Jonathan Golab, or "Science", is a writer for The Stranger, a weekly Seattle newspaper. He recently answered a reader’s question about whether raw milk is healthy. His answer, in part, was this:
Milk typically comes out of the cow (or goat or human) without any dangerous bacteria. But think of where most milking occurs—all sorts of unsanitary things may be occurring. Milk is a particularly dangerous food precisely because it is so nutritious; a miniscule amount of contaminating bacteria can multiply in the welcoming environment, greatly increasing the chance of someone becoming ill from ingesting it. Pasteurization works by killing any of the bacteria that find their way into the milk, before they can divide and make you sick later. This little step of heating dairy before storage and transport has been one of the most effective public-health inventions of all time.
There are no health benefits in drinking raw milk—the nutrients easily survive the heating.
Science’s article is always relevant, especially when considering the public health impacts of the consumption of unpasteurized, or raw, dairy products such as milk. In recent months, at least 87Kansans became ill with Campylobacter infections after consuming raw milk or cheese.