The Raw Milk Fight

I can across an article online the other day about raw milk. I haven’t written about it before, but our family loves raw milk. When we lived in Virginia we owned a cow share and had fresh, straight from the farm raw milk delivered every Saturday morning.

When we moved from Virginia we were sad to lose our raw milk because in Maryland it is illegal to buy raw milk. Illegal. Currently in Iowa there is a raw milk case in federal court. Lawyers for the federal government have argued that individuals have no fundamental right to obtain what food they choose.

According to a brief filed in April:

“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish,” the government has argued.

I realize I don’t write much controversial stuff on this site, but I cannot sit by while the government argues that it is their right to determine what food I can eat.

In my opinion (and this is just my opinion- I’m not trying to convince you to drink raw milk), what the federal government is really concerned about is losing support from the factory farms, processed food industry, and the well financed firms that lobby for them in Washington. They don’t really care about your health or what you eat or drink, because if they were truly concerned for your health they would ban McDonalds, sodas, and Hot Pockets.

They primarily care about money, and this money is not coming from the folks at Weston A. Price, who are the most outspoken proponents of our right to buy, sell and drink raw milk. For years the government has been quietly creating laws that are putting the small farmer out of business. These small farms do not have the money to fight the excessive regulations that are continually imposed on them by our federal government, so many of them cease farming, leaving us with one less source of REAL food.

Here’s the deal. I have read the arguments for and against drinking raw milk. I believe the benefits outweigh the risks, and should be able to make that choice for my family. If I felt like eating tree bark was good for me, then I believe I have the right to do that too. And you know what, if you want to eat pop tarts or a Big Mac, go for it! While I don’t like that fact that there is a fast food restaurant on every street corner in America, I deal with it by not eating fast food, because it is my choice.

This issue isn’t really about raw milk, McDonalds, or tree bark. It is about our right to choose what food we purchase, prepare, and feed our families  If the federal prosecutors in Iowa don’t like raw milk, they don’t have to drink it, I just wish they would stop forcing others to do the same.

A few books that have changed my thinking over the years concerning our food choices are; Holy Cows And Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide To Farm Friendly Food, Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front, Don’t Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.


  1. We just recently began our healthy eating journey (in a serious way- I had thought up until that point we were eating healthy, but that is a whole different story). It is difficult to find the truth about what is in food, to find the type of food I want to buy,etc. The food industry really does make this a difficult mountain to climb.

  2. Well written. I kept thinking, “Amen,” all through it.


  3. “…plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish…”????
    I am flabbergasted that someone could make this statement and not get laughed out of court!

    • Initially, I was thinking that idea was a little laughable as well. But, then I thought some more…isn’t that already the precident? Isn’t that already how it works? There is already a lot of legislation around the sale of food…

      The word obtain though bis a bit of a sticky spot… undoubtedly chosen on purpose.

      As frustrating as it is, to me it isn’t all that shocking that someone would make that argument.

  4. Julie H says:

    Bravo! Bravo! It’s illegal to buy raw milk here in TN too. 🙁

    • You can buy a cow share in Tn or buy raw milk that’s been labeled ‘Pet Milk, not for human consumption’

      • my mom said that they would give infants PET MILK when they were babies so in the 50’s it was ok to do that

  5. Well written article. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I agree with your sentiment, wholeheartedly. I wish the government wasn’t so intrusive in MANY aspects of our lives.
    With that being said, raw milk totally grosses me out. I know it’s supposed to be really good for you and apparently it’s tasty, but the very thought of it gives me shivers. But, that’s exactly your point; we should be able to drink what we want without government bureaucrats sticking their noses in our family’s refrigerator.

  7. Wow! I would have never thought that it would be “illegal” to drink raw milk. I agree that it is your right to choose what you eat and how you eat it. My hubby’s uncle is a dairy farmer in Maryland, and he has said how much the govt is taking away. 🙁

    • Emily M. says:

      As far as I know, it’s not illegal to drink it, it’s illegal to buy it. I thought, though, that in states where it’s illegal to outright buy it, there are co-ops that get around this? Or do some states’ regulations prohibit raw milk co-ops as well?

