Here’s a summary of my thoughts on the topic (hint, I think it’s ridiculous we can’t buy raw milk):
- Milk is the only food we cannot buy raw. Why?
- We’re not asking for it to be sold in stores, just allow farmers to sell it.
Drinking raw milk is not illegal, just selling and distributing it is. Why? Farmers can produce it and drink it themselves, but unless you live on that farm you can’t have any. Something doesn’t seem right.
- Plenty of dairy farmers drink their milk raw.
Every dairy farmer I’ve talked to has no worries about drinking raw milk. Even dairy farmers who then sell their milk as pasteurized. They aren’t getting sick on this stuff.
- Pasteurized milk is not necessarily safe.
Believing pasteurization removes any risk from food boorne illness is incorrect. Even if pasteurization killed all bacteria, the bottling and handling stages of milk processing can still cause contamination. Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurization is supposed to kill even more pathogens. Many people have noticed however that this dead milk can’t be used for making yogurt or kefir properly. I don’t think any of us want to be eating a food that can’t support life. UHT pasteurized milk is about on the same level as margarine for health.
- Pasteurized milk makes me sick.
It does, I’ve tried it more than once. I get the snotty-nosed reaction first, bloating and sometimes stomach cramps. Anyone who thinks milk is a ‘mucous-producing food’ probably haven’t tried raw milk or ferments made from raw milk.
- Plenty of other foods can make you sick.
Spinach, tomatoes, cold cuts, ground beef, peanut butter, cookie dough and pretty much any packaged food are probably more recognized by the general public as being dangerous foods than milk.
- Why don’t we have the freedom to choose what we eat?
IT’s JUST FOOD! I’d rather our government be spending money on actual crimes and not harassing farmers who are selling a food that people want and should have every right to buy.
- The raw milk law discriminates against non-farmers
It’s legal to drink raw milk in Canada. It’s not legal to sell or distribute it. This means that unless you live on a farm you cannot drink raw milk. So really, only farmers can drink raw milk legally in Canada.
There are so many things you can do with raw milk, like making your own cheeses and sour cream. I once left jars of raw cream out on the counter and they went sour. I turned some into a delicious butter and the rest was thick tangy sour cream. You can’t do that with pasteurized milk. Leave it out on the counter and it goes bad pretty fast with mold or clumps of rotting mess. So why shouldn’t I have the right to buy a raw ingredient I want to make other things with? I also use my raw milk for yogurt and kefir, and prefer starting from the raw ingredient.
The best place I’ve found to keep up to date on all raw milk news is http://thebovine.wordpress.com
There’s an interesting article with a poll on it (as of Setp 29, 2011) at http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/09/should-raw-milk-be-sold-in-canada.html which may be a little biased getting lots of support from raw milk drinkers. However, it does go to show that the raw milk issue among non-supporters is really not that important.