My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard- Raw Milk Redo

I’m reposting this article because PattyAnn asked me too and because I think it’s important that this information is shared. People often discard this kind of information as quackery because they think it’s “New Age”, or just plain weird. Well heck, why should the smelly hippies have the corner on great health?

I took my time rewriting this article (I accidentally deleted the first one) because I wanted to make sure I found sources that backed my claim scientifically and were not just zealots out to defend their cause at any price. People like that tend to discredit causes. I know it’s a long article for most attention spans, but please, at least skim it so you have the basic information, because unless you run in those “hippy” circles, you probably won’t see/hear this information again.

I cannot get raw milk in my state. Raw milk is bad, mmmkay? I have to sneak around and meet my “dealer” in a parking lot because someone, somewhere decided to make raw milk illegal.  Raw milk kills, pasteurized milk does not. That’s the story and the lawmakers, the Dept. of Agriculture and certain government subsidized dairy farmers, are sticking to it. 

I decided I wanted to try raw milk after I’d found out about the health benefits. I thought, ok I’ll just go to the grocery store and pick some up. No dice. I’m from California where it was legal, I had no idea it was illegal in other states. Where I’m at now, it’s illegal to buy or sell raw milk with the intent to consume. Cool huh? The only way you can purchase it is if it’s for pet consumption.

You can, however drink the milk if it’s from a cow you own. Not everybody has room for a cow in their backyard, so people have started cow co-ops, or “cow sharing” programs.  This is when several people pitch in to buy a cow and board it at a farm somewhere. Then they can legally drink that cow’s milk. Of course the Dept. of Agriculture has found out about this and is pushing to have even this loophole closed.

I had to call around to find my “dealer”. It took me quite a while and with each call I had to assure the nervous voice on the other end of the line that this was solely for my pet’s consumption. Most of the time the farmers were sold out. There’s a high demand for raw milk and it’s too difficult to have a lot of cows to meet that demand and have your cows continue to be pasture fed, which is the only way to go.

I finally found someone and we agreed to meet the next week. I had to drive 40min. away and meet in a grocery store parking lot. She had to drive 40 min. to meet me at this location as well. I was told in no uncertain terms that if the cops showed up, I needed to scatter. Holy cow! Do you know how exciting this was for a bored stay at home mom? Wow, I’m such a rebel.

I pulled into the parking lot at the agreed upon time and parked my car. I observed several other cars with women sitting in them. I eyed them with suspicion. I wondered if that chick over there that looked like your stereotypical housewife was really an undercover agent for the Dept. of Agriculture. After all, it wasn’t an unrealistic thought, right? I mean they had just busted that poor Amish farmer in a raw milk sting, didn’t they? Good grief. A sting? Really? This is not heroin we’re talking about people, it’s milk.

A very long white van pulled into the parking lot and three women popped out. It was a mom and her two daughters. They looked as if they’d just stepped out of a “Little House on the Prairie” film set with their hair coverings and their simple dresses.  It was clear these women were hardened criminals. They were engaged in illicit activities, you know. Oh and so was I, how exciting!

The other women exited their vehicles, and promptly, without word, lined-up at the back of the van. The money was exchanged ($10 a gallon) and milk and produce and free-range eggs were then handed out. I put them in the ice chest in my car and went home. I hoped this stash lasted till the following week because that’s how long I’d have to wait to get my next fix. The kids and I put this stuff to work immediately. They got a kick out of making butter. I enjoy my smoothies. You’ve never had a fruit smoothie till you’ve had one made with creamy, delicious raw milk. 

I will admit I had to get over the mental block of having “raw” milk at first. The idea of drinking it almost straight from the teat kinda grossed me out. To this day I have never sat down and just had a glass of milk. I don’t care for raw milk, or any milk like that. I love it for smoothies and cooking and butter and cream for my coffee ( I did have to acquire a taste for that kind of cream in my coffee). My kids on the other hand, really like a cold glass of raw milk.

Why is it illegal? It just doesn’t make sense.  After all you can die from raw oysters and even spinach, but they’re not illegal. Well the difference, one would argue, is raw milk is pasteurized and that makes it safe, right? Well, think again.

