Raw milk tops list of foods to avoid

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A story posted on CNN.com on earlier this week named raw milk, along with raw sprouts and raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, as three foods so risky that you should avoid them altogether.

Fans of raw milk are sure to be upset, and indeed, reader comments at the end of the story offer plenty of ire toward “big business” and “big government” that are trying to ruin the public’s right to choose.

But author Kate Lowenstein presented a fair case for why raw milk — and the other foods listed — may create potential health issues. And she made special note that overall, Americans enjoy an extremely safe food supply.

“The special heating process we know as pasteurization is the only effective way of killing most, if not all, harmful bacteria -- which can include listeria, salmonella, and E. coli,” according to the report.

Additionally, the story notes, “Raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations than any other foodborne disease outbreak, says Hannah Gould, Ph.D., senior epidemiologist with the CDC's Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch.”

Read the full report.

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Philip Lewis    
Salem, NY  |  October, 14, 2011 at 08:43 AM

So ... what's the truth? Some people tell the public that raw milk is beneficial and others describe it as "poison". Are people confused? Clearly.

vermont  |  October, 14, 2011 at 09:25 AM

Since we have been drinking raw milk for over 20 years and haven't had an incident of illness.....I'd have to saw the clean milk, of excellent quality should pose no health risks. But, if the milk source is of unknown quality, not handled in a safe manner, buyer beware. The consumer must get to know the farmer and the farm they get their milk from. Check out the posted quality reports, ask if the cows are properly vaccinated, find out the milking procedure, see the barn, milking parlor and most importantly the COWS.

Mark Grieshop    
Decatur  |  October, 14, 2011 at 09:37 AM

If I had to have a text book example of propaganda, this article would be it. Let's get some things straight. What made America great is "freedom". This is a ploy to erode support for "food rights". Second let's get perspective: over 3,000 babies are aborted every day because a woman has the right to choose. 300 people die every day from legally prescribed FDA approved drugs. 100 women die everyday from breast cancer due to our toxic laden envrionment and food supply. We spend $billions a year to contaminate our environment and food supply, and then we spend another $150 billion a year on the cancer industry. Don't you think someone has an interest in protecting their "cash cow". Raw milk and raw sprouts are a threat. Oh, statistically speaking you have a 10 times greater chance dieing on a roller coaster than from raw milk. That is a fact. No one's forcing you to drink raw milk, but tell me or others what to do. Be American, have courage and live FREE!

NY  |  October, 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM

The posts I am reading lately are making me think DHM readers are political freaks. What does the choice to drink raw milk have to do with abortion?

Texas  |  October, 14, 2011 at 03:53 PM

I think the comparison of abortion and drinking raw milk was all about choice. Our government says it has no right to legislate a woman's choice but the same government feels compelled to legislate and prevent an informed citizen from drinking raw milk. It may have been a 2 by 4 between the eyes comparison but goes to the heart of selective removal of our rights by out of control government regulation/legislation.

Edward Watts    
Pennsylvania  |  October, 14, 2011 at 09:43 PM

Sorry, but raw milk tastes better. Granted it more likely to carry foodborne disease, but the percentage is so small we should not stop people from making the choice they feel is right for them.

tn  |  October, 14, 2011 at 10:12 PM

I'm 64 years old, drinked raw milk most all of my life, I'm still here. So injoy.

Kent Walpole    
Colorado  |  October, 15, 2011 at 07:33 AM

I too am 64 years old and have been drink lots of raw milk--one-half to one gallon a day along with at least two eggs for breakfast. I once had a biochemistry professor tell me I would be dead by 50. I am now 64 years old. How about my father, a milk drinker all his life who is 87 soon to be 88--he recently was given a cardiac ultrasound and the medical personnel were so impressed with his cardiac health that they invited others to come and see what they were seeing. I think that another important factor is that my dad and mother taught me by example to work long physically demanding hours. As a dairy farmer, our milk usually has the lowest possible number for our coop bacteria count and we have had a closed herd for many, many years. I would rather drink our raw milk than the milk that comes from these mega dairies even if it has been pasteurized.

John Bandow    
Stratford WI  |  October, 16, 2011 at 07:36 AM

I am 68 and raw milk keeps me healthy. Many, many of my neighbors drink raw milk. Some give it away to neighbors and family while others sell it and deliver it in their churches. I know of no one who has been sickened by it yet. The government needs to get out of our kitchens. When it comes to GMOs, hydrogenated oils, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other junk products, there are no restrictions and shouldn't be but let me be informed and allow me to choose. More die by the earlier mentioned products but that is their choice. Let milk be mine. Pasteurization not only kills unhealthy bacteria but all the good bacteria and enzymes, destroys vitamin content and denatures the proteins. It becomes and unhealthy food, hard to digest, lacking in nutrition. Fat free chocolate milk distributed in our schools is toxic. Give our kids a choice, too.

Colleen Innerst    
PA  |  October, 18, 2011 at 07:03 AM

My dad, a life long dairy farmer drank raw milk from the time he was a child until he turned 75 years old. Then, he stopped drinking raw milk. Why? Because he nearly died from a salmonella infection he got from the raw milk. I have no problem if someone wants to drink raw milk, but after watching my father suffer (and the suffering was awful), we purchased a pasteurizer to pasteurize our raw milk. You may think, oh this can't happen to me, but the bottom line is - it can. So if you choose to drink raw milk, know that the possibility of prolonged sickness and death is there.

Kevin Musser    
Ohip  |  October, 17, 2011 at 08:23 PM

I love how freely articles love to throw numbers out there with no documentation. When they use words like"may" and "could" but have really nothing to work with. If these people want to use ratios and percentages to slant their article let me give the real numbers. there are 3-5 cases a year in all of the USA that people really got sick from driniking some raw milk. That number is so good that it should be shouted from the mountain tops that there is a food that is this good. Let's get real about what is going on here-they don't have anything to talk about except how wonderful this prduct that was the gift to the Israelites from God called the promised land that flowed with milk and honey (both I might add were unpasturized)

Colleen Innerst    
PA  |  October, 18, 2011 at 07:11 AM

My dad drank raw milk from the time he was a child until he turned 75. Then he stopped. Why? Because he contracted a salmonella infection from drinking raw milk. He suffered and nearly died. After watching how he suffered, my family purchased a pasteurizer and we pasteurize our raw milk. So, to each his own, but don't be lulled into the idea that sickness never happens from raw milk. When sickness does occur, it is awful, just awful. Although my dad recovered from this infection, he's never been the same. It saddens me to think all of this could have been prevented.

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