Cheese seized! Public Health Department raids raw dairy vendor
July 26th, 2010
09:15 AM ET
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A police raid on a members-only grocery has devotees of unpasteurized dairy up in arms. In surveillance footage posted by the Los Angeles Times, four officers, with guns drawn, snaked through the aisles of Venice, California’s Rawsome Foods in search of outlaw raw cow and goat milk – which they found and confiscated.

In addition to the club’s computers, yogurt, cartons and jugs of milk and blocks of goat cheese were among the unpasteurized edibles nabbed by federal, state and local authorities who cited the co-op’s lack of proper permits to sell food to the public, while one of its vendors, Healthy Family Farms was also raided, having not met sufficient licensing standards in its processing plant.

Rawsome, which opened its doors in 2004, had previously gotten around the laws pertaining to unpasteurized dairy and honey by requiring patrons to purchase yearly memberships wherein they lease land and livestock and pay an additional fee for the transport of each item from the farm to the store. Rawsome’s owners reason that their storefront is simply a place where members may come and pick up items that are already technically theirs. The L.A. County Public Health Department, however, ardently disputes this line of reasoning and has been pursuing Rawsome for license compliance since 2005.

The June 30 raid is just the latest in the ongoing clash between raw food crusaders and governmental regulators seeking to shield consumers from what they see as a major threat to public health. Unpasteurized dairy has been linked to recent outbreaks of potentially deadly campylobacteriosis in the Midwest an E. coli outbreak in Minnetsota and both of the ailments in Colorado after children and adults alike were sickened after consuming raw milk. Raw milk has also been tied to cases of Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella.

Pasteurization, a process that entails heating milk to 145F for 30 minutes or 163F degrees for 15 seconds, and ultra high temperature pasteurization, which sterilizes milk to a shelf-stable state with a one or two second stint at 285F both kill the bacteria that cause these ailments, but, activists say, at significant cost to flavor, health benefits and personal freedom.

Milk sales are highly regulated from state to state - so stringently in some areas of the country, that the acquisition of raw milk sometimes becomes a clandestine, us-against-them affair. Urban consumers band together in secretive societies to smuggle and distribute contraband dairy to like-minded lactivists who eschew governmental warnings and claim that unpasteurized dairy cures asthma, allergies, thyroid deficiencies and even cancer. Others just enjoy the creamy, full-bodied flavor and mouthfeel and still others - well, they just don’t care for the government telling them what they can and cannot put in their bodies.

Not all raw dairy dealing is so cloak and dagger. Organizations like Right To Choose Healthy Food and the Farm to Consumer Foundation as well as activists like filmmaker Max Kane have taken the battle public, raising awareness of raw milk's supposed benefits via informational websites and films, as well as public rallies and drink-ins. Dubbed the "Teat Party" by some, the champions of this less fettered dairy distribution seek to overhaul state raw milk laws, one jug at a time.



soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Regena

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this web site needs much
    more attention. I'll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

    July 23, 2013 at 4:14 am |
  2. common sense

    If you eat you are at risk of food born illness. Again, do you want the government to tell you what you can or can not eat. I eat eggs from our chickens, veggies from our garden, berries from our bushes. Not to mention all the wild game my dad would bring home and process himself. The only time I have had an illness from food was from a eating out. Go figure.

    July 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  3. Jason

    Hebramleigh, you do make a good point. However, there are multiple ways of mitigating the risk.

    Do we deal with it by trading our freedoms for a top-down, big-government approach? This is far from perfect; witness the massively expensive recalls of processed food all the time. The disgraceful thing about that is how much good food is wasted each time. Centralization usually brings extra waste.

    Or do you mitigate the risk on a less centralized level, where those who take the risks more seriously have the wherewithal to take extra care during food processing. Either way, the universe is messy. We can't eliminate risk, we can just shove it under the rug or make it someone else's responsibility so we can get on with our shopping, vacationing, and commuting.

    July 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  4. common sense

    I agree freedom of choice. Our family has been drinking raw milk and using raw honey for over a year. No illness from it. In fact the opposite, My son suffered from sinus infections year round after about a month on the raw milk they cleared up and only return on vacation when he is drinking store milk. If you do not wish to drink raw milk then don't. However if you do that is a freedom you should be allowed to chose as well.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  5. brent

    This is how it works, federal bureaucracy protects the multi nationals. Even if a better safer choice were to come along, they will be shut down based on the rules of the game. anyone who is the least bit educated on the subject know what dairy cows are fed, what drugs are pumped into them, and its only blowing smoke up my but to tell me processed milk is superior to raw milk. However, having said all that, cow's milk is meant for cows, human milk is meant for....well it ain't whales, its for humans. Most common folk can connect the dots on this one..

