Raw Milk Outbreak Should Make You Rethink What You Drink

Health Check 61

raw milk Raw milk is one of those food debates that continues to rage on as consumers fight for their right to consume what they want, and the government tries to protect them from making themselves sick and dying. A recent outbreak of illness caused by raw milk in Pennsylvania is sure to add fuel to this fire.

At least 78 people have fallen ill, including at least one toddler. All have been linked to unpasteurized milk from The Family Cow dairy. At least nine have been hospitalized.

While I understand the desire to eat and drink as naturally as possible, sometimes nature makes us sick. As Sarah Klein, an attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told USA Today:

These are still animals, they defecate inches from where the milk is produced. They stand in it, they swat their tails through it. That’s all very natural. It’s just a matter of course that raw milk is contaminated.

Louis Pasteur was a smart guy and invented pasteurization for this reason. According to a report in USA Today, unpasteurized milk is "150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness outbreaks than pasteurized milk, and such outbreaks had a hospitalization rate 13 times higher than those involving pasteurized dairy products." Seventeen states have actually outlawed the sale of the milk because it's so dangerous.

So why would anyone take such a risk? Proponents believe in its power and say that pasteurization kills the good properties in milk. They believe it's better quality as it usually comes from small farms, with animals who are well cared for.

All of that definitely has merit, but I still personally wouldn't drink it, and would rather be safe than sick. If other people want to take the risk, then I think that should be their choice, but I think it's an irresponsible choice to give raw milk to children who can suffer potentially fatal effects if infected. There's just too much evidence documenting its dangers that I can't imagine anyone taking that kind of chance with their children's health.

I believe outlawing the sale of raw milk goes too far, but I do think this outbreak is a good reason to make everyone rethink what they and their families drink. Of course, there are risks with any food, and we see outbreaks daily, so whether it's raw milk, ground beef, sprouts, or eggs, we're really all only bites and sips away from illness any given moment no matter what we do.

Do you drink raw milk? Do you think it's irresponsible for parents to give it to children?

Image via kthread/Flickr

eating healthy, healthy habits, natural health


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amy7243 amy7243

We do not drink raw milk but I know alot of people that do.

Wendy Hanson

I would drink raw milk if i knew the farmer and i knew his cows were the kind that don't poop.


Procr... Procrastamom

@Mama2monkeyboys - Hee!  Great comment....I wonder if they ever will come up with a way?

@Wendy Hanson - My farmer gets chocolate milk from the brown cows, half & half from the spotted ones and ice cream from cows in the North!  I feel the worst for the ones that do milkshakes, though (sad face).


Procr... Procrastamom

A blonde heard that milk baths would make her beautiful.

She left a note for her milkman to leave 15 gallons of milk. 

When the milkman read the note he felt there must be a mistake. He thought she probably meant 1.5 gallons, so he knocked on the door to clarify the point.

The blonde came to the door and the milkman said, "I found your note to leave 15 gallons of milk. Did you mean 1.5 gallons?"

The blonde said, "I want 15 gallons. I'm going to fill my bathtub up with milk and take a milk bath."

The milkman asked, "Pasteurized?"

The blonde said, "No, just up to my boobs will do."

LOswa... LOswald0314

You can get sick from almost anything we eat...

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I don't drink raw milk and don't give it to my kids.

Angelica Medina

Dont give this to your children. There are other milk substitutes out there that taste good and have good health benefits like soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk.

Charlene Connell

I think...that food borne outbreaks are fairly common and that if we rethought everything we ate based on one outbreak somewhere, we'd have to eat...nothing. But it is a good reason to be careful of WHERE you get your food from and who provides it.  But not what food you eat.  

MelaS... MelaSparks

What's really interesting is how often people fall ill from storebought, pasteurized milk...and how that never makes the headlines. Don't believe me? Do your own research. I have had food poisoning from store milk twice - both times requiring hospitalization - but not once from the raw milk we have ben drinking for years. Educate yourselves before forming an opinion, folks.

Renae Douglas

Ciggarettes are perfectly legal in all 50 states and they kill over 12,000 people every single year.

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