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Food Safety?

April 22, 2012

Ms. Jane Butterfield

Where to begin with the with the topic of food safety?  With a recent outbreak of E. coli contributed to raw milk, I’m glad I am control of my own food supply to a certain extent.  A couple of things came to mind when this happened, first I felt bad for the people who were taken ill, and I thought hmmm, this might be a good time to sell my home pasteurizer…   Even though I am a lifelong home-produced milk drinker, I pasteurized our milk when our child was tiny.  I just wasn’t willing to take the risk.

On the milk front I happen to think homogenization is harder on the milk than the pasteurization.  Just my humble opinion though.  I still like milk of any kind, and happen to think the store-bought stuff I have been buying the last two years is delicious.  I just prefer to have my own and will be glad when Jane freshens.

I don’t know if we need more laws, really, but anymore I don’t think I would buy any milk from folks who weren’t rigorously testing their milk.  Having a dairy animal has become very popular lately.  The first flush was before Y2K, and you couldn’t find a cow to save your life without paying an arm and a leg.  Things died down for a while and now keeping a house cow has surged (pun intended) to the forefront again.  I hate to be mean, but really I don’t think having a dairy cow should be high on the priority list for most new farmers.  Dairying is hard, you don’t just buy the cow and get milk automatically.  And I don’t think drinking milk from an unhealthy cow (which is what most people think they are avoiding by having their own cow) is a good thing.  Keeping a dairy cow healthy is a delicate balance, much harder than a beef cow for sure.

All I can say is if you are buying raw milk, go to the farm, and look around.  Look at the cow(s), do they look healthy?  What are they eating?  Do they get some time off each year to build reserves?  Is the farmer a nice person or an a$$hole?  What kind of medicine to they use or not?  After looking around, do you still want the milk?  Be honest with yourself.  Sometimes small dairies are as bad as the big ones in the news.  Organic isn’t the cure-all either, think husbandry instead.  I love telling the story about hauling dairy cows for a friend.  One trip we “got” to go to organic dairy that belonged to the Organic Valley Co-op.  We couldn’t wait, especially since it was on the dry side of the mountain.  Yeah, we thought, its January no mud!  Well, the place was awful, I have to be honest.  We got the cull cow (there were many to choose from) loaded and headed for home, perplexed.  We thought for sure an organic dairy would be better.  Several weeks later, this same fellow had purchased another cow, this time from a conventional fellow on the wet side of the mountains.  Oh brother, here we go again, we thought.  We were in for a huge surprise.  Hardly any mud, really nice cows, and no culls, this was a bred heifer.  We were impressed, the cows were so beautiful, and my husband still talks about it to this day, and he’s not that into cows.  So the moral is, look for care the cows get, and make sure you get a look.  I would not have cared to drink the milk from the organic dairy, but I would have gladly taken a swig at the conventional one.

So what do you think?  Should raw milk be outlawed or do you think it is a personal choice?  I don’t even care about the pink slime issue, as long as it is part of the label, is should be a personal choice.  And I don’t think it’s fair to call it pink slime either.  I think personal responsibility has to come into play and we have to become more informed consumers.  Please weigh in.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Rita permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:27 am

    Personal consumer responsibility is my choice. Nearly all foods (raw, cooked, and pasteurized) have been associated with food borne illness. We can still buy raw meat, raw veggies, raw fish, raw eggs but not raw milk. Food safety, per se, has very little to do with the politics of raw milk.

  2. Sheila Z permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:40 am

    I’d much rather drink raw milk from a farm that is shipping milk than from the average person that has a backyard cow. When I had the commercial herd it was a closed herd and they were tested annually for several communicable diseases. From my own cows I had no problem drinking raw milk. However, when I was a kid my parents bought milk from a neighbor that had 2 cows. We all got sick with Undulant Fever. We only found out after we had all gotten sick that one of their cows (purchased from the sale barns) had aborted shortly after they got her home and was most likely was the source of Brucellosis.

    Pink slime, no thanks, but then I won’t eat any meat from the grocery store. Either I raise it myself, know the person who raised it, Otherwise, it’s vegan for me.

  3. Annette permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:47 am

    I would love to drink raw milk if I found a place that I felt comfortable with, but I agree that knowing something about where your food came from is more important than what the label is. Good animal husbandry takes commitment, and for a lot of people, the organic label is just a way to maintain margins…not necessarily a commitment to the philosophy.

