville on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:43:59 AM PDT

    •  Yes, this is an irresponsible diary, imho. (9+ / 0-)

      I'm sure the author had good intentions, but this flies in the face of good science and reality. I hope everyone reads far enough through the comments to understand why the drinking of raw milk, from another species, is irresponsible. We've not even gotten into the differences in gut bacterial consortia between humans and bovines. Milk to be consumed by humans should be pasteurized, period.

      •  Most bizarrely (7+ / 0-)

        this usually comes from people who are so irate about "food safety" and yet completely deny the facts on this issue. It's a strange blind spot.

        “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

        by mem from somerville on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:32:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's a pretty good article in the New Yorker (6+ / 0-)

          this week about raw food in general, and raw milk in particular.  Unfortunately, it's not fully available online yet.  http://www.newyorker.com/...

          It discusses the risks, and also gets into the fact that some purveyors of "raw" foods are doing a bait-n-switch, selling conventional foods at the much higher raw prices.  It also discusses the risks realistically.

          One part that struck me as odd was that some of the raw foods advocates specifically want the various bacteria, saying that it helps build their immune systems.  Now, I am not a hyper-sterilization fan (in fact, I even get raw cream from a friend with a cow semi-regularly), but I truly don't understand seeking out listeria, for example.

          •  Yeah, they had a fawning blog post too (8+ / 0-)

            that I thought was equally irresponsible as this post for not mentioning the risks. But I didn't have access to the longer story.

            And that 150x risk? That was a few years old data (only through 2006) before this fad became more widespread. It's only getting worse as more people get sucked in with images of smiling cows. Smiling cows with bacteria that want you to die.

            Outbreaks and Illnesses Linked to Raw Milk Herdshares, United States, 2000-2012

            “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

            by mem from somerville on Thu May 03, 2012 at 07:00:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wouldn't say it was fawning - at least not the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mem from somerville

              article (dunno about the blog post).  I got the impression that the writer was more than a bit skeptical of the claims, and she included lots of information about the dangers, including the kids who ended up with hemolytic uremic syndrome (that's what made me think to mention the article).  One thing she emphasized toward the end of the piece (and sorry, I can't remember if it was her writing, or if she was quoting someone else)  was that milk, whether human or cow, is literally the first food that almost every human eats and that's why food safety is such a crucial issue with milk above all other foods - clean milk is as important as clean water.

              The general tone I took away from the article is:  some people like this because it tastes better, some people think there are health benefits (of which a few sound very fringe-y), and if they want to make an informed choice to use these products, ok.  But it's not appropriate to make the choice for someone else, to give them a more dangerous product (i.e., feeding it to young kids).  

              She also brought in the issue of libertarian/tea party support of the raw dairy movement because they oppose the "oppressive" government regulations.  There were Oath Keepers supporting raw milk and calling it "Freedom Milk".  Given the politics of most New Yorker readers, I don't think that was intended to be seen as a positive.

              •  Yeah, I was only speaking to the blog post (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lineatus, jiffypop

                but that wasn't clear from my structure there. I didn't read the long piece. I just meant it was a companion to the other piece.

                And it is funny to me to see the Food Freedom Patriots folks align with the left on this (also on vaccines, same issue really). But I do see that more and more. That can't last, but it amuses me.

                “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

                by mem from somerville on Thu May 03, 2012 at 07:39:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for making the world (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aimlessmind, gerrilea, debedb, Prairie Gal

              safer and more profitable for the corporate farming giants of the world.

              I'm sure they have your best interests in their hearts.

              And next time there's an e-coli outbreak from an industrial meat plant, or listeria off an industrial melon field, or alar from spraying apples, or any of the cancers from the herbicides and pesticides sprayed from tractors the size of airplanes, I'm sure we can count on you to explain why it is all necessary and makes America a better place for all.

              Industrial food production in America ruins our health, our environment and consumes more fossil fuel than any segment of our economy.

              by Mi Corazon on Thu May 03, 2012 at 08:00:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  They don't want you to die. (0+ / 0-)

              The bacteria prefer that you be kept alive so that you can pass them on to your friends, parents, children, co-workers, neighbors, the next dairy you visit and so on.  

               

              "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

              by Yamaneko2 on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:26:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Context (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind, BigOkie, Prairie Gal

      Biggest sources of HUS?
      Swimming pools
      Daycare centers
      Ground beef

      Do your Darwin award candidates include any parents who expose their child to any of those?

