I’m a huge fan of drinking raw milk. As a child I never enjoyed milk but I love the flavor of it raw. I suppose my body knew something my brain didn’t at the time.
I purchase from a small dairy in Washington State. I buy from a local milk group but I used to be able to purchase it at my local Whole Foods which was very convenient if I didn’t plan well for a week. Unfortunately Whole Foods has stopped carrying raw milk. Further, the local dairy has had some issues with the Department of Agriculture. Recently they were accused of being the source of a small (three people over three months) e coli outbreak. Of course this has caused law makers to consider whether raw milk should be legal.
I only drink raw milk from a small farm that I, or someone I know has visited. I wouldn’t consider drinking raw milk from a large production dairy. While I talk about how I love it, as healthcare provider I don’t specifically talk about the potential health benefits. I am more likely to point out that the heat from pasturization kills many of the good vitamins your body needs. However, I do want the choice to drink raw milk. Outlawing it suggests that I, as a consumer and healthcare provider, do not have the intelligence to choose what to put in my body.
No one has to agree with my choices. Even if I get sick, I do have good health insurance and I know many health care providers who can help me through that too. There is no argument for keeping me from drinking what I want. It’s not going to hurt anyone else. To this date, I have been sick less often. My husband continues to drink his pasturized 1% milk. He use to get sick less than I did. This last year he has gotten sick more. I suspect this will be a longer term pattern.
Raw Milk advocates are not saying that everyone needs to drink raw milk. We merely want choice. In many places, where there aren’t a lot of small farmers producing raw milk we sort of hope that everyone else keeps on doing what they are doing!
Thanks to Kimberly Hartke for running this article on what’s happening with raw milk in Washington State.