  4. April 22, 2012 12:02 pm

    I agree that the purchase of raw milk should be a personal choice. I sell raw milk, and have been doing so for quite a few years; but the reason I started down this crazy dairying life was because I was NOT pleased with all the other farms that were selling milk! I am admittedly, a neat freak. I go way above and beyond when it comes to keeping everything immaculate and sterilized. Even the goats themselves… LOL. Many people say I am overreacting when they see all the “extra” work I do, but I want to sleep good at night knowing that NO ONE will get sick drinking my milk. And it really does make a difference in the quality, in the end… Customers notice it. 🙂 And that’s what keeps me going.

  5. April 22, 2012 12:43 pm

    I agree with you 110%. Everyone thinks they’re an expert about food and farming issues after reading a little Michael Pollan & Mark Bittman. If they ever get up close they’ll see being so confident about the right and wrong way to farm is a lot easier on paper.

    There are many good conventional farmers in my area. I would rather by from my hardworking neighbor who is conventional than buy anonymous organic stuff shipped in from far away.

    Jane is looking a little matronly today….

  6. April 22, 2012 3:47 pm

    I think it is about being informed and making the best decision with the information.

  7. April 22, 2012 3:59 pm

    I agree as well. I think you should be able to buy raw milk. We used to get raw milk from a neighbor when I was a kid. The cow grazed in the field right beside our house. I myself will never have the option of raising a cow but it would be nice to be able to buy some fresh milk. The taste is just so much better!

  8. Hayden permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:19 pm

    Personal choice, absolutely. The problem I have with that, of course, is that big ag fights against labeling. So until labels actually reflect what goes into the product, I’ll be continuing to fight.

    I LOVE my current raw milk supplier. Really nice young couple, smart and thoughtful. He tests monthly, and the lab stores a sample from every batch in the freezer so he has recourse to evidence, not innuendo, in the event of of a problem. He’s buying his fathers’ farm, and has rented it from him and run it for the last 6 years. The milk is “conventional” – not certified organic – but all of his practices are in line w/ organic and he consistently gets (and publishes) top level lab tests. I’ve learned a lot from chatting with him, and he learned abt. spraying w/ raw milk from me (I use it in the orchard, and buy my ag milk from him). He researched it, and now he’s spraying his pastures 3X a year. He started 2 years ago, and last year got an extra cutting of hay. So it’s been a lovely process – I can’t imagine taking on the hard work of a dairy cow, am am grateful to have excellent quality available for me (and for the chickens and guineas now and then.) And our weekly chats when I go for pickup are always a delight and an education.

  9. Bee permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:46 pm

    I am a big proponent of doing it yourself, but there are times when it makes better sense to have someone else do it. For example, while I will tackle nearly any vegetable, I don’t grow celery or cauliflower because I’m not willing to fuss with them and because in our climate, they are darned tough to grow. When it comes to milk, however, I think I can do it better than the conventional folks and I know I can do it less expensively. Besides, I get not just milk but butter, cream, cream chesee, cottage cheese, etc. etc. I know exactly what went into it (and equally important, what didn’t go into it). I don’t think commercially priced raw milk, which I buy in limited amounts when the cow is dry, tastes nearly as good as our stuff. I feel the same way about raising our own beef. The other issue, for me, is that in California the only way you can buy raw milk direct from the farmer is through cow shares, and the one dairy that has a cow share program in our area is a 90-mile round trip to pick up the milk. Since we can easily go through a couple of gallons a day for drinking and cheese making, home grown makes good economic sense. Not to mention that when the cow is really producing, early in her lactation, we can feed surplus to the pigs and chickens to make home-grown pork, eggs and poultry. I think home-grown milk is a winner no matter how you look at it, IF (and it can be a big if) you know how to manage a cow and use what she gives you.

  10. April 22, 2012 5:06 pm

    Well the problem is that most of the big producers want to get away with not labeling so that consumers can’t make an informed choice. But I agree- I think it should be a personal choice. I remember when I lived in Mt. Shasta I had the chance to taste some just milked milk and it was delicious.

    And I agree that a cow is probably not the first thing new farmers should try. I wouldn’t, anyway; having to milk twice a day would be just one more thing to have to do. But what a bummer about the Organic Valley- ick!

