It’s not just about what you put on your cereal. Meet the raw-milk revolutionaries who are raging against the machine.
The gullibility and herd mentality of humans can never be underestimated. These people that used to drink Oatly (agh) and have now moved on to raw milk will soon move on to their next fad. Pathetic.
I love raw milk, and have been drinking it for years, and I believe people should be able to buy and drink it legally as long as they are willing to accept the consequences. Pasteurization was invented because there are lots of dangerous bacteria that can live in milk - listeria being one of the worst. Modern dairies that are well cleaned and regularly tested are pretty safe and I love the taste of raw milk so much that I am willing to take the infinitesimal risk. The risk is not zero. I am skeptical that raw milk is really much healthier than low temperature pasteurized milk, but the taste is so good. Pasteurization heats milk (I could write an article about the difference between heating temperatures) and heating carmelizes milk sugars. Pasteurized milk actually tastes sweeter than raw milk for that reason. Raw milk tastes grassy and earthy. Do it for the flavor, and for the thick cream layer, not some half-baked health/lifestyle reason. By the way, if you want to get close to the raw flavor, but don’t want any risk, drink only “vat pasteurized “ or “low temp pasteurized”, whole, non-homogenized milk. It is very close in flavor, and you can find it in smaller boutique groceries, or Whole Foods. Funny story about Whole Foods - years ago they used to sell raw milk in states where it was legal. Some worthless customer decided he got sick drinking it and sued WF, so they stopped carrying it. This is our big problem - people who can’t accept responsibility for their own actions and decisions and make like worse for the rest of us.
In our family we have been drinking raw mile for decades, since our now grown children were toddlers. I don't know about the symbol bit. It is part of a way of life where we prefer to know where our food comes from, and growing as much as we can ourselves (fruits, vegetables, chickens, ducks, pigs, and every couple years beef). In New Hampshire (former abode) raw milk can be sold retail - as a practical matter, the producing farm was within a couple dozen miles. Here in VT (current abode) we have to go to a nearby farm to get it. Although we sure think it tastes better, I can make no claim that raw milk delivers superior health, however, I know of no time that we have been sickened by it either. If it matters, raw milk to us is not a poke in the eye to the medical establishment, heck I'm part of the medical establishment, I'm a physician and CMO of the local hospital and would know and would care if my family got sick from the milk we drink. The CDC feels that raw milk is risky, of course so are cars, kitchen knives, and swimming pools.
Our preferred relationship to our food is closely related to our approach to our economic life. We prefer to do business as locally as possible, to keep our money in our community - an extension of this idea finds its way to buying American first.
Dairy farming in VT, once an important part of the community, is receding. There are a few reasons, but the low price of milk is first on the list. Mostly diary farmers sell their milk to large companies that process and distribute the milk, and set the price to farmers. If dairy farmers can sell their milk directly to consumers, at consumer prices they make a lot more money, making cheese and yogurt with the raw milk would help a lot too.
So if the raw milk "movement" is now in to the fashionable crowd - great - our farmers and rural communities need all the help they can get.
Go meet and buy something from your local farmer, buy local, buy American, we still make great stuff: my Tesla Y, the Webb telescope, DART, Artemis - our country's best days are behind us only if we let that happen.
OK, I know that's a lot from raw milk - but I think it's all tied together - how we all choose to live our lives actually matters - so be a good neighbor and take care of your community.
I grew up on a farm in rural West Virginia, and until I was in high school drank raw milk. I hadn't seen any since then until a few years ago, when I was able to find it locally. There is nothing like it. The smell and taste immediately transported me across the decades to a better time and place. In this rural area we now have a large Amish population; if they could avoid visits from the constabulary, I'm sure they would make it widely available.
Pasteurization virtually eliminated the transmission of tuberculosis via cow's milk, and that is not a thing to be taken lightly. If public health could be reasonably ensured, I would certainly support making raw milk available for anyone who wants it.