      • TheHappyHousewife says:

        I believe you are correct, it is not illegal to drink it, but if it is illegal to sell it, we are as consumers relying on farmers to break the law in order for us to consume it. There are several states where co-ops and herd shares are also illegal. The law varies from state to state- ranging from legal in CA and can be bought on the store shelves to totally illegal- like in MD.

        • I believe in Florida it is legal to sell raw milk, but only if labeled for “animal consumption.”

          • TheHappyHousewife says:

            You are correct, you can sell “pet quality” raw milk in Florida.

        • Emily M. says:

          I wouldn’t assume that, in a state where it’s illegal to sell raw milk, that if you’re drinking it, someone’s done something illegal. I’d assume someone gave you the milk, or that there is a legal co-op or something. That’s why I thought it was necessary to distinguish between it being illegal to drink and illegal to sell.

        • Merry Jo says:

          Dr. Mercola (a GREAT resource for natural perspectives from a medical expert) has a great article and video about the benefits of raw milk. Visit his website here: One thing worthy of mention is not to drink raw milk if it is not for human consumption. If it IS for human consumption, it is living up to standards about the bacteria, etc., that are allowed to be in it. If it is for pet consumption, or if it is destined for pasteurization, DON’T drink it. I live in MD, too, and I wish we were allowed to purchase raw milk (Dr M said that it is legal in only 6 states), but since we can’t, we buy lightly pasteurized milk (the minimum pasteurization allowed by law) from a local farm. I’d love it if the laws would change, though!

  8. Well written. I am absolutely appalled at all the things that are being brought up so that the government has full reign over our lives. This is not the only thing they are trying to regulate, and when you get down into the nitty gritty, it is very scary. This is yet another way the government is forcing us to need their healthcare… weeding out the healthy options to decrease our choices. It’s an effort to make us need their industrialized products.

  9. I just finished a nutrition class for culinary school, and we did TONS of research on this type of thing – what is healthy, what are we eating, etc.
    I am AMAZED at how much our government agencies are “controlled” by the big processed food industry. They don’t want to tell us when they used cloned sheep because it will hurt the industry, etc. Let me do my own research and make my own decisions, PLEASE! This is just insane!

    On a similar note – where did you have your milk share? I live in VA, and I’ve been researching cow shares for raw milk for our family. Just curious as to which farm you used!

  10. AMEN!! Not an issue of whether I chose to eat fish, peas, beef, grass, or raw milk. It’s my right to do so.

  11. Great post!! I wholeheartedly agree with your points. I am tired of gvt reg of everything we do!

  12. We love our raw milk too. Excellent article. I agree with every single thing you said.

  13. I agree completely! When I was little we used to drink raw milk all the time from my Granny’s house. I was never sick from it! Geesh! I’m so sick of the government telling us what we can do.

  14. i love this post!!! great job!!! we love raw milk!

  15. We don’t drink raw milk (as of now), but I totally agree with what you’re saying. Thanks for speaking out.

  16. Great article! I wonder if there is a way to contact the courts reguarding this? To tell them how crazy we think this is. We love our raw milk too. My kids actually get sick when they drink milk from the store. So we couldn’t switch back even if we wanted to. The government is so money driven, they don’t care about the people at all.

  17. Thank you for this article! I had no idea this was going on. Our family is changing our way of eating, after watching Food, Inc. , which is another topic about the Govt. controlling what we eat. They have no problem you eating hamburger washed in ammonia to try to kill e coli because they are feeding the cows corn instead of grass. Makes you wonder what they are hiding…doesn’t it?? It is also illegal in OH for sell raw milk. I agree with everyone…so tired of the Govt. telling us what we can and cannot do!

  18. What great info, Toni! I totally agree with government staying out of our beeswax!! You know I would probably *try* it if I was at your house again (after all, I’m buying whole ground wheat now!!) but I’d probably never buy it…or get a herdshare (which they do have in Ohio after I do the research).