  11. Lynn permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:47 pm

    I think milk is delicious and I love raw milk. But a problem with personal responsibility is that with the increasing popularity of raw milk, the pool of interested consumers is becoming bigger and less educated. Typing “raw milk” into Google doesn’t help much — many of the top sites claim that raw milk is safer than pasteurized milk, period. Here in WA, one of the dairies I have regularly bought from in the past had a recall and E. Coli outbreak, the other was linked to several cases but never confirmed via contaminated milk samples. These were the big raw milk dairies that were sold in grocery stores. I am not a farmer and I have no idea what to look for in a dairy farm tour beyond cleanliness and health-appearing animals. Does this mean I’m not qualified to drink raw milk? I don’t know. (Disclaimer: I don’t think it should be illegal.)

  12. April 22, 2012 6:18 pm

    I think food should be legal, raw, pink slime, cooked to death, but please label it! I was just about to ask what you thought of the latest raw milk drama. I haven’t heard any news on it, but how do you think e coli got into it?

  13. April 22, 2012 6:30 pm

    There’s another raw-milk linked E.coli “outbreak” (not confirmed by milk samples) from the dairy near my home town. I drank their raw milk for over a decade and loved it. Still do, but they’re out of business now.
    I have a big problem with making any sort of food illegal. I can walk into any store and buy a pack of cigarettes, which are known to be deadly, and confer no nutritional benefit whatsoever, yet in 23 states the health department has decided that unpasturized milk is too dangerous for me to buy.

  14. April 22, 2012 7:23 pm

    All the previous commenters have made really good points here. What a pertinent issue!

    To weigh in on your question, I have to vote AGAINST outlawing the purchasing/selling of raw milk, just because I think it should be available to folks that want to buy it and consume it, and that do not have the ability to husband their own dairy animal. But that particular food production activity brings with it an ENORMOUS responsibility in terms of food safety, and I’m not sure what the best way is to address that concern. (i.e., more or less government involvment?) Personal responsibility only goes as far as the knowledge base or investigative ability of the person/consumer involved in the purchasing of raw milk.

    Myself, I would rather husband my own dairy cow or goat if I want to consume raw milk, than rely on someone else’s abillity or committment to perform all the necessary hygenic requirements properly. I’ve milked goats before, and gave away some of that milk, and always felt a little nervous about the quality of the product. It doesn’t take much of things unseen to destroy palatability in milk. Every morning and every evening, the milking and handling of the milk must be done EXACTLY right; no fudging with the sanitation, the timing, the cooling, the storing temps, etc. I know from doing it that it is more difficult, day after day, than it sounds. With this product I would only trust myself, or a producer with a bona fide and published testing protocol, before I would pour it down my gut.

    I wish that raw milk could be accepted as a niche market product and that states would agree to regulate quality of it instead of prosecute against its private production. Proper standards and regulations could be a good thing, in this case, protecting the consumer as they should, while keeping the producers up to measurable standards.

  15. April 22, 2012 8:06 pm

    Character and ethics count; you cannot legislate morality. I think some people sell, or would like to sell, raw milk because they believe in the goodness, are aware of the hazards and are responsible about avoiding mistakes.

    Others sell raw milk, or any milk or product, because they make money at it. The cheaper they get more product paid for, the better, and taking less effort counts as “cheaper”. Some folk want the Organic label to get more money, others because they want their organic practices to be respected. I think the customers have to rely on experience and reputation, and make the best choice possible.

    Grocery store milk is, by definition, the lowest common denominator. The USDA defines what the fat content of “whole” milk so every producer can hit that mark all year. That means that almost all USDA whole milk is watered down to meet that standard. The pastuerisation clears the mistakes of those less than perfectly competent and responsible.

    Some states and communities won’t depend on every milk producer to meet the safety needs of their community with raw milk, so they ban every milk producer from selling raw milk.

    Maybe if raw milk were also sold with Irish whiskey to render it “safe” to drink . .

    Dad got out of milking his eight cows back in 1965 partly due to a heart condition, and partly because dairies even then were dropping customers with less than 50 cows, and less than industrial type tank and processing systems. (His income dropped about $1 the year he quit, though there wasn’t fresh milk and real cream just across the yard anymore.)

