Here we go again. Another outbreak of Salmonella is reported to have affected 388 people in 42 states as of January 7, 2009. Salmonella is food poisoning and from personal experience it can be extremely painful. The affects of it affecting your gut health for months or even years. This new outbreak hasn’t been identified yet. The last outbreak was due to Jalapeno Peppers. Prior to that spinach. And to my recollection I can’t remember a case being linked to Raw Dairy!
In support of raw dairy, I offer you this letter by Dr Sears, MD found at Nourished Magazine.
Make sure you pay attention to the charts below.
It’s safer to drink raw dairy than it is to eat raw salad!
Unless of course you grow your own vegetables. Nearly all of the food in America today is imported. SICK!
Dear … ,
I get loads of e-mails about my take on things, some of them skeptical. But it’s not everyday I get an earful from a representative of an entire industry. This one really had me scratching my head…
If you’re one of my regular readers, you know I’ve raised some serious concerns about the health hazards of commercial milk. Specifically, I’ve talked about how pasteurizing and homogenizing strips milk of some natural nutritional content—not to mention the addition of artificial chemicals and hormones.
Well, the word got out—way out. One of my readers forwarded my House Call about milk to the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC). The response was not friendly.
They accused me of being a hired gun whose ideas about health and wellness make me a biased commentator. The phrase was “Mr. Rent a Statement for money” and asked if I had anything better to do than write “false and misleading articles.”
First, off this is a strange accusation coming from a paid spokesperson of the dairy industry. Second, even the most skeptical reader would be hard-pressed to show how I profited from my statements about the dangers of commercial dairy products. I’m not in the business of selling milk. I don’t have organic or raw milk myself and I don’t have any connection to the industry. All I did was suggest that organic milk was a better alternative, and cited a new study proving it.
I was also talking about milk in this country, not in Australia. Cattle there enjoy real grasses as well as grains as part of their diet. They don’t get pumped full of antibiotics and hormones like here in the States. In fact, they screen milk down under for these and other dangerous additives and toxins. So if you’re drinking milk in Australia or New Zealand, you’re getting a better product than you would here.
Setting aside those issues, let’s take a look at some of their claims about commercial milk:
“Prior to pasteurization requirements, there were a number of deaths associated with milk-borne bacteria (e.g. Tuberculosis) causing fatal infections.”
The data doesn’t support this claim. There may have been tuberculosis outbreaks in the past. But with today’s modern storage and handling techniques, there’s little evidence that we’re better off with pasteurized milk.
Here’s a graph of some recent outbreaks of food–borne illnesses:
As you can see, milk—whether raw or pasteurized—is among the safest things you can buy when it comes to food–borne illnesses. You ought to be more worried about packaged mixed greens.
“. . . . there is little evidence to suggest that these changes in any way de-value milk as a nutritious food or make it a ‘lot less healthy product.’”
Again, scientific studies reported in Scientific American and The British Journal of Nutrition have shown the opposite to be true. Here are a few nutrients that get lost in commercial milk processing:
Are we to believe that these journals too are “Mr. rent a statement for money”?
As for their contention that:
“Milk is a very good medium for bacteria to grow and prior to pasteurization becoming compulsory, milk was implicated in many food poisoning incidents”
I’ll give them half credit here for getting it half right.
Milk is an excellent medium for all kinds of healthy microorganisms and enzymes to flourish, including
- Lactoferrin–an immune booster that kills off deadly bacteria
- Complement & Lyzosome–disrupts bacterial walls, prevents disease outbreaks
- Mucins–acts like a glue trap for bacteria and viruses, coating their surfaces and preventing them from binding to your gut
- Oligosaccharides–prevents your stomach acid from destroying beneficial enzymes and nutrients
Most of these naturally beneficial substances do not survive the pasteurization process, even though we know they’re good for you. So much so that the FDA approved lactoferrin as a spray to reduce E. coli outbreaks!1
Meanwhile, it’s not as if pasteurization makes milk completely safe. There have been a number of dangerous outbreaks over the years traced to commercial milk. One involved the bacterium Listeria.2 Another massive outbreak of salmonella infected over 16,000 people in Illinois in the late eighties.3
And the reality is that the antimicrobial properties of raw milk may make it safer. For example, one study found that the most dangerous strain of E. coli multiplied at a significantly lower rate in unpasteurized milk than in its commercial cousin.4
Lastly my “takes” on all your health advise are grounded in clinical research. I stand by what I write—and put those principles into practice with my patients.
So let me make sure I’m clear: raw milk is still illegal in 22 states. However, if it is legal where you live, it’s worth looking into.
If you can’t get it legally, try to find organic whole milk as a healthy alternative. There’s plenty of scientific evidence that it’s better for you than the typical commercial milk on the market.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD