Real Milk Gets A Raw Deal

      124 Comments on Real Milk Gets A Raw Deal

I suppose the Starch Is Bad vs. Starch Is Good debate will go on for awhile, if not indefinitely.  What people like Matt Stone and I agree on wholeheartedly is that our diets should contain as much natural, whole food as possible.  Unfortunately, some state governments have made that nearly impossible, at least when it comes to dairy products.  More on that in a moment.

First, for you hard-core Paleo types out there, I realize dairy products aren’t Paleo.  It’s unlikely that Paleolithic humans tried to chase down wild, horned animals and milk them … and those who did probably made a dramatic exit from the gene pool. But unless someone can prove to me that butter and cheese are harmful, I’m going to keep eating them because they taste awesome. 

These days I buy Kerry Gold butter, which comes from grass-fed cows in Ireland.  Unlike Costco butter, which is nearly white, Kerry Gold is a deep yellow.  The first time I tasted it, I was transported back in time to my grandmother’s kitchen.  (Stupidly, I forgot to buy Microsoft stock in 1982 on the return trip.)  This is how butter tasted when Grandma served it.  It’s how butter is supposed to taste.

I also buy raw-milk cheese from a vendor at our local Farmers’ Market.  Some months ago, I went to see a naturopathic doctor in California because my digestion was sluggish.  His first piece of advice was to give up diet sodas completely.  So I did, after some backsliding.  Now I don’t even like the stuff.  The last time I bought a Diet Coke, I took a few sips and tossed the rest.  Yee-uck.

The doctor’s second piece of advice was to stop eating cheese — unless I could find locally-produced raw-milk cheese.  As he explained, raw milk cheese contains live enzymes that make it digestible.  But if you pasteurize the cheese to death to transport it across the country, it’s more like plastic — his words, not mine.

In Tennessee, raw milk seems to be semi-legal.  Some farmers sell it openly at the Farmers’ Market, but the farmer we prefer can’t …  because his farm is 40 miles away.  But if we request it ahead of time by sending an email, he can legally sell it to us.

When I heard that explanation, I tried several times to make sense of it, then stopped when I thought my head was about to explode.  Apparently, if the farmer drives a cooler full of raw-milk cheese 40 miles and then sells it to just anybody who wanders buy, the cheese will feel slutty and throw a temper-tantrum that results in an explosion of salmonella bacteria.  However, if I request the cheese ahead of time, the cheese views it as an arranged marriage and is happy.

A growing number of people who understand the benefits of eating real food want to buy raw milk, but can’t — at least not legally in many states.  Some manage to find it anyway.  To get an idea of the effort this requires check out this blog post

Just as promised, I found the milk in the fridge. “Nelson” was printed neatly on the glass with indelible ink on an otherwise unlabeled jar. No one was around except for a dog, who surveyed my intentions and went back to guarding the cows. I left the money on the counter and departed with my contraband.

This was actually the least secretive element in my quest to find raw milk. Getting here had required everything short of a secret handshake.

After delicately putting the word out that I was looking, I was interviewed by a local gatekeeper who gave me the name of someone else who would send me in the right direction. In order to get that far, I had to prove my bona fides. The gatekeeper wanted to know my experience with raw milk, an attempt to ascertain whether I was a state health official operating a sting.

You’d almost think some of these state regulators have confused raw milk with heroin.  In fact, it’s probably easier to score heroin. 

Curious about which states have outlawed raw milk, I checked the state-by-state listings on a Weston A. Price site, The Campaign For Real Milk.  Tennessee is still listed as a state that outlaws raw milk, so that’s old information.  At least I hope it is … a vendor at the Farmers’ Market here sells it.  Perusing the state laws confirmed one of my most deeply-held and cherished beliefs:  governments are inherently stupid.  Here are few examples:

Idaho
Even though state law permits the sale of raw milk if the farmer obtains a retail raw milk license,in practice the Idaho Dept. of Agriculture refuses to license anyone to sell raw milk. There has not been a retail raw milk licensee in the state for the past 15 years.

That’s an interesting way of handling it.  Maybe California could use that technique to reduce traffic congestion.
 “Sure, it’s legal to drive here, but you need a license.”
“Okay, where do I get a license?”
“Sorry, we don’t actually issue any.”
“But … I need to drive!”
“Then you’d better get a license.”

Illinois
Raw milk sales are legal on the farm if the farmer complies with the following conditions:

1. No advertising the sale of raw milk.
2. Customers must bring their own individual containers.
3. The customer MUST put the milk from your container into their container.

Okay, I see … the farmer has raw milk in a container.  If I take it home in that container, the milk will be contaminated.  But if the milk is poured from his container into a plastic milk jug that’s been sitting in my “to be recycled” bin for the past three weeks, the contamination goes away and the milk is now safe … but only if I do the pouring, and only if I didn’t find the farmer in the yellow pages. 

Kentucky
Raw milk sales are illegal with one exception: An individual with a written recommendation from a physician may purchase raw goat milk.

“So why do I feel so terrible, doctor?”
“According to your labs, you have a rare intestinal disorder.  It’s called Capralactinecessitis.”
“Oh my gosh!  Can it be treated?”
“Yes, but only if you drink milk that would kill a healthy person.  I’ll write a prescription.”

Maine
Raw milk sales are legal on the farm and in retail stores. Raw milk and raw milk products must have a label on the product containing the words “not pasteurized.” Farmers do not have to obtain permit to sell raw milk if their sales are only on the farm and they do not advertise.

No, that’s not particularly stupid.  I listed Maine because — Stephen King-style horrors! — raw milk is sold there, both on farms and in stores.  If the stuff is as dangerous as the detractors say it is (assuming you don’t neutralize the contaminants by pouring the milk into your own container), wouldn’t the population of Maine be dwindling by now?  Wouldn’t we have heard about it on the news?

Michigan
Raw milk sales are illegal. Michigan was the first state to pass mandatory pasteurization laws-the year was 1948-and has some of the strictest milk laws on the books. Farmers may not even sell raw milk from the farm. In 2002, at hearings on the revision of the Michigan State Dairy Code, the industry attempted to amend the code to make it illegal for dairy farmers, their family members, their farm workers, and even their farm animals to drink the farm’s raw milk.

“Open the door!  Police!  I said OPEN THE DOOR!  Okay, guys, kick it in.”
BOOM!  CRASH!
“Drop the bottle, lady!  I said drop it!  Starsky, grab the kid; he’s got a milk moustache!”

“So, what’re you in for, kid?”
“Well, I was milking Daisy and I took a sip.”

Minnesota
The Department of Agriculture prohibits the sale of raw dairy with the exception of “milk, cream, skim milk, goat milk, or sheep milk occasionally secured or purchased for personal use by any consumer at the place or farm where the milk is produced.” The farmer cannot advertise and customers must bring their own containers. The state interprets “occasionally secured or purchased for personal use” to mean that farmers cannot sell raw milk to regular customers on a routine basis.

So you can buy raw milk from a farm as long you don’t decide you like it and go back on a regular basis.  Great, we’ll have people showing up at farms wearing Groucho Marx glasses to avoid detection.  See, here’s the thing:  if the raw milk makes you sick, you won’t be going back.  That’s why I only tried vegetarian chili once.

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.

New Jersey
Raw milk sales are illegal. To obtain other unpasteurized dairy products, residents travel to Pennsylvania and New York, which both allow raw milk.

“Waddaya want me to do with this jamook, boss?”
“Bury him in Pennsylvania, but transfer him to your own duffel bag so he don’t rot.  And pick up a gallon of raw milk while you’re out there.”

Pennsylvania
Raw milk sales are legal on the farm and in retail stores. Raw milk for retail producers must have a permit and can only sell to stores if they have their own packaging operation with labeling and bottling machines.

For Pete’s sake, didn’t the Pennsylvania regulators learn anything from the Great Raw Milk Massacre in Illinios?!  You can’t let the farmers bottle this stuff themselves!  You’ve got to make the consumers pour the milk into their own jugs, or all hell will break loose.

Rhode Island
Raw milk sales are illegal with one exception: An individual may purchase raw goat milk from a producer if that person has a written, signed prescription from a physician
.

So that lady from Kentucky with Capralactinecessitis can live in at least one other state and still receive treatment.  Lucky break.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s late and a wedge of Baby Swiss beckons.  I expect to wake up tomorrow without experiencing any ill effects.


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124 thoughts on “Real Milk Gets A Raw Deal

  1. Merope

    The laws you mentioned in Idaho, about never giving out licences, and Nevada, about there never having been a county milk comission to licence milk producers, reminded me about the method your government used to outlaw the growing of industrial hemp (for fiber, not the kind that gets you high!) after WWII. Basically, you could obtain a licence to grow the plants, but the government never issued any.

    For a breakdown of the benefits of industrial hemp (of which the US is currently the world’s largest importer, by the way), read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp.

    Wish I could say I’m surprised, but that’s typical government thinking.

