Does Raw Milk Make You Sick? We'll Soon Find Out. | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Does Raw Milk Make You Sick? We'll Soon Find Out.

"Wow, that's pure, concentrated milk," said my co-worker when I offered her a sip of raw milk. Like me, she's a 2%-er, so any whole milk is going to be especially, well, milky: even when I poured cream off the top.

It's delicious, though. I want to cook with it, or add it to a cup of Counter Culture coffee (I know it's blasphemy to not drink it black).

Not pasteurized or homogenized, raw milk is developing a cult following for its health benefits, which allegedly include decreased risk of osteoporosis and resistance against asthma and other conditions.

Despite that consumption of raw milk is on the rise with over 500,000 people calling themselves

frequent consumers in the US, there's push-back for good

reason. Scientists and the US government warn against it for potential

contamination with listeria, E.coli, and salmonella.

This debate is quite current. In February, the Centers for the Disease Control published a study that

raw milk is significantly more dangerous than pasteurized. And just last month, 80 people fell ill due to raw

milk contamination in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West


In Florida, the sale of raw milk is legal for pets only. A

staffer at Marando Farms said sales of raw products are brisk.

In particular, raw milk is essential for certain cheeses. "If

you have a cow that's grazing on berries and grass in the Alps, for

example," says Susan Smith, owner of Cheese Culture,

"those flavors come through in raw milk. Pasteurization kills those


Florida law allows shops to sell raw milk cheeses aged over 90

days, such as Morbier an earthy, French cow's milk cheese, as well as a

Montgomery cloth-bound cheddar from England. "The flavors are just more


In the EU, all raw milk products are legal. And here's why: while raw milk might pose health risks, so do frozen berries, Jimmy John's sandwiches, raw oysters, and ground beef. Is the solution to regulate those more closely too?

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart

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