“Raw milk is hot right now, feted by fans for its “cow to cup” direct supply chain. Of course the milk itself never gets hot at all. Unlike “normal” milk, which is heated to 72C to achieve pasteurisation, raw milk remains steadfastly unpasteurised. Naturally, shunning the pathogen-busting work of Louis Pasteur it’s a controversial tipple.
But it is a relatively low-emissions drink compared to conventional milk (although it should be noted that all animal-based products have a substantial footprint). Unlike the 13bn litres of normal milk processed each year by three main processors in 100 sites across the UK, this raw milk is not pre-chilled, siloed, separated, homogenised, pasteurised and refrigerated before being trucked to retailers.
Rather, a metal pump moves the milk from the cow into the next room to be bottled and cooled. It’s then sold via farmers’ markets or direct from the farm. So farms producing raw milk direct for sale (from small-scale and, grass-fed herds) can command a higher price rather than the low farmgate price offered by conventional routes….”