Friday, October 14, 2011

Raw Milk vs Whole Milk

There has been for some time an issue regarding the sale of raw milk.  It is against the law to sell raw milk.  Raw milk just means that it hasn't been pasteurized, a quick heat treatment and cooling process that kills most bacteria in milk.  It's not about dirty milk, pasteurization doesn't clean the milk...if there is cow poop in the milk, then your milk will be brown.  It's about killing unsafe contaminants that can be spread to humans by drinking cows' milk. 

The usual disease culprit is that of tuberculosis, which can be contracted through raw cows' milk but with pasteurization, the bTB bacteria are killed and your milk is "safe" again.  Not all cows have tuberculosis.  In fact, tuberculosis in cows was eradicated in Canada in the 1950's through a major cull.

My point is not about tuberculosis, but more about the holistic ideals that "raw milk cures".  People swear that because they have been drinking raw milk, they have been saved from disease and their families are healthier.  That could well be, but do you think that maybe it's not because you are drinking raw milk but because you are drinking "whole" milk? 

Pasteurization is only done to kill bacteria and any type of contaminant that can be affected at temperatures of up to 77 degrees Celcius.  But because these people are drinking the natural product, straight-from-the-cow, raw milk, they are drinking whole milk that has probably four percent fat or higher.  When a cow is milked, she is producing an average 4% milk, not this reduced fat, pasteurized milk that you buy at the store.  When you go to the store and buy your 2% milk, 1%, or even skim milk, you are not getting the full fat milk that the cow produced at the farm.  The fat is reduced for your health conscious minds because you think you may get fat if you drink high fat milk.  Well did you think that maybe you might get healthy?

Maybe this raw milk issue would be a non-issue if processors sold pasteurized whole milk that we could all enjoy.  The CFIA inspectors would be happy because it would be safe to drink without fear of disease, farmers wouldn't have to go to jail because they are selling an illegal raw milk product, and you can lead a healthy, happy life because you know you are drinking natural whole milk the way the cow intended....just without possible disease contaminants

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