Feb 09 2010

Raw Milk Silliness

Tom Naughton has a good post today about raw milk.  He looked up the regulations for raw milk in a bunch of different states, and had some fun with how stupid they are.  My favorite is Nevada:

Raw milk sales are legal but, in practice, there are no raw milk sales in the state. In order for a farmer to obtain a permit from the state dairy commission to produce and distribute raw milk, the county milk commission must first certify the farm for the production of raw milk or a raw milk product. There has never been a county milk commission in existence at any time, so to this point, there has been a de facto prohibition of raw milk sales.

Most of us who saw “Brazil” took it as a warning.  Apparently some government folks took it as an inspiration.

And here’s a very good article from a raw milk drinker, telling the story of how they had to work their way through a chain of confidences to contact the raw milk “underground” so they could start getting some.  It also covers the evidence that raw milk is safe and healthy, and why that’s the case.  As the author says, it’s amazing that milk is the only food that you can’t buy unprocessed in most states.  You can buy everything else raw—meat, vegetables, fruit, grain, etc.—and decide for yourself how much you want to cook or process it, but not milk.  Once upon a time, it was sort of about safety, but that’s not what it’s about now at all.  It’s inertia and corporate protectionism, plain and simple.

We drink raw milk and cream and make yogurt from it, but unfortunately we mostly still eat pasteurized cheese.  Hard cheeses like cheddar are just a lot of work, but one of these days I’ll give cheesemaking another shot.

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