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Going green is all the rage these days and science generally supports the trend. Because of that, farmers’ markets, organic grocery stores, food co-ops, and homegrown foods have spiked. Most would agree that unprocessed and organic food is often better for you, except for dairy.

Unpasteurized milk has been brought into the limelight recently. Many people assume that “all natural” means its healthier than pasteurized milk. This is not the case. The pasteurization process does affect some vitamins in the milk such as thiamine, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. However milk is not a major source of these vitamins.

The risks of unpasteurized milk are quite significant. Unpasteurized milk can carry foodborne diseases such as Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E. coli. Symptoms of these diseases may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, and body aches. The infections are especially harmful to pregnant women, the elderly, children, and people with weaker immune systems. In more severe cases, these illnesses can cause hospitalization, chronic symptoms, and even death.

Not all states have outlawed unpasteurized milk. However, federal law prohibits distributing raw milk across state lines if it has been packaged for consumption. This means raw milk can be moved from state to state if it is transported to plants to be pasteurized or if it is being used to make aged cheese. Many believe that aging cheese for 60 days or more kills foodborne diseases. That issue is now under review by the FDA.

Recently in North Carolina, 8 people who complained of food poisoning were found to have all consumed unpasteurized milk from the Tucker Adkins Dairy in York, S.C. Three of the people were confirmed to have campylobacteriosis and the other five were suspected to have the illness. One of the affected individuals was hospitalized.

Tests of raw milk samples from the dairy were negative for Campylobacter, however according to epidemiologists, Campylobacter jejuni "is notoriously difficult to culture from environmental speciments other than raw stool." The FDA is continuing to test the dairy’s production process.

People should be aware of the dairy products they consume. They should check the labels of dairy products. Dairy products are not required to be labeled as pasteurized. If the carton doesn’t specify that the product was pasteurized, consumers should ask.

Image: FDA


  1. Gravatar for bachcole

    "Big Government Associated with Outbreak of FDA Tyranny in the United States of America". That is what your headline should have read.

  2. Gravatar for Pierce Egerton

    Roger: I know you are a big supporter of Kefir and would like to see it made legal to ship raw milk across state lines. But surely you don't object to alerting the public in the event of an outbreak?

  3. Gravatar for bachcole

    Dear Pierce Egerton, I am actually a kind hearted and well intentioned person, with an ugly temper. I definitely want people alerted to any food borne illness. But I feel like the FDA et. al. are doing these raids to scare people away from raw milk because they are basically in sympathy with Big Dairy, if not in Big Dairy's employ.

    My boy was healed of allergies with kefir and/or raw milk (not necessarily together). I have known for a long time that scientists trip over themselves all the time. For example, we know of say X numbers of nutrients in say milk. So if those nutrients are still there after pasteurization, then the pasteurized milk must be good. But it assumes that your figure of X number of nutrients is correct. Scientists are constantly discovering new nutrients, and I can't wait for you to discover them. I am not going to wait the 20 to 40 years for science to go mainstream. In the case of milk, you missed the enzymes. And just because mainstream science does not recognize the importance of enzymes does not mean that they are not there. My precious darling boy's body seems to recognize something in the raw milk that you guys missed.

    We have gone too far distancing ourselves from nature. There is a balance point, which we need to get back to.

    Furthermore, the FDA has such a bloody history of lying to Congress and everyone else, ignoring Congress and the courts, drawing guns on innocent and harmless people, overlooking heart health claims by Frito-Lay et. al., while demonizing Diamond Walnut and sending threatening letters to them, sending threatening letters to Dr. Andrew Weil, and etc. etc. etc. etc., that I trust them to lie each and every time.

    Meanwhile, I will await your response by going down to my kitchen and having a huge kefir-blueberry smoothie and playing with my adorable doggies.

  4. Gravatar for Pierce Egerton

    Thanks Roger. I appreciate the dialog and feel your comments added balance and a greater perspective on the issue. Cheers! Pierce

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