Is Raw Milk Dangerous
Crafting a nutritionally dense and healthy diet for yourself and or family is not done by making food choices based on incomplete information, fads, the latest study, or report. There are lots of articles and reports out there warning against consuming raw milk. If you are going to make up your mind based on a few reports or articles, I can't convince you otherwise. However, if you truly want to know if raw milk is safe and healthy to drink, do your homework and research in depth on both sides of the debate, or talk to someone who has.
Whenever you eat food, any food, you are taking a risk of a food born illness. Statistically, raw spinach and other vegetables and fruits are much more likely to produce a food born illness than responsibly produced raw milk. So why don't you ever see articles and reports warning you to not eat fresh vegetables and fruits? Frankly, it all comes down to profit. There just isn't a more profitable way to produce fresh fruits and vegetables than growing them in the ground and selling them in all their raw deliciousness. They can't be grown in filthy conditions, by sickly plants, then heated to high temperatures to kill harmful bacteria and still have something that resembles a fresh vegetable or fruit. Milk on the other hand, is a different story.
It can be produced in filthy conditions, by sickly cows and then pasteurized. This is very cost effective for the producer, but terrible for the health of the consumer, as well as the environment. If all milk producers were required to have the same standards as certified raw milk producers, it would wipe out their business and they know it. So, as long as they can keep people terrified of raw milk, they are in business. Interestingly, pasteurized milk is also more likely to carry harmful bacteria because the good-protective bacteria have been killed by the high temperatures of pasteurization.
Some people have turned to nut, soy and coconut milk, which are most often highly processed and improperly prepared. While soaked, homemade and organic nut milk is much better than the highly processed store versions, it is nutritionally very low, unlike raw milk which is the most nutritionally dense food we have. Milk should be alive, full of bio-available nutrients, healthy fat, and beneficial bacteria. Luckily certified raw milk producers in most states are required to test for pathogens. When a harmful bacteria is present, they pull their product until it tests safe. Different states have different requirements, so check to find out what your state requires. Some certified raw milk producers go beyond the requirements by testing each and every batch, so get to know your producer and their handling procedures. Unlike certified raw milk producers in most states, raw vegetable and fruit producers don't test for pathogens and my kids have gotten sick several times from strawberries- not fun! Even so, we still enjoy strawberries and while all foods are capable of carrying bacteria that can produce a food born illness, ranging from unpleasant to very serious, we can't avoid eating. Sadly, many people do avoid the most healthy option when it comes to milk: they don't drink raw milk, or they drink pasteurized milk, nut milk, soy milk and coconut milk, or forgo milk altogether, but each of these options will leave a person in a nutritional deficit. So, let's keep things in perspective when it comes to responsibly produced raw milk.