    July 28, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  6. playsindirt

    Raw milk is what people drank before the government got involved. It contains the good bacteria that our bodies need to keep down disease and illness. That's why doctors want you to eat yogurt, because it good bacteria. Pasteurized milk doesn't protect your body like raw milk does. This is why so many people are sick. And please, people, breast feed your babies! It's the best milk for them. Go GREEN!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  7. Mike

    I spent 10 years as a kid in the 70s in Minnesota dairy country, and for 10 years I never had any milk but raw milk. It was great, I've never had milk like that since.

    July 28, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  8. Mac

    As a teenager I lived on a dairy on a poverty stricken farm in the third world where we sometimes got very sick because we did not wash our hands enough after milking. All the milk had to be boiled and made into cheese, occasionally a little went into hot chocolate. Sick dairy regions like that do not exist in the US because of health laws that seemed draconian at the time they were first implemented.
    In the 18th and earlier century it was common for children to die of TB, often in terrible forms like bone TB, from milk. All that is gone in the US now because of health laws like this. If we sell dangerous milk to some adult in line with their 'freedom' to endanger themselves, how can we be sure that some the adults buying this stuff are not feeding it to infants, children and the incapacitated elderly or to immune compromised. Public health regulation has done more to extend our lifespans than has medicine. Pasteurization does not hurt milk. It is true that goat milk is better than cow milk for infants and adults, but pasteurization will not hurt it. 'Your' children belong to themselves, not to you; you cannot make dangerous choices for them.

    July 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  9. Frank

    Another freedom lost. I love how we go around the world promoting freedom and democracy, all the while we erode our here at home. People should be free to drink whatever milk they want. Place a warning sticker on the milk and that's final. Do I own my own body and mind or does someone else?

    July 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  10. bullfeathers

    "with guns drawn" I guess its quite common in the illegal milk trade for gang wars and shootouts to occur.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  11. Blessed Geek

    Evolution dictates that we live in contention and may the best species win.

    It dictates that we have been fighting wars and killing neighbours, pillaging and pludering throughout history. So Evolution recommends that we continue doing so. Therefore, following that line of argument, that since we have been doing that for thousands of years – that justifies the existence of George Warcrime Bush, Osama been laiden, Kim ill junk, Mad off, Ahmad dinnerjet, etc.

    On the other hand, we are humans. A maturing humanity should seek to make responsible decisions independent of Gd or Evolution. Just as you want your children make their own responsible decisions. If Gd or Evolution has to micromanage our decision processes to ensure we did it right, then Gd has failed in His act of creation.

    When will we stop using Gd, satan or Evolution as an excuse to do things? Gd created us with Evolution as His right hand and put satan in charge as the quality control manager. The rest is up to us. If we think that going to war, killing unborn babies and increasing the CO2 levels will help propagate the human race and preserve our stewardship of the Universe so be it. If gays have means to propagate reproduction and raising children wholesomely, they have full blessings from Gd.

    If by drinking cows and goats milk strengthens the survival of the planet as a whole, go for it.

    July 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  12. Hebramleigh

    Many of the "there's no benefit to pasturization" people are speaking out of complete ignorance. The consuption of raw milk commonly caused serious illness and deaths before pasturization became wide-spread. That is why a process for making milk safer was first sought out and developed. Unfortunately, it was young children who suffered the most from this. We don't see as many cases now since most people drink pasturized milk products. If the entire population went to unpasturized milk, you would see the instances of milk-related illness sky-rocket.
    The argument that raw milk is perfectly safe mirrors that of people against vaccination for childhood disease. Before vaccinations were widespread, children suffered high mortality rates to diseases that are rarely seen today. Once vaccinations became the norm, those diseases were almost wiped out. Since parents rarely see those illnesses, they assume vaccinations are no longer necessary. They don't bother to research enough to discover that vaccinations give a high resistance to the population, but not complete immunity. If enough unvaccinated children start coming down with these diseases, it is possible to spread them to others who have been vaccinated. They are, in affect, endangering other people and the general population in general when they refuse to vaccinate their children. Some people will attack me for stating the truth, but do a little research. Illnesses that were once almost extinct are beginning to make a come-back, especially in urban areas.
    If you choose to consume raw milk products, at least recognize the risks involved. It is no different than consuming raw eggs or undercooked meat. The likelihood of becoming ill may be low, but it does exist. As for claims that raw milk cures a plethora of illness, I've seen no rigorous scientific studies that prove this. If you have access to such information, please link it. I'd be interested in reading it.

