January 27, 2010

Thoughts from Joann Grohman on raw milk:
"FDA and departments of health clearly believe they are acting in the best interest of the public <regulating the sale of pasteurized milk> but by refusing to examine contrary evidence they reveal their position to be based in dogma. One of my sons (raised on raw milk) is employed by the USDA Extension Service. He has a PhD in Nutrition. At an important public health meeting on nutrition with over 100 people present the speaker spent most of her hour fulminating on the dangers of raw milk including the hazards of keeping a family cow. During the question period my son asked, "But won't giving up their cows negatively impact the diets of these families? Our mandate is to improve nutrition, after all." He said the hall went deathly silent. Like, who is this apostate?

Afterwards an elderly doctor who serves patients in American Samoa came up and thanked him for speaking up. He said he is forced to tell people not to drink the milk from their cows but they ignore him and go right home to their cows and are healthy. I was surprised to learn that in the South Pacific family cows are a commonplace.

The belief that pasteurization was instituted in order to rescue the public from bad city milk is greatly exagerated. While it is not in doubt that milk in places such as NYC was adulterated and watered down, pathogens in it were primarily introduced not from the cow but from the street bums who milked into open buckets. Typhoid organisms are known to have been present in NYC water and water was consistently added to city milk. The resulting milk was certainly dangerous. In fact, my fathers favorite little cousin Justine died in 1908 from typhoid fever presumed to have been from this source.

Solving such problems with pasteurization is analogous to current efforts to protect the public from illness by irradiating dirty meat.

Brokers profited immediately and massively from the pasteurization of milk. They gained a stranglehold on dairy farmers which has never been broken.

There are very few pathogens which actually originate from inside the cow as opposed to entering milk after milking. From these, incidence of illness is extremely rare. In my view, it makes about as much sense to declare cows' milk to be inherently unsafe and unfit for children as to declare breastfeeding to be an unsafe practice. After all, some women have illnesses too. I think the ludicrousness of this proposition puts the campaign into perspective."  ~ Joann Grohman author of Keeping A Family Cow

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