July 30, 2010
Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor Food Manufacturing
Farm fresh is all the rage these days, and phrases like “certified organic” are the buzzwords of foodies who desire the healthiest, purest forms of produce. While the natural food craze is mainly harmless — and even good for you — the growing popularity of raw milk is sending scores to the hospital — all in the name of good health.
Unpasteurized milk is touted by fans as a “cure-all” for conditions such as lactose intolerance, tooth decay, autism and even cancer. However, none of these benefits have actually been proven by scientific evidence.
What has been confirmed about raw milk is its ability to carry a host of dangerous bacteria, including Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli just to name a few. These bacteria can cause illnesses as mild as a stomach ache or so virulent they result in hospitalization or even death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 85 outbreaks of human infections resulting from raw milk consumption reported from 1998 to 2008, including 1,614 reported illnesses, 187 hospitalizations and two deaths.
So why are people still drinking it?