January 8, 2008– A third man who consumed products from a central Massachusetts dairy that were tainted with bacteria has died, the state health dept. said this week. The number of people sickened by listeria bacteria also rose to five after health officials linked a 31-year-old woman’s listeriosis, diagnosed in September, to products from the diary Health Officials say the bacteria entered Whittier Farms’ milk supply after it was pasteurized. (Can you figure out who emphasized that?) Two of those victims, a 78-year-old man and a 75-year-old man, died in June and October. Another elderly man and a pregnant woman survived, although the woman miscarried.

On October 30, 1985– The Wisconsin Division of Health was informed by the state poison control center of two elementary schoolchildren who presented with severe burning of the mouth and throat, as well as nausea. The symptoms developed within 1 hour of drinking milk packaged in half-pint containers with an expiration date of 11/9 from a Wisconsin milk processor. An investigation into the source of the milk determined that, 5 days previously, the milk processor had noted an ammonia leak in one of its cooling chambers, where approximately 250,000 half-pint milk containers with an expiration date of 11/9 were stored. The liquid ammonia, used to cool the tanks and stored under pressure, had sprayed about the storage tank for an undetermined number of hours.

April13, 2000- Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium Infection from Milk Contaminated after Pasteurization.. .. We reviewed the published literature and identified 12 outbreaks in the United States between 1960 and 2000 that were associated with pasteurized milk.

There were many more examples I found just from a basic internet search, but I think you get the picture.

That the consumption of raw milk carries some risk is undeniable. The question is whether raw milk carries a unique risk that distinguishes it from other foods ordinarily consumed- such as pasteurized milk, produce, hot dogs, or deli meats. The FDA does not make this comparison. The second question that must be addressed is how milk can best be made safe. The FDA considers pasteurization the only option and ignores other measures such as improved sanitation and pasture-based farming.

Did you know that if you set a glass of “raw” milk on the counter for several days you get cream (you actually the get cream within a few hours) to make butter, you will be able to make buttermilk, kefir, whey and even yogurt? If you set a glass of pasteurized milk on the counter for a couple of hours, you get rotten milk. The kind of rot that makes you wanna vomit when you smell it. This is because pasteurizing kills the beneficial bacteria that turns milk sour (buttermilk) instead of rotten.

Heat alters milk’s amino acids lyseine and tyrosene, making the whole complex of proteins less available; it promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids and destruction of vitamins. Vitamin C loss in pasteurization usually exceeds 50 percent; loss of other water-soluble vitamins can run as high as 80 percent; the Wulzen or anti-stiffness factor is totally destroyed as is vitamin B-12, needed for healthy blood and a properly functioning nervous system. Pasteurization reduces the availability of milk’s mineral components, such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and sulphur, as well as many trace minerals. There is some evidence that pasteurization alters lactose, making it more readily absorbable. This, and the fact that pasteurized milk puts an unnecessary strain on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes, may explain why milk consumption in civilized societies has been linked with diabetes. (Maclaren, N, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, Jul 1992, 327:5:348-9)

Last but not least, pasteurization destroys all the enzymes in milk- in fact, the test for successful pasteurization is absence of enzymes. These enzymes help the body assimilate all bodybuilding factors, including calcium. That is why those who drink pasteurized milk may suffer from osteoporosis. Lipase in raw milk help the body digest and utilize butterfat.(Fallon, Sally, et al, Nourishing Traditions, NewTrends Publishing, Washington DC, 1999, p34-35)

After pasteurization, chemicals may be added to suppress odor and restore taste. Synthetic vitamin D-2or D-3 is added-the former is toxic and has been linked to heart disease (Fraser, DR, The Lancet, Jan 14, 1995, 345:8942:104-105; Buist, RA International Clinical Nutrition Reviews, 1984 4:4:159-171) while the latter is difficult to absorb. (Thomas, M K, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, Mar 19, 1998, 338(12):777-83) The final indignity is homogenization, which has also been linked to heart disease. .(Fallon, Sally, et al, Nourishing Traditions, NewTrends Publishing, Washington DC, 1999, p34-35)

All of these are great reasons not to drink pasteurized milk, but there’s just so many more reasons. I mean think about it, today’s cow just ain’t right.