    July 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • MoodyMoody

      Exactly! I believe that the government should allow the sale of raw milk and raw milk products, provided that there is a warning label to the effect of "unpasteurized milk has been proven to carry fatal disease, especially in young children." They should also be required to print the symptoms of the most common milk-carried diseases on the label, such as high fever, vomiting, etc. Also make them print that benefits of raw versus pasteurized milk are unproven. That's a reasonable compromise, in my opinion. If people want to be stupid, let them; don't let them be totally ignorant.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  13. DrRonPaul2012

    Dr Ron Paul, a doctor, has confirmed that there is no health reason that justifies government intrusion in milk production. He's a doctor, MD.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  14. Pirogi

    Charlene – you are exactly right. But they aren't stopping with raiding dairy farms or arresting Amish farmers. "They" (Big Dairy and Big Agri-biz, working through the USDA) have been trying to push a national animal identifcation system (NAIS) on us since 2004. Their cover story was an animal disease tracking system, but the real reason was to increase Agri-biz's foreign export market. Even the reducing-the-spread-of-disease reason crumbles when you look at the diseases involved, the timetable for disease identification in animal products, and the fact that there are already regulations in place for meat to be inspected at slaughter and processing (not that this is always enforeced correctly, but that is another issue to do with the USDA). One of the many practical implications of this program is that small homesteaders and farmers would have to register their premises and all of their animals with the government, fill out paperwork for every new animal birth or death, every animal that jumps a fence, every time they have a predator problem. They would also have to pay annual fees associated with the program. It would be quite easy to drive small homesteaders and farmers out of business with this regulation.

    Fortunately, NAIS had funding cut by Congress this month. Unfortunately, the effort is not dead, with Tennessee rallying already for the same program under a new name – the Animal Disease Traceability Program.

    Government is in the pocket of Big Dairy and Big Agri-biz. The little guys fight, and fight, and then fight again. Maybe we will succeed in maintaining a real food supply.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  15. Kirkpatrick

    Oh yeah? You know who drinks unpasteurized milk? TERRORISTS. The Mavi Marmara was trying to smuggle unpasteurized milk into Gaza!

    July 27, 2010 at 9:27 am |
    • Charlene

      Not sure if your comment is a joke or not, but in case it's not: Lots of people around the world, and around the US drink unpasturized milk. It's totally normal to drink the milk from cow/s you raised or your neighbor raised and drink it. The US has just trashed local dairy farms by creating the industrial dairy farm industry and made it seem like the milk being produced by overworked, hormone-fed cows was the "safe" milk to drink. As Jason commented above, pasturization has been used to ensure that people can still drink milk from cows who are fed, drugged, and milked in unhealthy production environments. I choose to drink raw milk because of the increased nutrition and incomparable flavor of the milk – it's a FOOD this way! But I also choose to drink raw milk because of the relationship I have directly with the farmer who takes good care of his cows and cares about the milk products that they produce.

      July 27, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  16. Corey

    I think it should be a personal choice whether or not to consume it. I lived in France and enjoyed all the raw cheeses and would by raw milk here in Colorado if I were staying. The fact that the police went in with guns drawn is absurd. From what I can tell in the story they are just operating the same way as the raw milk farms here. You buy a portion and have access to the amount of the animal or land you have purchased.

    On a second note, If you are getting got sick off a vegan diet you did not do enough research to change your diet and take necessary actions for what you would like if you were consuming animal based products.
    Also I have issues with people saying they are vegan when they are not.

    Veganism as defined by the Vegan Society:
    "The word "veganism" denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."

    If you are a vegetarian you do not consume any animal based products but don’t take the Vegan philosophy to all aspects of your life. If you do there are alternate names for your choice of diet ovotarian/lacto/pesco etc...

    July 27, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  17. Daniel

    Instead of an argument of the benefits of a vegan diet maybe what we should take from this article is how absurd it is to "raid" a raw dairy farm." Obviously the dairy industry is flexing.

    July 27, 2010 at 7:08 am |
  18. So...

    ...are they saying it was being shipped to places and making people sick there?? Because that ain't cool. If you prefer it, why not buy a goat or cow and just do it yourself? That isn't illegal is it?

    July 27, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • MoodyMoody

      It is if you live in a city. Most cities have zoning restrictions against livestock.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  19. Russ

    Some people can just never be satisfied. The government hangs back and doesn't enforce the pure food laws, people die and their survivors blame the government. The government DOES enforce the pure food laws and they get called Hitler. Make up your mind, foolish people!

    July 27, 2010 at 12:36 am |
    • Jesse

      NO!!!

      July 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  20. prochoice

    Shouldn't people be free to choose what they put into their own bodies, and from whom they buy it? If the product is unsatisfactory, they can buy elsewhere, or not at all. If the product if contaminated, the consumer can sue. We need more responsibility by consumers and vendors, not more government.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  21. Caleljeffe

    Just give the raw dairy or cheese to an illegal and they can distribute it untouched in California!

