What should I look for when visiting raw milk farm?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 14, 2012 at 2:54 AM

I am planning to try to incorporate some raw milk/cream into my diet. I don't believe raw milk in itself is dangerous, but I do think without pasteurization, it is vital that the farming/milking/bottling/etc is done properly.

I certainly plan to visit the farm, meet the farmer, shake his hand, look him in the eye, etc. I of course want to buy from someone I am comfortable with. But, what can I do on top of that?

My first question was going to be are the cows 100% grass fed or are they supplemented with grain, but I understand now that it is unlikely I'll find 100% grass fed dairy, and that may not even be necessary for quality milk:


So, are there certain things I can look for when I'm touring the farm in terms of red flags and/or signs of things done right? What questions should I ask? As you can tell, I know nothing about dairy farming, so any tips/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



on June 14, 2012
at 01:03 PM

Thanks everyone! Very helpful answers



on June 14, 2012
at 05:20 AM

Ask to see the inspection reports. If they are legally selling raw milk, they will have inspection reports. Also ask to see the pathogen testing reports. If they are good sellers, they will have regular pathogen tests on their own (to offer the state inspectors when they come). You want to see zero on all the pathogen reports. If you don't, ask for an explanation and be polite but skeptical.

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on June 14, 2012
at 03:07 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


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.

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



on June 14, 2012
at 03:13 AM

Mine is in a state where it is illegal to sell raw milk, so I had to buy a cow share. Basically the guy gave me references of families that have owned shares there for 10 or more years, getting at least 4 gallons a month. Could physically see the cows out eating grass in the pasture.

He was visited by the state a couple years back trying to shut him down. Only thing they ended up doing was telling him he ran a good enough operation, but suggested that he use new plastic bottles for each milking rather than letting people supply glass containers. So he does that now.

My checking it out really came to him just giving me gallon for free. He and his family are a small operation and I got to meet all the people involved in the care and milking so that was good nuff for me. I feel you can get a good idea of the quality of work a person does just by the quality of the person you know?

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