The following excerpt is from a recent post on Augie’s “The Journal of Living Food and Healing” blog titled “Raw milk can be dangerous: how to pick a safe dairy“:
“Despite what you often hear within the raw milk community, raw milk can make you sick if you are not careful in picking who you deal with. I hosted a raw milk con ference in Ohio with 70 attendees. I taught the health benefits of raw milk for an hour– while I was on the tail end of a three week ill ness from a load of campylobacter bacteria. It was the worst and longest bout of diarrhea I ever had. It was from raw milk from an unclean milk producer. I wanted to believe it was from our laying hens and eggs, but it was not.
Still being sick from bad milk, it was an embarrassing situation teaching its health benefits in front of everyone (I told no one, of course) but it made a lifelong impression on me of why it is so important to understand HOW to pick a raw dairy. No one has a story like this one– so I am most qualified to teach it more (since I have the experience). With the growth of the moove ment, there will be more out breaks since people, like me at one time, generally do not know how to evaluate a dairy.
If you follow some of this advice, educate your self with the free book and video and hang close to experienced raw milk drinkers, you need not worry about getting sick, but rather look for ward to changes in your health and how you feel.
Gary Behnke of Idaho dropped a note over at the ARMi (Alliance for Raw Milk Inter na tional) and after chatting a bit, I told him I wanted to post it here at the Journal. He mentions Grade A facilities (Grade B does not meet the sanitary standards for milk and is used to make commercial cheese usually). Many small dairies prefer not to go Grade A (and be listed and subject to state inspection) but rather provide raw milk through a cow share, herd share, farmshare or leasing arrangement (where on-farm sales is legal, then these arrangements are not needed). My dairyman has Grade A facilities but no longer licensed, is former USDA certified and now his operation is better-than–organic (BTO). They have happy grass-fed cows and produce delicious farm, fresh milk. Many raw dairies offer butter, cheese, yogurt, whey (mine offers ice cream) and have little country stores (some have quite a variety of foods).
Gary has listed important points here as a minimum guide line. I am also provid ing a video from Tim Wight man and his very nice book for both dairies and raw milk drinkers and those considering at the end of the post.
Advice from a Retired Dairyman by Gary Behnke
I was a dairy man. I am a proponent of raw milk. I drink it. My kids drank it grow ing up. And in the dark days before it was legal in my state I admit I gave it to some other family members.
That being said I think it is impor tant to note that all raw milk is not the same. Aunt Martha milk ing into an old enamel slop bucket is not the same as a Grade A dairy and a grade A milk plant. A grade A dairy producing milk for further process ing is not necessary producing milk for retail sales. Know the difference.