I am working under the assumption that in Canada all milk for human consumption must be pasteurized. (Am I correct in this assumption?)

So the milk must first be heated to kill off most of the bacteria that might be lurking in the barn or flourishing in the cow.

But a growing number of natural food fans are demanding the right to bring milk from teat to table, convinced that pasteurization strips away the very stuff that makes milk so nutritious to begin with. In the United States, perhaps in Canada too, there is a growing black market in unpasteurized milk.

Fans of raw milk are convinced that heating destroys the good bacteria as well as enzymes that can be beneficial to health. They claim that drinking raw milk can relieve asthma and eczema as well as giving flagging immune systems a boost.

So is raw milk safe to drink? Not entirely, according to health officials, who say bacterial contamination in milk has caused twice as many disease outbreaks as pasteurized milk.

In your view does drinking raw milk put too much trust in the farmer and the health of the cow?

Would you drink raw milk?

Do you think it should be available for purchase?

By the way, is mother’s milk pasteurized?



  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    One of the health food stores in my area carries a locally-produced raw milk, which I’ve tried once or twice. However, it took me up to a year to try it as the disclaimers on the gallon container, which rival those on cigarette packages, scared me off (« Warning: this unpasteurized product may contain… »). I suppose this labelling is required by law. However, I don’t drink it on a regular basis simply because the store is out of the way.
    But I prefer to drink my milk heated up anyway, so whether it is raw or not is a bit moot in my case because I’m essentially pasteurizing it myself.
    What I do enjoy is non-HOMOGENIZED milk. Homogenized, of course, is the process whereby milk is forced through very thin tubes in order to break up the fat globules so as to give milk a consistency (and, apparently, a longer shelf-life) and not have the cream rise to the top.
    But I simply LOVE that cream that rises to the top! And I’ll pay the extra buck per quart to get that fix. Nothing is more delicious than opening up a new quart and skimming that cream off and eating it straight.

  2. 2
    dez Says:

    In a word: Ew.

    Pasteurization was first introduced as a means of keeping children from dying, which was a fairly common result of milk-drinking before 1886.

    From the Wikipedia: Some of the diseases that pasteurization can prevent are tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio, salmonella, strep throat, scarlet fever, and typhoid fever.

    Don’t those sound tasty? Yum!

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    Humans are the only animal that chooses to drink milk from other animals, and the only animal that continues to drink milk past weaning age.

    Milk is not a food meant for the adult digestive system. Biologically, it is meant only for the young of the animal that produces it, and only up to a certain age. After that, it carries more danger to the animal than benefit.

    Drink it (raw or pasteurized) at your own risk.

  4. 4
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Back in the late 30s and early 40s at uncle Fred’s, in Maxville, I drank milk staight from the udder. It was warm and very creamy. Uncle had one cow.
    Nowadays on several dairy farms, including bio ones, from udder to bottle, no human touches the milk. So I guess all the horrors Dez describes are not quite as imminent as in the 1800s.
    Neil, a mother’s milk is straight from producer to consumer so the risk does not require pasteurization.

  5. 5

    We use non-pasteurized goat milk from a local goat farm. Goat’s milk is, to my understanding, the closest to human milk. Cow’s milk contains far more substances than human stomachs have evolved to handle. In any case, we can better avoid diseases by raising animals in healthy environments and treating them in accordance with how they have evolved. We feed cows corn, which they are not made to handle, and that undoubtedly has consequences for them and us. We also pump them full of growth hormones and such. What we do to animals we intend to eat is what inspires my “Ew.”

  6. 6
    NAY Says:

    Raw milk from pasture raised cows is loaded with nutrients! We already put to much trust in the commercial farmers and the health of their cows! Drinking raw milk instead of waiting for it to be turned into another man made product would only benefit us! Have you ever heard of anyone getting sick from drinking raw milk? Farmers drink it- alot of people drink it- don’t know of anyone dying from it! Before pasteurizing everyone who drank milk, drank RAW milk- never heard of a Raw Milk disease killing tons of people around the world! You would think that the government would not have such restrictions on raw milk since there is such a great chance people could get sick! If lots of people got sick then they would need more medicine- more medicine means more Money! It’s all about the money! But really they don’t want you to find out that drinking real (not man made) milk is good for you- many health benefits! Do some research on raw milk, pasteurizing and homogenizing. Research the difference between grass-fed cows and so called grain fed cows. Find out the health differences these things make , not only in the milk but in the cows and humans. Yes I do drink raw milk and I do believe it is our Right to be able to purchase and comsume it!

  7. 7


    Thanks for your informed and provocative comment.

  8. 8
    AS Says:

    Yes, pasteurized milk has given raw milk a bad rap, and therefore everyone attributes the reactions and bad results from drinking commercial, industrial, pasteurized milk to raw milk. Raw milk, produced on healthy, organic lands where the animals are not administered antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, and other chemicals, is fabulously healthy to consume. That doesn’t mean you must drink a gallon of it a day, which probably would not be good for anyone. But consuming it in moderation, regularly, can provide outstanding health benefits due to its high levels of healthy probiotics, enzymes, and proteins that are important for health. Please read our article on Agriculture Society, . »Why the Consumption of Milk is Harmful to Your Health ».


  9. 9
    AS Says:

    Also, when you view this article, please scroll down the page as this link contains articles from the month of March on our site (first article is about school lunches and meals for children, also worth reading).


  10. 10
    apwood Says:

    I just recently wrote a blog on why my family began drinking raw milk. We love it and wouldn’t go back. Check out my blog for some good sources on researching why it is better!
    – Amy


  11. 11
    Fatcow Says:

    Excellent way of explaining, and pleasant article to obtain facts concerning my presentation subject matter,
    which i am going to deliver in institution of higher education.

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