      As a scientist, of course, you wish to balance the risks against the benefits of any practice. And in fact, there are studies comparing health benefits of pasteurized versus raw milk, which found raw milk superior in some respects.

      These tend to be older studies, so in some respects they are irrelevant--eg, more vitamin D deficiency with pasteurized milk, but that was before routine vitamin D supplementation of milk.

      On the other hand, as older studies they predate the Hygiene Hypothesis issue--the huge problem with allergic disorders such as asthma, which may be partly alleviated by raw milk.

      Donning my tinfoil hat, I would suggest that one reason for the paucity of more modern comparison studies of pasteurized versus raw milk is the triumph of factory farming, whose products absolutely require pasteurization.

      Unfortunately, even in an unpoliticized atmosphere, performing useful studies at present would be slow, expensive, and difficult--you'd have to track a range of factors, such as growth and development, doctor visits, emergency room visits, etc.

      Too bad, because such research would be very interesting. It might end up being a very complex tradeoff: more HUS with raw milk, more severe asthma with pasteurized milk, for example. And if you added more arms to the study (say, low-temperature versus high-temperature sterilization) it might take you beyond conclusions that would fit on a bumper sticker.

      •  Thank you, tacet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prairie Gal

        Love the systems thinking. Car accidents are a major killer of children, yet it's such a normative behavior that we would never cry child abuse toward someone who drives their child somewhere in a car, nor would we scold someone for writing about driving without including warnings about how it might kill or injure you.

        And as you note, I don't see too many people decrying the abusive parents who take their children to swimming pools.

        Raw milk isn't considered normative in our society and so it draws all kinds of ire that more dangerous but more normative behavior doesn't.

        Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

        by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 12:42:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I joke all the time (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darmok, Prairie Gal

          about people who are insanely worried about GMO myths and yet put their kids in the car to go pick up the organic food.

          But a demonstrated, documented 150x risk on a food product would be totally unacceptable by anyone thinking straight.

          “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

          by mem from somerville on Thu May 03, 2012 at 02:25:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Right (0+ / 0-)

        I got all those degrees I have (including the microbiology one) off a bumper sticker. Fuck the primary literature. We don't need no stinkin' data.

        You are free to delude yourself and join the roulette. And just because this is one form or roulette doesn't mean there aren't plenty of others--nobody said there weren't others. Many of the same people who make this choice make many other bad decisions--like not vaccinating--as well, based on their pop sci readings like you have offered and appealing anecdotes like the diarist provides. I think they are just as dangerous as anti-vaxxers, but their spread just isn't quite as wide.

        What is your acceptable threshold of preventable cases of kids with HUS? Mine is zero.

        “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

        by mem from somerville on Thu May 03, 2012 at 02:22:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I pay $10 a gallon for organic milk that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, aimlessmind, gerrilea

    is supposed to come from small farmers with grass fed cows. It is, of course, pasteurized.

     However, I used to pay $3.50 a gallon for local raw milk from an Amish farmer with 3 cows. The pick up and delivery got to be a huge hassle so I stopped, but the quality was much better than commercial milk - and the taste - wow!

    I would have gladly paid this farmer $10 a gallon if he could have delivered it to a pick up point closer to where I live - but since he is Amish, of course, that was not an option. Or  I would have paid the person who picked up the milk from the farm $10 a gallon if I could have just gone there and picked it up, but as it was, each week there was a lot of time spent on who was going to pick up the milk from the farm, who was going to pick it up from that point, where and when everyone was going to meet to distribute the milk.... it got to the point where much of my time was spent each week trying to figure out when and where and what I was supposed to do.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:45:08 AM PDT

  •  I grew up on a dairy farm just east of Dallas. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, aimlessmind, gerrilea

    The herd was mostly Jersey with a couple of Guernseys.  
    The cow I remember most was Daimey, a Guernsey.  She was the smallest cow in the bunch which is likely why I remember her so clearly.  We drank her milk for at least 4 years.    The vet was out there at least once a month for something and he always checked out our cow every visit. These cows were pastured with hay from vetch and sileage from sugar cane grown on the farm.  They got a supplement when they came in the dairy barn.  Each cow got whatever the vet had recommended.

