The raw milk underground continues to risk breaking the law and contracting listeria in the quest for better-tasting milk. [NYT]


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  1. says:

    better tasting milk? like strawberry milk or cookies and cream milk? what flavors are they aiming for?

  2. B says: Milk-flavored. The theory is raw milk tastes better because the pasteurization process changes the flavor.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Illegal underground milk? Like the milk sold to schools from Fat Tony, that he gets from rats?

  4. dtn says:

    We use to get raw milk from a farm when I was a kid. I don’t think I could drink it now… it would be too thick feeling to me because of the cream content. I don’t even drink store whole milk anymore now that I’m use to 2%. I will say though… the cream that rises to the top on raw milk is the BEST for making homemade ice cream! yum!

  5. camille_javal says:

    Pasteurized milk is somehow unnatural, but consumption of interspecies breast milk isn’t. Suuuure.

  6. moniker42 says:

    It makes the milk more easily digestible for people who are otherwise lactose intolerant. Also, the enzymes and pro-biotics are largely the same as in yogurt.

  7. jaredgood1 says:

    We had a milk cow on the farm and all we did was run the milk through a separator. No ill effects as far as I can tell. The only thing we ever had to worry about was the stampede of barn cats at milking time.

  8. Ulm says:

    Raw milk to ‘store bought’ milk, taste-wise, is like comparing a good sirloin to a frozen ‘minute steak’. In fact, some people are put off by raw milk because it does have such a definite taste. You haven’t lived, though, until you’ve had homemade ice cream made with fresh Jersey cow cream.

    Raw milk is perfectly safe, AS LONG AS the milk is handled correctly. That means a clean cow, clean equipment, clean processing, clean containers, and getting it cold and keeping it cold. It must be used fresh, as it gets a bit funky after just a few days. Unless the miker was careless and contaminated the milk during milking with feces, or just didn’t properly sterilize his equipment, you normally don’t keep raw milk long enough for any ‘bad’ bacteria to get going.

    In some states, the standard for ‘safe milk’ is bacterial counts, not an arbitrary ‘pasteurize it all’ mentality. If you ever looked at the milk filters in a commercial dairy, you’d see that pasteurization covers a multitude of really yukky sins.

    Note: I own my own cow, and milk her twice a day. And obviously I’m biased. Probably takes 45 minutes all told. The weird thing is that whenever anyone learns that I have a cow, they want to buy milk from me. I don’t normally sell (I occasionally barter a bit), but I feel like a drug dealer the way people want to do under the table, semi-illegal milk purchases.

  9. KristinaBeana says:

    Just be a little wary about the raw milk. My father drank it as a child and ended up hospitalized for two long years of his childhood and is permanently disabled.

    Organic/antibiotic free, yes please. Raw, not so much.

  10. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    You just made me spray tea all over my monitors, thanks!

  11. lestat730 says:

    there is nothing more yummy then milk made in clandestine moonshine milk labs

  12. Covert7 says:

    I love the final quote:

    “We also bought crème fraîche from the milk club,” he said. “It was nearly as ethereal as our fromager’s in Aix-en-Provence.”

    Yes, such down to earth people.

  13. morganlh85 says:

    Most raw-milk proponents are in the game for a lot more than taste. It’s about nutrients and other supposed benefits that are lost through the pasteurization process.

  14. Ulm says:


    Raw milk issues are bacterial infection issues. There are few transmittable diseases between cattle and humans through milk, and the ones that are the cattle are usually vaccinated for (Brucellosis comes to mind). At any rate, the health issues today, due to the availability of antibiotics and common vaccinations are not the same as they were when your father was a child.

    If I were to guess, I would think that your father may have had streptococcal contaminated milk (or just got strep from another source… farms are chock full of ways to get strep… I got it once from a hay hook when I was a kid… don’t ask), which brought on Rheumatic Fever, an autoimmune disease, which could cause permanent disability. Rheumatic Fever is VERY rare today, mostly due to improved treatment for strep.

    Also note that it was very common in the first half of the 20th century to blame any childhood infection on milk if raw milk (typically on the farm) was involved, whether it was indicated or not. They usually didn’t actually test the milk (or have it available to test). It was just generally accepted that non-pasteurized milk was disease ridden.

  15. balthisar says:

    Don’t care for raw milk myself, but it’s also illegal to make younger cheeses from non-pasteurized milk, and it’s really the cheeses that the flavor differences will be appreciated. Luckily I’m on the Canadian border where raw milk cheese is legal, even if bringing it back across the river (err, land crossing, land crossing, I’m not near a river) isn’t quite legal.

  16. Mom2Talavera says:
  17. MacGyver987 says:

    I was raised drinking raw milk and 21 years later still am. I love this milk and have never been sick because of it, and neither have my parents or either of my two brothers. There is a definite difference in taste from raw (great) to processed (just alright). Plus at $2 a gallon, you really can’t beat it. To all you nay sayers out there, just give it a shot, and if you don’t like it then just leave us be and let us take our own chances with the stuff.

  18. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @AlteredBeast: Be quiet and drink you Malk!

  19. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:



  20. night_sky says:

    As someone mentioned above, I find it funny how they’re all talking about getting back to the way nature was intended and yet they don’t see anything wrong with drinking a completely different animal’s milk?? Talk about an oxymoron… or just morons period.

  21. MrEvil says:

    It’s easy to keep conditions absolutely clean when you only have 1 or 2 dairy head and you’re only producing milk for yourself. However, on a commercial scale it is not as feasible to make sure all the lines, the suckers, the pumps, and the animals are just absolutely clean. When you hand milk only one or two cows it’s easy to keep the bucket clean, keep your hands and the animal clean, and keep any bad stuff out of the bucket until you get it to refrigeration.

    Look at the one guy in the article…he’s pursuing a doctorate in Medieval Jewish Mysticism? I’d hardly call that gentleman qualified to be an authority on food safety. It also seems to me like people in the article that are praising raw milk have some kind of placebo effect going on. If Raw milk really was that much more healthy for you than pasturized, then they’d find another way to make pasturization unneccessary. I would agree on the taste of raw milk and cream though, the flavor is definitely much more rich. However, I can’t drink anything beyond 2% though.

    My dad and grandfather were in the dairy business for many years (My dad got out because he wanted to modernize before anybody else wanted to and no banks would front money for him) Anybody running a commercial dairy will tell you that raw milk is a pretty significant health risk. I understand that those of you with a cow or two don’t get sick, but you’re not farmers, you’re the dairy equivalent of the home gardener. You’re able to take more care with what you’re doing because you’re not trying to feed your family and pay the help, and pay for the animals off what the animals produce.