5

votes

Is raw milk dangerous to drink?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 22, 2010 at 7:36 PM

I bought some raw milk from a local co-op grocer, who gets the milk from a local small dairy farm. In the State of Florida, it must be labeled "For pet use only." and isn't allowed for sale for human consumption. I drank it, should I be concerned?

UPDATE: I finally finished my first 1/2 gallon of raw milk yesterday. I'm still alive after drinking it all week!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:46 AM

Really? I live next to France, I think I'm gonna move and study from abroad now. There's more sun and the food there is more in line with what I eat now.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on May 16, 2012
at 04:40 AM

CA allows raw milk sales.

28f280f8d64c7207fd94d158fbe6e070

(218)

on January 08, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Definitely. I pumped for 6 weeks 24/7 with a hospital grade pump, only getting an ounce at a time, and feeding those precious drops to my Bsby. I was losing my mind by 6 weeks and everyone advised me to stop and just love my baby. :)

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:26 PM

An important side effect of breastfeeding is passing along antibodies. For the about the first six weeks after birth, the baby is relying on a basic "booster pack" of antibodies collected during pregnancy that starts to die off. Breastfeeding bolsters this, supplements this, and starts the process of passing on the mother's full collection of antibodies.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:02 AM

You've got a whole new venture there! Exciting, isn't it?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 31, 2011
at 01:01 AM

Sure, there's some risk. But isn't there also risk from eating spinach or ground beef? I have heard quite a few outbreaks from those. Eggs too, and these are all regulated.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on January 31, 2011
at 12:53 AM

This is what I was told. Googled the issue and found this. "According to documents presented by the Department of Health and Human Services, 10 raw dairy outbreaks with 138 illnesses and one pasteurized dairy outbreak with 23 illnesses were reported in 2010. Even though raw milk accounts for less than one-half of 1 percent of all fluid milk sales in the United States, it causes two to 10 times as many outbreaks as pasteurized products, the documents said. I too thought Claravale and Organic Pastures made a good product; my main point is that there IS some risk here.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on January 31, 2011
at 12:27 AM

how does she know the parasite was from the raw milk? Parasites can be in anything... meat, veggies, even water. To blame it on raw milk without specifically sourcing it to the milk is too easy and not mention the fact that if it was sold in a store in California it was either Claravale or Organic pastures, which have very very strict standards and no one else gets these parasites...

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on January 30, 2011
at 11:36 PM

The first week that I drank raw milk (besides the two times that I had a glass at friends' houses) I felt like I was walking around with a bowling ball in my stomach. After that, no issues (I did have my first bad bout of constipation ever after the second week, but other friends that I got off SAD had the same issue in the same time frame, and they didn't have raw milk). I think it's much like taking strong pro-biotics in that you have a fight and a die off before you see the benefits.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on January 30, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Sure I agree, but milk would have been purchased from store in Northern California without exact knowledge of cow.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 30, 2011
at 09:09 PM

How was your friends cow fed and taken care off? That is a huge factor with raw milk. If you drink raw milk you better visit that farm throughout the year to make sure the up keep and feeding is legit!

58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on June 10, 2010
at 02:32 PM

See "FDA Shows Its True Colors" (http://farmtoconsumer.org/fda-true-colors-walls.htm) to see the government's attitude about raw milk and whether or not we have the right to decide for ourselves what we want to eat

58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on June 10, 2010
at 02:31 PM

See FDA Shows Its True Colors to see the government's attitude about raw milk and whether or not we have the right to decide for ourselves what we want to eat.

78b9161a401f16b9611fe4e639b0b856

(200)

on March 24, 2010
at 02:25 PM

Yes, France is superawesome with the raw/unpasturized goodies. My favourite Brie is unpasturized, but due to regulations can't be exported, so it's not available here in Sweden. Woe!

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 22, 2010
at 09:22 PM

I drank it for 3 years with no issues. Had to give it up due to casein intolerance.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 22, 2010
at 08:55 PM

Great linkage, thanks!

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19 Answers

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17
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 08:44 PM

You may find this an interesting read about raw milk safety: http://www.realmilk.com/rawmilkoverview.html

Just like any other fresh food, raw milk is safe to drink if it comes from healthy herds: http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/raw_milk_safety.html so if you are concerned, the only thing to do is go and check out the herd and see how the outfit is run.

It must be treated like any other farm food; stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a week of purchase.

In Europe, raw milk is seen in a slightly different light; in Italy you can find no less than 1416 raw milk vending machines throughout the country dispensing unpasteurized milk on the streets: http://www.milkmaps.com/. Here in the Alps in France, raw milk is available from every fromagerie selling raw cheese and butter - nobody thinks twice about it.

