“DELAWARE TWP. — Louis Pasteur developed the modern process of heating food to slow microbial growth with thoughts of keeping beer and wine from spoiling. More than a quarter-century later, in the late 1800s, a German agricultural chemist suggested pasteurizing milk, which also extends its shelf-life.
But “milk” is what most people think of when they hear “pasteurization” and in most states, including New Jersey, it’s illegal to sell “raw milk.” But a movement is under way to change that; a bill has cleared the state Assembly and is before the Senate that would allow the sale.
People who want to learn more are invited to a meeting on Wednesday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the township Municipal Building in Sergeantsville. Rutgers University professor Joseph Heckman will speak and the documentary “Milk War” will be shown. Questions and comments will be taken.
Heckman hosted a seminar series on raw milk at Rutgers in 2008 and supports offering the option to consumers of dairy products.
Township resident Jack Gaskill raises chickens, not cows, but organized the meeting, he said this week, because residents who want raw milk shouldn’t be required to cross state lines in search of what he called “contraband.” Raw milk sales are permitted in New York and Pennsylvania, he explained.
Gaskill said he doesn’t even drink a lot of milk, but does support measures that keep agriculture viable in the Garden State and he thinks this is one of them.
State Sen. Michael Doherty, whose 23rd district includes Hunterdon, sponsored Senate bill 2702. It would allow the state Department of Agriculture to establish a raw milk permit program and would set standards for permit holders. For instance, sellers of raw milk would certify that no growth hormones were used in the milk’s production. They would be subject to bimonthly testing of the milk, with standards in such areas as bacteria counts, and the cows would be inspected for disease. Permit holders would be required to post signs stating that raw milk “does not provide the protection of pasteurization.”…”