The Raw Milk Raw Deal
Thursday April 15, 2021
Obsessive Covid cleaning is just the most recent and most palpable government regulation to serve no discernible health and safety policy goal. Many rules ostensibly made to “protect” you and yours really serve to protect incumbents from new entry by artificially increasing new entry costs. Others are paternalistic efforts designed to save you from yourself, including your natural cravings for wholesome natural foods.
One particularly stunning example of the latter is the US Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the interstate sale of raw, which is to say unpasteurized, milk. According to the FDA, the ban is necessary because “raw milk can contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria, including Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Brucella.”
Like so much government disinformation, that claim is only partially correct. Bovine milk can become contaminated with anything after it leaves the cow’s udder due to unclean milking or handling processes but to suggest that milk from healthy cattle naturally teems with such nasties is disingenuous.
Some groups of humans have consumed the milk of cows and other mammals for thousands of years. Consuming animal milk may have helped human immune systems adapt to living intimately with ungulates, a major source of meat, muscle power, and fertilizer in addition to milk and its sundry cognates. The oldest confirmed production of cheese dates from 7,200 years ago!