Is drinking raw milk safe?
Is Drinking Raw Milk Safe?
started drinking raw milk when I was in my early teens. It was one of the few times I actually liked drinking milk. I didn’t really understand the difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk at the time.
As I grew up, moved away and started my own family, I bought the pasteurized milk in the store. Then, when we started our own farm and started milking goats I “rediscovered” raw milk.
I won’t lie, I was a little hesitant at first. I had never had goat milk before other than some store-bought stuff that had an awful goat-y flavor to it. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! Our fresh raw goat milk tasted awesome with a wonderful creamy texture.
We loved it so much, we decided to focus on dairy goats and goat milk as our signature product line. Since then we’ve had a steady stream of customers come to our farm on a regular basis to buy our milk and cheeses.
So, you may be wondering, is drinking raw milk safe?
If you research the question online, you will see the FDA and other government sites with awful pictures and terrible stories of illness and hospitalization from drinking raw milk. While I don’t want to discount the potential issues lets keep one thing clear. Raw milk is responsible for less than 1% of all food born illnesses.
In fact, poultry, leafy green vegetables, fish, rice and deli meats are more likely to cause foodborne illness than raw milk. Let that sink in for a moment.
I could go into a whole lecture on how potato chips, twinkies and fast food are “okay” to eat while fresh raw milk is shunned.
But I’m not here to convince you one way or the other. Our goal is to provide a clean and healthy alternative to pasteurized milk to those who want it.
My suggestion to anyone interested in moving to raw milk is to find a farm you trust. Small farms where the owners are also consuming the products they sell are often safer than commercialized farms. If you can, visit the farm and see how the animals are cared for and maintained. Farmers generally like to talk about their animals and processes and are happy to share with their customers how they manage their farm.
Another suggestion is to supply your own containers. Unsterilized or repurposed containers such as used milk jugs can be a health risk. Supply your own washed and sterilizied glass containers if you can.
Keep your raw milk cold. We move our fresh, filtered milk to the freezer right after milking to drop the temperature to 34 ° within a few hours. Then it goes into our refrigerator. As a small busy shop the key is remembering to remove from the freezer… Dennis!
Unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk can be left out at room temperate. But note that as the warm milk ages it becomes clabber, a thick yogurt-y type substance that is still edible but will have a tangy almost sour taste to it. Pasteurized milk when left out becomes rancid. However, if you are concerned about bacterial growth, keeping the milk cold is one solution.
If you are reading this, it’s probably because you’ve heard about all the positive health benefits of drinking raw milk and you want to know more. We encourage you to do the research and if you are interested, try it for yourself.
We have fresh raw goat milk for sale from April through October each year. Ask us about weekly pick ups and while you’re here ask Dennis about his goats…just make sure you have a few hours to spend.