     It was a good thing we were on a dairy with my brothers growing up.  We ran through two gallons a day.   My Dad used to growl.  "Water is for thirsty."   That didn't include the whipping cream skimmed off the top of the milk cans in the cooler.

    We had to leave when I was 15.   Huge and bruising family disagreement.   The worst wrench of the whole thing was the change in milk and eggs and beef and chicken--not just the prices.

    Raw whole milk from a cow you know is a wonderful thing.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:50:11 AM PDT

  •  Lovely post but I too would not drink raw milk (8+ / 0-)

    http://articles.latimes.com/...

    From the article, the CDC says raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause a disease outbreak.  

    Here is a link to a mother's story of how she felt she was doing the best thing for her son by serving him raw milk for health reasons.  
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/...

    He didn't die from the E.coli  infection, but the child's kidneys failed.  I'm sorry, but while the risks might be low, the stakes are too high for me.

    Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll

    by offred on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:05:01 AM PDT

  •  Yum (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind, gerrilea

    Raw milks is great. Raw goat's milk is something I can stand, too. Pasteurized goat's milk tastes awful.

    Big-ag dairy organizations are always crusading against raw milk, and they have the politicians in their pocket, so that's one of the reasons why the laws against it have become too weird in some states.

  •  Some practices are best left in the past (9+ / 0-)

    as a pleasant memory. Like burning leaves in suburban backyards in the fall. It's an activity I don't need to repeat to feel connected to the season.

    I've had raw milk right from the cow. Sweet and warm. I am lucky to have a local dairy that uses low temp pasteurization and doesn't homogenize. We can taste the difference in milk during the course of the year, and it is always sweet. Left out the table overnight, it has turned to yogurt more often than it turned stale. Other local dairies, while homogenizing, use low temp pasteurization as well.

    Perhaps UV pasteurization will suffice at some point to give you the experience of fresh milk without the potential bad bacterial load.

    About taste, people have been trained to want a static tasting product. Luigi Barcini wrote about this phenomenon in "The Italians". As a child growing up in Italy, he was treated to the most wonderful getalo. Always delicious, never the same from week to week and pricey. When his family immigrated to America, he was treated to American ice cream. Good, inexpensive and always the same.

    I am still stumped by people who can advocate for "safe food" and "raw milk". But that's just me. I want to know my farmer, but I want him or her to use what we've learned and taken into acct current environmental conditions to give me a great tasting, environmentally benign, safe product.

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Thu May 03, 2012 at 07:09:31 AM PDT

    •  The book "The Italians" is a good read and (0+ / 0-)

      only tangentially about food, but it's interesting to read about what food was like in his family's household in Italy when times were tough as well as when times were good. The author's name is "Barzini", not Barcini. My error.

      “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

      by the fan man on Thu May 03, 2012 at 07:50:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've had some good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the fan man, gerrilea

      low temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from a local dairy before, available in glass bottles. It's pretty good stuff. Not as good as the raw milk I get, but much better than the standard stuff in most stores.

      We certainly have been conditioned to want standardized taste. For a long time, I was in that same mode. It's taken some work and time to get to a different place where I can really appreciate unique and localized food.

      Also, thank you for disagreeing with me about raw milk in a respectful way that doesn't insinuate that I secretly trick people into drinking the stuff or that I'm recklessly endangering people's lives. I appreciate that.

      As for "The Italians," I'll have to look that up. Sounds like an interesting read.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:18:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ronnybrook Farms for glass bottled? Good milk. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aimlessmind

        When the cider industry went from what was essentially a back barn operation to UV sterilized, commercial code inspected facilities, I lamented the transition. Even though the overall risk was small, the outcomes of EColi cases were something I would not risk. The taste of UV treated is pretty damn good, just not the same as fresh pressed. Same with fresh squeezed oj and UV pasteurized. Unlike cider or oj, however, milk has never been an inherently safe product. We made it safe, or at least safer, and along the way did a few other things which consumers liked at the time and now yearn for something different.

        I abhor the way we've become afraid of food. I also see the danger in mythologizing the past and creating an theory of pro-biotics which has solid points to make, but doesn't always pan out in reality. On the whole, I just think it's smart to have a healthy respect for food hazards.