    You are such a rule breaker though – you homeschooling, whole wheat, raw-milk drinking, crunchy mama (said with utmost admiration).


  19. I wholeheartedly agree! Great post!!! I currently don’t drink raw milk because I’m pregnant and made the decision based off my own homework I did. But I do plan on buying in the future…hopefully I still can!!!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing. I think a lot of people are in the dark about what the government does to limit our choices.

  21. One of my greatest pleasures in life has been to drink milk straight from the cow. While in England (by the way the government is “all up in their grill” there too) we had farmer friends that could use some milk for their own consumption but were not supposed to share the milk that their own cows produced with others since it had not been pasteurized. We were just very fortunate that our friends thought that was hogwash because I tell you what, after those Jersey cows had been in the clover patches that rich creamy milk was AWESOME!!!!!
    Thank you for writing this article.

  22. Raw milk, herbal medicines, medical marijuana, all of it should be our right to consume or not to consume. Super pasteurized milk is just not natural. The enzymes are gone, and any benefit from drinking milk is gone once you pasteurize it.

  23. Thanks, Toni. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there on controversial issues. From a raw-milk drinking, homebirthing, homeschooling mom of many–I appreciate your posts!

  24. Heather says:

    Here in Kansas we can buy and consume raw milk which my family does. A few years ago a girl got Lysteria and she was taken away from her mother by Social Services because the mother gave them raw milk. I think about all the times people have become sick from e coli or other food borne illnesses in restaurants. Though it is a big deal, Social Services didn’t come in and take the children of the people who allowed them to eat there.

    • So true. My childrens’ school sometimes serves hamburgers quite underdone and you don’t see Children’s Services coming down on them. This government is getting worse and worse.

  25. I had no idea it was illegal to buy raw milk ANYWHERE in the U.S. This site may be of interest to you and your readers.

    • I looked at this website and they claim at the top of the page in their note to the FDA that raw milk has cured autism, deafness and a bunch of other things…..Really? I think those are some exorbitant claims that they are making and maybe they should provide some proof when making claims like that. Unfortunately, it makes me question everything on their site because that seems to be an extreme exaggeration to me. What else are they exaggerating?

  26. Amen and amen again. I also did not know it was illegal to buy raw milk anywhere. My sister gets it for her family in Kansas, but I’ve yet to have the opportunity to do the same for mine…

    I can’t believe you don’t have Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” on that list. It is my favorite all-time book about the food industry, the evolution of agriculture in modern American, etc. Really opened up my eyes. I’ve heard about “Everything I want to do is illegal” but haven’t gotten around to reading it – yet.

  27. Hey Toni-
    We recently watched Food Inc. and this runs right along the same vein of not even gov’t control, but the big manufacturers owning gov’t b/c of $$$$$$$! That’s funny, I thought it was “by the people, for the people..” Love ya!

  28. To be honest, before you wrote this post, the little I had heard about the whole “raw milk debate” made me think people who drank raw milk were crazy and throwing caution to the wind. But, I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of your post and after doing some of my own research I am thinking raw milk is better for people. I do think that the government should have some regulation of it’s production though – to make sure it is being produced under sanitary conditions. Is there some reason that the government can’t have a testing regimen similar to their testing of any other food that is produced? I would want to know that the the farmer isn’t being lazy about sanitary conditions. Why is the government so against the sale of raw milk rather than being interested in regulating it’s production. I would think that both sides would be happy if this were to happen. Those that love raw milk would be able to purchase it legally and the government would be able to verify the relative safety of it as far as bacteria levels and the like.

    Although I don’t like the idea of lots of government involvement, in this case I think it is safer to have the government involved in the regulation of the sale of raw milk. Although, if people want to take the risk and purchase food that is not regulated, that should be their choice. And I would agree with that for them – but I personally am not sure if I would want to do that. I don’t have the technology or experience to know if I bought something that wasn’t regulated by the government is “safe” to eat or not.

