Raw milk? Yes or No?
Since a lot of people are trying to eat more natural and less processed foods, it may seem tempting to consider switching to raw milk.
Consuming raw milk is dangerous because, unlike milk you buy at the grocery store, raw milk isn’t pasteurized. When milk is pasteurized, it’s heated up to 161 degrees F for 20 seconds to kill off disease-causing bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli illnesses. These illnesses are caused by bacteria and can range from diarrhea and vomiting to paralysis, kidney failure, and stroke. While anyone can get sick from drinking raw milk, young children, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system are especially at risk! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of outbreaks related to the consumption of raw milk continues to rise in the United States as raw milk has become more popular.
Even raw milk that comes from small, local or organic farms, that doesn’t mean it is safe. Even the most hygienic dairy farms are still breeding grounds for bacteria that thrive on cow’s skin, the dirt, rodents, and feces, that are found in all dairy farms. If even a tiny amount of this bacteria is transferred to milk, the bacteria can grow and multiply rapidly.
Since you can’t tell if milk is contaminated by drinking, smelling, or sipping it, it is best to stick with pasteurized milk and stay safe. Overall, trying to eat more natural and less processed foods is a good thing, but, for dairy, a little processing (pasteurization) is a good thing!