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I never met Clifford.  No one in my family alive during my lifetime ever did, save for my grandmother.  But if she remembered him, if she harbored any dim, shadowy two-year-old's memories of Clifford, she never said, so far as I know.  I never thought to ask her, back then, and now she's been gone for almost thirty years.

A Chinese source of the 12th century documents the use of heat to halt the fermentation of wine to preserve it for storage.  Similar techniques were being used in Japan by the 16th century.  By the time of the American Revolution, the scalding of milk was being employed in certain circumstances in England to help prevent disease, although the practice failed to catch on in the upstart colonies until the early 1800s.  In Europe, the history of the use of heat to preserve wine and beer began in the19th century and culminated with the work of Louis Pasteur.  

In 1856, after a quick rise in academia, Pasteur was recruited by a distiller to determine why his beet root alcohol would turn sour over time.  Widespread belief at the time was that fermentation was a chemical reaction, but Pasteur's research demonstrated that living, microscopic organisms in yeast caused the fermentation, and that another organism, also used in vinegar production, caused it to spoil.

At the time of Pasteur's discovery, scientific knowledge was in a state of flux.  Many of the old beliefs about how the world around us functioned had been demonstrated false, but a satisfactory explanation of its actual operation was proving elusive and contentious.  The roots of germ theory dated back some three centuries but had never been accepted by the wider scientific community until the 1800s.  While perhaps not as original as popular history has characterized them, Pasteur's findings helped clarify the role of micro-organisms in nature.

In the meantime, Emperor Napoleon III enlisted Pasteur to save France's wine industry from the "diseases of wine". In previous experiments, Pasteur had discovered that heating the fermented wine would kill the microbes that caused it to spoil. He wasn't the first to see that connection. Nicolas Appert, the inventor of in-container sterilization, also known as canning, had already shown that treating food with heat could preserve it. Pasteur's contribution was to determine the exact time and temperature that would kill the harmful microorganisms in the wine without changing its taste. He patented the process and called it pasteurization. Before long, the process was also used for beer and vinegar. How Pasteurization Works

I wasn't a very good farm boy.  The farm chores tradition said I was supposed to enjoy, I hated.  Though it ultimately would turn out I didn't have to do it very long, I disliked bringing in the cows from the pasture for milking during the short time I was periodically assigned the task around the time I was ten.  It was so-o-o-o far out to the pasture and back.  From the vantage point of time, I recognize now that there was no field on the farm that was more than a quarter mile from the barn, but at ten it was like a marathon.  

And there were hazards.  Cows shit.  Lots of shit.  And while a thoroughly-dried "cow patty" made what would have been considered a decidedly un-aerodynamic frisbee had there been a product called a frisbee at that time, anything less than thoroughly dried was a repulsive mess.  If you weren't on high alert the entire time you were in the pasture, you ended up with cow shit in the treads of your Red Balls.  If a cow lay down, she wasn't necessarily all that observant about what else might be in the vicinity.  And during the winter when they were largely confined on the feedlot, there was cow shit everywhere.  I learned from the times I did hand-milking that when a cow got shit on her udder I could wash it and wash it and think I had it cleaned thoroughly, but when I finished milking I'd still have an accumulation of cow shit between my fingers.

Although pasteurization techniques had started to be used on milk soon after Pasteur's discovery, the process was slow to be accepted due to the "cooked milk" flavor the process imparted to the milk.  It would take the efforts of a doctor at the United States Marine Health Service, Milton Rosenau, a veteran of the campaign to bring modern sanitation and health services to Cuba during the occupation following the Spanish-American War, to overcome that objection.  Serving as head of the MHS Hygienic Laboratory, he built the department from a one-man operation to a fully-staffed agency carrying out a wide range of medical research.  Rosenau experimented with variations of the pasteurization process to try to produce a product palatable to the public.
In 1906, Rosenau established that low temperature, slow pasteurization (140 F [60 C] for 20 minutes) killed pathogens without spoiling the taste, thus eliminating a key obstacle to public acceptance of pasteurized milk. However, securing a safe milk supply nationwide took another generation. By 1936, pasteurized, certified milk was the standard in most large cities, although over half of all milk in the United States was still consumed raw.
CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, "Milton J. Rosenau, M.D."
The old barn now sits deteriorating, unused.  I fully expect to drive by one day and see it lying in a heap.  The now-owner told his son it had outlived its usefulness, and he wasn't putting another dime into it, either to fix it up or tear it down.  It's been left to Nature to take care of that.

In the days when we milked -- ours was a small operation even in its day, never more than two dozen Guernseys and Holsteins -- the milking parlor and milk-handling and storage rooms in the barn sported a thick coat of lime-based whitewash, renewed periodically.  You could tell when it was approaching time to re-apply the whitewash by the buildup of fly specks.  You do not run a livestock operation on a farm without attracting flies.  They like your animals' shit and they leave their own in exchange.  There was always some new, foolproof device or insecticide coming on the ag market purporting to cure the fly problem.  None of them ever worked, as far as any of us could see.  It was like trying to empty the ocean with the metaphorical teaspoon.  Any surface in the barn on which a fly could alight was covered with their droppings.  The pull-cords on the white porcelain light fixtures were encrusted with fly shit.  It was everywhere, and at some point you had to slap on a fresh coat of whitewash and hide it.
Chicago holds the distinction of becoming, in 1908, the first city in the United States to mandate the pasteurization of milk.  The story, however, is far more complex than is commonly stated in general articles on the subject.

In the 19th century, two competing theories of the spread of disease battled for supremacy.  The newly-emerging field of germ theory spawned the “contagion” theory –the view that disease spread through contact that transmitted the organisms causing the disease, while the older “miasma” theory contended that disease was transmitted through pollutants in the environment.  While the proponents of the two theories disagreed on the means of transmission, they found, as in the response to the Memphis yellow fever epidemic in 1878, common ground on one principle means of preventing the spread of disease – sanitation.  As a result, public health officials in Chicago and elsewhere at the turn of the twentieth century were heavily biased toward hygienic solutions as they prepared to tackle the problem of outbreaks of milk-borne disease in the city.

Suspect milk quality and milk-borne disease became a political and regulatory firestorm in the first decade of the twentieth century. In 1907 about one-quarter of Illinois’s milk cows produced little profit, and conditions on many dairy farms were so poor that they “tainted the reputation of the entire dairy industry”.  Public health officials worried about the transmission of bovine tuberculosis from cow’s milk to humans, especially milk-fed infants, from these types of farms. They had good reason to worry, as Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode estimate that in 1900 as many as 10 percent of all cases of tuberculosis in humans could be attributed to infection from bovine tuberculosis bacilli. Moreover, an epidemic of the disease had spread throughout the Illinois countryside; state officials predicted in 1910 that 300,000 cattle had already contracted tuberculosis, and new infections remained rampant.
Alan Czaplicki, “Pure Milk is Better Than Purified Milk”: Pasteurization and Milk Purity in Chicago, 1908-1916 (Click link following - Link to PDF to right of abstract.)
(Somewhat long, but a highly recommended read – DS)
In 1908, Chicago officials began debating a plan modeled after a Milwaukee ordinance that required tuberculosis testing for all cows producing milk to be sold in Milwaukee.   The milk from cows not tested, or testing positive, could be sold in the city only if pasteurized.  Although Chicago already had a large-scale pasteurizing facility in place, a gift from a progressive philanthropist in 1900, the officials’ focus was not on pasteurization as a primary means on purifying milk.  Unlike, for instance, France, which had embarked on mass pasteurization programs as early as 1890, pasteurization was considered only secondary to the preferable solution of sanitation and testing by Chicago officials, and evidence suggests officials intended the pasteurization in the ordinance to be only a temporary stopgap until full tuberculosis testing of all herds could be implemented.  That, however, was not to be.

My memories of the “milkhouse” room in the barn are far too spacious for the area it had to have occupied, judging by the exterior dimensions of the barn as I drive by today.  It held an ancient cooler, with coils caked in ice most of the time, which kept the steel cans of milk cool until the truck came around for the daily pickup and dropped off the previous day’s empties.  There was storage for cleaning chemicals and spare parts for the milkers, a water heater that kept the temperature at scalding levels, a large sink where the machine milkers were washed, and a rack where the parts air-dried after washing.

There were a couple of men I remember who came around to inspect the operation periodically.  One was from the Dairy Heard Improvement Association, a voluntary subscription organization that helped farmers improve their operations, and the other a representative of the dairy we sold our milk to, who came around regularly and inspected the set-up for cleanliness and sanitation and took samples of the milk, checking for e coli and brucellosis and any number of other things that could contaminate the milk they were buying from us.

The Surge Bucket Milker

The health officials who oversaw the dairy industry had resisted mechanical milkers for three decades after the first one was invented in the early 1890’s.  By the time I remember, though, any resistance to the milkers had long since fallen in the face of the unstoppable avalanche of automation.  Our milkers, Surge bucket milkers, which held nearly 75% of the market at the time they went off patent protection in 1955, were no doubt refined, but in basics little changed from the original model invented in the 1920s.  Their great innovation that had enabled them to dominate the market was ease of cleaning.  They broke apart easily into few enough easy-to-clean parts that they helped insure that farmers didn’t shirk the job of thoroughly cleaning the equipment after each milking, lessening the possibility of bacteria breeding in left-behind deposits of milk inside the equipment.  Still, preparation and cleanup took nearly as much time as the actual milking.
The 1908 Chicago ordinance, because of the city’s size, affected producers in an enormous segment of the Illinois dairy market, many of whom had the ear of their local legislators.  Chicago’s public health officials were straightforward about their ultimate goal of full inspection and testing of dairy producers, and many of the producers were ambivalent about the prospect.  Additionally, the accepted practice when the government discovered tuberculosis-infected cows was to have the cows destroyed and the owner compensated for the loss.  Because Illinois, one of the few large milk-producing states lacking any kind of tuberculosis testing program, had become something of a dumping ground for diseased milk cows, with the state health department estimating that as many as a quarter of the state’s cows might be infected, the back-of-the-envelope calculations some officials made of the cost of such a program produced some frightening figures, with some estimates exceeding the entire annual budget of the state.  And the increasing utilization of railroads in transporting milk threatened to increase the territory of the Chicago “milk shed” to the point that an inspection program would become too extensive – and expensive – to manage.  Powerful interests began to align against the ultimate ordinance Chicago public health officials envisioned.  Their avenue to blocking the testing program was the Illinois General Assembly.  