        “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

        by the fan man on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:40:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Getalo is dyslexic for gelato! Oy vey, ava Maria! (0+ / 0-)

      “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

      by the fan man on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:35:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A bit pricy? Try over three times what I pay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    Even if I were inclined to purchase unpasteurized milk (which I am not), I could not possibly afford so much for a single gallon.

    •  Fair enough. It's out some people's price range nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:38:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try "most people" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        I seriously doubt that the average American, especially one with young children, could possibly afford to pay so much for milk.

        •  Americans spends trillions on entertainment (0+ / 0-)

          They spend billions just on soft drinks and plenty billions more on a variety of junk foods. A shift of priorities could allow quite a number of people in this country to afford milk at that price. Not everyone, but probably a good percentage.

          Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

          by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:55:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not "shifting my priorities" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aimlessmind, offred

            I don't buy video games, don't go to movies, don't drink soda, and don't buy junk food on a regular basis.   $10/gallon for milk is out of the question for me just based on my regular budget, and I am far from alone in this.  

            I am glad that you have the means to accommodate your food preferences, and that you are close enough to a dairy that sells what you want.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same.  Please don't forget that sometimes it's not frivolity or ignorance, but simple income that dictates what and how and where someone can spend their food dollars.  

            thanks :)

            •  Oh, I get that (0+ / 0-)

              And I absolutely take you at your word that you can't afford it. I'm just noting that a good percentage of people in this country have a lot of money to work with, especially when you look at our standing in regards to the rest of the world. And a good percentage of people have cable bills and play video games and dole out lots of money on entertainment while saying they can't afford to buy good food. Well, a lot of people could if they shifted priorities. They don't have to, of course--that's their business. But I can argue for it.

              But yes, there are plenty of people out there who have cut the fat and they still are living lean, especially these days. I understand a lot of people don't have much money to work with.

              Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

              by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:21:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  If we were to end the corn subsidies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind, alain2112

      that gallon of milk would be on par with raw milk producers that grass feed.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful. Thanks for this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind, US Blues, tacet

    Reminds me of the best part of Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma — the description of Polyface Farm and its happy chickens, happy pigs and other animals, and its restored-to-health land. I tear up just thinking about the contrast between what you and he describe and the brutality of factory farms… and the sheer lack of respect and caring that places profit far above health and happiness (both of the consumed and those who consume).

  •  You know... (3+ / 0-)

    Some right wing idiots also tout the benefits of raw dairy...with the same anti-science crap.

    Here's an idea....why not buy regular milk for $4.00 a gallon and donate $6.00 to your local food bank.

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Thu May 03, 2012 at 08:37:16 AM PDT

  •  We Get Raw Milk Here in Indiana (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind

    At a local farm.  But it's only $4/gallon.  Christ, $10?  Pick me up a sixer of some local Portland beer while your out instead for $10.

    The kids drink the milk.  I'm not really a milk drinker.  But the kids like the milk better than the store-bought stuff.

    •  I've paid $10 for a sixer of good local beer, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      holeworm

      Though not usually quite that much. Of course, I've also paid $10 for a 12 ounce bottle of beer, though that was a very special purchase. I just had to try the Dogfish Head World Wide Stout--and it was pretty great.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:21:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Turns out I can get it locally, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    but I have to pretend it is for the dog.

    It is the highest impertinence ... in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, ... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. - Adam Smith

    by treesrock on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:29:56 AM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary (3+ / 0-)

    Your topic is close to my heart since I get raw goat milk from a local farm, great taste and nutrition.

    I also love diaries like yours that bring out people's irrational fears, hidden anger and blind worship of science. And in this specific case the inability for people to differentiate between small farms with caring, attentive farmers, and industrial agriculture coupled to a corporate food distribution system. I have seen similar reactions to diaries on alternative medicine here at dKos,

    I also honor you for your patient responses to the personal attacks and general BS that has been tossed your way in the comments above.

    I hope your move to the coast has brought you joy and satisfaction.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:33:50 AM PDT

  •  interesting timing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind, offred

    I imagine this is on more people's radar thanks to the New Yorker article that just came out about the Rawsome 3 and their fight with regulators.

    It's word that you'll drop the loot to back up your beliefs as stated in this paragraph

    "I was supporting a farm that made the world better, that I was supporting farmers who bettered their community, that I was supporting an entirely different model rooted in a love and respect that the industrial model of farming can't even comprehend, much less engage."
    I'm with you about local food production to the extent feasible and regarding the undesirability of the agribusiness model.

