raw milk

Should raw milk be more readily available to those who want it? (In stores, etc.)

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Joined Jan 9, 2002
Ok, I don't want to get into a discussion over whether or not raw milk is better, the same, or worse than pasteurized milk (in terms of safety and nutrition).

All I want to know is, do you think that raw milk and raw milk products (such as raw cheeses and yogurts and butter) should be made available to the people who wish to consume it? Currently, it is illegal to sell raw milk in about half the US, in the other half, it can be bought from the farm, and in California they can actually carry it in stores but it has to be labeled unpasteurized and there are a lot of regulations over how and who can carry it.

I think it should be available to whoever wants it. After all, we sell cigarettes and alcohol, and those are a definite health risk, while unpasteurized products only carry a slight risk. Your chance of getting sick from unpasteurized milk these days (due to strict farm and herd health and cleanliness regulations) is about as good as getting sick from eggs or meat you buy from the store.

So, what do you think?
Joined Jan 5, 2001
I agree 100%!!!!!!!

I also find (and I haven't done any clinical studies about this or anything) that raw milk cheese are more digestible than pasteurized ones. I think the process kills a lot of enzymes that we probably need....
Joined Jan 9, 2002
That's my opinion as well- in fact, did you know that it's impossible to make cheese straight from pasteurized milk? The pasteurization process destroys enzymes necessary in the cheese-making process...so they have to add them back in when they make commercial cheeses! Crazy, ain't it?:crazy:
Joined Dec 4, 2001
I'm not sure about this one.
In an ideal world all the safe guards that are written on paper would be practiced in the production of these raw products. (I live in California and my local health food store carries a wide selection of raw dairy products.) But sadly the world is not perfect.
The state of the meat industry in this country is notoriously bad (like a lot of the meat they produce!) Government guidelines are routinely ignored. Proper inspections are rare and effective penalties are even more rare. There is no reason to think that raw dairy products would be any more rigorously monitored.
I also think that the fact that as a society we allow some unhealthy activities (alcohol and tobacco) is not a reason to permit another potentially hazardous product on the market.
It seems to me there is a reason why the industrialized world took to pateurizing in the first place. I can get my missing nutrients from another source.
This is a really interesting subject. Thank you for raising the question. I go to the health food store a lot but have never tasted raw dairy food. Maybe I'll get some on the way home tonight. Then maybe I'll change my mind!

Joined Sep 21, 2001
One of the great benefits of food science is the ability to test and monitor for food-borne pathogens. If we are able to keep tight controls on the product, then why would'nt it be safe? I think we are all conditioned to think that the only way to keep food safe is to sterilize, killing EVERYTHING in the process. I would like to see some low-risk associated foods, like raw milk cheese, to be made in the United States.
A cheese Renessaince in America. Think about it. We all learned to make beer. Maybe artisan cheese is next.
Oop, I might have started a trend!


Joined Apr 4, 2000
A few years ago our federal government decided to protect us from the danger of cheeses made with raw milk. There was such an uproar from the population they had to change their mind.
Joined Jan 9, 2002
I suppose if there's a warning on the package/accompanying the product so that the consumer knows the risks then fine by me. Works for Marlboro just fine, why not for raw milk products?
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Being a member of Slow Food - Greece I get all the press releases.
I was kind of inpressed by this one that's why I kept it in my archive.

I think that the site of Slow Food worths a visit. Above all it worth to join Slow Food community

Slow Food

Slow Food Manifesto in Defense of Raw-milk Cheese.

Raw-milk cheese is more than a wonderful food, it is a
deeply embedded expression of our finest traditions.
It is both an art and a way of life. It is a culture,
a heritage and a cherished landscape. And it is under
threat of extinction! Under threat because the values
it expresses are in opposition to the sanitation and
homogenisation of mass produced foods.

We call on all food-loving citizens of the world to
respond now to the defence of the unpasteurised cheese
tradition. A defence of a food that has for hundreds
of years inspired, given pleasure and provided
sustenance but is now being insidiously undermined by
the sterile hand of global hygiene controls. We call
for an end to all discriminatory regulations from EU,
WTO, Food and Drug Administration and other government
Institutions that needlessly restrict citizens'
freedom of choice to purchase these foods, and
threaten to destroy the livelihood of the artisanal
craftsmen who produce them.