After a series of contentious committee hearings, in which tubercular testing was attacked as unreliable, costs of the program were presented as unaffordable, proponents were disparaged, and bad science was presented as fact, the foes prevailed.  (There is no mention if the testing was ever characterized as an attack on “liberty”.)

Given this testimony and given that the committee had been “stacked with enemies of the tuberculin test”, it is no surprise that the committee opposed tuberculin testing of cattle. Instead, the committee opined that municipal contracts with large milk dealers and increased sanitation of milk depots would be the best way to clean Chicago’s milk supply. These actions clearly promoted the laissez-faire instincts of the state’s dairy industry. Acting on the committee’s recommendation, the state legislature passed a law in 1912 forbidding any municipality to pass a mandatory tuberculosis testing ordinance, thereby rendering the major feature of Chicago’s 1908 ordinance invalid. Tuberculin testing would for the time being no longer be Illinois’s or Chicago’s route to controlling bovine tuberculosis in cattle or humans.
The Chicago health department reacted to the state legislature’s ban on tuberculin testing by issuing a new version of the ordinance in 1912. This new law reflected continued ambivalence toward pasteurization as a purification process. Establishing two grades of milk, the law required that all farms providing milk to the city be subjected to inspections for cleanliness and appropriate milk production techniques. Those farmers wanting to sell milk in the higher grade would also have to tuberculin-test their cattle voluntarily. If unwilling to do so, farmers could still sell at the lower grade if they passed basic sanitary requirements and pasteurized the milk
Alan Czaplicki, “Pure Milk is Better Than Purified Milk”: Pasteurization and Milk Purity in Chicago, 1908-1916
Chicago’s back-door implementation of tuberculosis testing was less than officials intended, but workable with the two-tier milk grading.  The sanitary requirements were borrowed fairly directly from by-then-uncontroversial standards established by the American Association of Medical Milk Commissions, a philanthropic organization of medical practitioners promoting safe milk for the poor that was operating throughout the country.  Pasteurization remained relegated to a secondary status, but the only avenue left for the city that could be mandated involuntarily.  In short order, that ability would prove beneficial.
From 1914 to 1916 Chicago experienced a wave of epidemics that swept in from the eastern United States. Health department officials used reports of these epidemics in eastern cities as advance notice, tracing the spread of disease westward to selectively mandate full milk pasteurization in exposed areas of the milk shed. In 1914 the health department responded to a hoof-and-mouth disease epidemic by requiring “the pasteurization of all milk coming into the city from within a radius of five miles of an infected farm or premises”.  Inspected milk temporarily became unavailable during this period, and pasteurization was largely credited with the fact that no humans contracted the disease.  Following this success, the new Chicago health commissioner, John D. Robertson, extended the strategy during an infantile paralysis epidemic in 1916, mandating the pasteurization of all milk entering the city. The lack of deaths from these epidemics confirmed the symbolic and practical utility of pasteurization, and by March 1916 the health department reported that 99 percent of the milk entering the city was “properly pasteurized”.  Several years later Robertson proclaimed that pasteurization was one of the “two foundation rocks” on which the “superstructure of disease elimination” could proceed
Alan Czaplicki, “Pure Milk is Better Than Purified Milk”: Pasteurization and Milk Purity in Chicago, 1908-1916

The end came in one of those confluences of multiple trends catching up with us.  Increasingly stringent regulations no doubt played a part, as well as the potential of litigation and other factors, including the 'get big or get out' mindset that permeated twentieth-century agriculture and the bankers who financed it.  But the commercial dairies themselves played perhaps the biggest role, demanding a more modern, closed system to protect the purity of the milk they were buying.  They recognized the devastation an outbreak of a milk-borne disease spread by one of their products could do to their market share.  The equipment upgrade was not an investment we were able to make, and the substantially lower price paid for sub-grade A milk would have made the operation a money-loser, so in 1960 we sold the herd and closed out the dairy operation, save for a single cow, Daisy, my 4-H project, which I milked for another year until the demands of impending teenagery prompted me to give her up.

Those types of abrupt, involuntary changes always breed a degree of bitterness and resentment, but in retrospect it was the right thing.  We strove, as did most dairy farmers, to run a safe, sanitary operation, but in the end, in an antiquated operation like ours, there were just too many openings, too much handling, too much transferring, too many opportunities for a contamination of one sort or another to be introduced into the product.  After I sold my cow, we retired the home pasteurizer and started buying our milk at the store like everyone else.

In the years between the passage of Chicago's initial ordinance in 1908 and the adoption of the 1916 pasteurization law, major cities across the country, including New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Boston, and San Francisco passed laws mandating pasteurization.  Even though officials at the beginning of the twentieth century had preferred tuberculosis testing, the experience of Chicago and the other cities that implemented pasteurization clearly demonstrated pasteurization's ability to counter a wide range of diseases.  

In 1924, the U.S. Public Health Service was approached by Alabama officials for help in drafting a sanitation and voluntary milk pasteurization program.  The result, the Standard Milk Ordinance, still exists today as the Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).  The model legislation established standards for milking operations, dairies, transport and storage of milk, established grades of milk, allowing only milk that met the "Grade A" criteria defined in the standard to be sold raw.  Grade A milk could also be pasteurized, and lower grades were required to be pasteurized.

By 1930, over 500 cities in the United States mandated pasteurization, and while, six years later, officials estimated about half of the milk in the U.S. was still sold raw, that would begin to change following World War II when, beginning with Michigan in 1947, states themselves began to require full pasteurization of milk, and the federal government prohibited the interstate sale of raw milk.  Today, the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance serves as the basis of milk safety laws in 46 of the fifty states, with the remaining four states having fundamentally similar laws.  While over  half still permit the intra-state sale of raw milk under certain circumstances, almost 99% of milk sold in the United States today is pasteurized.

A week before the first day of spring in 1889, my grandmother was born in a sod house on a homestead that just half a decade before had been part of the great, open cattle ranges of the panhandle of western Nebraska.  The next spring, a second child, a little boy, was born.  But an idyllic, Little-House-on-the-Prairie-style childhood on their little farmstead on Pumpkin Creek was not to be.  In December of that year, the entire family contracted typhoid fever and in quick succession my great-grandparents both died, leaving the two children orphans.

An aunt, grandmother's father's sister, came to their rescue, took them back to her home in eastern Nebraska, nursed them back to health, and ultimately brought them back here to Illinois to be adopted by a niece of the aunt's late husband.  Their arrival was noted in a journal kept by the niece's husband, who was about to become my grandmother's adoptive father:
March 27, 1891: Aunt Jennie Roper came from Nebraska with her deceased Brother Sam Abbott's children Cora and Clifford.
Less than six months later the journal noted, in a display of nineteenth-century Baptist stoicism and mid-west farmer brevity:
September 6, 1891: Cora's brother died at 3 p.m.

September 7, 1891: Clifford Abbott was buried this afternoon.

Clifford Abbott died of cholera infantum, a disease unheard of today.  We know today it was caused by a bacterial infection of the digestive tract commonly introduced, in the age before refrigeration and proper understanding of sanitation, through milk.  It commonly struck children in their second year, and occurred most frequently in the hot summer months.  According to some sources it was the most feared of all the diseases that afflicted children.
The sickness of the stomach and all of the other symptoms gradually increase until vomiting becomes frightfully severe. There is very rapid emaciation and parents and friends usually give up hope of saving the little one--not knowing that the rapid emaciation is one of nature's most potent saving measures.

The bowels are filled with gas, the abdomen is very sensitive and, where there is much gas accumulation there is a rapid pulse, rapid, oppressed breathing, and a rise in temperature.

There is extreme thirst, which, alas, was and sometimes is yet, mistaken for hunger. The stools are yellow or whitish-yellow, or they may be tinged with green at the outset, becoming grass-green, with white lumps of milk curd, as the condition grows worse.

