Raw (non-pasteurised) cow's milk – an on-going debate

There are those who believe that their problems with cow's milk are a result not of an allergic reaction to the cow's milk proteins or an inability to digest cow's milk, but to the pasteurisation process which, in the process of killing off potentially harmful bacteria, also kills off all the good bacteria in the milk thus rendering it indigestible at least, and probably undigestible.

In the UK it is very hard to get unpasteurised, or green top, cow's milk as it can only be sold at the farm gate. (For a list of farms who do, see the The Real Milk Directory or the Seeds of Health website.) However, in the US raw milk is more commonly available through cooperatives and even, in California, Washington State, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, in retail stores.

However, concerns over the safety of raw milk remain, many experts, including government officials and scientists, warning that raw milk is a high risk food that potentially contains a wide variety of harmful bacteria – including Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella – that may cause illness and possibly death. As a result, two distributors in the North Western US (PCC Natural Markets and Whole Foods) are pulling out of raw milk supply.

However, such is the popularity of raw milk that in 2009, two leading public health agencies, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), held informational sessions to discuss the issue and decided that there was a need for an informational website entirely devoted to raw milk.

The site, www.realrawmilkfacts.com is 'designed to serve as a clearing house for scientific studies, presentations, commentaries, regulations, and position statements on the topic. Developed and reviewed by scientists and health educators in universities, government, industry, and trade organizations, the site offers news, Q&A, personal stories, and lucid analysis of the real risks and benefits of raw milk' although it would appear to be weighted in favour of the risks of raw milk rather than the benefits.

For more on the benefits of raw milk you might want to check out www.realmilk.com, a website run by the Weston A. Price Foundation,' a nonprofit charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples ... demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.

The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet ... and supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective ... Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.'

Another useful article by Jefferson Adams in the National Examiner

You can also buy raw milk at BigBarn.co.uk and Red23

March 2010


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