    One question – does raw milk only mean whole milk? Could you get raw milk that was skim? I only ask because I don’t like whole milk – I drink only skim (although my son is still little so he drinks whole milk).

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      When you purchase a gallon of raw milk there is about a quart of cream on the top. If you “skim” the cream off the top you have skim milk – hence the name. If you want whole milk you mix the cream into the milk.

    • Jennifer, Some states where raw milk is legal ( like here in WA state) our raw dairies are state certified. They have to be inspected for sanitation and the milk has to be tested for disease. Our milk is clean and safe, and can be purchased in health food stores or through co-ops or herd shares. Drinking raw milk has improved my health ten fold. I have severe hypoglycemia and raw milk has helped to control my blood sugar. I also have arthritis and allergies, but the enzymes and vitamins in raw milk have helped to alleviate these issues. Though there are some outrageous claims out there regarding the healing power of raw milk, please continue learning about it. It is something I never would have believed at all until I experienced it myself. I now pray that our government would get their hands out of our food and let the nation experience raw milk!

  29. WOW just when you think you have heard it all then you find out the government bans what kind of milk you can drink. I don’t drink raw milk and have no idea what the laws are here in AZ but I have to agree with you on this. I was just thinking about this the other day when I was reading the back of a greek yogurt container and how they have to state that even though the cows used for this product are not treated with hormones that there is no difference between milk comes from treated cows or untreated cows. You know that is probably required by the government. I also thought gee… I bet years and years ago when they started allowing these cows to be shot up with hormones to make more and more product there was no disclaimer then. It always takes someone blowing the wistle and the government has to back pedal on why this stuff is in our food system and that it is supposedly just fine for us to eat.

  30. Exactly! We used to buy our milk from a local dairy before it got shipped out…and then we just got dairy goats. Personally, I prefer the flavor of raw milk. You wouldn’t think it would taste different but it does!

  31. Apalling! I didn’t realize it was illegal to buy raw milk in some states. I grew up on a dairy farm and now live states away. I think NOT having drank raw milk for the last 5 years has contributed to me having allergies. The government needs to take a step or two back (or maybe more!) and realize that just because something is harmful for one person does NOT mean the next 10 people will have the same reaction. Let us live our lives and make our own responsiblilties!

  32. I totally get the point you are making…the government doesn’t seem to care about all of the other “crap sold as food” that we are allowed to put into our bodies. However, this is one reason why we do not drink raw milk.
    Although this may be a rare scenario, by the time you show symptoms for rabies, it is too late. Listeria is another reason.
    Even when my mother was a child on a farm, they used a small pasteurizer for their fresh milk.
    By the way, Love Your Blog!

  33. I haven’t done enough research to have an opinion either way if it is good for you or not. I do agree with what you wrote that it should be our decision what we consume, whether it be raw milk, hotdogs, poptarts, McDonalds, carrots, whatever.

    Is this a similar comparison? Maybe, if the government is going to start regulating like this. What about cigarettes? The one thing that I find crazy is that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. Not “may”, but it does in fact cause it. And yet it is still legal to buy, sell, distribute, and smoke, in all 50 states, with a warning on the side stating the known effects.

    We have a choice to smoke cigarettes or not while knowing the risks. Why can’t it be the same with raw milk?

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      Great point Liz! And it really goes with the argument I am making. The tobacco industry is a powerhouse in D.C. which is the only reason cigarettes are legal in this country. Because if the government standard was truly to protect us from harm- cigarettes, fast food, and tanning booths would be banned!

      • I was kind of afraid to even make the comparison. But, as far as I know, there are no benefits from smoking cigarettes and yet, you can buy them at any corner. If there are or can be benefits from raw milk, shouldn’t it be available? I don’t get it.

  34. Toni,

    It’s good to see such a down to earth, common sense “duh” perspective on this issue. I’m sure there are ways via or to advocate for legislative change. Soooo many things the gov’t should spend their time and our $ on other than raw milk!!