    However, I'm not entirely sure about raw milk, personally. I think it should probably be available but clearly labeled as un-inspected and potentially hazardous.

    "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

    by joey c on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:30:10 AM PDT

    •  As far as I know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      It is labeled everywhere it's sold with an FDA warning about being unpasteurized. I know that's the case in Washington and other states I've seen it. And it's the FDA, so I assume it's a national policy, but I don't know that for absolute certain.

      In states with on-farm sales laws, often times one of the rationalizations behind that law is that it, one, makes it hard to get so you're likely to have people who are making a specific decision who are going to go get it. Two, by having to pick it up at the farm you theoretically get to see the operation, maybe meet the farmer, and just get a feel for things to determine if you feel comfortable with the arrangement. The women I wrote about in this diary actually preferred the on-farm sales law and thought it better than selling in the store. They required that you come check out the farm, meet with at least one of them, get a rundown of how they do things and see the cows, equipment, milking space and so on. They also sent out introductory information via email to any new customers that had information on raw milk in general and their operation.

      I've got no problem with raw milk being labeled. In some states, though, such as Washington, they do inspect and certify the raw dairies. In that instance, the milk is marked as coming from a Grade A raw dairy and it also still has the FDA warning about unpasteurized dairy products.

      Thanks for the respectful reply.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:49:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The FDA regulates milk that is sold (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok

        across state lines, and they do not allow for the sale of raw milk, except to a licensed facility.  Raw milk cheese can be sold if it has been aged for 60 days.

        Everything to do with raw milk sales otherwise is governed at the State level.

        The licensing in Washington is a much better way of doing things than the way we do here in Oregon - which is pretty much nothing if you know your way around.

        •  The warning's not FDA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          The warning on Washington milk is this: "WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and persons with lowered resistance to disease have the highest risk of harm from use of this product." As you note, it's set by the state. I was wrong in saying it came from the FDA.

          Still not clear if every state that allows store sales requires a warning of some kind on the label. Browsing through the state laws, so far I haven't found any that allow store sales without some kind of warning label.

          Full list of state laws surrounding raw milk available here, for those who are interested: http://www.realmilk.com/...

          Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

          by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 01:45:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  concur re: on-farm sales laws. eom. (0+ / 0-)

        "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

        by joey c on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:10:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Northwatch (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think that northwatch has ever eaten a fully ripe tomato from someone's garden. Keep eating the pink slime that they serve at McDonalds. I always tell everyone to order the low ammonia burger. I here that they are delish.

  •  Tipped and recced for discussion in comments (6+ / 0-)

    It's really got me thinking about our present situation and about human population dynamics. From about 1200 to 1700 the human population in Europe was fairly stable. No dangerous population growth like we have now.

    However, the reasons behind this stability were mainly due to a very high death rate – these were the years of the Plague. Also they were the years before the Enlightenment and modern scientific advances in things like sanitation, vaccination and the like.

    Lots and lots of children were dying. Cities were cesspools: no systems for disposing of human wastes. Shit was everywhere, the stink was incredible. Ditches down the centers of the street were full of offal. Living in filth, drinking water from rivers filth was dumped into, made people sick. And if you got sick you might well have been “bled” to get rid of evil humors. (George Washington died from this. He got sick and, after they bled 5 pints out of him, he died.)

    Bacteria, thanks to Van Leeuwenoek’s careful scientific observations, were discovered, and it wasn’t long after that that we found ways to stop the little buggers from killing us and our children.

    We’ve been holding these bugs off pretty well for a few centuries now. But they are a huge and powerful force. As our population has exploded – thanks to the advances in science and sanitation – we are stretching the limits. With 7 billion of us and billions of malnourished people collecting in larger urban centers the bugs are being given a human petrie dish of weakened immune systems to play with.

    It’s ironic that modern technological advances – essentially supported by the joint stock corporation – have bought us this protection and safety and at the same time threaten us all, and the planetary ecosystems themselves. They doom us by saving us.