[T]he milk sold in your supermarket is bad for everybody, partly because the modern cow is a freak of nature. A century ago cows produced two or three gallons per day; today’s Holsteins routinely give three or four times as much. This is accomplished by selective breeding to produce cows with abnormally active pituitary glands and by high-protein feeding. The pituitary gland not only produces hormones that stimulate the production of milk, it also produces growth hormones. Recently the FDA approved a genetically engineered growth hormone for cows. These hormones are identical to those produced by the pituitary gland in today’s high-production cows. This practice will simply add to the high level of bovine growth hormones that have been present in our milk for decades. These hormones are present in the water fraction of the milk, not in the butterfat. Babies receive growth hormones from their mothers through their mothers’ milk. Small amounts of these hormones are necessary and moderate amounts are not harmful, but a superfluity can result in growth abnormalities. Excessive pituitary hormones are also associated with tumor formation and some studies link milk consumption with cancer. The freak-pituitary cow is prone to many diseases. She almost always secretes pus into her milk and needs frequent doses of antibiotics.

Another serious problem with today’s dairying methods is the feeding of high-protein soybean meal to the cows. This stimulates them to produce large quantities of milk but contributes to a high rate of mastitis and other problems that lead to sterility, liver problems and shortened lives. Little research has been done to determine what these soy feeds do to the kind and quality of protein in cow’s milk. …The proper food for cows is green plants, especially the rapidly growing green grasses in the early spring and fall..(Fallon, Sally, et al, Nourishing Traditions, NewTrends Publishing, Washington DC, 1999, p34-35)

So, what’s the real reason raw milk is illegal?

There is a Latin phrase perennially useful in unraveling great mysteries: Cui bono? Who benefits? The dairy industry in the United States is a $40 billion-a-year business, not including federal subsidies, which themselves run in the billions. Farmers step outside of this rigid system at their peril. In 2003, a maverick dairyman in California tried to sell milk at 20 cents less a gallon than his competition by snubbing the public-private consortium that has controlled milk production for 70 years. His brazen move was squashed by an act of Congress.

Milk is big business. And pasteurization is a necessary element to dairy consolidation, as it permits milk to be stored and transported over long periods and distances.

In this environment, 20th-century fear becomes a powerful agent in 21st-century greed. Many of the farmers I spoke to for this article reminded me that whoever controls the food supply controls the people, and that scholars going back to Aristotle understood food as the first medicine. Instead of protecting our freedom to procure whatever food we deem necessary to achieve robust health, federal and state governments, with precious few exceptions, have lined up to make raw milk illegal.

The disconnect is startling. Federal and state health officials warn that consuming raw milk can kill you, and considerable government heft is thrown behind efforts to keep it out of reach. And yet countless people go to great lengths to find it, and report feeling more alive after drinking it, even claiming that unprocessed milk has cured chronic illnesses like asthma and irritable bowel syndrome that pharmaceuticals didn’t touch.

As this article shows, raw milk’s health benefits far outweigh those of pasteurized milk. If you’d like to read further, this article will give you a more in-depth look at the health benefits of raw milk. As a final note, even after all this should you still decide raw milk is not the way to go, sweet, what do I care? However, you should still be concerned that the government has once again overstepped its bounds in playing our caretaker and deciding what we can and cannot do.



  1. Very interesting post.

  2. Heya…I tried a trackback URL…seeing if it worked.

    I think this sort of stuff undermines a lot of health messages the government tries to push, and I presume not all of it is bad….

  3. You are never going to believe this. I feel totally *freaked out*. I’ve spent the last hour reading through the links in your post. I went to a local chapter of the Weston A. Price foundation and saw two very familiar names. A husband/wife team “Located northeast of Dallas, Debbie & John Burns produce raw goats milk, frozen & some fresh; pastured poultry, eggs, rabbits, goat milk cheese, natural soaps, garden vegetables. They use organic principles (follow Howard Garrett if you know who he is), and really seem to care about what they are doing, learning as they go. They care for their animals like they are part of the family. The quality of their foods is excellent.”
    Debbie was my best friend in High School and we lost touch when we both started our adult lives, after I heard they had married. How strange to find them through your post? And how much stranger to find them living less than 2 hours from me when last we knew each other we lived in Ohio? Yes, I’ve emailed them.
    *cue Twilight Zone music*
    Sorry I was such a pain in the ass to get you to re-write this post, but glad that I was.