I was struck by this remark: "“Five hundred years ago, humans were drinking raw milk,” he says. “They didn’t have processing plants that heated the milk or whatever. It’s about returning to, ‘What did we do that got us here?’”
Five hundred years ago, nine-tenths of humanity lived at a level of miserable existence no one alive now in this country could imagine. I understand a frustration with corrupted elites and the powerful corporate institutions of our day. But that's not a problem anyone will solve by using their laptops and cell phones to locate the best raw milk and then get in their EV's to go get it. Me, I will stick with my good old blue 1/2 percent, which I put in my instant coffee every morning before I get online here to see what The Free Press has cooked up for me. "Cooked," I say, not raw. What we used to call civilization.
Most people don’t know this but Biden’s ice cream cones are made with whole, unpasteurized disdain for the average American.
It may be important to separate at least two different threads here.
One is a genuine and well-founded concern about how food is produced and how that production affects underlying ecological and social systems. I would refer everyone to what has sometimes been dubbed the "new agrarian" movement, especially the work of Wendell Berry, for more on that.
There are genuine ecological and social dangers in allowing a few for-profit industrial concerns to monopolize the supply of food, so having at least a few holdouts who can produce food from the land on their own, without permission from a board of directors, is generally a good thing.
The other thread merges into the hippie/bougie social-media status race, a kind of purer-than-thou flexing that has nothing whatever to do with the systems on which human life depends. I take it that the title of this article - casting cows as "culture warriors" - is directed at that aspect of the raw milk fad.
Such hippie/bougie fads tend to go off the deep end - anyone remember apple-juice "cleanses" meant to remove "toxins" from the body? - and sometimes go against the grain of genuine agrarian interests.
Interesting article. I think the whole topic is bonkers.
Raw milk is objectively dangerous, and presents a potential public health hazard. There's a legitimate argument about autonomy vs coercive legal restraint, but I don't see that argument presented honestly by raw-milk advocates. Is it fair to allow people to throw their poop wherever they want? only if it's "their property"? what about runoff and typhoid fever?
This feels to me like part of the ongoing War on Experts, fueled on the one hand by a cadre of goofballs empowered by modern media, and on the other hand by the excessive and condescending arrogance of the Experts.
Reminds me of when we were all being told butter was bad for us and we should eat oil based margarines to “lower our cholesterol”. I knew something about how margarines are made (it involved hexane, a toxic gas we used as an extinguisher in our computer rooms) and just thought it was ridiculous to replace a natural relatively unprocessed food with what is effectively an industrial product. And the whole cholesterol story turned out to be nonsense, several decades later. And another time when our neighbour’s dairy farm was cut off by snow he just gave us his raw milk rather than throw it away - just delicious. The nearest I’ve found to it recently is fresh organic goat’s milk, also delicious.
..."says Rainer, 32, a personal-trainer-turned-farmhand"...
These are the kinds of credentials that the experts have these days, the same loons who are educating your children on TikTok.
I wouldn't let this guy paint my house, much less give me advice on food-borne illnesses.
I am a veterinarian and seen the back end of a cow up close and personal if you know what I mean - I wouldn’t drink raw milk on a bet. It might be clean 99% of the time - but it only takes one bad batch to make you very sick. TB isn’t the main health issue any longer, at least for dairy cows anyway - it’s Salmonella, Shigella and E.coli that are all over every dairy barn because they are a part of every normal dairy cow.
I’m a (mostly) carnivore that occasionally puts tomatoes on my meat. I raise chickens and therefore eat lots of eggs cooked in lots of butter, too. I lost over 140 lbs eating this way, but I should be dead according to the experts. I have been looking into raw milk, and it’s expensive with the “cow share” rules here in Colorado. Hopefully I can find something reasonable.
This safetyism and cult of the experts needs to be dialed back.