    🙂 Katie

  35. i went on a visit to cowgirl creamery which is one of the first organic creamery’s in the us and spoke with one of the owners. she thinks it’s good that the government does not allow raw milk because she thinks too many other creameries would abuse the right to distribute raw milk by not doing so safely.

  36. AMEN and AMEN. We have been buying Raw Milk from a local dairy farmer for a while, but they just sold the farm because they cannot compete in their regular dairy business with the “big guys”. It was so so sad. They were a family of 9 and homeschoolers. They lost a lot. Small farmers just cannot make it these days. So now I am on the hunt for another Raw milk provider. I feel the same as you, our rights must be preserved. Now in foreign committees overseas they are trying to decide If I can even plant my own garden or treat myself with herbs or homeopathic supplements. The thought that that is the next step scares me.

  37. Amen!!! ’nuff said…

  38. Thanks for the resources at the end. As I was reading, I just kept thinking, “but what about the bacteria.” The pros and cons of raw milk is something that has come into my mind a lot in the past year, but yet, I’ve still not gotten educated fully about it. I’m glad now to have a good reading list to start from. Thanks!

  39. Grrr. This type of thing makes me sicker than food poisoning!

    I had known of this RIDICULOUS legislation when a case came to light of a homeschooling/homesteading family being arrested in a violent raid because they were criminal enough to sell milk and produce to their friends! Horrors!

    We are libertarian leaning, which is to say you (the govt.) mind yer bidness and we’ll mind ours! It would help if the govt. officials ACTUALLY knew what their bidness is. Though, it appears more and more that they have no idea. (Hint to govt. officials –> Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, secure our liberty…)

    Excellent post, you Happy Rebel, you!

  40. Very well written!!!! I could not agree with you more!

    I grew up on a dairy farm. Going to the grocery store now to buy produce or meat or milk just makes me sick because you don’t know where it came from and how the animal was raised/fed.

    My family still lives on the farm and I thank GOD that my parents plant enough vegtables to can and freeze for me. I am also very thankful that I now live close enough for the food they freeze for me to stay frozen until I can get home. Our meat comes from my parents farm along with many fruits and all our vegtables. I know there are no chemicals, growth hormones etc… in our food.

  41. What a great post.
    We have just started trying to eat more raw food and homemade food. I really think it is so wrong that the government tries to control what we can and cannot put inour own bodies.

  42. I agree with this post. I love raw milk too and I’m living in Kentucky where I can’t find raw milk anywhere! But it’s not only about milk, it’s about all food choices, that according to the government we shouldn’t be eating.

  43. I personally haven’t ever tasted raw milk. Only because I’ve not ever had the opportunity. You are exactly right, it is all about the cashmoney. A LOT of issues lead back to money but especially with foods and pesticides and all sorts of stuff like that. It’s disgusting. This is a big reason I would like to join a CSA here in my area and support a local small farmer. I don’t think they offer milk as part of their CSA baskets but they offer a ton of organic, locally grown produce.

    I am left absolutely speechless that lawyers would believe that it is okay to state that people do not have the fundamental right to eat what they choose. I have not the words. :/ I’m sorry 🙁

  44. Ashley R. says:

    I totally agree. I think it’s insane that a restaurant can serve sushi, steak tartare, etc. and we can’t drink raw milk (unless we own our own dairy cattle).

    I don’t even like milk, but raw milk from cows carefully cleaned and milked is perfectly safe for healthy, non-pregnant people.

    I totally understand the fear about lysteria and premature/still births, but people can make their own decisions about food.

    I am totally for smoking bans because smokers hurt other people when they smoke. Food on the other hand – not so much. I won’t get into the cost of healthcare debate, but let’s even say it comes out even (between smokers and obese patients) – the smokers are still hurting others with their second hand smoke.