  2. KD

    “In Tennessee, beer can’t be sold in the same stores as wine and liquor. So all over the place, you’ve got two side-by-side stores, same owners, one selling beer, the other selling wine and liquor. Not sure what that laws is supposed to accomplish.”

    Prevent a worse hangover from mixing the two, maybe?

    I didn’t think of that. The regulators are looking out for us after all.

  3. Katy

    “…your doctor most likely will believe what the government says about nutrition…” + “…the government relies on the testimony of medical professionals (and food industry execs) to make policy…” = reciprocal stupidity. Time to take ourselves out of this equation.

    Yup, it’s like I said before: How do we know saturated fat is bad for us? “Because the experts said so.” Well, how do they know? “They know because they were trained by experts.”

  4. Dave, RN

    Tracee, raw milk is not illegal in Texas. Look at the Weston Price website and you’ll see plenty of places to get it. The place I go to even has their license posted. All you have to do is go to the farm itself (the point of production). And there are no silly laws like having to put it in your own container. I get it by the gallon jug just like at the store. And the jug has the license number on it too…

  5. Auntie M

    Here in Virginia, I would have to buy a cow share, then travel to whatever location and pick up my milk weekly. The problem is, the nearest cow share I can find is an hour away. There might be one closer, but they’re really not allowed to advertise much. I can’t figure out how to arrange a cow share situation where I have to travel 2 hours every week, especially when I might not be able to get there every week at the same place/time.

    I do have a stopgap, though. When I go visit friends in Pennsylvania, I go to a store there, stock up on raw milk by the gallon, then take it home, transfer it to smaller containers, and freeze it. In the meantime, I use cream and non-homogenized milk, when I can find it. I avoid UHT as much as possible. I CAN find some raw cheese, though, which is really nice.

    I hate that I’m not allowed to buy MILK, for heaven’s sake!!

    Obviously, it’s the transferring the milk to your own containers that has saved you from a horrible illness.

  6. Chad Wallace

    Some of this stuff would be hilarious if it wasn’t true. Honestly, it makes me reflect back to “Green Acres”. I can see Hank Kimble, the county agent, explaining some of this to Oliver Wendell Douglas, with Mr. Haney offering to import some raw milk for only a dollar if you buy today….

    I’m not sure if your ability to recall the characters on Green Acres is a positive sign or not. I’ll assume it’s a good memory, powered by plenty of saturated fat.

  7. Katy

    “…your doctor most likely will believe what the government says about nutrition…” + “…the government relies on the testimony of medical professionals (and food industry execs) to make policy…” = reciprocal stupidity. Time to take ourselves out of this equation.

    Yup, it’s like I said before: How do we know saturated fat is bad for us? “Because the experts said so.” Well, how do they know? “They know because they were trained by experts.”

  8. Dave, RN

    Tracee, raw milk is not illegal in Texas. Look at the Weston Price website and you’ll see plenty of places to get it. The place I go to even has their license posted. All you have to do is go to the farm itself (the point of production). And there are no silly laws like having to put it in your own container. I get it by the gallon jug just like at the store. And the jug has the license number on it too…

  9. Debbie

    I do buy clandestine raw milk and cream here in NJ which gets shipped in every two weeks from a farmer in the Lancaster, PA area. It’s not cheap but it’s wonderful. I do have to go to the drop-off location to pick up my stuff and if I can’t get there during the correct hours I still have to pay but my stuff gets donated somewhere. But the drop-off place is only 10 minutes from home so I’ve always been able to manage it. Fridays are my drop-off day (every other week) which can be hard when you work as I do, as it can mean your stuff sits out for hours in the heat during the summertime, or hours in the freezing cold in the winter. But so far so good. The soy-free eggs are awesome too, with amazing golden-orange yolks.

    I can get butter that way too, but for the time being I also stick with my Kerrygold. The price is good at Trader Joe’s, and that butter is so delicious I can lick it right off the knife.

    My daughters ask for slices of Kerry Gold, and yes, they eat them right off the knife. So do I. Awesome taste.

  10. Jeanie Campbell

    Here in Colorado we need to buy cow shares, too. Just thought I’d add another state to the list.

    I guess that’s better than nothing, but geez …

  11. Auntie M

    Here in Virginia, I would have to buy a cow share, then travel to whatever location and pick up my milk weekly. The problem is, the nearest cow share I can find is an hour away. There might be one closer, but they’re really not allowed to advertise much. I can’t figure out how to arrange a cow share situation where I have to travel 2 hours every week, especially when I might not be able to get there every week at the same place/time.