    July 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  22. Jon Galt

    How can the officers prove the products they seized were unpasteurized?

    July 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
  23. Essene1

    We are all individuals........all built differently.....some are descended from cultures that were inundated with Dairy products , so the ones that had "allergies" didn't survive to breed. Others that came from other cultures were prone to other influences.
    Each one of us has a unique physiology. Some can't tolerate peanuts , some can't live with shellfish , many react very violently to the mere sting of an insect.......We're all different. Thank God (or "goodness" , or Darwin....) for that. So everything anyone says in here is valid...........to a particular group , and heresy to another..........kinda like Religion.......
    I know I don't believe in the Death Penalty....but I'm glad I live with others that do. I don't take drugs , but I'm glad that someone has developed many that are out there. I could never be a politician , but I'm glad someone else is.
    But.......Guns Drawn to raid a Grocery store?......does raise some eyebrows. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    July 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  24. ronald malaney

    they will get fined more that a meth cooker

    July 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  25. JR

    I guess the part about, "cops with drawn guns searched the aisles", that bothered me, were they that afraid?

    July 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
    • ronald malaney

      you must be extremely careful around goat milkers if they get them milking hands around your neck your done for!

      July 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • Jesse

      They were afraid of a cheese related incident. Milk does a body good, except when it goes bad.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  26. JR

    Funny that thousands of generations drank raw milk and ate unpasteurized cheese and it didn't kill of humanity, I wonder why, plus many cultures today still do, are Americans just weak?

    July 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ituri

      It actually did kill many of them, especially since then hospitals were further and fewer between, and treatments were "advanced leech therapy" of the sort. We also didn't have national tracking medical numbers for deaths, cause of deaths, and a national media to report scares on infectious agents in food sources. Plenty died, we just didn't see them back then.

      July 27, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  27. ronald malaney

    Kin folks say California is the place you want to be, craziest laws of hypocrisy ,legalize pot and then ban milk, state is dry and going broke then your lawmakers go by coke.
    sing to beverly hillbillys

    July 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  28. amy

    good to see the huge dairy conglomerates can bribe the government to shut down their competition.

    July 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  29. ronald malaney

    your name implies you play lacross, if you do, should the government ban it because you might injure another player in your club?

    July 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • MoodyMoody

      Not the writer, but no, they shouldn't ban lacrosse. However, they should probably mandate goggles.

      July 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  30. ronald malaney

    big milk producers vs small milk producers, I believe these law were made to protect big dairy companies from competition mostly, the other reasons is taxes and control by government of us. this was a private club not a public store. they can, have, and will, make the same laws for vegetables. vegans don't jump on this band wagon.

    July 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  31. lacrosseson

    Good!
    It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people can be and what nonsense they'll believe over science.

    It reminds me of that episode of Penn & Teller's "Bullsh!t" where they gave blind taste tests to health food store patrons. Every one of them thought the regular Dole banana was tastier and healthier than the organic banana and mistook it for the organic one.

    July 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Pirogi

      To which scientific studies are you referring?

      July 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • ronald malaney

      what does that have to do with any thing? both bananas can taste the same or even grown next to each other, and 1 sprayed with bug killer and 1 not and still taste the same. people should be able to choose which way they want it.

      July 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
      • Ituri

        Whats the point of getting an "organic" fruit or veggie with a built in wrapper? Pesticides can't permeate into the wrapper of a banana. The same with cantelope, or inside apples. The veggies you should go organic for are porous, strawberries, peaches, etc. Poshing out organic bananas seems a little deceptive.

        July 27, 2010 at 2:20 am |
      • MoodyMoody

        Ituri, the pesticide can permeate the plant from the roots. Apples are on the "dirty dozen" list of produce you should buy organic if you can.

        July 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  32. Jon Galt

    How wonderful to live in a society where the government so loves its citizens that it will take their property in order to reduce, even slightly, the risk of them harming themselves.

    July 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  33. Carl

    Vegan Girl – go ahead, have a good laugh. That said, keep in mind that humans are, by nature, omnivorous – we can digest some, but not all, vegetable matter, and also meat and dairy products. To deny that is simply ignorant. I do agree that vegans are no more dangerous to the human species than a total carnivore, but too many vegans live with a smug attitude that they are morally superior to meat eaters, which is just silly.

    If you have an emotional problem eating flesh, don't. The rest of us will happily go on without you.

    As for raw dairy, my family obtained raw milk from a local farmer for years – never got sick, and made lots of dairy products from it – yogurt, cheese, ice cream. We also had a goat for a few years – also excellent source of dairy. We kept the utensils clean, refrigerated quickly, and used the products within days. Again, no problems.

    July 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Caryn Llewellyn

      If you think you're superior because you don't eat meat, that you're causing less harm to a Living creature, you should read Linda Goodman's Star Signs. The book is about 30+ years old...she references her Scientist friend who hooked plants up to a machine equivalent to a lie detector which showed that the plants "Feel" a range of emotions from happiness to horror...including intense fear to the point of fainting...they also scream just before fainting. Now what are ya gonna eat? hummm? You did develope your cainine teeth didn't you? There's no way "not" to hurt what ever you eat...it's just life. I don't like the thought of hurting something living to eat, but if I don't I'll starve & die...it's a toss up...go figure...I want to live Blessings to all, no harm meant by this post.

      November 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  34. Mary

    Why did they mention honey in the article? Honey does not and should not be pasteurized.

    July 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  35. Will

    This is just another example of how our government is trying to control every facet of our lives. I am lactose Intolerant and I used goats milk for a week and did not take my pills. For a week, I had no symptoms I usually had and I didn't have a single headache that I usually get on a regular basis, like 2-3 times a week. I am a believer in it! Goat's milk of course doesn't have lactose at all. Lactose is the sugar in cow's milk. So that makes sense, but if you drink raw cow's milk, I would assume the bacteria and enzymes needed to properly digest it would be in it which is killed off during the pasteurization process. I haven't researched that but it would make sense. Any thoughts on that?

    July 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Will

      Also, I believe we only pasteurize our milk so we can transport it 1000's of miles and last a week after that and still be safe. It isn't just to keep people from getting sick. All of these farmers drink it fresh and they don't have problems. I purchased some and it lasted about a week. It had not funny smell after a week either like the supermarket milk does.

      July 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  36. Jason

    The poll and the article miss the point. It's not about whether raw dairy is or is not safe, it's about where and when the dairy was produced and whether it's trustworthy by the time it's consumed. I would not consume raw dairy (or any other perishable food) without knowing its history. That rules out highly processed foods that have been through an untraceable web of treatments, storage, and transportation.

    Pasteurization doesn't make an inherently unsafe product safe. What it does is make it possible to produce, process and distribute dairy in ways that otherwise would surely have made it unsafe.

    And therein lies the solution for these activists: do more of your own production, closer to home.

    July 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Will

      Well Said!

      July 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • Charlene

      Here Here! thanks for the succinct reply!

      July 27, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  37. chris

    No other animal willingly drinks another animal's milk unless it's life depends on it, like in starvation cases. Also no other animal drinks milk into adulthood.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • GetYourFactRIght

      Do not compare apples and pears, remember no other animal process the crap out of their food and have to add synthetic nutrition back into it either. So they do not have to drink milk in adulthood

      July 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • RawRobert

      No other animal cooks their food either. Milk is one of the most nutritious and complete foods, which is how babies can grow and thrive. So the fact that our society is so nutritionally deficient says we need more good nutrients hence raw milk.

      July 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
      • strongbox

        More milk for the masses!

        July 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • JR

      I'm not aware of any other animals that raise and breed other animals for food.

      July 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
      • kat

        Ants apparently 'milk' aphids

        July 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • Jesse

      Have you ever met a cat. And dogs happily eat poop. It isn't about survival it's about availability. How many animals have access to milk on a regular basis, cross species or otherwise there is a technical issue with that thought if you can call that a thought.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  38. HSJ

    This is absolutely stupid. So we have solved all the problems in this country and are now turning our attention to the small dairy farmer with guns drawn, because, oh! No! look out he is giving me raw milk. I am sorry, but when drug companies can sell their medicines with side effects that are worse than the symptoms they are treating or when they have to certify farmers as Humane, which implies that inhumane is ok by us when treating our chickens and cattle, then they can come after this poor farmer. This is nothing more than big dairy producers trying to control the dairy industry and the products they can sell. If I have raw milk, or even moderately pasturized milk without homoginazation, then I can get cream and I can make yogurt, cheese, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, Kifir from this one product. So I can make all this reletively easy, why would I go to the store and buy these products from the big milk producers, who have really rendered our milk useless.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  39. cosmicc

    If you want to drink raw milk, eat undercooked eggs, or engage in other somewhat risky behavior, that should be your choice. However, if you engage in these behaviors and get sick, that should be your responsibility. Your health insurance costs should go up.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jesse

      Health insurance is a pool, everyones rates go up. In fact I think mine just went up reading your post.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  40. ajmill1978

    VeganGirl:

    As mammals, we are all designed and encouraged by natural selection to drink raw milk (a bodily fluid) from an animal – that being our mothers. As we grow older, it may not be the best nutrition source, it's still better than nothing, which is why the World Health Organization advocates breast feeding until at least 3 years of age in developing countries where cultivated nutrition may not be adequate. When humans can no longer provide such nutrition, it's reasonable to turn to other animals. This has been documented throughout history with animals nursing species other than their own (e.g. cats nursing with goats, etc.)