  45. In Georgia it is illegal to sell raw milk as a food so the milk we get from our local farm is labeled “Pet Milk, NOT for Human Consumption.” At first that kind of worried me, even though I had done my research and knew I did not want my family to drink the so-called “milk” that is sold in stores. I was being forced to choose between something that was totally unregulated and something so over-processed. (Most people don’t realized that the milk you buy in the store goes through a LOT more than just being heated up to kill germs). I got involved with a group that was trying to get the laws changed in Georgia to legalize the sale of raw milk for humans. My thought was – if it’s really safe to drink, small farms should have no problems passing whatever tests conventional milk goes through. The more farmers I talked to, the more I learned about the process. In order to comply with all the regulations in place for the large factory farms, these smaller family run farms would have to spend a minimum of $250,000 upgrading their equipment. I’m talking about a 5 acre farm with 7 cows. They don’t even make that much in a year. Most of the rules don’t even have anything to do with the health of the cow, what they eat, their environment, etc. When we proposed that small farms be exempt from such demanding and unnecessary regulation, the response from the Agriculture Committee in the Georgia House of Reps was – if we were to have a single outbreak of illness due to raw milk, it would effect the conventional dairy industry in Georgia. In other words, big factory farms are more important than the small, local businesses. And no mention at all about our individual rights to choose what we eat! I thought those were OUR representatives, not representatives for big industry. Anyway, after it was all said and done, I came to the conclusion that I feel much safer buying milk from someone I know than relying on the government to tell me what is “safe” to drink. I have become good friends with the family that we get our milk from. I see them and the cows once a week when I pick up my milk. I know their family is drinking the exact same milk my family is. I can inspect the cows, pasture, equipment and milking room any time I want. Maybe that’s the way it should be.

  46. OK I have absolutely zero desire to drink raw milk (I’m just not a milk fan, yuck!) but for it to be illegal is absurd. Too bad these governmental groups are wasting time and money on this fight instead of ones that matter—-like having truthful nutritional labels on all foods. I really like the Nutrition Action Newsletter for unbiased info. I’m going to start reading your list of food books on my next library trip. I liked What to Eat by Marion Nestle…it has some nice to know tidbits of info.

  47. Government! GRR… GRR…GRR..

  48. I think the government is way too concerned with everything in our lives. Government is getting bigger and bigger. It is scary to think about what they are going to try to regulate next.

  49. I am SO glad to see you address this on your blog! I have been reading about these things for a while now, and I am in a state where it is illegal to buy raw milk, but you can still buy shares. But shares aren’t “smiled” upon by the people who govern this. I am getting my own milking goat tonight actually! My first one!

    Great post.

  50. I absolutly agree with you! So many people miss the idea that government doesn’t really care about our health but they care about their pocketbooks. You were right to bring this topic to light because it is so much more than just drinking raw milk.

  51. I think it comes back to freedom, as usual. I know we will never truly be free to do anything we wish but there is no reason to not have the freedom to choose. It does not hurt anyone to have the freedom to choose between raw or pasteurized milk. We bought a Jersey 18 months ago for our own use and “sell” it to people we know who want raw milk because I understand the health benefits of it. I’m just waiting for the day someone shows up at my door to question me about it. It’s very frustrating at times knowing by selling milk I am doing something illegal. And who am I hurting in the process? No one. It’s not the milk, it’s the freedom.

  52. Barbara says:

    We drank raw milk when we were stationed in Texas. It is delish! I am convinced that my children have perfectly straight teeth because of it. You do have to watch the calorie content, though. I has a lot of cream, especially the Jersey cow milk. My daughter, who cannot drink regular milk, can drink raw milk with no problems. If you get your milk from a reliable source, you should have no problems with the safety of it. I wish the gov’t would butt out and so we could get it now!

  53. Yeah, that’s right. Let’s hate the government and lawyers just one more time. The problem with citing such a small portion of a brief or petition or case law is that the true argument and context gets lost. The legislature SHOULD have a role in regulating the food distributed in the country. I’m not saying these always get it right, but deregulation is NOT the way to go.

  54. Crazy! I can’t believe that the citizens of these country allows for the gov’t to have so much control without saying a word. The gov’t is meant to be under our control not the other way around.

