December 9, 2016

Raw Milk: A Risky Food

It never ceases to amaze me why people drink raw milk.

Raw milk, as all should know, is unpasteurized. Pasteurization is the process by which milk, juices and other products are heated in order to kill off dangerous pathogens. Without pasteurization, bacteria that harm or even kill people remain in the milk.

Milking a Cow Outside

Pasteurization, a simple procedure that’s been used for about 150 years, is absolutely effective.

Pasteurization does not affect the taste of milk. It does not reduce or degrade milk’s beneficial and nutritional qualities. Any claims that it does have been debunked by scientists and physicians.

The only people who claim raw milk is good for you are people who ignore science. The only people who claim pasteurization makes milk less nutritious ignore science.

This is not a matter of belief. Gravity is not a matter of belief. It’s a fact. So is this fact: harmful pathogens found in raw milk will, from time to time, cause outbreaks involving Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Shigella, Yersinia, as well as certain parasites and viruses.

Clearly, every drop or unit of raw milk does not contain pathogens. Many people can and do drink raw milk without becoming ill. But as with any risky behavior, odds of harm are increased. So if there is no provable benefit of drinking raw milk – and there isn’t – why accept the risk?

 

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