    The idea that animal sources of nutrition are unnatural is purely alien. Veganism is more harmful to our species than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • chris

      Hahahahaha...that absurdity makes me laugh.

      July 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
      • Alaska

        That's right Vegangirl,

        Nature gave us the teeth of Omnivores, and not Herbivores, because we are a herbiferous species only! Oh wait...

        July 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • VeganGirl

      "The idea that animal sources of nutrition are unnatural is purely alien. Veganism is more harmful to our species than tobacco or alcohol."

      That is indeed hilarious.

      July 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
      • Reykjavik

        My idiotic choice to become a vegan almost killed me.

        I developed a severe B12 deficiency.

        Sympotoms included:

        Extreme fatigue, depression, muscle wasting, dark circles permanently under my eyes, decresed metnal capacity, decreased attention span, mood swings, horrible breath, hair falling out in clumps, and becoming dangerously thin.

        All symptoms ceased when I introduced meat back into my diet.

        July 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
      • VeganGirl

        @Alaska: I'm glad you have fast legs, very sharp nails and really long canines so you can run after your prey and kill it. Oh wait...

        July 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
      • Jesse

        Yeah that's right human beings don't have the capacity to kill anything. Oh wait looky here we gots us some tools.

        July 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
      • Colorado Girl

        VeganGirl: Alaska said OMNIVORES, not carnivores, honey. Have you ever tried to bite a carrot with your front teeth? Oh right, you don't, because it hurts. Molars, incisors, canines...study a diagram of a human mouth. Plus, as Jesse points out: we gots tools!!
        Chicken eggs are not all baby chicks. Many are unfertilized and come out just the way human ovaries eject eggs that never get fertilized. The difference is that because the function of a bird egg is that similar to a bestational sac, bird eggs have nutrients whether there is a baby bird inside or not. Are chickens unethical for having normal reproductive cycles?
        Also, I believe the Masai tribes in Africa live primarily on a diet of cattle milk and blood. They are indigenous. They are as yet uncorrupt. Does their diet make them SAVAGES?

        July 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • Will

      Designed? How can natural selection be designed? It is totally random. There is not intelligence in it. You sound confused. Maybe you are thinking of intelligent design where there might be room for words like that, but don't put that in an evolutionary statement. Where in evolution did we evolve to accept lactose (milk sugar) or anything else. Bacteria is what allows us to digest anything in conjuction with other things of course, but without bacteria in our systems, we would die. It is too much or the wrong type that make people sick. I believe God, yes, God, designed it that way because He is intelligent like that.

      July 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tara

      Funny, once I went vegan my health was restored. No more spilling sugar in my urine,thyroid levels went back to normal and was able to get off of medication,my vit. D blood level came back up, My husband was able to go off of blood pressure medication and is no longer diabetic. Dangerous? I guess if you consider meat that rots in your colon before it can be digested safe than of course you think veganisim is dangerous.

      July 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
      • Desert Cat

        Reykjavik: I have to wonder what and how you were eating, and if you allowed yourself a healthy, GRADUAL transition to a vegan diet? I am a vegetarian (NOT a vegan, although my diet is probably vegan 60 – 75% of the time). Like Tara, I had serious health issues that completely reversed themselves once I eliminated meat from my diet. I had ALWAYS been anemic UNTIL I stopped eating red meats, and got my iron through non-animal sources. I also suffered from bleeding ulcers that had almost killed me (and were not caused by h. pylori bacteria); within six months of going fully vegetarian, the ulcers that had plagued me since childhood were gone (and 21 years later, have not returned). I do not believe that veganism is for everyone, but it is irresponsible to suggest that it is blanketly dangerous for any and all to adopt.

        July 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Desert Cat

      WOW. That is the most ill-informed statement I have read here today. Please, feel free to smoke 3 packs a day and down a quart of bourbon after work, then get back to us in a year and let us know how you're doing. Oh, never mind - you'll probably be dead, or at the very least, really miserable and unable to keep up with us crazy, Commie, hippy-freak health nuts who want to rob the world of fun things like colon cancer, obesity, and factory-farm pollution.

      July 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
      • Jesse

        Hey if your payin I'm drinkin. Hey everyone free drinks over here. And now back to your regularly scheduled hateful rant.

