Friday, June 10, 2005

raw trouble

You can put anything in your mouth and swallow and I don't care. Really, just go for it. That's not to say I think you *should* put certain things in your mouth and swallow. Raw milk comes to mind.

If you're adult and making choices for yourself about drinking raw milk, then I respectfully advise you it's a risky idea. Bacteria live everywhere and a complete menu of bacteria is found on all kinds of farms and bacteria love their milk. Even the short list is pretty impressive: e.coli, salmonella, listeria.

You can get a home pasteurizer for about $300 or pasteurize milk with things you have around the house. Pasteurization is heating the milk to 145 degrees and keeping it at 145 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

The argument that raw milk is somehow better for you is spectacularly stupid. Calculating probabilities isn't my strong suit but it's fair to compare drinking raw milk with gambling. The odds are unknown to me, but if you're drinking raw milk you're living on the edge.

People have also told me raw milk tastes better. Pasteurization does affect taste. But milk harvested right from the cow and pasteurized is as fresh a taste treat as there is and you get to enjoy it without thinking about invisible nasties working over your guts.

Finally, if you're pushing raw milk out the back door of your farm to families with kids, you're risking their lives, too, not to mention exploiting ignorance for your gain.

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