Children may die in twenty-four hours in this condition.
Herbert M. Shelton, Hygienic Care of Children, "Common Disorders Of Infants And Children: Cholera Infantum" (1931)

Today, children in the United States don't die of Cholera Infantum.  Even before the development of antibiotics to effectively combat the disease following World War II, it was brought under control for the most part by the widespread implementation of milk pasteurization.  In addition to cholera infantum and tuberculosis, milk was also often responsible for the spread of many cases of typhoid fever, the disease that had killed my great-grandparents, as well as scarlet fever, undulant fever, septic sore throat, diphtheria, and a myriad of diarrheal diseases.  A century ago, these diseases were a deadly threat to the public.  Today, they have been rendered almost non-existent in our country, thanks to regulations requiring the pasteurization of milk.
The milk sanitation program of the United States Public Health Service is one of its oldest and most respected activities. The interest of the Public Health Service in milk sanitation stems from two important public health considerations. First, of all foods, none surpasses milk as a single source of those dietary elements needed for the maintenance of proper health, especially in children and older citizens. For this reason, the Service has for many years promoted increased milk consumption. Second, milk has a potential to serve as a vehicle of disease and has, in the past, been associated with disease outbreaks of major proportions. The incidence of milkborne illness in the United States has been sharply reduced in recent years. In 1938, milkborne outbreaks constituted twenty-five percent (25%) of all disease outbreaks due to infected foods and contaminated water. Our most recent information reveals that milk and fluid milk products continue to be associated with less than one percent (<1%) of such reported outbreaks.
DHHS/PHS/FDA: Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (2001 Edition)(PDF) (Link follows)

The time has long passed when the disease that killed little Clifford was a major scourge of children in the United States.  Most Americans today would only respond with a baffled look if asked about it.  There is, however, on the shelves of every grocery store and pharmacy in the country, an echo of those awful days.

The medicine we now call Pepto-Bismol was originally developed at the start of the 20th century, when high standards of hygiene and sanitation weren't as widespread as today. Looking to cure a frightening disease called "cholera infantum," which struck infants suddenly, causing severe diarrhea, vomiting, and sometimes death, a doctor concocted a formula in his home that proved effective against these symptoms. The formula was made from pepsin, zinc salts, salol, and oil of wintergreen, along with a colorant to make it pink, and he called it Mixture Cholera Infantum.
Proctor & Gamble: The History of Pepto-Bismol

And that, dear Kossacks, is where regulation comes from -- not from bored bureaucrats sitting in an office in Washington trying to think up ways to make life miserable and expensive for some innocent and unsuspecting businessman, but from real human suffering and tragedy brought about, all too often, by people who shirk what should be obvious responsibilities, who neglect basic diligence, who sacrifice safety for profit.  They bring suffering on those who trust them and their products, and society adopts measures to make sure it never happens again.  We have to force them, through regulation, to behave as they should have been behaving all along.  That's how regulation came to be.

You can submit online public comments on proposed rules and regulations at
(h/t  to stusviews)

Previous installments of How Regulation came to be:

1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
The Iroquois Theater Fire
Radium Girls - Part I
Radium Girls - Part II
Radium Girls - Part III
Construction Summer
Red Moon Rising
The Cherry Mine Disaster, Part I
The Cherry Mine Disaster, Part II
Ground Fault, Interrupted
The Cocoanut Grove
DK GreenRoots: Donora
Confined Spaces
The Hotel Fires of 1946 - Part I
The Hotel Fires of 1946 - Part II
Our Lady of the Angels
The Great Molasses Flood
Toy Safety
The Power of One: Frances Oldham Kelsey
Santa Barbara
The Scofield Mine Explosion
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (reposted 24 March 2011)
The Cincinnati Who concert tragedy
The Flexner Report
The Eastland Disaster
El Cortito -- the short hoe
The Buffalo Creek Act of God (Reposted 26 Feb 2012)
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The Memphis Yellow Fever Epidemic - Part I
The Memphis Yellow Fever Epidemic - Part II
The Tylenol Killings
The Hartford Circus Fire

Originally posted to dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 01:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks, SciTech, Science Matters, Genealogy and Family History Community, Environmental Foodies, and Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip jar (167+ / 0-)
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    Hat tip to Hard to Port who directed me to an online news report on the Pink Slime controversy in which a thread in the comments section degenerated into a commentor ranting about corporate factory farms "putting pasteurizing in our milk," prompting me to write this post.  Thanks, Bro.

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 01:53:04 PM PDT

  •  There was an interesting piece on CBS Sunday (36+ / 0-)

    Morning today.... about how Chinese people insist on purchasing especially baby foods and formula manufactured in the USA because we have strict regulations.  Gerber was one such product which has always met high standards and was featured along with Huggies etc.  Remember the deaths and illnesses a few years ago linked to poorly monitored powdered baby formula manufactured in China?  Well, it has opened a huge "made in USA" market for baby products.  Yea - regulations!

    "George Washington: "The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.... and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled." 1787

    by moose67 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 02:06:58 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, dsteffen (26+ / 0-)

    seems incredible but this is a battle that must be fought anew in some places.  In my own state they passed a bill last year permitting anyone with an 'ownership interest' in a cow to purchase raw milk, and immdiately 'shares' of dairy cows were geing solde.

    In an unrelated case, a family purchased raw milk at a pet store where it was sold ostensibly for pets (what pets should get raw cows' milk I don't know.)  The result was exactly as it was with little Clifford.  

    It seems the proponents of this genius are a lot like the anti-vaxxers;  either too ignorant to appreciate the risk, or convinced that they are too clever to be subject to it.


    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 02:22:22 PM PDT

    •  hooboy (4+ / 0-)

      my dyskesia is getting worse.  You know what I meant.  "being sold."  

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 02:24:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cow shares (22+ / 0-)

      That's how they're getting around the regulation where the sale of raw milk is prohibited.  Or they "join" a club where raw milk is one of the membership perks your dues buy.  There are also a number of states that still permit the sale of raw milk as well, and farmers are finding a niche market catering to the raw milk contingent.

      Having grown up around the stuff, I wouldn't touch anything that isn't pasteurized.  The irony is, they larger, mega "milking factories" are more likely to employ high-tech sanitation methods and monitor more closely for disease, etc. than the small operations with only a handful of cows.

      The argument I kept reading as I ran across raw milk sites while researching this was that the number of disease outbreaks traced to raw milk is low, but as other articles pointed out, raw milk only accounts for 1% of the market, so it can have a low total number of incidents, but still have (and apparently does have) a high rate of outbreaks.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, as always, marykk.

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 02:47:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a topic which touches on my own family history (16+ / 0-)

        in a couple ways:

        During the 1920s, my grandfather, who was an engineer for the C&NW stopped long distance runs so as to get home more often to the family.  Instead, he took the "milk run" to Harvard, which is still the terminal point of th Northwest line.  All of those towns along that line which are now pricey suburbs and exurbs, from park ridge to desplaines, Mr. Prospect, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Barrington, Cary, Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Harvard and points between started out as milk town stops.  

        And when my parents in a moment of romantic folly purchased a dairy farm in 1964, it was still visited reguarly by an inspector from the Chicago Board of Health.  (and if anyone is looking for 60 acres of Northern Illinois, drop me a k-mail)

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 02:54:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I had a woman come visit my dairy (17+ / 0-)

        in a group visit, and while we were milking, she told me she milked her goats, and asked us about the supplies we were using to clean the sheeps' udders.

        It's pretty basic stuff - iodine based teat dip first, then an alcohol-based teat wipe; then we milk.  Then after milking we follow up with the teat dip again.

        She knew nothing about these basic sanitation methods.

        I was horrified to find out later she advertised her goats 'milk for sale (completely illegally) on Craigslist, and even has a sign outside her house.

      •  Good for you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie
        Having grown up around the stuff, I wouldn't touch anything that isn't pasteurized.
        Your standards are not my standards.  I probably wouldn't touch half the plastic-packaged shit you eat.  Doesn't mean I want to ban everything with HFCS or preservatives.
      •  I really wish the media (0+ / 0-)

        would include ALL the data when they make claims about disease outbreaks, cancer incidence, etc.

        The risk of certain things is very, very low. If it increases by 50%, that's STILL a low risk - though it does bear monitoring and research to see why it increased.

        They'll talk about the 5 incidents of whatever, making it sound like it's nothing. They don't say that there were 5 incidents out of 100 possibilities, which is a pretty high risk. They'll say that shark attacks have doubled this year - but not mention that there were only 4, instead of 2, only on 3 beaches. (made up numbers) So people freak out.

        They'll talk about the increase in cancer rates, and not mention that many of the increases are in elderly people, or that the cancers were found very early and cured.

        Not to dismiss the rise in cancer rates - but there's a distinct difference in a woman who gets cancer at 70 and one who gets it at 40.

        They also don't want to look at possible causes for obesity, especially childhood obesity. The rates have gone through the roof, and seem to correlate to the increase in soda machines in school, the elimination of recess and gym classes, and the increase of soda, juices, and processed foods in kids' diets.

        But a soda tax is a badddddddd thing... while kids who weigh 150 lbs at age 10 and have diabetes at 12 is good?

    •  We must protect people from their own stupidity (0+ / 0-)

      at all costs.  No one can be allowed to make any decisions except the government!

      •  No, we need to protect people from the stupidity (8+ / 0-)

        and ignorance of people like you.  I wish you more compassion, empathy, and wisdom.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

        by helpImdrowning on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 04:21:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously you miss the point of this well (9+ / 0-)

        researched diary about the history of milk and the dangers over that historical period to consumers of milk that was not handled properly due to ignorance of proper sanitary measures and the efforts of government to help rectify this condition through intelligent regulation.  But you exemplify ignorance quite well, bravo to you.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

        by helpImdrowning on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 04:58:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And YOU missed MY point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          Which is that the only person who should be able to make the decision about what they consume is THAT PERSON.  The information should be provided, definitely.  But if you ban everything that might make someone sick, then the only thing left would be... vitamin supplements, maybe?  Don't pretend people never get sick from supermarket food!  228 million recalled eggs are nothing to sneeze at (actually, they may be).

          •  Sorry, that's an impossible pipe dream (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie, bfbenn, eigenlambda, JVolvo

            Big Ag won't LET you make an informed decision. They hide, distort and lie about information all the damn time.

            Take the specific issue of milk. Dairies, farmers' cooperatives, and other companies have started selling only milk that has not been produced with the "assistance" of artificial growth hormones, and pointedly labeling their product as growth hormone free. Big Ag first tried to get the labeling banned - and when that failed, rammed through a mandatory "disclaimer" that there was no difference between milk with or without growth hormones.

            Objective tests have shown that milk produced without the artificial hormones IS healthier (has less pus and fewer suspect microorganisms) - but you'd never know that from Big Ag.

            (For the record: Costco's Kirkland label sells only growth hormone free milk. So does a local dairy cooperative called "Shenandoah's Pride". I asked Turkey Hill, and they said they don't require hormone-free, but do test extensively and dump any milk that's substandard.)

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:32:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  raw milk is a public health hazard (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            it's not about banning things that might make someone sick.  It's about public health professionals determining how to make things better.

            Regulation just isn't that slippery a slope.  In part, it's because people like you will push back against particularly onerous suggested regulations, keeping what is enacted 'mainstream'.

            Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

            by eigenlambda on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:29:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Considering the costs... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...and the fact that those costs aren't confined to those who choose to drink raw milk knowing the possible consequences, I'd say yeah, in this case.

        You're welcome.

      •  dude, the Tea Party is that way. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dsteffen, eigenlambda

        You sound like a rightie-winger apologist for "free and unfettered" markets.

        Anyway, go right ahead and drink unpasteurized milk.  

        It might give you a week's vacation from this place:-)

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:49:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am fine with the cowshare arrangement (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, skrekk, JVolvo

      You have to be pretty dedicated to your desire for raw milk for whatever purpose (including cheesemaking) to go that route, and you can't do it without understanding the significant regulations and the health concerns of doing so. If people want to take that risk for themselves for their own consumption, I'm fine with it, even if I'm not particularly interested in doing it myself.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 11:01:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For adults fine. When they inflict their ideology (5+ / 0-)

        on their kids, that's something else. We going to have to see much more disease before these knuckleheads get it.

        “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

        by the fan man on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 03:42:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can't protect other people's kids from (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the fan man, mmacdDE, dsteffen, JVolvo

          everything to that level. I see one year olds drinking diet coke and all kinds of other things I find inappropriate and/or inadvisable. But even though I did not give my one-year-old diet coke, I don't think it helps to make it against the law.

          I think the number of parents who will pay $10 a gallon for raw milk through a cowshare is vanishingly small.

          Better to spend our energy making sure everyone's kid has health insurance, or ensuring that ground beef is clean of super-nasty e coli. We'll save more kids that way.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:03:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I live in dairy country, there are a enough (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, marykk, dsteffen, eigenlambda

            people I see who want their kids to have raw milk to make me queasy. Kids can get deathly ill from raw milk diseases, some have died. It's just very, very small scale, so we see less impact. There is nothing inherently safe about milk, raw milk especially. Cows infected with diseases we're concerned with can be asymtomatic, farmers can't tell.  I really don't understand the perspective of a parent who would treat their kid to raw milk but recoil from offering them a fast food burger. In a society that has beaten back disease on this one food front, it's just insanity to march backward.

            “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

            by the fan man on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:27:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  anti-science nuts are rampant. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bmcphail, marykk, eigenlambda

      IMHO anti-vaxism should be prosecuted criminally.  The germ theory of disease trumps the 1st Amendment.

      As for raw milk, if adults want to play Darwin Roulette that's their choice, so long as there is not a risk of passing contagious diseases to others, and so long as they don't feed it to children.

      What really disgusts me is when anti-science attitudes appear on the left.  Such as the prevalence of anti-vax nuttery in "liberal" Marin County, about an hour's drive from were I'm sitting as I write this.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:43:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  best diary series ever (12+ / 0-)

    just great.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson

    by Karl Rover on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:12:45 PM PDT

  •  TB From Milk Can Cause Hideous Bone Necrosis (17+ / 0-)

    The mother of a friend from India died from TB of the spine. The disease lasted for years and was unspeakable agony.

    Last year there was an outbreak of rabies at a dairy goat farm. I think they determined that all the milk goats were OK, but still....

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:30:20 PM PDT

    •  Good Lord- rabies? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Owning livestock myself, I cannot fathom giving animals shots to prevent such diseases.

      Given that TB is mutating into "extremely drug resistant" and "total drug resistant" forms, your words are cautionary about raw milk transmitting a dreadful disease.

      Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll

      by offred on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 06:48:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh the irony (13+ / 0-)

    I went looking for some more articles on infection rates and ran across this article.

    Here is the best part...

    Raw-milk proponents will pay upwards of $10 a gallon, because they believe it is safe and healthier
    (emphasis mine)  It just seems kind of strange to me that you'd pay something like three times the price to have an increased chance of getting ill.  

    To each his own I suppose.     I wonder what the liability exposure to the producer is in this case?  Damn, now I'm going to have to go looking for that.  more questions.

    •  Well, look how much... (5+ / 0-)

      ...Japanese gourmands will pay for potentially lethall pufferfish.

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't know where you guys (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tirge Caps, Glinda, aimlessmind

      get your information about raw milk, but, at the conferences I go to and in the studies I read, raw milk is extremely nutritious, filled with beneficial enzymes, good for our stomach flora, rich in vitamins and minerals, strengthens the immune system, and on and on.

      Check out Weston Price Foundation, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon,  Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Fallon and Mary Enig

      Funny that you would be advocating for pasteurization, which is a corporate/industrial solution to a problem that was brought on by trying to turn milk production into the equivalent of today's factory farm.  Just like having to put antibiotics into feedlot steers because, by golly, jammed in there at 1,000 head per acre, they tend to get sick and die.

      Pasteurization of milk is no guarantee against solmenella or other bacteria, because the lactic acid (naturally occuring in raw milk)  that protects against pathogens is destroyed in the heating process.  But that's not all, heat ruins the lysine and tyrosine amino acids making the whole complex of proteins much less available to the human body.  Basically, this is a destruction of important vitamins, like C and B-12, and minerals, like calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and makes milk much more susceptible to rancidity.

      There is nothing wrong with raw milk from properly pastured cows, where good soil and sanitary conditions prevail.  To the contrary, it is much better for you than the crap you get out of cows who eat GMO grain, get regular antibiotics in their feed and take RGBH, a growth hormone.

      And why the bashing of people who are willing to let you drink whatever you want -- pasteurized milk -- and who only want the chance to freely choose what they believe is a better, more nutritious and wholesome product?  Isn't that their right?

      Industrial food production in America ruins our health, our environment and consumes more fossil fuel than any segment of our economy.

      by Mi Corazon on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:16:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pasteurization is efective vs Salmonella because (22+ / 0-)

        the exact heat and time used is calibrated specifically to kill pathogens like Salmonella. Much of the "natural" lactic acid is produced by Lactobacillus bacteria which are not eradicated by pasteurization. Some levels of vitamins may be reduced but not completely and if you can explain how heat will destroy

        minerals, like calcium, chloride, magnesium,
        phosphorus and potassium
        You may have a Nobel prize in Chemistry in the offing.

        I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box.

        by OHdog on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:26:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't destroy them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but it does greatly reduce their bio-availability to our system, because they no longer have the enzymes accompanying them.

          Industrial food production in America ruins our health, our environment and consumes more fossil fuel than any segment of our economy.

          by Mi Corazon on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:31:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You mean the enzymes that get (12+ / 0-)

            destroyed by proteases in the stomach and small intestine? Honestly, this is junior-high-level biochemistry and physiology here.

            Banksters are harmful for the same reason neutrinos are harmless: neither are inclined to share what they've got (wealth and energy, respectively)

            by ebohlman on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:12:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is well known that live enzymes in food (0+ / 0-)

              aid in digestion, mineral absorption, nutrient absorption and a host of other factors.

              You have no idea what you are talking about.

              •  can you please elaborate on this? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gnbhull, mmacdDE, dsteffen, ebohlman

                This is a serious comment, because if specific enzymes are able to help with digestion, I'd like to learn how they do it. Is it well known in published literature? If so, can you please point me to specific publications (Medline isn't proving very helpful). I'm a skeptical biochemist, but I'm always open to real data to change my mind.

                If you put a raw egg in stomach acid, it will look like it's been cooked because its proteins irreversibly denature (unfold). Stomach acid also serves as a catalyst to help break apart the proteins in our diet. Ingested proteins will also encounter pepsin (cuts up proteins into smaller parts) in the stomach as well as trypsin, chymotrypsin, and other protein cutters in the intestine. Few proteins will survive a trip through the digestive tract.

                Which enzymes from food survive? How are they acid and digestive enzyme resistant? What do they do to aid in digestion and absorption? I know it's possible for a protein to survive the trip, as this seems to be the pathway of entry for prions that lead to mad cow disease, scrapie, kuru, etc. But I have yet to

            •  Well it IS ignorance, but it's even more insidious (6+ / 0-)

              It's willful ignorance. The knowledge to debunk these kinds of urban myths is out there, yet they don't care to learn more. They reject expert opinions and simply buy into the opinions of other ill-educated people who have ideas that match with these fools' preconceived notions.

              We see that on a regular basis here, and I argue against those ideas in those kinds of diaries all the time, and get labeled as a troll as a result - since I shoot down their hair on fire hysteria and refute their nonsense. Rather than appreciating the truth, and being respectful of facts, they attack the messenger.

              It's sickening. This is supposed to be a reality-based community. That's why 9/11 Conspiracy Theory diaries are strictly verboten.

              •  The messenger here (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dsteffen, RunawayRose

       frequently rude, abrasive, and insulting. You are not a troll; you generally have your facts straight, to the best of my recollection, and make honest arguments. Your points would be better made frequently by calmer and more courteous posts.

                Cogito, ergo Democrata.

                by Ahianne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:47:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You are 100% correct. It amazes me the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        bad press raw milk gets these days and the pressure on farmers. I grew up on raw milk. I drank it until I left home. I drink it today.

        I have never once in my life gotten sick from it. And I have also never broken a bone.

        WAPF is an awesome organization.

        Far as I am concerned, if anyone wants to drink pasteurized milk, I am not going to stop you, I am not going to preach to you, I am not going to get in your way.

        Now stay out of my way as I drink this fresh raw grass fed Jersey milk.

        •  So what - that you never got sick from it? (8+ / 0-)

          I never got sick from eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough - until I got sick from eating raw cookie dough.

          I did it for years. The whole time I was growing up, it was always a treat to get to lick the bowl and the beaters after we'd made brownies or cake or cookies, and eating spoonfuls of chocolate chip cookie dough was my favorite.

          Until I got sick, and puked for hours, long after there wasn't anything really left in my stomach even.

          So your assertion that you've never gotten sick from doing something is 100% irrelevant anecdotal information. And you're apparently too stupid to even know that - that your personal experience is irrelevant to the overall average risk to the general public.

          I swear - the grandmother survived, and her brother didn't, yet they were raised with the same stuff. And what you're doing is saying "well, look, see, the grandma didn't die - it can't be bad for someone", despite the fact that we HAVE evidence that it WAS bad for many people.

          •  Have all the puss filled homogenized nutrientless (0+ / 0-)

            milk you like. That's your choice. My problem is with people trying to stop me from drinking raw milk.

            Raw milk is what we drank for thousands of years. Glad to know you think you are smarter than evolution.

            It was the mass production of milk that made it dangerous, fyi.

            •  We didn't have antibiotics for 1,000s of years (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gnbhull, mmacdDE, dsteffen

              Does that mean we shouldn't use them in cases where they're going to save lives? If you want to drink raw milk, more power to you, but the "our ancestors didn't do X, so we shouldn't either" is a seriously fallacious argument.

              Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

              by KMc on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:33:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Comparing apples to asphalt. Don't try again. (0+ / 0-)

                I can't take the idiocy here.

                •  Adult milk drinking is Northwest European (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dsteffen, eigenlambda

                  Most of the rest of the world didn't get hooked on dairy, stopped drinking milk when they were weaned from their mothers, and were (and are) incapable of properly digesting lactose.

                  You're using a rather small sample of "we", and an even smaller one when you cite only your own experience.

                  If it's
                  Not your body,
                  Then it's
                  Not your choice
                  And it's
                  None of your damn business!

                  by TheOtherMaven on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:39:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You made a fallacious argument (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gnbhull, dsteffen, eigenlambda

                  I called you on it. Why on Earth wouldn't I do it again? Seriously? I don't care if you want to drink raw milk. Go for it. Drink it by the bucket. But don't claim that just because something's been done for thousands of years it's good for people. It's a stupid and easily shot down argument, and doesn't help your case. Neither does getting in a snit when you get called on it.  

                  Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

                  by KMc on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:39:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I didn't make a fallacious argument and you (0+ / 0-)

                    didn't call me on anything. Your statement has little bearing on anything. The fact that humans have been safely drinking raw milk for milleniums has nothing to do with not having anti-biotics.

                    I am sorry you think you have made some point but you haven't.

                    •  safely? How do you know it was safe? (0+ / 0-)

                      Presumably, from taking samples from milk supplies through the ages and checking them for diseases?

                      People died of all kinds of dread diseases all the time and thought it was demons back before we figured out modern biology and pulled ourselves out of the muck.

                      Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

                      by eigenlambda on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:40:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Also do you think "don't try again" is convincing? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It's not even an argument. It's stomping your feet and yelling "la-la-la." If you want to convince, you need to be convincing. I'm genuinely puzzled as to what you hope to achieve by doing that. I'd prefer to believe that you have an actual goal beyond giving the appearance of having a tantrum, but I'm not seeing much evidence for it.

                  Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

                  by KMc on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:49:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Exhibit A. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            So your assertion that you've never gotten sick from doing something is 100% irrelevant anecdotal information. And you're apparently too stupid to even know that - that your personal experience is irrelevant to the overall average risk to the general public.
            Valid argument about anecdotal information interrupted by unnecessary personal insult.

            Cogito, ergo Democrata.

            by Ahianne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:55:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh please, can you read? The writer here is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonderful world

          speaking to something that you are obviously unable to comprehend.

          "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

          by helpImdrowning on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 04:38:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is known as 'survivor bias'. (9+ / 0-)

          If 99 people out of a hundred die from something, is that one person going to say 'well, I'm okay so it must not have been that bad'?

          This is also very much a 'first world attitude'.  People in other places know that these diseases can kill their children and are eager to obtain the latest (and in the case of pasteurization not so latest) techniques to prevent these diseases. Here, with our century or so of security, some have decided that thousands of deaths in the 19th century are somehow now irrelevant.  'It happened a long time ago and we'll hope it isn't true' as the old lady said about the Gospels.

          But the microbes are still there. I hope profoundly that folks like Tirge Caps will continue to be all right.

          A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

          by wonderful world on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:30:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No it isn't known as that. Mass production of milk (0+ / 0-)

            is what has made it dangerous and disgusting. It's not the milk, it's what we are doing with it. People in other places with access to milk producing animals drink it raw, like I did every day of my childhood, and they are fine. If you leave the milk out and don't refrigerate it, you will have problems. But raw milk is  a perfect whole food.

            I don't expect the modern American consumer society to understand this. You are the same people who would visit my farm and complain about the smell.

            WHat do you people know? Not much.

        •  There are folks who never wear seatbelts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KMc, gnbhull

          ...while riding in cars, or motorcycle helmets while riding motorcycles, and make the same argument.

          I hope you're rational enough to see the flaws in using the fact that they haven't yet been killed or maimed as justification.

          •  wow what a bullshit mealy mouthed (0+ / 0-)

            little statement you just made.

            I hope you are rational enough to do some of your own research.

            The difference between hyper-produced milk and fresh local raw milk is a universe. You don't have to drink it. I don't care.

            Just stay out of my way when I do. THATS my problem with all you anti-raw ilk folks. Just stay out of my business.

            Go tackle industrial feed lots or the constant poisoning of Americans by pharmaceuticals. Go do something real that matters.

            •  You're not doing your position... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...a whole lot of good with such a defensive response.

              The bottom line is, your argument is irrational.  You can admit that, or you can continue to attack those who point it out with irrelevancies.  Either way, it's obvious to pretty much everyone else.

        •  Well, I've never had anything but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gnbhull, dsteffen

          pasteurized milk, and I've never broken a bone either. Not sure what that means, other than I've got good bones.

          I'm not going to stop you from drinking whatever you want, either. But I do appreciate that the vast majority of milk that's sold in this country is not carrying disease of any kind.

          You can't see or taste disease. And we know that most big dairies aren't going to pay to test for it.

      •  I got my information... (12+ / 0-)

        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

        by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:47:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're not getting good info there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You do understand that the US government also approved the use of glyphosate, aka Round Up, without a single peer-reviewed academic journal study that said it was safe.

          Do you really think the US government has the individual consumer at heart and not big corporate, mono-cultural producers?

          I mean, really.  So many people at this site "get it" around other issues, like big oil, big defense, big pharmaceutical, but then, like automatons, they turn and imagine that the US government is out there protecting them by requiring pasteurization of milk and raiding farms that understand the value of raw milk.

          All I can really urge you to do is to study and read and talk to people.  Pasteurization saves lives all right, because otherwise the large-scale industrial producers would be killing people with the way they are making milk.   And they are, but slowly, over years and years.  

          Your small milk producers who pasture on grass don't need to re-engineer their product because it is safe and nutritious as nature intended.

          Industrial food production in America ruins our health, our environment and consumes more fossil fuel than any segment of our economy.

          by Mi Corazon on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:06:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            So you're saying they're falsifying the data?  Can you provide some evidence to support that contention?

            We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

            by dsteffen on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:52:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  hahaha, the joke is on them. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, mmacdDE, dsteffen

      Ten bucks a gallon to play Darwin Roulette.  Heehee.

      I pay $4.50 a gallon for (pasteurized) milk from Clover Dairies.  You can see their operations when you drive through Sonoma County, with cows lounging around in the pasture the way they did when I was a kid.  And no BGH.  I'll happily pay an extra buck a gallon for non-factory farming.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:55:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  According To Teabagger Policy This Diary Is (7+ / 0-)

    un-American and should immediately be deleted!

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:35:06 PM PDT

  •  Fine diary! (5+ / 0-)

    Just want to point out, though, that your link to the Miasma theory is messed up.  If you edit out the "daily kos" part of the url, it'll work fine.

    Enjoyed the read.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:46:26 PM PDT

    •  Thanks/ (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hard to Port, Ahianne, G2geek

      Regarding the link, I don't know what is causing that.  It isn't part of the text of the hyperlink code, it appears to be something that's getting appended automatically.  I had it happening on all the PDF links, and had to just paste them in directly rather than in in-line link like i prefer, but I thought the regular HTML pages were OK, but obviously not.  Let's see if this works.

      Miasma Theory:

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:58:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation (8+ / 0-)

    Is part of the Georgia state park system located near Brunswick, Georgia.  Link is here.  This was a slave plantation before the Civil War, which became a dairy after the Civil War until 1942.  The linked site doesn't say why they closed the dairy, but the docents will tell you that in 1942 the Georgia legislature mandated pasteurization for all sales of milk in Georgia, so the owners shut down the dairy rather than comply with the law.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 05:14:43 PM PDT

  •  Well, yes and no ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hard to Port, dsteffen

    First of all, congrats on a really excellent and informative diary on the origins of food safety regulations.  Really well researched and it's obvious you put a lot of work into this.

