Monday, July 30, 2007

Raw Milk Health Advisories: July 2007

July 24, 2007

Raw milk sickens three Georgia families
Raw milk sold as pet food sickened three northwest Georgia families who drank the milk this summer, sending at least one child to the hospital, health officials said Monday.


State tells Stump Acres Dairy to stop raw milk giveaway
The state Department of Health told Stump Acres Dairy last week to stop giving away raw milk to the public following continuing cases of salmonella that has now been linked to the milk.

The Stump family, of New Salem, had been selling the milk until, on two occasions earlier this year, the department had asked it to stop sales. Then the dairy decided to give the milk away free to customers.


July 30, 2007

Autumn Valley Farm today alerted consumers of possible Listeria contamination in its "unpasteurized" raw farm milk.


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Raw Milk and Health

Got Bootleg Milk?

I have no problem with people deciding on their own if they want to have raw milk or not. What I don't like is the cloak of misinformation and paranoia that surrounds the raw milk advocates. Take for example this post by Gene Logsdon in the "Organic To Be" blog.

Seems Mr. Logsdon grew-up drinking raw milk and he's just fine. In fact he's better than fine. Good teeth and bones despite ware and healthy blood work to boot despite a butter/meat/dairy habit that would drive a conventional doctor/nutritionist bonkers (never mind that it may be Mr. Logsdon's genetics rather than his diet that makes him so healthy). Seems we always get these sorts of down-home tales when someone is trying to sell us something (like Fred Thompson... But I digress).

I am very happy for Mr. Logsdon but there are many people who have been sickened by raw milk. You can go down the list in this blog and see yourself that there have been six separate events (with many people involved in each event) since May of this year. This is not to say that people should not drink raw milk. There is some evidence that raw milk is more beneficial than is pasteurized milk 1, 2. But I would love to see the raw milk advocates also mention the higher risks involved when choosing to do so rather than give us a homespun story about how safe it is.

But if how wonderfully healthy raw milk is, is not enough to convince you to switch then for a kicker we get a bit of paranoia into the mix. Seems that the anti-raw milk people (the all pervasive and powerful pasteurization industry) wants to squash raw milk at every turn. I'll suggest that perhaps there is an alternative reason for the "anti-raw milk police". Perhaps, just perhaps there are well meaning health departments and law makers who have the statistics on illness associated with raw milk and have decided it is an easily defeated public health risk. A public health risk that is removed with a simple step of pasteurization. It may well be that with more information on the health benefits of raw milk the actions of the public health officials may be misguided but one need not build a great conspiracy to see why we have the laws we do.

Personally I'd like to see raw milk made available everywhere with the condition that a "black box" warning be placed clearly on any container. I'd also like to see if there are alternatives to raw milk, such as omega-3s, that provide the same health benefits without the risks.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Omega-3s and eating fish: Weighing the risks

It may be the biggest irony in food nutrition: Fish is one of the
best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, a heart-healthy answer to
cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans.

But fish also contain traces of mercury and other pollutants that
are particularly damaging to the neurological development of
fetuses and young children.

That is enough to make some parents and pregnant women cut
back on fish, or avoid it altogether. Health experts, however, are
saying you can have your fish and eat it, too -- simply by being
smart about what kind you buy.

More of the story