  4. Nothing like whipped cream made from the milk of the cow you milked that morning. Yes, I’ve done that, I’m a country boy at heart.

  5. One of my best childhood memories is my grandmother baking fresh bread and all the kids taking turns with the churn. YUM hot bread and fresh butter. The perfect meal.

  6. Hey PA! That is really, really cool! If you were best friends with her PA she has to be a really neat chick!
    Man, I’d love to pick her brain. I think I’m jealous!

    I actually thank you for nudging me to rewrite the article because nutrition is a big interest of mine and the whole raw/pasteurized milk thing really gets me. And I got a bit more indepth with this one than the last.

    Did you know that blacks and asians here are lactose intolerant, but in their native countries (when they drink it raw) they have no problems with it?
    I don’t expect people to go out and practice civil disobedience by buying raw milk, but I just think people should know. That’s all.

  7. pssst! pssst! hey you, yeah you. over here…

  8. This is the post you accidentally deleted? No wonder you were pissed.

  9. Just be careful I don’t want you to do hard time for this ;)

  10. That would be my like.

    *knock, knock*
    Uh, mrs. pajama momma? We have a warrant for your arrest.

  11. PJ, did I forget to mention to you that raw milk is legal here? I did not know that.

  12. That’s it! I’m moving to Texas. They’ve all but made it illegal in California as of Jan. 1st of this year.

  13. So what’s going on here, and who should you believe? Let’s start by explaining pasteurization. This is a process whereby raw milk is briefly heated to very high temperatures in order to kill any bacteria present. Why is this necessary? Picture a cow or a cow pasture and you will surely think of manure. Lots of manure. Manure contains lots of bacteria, many of which are potentially harmful. It is essentially impossible to collect milk without it being contaminated with fecal bacteria. A partial list of these pathogens includes: E coli -O157:H7 (the bad E coli you hear about on the news), HTT Salmonella (it’s not just from chickens and eggs), Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella. Remember, no matter how clean they might try to keep a dairy operation, it’s a far cry from a sterile procedure. Just think for a minute about the elaborate precautions that are taken to avoid bacterial contamination during surgery, and remember that surgical infections still occur in spite of it all. If you think that any dairy, no matter how responsible or concerned they might be is taking anywhere near the precautions they do in an OR, you are mistaken. It is simply not possible to do. (Sterilize a barn, the cows, the equipment, the human personnel? Day after day? Morning and night? I don’t think so.)

    Because of the impossibility of harvesting sterile milk, pasteurization was developed and perfected. But many raw milk advocates claim that the pasteurization process is so harsh as to destroy the nutritional value of milk. They believe that pasteurized milk is less nutritious, more allergenic and more liable to cause lactose intolerance. They also claim that raw milk contains antibacterial components that render pasteurization unnecessary. Unfortunately, however, there is no scientific support for such claims. Studies have found only minor nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, which are insignificant. Raw and pasteurized milk are equally allergenic (they contain the same proteins), both contain the same amount of lactose (meaning that lactose intolerant people can’t drink either type), and raw milk has not been shown to contain antibacterial chemicals.

    You probably can see where I’m going with this, but maybe you want more facts. Let’s look at the cases of raw milk associated illnesses. From 1998 to May 2005, the CDC identified 45 outbreaks of foodborne illness that implicated unpasteurized milk, or cheese made from unpasteurized milk. These outbreaks accounted for 1,007 illnesses, 104 hospitalizations and two deaths. This is based on information in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of March 2, 2007. The actual number of illnesses was almost certainly higher because not all cases of illness are recognized or reported.

    • 1) Collecting milk is not a sterile procedure. Granted. But neither is growing carrots, potatoes, peaches or any plant. In fact, there are trillions of bacteria which healthfully colonize the human gut, and live symbiotically in the healthy human. Further, healthy bacteria quickly take up residence in a newborn human infant, in a just a few days time post partum. The point here is that bacterial avoidance is impossible in any circumstance.

