Saturday, March 15, 2008

Demand for raw milk on the rise

There's an interesting article in the Boston Globe ( about more dairies selling raw milk.

It says that demand for raw milk is growing in the United States. In Massachusetts, the number of dairies licensed to sell raw milk has grown from 12 to 23 in the past two years. Also, according to the Northeast Organic Farming Association, dairies are selling more raw milk than they were just five years ago, and consumers call in every week looking for advice on where to find it.

Raw milk advocates say raw milk is healthy because it contains good bacteria, enzymes and raw fats that help to boost your immune system and aid digestion. Anecdotal and scientific reports support the health benefits. For instance, a study by researchers at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Basel in Switzerland found that children who drank raw milk had a lower risk of asthma and allergies.

The FDA warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria and says that drinking it is "like playing Russian roulette with your health." That's probably true if you drank raw milk from factory farmed cows living in filthy dry lots, but milk from pasture-fed cows on clean, well-run farms is full of things that your body will thrive on, like good bacteria, raw fat, cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and much more.

Raw milk can be sold for human consumption in 28 states, but only eight states allow it to be sold in stores. As a result, many people have begun to form buying clubs that buy raw milk directly from the dairy.

To find a source for raw dairy in your area, go to


Mama du Monde said...

Hi Cathe,

I have considered consuming raw milk in the past but have been hesitant because of what the FDA has been telling consumers. Although, now that I think about it, I'm sure their motives for distributing this type of information are not pure.
Do you and your family consume raw milk products? If so do you find any difference in quality, taste, texture, etc.?


Cathe Olson said...

We don't actually eat much dairy - partly because it's really hard to track down raw dairy and partly because I don't think a lot of dairy is that healthy and a lot because of the way dairy cows are treated (though a small dairy with pasture fed cows producing raw milk is much different from the factory farms I believe).

My health food store does carry raw milk cheese so when we get cheese, that's what I buy. I have had raw goat's and cow's milk a few times. I'm not really sure about the taste difference since we don't drink milk - so I can't compare. The yogurt from it though was really delicious - I love the cream on the top.

According to what I've read, raw milk does supposedly taste much better. Also, my brother who all during our childhood would get extremely sick from dairy products, worked at a Waldorf School/Farm and had no problem with raw dairy.

Allison Fouse said...

Yes, I've heard about people who cannot tolerate pasteurized milk products that can tolerate raw milk products. I've read that it is attributed to the pasteurization process. Apparently it kills off the enzymes that naturally occur in milk that help the body to digest it.

Thanks for the info.!

Anonymous said...

There's a raw milk outbreak going on now. Campylobacter and Yersinia enterocolitica have both been isolated in the patients. My lab is testing the milk from one of the Campylobacter patient's home today.

If you seriously oppose factory farmed milk, that's good. But there are a group of people sick right now, and it's really, really hard to dispute how they got sick. If you must buy natural milk and you are hesitant about commercial pasteurization, please cook it on your own stove before you eat or drink it.

Or just go vegan and skip the dairy altogether. I, for one, never quite saw the point of consuming another animal's milk, especially after weaning age.