In other countries in Europe the safety debate rages on, but I suspect that raw milk is more of an agribusiness threat than a health danger: http://www.canadianconstitutionfoundation.ca/article.php/170

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 22, 2010
at 09:22 PM

I drank it for 3 years with no issues. Had to give it up due to casein intolerance.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 22, 2010
at 08:55 PM

Great linkage, thanks!

78b9161a401f16b9611fe4e639b0b856

(200)

on March 24, 2010
at 02:25 PM

Yes, France is superawesome with the raw/unpasturized goodies. My favourite Brie is unpasturized, but due to regulations can't be exported, so it's not available here in Sweden. Woe!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:46 AM

Really? I live next to France, I think I'm gonna move and study from abroad now. There's more sun and the food there is more in line with what I eat now.

5
3f61ba25dff05b513c7769a22408169a

on March 22, 2010
at 09:10 PM

I have been drinking raw cow's milk for over two years, raw goats milk for a few months. I have obtained the cow's milk two different sources, one consistently and one when I was in a pinch and could not get milk from my usual source. I have never, ever had a problem with safety of the milk.

I have strong classic lactose intolerance symptoms when utilizing pasteurized milk and do not experience those symptoms when consuming raw. I have identified differences between A1 vs A2 beta casein for myself however. Well, it was an after the fact recognition, an a-ha moment prompted by the question/answer here on PaleoHacks.com. See http://paleohacks.com/questions/427/a1-vs-a2-casein for links and information.

As Louisa stated in a previous post, it all depends upon the health of the herd.

A question to ask yourself is this: "Would I feed it to my pet?"

If your answer is yes, then you should consider it safe for you if you consider it safe for your pet.

3
0c0c5c65612425e497b7231c21516943

(1354)

on October 15, 2010
at 01:17 AM

Milk is a personal issue on Paleo. Robb Wolf's podcast interview with Jimmy Moore discusses its risks and benefits. It was a great interview, that is worth listening too. If you are going to eat dairy, it should definitely be raw or what is the point?

3
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 27, 2010
at 02:44 AM

Ironically pasteurization kills the good bacteria and leaves most of the harmful bacteria behind. Raw milk is superior and I have found raw milk farms to be MUCH cleaner than regular diary farms that has Cow crap everywhere- even on the cats. Raw milk cheeses should be no problem. I still use fermanted diary as part of my diet and the little milk I drink is always Farm Fresh 'Raw" milk, Grass fed of course.

2
88dae44d946d3ea152e8e3161de052f9

(20)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:45 AM

7 Jan 2012 We have just started drinking raw sheeps milk in the last week and can't believe how great it tastes. A very unrated product indeed! Have made great ice cream, yogurt and have just brought a cheese making kit, so can't wait to have my own cheeses. Adie, NZ

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:02 AM

You've got a whole new venture there! Exciting, isn't it?

2
8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on March 25, 2010
at 02:22 PM

Ditto what everyone else said.

I've been drinking raw milk from my goats and sheep for over 20 years now - and making delicious full-fat raw cheeses.

1
28f280f8d64c7207fd94d158fbe6e070

(218)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:04 PM

If through some reason through no fault of your own, your milk does not come in, and even the best lactation consultant in the world can't get it happening, and you need to supplement or substitute, be oh, so glad that there is a Weston A. Price formula recipe. It uses raw cow's or goat's milk (and for a baby who can't digest either, they make a meat / broth formula too).

If you read the ingredients of commercial formula, you will cry to think of feeding that to your most precious baby! We did. We feed our PETS healthy and paleo! We literally would not feed that commercial formula crap to our pets.

So now, and through the recent CA raw milk shortage, I am singing raw milk's praises. My baby is thriving on this formula, which is rich and real food and the very next best thing to breast. Oh, and the WAP people have some evidence that --- going to stab a modern sacred cow here --- breast is not always best. Breastfeeding is always best if the mom even has a slightly healthy diet. But this nourishing infant formula (google WAP baby formula) is probably better than breast milk from a woman who eats nothing but crap. Makes sense to me.

I am trying to cut unnecessary carbs, but on occasion I will add some raw milk to my smoothies. I like that it's a fatty, vibrant food from a healthy animal.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:26 PM

An important side effect of breastfeeding is passing along antibodies. For the about the first six weeks after birth, the baby is relying on a basic "booster pack" of antibodies collected during pregnancy that starts to die off. Breastfeeding bolsters this, supplements this, and starts the process of passing on the mother's full collection of antibodies.

28f280f8d64c7207fd94d158fbe6e070

(218)

on January 08, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Definitely. I pumped for 6 weeks 24/7 with a hospital grade pump, only getting an ounce at a time, and feeding those precious drops to my Bsby. I was losing my mind by 6 weeks and everyone advised me to stop and just love my baby. :)

1
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:25 AM

In my state, raw milk has got to be a heck of a lot cleaner than conventional milk to be sold. And so the raw dairies are immaculate in comparison to conventional dairies. I figure that if growing up with livestock didn't kill me (I certainly ate with cow-and-horsey hands) - raw milk is nothin'.

