Is Raw Milk Safe to Drink?

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on August 15, 2010 · 6 comments

In a word, no. Drinking raw milk is playing Russian roulette with your health.

The main difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk is the amount of bacteria. Proponents of raw milk feel it’s more nutritious and contains antimicrobial properties. But raw milk can be very dangerous — especially for pregnant women, children, or those with a weakened immune system.

Raw milk can be a host to a wide array of pathogens, including but not limited to, staphylococcus aureus, campylobacter jejuni, E. coli, listeria monocytogenes and yesinia enterocolitica. In the more serious cases food-borne illness can cause kidney failure, premature births, and death. Since 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 831 illnesses, 66 hospitalizations and 1 death associated with raw milk.

Many raw milk vendors confidently tell customers that their milk is safe because they have never been involved in a food-borne outbreak. But “never had” a problem doesn’t mean “never will.” In 2003, for example, the only dairy in Ohio lawfully allowed to sell raw, which had been in operation since 1958, was implicated in food-borne illness traced to raw milk and cream. This dairy has since voluntarily given up its license to sell raw milk. Farms are not sterile environments, so all raw milk products have the potential to harbor harmful organisms.

Supporters of raw milk believe it is a powerful health food, containing substances that can naturally kill off other harmful things. Yet, none of the health benefits they claim have been verified by scientific research, and many of the negatives regarding pasteurization are simply not true.

Many believe pasteurization causes lactose intolerance, the inability to digest milk sugar. Yet, the same amount of lactose is found in both pasteurized and raw milk. Lactose intolerance is a condition a person is born with and the symptoms will occur when too much of any type of milk is consumed.

Let’s debunk some other milk myths:

  • Pasteurization does not cause allergies. The milk proteins that cause allergic reactions are the same in both raw and pasteurized milk.
  • Pasteurized milk does not cause arthritis. There is, however, research connecting reactive arthritis and food-borne illness.
  • Pasteurization does not cause autism. There is a belief that pasteurization converts casein (a milk protein) into a dangerous molecule that can cause brain injury. Casein proteins are largely unaffected by pasteurization, and the casein in raw and pasteurized milk are virtually the same.
  • Pasteurization does not reduce the nutritional value of milk. It does destroy a tiny amount of vitamin C. Milk, however, is not a significant source of vitamin C, containing only 2 milligrams per cup. Pasteurized milk is also a good source of thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, B12, vitamin D, and calcium.

Bottom line: Don’t be a gambler with your health. Pasteurization kills most (but never all) bacteria so milk is safe to drink and cheese, yogurt and ice cream made from pasteurized milk is safe to eat. Don’t use unpasteurized milk or cream. Don’t eat yogurt, pudding, ice cream or frozen yogurt made from unpasteurized milk. And avoid soft cheeses – brie, camembert, queso fresco, queso blanco – make from unpasteurized milk.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

google plus and facebook March 24, 2014 at 5:07 am

I drop a leave a response when I especially enjoy a post on a site or
if I have something to add to the discussion.
It’s triggered by the fire communicated in the post I looked at.
And after this article Is Raw Milk Safe to Drink?

— The Nutrition Experts. I was moved enough to post a comment ;-) I
actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or
does it look like some of these comments appear like left by brain dead individuals?

:-P And, if you are posting at other sites, I’d like to follow you.

Would you list the complete urls of your social
sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?


8 ball pool hack 2014 March 30, 2014 at 4:12 am

8 ball pool hack 2014 has been around for many generations and it has a critical significance within the life
of many. It could be protected to suppose of which 8 ball pool
hack 2014 is going to be all-around for an extended time and have absolutely a significant effect on the particular lifestyles of the many people.


angry birds epic cheat April 2, 2014 at 2:41 am

Oh yea does angry birds epic cheat actually influence politics.
Recently 5 applicants managing regarding some type of place utilized angry birds epic hack 2014 because the primary subject with their plan.
Somebody may possibly consider angry birds epic cheats is a bad theme
for you to lead any marketing campaign having, but in actuality with all the social and environmental impression
is usually features, that subject matter surely could acquire many


www.instructables.Com April 14, 2014 at 2:09 am

Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!


Randell April 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Very quickly this website will be ffamous among all blogging and site-building viewers,
due to it’s nice posts


Elsword Cheat Engine April 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Wow, superb blog layout! How lengthy have you been running a blog for?
you made running a blog look easy. The overall
look of your site is great, let alone the content!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: