Despite an ever-growing list of food poisoning outbreaks tied to raw milk, there have simultaneously been a number of media reports claiming that the beverage is gaining in popularity.
In 1997, researchers in California published the results of a study of consumers gauging the consumption rates for raw milk. At the time of the study, 3.2% of the 4000 California residents polled reported drinking raw milk in the past year. Both then and now, the retail sale of raw milk was legal in California.
The report’s publishers, Marcia Headrik, DVM MPH; Badgaleh Timbo MD, DrPh;Karl Clontz, MD MPH; and S. Benson Werner, MD noted the history of illness and bacterial pathogens associated with raw milk. They also noted that raw milk consumers were more likely to be under the age of 40 than non-consumers.
Because it was a phone study asking consumers directly of their habits, rather than of their family members, there was no published data on consumption rates by minors (under 18 years of age.)