      2) Pasteurization was developed because early milk mass production was done in truly abysmal conditions. Cows routinely stepped and lay in their own feces, and were kept in such conditions that the cows themselves were stressed, which weakened their own immune systems, and diminished their health. (In part this was because dairies were kept in cities because of transport costs, so that cows were away from their natural environment.) But now, cows which are pasture raised on fresh green grass are happier, healthier and produce higher quality milk with lower bacterial counts.

      3) Quoting you: “Studies have found only minor nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, which are insignificant.” The significance of such studies depends on the significance of the factors which are altered, does it not? Pasteurization probably does not change macro nutrients — proteins, fats and sugars — very much. But pasteurization *does* change enzymes measurably. In point of fact, denaturing the enzyme phosphatase IS the basis of a chemical test commonly used to determine if a milk sample has been subject to the heating process of not. (Phosphatase catalyzes one step in the uptake of phosphate in the body.) Likewise, the enzyme lactase — which supports the metabolism of the sugar lactose — is also denatured by pasteurization. There are people, in fact, who are lactose intolerant, because their body does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, but who are, remarkably, still able to drink raw milk, because the enzyme lactase is present and functional. So really, whether nutrition is unchanged, as you claim, depends on the nutritional question under consideration.

      4) FINALLY, Pasteurized milk is NOT free of pathogenic bacteria. The process is not 100% effective. (Is any process?) Pasteurized milk cannot be sold until it achieves a bacterial plate less than a certain threshold. Raw milk cannot be sold unless it achieves that same bacterial plate count. But…. if one of them has to be heat treated in order to achieve that level, and the other achieves that without heat treatment, which was the higher quality milk to begin with??

  14. I do not think *implicated* means what you think it means.
    And I appreciate your logical argument.
    I’m saving rebuttal for PJM since this is her blog and I would hate for her to not be able to address your concerns.

  15. This is interesting, last week alone&14 was a little kid waiting for wiser to get out of school and now it would appear he has a PhD….hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm

  16. huh, i forgot to mention that i went through an accelerated honers colledge program…uh that’s dr. alone&14 to you.

  17. If raw milk was so dangerous then we’d certainly be hearing a lot more about people getting sick or dying considerintg it’s legal in 27 states.

    But I’m claiming copy and paste anyways. Dr. alone&14

  18. Haha. It has a sense of humor, too.

    You’re correct, PJM, that comes from a CDC study. One that’s repudiated at

  19. (Sterilize a barn, the cows, the equipment, the human personnel? Day after day? Morning and night? I don’t think so.)

    Actually, the equipment is washed and sterilized every day, and the teats (heh….teats) are also sterilized before the pump is attached. It doesn’t take very long.

  20. Big Boob Friday should be re-named Big Teats Friday.

  21. And I appreciate your logical argument.

    thanx ..but i’m not interested. go watch your cartoon ariel.

  22. Big Boob Friday should be re-named Big Teats Friday.


  23. my orange juice is pasturized too…cuz when you think of oranges you think of bird fecal matter. yeah, wash the teat and wash the tree!!11!!

  24. cuz when you think of oranges you think of bird fecal matter.

    It wasn’t a problem until the damn birds mastered the art of crapping right through the peel.

  25. “thanx ..but i’m not interested.”


  26. Of course, there are those who say that only babies need or should drink milk. ;-) Personally, I don’t drink a much milk these days – mostly just for ceral & oatmeal.

  27. It wasn’t a problem until the damn birds mastered the art of crapping right through the peel.

  28. Of course, there are those who say that only babies need or should drink milk.

    Curse those people! Curse them I say!

    I don’t drink milk either. I like it in my smoothies.

  29. ….so a lot of the babies born in the USA should be taken into custody, should they, as they’re drinking raw milk straight from the breast….?!

    After giving up successful military careers to live a better life, we’re in the process of setting up an organically-managed small goat dairy here in the UK, to make cheese, ice cream & yogurt.

