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Is Raw Milk Dairy Good For You?

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You may have heard of the term “raw milk”. What is this, and is it okay for me to drink? The term raw milk refers to milk that has not been heated to temperatures that would kill harmful bacteria (a process called pasteurization). Official health agencies such as the CDC and FDA both warn against the consumption of raw milk, citing the risk of bacterial illness.

Advocates promoting raw dairy consumption stress how critical sterility is when you’re producing these products. But that’s really the problem isn’t it? US States all adopt their own independent laws for raw milk production, which is why at the federal level the US FDA bans its interstate sale or distribution — because they can’t verify that it’s done well enough to be safe.  

BTW, Canada bans the sale of US raw milk on its side of the border as well. If you cannot verify the sterility of each farm production, you can understand the health agency’s reluctance to endorse the product.   

It must be added that the nutritional difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk is actually minimal (the study, in case you run out of things to do), with the exception of Vitamin B1 and B2. On the plus side for raw milk products, this exhaustive meta-analysis did show 6 studies linking raw milk products to reduced allergies.

So the bottom line is that it may actually be marginally better for you. But what you’re weighing is the risk that your source for raw milk or cheese or whatever is controlling the sterility process well enough, and that their process for processing the dairy is rigorous and consistent from day to day so you and your family are less likely to fall ill from it.   

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 30, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Thanks for explaining in common terms.

    • Will Clower
      March 30, 2021 at 6:25 pm

      You are so welcome. Sometimes health info can get so complicated — I guess because it is, LOL.
      So we try to boil it down to basic aspects that everyone can understand.
      Thanks for the good thoughts!

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