    I do have a stopgap, though. When I go visit friends in Pennsylvania, I go to a store there, stock up on raw milk by the gallon, then take it home, transfer it to smaller containers, and freeze it. In the meantime, I use cream and non-homogenized milk, when I can find it. I avoid UHT as much as possible. I CAN find some raw cheese, though, which is really nice.

    I hate that I’m not allowed to buy MILK, for heaven’s sake!!

    Obviously, it’s the transferring the milk to your own containers that has saved you from a horrible illness.

  12. Chad Wallace

    Some of this stuff would be hilarious if it wasn’t true. Honestly, it makes me reflect back to “Green Acres”. I can see Hank Kimble, the county agent, explaining some of this to Oliver Wendell Douglas, with Mr. Haney offering to import some raw milk for only a dollar if you buy today….

    I’m not sure if your ability to recall the characters on Green Acres is a positive sign or not. I’ll assume it’s a good memory, powered by plenty of saturated fat.

  13. Debbie

    I do buy clandestine raw milk and cream here in NJ which gets shipped in every two weeks from a farmer in the Lancaster, PA area. It’s not cheap but it’s wonderful. I do have to go to the drop-off location to pick up my stuff and if I can’t get there during the correct hours I still have to pay but my stuff gets donated somewhere. But the drop-off place is only 10 minutes from home so I’ve always been able to manage it. Fridays are my drop-off day (every other week) which can be hard when you work as I do, as it can mean your stuff sits out for hours in the heat during the summertime, or hours in the freezing cold in the winter. But so far so good. The soy-free eggs are awesome too, with amazing golden-orange yolks.

    I can get butter that way too, but for the time being I also stick with my Kerrygold. The price is good at Trader Joe’s, and that butter is so delicious I can lick it right off the knife.

    My daughters ask for slices of Kerry Gold, and yes, they eat them right off the knife. So do I. Awesome taste.

  14. Jeanie Campbell

    Here in Colorado we need to buy cow shares, too. Just thought I’d add another state to the list.

    I guess that’s better than nothing, but geez …

  15. Felix

    Ever since I’ve learned that there is something like scat porn (thanks to two girls and one cup), I found the idea that there are food regulations hilariously absurd. People eat whatever they want if they really want to.

  16. Tracey

    Hey Tom, if you ever get the chance to read some fiction for, I dunno, fun or something, you might enjoy “Blessed are the Cheesemakers” by Sarah-Kate Lynch. It’s probably more a ‘chick lit’ book but if you’re open minded in your choice of reading material I’m sure it would tickle your fancy 🙂

    I could’ve sworn “blessed are the cheesemakers” was a line from “Life of Brian.” Wait for it … yup, it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiDmMBIyfsU

    I’ll check the reviews, and if I’m tempted, I’ll have my wife tiptoe into a store and buy it. Oh, that reminds me: many years ago, I had a humorous essay published in Playgirl. My parents had my sister go buy a copy so they could read it.

  17. Felix

    Ever since I’ve learned that there is something like scat porn (thanks to two girls and one cup), I found the idea that there are food regulations hilariously absurd. People eat whatever they want if they really want to.

  18. Tracey

    Hey Tom, if you ever get the chance to read some fiction for, I dunno, fun or something, you might enjoy “Blessed are the Cheesemakers” by Sarah-Kate Lynch. It’s probably more a ‘chick lit’ book but if you’re open minded in your choice of reading material I’m sure it would tickle your fancy 🙂

    I could’ve sworn “blessed are the cheesemakers” was a line from “Life of Brian.” Wait for it … yup, it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiDmMBIyfsU

    I’ll check the reviews, and if I’m tempted, I’ll have my wife tiptoe into a store and buy it. Oh, that reminds me: many years ago, I had a humorous essay published in Playgirl. My parents had my sister go buy a copy so they could read it.

  19. D.

    When I was growing up, we always had a milk cow, and I loved the evening milking, after Mom brought the fresh warm milk in and strained it into crocks to put in the fridge to let the cream rise for making butter, we’d get a cup of the still-warm milk to drink before we went to bed. Such lovely memories. Wish I had a place for a cow in my back yard……

    And you somehow lived to tell about it.

  20. D.

    When I was growing up, we always had a milk cow, and I loved the evening milking, after Mom brought the fresh warm milk in and strained it into crocks to put in the fridge to let the cream rise for making butter, we’d get a cup of the still-warm milk to drink before we went to bed. Such lovely memories. Wish I had a place for a cow in my back yard……

    And you somehow lived to tell about it.

