Should milk fed to calves be pasteurized or UV treated? Or raw? Photo via Wikipedia. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License. Click image for source.
These stories are about treatment of on-farm milk for use in feeding calves. Of course, if it works for calves, why wouldn’t it work for people? Though probably the bar of surety is set higher when we’re dealing with food for humans. Michael Schmidt’s two-calf study comparing the effects of feeding calves raw milk vs store-bought pasteurized milk comes to mind as well, in connection with this news. Michael’s “Tale of Two Calves” remains the single most popular post ever published on The Bovine. Did you know that some farmers actually do pasteurize milk before feeding it to calves? Either that, or throw the “surplus” milk out and buy milk replacer from the feed store. You learn something every day. Thanks to Deb for the news tips:
From New Scientist:
“AT A 3000-cow dairy farm near Ithaca, New York, Rodrigo Bicalho wrestles a 3-week-old calf onto a scale. The calf totters about; the scale reads 52 kilograms, a healthy weight. Bicalho makes a note. He is trying to find out what happens if he gives his calves milk that, instead of being pasteurised, is treated with ultraviolet light. Continue reading
From George Clark, QMI Agency, in the London Free Press:
“I was reminded last week of the social critic and stand-up comedian George Carlin. He was quoted as saying about causes that “Just because the monkey got off your back, doesn’t mean the circus has left town.”
Emotions ran high last week when city council debated the merits of possibly ending London’s fluoridation of water supplies. They hit their lowest point when councillors discovered material left on their desks linking the use of fluoride to Hitler’s death camps, to subdue and sterilize inmates.
It quickly became apparent the material was not from one of the opponents in the galleries, but from one of their own, Coun. Steve Orser. Orser did apologize to councillors offended by his action, but said it was sparked by his interest in such issues because his father had been a prisoner-of-war. The final vote was 10-5 in support of the ongoing use of fluoride. Continue reading
We hear constant chatter from the regulatory types about the dangers of raw milk and the health hazards of consuming it. But they seem to be strangely uninterested in examining the health risks of consuming conventionally produced and processed milk products, not to mention many other processed foods. The L.A. Times article excerpted below gives a rare glimpse into one of the health hazards of conventional dairy products that we’re mostly not hearing much about. This article is from twelve years ago. One wonders whether any further research has been done since then to follow up on these significant findings. From Thomas H. Maugh II, in the L. A. Times, via Crohns.org:
“If, as some scientists are now convinced, Crohn’s disease is caused by a microorganism, the question becomes: How is it transmitted? The shocking answer, they say, is through that most sacrosanct of beverages–milk. The microorganism under suspicion, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, or MAP, is common in U.S. dairy herds, activists argue, and it is not killed by conventional pasteurization. Continue reading
From the Hanover Evening Sun:
“As we sat down here to write, we were all ready to pour ourselves a nice tall, cold one. A big glass of raw milk. Surely, something that nutritious and natural couldn’t really be harmful.
Then, our research led us to the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration.
Whew. It’s a wonder we’re even around to have this discussion.
Considering all the dangers associated with raw milk, and considering that pasteurization didn’t become widespread until the 1950s, it’s a miracle that our parents and grandparents ever survived childhood. Continue reading
From Tracey Tyler, Legal Affairs Reporter, in the Toronto Star:
Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt at his Durham, Ont. farm, after a judge on Sept. 28, 2011 found him guilty of distributing raw milk. TRACEY TYLER/TORONTO STAR
“Before Michael Schmidt and his raw milk crusade, there was Adelaide Hunter Hoodless.
She isn’t mentioned in this week’s court ruling that convicted Schmidt of violating Ontario public health laws by selling unpasteurized milk. And her name leaves some of Schmidt’s followers looking perplexed.
But more than a century ago, after her youngest son, John, died from drinking contaminated milk as an infant, Hoodless embarked on a campaign to have all milk heat-treated — pasteurized — to kill potentially harmful bacteria, making her one of Canada’s earliest food safety proponents. Continue reading
A reader who prefers not to be identified is asking The Bovine community whether anyone can answer the following questions regarding food safety:
- If pathogens exist in a particular batch of raw milk (for instance, salmonella, campylobacter or e-coli O157:H7), and those pathogens are then killed by pasteurization , what effect (if any) do the dead bacteria have on consumers who later drink that milk?
- In particular, if e-coli O157:H7 is liable to release “shiga-like toxins” is there some possibility that killing the e-coli via pasteurization might precipitate the release of such toxins into the pasteurized milk?
- Does anyone have information on the use of activated charcoal or bentonite clay as a remedy (and in particular, a handy home remedy) for any of the pathogens that might be found in raw milk?
From Monica Eng and Chris Borrelli in the Chicago Tribune:
“A few years ago, Kris Swanberg, having been laid-off from her job as a Chicago Public School teacher, remembered she received an ice cream maker as a wedding gift. The Chicago mom fished it out of her kitchen cabinet and eventually started a new career.
Today Swanberg’s Nice Cream — on offer at local Whole Foods and farmers markets — is considered a star of Chicago’s rich and beloved artisanal ice cream scene, one that could be shut down entirely by state rules, she recently learned. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:
Lawyer Bill Marler and the WAPF's Sally Fallon
“It continues to amaze me how controversial and provocative a topic raw milk is. Every few weeks, it seems, more media outlets are writing and broadcasting about it. In media lingo, raw milk “has legs.”
Most recently, a Washington, DC, NPR station promoted a debate between Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Bill Marler, the product liability lawyer. The two debaters threw brickbats at each other, including not a few exaggerations and half-truths.
For instance, they traded jabs about the illness outbreak affecting six children attributed to Organic Pastures Dairy Co. five years ago, in 2006. Fallon continued to say, as she has on a number of occasions, that the two children who became most seriously ill had eaten spinach (the outbreak occurred in the midst of an outbreak of illness from raw spinach) even though the genetic imprint of the E.coli 0157:H7 isolated from several of the children was different from that of the spinach oubreak. I’m not sure why she dwells on that particular inaccuracy, which upsets the families involved no end. Continue reading
From Mark Bittman in the New York Times:
“After the E. coli outbreak in Europe last month — which sickened more than 3000 people and killed at least 50 — it was impossible not to think about irradiation. “What if,” I asked myself, “those little fenugreek seeds had been irradiated?” Might there have been fewer deaths, fewer cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (essentially, kidney failure; there were 900), fewer tragic stories?
The answer is “yes.” But it’s not the only question.
When it comes to irradiation, you might need a primer. (I did.) Simply put, irradiation — first approved by the FDA in 1963 to control insects in wheat and flour — kills pathogens in food by passing radiation through it. It doesn’t make the food radioactive any more than passing X-rays through your body makes you radioactive; it just causes changes in the food. Proponents say those changes are beneficial: like killing E. coli or salmonella bacteria. Opponents say they’re harmful: like destroying nutrients or creating damaging free radicals. Continue reading
“By Natasha Anderson, Steve Horn, Sarah Karon and Rory Linnane
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Carrying a cooler of raw milk, Wisconsin vegetable farmer Brian Wickert climbs the steps of the state Capitol on a sunny April day. He is a man on a mission: to lobby for legislative support for a Wisconsin Raw Milk Association, says in a later interview. “We want the right to choose the food we eat. Why does the government care whether I want to go and drink raw milk? Am I so stupid that I don’t know the risks?”
For Wickert, this bill is about having the freedom to live without interference from the government. But for health officials in America’s Dairyland, it’s about potentially exposing unsuspecting citizens to disease-causing bacteria. At the crux of this debate is the age-old question: How much should government protect its citizens from possible hazards? Continue reading