    Those who want to “go back” to the bucolic life before corporate evils like factory farming must come to terms with the fact that many of those same technological corporate forces provide us with protection from the bugs that will kill our children if given half a chance.

    muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

    by veritas curat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:58:09 AM PDT

    •  Somewhat overstating the case (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind, debedb, JesseCW

      The Plague (i.e. Yersinia pestis, aka the Black Death) was unknown in Europe until AD 1347-48. That's WHY it was so deadly - it was a "clean field" epidemic in a population with zero resistance.

      European population was actually on a slow increase until the middle 1300's.

      Cities were always unhealthy places, but only a small percentage of the population lived in them. Most people lived out in the country, raised their own crops, and did pretty well thank you very much.

      WARS were chronic and widespread, and did as much to suppress population growth as disease. There was hardly a year that England wasn't at war with France, and the situation wasn't much better between other countries. And whenever they had no one to fight abroad, they fought each other at home.

      It's not nearly as simple as EEEK GERMS WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:56:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course $10 is great (0+ / 0-)

    The more money someone has to redistribute towards their needs, the better.

    But ultimately someone has to be willing to pay for it.

    From the comments I've read, there isn't a single person here who is willing to go along with your $10 gallon milk plan.

  •  Don't know... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind, JClarkPDX

    ...whether to laugh or cry at this.

    I had $35 to feed two people all week this week.

    If I spent $10 of that on milk alone, we'd be going hungry.

    We need to solve a lot of economic issues in this country before we start advocating that everyone embrace the joy of community in the form of $10 milk.

    •  I realize not everyone can afford this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      And certainly not on $35/week for two people. I understand that.

      There are a lot of people in this country who could, or could if they reprioritized their spending. But also, I'm not specifically advocating people go buy raw milk at $10/gallon. I was writing about why I would do it and what it supported. I would highly recommend people try to better connect to their food sources when possible. Depending on locality, situation and economic resources, that's easier for some people than others.

      But also, building local economies is a big piece of working on economic issues, in my opinion. There are lots of ways to build local economies, and $10 a gallon milk is just one very small way.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:12:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the way food should be... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind, Prairie Gal

    locally crafted, tended with care, and full of nutrition.
    I've seen diaries from those who claim that cows are the source of greenhouse gasses. Balderdash.
    Why not go after the factory farms who are despoiling air, land and water, producing crap with little nutritional value; go after the power plants that spew coal dust, and other big conglomerates who willfully and wantonly decimate the earth just to make a buck.
    $10 for milk seems high, yes. But as you say, it doesn't go bad, it changes, and you can use it for other things. And since humans don't really need milk beyond childhood, it is an indulgence (I'll never say no to ice cream or a glass of good cold milk with a slice of chocolate cake!). And oh, the cheeses it can make! Most Americans don't know what cheese made from raw milk is like because our food laws don't allow it to be sold (or imported), even though fermentation will take care of almost anything along the way.
    I'd rather spend for GOOD milk, and meat, and have less of it. America would do better to follow those rules as well - better food and less of it.
    If only we could make that possible for everyone we'd be a happier and healthier lot!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

    by MA Liberal on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:16:48 PM PDT

  •  Why are adults drinking another species milk? (0+ / 0-)

    Try almond milk. Tastes better is better for you and the environment.

    •  I never understood this argument (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      The only food I can think of that is specifically for humans is human breast milk. Otherwise, everything else is some other creature on this planet or some part or byproduct of another creature that we've found we could eat. So we eat it! That's just kind of how the system works.

      Anyway, don't really agree almond milk is better for the environment than milk from cows raised on grass. But then, it also depends on the person and where they live. I live in dairy country--this environment supports it. I definitely don't live in almond country. They like warm and dry summers. We get 100 inches of rain a year here and while we have a stretch of dry weather, sunshine and heat most years, it's not enough for good almond production.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:51:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And we're related to almond trees...how? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW
  •  While I'm not prepared to DO this, just yet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind

    i AM grateful that you wrote this up.

    Getting unique and different viewpoints is one of the joys of being part of the DKos community. Thanks for taking time to post this.

    Tipped and Rec'd...

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:22:56 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, dagnome (0+ / 0-)

      I debated posting it here, figuring I would end up spending a few hours responding to comments, some of them probably not too positive. Decided it might be worth it. I'm glad you appreciated the viewpoint.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:31:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somehow my children (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, Prairie Gal

    have all survived ten years of drinking raw milk.  I feel pretty good about it.  After all, the farmer I get it from has 8 healthy grown or teen children he raised on it.  I hear a lot more cases of food poisoning and death from the folks the FDA and USDA are supposed to keep and eye on than I do from your small local growers who provide whole food for their neighbors.