    A big part of the regulations story, however begins much earlier and isn't related to food safety, although it is related to agriculture.  

    The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was established by Congress as the first real federal regulatory agency in 1887, operating as an independent agency under congressional control, not control of the executive branch.  The purpose of the ICC was to regulate the prices that railroads could charge farmers for hauling loads across state lines.  The establishment of the ICC is usually given by policy studies scholars as the beginning of the "administrative state" in the US, where government began to be seen as having substantial responsibility as well as authority for making rules about how private businesses might operate.

    •  If I'm reading your comment correctly... (6+ / 0-)

      ...I didn't intend to imply this was the origin of regulation in general, just of milk pasteurization ordinances.  This is part of a series I've been doing sporadically for about three years, covering a variety of incidents that brought about regulations.  Links to the others are at the end of the diary.

      Thanks for the compliment, comment, and of course, thanks for reading.

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 06:38:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I run a Grade A sheep dairy (19+ / 0-)

    Honestly!  Much cuter and less messy than cows, and it pays a lot better.



    Funnily enough, we started off with Surge bucket milkers, but as you see we now have a full inline system with automatic clean-in-place - which really helps!

    I don't pasteurize the milk myself as I don't sell the milk direct to the public - I sell to an artisan cheese maker and he pasteurizes it.  

    But still there are tons of regulations and licenses we must have.  We have a licensed lab to do testing, and the cheese maker has another.  We have thermometers everywhere, and thermometers to test the thermometers.  We don't have the same problem with flies as a cow dairy, but every surface and every item is constantly cleaned and sanitized.  I am the biggest slob at home, but when it comes to the dairy, I am absolutely paranoid.  We tend to be unaware of how many germs we are surrounded by, and how they gleefully multiply in a medium like milk.

    So I wouldn't have it any other way.  

    We are constantly being approached by people wanting to buy our milk on the quiet, as sheep's milk doesn't bother people with lactose intolerance, but I absolutely refuse.  Number one, their allergies aren't worth my license, but even if it were legal, I wouldn't do it.  

    Who needs that kind of liability?

  •  We milked cows (Holsteins) until I was 16. (10+ / 0-)

    The sheep look much easier to deal with, especially considering the droppings. We had claw holders for the teat cups as the milk ran right into the bulk tank.

    Dad had a few old Surge big buckets he'd use the first time or two he milked cows that had just calved, as apparently Land O' Lakes did not prize the bloody colostrum.

    We weren't Grade A, but the parlor got cleaned during and after every milking and the bulk tank every day after the milk truck came by.

    We would also pasteurize the milk we drank, put the can of milk in the pasteurizer, let it run through its cycle and then refrigerate.

    That baby cholera sounds just awful. Let a few babies die of that with much publicity and the raw milk fad will disappear.

    If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

    by glorificus on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 06:34:13 PM PDT

    •  We had one jersey for a while (6+ / 0-)

      and teeny sheep pellets are MUCH easier to deal with than cow flops.

    •  With proper fluids, IV drip, they won't die (4+ / 0-)

      Like the more famous cholera, patients can survive it with a prompt infusion of fluids, including electrolytes, though it is still agonizing.  But the point is that they shouldn't have to get it in the first place and won't if they drink properly pasteurized milk.

      I'm increasingly of the belief that children are cheap and easily replaceable...when you consider the risks people take with them. I see them being held on high railings -- sure Mom/Dad's right there -- I see them being pushed in strollers across busy streets, not in the crosswalk, I see them swimming in pools while Mom or Dad is enjoying a long talk with the neighbors, back to the pool.  I won't even start on the anti-vax loons.

      A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

      by wonderful world on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:36:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better hope mom and dad have insurance. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Being poor and having an awareness of history, I always gave my kids pasteurized milk.

        At least until it turned out they were lactose intolerant. So now they eat cheese, which does not seem to bring on the symptoms.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:49:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just dropped in to rec - will read after I get (4+ / 0-)

    tomorrow's lecture done, which I sincerely hope will be before tomorrow ;) Thanks for another installment.

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 06:41:54 PM PDT

  •  excellent diary (5+ / 0-)

    And thanks for the powerful series!

  •  Pardon the pun, (10+ / 0-)

    or don't if you'd rather not (as it is rather inexcusable,) but udderly magnificent as always dsteffen.

    Santorum/Brownback. The bumper sticker I most want to see.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:13:58 PM PDT

  •  Most milk now seems to be Ultra-pastuerized (5+ / 0-)

    What is the difference from simple pastuerized? And should I care?

    •  ultra-pasteurized is (6+ / 0-)

      heated quite hot for a shorter period of time. Same net effect as heat = temperature x time. I assume it's more economical with our just in time production systems today.

      You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

      by yuriwho on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:47:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  To be honest... (8+ / 0-)

      ...I'm not very knowledgeable on the difference aside from what I can google.  The difference comes down to what temperature the milk is exposed to and for how long.  I got the table below from a USDA site ( )

      Temperature Time Pasteurization Type
      63ºC (145ºF) 30 minutes Vat Pasteurization
      72ºC (161ºF) 15 seconds High temperature short time Pasteurization
      89ºC (191ºF) 1.0 second Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
      90ºC (194ºF) 0.5 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
      94ºC (201ºF) 0.1 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
      96ºC (204ºF) 0.05 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
      100ºC (212ºF) 0.01 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
      138ºC (280ºF) 2.0 seconds Ultra Pasteurization (UP)
      Wikipedia says "High-temperature, short-time (HTST) pasteurized milk typically has a refrigerated shelf life of two to three weeks, whereas ultra-pasteurized milk can last much longer, sometimes two to three months."

      Where are you located?  My understanding was that ultra-high temperature pasteurization was relatively rare in the US.  My brother said when he was in Japan, most of the milk there was Ultra-pasteurized due to the fact it bad to brought in from long distance and needed the extended shelf life from UHT.

      The pasteurization I am most familiar with is the first, vat pasteurization, as that is what the home pasteurizer we had utilized.

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:04:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  one difference in ultra-pasteurized milk & cream (7+ / 0-)

        Around here a good deal of the cream is marked as ultra-pasteuried. Ultra-pasteurized milk seems less common. I would rather producers (and regulators) stay with standard (vat) pasteurization, as the ultra pasteurization changes some the milk's qualities that can get in the way of certain applications in cooking. I rarely buy ricotta cheese any longer, opting to make a similar fresh cheese myself for the recipes that use it. It tastes better, is fun and easy (like a little science experiment on your stove top), and never has gums or other additives found in a number of ricotta brands in the supermarket. But if you use ultra-pasturized milk and cream, it fails to curdle and you end up with very little, if any, cheese. It's not hard to get the non-ultra-pasteurized cream, one just needs to be observant of labels.

    •  Ultra pasteurized (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonderful world, G2geek

      is hotter, shorter heat. The milk will last longer without spoiling. Often it's used for cream and for organic milk, to have a longer shelf life.

      Many people say it damages a bit more of the nutrients in the milk as well.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 11:08:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My father contracted undulant fever as (12+ / 0-)

    a child in the 1940's.  If he drinks or eats unpasteurized dairy products he is at risk of sudden death.

    Most doctors he deals with now do not even know what undulant fever is or the extent to which he is at risk from having contracted it as a child.

    When I was young in the 60's, we used to stop at road houses in the South where unpasteurized milk - "fresh milk" - as almost always served.  I was a huge fan of milk, but those years or road house lunches on the way to or from my Grandparent's house had a lifelong impact on the "rules" I applied to my milk consumption.

    The milk served at many of the road houses was warm, but there was one in particular that I even have a very clear visual after 40+ years have passed where the milk was bad.  I did not contract any of the dangerous diseases discussed in this diary, but whatever that was it was more than enough.  

    Ever since that experience when I was probably about four or five years old, I have not consumed milk outside my own home if I can avoid it and have been somewhat compulsive about confirming that the milk that I might drink has been stored at a very cold temperature and is pasteurized.  All these people "going back to nature" and drinking unpasteurized milk strike me as insane.

    On the other hand, unlike my father, I can at least taste some of the unpasteurized cheeses that are still legal in counties like France.  Also, unlike my father, I don't generally like them.  They are too ripe for me; and, no shit, they have so much living bacteria in them that they do move across the plate and it is noticeable even in a timeframe as short as an hour in some cases.

    Excellent diary and many thanks for putting it together.

    People really don't get why these regulations are so incredibly valuable to our national interests and this diary definitely helps expose that side of this important story.

    •  Read some of the others; fascinating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, mmacdDE

      I never knew, for instance, why there is always a 'regular' door next to a revolving door until I read dsteffen's article on the Cocoanut Grove fire.

      A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

      by wonderful world on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:39:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and refrigeration too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bmcphail, inclusiveheart

      I keep my fridge at 33 Fahrenheit (digital thermostat), not taking any chances with stuff going bad.  

      For anyone else here who's also hard-core about energy conservation, keeping the fridge at 40 is an unnecessary risk.  Get a more efficient fridge and keep it cold.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:11:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great diary (12+ / 0-)

    a good followup would be on the discovery of Vitamin D and regulations to create it in milk using UV light. This cured rickets and many other calcium/vitamin D disorders too.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:44:48 PM PDT

  •  Fine, for you in the big cities. But let the rest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, prgsvmama26

    of us have our raw milk.  I know where it comes from, and I know they run a tight ship.  And all your fucking regulations can't stop it anyway.

    •  Teabagger troll (7+ / 1-)

      "let the rest of us have"?

      "all your fucking regulations"???

      This great diary has just shown how one of the great public health successes of the 20th century came about, and you complain about its "fucking regulations"?????

      The place you want to post is

      •  Don't protect me from myself. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        That's really all I ask.

        •  This is so stupid (4+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          wonderful world, Jonathan, G2geek, charliehall2
          Hidden by:
          joe wobblie

          Don't protect you from yourself?

          Don't have speed limits, since you're always going to be aware of what the safe speed is for a road? Don't demand rules about food prep, since you're always going to know the place you're getting it from and how it was prepared? Don't demand that your kids wear fire-proof pajamas or insist that landlords ensure that rental units have smoke detectors in them - you and everyone else has no need to be protected that way.

          Go away, troll, to Somalia or someplace like it, and leave us sane and reasonable people alone.

      •  He is NOT a teabagger (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        and you should not call him one before checking his comment history. I don't always agree with RanDomino, but I do know that he is a left-wing anarchist, and therefore would be completely out of place at the site you linked to. And as a participating member of the community (especially on Occupy-related diaries), he can hardly be called a troll. You can certainly criticize him like any other member of this community, but do your homework before using those sorts of slurs.

        Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

        by fearlessfred14 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:08:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You should know that it's very trendy (3+ / 0-)

        on the left to drink raw milk as well.

        My own point of view is that regulation is appropriate but also that it's fine to give people a path, as in cow-shares, if they really really really really really want. I think having federal authorities storming a dairy for selling raw milk is over the top. As long as people know what they buy and have been given enough information to understand the risk, I think that's sufficient.

        I love dsteffen's series, but certainly it's true that sometimes regulations take on a life of their own, with people making all kinds of crazy contortions for some special case. The cow-share loophole is that you can drink raw milk from a cow you own. I think there's not much value in making that illegal.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 11:14:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Until that particular 'cow' gets sick (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, dsteffen

          and passes it on to the drinkers...then watch people howl.

          It's to be hoped that the raw milk providers are regularly  testing for tuberculin bacilli among other things...but how do you know?

          A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

          by wonderful world on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:44:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  'How you know' is the idea (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie

            You go to the farm and check out their operation.  You educate yourself on what to look for.  If they're not doing things up to your standards, you don't drink it.  If they are, why should the government second-guess your standards for yourself?

            •  Because YOU can't afford all the testing THEY can (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              To put it quite simply and bluntly, the government can afford to run batteries of tests to make damn sure than no insidious microbes have slipped past the farmer's precautions. It DOES happen, and YOU probably can't catch it. But THEY can.

              You're wasting your time on this issue - why don't you put some effort into insisting on fair labeling so that people who want growth hormone free milk can keep finding it properly labeled and not having to put up with the stupid legal disclaimer that there is "no difference" - when the scientific evidence says "oh yes there is!"

              You'd get a lot more support for THAT.

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 07:53:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh no, I can't afford other people's standards! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie

                Again, maybe I don't agree that some tests are necessary.  Maybe I don't agree that some equipment is necessary.  You assume that the government is going to do its job perfectly, even though it has made and continues to make mistakes.  I appreciate an agency with highly-qualified people and cutting-edge equipment making recommendations; I don't appreciate being told that I am forced to follow them.

        •  the consenting adult principle applies. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Consenting adults have every right to take their own risks.

          Where I draw the line is when it comes to putting kids at risk or putting the community at risk from contagious diseases.  

          If the risks of raw milk do not include contagious diseases that can be spread to other humans, and if people don't feed it to kids, fine with me.  

          Though, I won't touch the stuff.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:16:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is so fucking hip it makes me sick. And if (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gnbhull, dsteffen, charliehall2

          I'm the only one who gets sick, I'll be happy. The "take back our food" movement (most of which I approve of) has put a lot of topics in a blender, put it on frappe, and made them inseparable. So we wind up with some people (Organic Consumers Assoc) who rail about disease organisms in food defending their "right" to drink potentially tainted milk. Doesn't matter if you bring up case after case of infection with raw milk drinkers, that's all backpedaled. Let them get sick and burn up their insurance deductibles, just don't let me hear they let their kids drink it and they got sick.

          Somehow, pasteurization has become a plot by dairy conglomerates to keep unhealthy cows in production, therefore drinking raw milk is an act of rebellion. There's more to it, some dubious claims of probiotics in raw milk, etc., but it's mostly a cool thing to do. They simultaneously want it more available but love the semi-illegal nature of the whole thing.

          I've tried to have a reasonable discussion with some people on this site, but they're pretty unreasonable.

          “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

          by the fan man on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:38:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  and don't make me put my garbage in a.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gnbhull, dsteffen

        .... garbage can with a tight fitting lid!  The sound of flies buzzing around in the summer is downright musical!  Ain't nobody going to deprive me of that!  Grumble grumble!  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:13:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm in a community of 2800. (10+ / 0-)

      Hardly a city.  I grew up on a dairy farm, as I indicated in the post, and  I wouldn't touch unpasteurized milk on a bet.

      If you have a legal source for raw milk and want to take that risk, you have the right to do that.  Frankly, I'd have to go with the link I posted above that says. "The rate of outbreaks caused by unpasteurized milk (often called raw milk) and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention".  

      Not the kind of odds I want to play.

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:32:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But I don't "have the right to do that"! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        That's my whole point!

        •  If it's that important to you... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonderful world, G2geek

          ...there are plenty of places in the US where it is legal to sill raw milk.  You could move to one of them.

          We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

          by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:06:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a stupid answer nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie
            •  You kind of like having a bad attitude, don't you? (4+ / 0-)

              It's not exactly mature, though.

              A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

              by wonderful world on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:44:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You obviously have missed the whole point of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, marykk, dsteffen

              this diary.  The writer is commenting on the good that government regulation has accomplished during times when we didn't know what caused great harm to people because of ignorance or sloppy handling of foodstuffs.  Just because you have the benefit of new knowledge, largely based upon the old and how to "fix" it, in no way takes away from the good that has been done in the past.  If you get to benefit from the new "slow food" and "organic" movement thank the people who warned of and regulated against the dangerous way things were done in the past.  

              "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

              by helpImdrowning on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:52:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And yet look at what the government considers safe (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie

                preservatives, HFCS, Olestra, etc- a lot of things that are known carcinogens or have other major health issues are totally OK according to the FDA. The industrial food system produces its share of e coli outbreaks and recalls and so on.

                But even if you disagree with this, it doesn't matter.  I don't agree with a lot of peoples' concerns.  There are a lot of cranks out there, sure.  The point is the FDA is not perfect.  They, and other government bodies, make mistakes.  If they can approve things that, in my opinion, shouldn't be approved, they can ban things that I think I should have the right to consume.

                So why am I not allowed to make that choice for myself, if I'm willing to go out of my way to do it?

                Ban those things they consider unsafe from supermarkets, fine.  Make people go directly to the source.  That's fair.  Ban them from advertising, maybe.  In fact it would be better that way, to make sure that only those people who are willing to put in the work (and are therefore more likely to be informed) are going to get it.

                But that's as far as it should go.  Government and regulation has done good, true, but it's not perfect, and I have no intention to blindly follow authority or tradition.

            •  If you don't like that suggestion... (0+ / 0-)

              ...then take a cue from one this site's purposes -- political activism.  Politics is local, as O'Neil said, and so is milk regulation -- state level if not county.  Go run for office on a platform of "reforming" the pasteurization laws.  Don't be surprised if a lot of voters slam their doors in your face, though.  These are the kinds of things that are in place because society demanded them.

              We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

              by dsteffen on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 06:50:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, you do. (5+ / 0-)

          Just go out and buy your own milk cow or milk goat.  There's nothing in the law that prevents you from drinking your own animal's milk, it just makes it illegal to sell it.

          •  The cowshare loophole (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Praxical, dsteffen

            is a strategy where a dairy "sells" a cow to a syndicate and then boards the cow for them and supplies a share of milk from their animal to each owner.

            In some states, those operations have been raided as illegal. I personally find it to be a reasonable creative solution even if I don't see the appeal.

            In San Diego, when they were talking about legalizing chickens and other small farm animals, the city balked at miniature dairy goats because they were apparently terrified that people might keep them for unpasteurized milk. I thought that was a little over the top.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 11:20:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Link above doesn't seem to be working. (4+ / 0-)

        Try this one:

        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

        by dsteffen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:39:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "all your fucking regulations"?!? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, bmcphail, marykk, dsteffen, RunawayRose

      Did you actually READ the diary? Do yourself a favor - read the rest of dsteffens' diaries in this series and think about WHY we have regulations.

      Cogito, ergo Democrata.

      by Ahianne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:08:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh the controversies! Contagion or miasma? (15+ / 0-)

    Is it so on or so forth?

    It flashes me back to an earlier controversy
    That crazy Dr Semmelweis who insisted doctors washed their hands after examining dead bodies  and before and after examining women in childbirth. Sure his method nearly virtually eliminated the childbirth fever but that was a coincidence! It was dirty bowels, or miasmas or you know, unique individual causes, not by some invisible poison on good doctor's hands!
    I'm surprised they didn't blame his theory on a conspiracy by chlorine industry
    Pasteur's findings later opened the door of accepting... but years of ridicule and rejection of Semmelweis and an ignoble death and the unnecessary death of many thousands of woman preceded that acceptance

    We can be so slow

  •  What a great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsteffen, wonderful world

    It's always nice to have some facts.