“I’m completely against that stuff now,” says Hyder, whose new thing is “whole foods”—including sirloin, raw butter with Celtic Sea salt, grass-fed raw milk cottage cheese, and raw milk. ------- I have no problem with what and how these folks want to live. Yet have they ever considered that as they want to choose how they live and eat, others want the same freedom in their lives. Everything he wants costs to be moved and is not likely done by electric vehicles. So, they want things that require more energy to be moved and delivered. Takes a lot more land for free range and what about the cries of the Liberals?
Also, do they object to others using fossil fuels to live their lives?
Now the wife and I believe in fresh foods and grown locally, like in our yard. Much of what they are saying may or may not be the latest great thing, but undoubtably, getting away from processed foods is always good. Although Lizzo is a good healthy weight (don't want to be labeled here as a fat shamer), people should really grow more locally. Yet, consider the cries about water being used. Always something. As for me, I feel lucky. I have always hated milk and could never stand the taste of it. So, you want raw, hell, go for it, not my concern.
"The government, the media, Big Dairy—they insist they’re just trying to keep everyone healthy". Naw,
they want to completely control everyone's lives. Government and agencies in reality could care less about the average person. Give me more money, more people to justify promotions and let me get that bureaucracy built. It's strictly about power and this administration is taking it to a new level of ignorance and power abuse. Example is heaven forbid the gas stoves! Oh, the horror of that evil gas stove in your house. Sitting there, planning, waiting, looking for that opportunity and then, ah whatever! Next up -- barbecue grills folks. Evil, evil, and pollute. Think that's silly? Can brain freeze Joe and Cackles get any dumber, oh hell yes. They are like space, infinite ability to get dumber.
In my late pastor's autobiography, he wrote of how as a child his family farm was put out of business when Nebraska made it illegal for them to sell their milk. They had to liquidate everything, move to the city and get jobs with bigger businesses.
For the last century, governments have taken away our autonomy in the name of our health and safety, and somehow we are less healthy and more afraid for our safety than ever.
He died in 2021 at the age of 88, several days after his doctors gave him the mRNA shot during recovery from a successful surgery. It was not reported to VAERS.
You can find his book here:
"First came soy milk, which managed to weave together environmentalism, veganism, and a diet culture that said milk fat was bad for our waistlines and cholesterol."
Then came soy boys.
Most people understand that eating the least processed food is best. Not a huge fan of dairy but whatever floats your boat. Still, the self-reverence and hubris documented here is comical. Half our population obsesses about every molecule they put in their mouths, bouncing from trend to trend (did you ever bother to read the ingredients in Beyond Meat before you bought that crap?) While the other half eats junk and suffers all the ravages of the obesity epidemic. And don't get me started about a government that pushed the comical "food pyramid" for years and still demands that I subsidize soft drinks, candy and snacks as "food" for SNAP card recipients.
Carnivore diet saved me from autoimmune hell, and raw A2/A2 protein milk and dairy is amazing. Never felt better and cured my autoimmune and anxiety. Off all meds and competing again in BJJ.
Funny you should mention it...I milk A2/A2 heritage breed Jersey’s. I’m thankful for the city people who come to our farm and take milk from our bulk tank (this is the legal way to get it to your home in our state). This article is interesting. People have been getting milk out of dairy farmer’s bulk tanks forever. We just don’t talk about it on Twitter.
What I wish people would talk more about is food freedom and people’s right to make their own decisions about what goes into their body. If you live in the city, don’t own a car, work shift work at target, and live in subsidized housing - you can’t afford raw milk, not to mention you have no way to obtain it. So you’re trapped in a system of milk produced industrially (I’m not dissing that system - drink what you want, and Americans love convenience...as do I! Farming is not sexy or romantic - it’s relentless, hard, messy, death, life, boring, terrifying etc).
I could talk about this for hours...but make no mistake...Raw milk is not “available” for regular working urban people. And that’s a while other topic - the classism of health food for which I could also bore you stupid.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.