  21. Chareva

    This is Tom’s wife (same IP address) and I wanted to chime in and reminisce about the fresh-from-the-cow milk I would occasionally have in Mali, West Africa. Every evening the herders would milk their cows and give it to the children. They would mix the millet from dinner (consistency of Play-Do) and milk to make a thick porridge for the kids before bed. It was sweet and rich and lovely. And yes, in response to a comment Tom made after Matt’s post – I indeed was heavier when I was in the Peace Corps (even though I ate very small portions …eating from a common bowl with the kids, you don’t want to literally take food out of their mouths). I had what Dr. Eades calls…CARB FACE.

    Yeah, but you were still hot.

  22. Cracker

    When I go visit my Mom in Florida during the winter, I go to the local health food store to purchase some raw dairy products. I’m not sure of their exact laws down there, but I have a pretty good idea as all of the raw dairy containers are labeled ‘for pet consumption only’.

    Too bad I have to give it all to the cat 😉

    I bet they get a disproportionate share of “pet-owners” at those stores.

  23. Matt R.

    We buy raw milk to make our daughter’s formula, but it ain’t easy. What happened to a simple contract between the buyer and seller?

    The government folks decided neither of you really know what you’re doing and need them to stop you from your foolishness.

  24. Judith B

    I live next door to one of the biggest dairy farms in NZ, but I can’t buy any milk from them. It’s a real drama getting raw milk even here, you have to know someone who knows someone who is willing to introduce you to a farmer who sells raw milk on the side. I’d get my own cow if I had somewhere to put it! At least in the supermarkets you can still buy lovely creamy full fat milk, even though it’s not raw, and the butter tastes every bit as good as Kerrygold.

    Sorry to hear it’s not just us … I mean, U.S.

  25. Chareva

    This is Tom’s wife (same IP address) and I wanted to chime in and reminisce about the fresh-from-the-cow milk I would occasionally have in Mali, West Africa. Every evening the herders would milk their cows and give it to the children. They would mix the millet from dinner (consistency of Play-Do) and milk to make a thick porridge for the kids before bed. It was sweet and rich and lovely. And yes, in response to a comment Tom made after Matt’s post – I indeed was heavier when I was in the Peace Corps (even though I ate very small portions …eating from a common bowl with the kids, you don’t want to literally take food out of their mouths). I had what Dr. Eades calls…CARB FACE.

    Yeah, but you were still hot.

  26. Cracker

    When I go visit my Mom in Florida during the winter, I go to the local health food store to purchase some raw dairy products. I’m not sure of their exact laws down there, but I have a pretty good idea as all of the raw dairy containers are labeled ‘for pet consumption only’.

    Too bad I have to give it all to the cat 😉

    I bet they get a disproportionate share of “pet-owners” at those stores.

  27. Matt R.

    We buy raw milk to make our daughter’s formula, but it ain’t easy. What happened to a simple contract between the buyer and seller?

    The government folks decided neither of you really know what you’re doing and need them to stop you from your foolishness.

  28. Judith B

    I live next door to one of the biggest dairy farms in NZ, but I can’t buy any milk from them. It’s a real drama getting raw milk even here, you have to know someone who knows someone who is willing to introduce you to a farmer who sells raw milk on the side. I’d get my own cow if I had somewhere to put it! At least in the supermarkets you can still buy lovely creamy full fat milk, even though it’s not raw, and the butter tastes every bit as good as Kerrygold.

    Sorry to hear it’s not just us … I mean, U.S.

  29. Katy

    “Yup, it’s like I said before: How do we know saturated fat is bad for us? ‘Because the experts said so.’ Well, how do they know? ‘They know because they were trained by experts.'”

    Yup. This just in from Real Age:

    “In fact, grapes may even help protect your blood vessels from fatty meals — something that normally does immediate, transient damage.”

    It’s an endless battle.

  30. Katy

    “Yup, it’s like I said before: How do we know saturated fat is bad for us? ‘Because the experts said so.’ Well, how do they know? ‘They know because they were trained by experts.'”

    Yup. This just in from Real Age:

    “In fact, grapes may even help protect your blood vessels from fatty meals — something that normally does immediate, transient damage.”

    It’s an endless battle.

  31. Deb

    Raw dairy is legal in New York IF AND ONLY IF you buy it at the farm. It is not in retail stores. In the Hudson valley, I can get cow milk for $4 a gallon and goat milk for $9 a gallon (as of last summer), IF I drive an hour up to the farm. You can bring your own container or they can provide one for you. Unfortunately they’re not allowed to transport it, so you can’t get it at farmer’s markets in New York City or elsewhere.

