Raw Milk Vs. Pasteurized Milk

Health-RawVsPast-600x626From Armchair Science, London
April 1938
Read this article in Japanese

There is no substitute for clean, raw milk as a food, so far as children are concerned. Science has not yet succeeded in providing, in the pasteurized variety, those essential qualities that are the only real foundation for a healthy child.

Unfortunately, many grossly distorted statements are current regarding our milk supply. If we are to believe the protagonists of the Pasteurization-of-all-milk-at-all costs Party, raw milk is as good, or rather as bad, as rat poison-although as the Minister of Agriculture recently stated, “the human race existed long before Pasteur was heard of.”

The process of pasteurization was debated in the House of Commons and the suggestion made that no raw milk should be sold for human consumption. This would mean installation of expensive machinery by every supplier, and if it should become compulsory there is little doubt that many small firms would shut down and the business pass in the hands of a few big dealers.

If we are to be compelled to drink pasteurized milk, we should at least understand what pasteurization means. It set out to accomplish two things: Destruction of certain disease-carrying germs and the prevention of souring milk. These results are obtained by keeping the milk at a temperature of 145 degrees to 150 degrees F. for half an hour, at least, and then reducing the temperature to not more than 55 degrees F.

It is undoubtedly beneficial to destroy dangerous germs, but pasteurization does more than this-it kills off harmless and useful germs alike, and by subjecting the milk to high temperatures, destroys some nutritious constituents.

With regards to the prevention of souring; sour raw milk is very widely used. It is given to invalids, being easily digested, laxative in its properties, and not unpleasant to take. But, after pasteurization, the lactic acid bacilli are killed. The milk, in consequence, cannot become sour and quickly decomposes, while undesirable germs multiply very quickly.

Pasteurization’s great claim to popularity is the widespread belief, fostered by its supporters, that tuberculosis in children is caused by the harmful germs found in raw milk. Scientists have examined and tested thousands of milk samples, and experiments have been carried out on hundreds of animals in regard to this problem of disease-carrying by milk. But the one vital fact that seems to have been completely missed is that it is CLEAN, raw milk that is wanted. If this can be guaranteed, no other form of food for children can, or should, be allowed to take its place.

Dirty milk, of course, is like any other form of impure food — a definite menace. But Certified Grade A Milk, produced under Government supervision and guaranteed absolutely clean, is available practically all over the country and is the dairy-farmer’s answer to the pasteurization zealots.

Recent figures published regarding the spread of tuberculosis by milk show, among other facts, that over a period of five years, during which time 70 children belonging to a special organization received a pint of raw milk daily. One case only of the disease occurred. During a similar period when pasteurized milk had been given, 14 cases were reported.

Besides destroying part of the vitamin C contained in raw milk and encouraging growth of harmful bacteria, pasteurization turns the sugar of milk, known as lactose, into beta-lactose — which is far more soluble and therefore more rapidly absorbed in the system, with the result that the child soon becomes hungry again.

Probably pasteurization’s worst offence is that it makes insoluable the major part of the calcium contained in raw milk. This frequently leads to rickets, bad teeth, and nervous troubles, for sufficient calcium content is vital to children; and with the loss of phosphorus also associated with calcium, bone and breain formation suffer serious setbacks.

Pasteurization also destroys 20 percent of the iodine present in raw milk, causes constipation and generally takes from the milk its most vital qualities.

In face of these facts-which are undeniable-what has the Pasteurization Party to say? Instead of compelling dealers to set up expensive machinery for turning raw milk into something that is definitely not what it sets out to be — a nutritious, health giving food — let them pass legislation making the dairy-farmers produce clean, raw milk — that is milk pure to drink with all its constituents unaltered.

The above was published in Magazine Digest – June 1938. Armchair Science is a British medical journal.

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72 thoughts on “Raw Milk Vs. Pasteurized Milk

    • You definitely want to read this in its entirety.
      It was written by two doctors and presented by two lawyers to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. It contains many studies, the results and expert information on the subject of raw milk. It may seem long to some, but it is definitely a must read for anyone interested in this subject.
      http://www.rawmilk.org/pdf/report-in-favor-of-raw-milk-final-06-07.pdf
      Personal note: If you want the best health pros in your milk source, use goat milk when you find a raw milk supplier that knows their goats and PROPER goat care and milking. Goat milk and cheese should NEVER taste “goaty”!-even allowing for individual goat differences. Goat milk has many benefits over cow’s milk, for the producer and the consumer. (Sorry bovine people, although raw cow’s milk is still better than pasteurized, as the above report will show. It doesn’t get into goat vs. cow, just addresses raw vs. pasteurized.)