  •  Great diary. Good to see it stirred up some. (12+ / 0-)

    I don't drink cow milk anymore, but I do love a good cheese, whether it be from cow, sheep or goat.

    I have no disagreement with those wishing to consume raw animal squeezings, but for the general populace I concur that it may be best that there are safety standards in place.

    My personal story, since I grew up in Dairy country USA, WI in the late 50's and beyond. My father had to help drive the milk wagon in the winter, because it was too much for grandfather to handle the team (years before me, for those that are keeping track) all by himself, and collect the milk jugs from his route. He would navigate the rural roads when no other traffic could move because he was driving a horse drawn wagon. They once took a pregnant woman to hospital, and were a few times asked to perform emergency veterinary service.

    Those were can do times that we can take pride in, but because of the lack of training and standardization, many still died that would not have in our time.

    My Grandfathers time was also a time of rampant TB and polio, and many other unnecessary deaths. I don't think anyone wants to willingly go back to that nightmare.

    It's fine to mythologize our past, and our ancestors, but it is wrong to deny science, because science is based on facts.

    I love the regulation: how it came to be series.

    This could be made into a long running show on Discovery, or some other cable channel, and what an audience it would have there. :) Although I couldn't watch, I have cut that cord. heh.

  •  One of your best so far, dsteffen! (4+ / 0-)

    It will hit the fp at firefly-dreaming tomorrow (today, by now) at noon, unless someone switches the time.

    I left you a comment there, too...then realized that you posted the chart for pasteurization temps in this comment section and not in the actual diary.  So it's a bit of a nonsequitur over there, lol!

    Anyway, I hope you'll drop by.

    I call him Rick Scumtorum because he IS scum: pond scum, with the brain of an alga.

    by Youffraita on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 11:19:05 PM PDT

  •  another gem (5+ / 0-)

    thank you for your series, keep em coming. is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:20:35 AM PDT

  •  Excellent, period. (4+ / 0-)

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 03:58:29 AM PDT

  •  What an incredible diary. One of the best (4+ / 0-)

    I've read so far, and that is saying a great deal here in great diary land.  Kudos for a job more than well done.  Thank you so much for such a well documented and informative piece.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 04:25:59 AM PDT

  •  Raw Milk (0+ / 0-)

    It is in my coffee right now;  has been for decades...

    Read Sally Fallon and Dr John Douillard MD-  Good bugs are good for you and your flora...  Dr Anthony Flechas can school you on halides; but that is a different discussion reserved for medical doctors who cannot understand the correlation between atomic weight of halides; visa vi flouride and iodide; but I digress-  

    Pasteurization has it's place; but is a grossly overused method and is a sole reason why centralization of dairy products keeps farmers from ever seeing real dairy profits; but that will be ending soon...  Count on it...

    Soma (bovine) cell and bacteria (equipment) count are necessary charts that must be kept in all milk parlors, and I avoid purchasing real aka raw milk from a farm that I know nothing about regarding feed and proper care of bovines-  I check these charts and I know my farmers and artisan (raw) cheese makers

    Today we have stainless steel tanks, and vacuum type pump equipment that can be kept clean beyond anything pre-nineteen sixties...  You can even choose the bull semen (sperm) to breed bovines with shorter teet length to reduce the potential of their hooves from stomping feces on their teets...  Bacteria is a problem; so isn't bovine mastitis but the answer to both isn't ALWAYS near boiling of the milk; it is proper milk parlor practices and required mandated and enforced testing; like it has always been before greed and the great and powerful Oz aka American dairy capitalism machine infected American dairy farms to the degree  seen now...  I am all for enforced cleanliness and bovine care; just don't drive the milk away via eighteen wheeler to be rendered less than healthful via Pasteurization; by definition,  prior to testing...

    Real milk is real ojas; pasteurized milk is dead ojas ... Period-  

    Pasteurization should ALWAYS be employed on corporate factory farms (read HGH) in business to mass produce milk-  No one should consume that deadly white fluid in any form; but of course if it is rendered "safe" via homopasteurized so at best it can only give you loose stools and personal embarrassment; worse case(es) are disease and disease causing ama...  Consume at your own risk...

    It is now the spring time of the year and any mucous aiding dairy product(s) should be reduced in one's diet, if you choose to eat ayurvedicallyseasonally...  See  Blasphemous talk like this could get you fired for speaking this truth at a mega milk producer...  I digress once again...

    I encourage everyone to understand WHY raw milk is preferred by many and folks like me, over pasteurized milk, and not just run away and hide from  a topic many still know nothing at all about-

    The WHY is the good bugs (yes; bacteria) and the omega 3 laden proteins inherent in the fluid, BEFORE these benefics are killed via the very process designed to protect you-

    Ironic; isn't it-



    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:15:43 AM PDT

    •  woo-a-doodle-doo! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Plenty of woo in that comment.  Ayurvedic diet included (eek!).  

      FYI, there are dairies that use modern sanitation including pasteurization, and do not use factory farming or BGH on their cows.  

      Clover Stornetta in Sonoma County.  Cows lounging in the fields (you can drive by and see the herds), no factory farming methods, they even feed 'em outdoors in troughs when the weather is nice.  No BGH used on those cows.  And the milk is all pasteurized.  Best of both worlds.  

      They make darn good yogurt and ice cream too.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:29:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've had this same lecture ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, gnbhull

      ... from the vegan subculture - how meat is bad, bad, bad for you (but factory-farmed meat is especially bad) and you should only eat organic vegetables and fruit and never ever ever any animal products whatsoever, blah, blah, blah ...  Annoying then, annoying now, that whole "I know better than you" spiel.

      Drink your raw milk.  Believe it's more nutrititious, if that's what floats your boat.  But please don't do that whole "my way is better than your way" bit.  I'd rather do without a few enzymes and/or vitamins than catch TB or any other milk-borne disease.   Hardly ironic, considering how many diseases could be traced back to milk ...

      And I am a big milk lover, BTW.  

  •  Book recommendation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, ybruti, bmcphail, dsteffen

    Creating Dairyland : how caring for cows saved our soil, created our landscape, brought prosperity to our state, and still shapes our way of life in Wisconsin /
    by Edward  Janus. He writes about how the dairy industry demanded regulation, indeed only exists because of regulation. Without it, there was always an individual incentive to produce adulterated milk and cheese, which then destroyed the market for all farmers. The state responded by granting regulation, not imposing it. Everyone benefited - consumers, farmers and communities supported by farms and dairies. Those were the (Progressive and scientific) day in Wisconsin.

  •  The 1854 London Cholera Outbreak (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, mmacdDE

    Here’s a link from Wikipedia about the  1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak. The physician John Snow studied the deaths and suggested statistically that one particular public water pump had something that was giving people cholera. Interesting story.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:06:08 AM PDT

  •  My 2 cents.... (0+ / 0-)

    1. If you're going to have an industrialized dairy system, you better have pasteurization. The comingling of milk from different producers, the lag time in getting it to consumers, and the separation between producers and consumers makes pasteurization necessary, IMHO.

    2. If someone wants to consume raw milk, that should be their option. I'd rather see energy being put into other issues, like getting antibiotics out of animal feed, than fighting raw milk.

    3. IMHO, there may be some health benefit to consuming raw milk. Here are some links in that direction:  (and yes, this latter article does have quotes from anti-raw milk scientists; that's not the point. The point is that there are counter-balancing issues here).

    4. According to Wikipedia, a number of European countries that have many more regulations than the US does, including  France, Germany, and England,
    allow the sale of raw milk.  But I haven't seen any evidence that indicates a corresponding increase in milk-borne diseases.

    5. Calling people trolls because they want access to raw milk for themselves doesn't help anything, IMHO. It's the kind of behavior I'd expect at RedState or The Corner.

    •  If we could be absolutely sure that they would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      keep their consumption of raw milk to themselves, that would be one thing. But if they foist it on other family members - particularly their children - and guests and visitors, that's quite another. And some of these people are so downright fundagelical about it that I couldn't possibly trust them.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I drink raw milk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, dsteffen

    From my own goats.  I have never gotten sick (that I know of) from my own milk.

    That said I make cheese and yogurt with pasteurized milk and I HAVE got sick drinking raw milk from other people's herds.

    That's not to say mine is cleaner just to say that I'm probably IMMUNE to most of what's in it.

    My wife works for the Health Dept and one time she brought home this really old log and back before pasteurization a LOT of people got sick and the Health Dept had to run down outbreaks due to raw milk.

    I have no problem with people buying and drinking raw milk.

    The real problem I have is people saying it's somehow safer. It's not.

    On another forum I heard somebody say the good bacteria in raw milk kills the bad bacteria in it.

    There's a really sort of superstitious anti science element in the US these days.

  •  I stand on my first comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    too ignorant or think they're too smart.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 04:57:24 PM PDT

  •  A very excellent diary. Thanks for keeping going! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When I was active with a medieval society, we would go to large public education events and stand in a line, and request the roomful of 100-200 people to stand up as well.

    The first man said, "I was born six weeks early. In the thirteenth century I would have died.  If you were premature, sit down."

    The next person said, "I was born by Caesarian section. If you had a child born that way in the thirteenth century, it would have been due to the mother's death. Any woman who has had a Caesarean, sit down."

    And so on. We went through twenty people, and once we had gone through three large infectious diseases (measles, chicken pox standing in for smallpox, and influenza for "the sweat"), cancer, heart attacks, and broken bones that had required casting and hospital attention....

    out of two hundred people we had four preteens still standing.

    Which made a greater impact on the audience about life in the thirteenth century than the pretty costumes did.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:03:17 AM PDT

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