We deplore attempts by regulatory authorities to
impose unattainable standards of production, in the
name of protecting human health. We believe that such
impositions will have the adverse effect of that
intended. The bacteriological health of our
unpasteurised dairy products is destroyed by
overzealous sterilization procedures. So will the
health of human beings be destroyed through a diet of
sterile food. Without any
challenge, our immune system will fail and our
medication become ineffective. Moreover the unique
flavour and aroma of the cheese are conserved by

We therefore call upon those who have it in their
power to safeguard the diversity and complexity of our
regional foods and the health and stability of our
rural communities to act now and ensure a flexible,
fair and appropriate regulatory framework; sensible
controls and a positive disposition concerning the

Be aware - that once the knowledge, skills and
commitment of this culture have been lost, they can
never be regained.

This Announcement has been distributed for
informational purposes only.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
I'm guessing that our immune systems will no longer be able to handle the bacteria in unpasteurized cheeses after a generation of eating pasteurized. I pity that person who unknowingly digs into a piece of unpasteurized cheese and gets sick, whereas had he been eating it all along, would have been fine. I think some of the sanitation rules here assume we can't judge for ourselves what is and isn't safe to eat. Why not educate the public, and let them decide for themselves (just like tobacco and alcohol)?
Joined Jan 9, 2002
When I was young we kept a cow or two for our own purposes and always drank the resulting milk . My mom made buttermilk and we had homemade butter. It really was delicious.

I don't know if it would cause intestinal upsets now if I drank it or not. We always had our cows tested so they were healthy, and we had no problems.

I know I really liked it. As to now..... I think I would be very cautious about from whom I bought it. I probably would be a little nervous about it . I would be in favor of being able to buy if the supplier was meeting all health regulations.
Joined Aug 4, 2000
I'm all for consumption of raw dairy products. However, their sanitation requires careful monitoring by microbiologists due to the occasional outbreak of salmonella contamination (I think). Not claiming to know it all, I'm certain that positive benefits of raw dairy consumption are real.
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Jock really puts a "!" to this topic; should the products be handled properly, things would be different.

We all make decisions to consume questionable products and unpasteurized milk can, in an imperfect world, be questionable. Undercooked eggs, shellfish, alcohol, etc all rank in the same catergory. I think the question may simply be a matter of demand. I have had the opportunity to sample unpasteurised milk and it is ethereal. Truly! Perhaps a grass-roots movement one day may find its way into the spotlight to make this luxury more readily available.

By the way, there was a wonderful BBC production appropriately named "Chef!" in the early 90s. One of the episodes deals with chef's attempt at procuring unpasteurised cheeses. Catch a rerun on your local PBS channel should you see it come about.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
As time moves on trends come and they go . Sometimes to the far right and sometimes to the far left . To be happy and free we need to practice acceptance and use common sense . I grew up with cows and fresh milk . Chicken dinners were normally fresh killed , pork was home grown , and fish and game complimented the larder greatly . The veggies came out of the garden and my memories were of good meals . I remember us kids used to love the cream that rose to the top of the milk after milking the cow.
I think that real food is great , we have been eating it for thousands of years and we should not stop now . Of course thats just my opinion ..................:D
Joined May 1, 2001
Raw milk and raw milk cheeses would present no health problem until the large commercial producers got hold of them. These are the people who made rare hamburgers and Steak Tartare history!
Joined Dec 4, 2001
Dave Bowers states my point more succinctly than I did. Thank you.

Joined Dec 4, 2001
Where have you been Kimmie? Haven't heard from you in a while.

:) :bounce:



Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
I voted yes on this. But I don't think it should be sold to the general public. All the warnings in the world won't do us any good. There are still going to be people out there who don't have a clue. Look at how many people still smoke! Besides, when was the last time your parents told you not to do something and you went ahead and did it anyway knowing full well it wasn't the right thing to do? :)

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