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  3. The problem is that it’s hard to have clean raw milk when you are ramping up production to industrialized levels. There are tons of examples of this biting humanity in the ass. Cows are not sanitary animals, real milk was intended to have a shelf life of zero *teat to baby* so to reduce the risk to the public, we pasturize. It’s all a game of numbers. I doubt anyone has anythign against clean milk from the family cow. Most of us have problems with the hipsters who want to bring raw milk to the masses.

    • All milk producers take samples of the milk at less every time it gets picked up (before it goes on a milk truck) to as little as ones a month. on top of that Dairy Farmers test each milking cow ones a month. how is that for some info most people don’t realize unless you truly know a farme! Not only that they also test milk before it’s unload off the milk truck each time to make sure there isn’t anything in milk that shouldn’t be there! if there happens to be something in the milk then that shouldn’t be then the whole truck load gets rejected.

      • The raw milk is already full of stuff that “shouldn’t” be there. The problem occurs if one does not ingest it before those “shouldn’t” have a chance to multiply to an amount that is unsafe for consumption.

        • Properly handled milk from healthy, grass-fed animals is not full of stuff that shouldn’t be there. Standards for raw milk intended to be drunk raw are more stringent than standards for raw milk intended to be pasteurized. People drink raw milk all over the country daily and do not get sick. They may drink it immediately after milking or they may drink it a few weeks after milking. They may set the milk out to separate into curds and whey before eating it. Foodborne illnesses from raw milk or raw milk products are very rare, rarer than for many other foods consumed raw. Produce is one of the most common vectors.

      • Hi there just clarify a couple of things…..I have farmed in New Zealand for almost 20years and have been on enough farms to know that most of our farms do not test our herds milk on a daily basis in fact it is solely left to chance that when our milk gets picked up everyday sometimes twice a day that the milk truck won’t reject the pick up. Other then that us farmers are fully liable for what we send. We get a docket after each pick up which tells us if we have a high cell count at which time we do check the suspect cows we feel could have mastitis she is then treated and left out of the milk collection. Once the next docket comes the cell count should have come back down if not then the herdis tested.

    • ummm ya they will do your research. People live a lot longer and a lot healthier lives drinking other milk besides cows. If you do your research you will find that cows milk, really isnt that good for you like they say. And you will see one day, they will pull pasturized cows milk off the market.

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  5. You are using research that is almost 100 years old from a time when we new much less about both pathogens and nutrition.

    This article has serious flaws. Pasteurized milk does not contribute to the spread of Tuberculosis. It does not cause rickets. It does not significantly inhibit the uptake of calcium from the milk.

    What pasteurization does do is help prevent the spread of listeria, tuberculosis, hoof-in-mouth disease, and other very serious illnesses.

    • This particular article is a historical item from 1938; we include these to show the debate taking place at the time that the dairy industry and government were pushing pasteurization. See multiple other articles on the site for analyses of more recent research, particularly items on this page: http://www.realmilk.com/key-documents/ . We address your concerns in many places. Production of safe raw milk free from listeria, etc. is easily possible today, with modern milking equipment and testing.

      • Just reading through from the link above:
        ‘Does raw milk prevent or treat asthma?’ section:
        1st paper cited does not distinguish between raw and boiled milk
        2nd paper found no significant difference in asthma and p-value is incorrectly interpreted
        3rd paper (2011) has generalisability issues and significant difference was between ‘farm milk’ and ‘shop milk’ – clear differential misclassification bias where all milk that had been heated >72 degrees named as pasteurized if sold from a shop and raw if from a farm, plus shelf life of raw milk was not adjusted for in statistical analysis. Additionally, the only pathogenic bacteria were found in unboiled raw milk and PAPER CONCLUDES: ‘on the basis of current knowledge, raw milk consumption cannot be recommended because it might contain pathogens’
        I could go on…
        I completely agree with you that reading the cited papers sheds some light on the ‘raw milk’ debate.

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  7. This is crazy….I grew up on RAW milk…yep..a huge 150 acre farm…I milked the cows myself. And drank the milk..directly…goats milk too…there is seriously nothing wrong with it..except the government, and them wanting to manipulate the consumers of pasteurized milk…great things we made on the farm …from butter, cheese. Heavy cream, breads. All from this RAW milk. Controversy…I don’t know…but, I think there is nothing wrong with it…MMmmmm…drink up!.

