Various food faddist friends of mine swear by their organic raw (unpasteurized) milk and their rare to raw organic ground beef, in both cases obtained from local cooperatives.
I’ve always minimized e coli fears generally on the rationale that it’s really only remotely dangerous for the young/old/immunocompromised, which ain’t me. And (mainly from the raw cheese debate, which gets pretty passionate among gourmands) I’d bought into the general proposition that serious illness from raw milk was vanishingly rare. I’m on the fence as to the alleged affirmative taste and health (probiotic, etc. etc.) benefits of uncooked meat/dairy, as I’ve neither eaten much or seen much research, but I always figured that the downside was probably overcautiously overplayed.
Then I came across this website, which hailing as it does from a plaintiffs’ lawyer who sues food processing companies, obviously is not to be taken without a grain of salt.
This guy basically says you’d be an idiot to touch ANY hamburger or raw milk, and provides horror stories about death destruction and mutilation, including among healthy adults, from e coli in burgers or raw milk. Without having looked through too much, I can’t dismiss the data he cites.
So first question: just how risky is it to eat a rare burger or raw milk? How flawed is my smug supposition that my stalwart, youngish immune system will beat the Hell out of any bacteria that do slip through before I get much more than a bellyache (that’s almost certainly over-sanguine, but am I really running a meaningful risk of paralysis, necrosis, etc.?).
Second, what about this: I buy some of these kits, run each new batch of raw milk/meat through this culture, and if it’s cool after 24 hours, enjoy some wholesome if slightly-less-fresh tasty goodness?