  16. Greg O permalink
    April 22, 2012 9:04 pm

    Well, Anne and I moved to a farm a couple of years ago to figure out how to make the food we like to eat. Yeh, we started with Michael Pollan and several years of buying a lot of food from farmers markets, and growing more and more of our own veggies in our city gardens. After moving here, we went through a phase of “raw milk is good milk,” and then we realized that we could be putting our little granddaughter at risk because we didn’t know the farmer who produced the raw milk we had (technically that’s probably not OK in Oregon, whose laws on raw milk sales realy aren’t so bad — they require sales directly from the farm, and no advertising, so you sort of have to know your farmer).

    So yeh, that was a problem. However, laying all knowledge on the consumer (which is what you do when you say, “personal responsibility”) hands all of the food production for most people to Safeway. I don’t want to go there. I have a Safeway in the neighborhood, and their dairy section advertises “Farm fresh” and “Pure and wholesome.” Those statements are by definition lies at Safeway, where those products go through a whole lot of processing and many days before they reach the store — they might be wholesome, but they are certainly neither fresh nor pure, and therein lies the precise problem: There are a whole world of people out there who want nothing more than to persuade you, for example, that your diet coke is good for your heart (I drink one a day because I like it; no, it isn’t at all “good for my heart,” but it does NOT contain certain items that regulators have decreed “bad for your heart,” so that allows Diet Coke to say it is “good for your heart”). In the very-highly-defined world of government-regulated corporate food, Diet Coke is allowed to advertise that. “Pink slime” is a very good name (bestowed by a witty government worker, actually) for a filler product that, yes, is a product of thousands of beef cows from around the world, raised, fattened and slaguhtered in dozens of different ways that you, the consumer, cannot find out about, their unusable parts combined off the slaughterhouse floor by machinery and treated with chemicals to form “pink slime”, which is then used to give color and a bit more beef to your hamburger that you buy at … Safeway, Kroger, Costco, Ray’s, or whatever your local supermarket may be called. So No, I’m not entirely for “personal responsibility,” because that means the average consumer must wind up accepting Safeway’s, and everyone else’s, lies about the nature and qualities of their “food.” While there is a big, big area for personal responsibility, unless you temper the sales pitches your “personal responsibility” winds up out the window. The only way to temper those pitches is with government intervention; it isn’t pretty, it doesn’t work all that well all the time (so many states that don’t allow any sales of raw milk at all!), but it is absoutely, utterly necessary.

  17. April 22, 2012 10:01 pm

    While I do not advocate ignoring the issue of hygiene, some of the sicknesses could be the result of an over clean lifestyle which also results in a legacy of allergies. For young children and those who are sick it maybe wise to pasteurise, but developing a healthy immune system that does not attack itself means allowing the body to fight some diseases. The raw milk issue could be more than “is it clean”, we have to think do we need the bugs that are in the milk to make our bodies healthy? That turns a lot of issues we look at about food safety on its head. That doesn’t mean though that I think care should not be taken, but a balance achieved

  18. April 23, 2012 4:01 am

    I buy raw milk because I like to go to the dairy farmer I know does a great job, buy his cream line milk bottled in returnable glass bottles and undiluted by the possibly filthy milk from other dairies I know nothing about. Because his milk is produced to the standards required to maintain a raw milk license in Pennsylvania, I know the milk is clean.

    I also know that my favorite farmer has been paid a fair price for his milk, and it cost me no more than store-bought and I often pasteurize the milk myself when I get home. Like Matron I think the homogenzation really affects the quality and I can pasteurize at a lower temperature for longer time and not diminish the quality nearly as much – especially the organic milk which is ultra-pasteurized.

    Yes, the milk spoils faster, but have you ever seen the difference between spoiled real milk and spoiled store – bought?? Store bought is just plain putrid, while real milk usually just gets cheesy…

    Your local dairy farmers really need your attention and support right now. Avoid buying from big processors as much as possible – if you have a local farm bottling their own milk, do whatever it takes to support their effort.

  19. April 23, 2012 5:11 am

    “…a Centers for Disease Control report showed that 60 percent of disease outbreaks caused by dairy products between 1993 and 2006 were caused by nonpasteurized products.”

    That’s not a good stat for the CDC to trot out. If it is correct, we’re really not much better off with pasteurization.

    Get to know your farmer. They are more trustworthy than inspectors.

  20. Darlene permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:40 am

    I am for personal choice,but we NEED complete labeling of how a product is produced! It is imperitive for consumers to be able to make a knowlegable choice!

  21. cookier permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:16 am

    Here in Canada we’ve had a long time farmer battling for the right to source raw milk. I remain worried that if it comes to pass, big companies will see a profit in keeping cows in tiny basement cages and selling their milk. Sounds like nonsense, I’m sure, but who would have believed battery caged hens 50 years ago? Anyway. I recently learned what he was saying was a subtler message than simply “Raw Milk is Good”. Our food system was set up to keep us safe, it should be testing and ensuring the foods we choose are up to a standard. Instead, the food inspection system seems to have been waylaid into a side road where they now tell us “You can’t eat this, it’s not safe” as in the case with raw milk, which can be quite good for you, and “You can eat this, it’s safe” in the case of say, sugar coated over processed boxed foods, which are never good for you.

  22. Kirk permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:15 am

    I heartily agree that industrial ag and “food safety” has ruined a lot of good food. I want the choice to purchase raw anything. It’s now painfully obvious that political regulators are just that, political, and are driven by corporate interests and $$. A friend is considering getting out of the egg business because her outlet can no longer take unwashed eggs, and she’d need a multi-thousand dollar kitchen to wash eggs.
    It also seems we’ve created the demons that haunt us – E. coli O157H7 out of the guts of cows raised on corn instead of grass, MRSA, new strains of pathogen-of-the-week. Now everybody pays. Too bad Big Ag has enough $$ to buy the blind eye of regulators. I will continue to eat my hens’ unwashed eggs, raise my own broilers and, maybe someday, pigs. I even feed these things to my kids! As a microbiologist, I’m not worried about the food WE raise; we just take normal common-sense precautions.

  23. April 23, 2012 9:17 am

    I grew up on raw milk we got from a local farmer. I drink raw milk now from a small farm. I checked out the milk room, the cows, their methods, their feeding, everything, before I bought the milk.

    I think it’s a personal choice AND a personal responsibility to KNOW where your food comes from and how it is produced/grown. If the farm will not let you see what they are doing, you don’t need that food.

    Having our own milk cow is beyond our capabilities. But we do have our own beef, chicken and pork, in addition to vegs. All raised as organically and sustainably as we can do it.

  24. April 24, 2012 10:02 am

    I wrote a blog entry about food safety a few days ago; not with this particular outbreak in mind, but talking about the general subject, and pointing out that “clean” isn’t better — and gave a couple of examples.

    I just don’t know if there’s enough information available to me to feel like I should give raw milk to my small children. All it takes is one bad day on the farm and the batch is contaminated; and if the consequence is death (as it might be for two children mentioned in the capital press story mentioned in this blog entry) is the benefit worth the reward?

    Even Matron pastuerized her milk when her children were small; from that I take that the decision was made that the benefit was not worth the risk for her own child, with her own cow. I don’t think it gets clearer than that.

    summary: I’m not sure that the consumer will ever have enough information about a farms operation to reduce the risk of raw milk for susceptible people like kids, to an acceptable level if the penalty for one mistake is death.

    I’m speaking as someone who’s raising a milk cow right now, by the way. I’m not against raw milk. I’m looking forward to having my own, actually. But I don’t think I’m going to be giving it to children. It’s an adult beverage, for me at least.

  25. April 24, 2012 1:27 pm

    The risks of raw milk are super exaggerated. Hundreds more people have died from pasteurized, verifiably contaminated conventional milk than from verifiably contaminated raw milk. But people think that level of safety and risk is adequate for that and go on and on about how raw milk requires nuclear plant levels of care for them to feel comfortable with it. It’s milk from a darn cow or goat or sheep. All things being equal, if the animals are healthy and well maintained, the milk will be fine. Once in a while people will get sick, but not very often and most of the illnesses will be mild. This is all well reflected in the actual raw milk illness data. Based on the available data from the CDC, pasteurized milk is significantly riskier in terms of absolute numbers, and possibly on a percentage basis compared to raw milk.