    • This is the most ridiculous post I have ever seen. The reason you could drink the milk and not get sick is because you were living on the farm. Meaning you were exposed to the bacteria, both pathogenic and not, that would be present in the milk. Because you had been around these microbes your entire life (playing in the dirt, being around the animals, exposed to bacteria common to your area) your immune system will produce antibodies against them, allowing your system to fight off infections by such organisms. HOWEVER, when you take this raw milk and sell it to someone in the city who has never been exposed to such microbes, their immune system does not already have antibodies to fight an infection off. This can lead to very serious infections and death in people who are unable to fight it off. In particular, the elderly, children and other immunocompromised groups. Do your research people, and i’m talking legitament research, not just what you read on a stupid blog. Learn to read peer reviewed research articles from respectable journals not just he say she say. There wasn’t a single citation in this article, it was just cited as “recent publications” which means absolutely NOTHING. Your going to kill someone in your family based on what someone on the internet said. Absolutely ridiculous.

      • This is an excerpt from a 1938 article offered as historical interest to illustrate the long history of interest in raw milk. See our Key Documents area for our basic PowerPoint and our rebuttals to position papers and reports by the FDA, CDC, etc. Each of these carefully cites many articles from a variety of highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals.

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  10. my mum is 83 years young and became lactose intolerant close to 10 years ago…she would know if there is milk/milk solids in any food and medication as she would react almost immediately. Some of the side effects include coughing, phlegm, rashes etc. i started her on raw milk almost 3 weeks ago and viola, there were no side effects as she would on pasturised milk. Raw or pasturised?….i will definitely go raw milk now.

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  12. I am now in my eightieth year, fit as a fiddle. As a child, I was brought up on raw milk, which was supplied to all British schools at that time. I never knew anyone who was made sick from drinking the milk, and milk allergies were virtually unknown. Today, this type of allergy is rampant.
    Then, of course, most cows were raised on grassland and were not injected with the antibiotics and chemicals which are pumped into the modern-day animal. They weren’t required. Cows led contented lives feeding on pasture, not penned up in these horrendous concrete-and-steel prisons which they are now forced to inhabit. And, of course, they are fed mainly on corn products, as opposed to grass. No wonder they need antibiotics.

    Make no mistake, processed milk is extremely unhealthy, particularly that which has been homogenized. There is enough scientific evidence on the Web to convince anyone who hasn’t got a vested interest.

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  14. This is what I do know, from my family drinking (husband and daughter) homogenized/pasteurized milk, stomach cramps, trips to restroom frequently after consumption and my daughter on occasion throws up. I purchased clean RAW milk from a USDA organic farmer, my husband and daughter have NO problems with it…..hmmmmmm. That’s all the proof I need. RAW milk is better for MY FAMILY ;).

  15. I was raised on raw milk when I was young. I loved it. I have recently begun to drink raw milk again–mainly because I didn’t know where to acquire it for many years and did not live on a farm. I love it still, and when I have to use pasteurized milk, I sometimes have a problem with constipation and bloating. Raw milk helps to regulate my bowels and I don’t feel bloated. Also, I have a small grandson who has been drinking raw milk for about a year–he is 20 months old. If he is given store purchased milk, he gets blisters on his backside but with raw milk he doesn’t have this problem. Definitely raw milk for us!!

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  19. This is a perfect example of how society has got to the point where we are ignoring all common knowledge and relying on outdated scientific research to justify invalid ideas. The only reason people support this is because they are small dairy farmers who can’t afford the expensive equipment required to pasteurise milk. There have been deaths caused by the consumption of raw milk, and I therefore find it disgusting people support this.

      • Has society got to the point where we are ignoring all common knowledge and relying on outdated scientific research to justify an invalid claim?
        The people who support this are solely small dairy farmers who can’t afford the expensive equipment required to pasteurise milk. I truly want to learn more about the benefits of raw milk-are there any articles around that aren’t over 75 years old? I would appreciate any help someone could provide me.

        • In the many articles on our site there is a range of references from both older and newer studies. One problem is there was a lot of research done a long time ago on the benefits of raw milk. Then the government started encouraging confinement dairies, and studies at that time showed little difference between raw and pasteurized milk from confinement cows. The government attitude was that the matter was settled. Since the commercial dairy industry preferred to pasteurize and homogenize for financial reasons, they were happy to agree there was no difference and also push the idea that pasteurized milk was safer.

          Fortunately, we are beginning to see a bit more research again, often out of Europe. This is one page with recent reference, specifically in regards to raw milk being protective against asthma: http://www.realmilk.com/health/raw-milk-protective-against-asthma-and-allergies/.

          It is not true that the small dairy farmers can’t afford pasteurization equipment. Dairy farmers of any size who are producing milk intended for pasteurization typically send the raw milk to a plant that pasteurizes it. Modern milking machines and stainless steel storage equipment on a farm producing milk intended to be drunk raw is not cheap.

