Last week I did a survey on what types of milk people drank. Of course pasteurized milk was in first, almond was in second, and soy was tied with raw as the third option (which is slightly concerning considering raw milk is illegal in North America). So for this round of research I looked into the most questionable of the bunch: raw milk.
In 1862 a french scientist introduced the idea of pasteurizing milk, which uses heat to kill harmful germs like E.coli or Salmonella. However, in recent years some people have been fighting pasteurization in milk, claiming it to be worse than raw milk. So which one is better?
Raw VS Pasteurized milk:
Some people on the Raw side state that raw milk is 'untouched' and therefore in it's healthiest form. Others say that since there are more germs in the milk it builds up a child's immune system, making then less susceptible to illnesses. A European study named GABRIELA compared 8,000 children. One group was living in small towns and drinking pasteurized milk, while the other group was drinking raw milk on their farms. They found that the children drinking raw milk were less likely to develop allergies and asthma. However, this study was inconclusive. Mainly due to the fact the environment was different for each group, and children living on farms already have higher immune systems due to being exposed to more germs on a daily basis.
This exposure to germs can easily get dangerous. Widespread use of contaminated milk can cause widespread health epidemics( If the contamination is from a dangerous bacteria). This is why we started using pasteurized milk. While there are many studies saying this milk is better than that, there is solid proof that pasteurization is safer.
While 1% of the U.S milk drinkers like it raw, raw milk accounts for 56% of the county's food-born illnesses.
"The potential for harm has been well documented. Decades' worth of data show that raw milk has repeatedly been a vehicle of dangerous microbes such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Mycobacterium bovis, a rare form of tuberculosis (Aleccia, 2008; Austin et al., 2008; Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
So please, unless you've been drinking from your own cows since childhood, stay away from raw milk.
Winner: Pasteurized milk