Friday, February 14, 2014

Raw Milk

The trend towards using organic foods to feed our families is something we really can put our support behind.   Feeding our families preservative free, antibiotic free and non-genetically altered food reduces the body’s need to process potentially harmful substances.

But not every “raw” food is necessarily a good thing.   Take unpasteurized raw milk.  Unpasteurized milk can contain bacteria and germs such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Whether raw milk comes from cows, sheep, or goats, the bacteria is especially dangerous to children.  Of all outbreaks that were caused by food sources that occurred between 1998 and 2011 over 79% of them were caused from raw milk products.

No matter how much a cow’s udder may be cleaned before milking, the milk can be contaminated in a variety of ways:
  • It can come in contact with cow feces or bacteria on the cow’s body. 
  • It can be contaminated if the cow’s udders have an infection.
  • Bacteria can lurk in improperly cleaned milking equipment.
  • Humans who milk cows may have bacteria on their hands or clothing.
Nutritionally, there is little difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk.  What is lost certainly can be made up by other healthy food choices.

Contaminated raw milk can cause diarrhea (including bloody stools), stomach cramps, body aches, fever and vomiting.   The bacterium Campylobacter may be the culprit and can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome which destroys red blood cells and can cause kidney failure.  Is it worth the risk?

For more information about raw milk, please visit:
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