          The “common knowledge” that pasteurized milk is safer is the result of a marketing campaign by the dairy industry. Their motive was financial, but the means of getting the public to accept this change in the milk they had always known, was to appeal to fear. You see this all the time.

    • There have been far more deaths and illnesses caused by consumption of raw produce, oysters, deli meats, eggs, and many other foods, as shown by CDC data. Milk, raw or pasteurized, is responsible for fewer illnesses and deaths than most other categories of food. Pasteurization is no guarantee of milk safety; there have been outbreaks of foodborne illness attributed to pasteurized milk. In states where raw milk can be sold, standards of cleanliness are higher and allowed levels of microorganisms are lower for milk intended to be drunk raw. See http://www.realmilk.com/safety/response-to-fda-anti-raw-milk-powerpoint/ for a good overview of the issues.

      • So are you saying that just because some foods have more deaths caused by them that it’s okay to make raw milk available for consumption? Because that’s like saying that we should make cocaine legal because there are more outbreaks of alcohol fueled violence than cocaine fueled violence. Adding another dangerous food to a market already filled with life threatening foods isn’t going to make anything better.

    • And for the tenth time…produce contributes to the highest number of deaths. as long as the cow and its raw milk are kept healthy and sanitary chances of death from drinking raw milk are minimal. And the other comment about people building up antibodies and other people (in cities) dont…not exactly.maybe one with a weakend immune sytem should take caution. lastly to the writer of this comment saying that the people supporting putting raw milk on the market are monsters. no. I just think someone you knew may have died from raw milk and now you think it is the armagedon. its not. theres a very slim little tiny chance that itll kill you. very rare. lighten up!

  20. I have joined a ‘Cow Share’ program and pick up UNPASTURIZED milk weekly that is delivered from the farmer. My Son could not drink Pastruized dairy he would have stomach aches, and my daughter who is a vegetarian from birth would not drink pasturized milk. Both children have been drinking the unpasturized milk for 1 year now and have excellent health. My daughter drinks 2 glasses a day and my son drinks 2-3 glasses per day. As a baby in Italy I was drinking unpasturized milk from the family farm. Unpasturized Milk should be available as a free CHOICE !!!!

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  28. Cow’s milk is for baby cows. We are the only species of animal known to consume milk after being weened and milk meant for other species.

    • All types of mammalian milk have a lot of similarities, although there are some minor differences species to species. This is why our recipes for infant formula made with raw cow milk or raw goat milk includes some other ingredients to more closely approximate the nutrient profile of human milk. When breastfeeding isn’t possible, a formula made from the milk of another mammal is certainly a better alternative than a formula made from soybeans or other plant ingredients.

      While we are the only species that widely consumes milk from other species past adulthood, there are many animals who will drink milk if offered it, or if they can sneak in and nurse. Farmers tell us about animals, even grown animals, nursing if they get the chance. Pigs and goats nursing or trying to nurse cows is common. In one case, an adult cow of a small breed liked to nurse from another cow of a much larger breed. So we do it because we can, and other animals perhaps only because they haven’t figured out how to get it on a regular basis.

    • So honey is made by bees for bees,we shoudnt consume it? NO. so what is wrong with the drinking of milk by humans?

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    • Boiling milk at home is essentially pasteurizing it if you bring it above the temperature that will deactivate the enzymes. You can’t achieve the sudden high heat and pressure of commercial pasteurization equipment so you may not be damaging the enzymes, beneficial bacteria, etc. as much as commercial milk, but you’ll likely lose a lot of the benefits of properly handled raw milk from grass-fed cows.

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  33. I was brought up on a dairy farm I’ve drank milk both while still warm from the cows and cold from tank. Other then finding the odd hair, I never had any adverse effects from raw milk. After having only shop milk I started having digestive problems and they are on going 13 years later. I can’t eat quite a few things now. I blame the lack of beneficial bacteria in the bought milk.

  34. 1 in 3 people are lactose intolerant. How about we use our common sense here people. 1 in 3 people are not intolerant to raw milk. It’s really not rocket science. And Fred, you shoul be removed from this page. You clearly have no idea what you’re saying. Maybe you should lay off the cocaine.

    • Boiling milk at home is essentially pasteurizing it if you bring it above the temperature that will deactivate the enzymes. You can’t achieve the sudden high heat and pressure of commercial pasteurization equipment so you may not be damaging the enzymes, beneficial bacteria, etc. as much as commercial milk, but you’ll likely lose a lot of the benefits of properly handled raw milk from grass-fed cows. If you have read about the safety and health benefits of raw milk on this website but still can’t drink it raw, consider raw milk cheeses, available almost anywhere.

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