        July 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • JenniferCA

      Well, I wouldn't say that Veganism is as big a threat to humainty as tobacco, I agree that the idea that consuming animal products is not wrong for humans. It is how our brains evolved into what they are today. In fact vegans and vegetarians are both highly susceptible to B12 deficiencies, a vitamin that naturally occurs in meat/ animal products and is critical to normal brain metabolism. Without it we risk hormonal imbalances, nerve degeneration and dementia.
      However, our over-consumption of animal products has brought significant harm to humanity: heart disease, food borne illnesses, over population, obesity, animal cruelty in farms and an extensive evironmental impact.
      The answer lies with consuming small portions of meat/dairy occasionally rather than with every meal as our ancestors did. This would reduce the number of animals being slaughtered or used for milk, enabling us to return to smaller cruelty-free farms as well as clear up most of the health issues for humans. As always, the rule is everything in moderation.

      July 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
      • Jesse

        Thank you for a sane balanced view.

        July 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
      • Liz

        Nutritional yeast or good vitamins make up for the B12 issue.

        July 27, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  41. Susan

    I don't know how you can consider raw milk any big deal. It was what I was raised on – come on, just be clean and you are perfectly fine like anything else. You don't see us pasteurizing the jalapenos or alfalfa sprouts that have caused huge e-coli outbreaks, huh? I now have my own source of milk right outside my door. I drink it raw simply because it's easier and boiling milk in my house stinks (gross)! The health food nuts and the crazy government oversight are equally silly. Where I live you can sell raw milk off your farm, presumably because people can go and see exactly where it is coming from, whether you are clean, and make their own judgment. How many of you folks go to a dairy or milk processor and see all the chemicals and grossness they dump into it? Because with the feedlot those cows are living on, they have to dump chemicals on to sanitize the poop out of it. People are so silly on all sides of this issue, raw milk people come of as crazed health nuts, too. I wish people would just relax and let others do what they choose when it comes to this.

    July 26, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  42. Pirogi

    We drink raw milk from our dairy goats every day (as did generations of humans before us). Unfortunately, that is the only way in many states to legally get raw dairy, and most people don't live in areas where it is possible or don't have enough time to devote to livestock dairy animals. I fully support providing pasteurized milk products for those who desire that, but if a person actively seeks out raw milk to purchase and consume, what basis does the government have to prevent that? Do I still have the right to refuse western medical treatment? To enjoy my steak a little bloody? To consume raw fish and shellfish? To not wear sunscreen? What is different with choosing to consume raw milk?

    July 26, 2010 at 11:00 am |
    • Susan

      I agree, and I also have dairy goats and was raised on raw milk. What is really sad though, is I live in Minnesota where we have had some E-Coli from the cow people. Even though we can sell it off the farm, I have had the raw goat activists contact me and say I should not be doing that because they don't want me to "wreck it for everyone." I had to laugh. If anything, my state will succumb to the hype and completely outlaw raw milk sales. And the ones who are policing are the very people who are supposedly in favor of it who, by the way, come off as a bunch of crackpots to the general public, claiming cancer cures, etc. I do think the government will win on this one and raw milk consumption will go out the window.

      July 26, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  43. VeganGirl

    Raw or not, cow/goat/etc milk is just not meant for human consumption anyway. I like the idea that I am not drinking the bodily fluid from an animal.

    July 26, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • Susan

      Of course it's meant for human consumption, we domesticated these guys ages ago. If not for us, domestic dairy animals would not exist. It's a perfect example of natural human behavior. Dairy helped us survive European winters. This is why many Asian/African are lactose intolerant, those areas did not use milk. But it surely demonstrates that drinking milk is a natural adaptation humans have within them. You're believing some propaganda from somewhere, I believe, rather than simply looking around you. Lol have you not noticed the dairy case??

      July 26, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • Reykjavik

      Wow. Somebody had better nominate you for sainthood fast! What a good human being you are! Look at all the good you are doing in the world! Good for you!

      My two year stint with veganism almost killed me,

      July 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
      • chris

        You could have just taken a B12 supplement or indroduced nutritional yeast into your diet and you'd have been fine.

        July 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
      • sck

        Just because you sucked at taking care of yourself as a vegan doesn't mean everyone sucks at taking care of themselves as a vegan (full disclosure: NOT a vegan, just despises HORRIBLE logic)

        July 27, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Ryan

      Actually, it most certainly is.

      Just because a Vegan said it, doesn't make it true.

      July 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • JR

      "I like the idea that I am not drinking the bodily fluid from an animal.", so breast feeding is a definite no no, right?

      July 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
      • Jesse

        Don't forget saliva and any number of other internal bodily secretions that go on in daily living as well as kissing. I don't think I'll give that up to make miss holier than thow happy.

