Nature Knows Best: Why Raw Milk should be Legalized

Nature Knows Best: Why Raw Milk should be Legalized

By Azure James

The debate about raw milk versus pasteurized milk has been raging ever since 1934, when Canada banned the sale of raw milk. [2] Raw milk can be sold in 29 of the 50 states, Germany, England, and other countries. [4] The Royal Family in England is famously known for consuming raw milk as well. [8] Unpasteurized milk from grass-fed cows should be legal in Canada.

Opponents’ biggest argument is that raw milk can be contaminated with E. coli. Yet, a huge variety of foods, such as eggs, meat, and peanut butter can also cause food poisoning. We do not ban meat, vegetables or other foods because, in rare instances, they may have E. coli. We do not ban cigarettes and alcohol although they kill thousands of people and ruin millions of lives each year.  Why should raw milk be an exception?

The Centre for Disease Control admits no-one has died from drinking raw milk in twelve years, although many people get it from the black market and legally through cow-shares. [5] 40% of Canadians will get food poisoning this year, which will cost the medical industry $1.3 billion. [6] I interviewed a man named Robert Griffin, who used to work on a farm. “Raw milk is safer than meat and poultry if it’s made in sanitary facilities. Banning raw milk just doesn’t make sense,” he said when asked about the danger of contamination.  

Most non-organic milk is made from animals fed grain. Grass-fed, free roaming cows produce better milk. It is also healthier for human consumption. [8] Ruminants such as horses and cattle have a natural diet of only grass. Deviating from that diet too much is bound to cause problems. Pasteurized milk has less vitamins and enzymes. It destroys vitamin A, 38% of vitamin B complex, and lactase, among other things. [7]

An estimated 65% of adults are lactose intolerant to some extent. [1] Raw milk contains an enzyme called lactase that helps your body break down and absorb the lactose. When milk is pasteurized and homogenized, though, lactase is just one of many enzymes that are killed off in the process.[7]

Personally, I have consumed raw milk with no harmful consequences, even though I am lactose-intolerant. It was creamier and settled better in the stomach when compared to commercial milk.

Buying locally, right from the source is good way to help your town and the economy. Two farmers, Schmidt and McAfee, say that demand for raw milk is so strong that they can’t even make cheese because so many  people want what Schmidt says is “milk the way it comes from the cow.” [3]

We are fortunate that people are going back to tried-and-true values. The muscles of the men who built this country were strengthened with raw milk from their cattle.  Not taking action on the ban is like throwing a part of our heritage in the garbage. Luckily for us, there are petitions going around online for remedying the situation and restoring food freedom to Canada.  

 

Bibliography:

1. “Lactose Intolerance by Ethnicity and Region” http://milk.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000661 2013.

2. “Milk Given the Raw Deal” January, http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2009/01/27/f-health-raw-milk.html 2010.

3. “Hunger Strike to Go ‘Until Death’ Says Raw-Milk Farmer” http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/10/hunger-strike-could-go-until-death-says-canadian-raw-milk-farmer/#.UQmBC3dyAgQ 2012.

4. “Raw Milk” http://www.bccdc.ca/foodhealth/dairy/Raw+Milk.htm 2012.

5. “CDC Admits No-one has Died from Drinking Raw Milk in the Last Eleven Years”

http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/cdc-admits-no-one-has-died-from-drinking-raw-milk-in-last-11-years/ 2013.

6. “More Canadians suffer food poisoning”

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=ee66451e-aa59-4bf1-90d7-7ecd7985f582 2008.

7. “Pasteurization destroys Vitamin A” http://chestofbooks.com/health/natural-cure/The-Hygienic-System-Orthotrophy/Pasteurization-Destroys-Vitamin-A.html#.UQmEyndyAgQ 2009.

8. “The Health Benefits Of Raw Milk From Grass-Fed Animals”  http://www.realmilk.com/health/health-benefits-of-raw-milk-from-grass-fed-animals/ 2009.

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