Plus it is delicious and worth the risk. Local Jersey cream in my coffee = little morning mouth orgasms!

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on March 28, 2010
at 12:37 AM

I grew up on raw milk (I am from Eastern Europe), HTP milk was a novelty and expensive "fancy" product when it came around. Raw milk makes wonderful, naturally fermented buttermilk, and my Mom was making from it delicious white cheese... you can do nothing from the pasteurized milk.

As everyone else has said - if the dairy farm is clean, the milk is good.

1
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on March 24, 2010
at 12:07 AM

I'm looking forward to milking our goat soon. When we first started milking I pasteurized, but the whole process was time consuming. After reading up on the benefits of raw milk, we now drink ours raw. It's so much faster to get it from the teat to the glass. :-)

Healthy animals give healthy milk is true, but it takes clean milking/food handling practices to ensure your milk stays "healthy" As long as you know your farmer and his/her milking/food handling practices, drinking raw is better for you, IMO.

0
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on June 14, 2012
at 03:08 AM

Chris Kresser wrote a nice post on raw milk buying guidelines http://chriskresser.com/raw-milk-reality-buying-raw-milk-safely

Free Guide Raw Milk Guide http://www.traditional-foods.com/resources/Buyers-Guide.pdf

The best article on raw milk I've seen so far! http://chriskresser.com/raw-milk-reality-is-raw-milk-dangerous

Books:

The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights by David E. Gumpert and Joel F. Salatin

The Untold Story of Milk, Revised and Updated: The History, Politics and Science of Nature's Perfect Food: Raw Milk from Pasture-Fed Cows by Dr. Ron Schmid, ND

The Raw Truth About Milk by Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, MD

I used to be terrified of raw milk until November 2011 when I started to drink it regularly.

Background: My mother was unable to nurse me due to severe medical issues, and cow's milk was hard to digest, so my first food was goat's milk. I drank pasteurized cow dairy later (sadly mostly low fat) products from an early age until age 26 and suffered gas. From age 11-26, I had acne which showed no improvement on various creams and antibiotics (now know the worst choice). Doctors said it "couldn't be dietary!"

At age 26,I self-diagnosed myself with lactose intolerance and switched to almond milk and using Lactaid (lactase enzyme supplement) for the occasional dairy. My acne disappeared and friends and family noticed. I never had issues with butter so ate it my entire life because all fake butters and margarines disgusted me.

I started low-carb reducing grains at age 31, then Paleo at age 32. My eczema went away on Paleo. 1 month after dairy elimination while supporting my husband on Paleo (he was going through a very rough time with gluten and autoimmune issues), we both reintroduced dairy - this time 100% whole pastured grass-fed but pasteurized. We had no issues with any amount of heavy cream, butter, and ghee. Other dairy products such as sour cream, cheese and yogurt no more then 1 serving a day would be fine but any more amounts of these products caused slight acne.

After the Weston Price Foundation conference meeting nearly 1000+ people consuming raw dairy their entire life extolling it's virtues, reading the literature, and visiting the raw dairy farms we decided n=1000 was too big to ignore. We realized raw milk was more natural then almond milk.

We have been consuming raw pastured whole fat grass-fed butter, heavy cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, egg nog, creme fraiche (NOT all in 1 day) with NO symptoms - in fact we feel better then ever! We slowly increased the quantity to about 4 servings a day - we've never eaten that much dairy, and I don't think we would consume more because it's too filling and satiating.

Unlike in the past, as a child when I ate processed ice cream and felt addicted (perhaps opiate receptors, sugar, and gluten), the raw dairy I don't feel addicted to it. Whether I have 1-3 servings a day, I don't want anymore. When we travel and limit dairy (because it's pasteurized) we miss 2 things the most - raw dairy and fermented veggies!

We learned a lot WAPF, and Natasha Campbell-McBride whose GAPS diet is quite similar to Paleo recommending reintroducing raw dairy in small amounts once the gut was sealed and healed. We have come to believe the more probiotic species the better for the immune system and the best way to collect a wide variety is through raw dairy since fermented vegetables don't have that diversity. Even here on PH, kefir is acknowledged to have the most species! http://paleohacks.com/questions/73151/which-has-a-greater-number-of-species-and-quantity-of-probiotics-fermented-vegg#axzz1m8YbEQOt

Since raw dairy helps with allergies, which is an overreaction of the immune system - perhaps it might help with autoimmune issues too?