        July 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • Ituri

      VeganGirl apparently has forgotten we are mammals, with our own mammary glands. We can, do, and likely should ingest a certain balanced amount of dairy. The question is, is RAW dairy safe? I don't know. I don't trust raw eggs or meat, so I would likely not trust raw dairy either. However, I don't like all the processing of food either. Any way you look at it, its a gigantic food industry paying cops to play its turf wars and keep people paying high prices for food that costs hardly that much to produce.

      And I grew up on a farm, so don't feed me the "high cost of producing dairy" lecture, its BS and you know it. If an industry can't survive on its product, after all, thats what capitalism is for.

      July 27, 2010 at 2:08 am |
      • strongbox

        pasteurization was made law in the 50s to protect people. It works and we're healthier for it. consuming raw milk is a crap shoot and there are dead and sick people all over this country to prove it.

        July 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
      • strongbox

        The U.S. spends the least amount of its disposable income on than any industrial nation in the world. And the amount is going down!

        July 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • Jessica

      Actually, Milk isnt NECESSARY for adults to consume. There are many experts (not paid for by dairy lobbyists) who believe that consuming milk as an adult actually creates problems in your body. For many people their stomachs get bloated/inflamed by milk – without ever really connecting the dots. There are not any nutritional benefits from milk consumption – despite what the milk lobbyists try to explaim regarding vitamin d. You cant possibly get the amount of Vitamin D you need from milk, its not even remotely possible...and also, most people in northern climates are severly deficient in Vitamin D (which can cause a whole host of health issues). Anywho, there's a reason the dairy lobby wants to promote this product as essential to your diet – their business would disappear if they didnt do that. Im not saying do not consume ANY dairy, what I am saying is, restrict the amount you consume. Your body will thank you.

      July 27, 2010 at 9:31 am |
      • Jesse

        You are absolutely correct there are no studies showing any nutrient value to milk, I mena it totally lacks protein and has never been suggested for people with or prone to gout.

        July 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
      • Carol

        Right, and doctors never recommnended drinking milk to help maintan bone density. (that's sacrasm)

        July 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
      • Colorado Girl

        You make a point about milk causing bloating and indigestion. That is because a LARGE fraction of society is "lactose-intolerant". Pretty much every human being can consume milk up to four years of age (in some cultures, children aren't weaned until four, though obviously that's rare these days). Past that, though...people descended from Southern Europe, most of Asia, and parts of Africa are highly disposed to lactose intolerance...their bodies just stop processing lactose. Rates of lactose intolerance are much lower particularly among people of Northern European descent.
        That doesn't mean milk is bad for you, or dairy even. The entire issue with pasturization is that it takes meticulous, careful farming to produce raw milk and dairy products without bacterial contamination, but pasturization greatly decreases the nutrient content in milk. The 2second pasturization at the highest temperature removes the majority of nutrients, which is why you run into "nutrient-added" milk brands like SmartBalance advertising less fat and more protein. Milkfat is not problematic when ingested along with all the natural nutrients in milk, and raw milk has protein levels shockingly higher than brand milk found in stores.
        The health risks and consequent regulations make sense, but the people getting sick clearly aren't doing their homework, because responsible farmers will not sell their products if they are contaminated. Raw dairy is definitely a complicated issue. The bigger issue is that the "milk industry" wants money, yes... the milk sold in store HAS few health benefits...so basically, you're right: milk has a negligible impact on your diet unless it is raw or GENTLY pasturized.
        As for those people who are lactose-intolerant, they can still reap the benefits of dairy from some kinds of cheese. The chemical process involved in turning milk to cheese greatly reduces lactose levels.
        As for the vegan argument above- yes, you can get a proper balanced diet if you pay close attention. But if you are only focused on avoiding animal products and not on the nutrients going into your body, you WILL get very sick, because you will be malnourished. That said, a vegan diet supports unsustainable farming, which throws a teensy wrench into the ethics behind that diet.

        July 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • Artemis

      Drinking cow's milk is not "natural" for humans. Yes, we domesticated the cow long ago and have been consuming milk and milk products, but that does not mean it is natural for us to do so. I've read several articles that outlined how milk is actually not tolerated by a large portion of the world's population who, as adults, do not have the necessary enzymes in their bodies to properly break down the protein. I personally discovered through an observant doctor that I am allergic to dairy products: not "intolerant," meaning my body cannot process it, but actually allergic, where my hands, feet and face swell up and I will choke and gag from the fluid in my throat (I'd felt like this for years, but all the other doctors I'd seen assumed it was just becasue I was overweight at the time and never bothered to check for anything else).

      July 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  44. Steve

    My family originally were Iowa farmers. I remember getting fresh whole milk when staying at my great aunt and uncles farm. Personally,I did not like it. But, I would not consider that milk risky. However, now I wouldn't trust the whole milk because there's now way to know the route it took to your glass. Just not wort the risk.

    July 26, 2010 at 10:00 am |
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