California dairies are bristling under regulations that limit the amount of yucky coliform bacteria allowed in raw milk. The new health standards set a maximum of 10 coliforms per milliliter, which upsets Mark McAfee, the founder of California’s largest raw milk dairy. According to McAfee, “There’s quite a ruckus right now.” Let’s see how he frames the issue.
“This is a huge issue and it goes directly to consumer choice. Consumers are fed up with the government being in their kitchens and they want to be able to make their independent choices about food they want to eat.”
Consumer choice is good, right? But doesn’t raw milk make people sick? The helpful folks at BarfBlog point out: “before widespread adoption of milk pasteurization, an estimated 25 per cent of all foodborne and waterborne outbreaks of disease were associated with milk.”
What does California, that kitchen-occupier of a state, have to say for itself?
“We found that coliform count is indicative of a healthy and clean and wholesome production process for raw milk,” said Steve Lyle, spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Raw milk may contain salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter and listeria. If you want to guzzle a tall fresh glass of bacteria, go for it, proud American. But please offer pasteurized milk to your kids.