    I get raw milk cheese at my local farmer’s market in the summer. Also, Trader Joe’s in New Jersey sells raw milk cheeses, as does Whole Foods, but they are probably not locally produced (many from France).

  32. Deb

    Raw dairy is legal in New York IF AND ONLY IF you buy it at the farm. It is not in retail stores. In the Hudson valley, I can get cow milk for $4 a gallon and goat milk for $9 a gallon (as of last summer), IF I drive an hour up to the farm. You can bring your own container or they can provide one for you. Unfortunately they’re not allowed to transport it, so you can’t get it at farmer’s markets in New York City or elsewhere.

    I get raw milk cheese at my local farmer’s market in the summer. Also, Trader Joe’s in New Jersey sells raw milk cheeses, as does Whole Foods, but they are probably not locally produced (many from France).

  33. Steve D

    “diets should contain as much natural, whole food as possible.”

    Why? Is this something you just made up?

    I believe I’m the first person to ever say it, yes.

  34. Steve D

    “diets should contain as much natural, whole food as possible.”

    Why? Is this something you just made up?

    I believe I’m the first person to ever say it, yes.

  35. Sarah

    It makes me die a little inside every time I’m reminded that in the horrible town my parents decided to raise me in, (Small casino-filled retirement town around 60 miles from Vegas), there’s no way to obtain organic food. No farmer’s market, no whole foods, no trader joe’s, nothing.

    No raw milk, no grass-fed beef, no organic eggs… Ugh. It’s all out of reach until I hit 18 and can move to someplace that actually offers whole natural food. I’m currently 16.

    You’re ahead of the game. When I was 16, it never would’ve occurred to me to care where my food came from. Trust me, two years will go by in a flash.

  36. Sarah

    It makes me die a little inside every time I’m reminded that in the horrible town my parents decided to raise me in, (Small casino-filled retirement town around 60 miles from Vegas), there’s no way to obtain organic food. No farmer’s market, no whole foods, no trader joe’s, nothing.

    No raw milk, no grass-fed beef, no organic eggs… Ugh. It’s all out of reach until I hit 18 and can move to someplace that actually offers whole natural food. I’m currently 16.

    You’re ahead of the game. When I was 16, it never would’ve occurred to me to care where my food came from. Trust me, two years will go by in a flash.

  37. TonyNZ

    “I live next door to one of the biggest dairy farms in NZ, but I can’t buy any milk from them.”

    Whereabouts are you because that’s not really the norm… I’m a farmer and we have neighbours taking milk for their own personal use all the time with not much furore. Just shout them some beers, help them with something someday. Think of it less as a business transaction and you should be right…

    Unless your neighbours are @#!@holes…

    After this though, I am feeling incredibly lucky that I can get all the raw milk I can drink for near no cost to myself. I’m gonna invest in a cheese press before the year’s out.

  38. Angela

    In Australia we have to buy it as ‘Cleopatra’s Bath Milk’ for bathing in only. At $5 for 2 Litres it makes for an expensive bath.

    That would actually be cheap compared to some of the prices I’ve seen.

  39. TonyNZ

    “I live next door to one of the biggest dairy farms in NZ, but I can’t buy any milk from them.”

    Whereabouts are you because that’s not really the norm… I’m a farmer and we have neighbours taking milk for their own personal use all the time with not much furore. Just shout them some beers, help them with something someday. Think of it less as a business transaction and you should be right…

    Unless your neighbours are @#!@holes…

    After this though, I am feeling incredibly lucky that I can get all the raw milk I can drink for near no cost to myself. I’m gonna invest in a cheese press before the year’s out.

  40. Steve D

    “I believe I’m the first person to ever say it, yes.”

    Any evidence?

    I’ve never heard anyone else say it. I must be the first. If anyone else claims to have said it first, I demand an investigation.

  41. Angela

    In Australia we have to buy it as ‘Cleopatra’s Bath Milk’ for bathing in only. At $5 for 2 Litres it makes for an expensive bath.

    That would actually be cheap compared to some of the prices I’ve seen.

  42. Steve D

    “I believe I’m the first person to ever say it, yes.”

    Any evidence?

    I’ve never heard anyone else say it. I must be the first. If anyone else claims to have said it first, I demand an investigation.

  43. Steve D

    No sorry, my question was ambiguous. I meant evidence that natural food is better for you.

