Origins of pasteurization & why there is a campaign against raw milk.
First, WHY & WHEN did pasteurization enter the milk industry? The industrial revolution was a lucrative era to produce cow milk, considered a highly nutritious & effective sub for breastmilk, appealing to lower-class mothers who needed to wean early so they could return to work. With urbanization, there was high demand for milk, but without refrigeration, there was no good way to transport raw milk from rural farms to cities. So, city distilleries set up “industrial dairy farms” by attaching metal sheds to their facilities, allowing them to produce milk in the city & make $ off their waste by feeding the cattle almost entirely spent grain (grain left over after distillation - still fed to cattle today, but recommended to be less than 25% of the overall diet, unlike the 100% at the distilleries)… Due to the unnatural, nutrient deficient diet & unsanitary living conditions, cattle became ill & began contracting human tuberculosis from sick immigrants hired to do the milking (all done by hand). The resulting “milk” was deficient in key nutrients, lacked the normal self-protective agents, & was thin and BLUE 🌀. Of course they had to “fix” this problem —> molasses & salt was added to change the flavor, & chalk, eggs, flour, water, & other substances to make the milk *appear* white & more “natural” ... Local distributors then purchased this “milk” & marketed it as “Pure Country Milk.” No surprise that in 1870 alone, infant mortality rose to ~20% in NYC & stayed there for many years. Instead of cleaning up milk production, “industrial dairy farms” implemented pasteurization to cover up their dirty milk. Swipe to image 2 which details how pasteurization became our norm.
Now let's explore why there is such a large anti-raw milk campaign...
Raw milk is accepted in so many other countries -- so why is the FDA/USDA/government so vigorously against raw milk? The same reason why there is still anti-meat propaganda —> to control our food system & protect their friends in big ag. For dairy specifically, raw milk can’t be mass produced, so small, local farmers selling directly to their community are a threat to ‘Big Dairy’. The 4 main companies of ‘Big Dairy’ include Land O’Lakes, Foremost, Dean Foods, and Dairy Farmers of America. View the image for how their lobbying efforts have dictated pasteurization laws & the resulting fate of raw milk.
We are not advocating for a universal ban on pasteurization – but we think consumers should have the right to choose which type of milk/dairy they buy. Raw milk is the only food category where anything less than “perfectly safe” is unacceptable and grounds for the government to ban it. Consider this: we can buy raw eggs🥚raw meat 🥩 & raw vegetables 🥦 – but why not raw dairy? On a more positive note for raw milk, some European nations sell raw milk 🥛 in vending machines! Apparently the milk spout is sterilized by a UV light between each purchase, & if the temperature of the milk rises above the threshold, the machine stops dispensing milk. HOW COOL! Next we shall discuss whether raw milk is actually ‘dangerous’ like we are led to believe, here.
Below, you’ll find more posts in the dairy series. Read about…
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