FDA and Raw milk

It seems crazy to me that in a country where I can buy a beer, a gun, tobacco, and countless useless food supplements that the FDA feels that the line in the sand that cannot be crossed is drinking raw milk.

Raw milk has improved flavor and culinary uses and the pasteurization process destroys vitamins and enzymes which are beneficial. In many places however it would be easier to buy marijuana than raw milk. Why do we give them this control over our food choices?

Because irony is a bitch.

I believe it is not illegal to sell raw milk, but it is illegal to offer it for sale to the general public. I bought and consumed raw milk for many years. bought from a dairyman who was willing to sell it to me andn other people that he personally knew who asked him for it.

By the way, Camel milk does not need to be pasteurized. I just came back from Somalia, where nearly all milk for human consumption is from camels, and is not subject to the kinds of pathogens that cow’s milk does. I drank raw camel milk every day, and suffered no dubious effects. It is sold at room temperature.

Selling raw milk across state lines is illegal, interstate sales are regulated by the state.

Intrastate, you mean. Interstate commerce is specifically under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Because they looked at guns and decided they totes have the power to regulate those and just chose not to.

Hear is the CDC’s take on it.

Hey, once I can get my Kinder Eggs you can have your raw milk.

Being a raw-milker is not unlike being an anti-vaxxer- there seems to be some overlap in these crowds, too.


False, or at best highly misleading, as the CDC link demonstrates. More here:

People who claim we need enzymes found in raw milk seem unacquainted with the human digestive tract, which breaks down proteins (including enzymes) before they are absorbed as constituent amino acids. This is why “enzyme therapy” is basically a scam.

We give regulators control over dangerous and falsely advertised food choices, which I believe is a good thing.

Well, you know and are told booze, guns, & tobacco are bad for you.

But unpastuerized milk sellers will tell you it’s totally harmless and very much good for you. They are lying.

It has no benefits and can be quite dangerous.

Yes, if you have Bossy in the backyard and you drink her milk, fine.

But with 10000 cows most of who you dont know and arent able to check the health of- you’re taking a very real risk.
And of course Bossy’s milk is mixed with many, many other cows, and it only takes one infected source to infect the whole batch.

From the CDC: “It was invented in a time when millions of people became sick and died of diseases like tuberculosis, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, and other infections that were transmitted through raw milk.”

Did you see that word “millions” in there?

Note that these are communicable diseases (well, duh). So some idjit’s kids get sick from drinking raw milk and endangers a whole school of kids. This makes it a public health concern and the many need to be protected from the few.

Both sets of grandparents were dairy farmers. I had an uncle who died young from TB. The mostly imaginary benefits of raw milk don’t come anywhere close to balancing the risks.

Yet people consume it all the time in France.

Not a lot. 95.5% of the milk consumed in France is UHT, or ultrapasteurized milk, which is heated to about 275° F. and requires no refrigeration.

Here’s a thread from a month ago we did on raw milk.

Here’s one we did in 2008.

Serious question:
Would you drink irradiated milk?

Which did not address my quoted point. There is a difference, legally, between “offering for sale to the general public” and “accepting an offer from a person who expresses a wish to buy”.

And given that they mention vegetable milks and what I personally see in stores in France and Spain, I suspect a big chunk of the “non-UHT milk” isn’t even cow milk; another big chunk is pasteurized.

Sheep milk for example is currently a growing market in both Spain and France, and it is sold pasteurized. Refrigerated sections in supermarkets in Spain and France that say “fresh milk” or “short-life milk” are pasteurized milk. And the “new”* vegetable milks are shelf-stable, often due to being UHT; horchata de chufa, which stayed a summer drink for many years because its organoleptic properties did not stand pasteurization well, is now being sold UHT and I sure can’t tell the difference, it’s been one of those “OMG, why didn’t anybody think of this before?” discoveries.

  • Some of them such as almond milk used to be made but had fallen into disuse.

Indeed. One of things I noticed during a European holiday (mainly Switzerland) was the difficulty in getting fresh milk. we quickly got used to the taste of UHT.

As noted, you can in fact obtain raw milk it’s just really inconvenient unless you happen to own a cow or live near someone who does.

I agree the supplement situation in this country is stupid.

The vitamin and enzymes things are bullshit. Especially in the modern first world, and even in the US, where food is plentiful and it’s rare for anyone to have actual vitamin deficiencies. The health benefits of keeping the milk supply disease-free far outweighs any minor dent in the vitamin profile of pasteurized milk.

Do you recoil in horror from products with cooked milk? That’s far less raw than pasteurized milk.

Presumably, there’s a higher demand for marijuana than for raw milk. I also suspect the penalty in most place for buying weed is higher, too - aside from the possibility of picking up a disease from raw milk. The CDC link above gives the stats on that. It does happen.

Because before we did thousands of people became sick, and even died, every year. Why do give the government control over safety standards at meat packing plants? Why do we have rules for food production and handling? Because it saves lives, even the lives of people who are unaware of history and believe the snake-oil on certain foods having magic “enzymes”.

Personally, I see this sort of like eating sushi: there is a certain inherent risk in doing so, and anyone doing so should be fully informed of that risk. Even though sushi is legal in the US the default for serving fish is “cooked”. Likewise, the default for milk should be “pasteurized”.