    So far as I understand, a molecule (such as a vitamin for example) has the same structure whether it is found in natural, processed or synthetic food.

    For whole food I think there is some logic behind the claim since whole food is more likely to contain a wider variety of chemicals so therefore it is more likely to contain ones that are healthy or useful for humans.

    Just so you know, I agree with some of what you say about milk and cheese and other natural ‘real’ foods. They taste better so you should eat them. Its appalling that foods of these sort should be banned. I agree with what you are saying about the illogic of government regulations. I am simply questioning the health benefit of ‘natural’ vs. artificial or processed food. I think THAT depends upon hundreds of factors, some known and some not. It also varies considerably from individual to individual.

    I question even more the health claims about organic foods (a claim you did not make but was somewhat implied in a couple of the comments) since a number of studies have shown these to be higher in toxins.

    Whole, natural food for exactly the reason you mentioned. It’s not just about macronutrients; whole foods contain the micronutrients we need to make full use of them, and in the proportions we need them. A molecule is a molecule, but when we pasteurize milk, for example, we don’t replace the enzymes that are lost, so it’s not the same collection of molecules.

  44. Steve D

    No sorry, my question was ambiguous. I meant evidence that natural food is better for you.

    So far as I understand, a molecule (such as a vitamin for example) has the same structure whether it is found in natural, processed or synthetic food.

    For whole food I think there is some logic behind the claim since whole food is more likely to contain a wider variety of chemicals so therefore it is more likely to contain ones that are healthy or useful for humans.

    Just so you know, I agree with some of what you say about milk and cheese and other natural ‘real’ foods. They taste better so you should eat them. Its appalling that foods of these sort should be banned. I agree with what you are saying about the illogic of government regulations. I am simply questioning the health benefit of ‘natural‘ vs. artificial or processed food. I think THAT depends upon hundreds of factors, some known and some not. It also varies considerably from individual to individual.

    I question even more the health claims about organic foods (a claim you did not make but was somewhat implied in a couple of the comments) since a number of studies have shown these to be higher in toxins.

    Whole, natural food for exactly the reason you mentioned. It’s not just about macronutrients; whole foods contain the micronutrients we need to make full use of them, and in the proportions we need them. A molecule is a molecule, but when we pasteurize milk, for example, we don’t replace the enzymes that are lost, so it’s not the same collection of molecules.

  45. Anna

    Count us as another raw milk family. A decade ago I’d have said it was crazy to drink fresh raw milk, but lets just say in the interim a few paradigms have shifted, but I knew so little then (and didn’t know what I didn’t know).

    I know you had your reasons for leaving California, but one of the best benefits of living here is that it’s still legal to buy raw milk at retail. When I was looking into the sources for my family’s food, I couldn’t find even one producer of the milk in the local stores that would directly answer my questions about the milk production the herd feeds, and so one. And a tours of the facility was out of the question.

    I was however, answered promptly and directly by a raw milk producer whose products are at sold some of the stores in my local market. Furthermore, we were able to stop by the facility and tour the milking and creamery operations when we were passing through the Central California area. That sort of transparency is impossible to find with most supermarket products anymore. I’ll put more trust in the operation that is most transparent to consumers.

    It never occurred to me to look for raw milk while we were there. Too bad.

  46. Anna

    Count us as another raw milk family. A decade ago I’d have said it was crazy to drink fresh raw milk, but lets just say in the interim a few paradigms have shifted, but I knew so little then (and didn’t know what I didn’t know).

    I know you had your reasons for leaving California, but one of the best benefits of living here is that it’s still legal to buy raw milk at retail. When I was looking into the sources for my family’s food, I couldn’t find even one producer of the milk in the local stores that would directly answer my questions about the milk production the herd feeds, and so one. And a tours of the facility was out of the question.

    I was however, answered promptly and directly by a raw milk producer whose products are at sold some of the stores in my local market. Furthermore, we were able to stop by the facility and tour the milking and creamery operations when we were passing through the Central California area. That sort of transparency is impossible to find with most supermarket products anymore. I’ll put more trust in the operation that is most transparent to consumers.

    It never occurred to me to look for raw milk while we were there. Too bad.

  47. Steve D

    Actually, this is the point with which I disagree. There is no reason to believe that any or all natural foods will match our nutritional requirements. Nature has no reason to conform to our requirements, with regards to the best level of macro and micro nutrients we need and this varies amongst individuals anyway. The apple tree makes its apples to nourish its saplings not us. Its possible there may be a match of course but if so it would be by chance and it would require scientific study to validate. Probably a good artificial nutritional supplement will give you the same or better health benefits although I agree it will not taste as good.

