Raw Milk vs Raw CheeseJulie Kennel | February 17, 2012
What is raw milk? Milk from cows, goats, sheep, or other animals that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is considered to be one of the most important food safety practices and is used to treat about 99% of milk sold across the US. The most frequent food illness outbreaks from raw milk are from Campylobacter. These outbreaks are rare and happen in small numbers (1600 infections, 2 deaths in a 10 year span), yet they can be prevented through pasteurization.
Why choose raw milk? Some prefer the creamier taste and others believe its more nutritious because enzymes found in the milk are not destroyed from the high heat of pasteurization. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pasteurization does not change the nutritional benefits of milk.
Raw milk sales are illegal in Ohio and its illegal to sell raw milk across state lines (unless it’s destined for pasteurization or aged at least 60 days). It is possible, however, to buy a share of a cow from a farmer, similiar to how Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) operate. Also, raw cheese (unpasteurized) is available because it’s been aged 60 days first. High-risk populations, like pregnant women, women who are nursing, and children are discouraged from consuming raw milk or raw milk products like cheese and yogurt as a precaution against food borne illness.