    •  That's interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd

      I lived on dairy farm in Missouri (small - 200 head - Jersey and Holstein) and the farmer was absolutely adamant about never serving raw milk. The only things that drank raw milk on the farm were the cats.

      "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

      by dancerat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:03:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is why I won't drink raw milk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anime1973
    ProMED-mail promed@promed.isid.harvard.edu
    10:28 AM (11 hours ago)

    to promed-ahead-e.
    E. COLI EHEC - USA (12): (OREGON) O157, RAW MILK, ADDITIONAL PATHOGENS
    ***********************
    A ProMED-mail post

    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Date: Mon 30 Apr 2012
    Source: Oregon Live [edited]

    Oregon health officials suspect 2 more illnesses are part of a raw milk outbreak traced nearly 3 weeks ago to a farm near Wilsonville.
    William Keene, senior epidemiologist with Oregon Public Health, said the 2 adults had both consumed raw milk from Foundation Farm, including one who continued to drink it after being warned about the outbreak.

    Keene said one was sickened by Campylobacter, the other by Cryptosporidium, making 21 likely cases in the outbreak. Ten others were infected with E. coli O157. One of the worst foodborne pathogens, E. coli O157:H7 was on rectal swabs from 2 of the farm's 4 cows. Milk and manure from the farm also tested positive for the same bacteria.

    State epidemiologists did not test the cows or the environment for these other organisms, so they don't know for sure that the new cases are linked to Foundation Farm milk, but Keene said it's likely. "There is a long list of pathogens that people can get from raw milk," he said.

    Four children who drank the milk were hospitalized with acute kidney failure, which is associated with E. coli O157:H7. As of Fri 27 Apr 2012, they were still in the hospital, Keene said.

    Two of the patients, aged 14 and 13, are Portland area middle schoolers. The others are 3 and one years old. A 5th child from Lane County, who drank the milk while visiting relatives in the Portland area, was hospitalized and released.

    Foundation Farm, located on 5 acres in the Stafford area, had a herd-share operation for a least a year selling parts of cows to 48 families. In return, they had regular access to the raw milk.

    Health officials also interviewed most of the families. They were surprised that a person continued to drink the milk even after being advised that it was contaminated. Keene said the 2nd patient went looking for a new source.

    Just under 3 percent of Oregonians drink raw milk, according to a survey by Oregon Public Health. They tend to be passionate about it, despite public warnings.

    "We've documented yet another unfortunate incident where people missed the boat on one of the great advances in public health, pasteurization," Keene said.

    [Byline: Lynne Terry]

    --
    Communicated by:
    ProMED-mail

    [It is not surprising that additional enteric pathogens have been
    found in the unpasteurized milk. - Mod.LL

    A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
    .]