    We’ve been drinking raw goats’ milk for a year now & have never been healthier; in fact my husband (who is a pilot & has to have an annual medical) recently had a cholesteol check. We switched from drinking skimmed, pasteurised cows’ milk to full-fat, unpasteurised goats’ milk. Whilst his overall cholesterol level has stayed the same (interesting in itself) his level of ‘good’ cholesterol has increased; & the ‘bad’ has subsequently decreased.

    By law, all equipment, udders & the milkers’ hands (which are protected wearing surgical gloves during the procedure anyway) are sterilized prior to milking; & afterwards each goat’s teats are dipped in iodine solution to prevent ingestion of unwanted bacteria into the opened teat canal when she returns to her barn or pasture (depending on the weather – goats hate the rain, & we get a lot of it here in Wales!).

    The milk is light, lovely, deliciously creamy & has NO ‘goaty’ taste (another fear peole have). I certainly wouldn’t wnt to make the switch back!

    Incidentally, Alone&14, do your homework(!) – Louis Pasteur originally developed pasteurisation NOT for milk, but for wine.

    We do come across a lot of prejudice here regarding this thorny subject – & there are those who are trying to move things on even further, demanding a tightening of legislation that ALL milk is sterilized – so what will happen to the cheesemakers….?!

    Anywat do feel free to drop into our Blog for a visit to find out more about the trials & tribulations of starting up a small farm dairy to craft traditional, artisanal produce at – you can be assured of a warm welcome!

  30. I went to Jo’s blog (she’s in Wales!) and read her very interesting story. If I understood correctly, she’s former RAF and her husband Tony is RAF in service in Beirut now. And today’s Tony’s birthday, so I wished him a happy one. You should, too.

  31. Hi guys –

    lovely to have PattyAnn to visit our litle Welsh Dairy! Incidentally BOTH of us are former RAF, retired for a quieter life doing something we believe in & love – producing quality, wholesome, natural food for people who care.

    Tony’s only still into commercial flying to finance the venture, his job as an airline pilot takes him all over the world but by choice he left military service a fair old while ago. His job just happened to take him out that way the other week – goodness knows where he’ll end up next! Home permanaently – to catch up on all those half-finished DIY jobs – would be nice…..!

  32. Ha! I went and read their site too PA!I’m lame though cuz I didn’t wish Tony a happy birthday, but I just did now.

  33. Nice li’l blog you’ve got here, PJ :)
    Thanks for the welcome, Jo–I’ll be back to see what’s new.
    And alone&14 is still a jerk.

  34. I know you secretly love him!

  35. To alone&14…..
    I will have you know that my mother, who is 60 years old, went to the ER 3 weeks ago because blood was running out of her rectum. They diagnosed her with Ulcerative Colitis. After staying in the hospital for three days she felt only slightly better before returning home. She then saw 3 different doctors within a weeks time and all said that they couldn’t do any more for her and she needs to change the way she eats. None of these doctors cared that she was in severe pain. None of them told here to STOP taking her IBS medicine that she has been taking for 2 years. I begged my mom to stop taking the medicine and start drinking a cup of RAW MILK in the morning and in the evening. She did not want to stop the IBS medication because the doctors warned her not to, but she did agree on Thursday evening of the second week to drink the milk I gave her. On Saturday afternoon my mother called me up so excited I could hardly understand her, she said she had felt good today for the first time in weeks. So again I asked here to discontinue the IBS (irritable bullshit syndrome) meds, but again she was too scared. It is now a week later, since last Saturday my mom is off the IBS meds and blood pressure meds and she says she has not felt this good in MONTHS!!! And all she has done is drink raw milk for a week and half everyday. So why in the hell would anyone want to continue to drink the pasteurized poison that you push?

  36. dylan sprouse gabriala from high school musical naked ipod grocery delivery service

  37. sweet

  38. […] Here’s a story from Pajama Momma on raw milk that would be funny if it weren’t such a blatant example of how the government protects established interests to not only the detriment of would-be competitors but to society as a whole. […]

  39. […] Here’s a story from Pajama Momma on raw milk that would be funny if it weren’t such a blatant example of how the government protects established interests to not only the detriment of would-be competitors but to society as a whole. […]

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