While advocates of raw, unpasteurized milk love the health benefits, there have been pervasive concerns nationally and at the government level regarding the safety of raw milk. The Center for Disease Control has cautioned that “unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness and results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products.”
In particular, the concern is that bacteria in raw milk (and other raw dairy products like cream and cheese) can be notably dangerous for those with weakened immune systems, including children, senior citizens and pregnant women.
Advocates argue that raw milk products are highly probiotic, helping with digestion and building the immune system. Lactobacilli, a bacteria that is destroyed by the pasteurization process in conventional milk, aids in digestion and the breakdown of milk products in the human digestive system. Raw milk also contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Omega 3 fatty acids and more.
Founded in 2000, Fresno, California-based Organic Pastures Dairy offers raw milk products in 364 locations throughout California, including chains such as Lassen’s and Sprouts, and also numerous farmer’s markets throughout the state.
Organic Pastures has announced a new food safety plan and testing program, which they claim to be “up to ten times more sensitive to detection of pathogens than other testing methods.” This program includes a partnership with Food Safety Net Services, by which E.coli testing is conducted on milk filters, in addition to pathogen, coliform and SPC tests on final milk products, including raw milk, cream, butter, kefir and cheese.
Says Organic Pastures CEO Mark McAfee, “After extensive research and a year of filter testing, we have now arrived at a time where speed of technology and our experience has created a truly low risk and very safe raw milk. These pioneering efforts are in service to our wonderful consumers and the emerging raw milk markets.”
image courtesy Organic Pastures