    I just watched the movie Food, Inc. and after seeing that and reading your article I am totally appalled. I don’t know what is safe to eat anymore. I worry about my own health, having eaten fast food so much growing up, but I am even more worried about my 8 month old son. What am I to feed him? What is safe? Does anyone know anymore?

    • Ragan, There is an organization which Toni gives a link to in her post; The Weston A Price Foundation. Their dietary guidelines are based on unbiased research and traditional methods of food preparation. They have an excellent resource called “Wise Traditions” and there is a baby edition. I highly recommend it.

    • Ragan,
      There are also a bunch of “real food” bloggers out there trying to walk people through dietary changes, especially after watching something like Food, Inc. I’m one of them, and I can help you find others (without cluttering Toni’s comments with links). Good luck!
      🙂 Katie

  55. Have you seen the documentary “Food Incorporated” ? Very interesting…and eye-opening….rent it and watch it if you get a chance…..

  56. The movie “Food, Inc.” changed the way we eat. I think if more people would see this movie it would certainly bring the better meats, veggies and dairy more to the front and help bring those prices down.

  57. While I wouldn’t give raw milk to my family, it shouldn’t be illegal. People should know that there are bacteria that those of us brought up on farms with animals have been exposed to. My family, all city dwellers, hasn’t been exposed to them and I wouldn’t want them to be potentially exposed with raw milk. Me, I grew up on a dairy and horse farm and drank raw milk straight from the cow frequently. People do need to be informed. Raw milk isn’t bad at all. But there are potential dangers that everyone should know about.

  58. I don’t really know much about this issue, but from reading many of these comments, I can tell that raw milk has lots of health benefits, and I understand wanting to have the right to purchase it for your family if you feel it is best. Interestingly enough, in my state of MN this week, four cases of E. coli were traced to raw milk from a local farm. In MN, the sale of raw milk is limited to the occasional purchase made directly from the farm. Sorry but this happening so close to home makes me understand a bit of the regulations. I’m not sure I want to jump on the raw milk wagon right now. Just my two cents.

  59. We did the raw milk co-op too. It was wonderful. We eventually stopped because the farm was just too far away to run to with a newborn each week, but I’d love to pick it back up again. It’s so good for you.

  60. I agree 100%. We should definitely have the right to choose. There are so many arguments for raw milk, and the benefits that are correct, but also it just comes to basic rights. I should be able to research and choose what is right for my family! Thanks for the post!!

  61. While the thought of drinking raw milk makes me nauseous, I agree that it should have nothing to do with the government!

  62. Thank you for this post. As a dairy producer, we know all too well about this debate. This debate is even fought by producers ourselves. On our farm, we drink our own raw milk, but we know many dairy producers who will not. In MN you can buy raw milk (but are many stipulations, like: you can only buy at the farm, you have to bring your own container and the sales have to be occasional). Check with your states Dept of Ag to make sure. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

    Just recently, there was a case where several people in our state got sick and they claim it is from raw milk. Unless your state regulates the sale of raw milk, I caution you. Make sure you are buying raw milk from a Grade A producer. You can ask the producer for their latest inspection summary (which has to be posted in the milk house). You can also check with your states Dept of Ag to see if the producer has any violations. Also, if you bring your own container make sure it is extremely clean and that the producer has a special spout for dispensing from the bulk tank. Also make sure this spout is cleaned between each customer. Check to see if the tank temp is reading 38-40 degrees and that it appears clean.

    Lastly, just because it is raw doesn’t mean it is not perishable. Refrigerate your milk within 30 minutes and thow it out after 5-7 days. Raw milk will have more bacteria than pasteurized milk. This is natural. Ease into drinking it, because your stomach is not use to those bacterias.

    I am encouraged that so many people are looking to support real food from family farmers. Thank you for your support!