    [see also:
    E. coli EHEC - USA (11): (TN) O157, day care 20120426.1114895
    E. coli EHEC - USA (10): (OR) O157, unpasteurized milk
    20120418.1105459
    E. coli EHEC - USA (09): (OR) O157, unpasteurized milk
    20120414.1101363
    E. coli EHEC - USA (08): (MO) O157, unpasteurized dairy susp.
    20120414.1101362
    E. coli EHEC - USA (07): (MO) O157, unpasteurized dairy susp.
    20120411.1097111
    E. coli EHEC - USA (06): (MO) O157, unpasteurized dairy susp.
    20120410.1095960
    E. coli EHEC - USA (05): (MO) O157 20120409.1094596
    E. coli EHEC - USA (04): O26, clover sprouts 20120310.1066813
    E. coli EHEC - USA (03): O26, clover sprouts 20120228.1055451
    E. coli EHEC - USA (02): O26, clover sprouts 20120216.1042997
    E. coli EHEC - USA: (MI) food handler 20120117.1013132
    E. coli EHEC - Europe: (France, Germany, Denmark) O104
    20120126.1022870
    E. coli EHEC, 2011 - USA: (CA), raw milk, environmental source
    20120122.1017852
    E. coli EHEC, 2010 - USA: (MN) non-O157 venison kabob
    20120117.1013136
    2011
    ----
    E. coli VTEC - USA (13): (MO) O157, more states, lettuce
    20111210.3560
    E. coli VTEC - USA (12): (MO), O157 20111111.3344
    E. coli VTEC - USA (11): (NC) O157, livestock building 20111110.3334
    E. coli VTEC - USA (10): (NC) fair link, more cases 20111103.3281
    E. coli VTEC - USA (09): (MO), O157, poss. produce link 20111103.3276
    E. coli VTEC - USA (08): (MO), O157, poss. produce link 20111101.3246
    E. coli VTEC - USA (07): (NC), fair link 20111101.3244
    E. coli VTEC - USA (06): (MO), O157, poss. produce link 20111029.3224
    E. coli VTEC - USA (05): (NC) more cases 20111029.3222
    E. coli VTEC - USA (04): (NC) more cases 20111027.3201
    E. coli VTEC - USA (03): (MO) RFI 20111027.3195
    E. coli VTEC - USA (02):(NC), possible fair link 20111027.3193
    E. coli VTEC - USA: (NC) RFI 20111026.3184
    E. coli O157 - USA (08): (WI) more cases 20111016.3101
    E. coli O157 - USA (07): (WI) 20110915.2819
    E. coli O104 - EU (36): intervention strategies 20110827.2617
    E. coli O157 - USA (06): (OR) strawberry, deer dropping source
    20110819.2520
    E. coli O157 - USA (05): (PA) lake swimming 20110817.2493
    E. coli O157 - USA (04): (PA) lake swimming 20110810.2428
    E. coli O157 - USA (03): (OR) strawberry 20110809.2413
    E. coli O157 - USA (02): (AL) water park 20110629.1981
    E. coli O104 - EU (10): USA commentary 20110605.1718
    E. coli O104 - EU: (Germany, Denmark, Sweden) Spanish cucumbers
    20110526.1611
    E. coli O157 - USA: Lebanon bologna, alert, recall 20110325.0946
    E. coli O157 - North America: hazelnut, alert, recall 20110310.0777
    2010
    ----
    E. coli O157 - USA (07): cheese 20101105.4007
    E. coli VTEC non-O157 - USA (07): O26, ground beef, alert, recall
    20100831.3097
    E. coli O157 - USA (06): ground beef, alert, recall 20100809.2715
    E. coli O157 - USA (05): (CO, NY), bison meat, alert, recall
    20100709.2286
    E. coli O157 - USA (04): (MN) unpasteurized milk 20100607.1900
    E. coli O157 - USA (03): (MN) unpasteurized milk 20100528.1776
    E. coli O157 - USA (02): (WA), day care 20100413.1200
    E. coli VTEC non-O157 - USA (02): (OH, MI, NY) O145 20100505.1460
    E. coli VTEC non-O157 - USA: (MI, OH) 20100427.1358
    E. coli O157 - USA: 2009, tenderized non-intact steak 20100108.0092]
    .................................................ll/msp/lm
    *##########################################################

    ********************
    ProMED-mail makes every effort to  verify  the reports  that are  posted,  but  the  accuracy  and  completeness  of  the information,   and  of  any  statements  or  opinions  based thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in using information posted or archived by  ProMED-mail.   ISID and  its  associated  service  providers  shall not be  held responsible for errors or omissions or  held liable for  any damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon  posted or archived material.
    ***************
    Donate to ProMED-mail. Details available at:

    *
    ********************
    Visit ProMED-mail's web site at .

    "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

    by dancerat on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:46:12 PM PDT

  •  My raw milk seems a remarkable value (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind

    at just four dollars a gallon...especially since it gives me many of the same gifts you mention. What a lovely essay! Thank you.

  •  I loved this diary, It brought back memories of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimlessmind

    Bessie, our Jersey cow I mentioned in my diary, “The glass Churn”
       I drank nothing but raw milk in the 30’s.  Every one I knew did also.  I never knew anyone who got sick from milk.  I lived in an area of small farms.  Every one treated their animals humanly.  Cow's rear flanks were clipped close.  Most people were very conscious of disease.  Dishes were scalded as a rinse.  Bedding was boiled.  Everyone scrubbed their hands before sitting down at table.  If you touched the dog or cat on the way to sit for a meal, you were sent to scrub you hands again.  I have no problem with pasteurized milk but why homogenize it?  And how in the hell do you pasteurize an egg??    

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