For more Paleo Diet hacks: Raw milk testmonials - and where to find in Massachusetts? - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/124623/raw-milk-testmonials-and-where-to-find-in-massachusetts#ixzz1xjWZoecw

0
B4eff3cb2443e300974ac85a9d0a49c9

on May 16, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I grew up on raw milk, and I am 58 years old and made the mistake of moving to CA. Should have brought my cow with me. Made my own butter, buttermilk, and cheese, CA has their dumb laws ,to make more money.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on May 16, 2012
at 04:40 AM

CA allows raw milk sales.

0
B5caf16931b386182d23bee60fb8dd11

on January 02, 2012
at 12:11 PM

I started drinking raw milk after going on the SCD diet (which completely eliminates ALL grains, sugar, potatoes and other starchy vegies like sweet potato), and I had zero problems with it (it's been several weeks now and I have been drinking quite a bit). It is possible that going off grains and starchy vegies eliminated problematic bacteria etc, or that milk (including raw) may react with those products in some people (may be why some people get a gut reaction to it still).

scd = specific carbohydrate diet btw

0
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 30, 2011
at 09:07 PM

My family has been drinking it for a year now and we found that it is a great health benefit. My 3 year old rarely gets sick anymore and I think the benefits of raw milk have contributed to that.

0
Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on January 30, 2011
at 08:35 PM

Here's a comment in the opposite direction. I thought raw milk was OK too and have had it many times in the past. However, a close friend told me yesterday that she has 'parasites in her kidney' from drinking raw milk. She is under treatment from a licensed naturopath so I don't think this is her own diagnosis. The doc says it is 'fairly serious' and if she doesn't quickly respond to some first remedy she is going on antibiotics. For what it is worth, this raw milk would have been purchased in Northern California. If you have any weakness whatsoever - stress, immune issues - I'd give the raw milk serious second thought. If you google, you will find some troubling cases amidst the very vocal support and hype.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on January 31, 2011
at 12:53 AM

This is what I was told. Googled the issue and found this. "According to documents presented by the Department of Health and Human Services, 10 raw dairy outbreaks with 138 illnesses and one pasteurized dairy outbreak with 23 illnesses were reported in 2010. Even though raw milk accounts for less than one-half of 1 percent of all fluid milk sales in the United States, it causes two to 10 times as many outbreaks as pasteurized products, the documents said. I too thought Claravale and Organic Pastures made a good product; my main point is that there IS some risk here.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 31, 2011
at 01:01 AM

Sure, there's some risk. But isn't there also risk from eating spinach or ground beef? I have heard quite a few outbreaks from those. Eggs too, and these are all regulated.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 30, 2011
at 09:09 PM

How was your friends cow fed and taken care off? That is a huge factor with raw milk. If you drink raw milk you better visit that farm throughout the year to make sure the up keep and feeding is legit!

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on January 30, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Sure I agree, but milk would have been purchased from store in Northern California without exact knowledge of cow.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on January 31, 2011
at 12:27 AM

how does she know the parasite was from the raw milk? Parasites can be in anything... meat, veggies, even water. To blame it on raw milk without specifically sourcing it to the milk is too easy and not mention the fact that if it was sold in a store in California it was either Claravale or Organic pastures, which have very very strict standards and no one else gets these parasites...

0
1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

on January 30, 2011
at 08:21 PM

The local health food store finally started carrying a raw goat milk.Is it just me or does it take a little time to get used to it stomach-wise?I haven't had raw milk in years, and it seems like my tummy might not be so sure yet.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on January 30, 2011
at 11:36 PM

The first week that I drank raw milk (besides the two times that I had a glass at friends' houses) I felt like I was walking around with a bowling ball in my stomach. After that, no issues (I did have my first bad bout of constipation ever after the second week, but other friends that I got off SAD had the same issue in the same time frame, and they didn't have raw milk). I think it's much like taking strong pro-biotics in that you have a fight and a die off before you see the benefits.

0
Ac9425a387b78cb37a01972fe848bddb

(655)

on October 15, 2010
at 12:38 AM

So i'm guessing that that you guys are not orthodox-paleo? I wish I could get my hands on some raw milk...

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 23, 2010
at 01:21 AM

I used to buy raw milk when I had my first two children, then we had our own milk cow when the next two were born. We had no problems of any kind with either source.

If the dairy is clean and well managed, the warning is just to cover their butts.

We had the most wonderful homemade butter from the Jersey cow's milk and I made cheese too-some of which would have made fine giant hockey pucks (I was learning!).

0
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on March 23, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Pasteurization is an artifact of factory/unsanitary milk production. Healthy cows give healthy milk.

That said, even raw milk gives me horrible cramps and, um, you know. Cursed lactose! So I eat full-fat yogurt instead, not from raw milk because it's not available anywhere here in the US except off the farm, but there's a brand of pastured-milk full-fat Jersey cow yogurt I like. There's so much fat in it, it's a pale yellow color!

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