    Notice that I am not claiming raw milk is magical or risk-free. I’m just saying that it is absurd to act like it is some high-octane thing compared to all other kinds of food. Pasteurized milk can be pasteurized a number of ways, some of which (ultra-high) don’t confer much benefit beyond long-term storage and can lead to illness themselves in the form of intolerance and difficulty with consumption. A case can be made that most current lactose intolerance is not related to lactose at all, but to the increased amount of processing conventional dairies do to the milk, partly for long-term storage and partly because of increased hygiene/sanitation problems. The rise of intolerance is interestingly parallel to the increased processing, rather than simply an increase in diagnoses. It is also clear from the CDC’s own outbreak data that pasteurized milk has been responsible for outbreaks sickening hundreds of thousands of people in just the last generation, even though all dairy-related illness is 1% of total food sickness cases.

    David Gumpert’s site at is a really good overview of the issue of raw milk regulation and safety. It is a proxy in the real food debate and it is interesting that real food types don’t always see how they are feeding the industrial narrative with their own squealing about the inherent unsafeness of raw milk over all other milk and food.

    The reality of illness/sickness from food is that raw milk is just not that dangerous compared to, well, everything else. Like meat, other dairy, fish, and vegetables, sometimes people get sick after consuming it, but the numbers are so tiny when you look at verified, linked to actual milk batches cases compared to the same level of verification for other foods. I think there should be some honesty about the way raw milk is positioned as uniquely and specially dangerous when it is simply not in the total pool of ‘foods that make folks sick’.

  26. April 24, 2012 2:01 pm

    I absolutely agree and as raw milk has become more popular it is starting to scare me the amount of blind faith, as it were, I hear people espousing. I.E. if it’s raw its perfectly safe and healthy, anyone of any age is fine to drink it, testing the cow doesn’t matter, its impossible it made you sick even though everyone in the family drinking it all had gastric distress, encouraging people who are severely immune-compromised to drink it (especially people on chemo, which scare the ever-loving crap out of me), etc.Yes, it’s fantastic stuff when done properly, but it’s NOT some sort of bacteria-immune super food and is, in reality, a lovely medium for bacteria when things go wrong. I am 100% comfortable drinking raw from my cow and have been doing it for 10+ years, but I don’t think I would be comfortable drinking it from anywhere else and if we didn’t have a source I’d be buying the pasteurized, non-homogenized milk a local pasture-based, organic dairy sells in our area. I think it should be legal, but I also think people should be HONEST about it, both the good and the bad.

    The other scary part is the flush of people getting cows who are utterly unprepared and uneducated and then come wondering why their cow is losing weight or dropping production or has raging mastitis or some other issue. Then you ask and find out they waited 2 weeks to milk after calving with a Jersey who is making 6 gallons a day or took a commercial dairy cow who was on 15 lbs of grain and silage and the best hay in the region and threw her out on an overgrazed horse pasture because they only believe in “grassfed” or has had mastitis for 2 weeks but they don’t believe in antibiotics and only have time to milk 1x a day. That’s the other backlash from raw milk- people read over and over it has to be 100% grassfed, grain is unnatural and unnecessary for all cows, etc. and don’t do any real research into what keeping a dairy animal really entails and then it’s the poor cows who end up suffering due to ignorance and blind adherence to some philosophy.

  27. ienvan permalink
    April 24, 2012 7:07 pm

    Excellent post. I agree on the personal responsibility issue. I am not a milk drinker, though I do eat yogurt and cheese. I get cheese from a family farm one valley over. You can see the cows graze in the meadow by the river in summer. Yogurt comes from here, and is non-homogenized, a rare treat.
    I would prefer a more local product but these people are so good…..

  28. Mom24boys permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:36 pm

    In my opinion, it should be all about personal responsibility… and clear, honest labeling.

    And I agree with you about pasturization… not such a bad thing. But homoginization I find disturbing. It just can’t be a good thing to change the size of fat globuals so they are so small they suspend. I mean, the very nature of the substance is modified; how can that be good for us?

  29. April 25, 2012 7:01 am

    I am not a big fan of more laws and I don’t think having the government regulate raw milk is going to keep us any safer then the other foods the government regulates. I do not think that raw milk should be legal to sell in stores. I do however think that it should be legal to sell off the farm. I do think people should have to go to the farm to get them milk. Living in MN it is somewhat legal to sell milk off the farm ( I say “somewhat” because the law says you can’t do it on a consistent basis- whatever that means). We sold milk off of our farm and we required everyone to come to the farm and look around before they started buying from us, and they were required to pick up at the farm. In 3 years we never had a problem.

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