20 Sep Raw Milk
On an almost daily basis, we receive calls asking if we sell raw milk. Our answer is always, “No, we don’t. It is illegal to sell raw milk to the public.” The caller is always surprised, then asks us if we know a dairy farmer who will sell raw milk. Our answer is again, “No, we don’t.”
The reasons for wanting to purchase raw milk vary. Some claim that raw milk tastes better than pasteurized milk, that the heating process, stainless steel tanks, and containers ruin the taste of milk. Cheese making is another reason given. Others want milk for medicinal purposes. They tell us that raw milk will help them cure cancer, or that drinking raw milk from a cow who has given birth to a bull calf will help the woman conceive a son. It doesn’t matter what the reason is; our answer is always the same.
As dairy farmers, we do everything we can to ensure that the milk we produce is the safest it can be, and yet we know that there is always the chance of contamination during the milking process. Raw milk can carry bacteria that cause severe illness ranging from vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and in some rare instances, death.
Bacteria-free milk is the reason behind pasteurization. Pasteurization was developed in the 1900’s to fight tuberculosis and brucellosis. Before pasteurization, milk products caused about 25% of all food-related disease outbreaks in the US. Today, pasteurized milk products are responsible for less than 1% of all food-borne outbreaks.
We stand behind the quality of our milk. It is our responsibility to provide the best product to the dairy industry and the consumer. And so, our answer is unchanged, “No raw milk sold here.”