  63. This from a dairy farm girl: People so over-rate the risks of drinking raw milk. My Mom had 14 of us kids and all we ever drank was raw milk. She drank it while pregnant too. Here in PA, farmers can legally sell raw milk but need a monthly inspection costing $60/month.
    FYI, for those of you still not wanting to drink raw milk: There is a brand sold on the East Coast under the name Natural By Nature (organic) that uses a short-shelf pasturization rather than the typical ultra pasturization.

  64. Drinking raw milk is a choice and life is full of them, which also means it’s full of risks. We take a risk when we get in our car each day and drive to work. We take a risk by having sex with multiple partners. We take risks every day with the food we eat, the places we go, the people we talk to and share office space with.

    We are not invincible. Even though I drink raw milk, I will still admit that yes, there is a risk I could get sick. But I could also get sick from eating raw eggs, peanut butter, spinach, undercooked beef, kissing a man I just met or breathing the air of a sick coworker.

    But that’s what makes life worth living: all the risks and chances we take.

  65. Great article. I m a guy from Iowa that stumbled upon this site referencing raw milk and peoples opinions and i couldnt agree with you more .These are the kind of words that congress needs to hear from us.Nofundamental right? Thts enough to make every single american angry.What kind of greedy evil person would say that? Oh one from the government.We are already forced to eat gmos unknowingly most of the time.Eat oxidated gmo oils in processed foods not to mention poisioned about labeling all the pesticide residues on that apple?The greed has gone too far and needs to stop!

  66. This is my first visit to your blog but I will be returning. Although I would not drink a glass of raw milk I do agree with the point you are making. Be it raw milk, Bailouts, anti-obesity laws, entitlement spending; these are all ways to take from most of us to protect some of us from themselves. I would rather make my own choices and my own mistakes and will not willingly grant to men a restraint on my will that God Himself does not compel. If it turns out I’m on the road to perdition, I will be the one behind the wheel. This is the common American faith. We believe in ourselves, in each other, and in our separate pursuits of happiness.


  67. A victim-less crime!! How can selling raw milk be a crime when there is no victim?
    As for another comment I read on here suggesting that the government regulate the sale of raw milk…
    I sure as heck don’t want them messing with THAT, too! The government ruins everything they touch, and furthermore, there’s really no need to regulate the sale of raw milk. If you’re the consumer, buying straight from the farmer, it’s YOUR job to make sure that the way they milk is satisfactory. I’d like to note, too, that farmers who sell raw milk generally take more care in the way they farm. What incentive does a commercial dairy have to have clean, sanitary milking practices and healthy, happy cows? All of THEIR milk is shipped off to be sterilized!
    Here’s some more food for thought–95% of dairy farmers drink straight from their bulk tanks. That’s before it’s sent off to a creamery to be pasteurized. As THEM what they think about raw milk!!

  68. We are raw milk drinkers in a state where it is illegal to sell raw milk to anyone for any reason. I am blessed to have a friend with some very high producing cows and she simply gives us the milk. (Have I mentioned how blessed we are?!)

    I completely agree, however, that this has nothing to do with raw milk, McDonalds, or tree bark. It is incomprehensible to me that the government can dictate such seemingly random regulations. It’s not about health. Ever.

  69. I too am a Joel Salatin fan. We love raw milk and drive an hour each week to get it (to and from). I keep teasing my husband that we need a cow, but the Lord hasn’t lead us out of city living just yet, so I’ll keep dreaming. When that day comes, I can’t wait to make our own butter, cream, cheese and to drink the thick, sweet raw milk of our own Jersey. Thanks for posting this. Sounds like you’ve seen the movie Food Inc. lately! 🙂

    Best wishes!


  70. So this post is over 2 yo as I write this comment, but I wanted to say “thank you” to Katie for making the comment about raw milk helping her hypoglycemia. I have recently been diagnosed with both functional and reactive hypo, and wondering if raw milk would help keep my blood sugar levels stable, I googled “raw milk and hypoglycemia” and lo and behold, this article was on the first page of the Google results – thanks to Katie’s comment! 🙂

    Will probably have to up our weekly purchase to 3 gallons per week…

Speak Your Mind