    With respect to milk, this is not the best example since based on its biological function it is especially unlikely to match the requirements of adult humans. Still, with your example there is really no way to know whether the molecules you lost during pasteurization are good, bad or indifferent without a very in depth study. At the very least you would have to show that something rare and necessary was lost or do a careful comparison between people who use pasteurized vs. non pasteurized milk. So, the enzymes that are lost would have been broken down into amino acids in your stomach. These could be easily replaced by a couple bites out of a steak.

    I also mentioned that dietary requirements vary considerably between individuals. Your ideal diet will not be the same as mine. The best advice I could give would be to try to eat a relatively wide variety of food, take a nutritional supplement and above all experiment with your diet and listen to your body.

    I agree with the part about listening to your body. No diet is optimal for everyone because we come from different ancestors who evolved in different parts of the world.

    I don’t believe whole, natural foods evolved to make themselves ideal for humans, but humans evolved eating whole, unprocessed foods. Pasteurized cheese blocks up my digestion. Raw-milk cheese doesn’t. Something gets lost or altered in the pasteurization that isn’t replaced by eating a steak. And from what I’ve heard, same goes for lactose intolerance; many people who believe they’re lactose intolerant find they can drink raw milk without any problems.

  48. Steve D

    Actually, this is the point with which I disagree. There is no reason to believe that any or all natural foods will match our nutritional requirements. Nature has no reason to conform to our requirements, with regards to the best level of macro and micro nutrients we need and this varies amongst individuals anyway. The apple tree makes its apples to nourish its saplings not us. Its possible there may be a match of course but if so it would be by chance and it would require scientific study to validate. Probably a good artificial nutritional supplement will give you the same or better health benefits although I agree it will not taste as good.

    With respect to milk, this is not the best example since based on its biological function it is especially unlikely to match the requirements of adult humans. Still, with your example there is really no way to know whether the molecules you lost during pasteurization are good, bad or indifferent without a very in depth study. At the very least you would have to show that something rare and necessary was lost or do a careful comparison between people who use pasteurized vs. non pasteurized milk. So, the enzymes that are lost would have been broken down into amino acids in your stomach. These could be easily replaced by a couple bites out of a steak.

    I also mentioned that dietary requirements vary considerably between individuals. Your ideal diet will not be the same as mine. The best advice I could give would be to try to eat a relatively wide variety of food, take a nutritional supplement and above all experiment with your diet and listen to your body.

    I agree with the part about listening to your body. No diet is optimal for everyone because we come from different ancestors who evolved in different parts of the world.

    I don’t believe whole, natural foods evolved to make themselves ideal for humans, but humans evolved eating whole, unprocessed foods. Pasteurized cheese blocks up my digestion. Raw-milk cheese doesn’t. Something gets lost or altered in the pasteurization that isn’t replaced by eating a steak. And from what I’ve heard, same goes for lactose intolerance; many people who believe they’re lactose intolerant find they can drink raw milk without any problems.

  49. Jeanmarie

    Tom, I always enjoy your posts. (And your movie!) Congrats on giving up sodas and discovering raw milk cheese. And I agree about Kerry Gold butter, so good! They also make great cheeses, though not raw milk, unfortunately.

    For additional help with digestion, try adding lacto-fermented vegetables (like raw sauerkraut) to your diet. The friendly microbes boost digestion as well as immune function. They’re easy to make, though you can find them at the farmers market or online. Along those lines, lacto-fermented sodas (kombucha or water kefir sodas, etc) are a great replacement for sugary or diet sodas as well as alcohol. I can send you more info on how to and where to buy. I think this will be my next blog topic.

    I appreciate the info. Remind me when you post about it on your blog.

  50. Jeanmarie

    Tom, I always enjoy your posts. (And your movie!) Congrats on giving up sodas and discovering raw milk cheese. And I agree about Kerry Gold butter, so good! They also make great cheeses, though not raw milk, unfortunately.

    For additional help with digestion, try adding lacto-fermented vegetables (like raw sauerkraut) to your diet. The friendly microbes boost digestion as well as immune function. They’re easy to make, though you can find them at the farmers market or online. Along those lines, lacto-fermented sodas (kombucha or water kefir sodas, etc) are a great replacement for sugary or diet sodas as well as alcohol. I can send you more info on how to and where to buy. I think this will be my next blog topic.

    I appreciate the info. Remind me when you post about it on your blog.

Comments are closed.