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Jul 16, 2006 03:43 AM

raw milk discussion

we had an interesting discussion on raw milk on cleveland's food and wine forum (thread 11233):

the discussion was raised after a recent court ruling against an amish farmer for offering raw milk for "donations" as the sale is generally illegal in the state of ohio (minus a few exceptions). he tried to take the religious freedom angle, but the judge did not buy it. oh well nice try.

i wondered about people's opinions of raw milk? i think it's legal to buy in some states, no? you used to be able to get it in ohio at the wonderful YOUNGS DAIRY farm near dayton, but after people got sick a couple years ago they stopped serving it.

raw farm milk is so unbelievable taste-wise esp when you have been drinking pasteurized milk all your life -- i feel bad that unless you live on a farm most people will never get an opportunity to try it!

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  1. I LOVE raw milk and cheese. I grew up on "raw milk," although since I didn't know any different it was just milk. I was so disappointed when I "grew up" and realized pasteurized milk was the norm. I prefer buying non-homogenized milk when I can, although fresh "raw" milk is still my favorite.

    Here is a link to an article which gives a bit of history as to how "raw milk" sales were banned/regulated in the US:

    And a link to a good resource to find specific regulations for your state:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Non Cognomina

      thx for the info.

      from your link it looks like ohio is not alone in states banning raw milk:

      Sales of raw milk are legal in 28 out of 50 US states, which is better than half. If you include the states which permit the sale of raw milk for animal consumption (implying that human consumption is feasible) then the total is 33 out of 50 states, which is two-thirds. In some of the remaining states (such as Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin) raw milk is available through cow share programs.

    2. Raw milk sales are legal in California. You can get Organic Pastures brand at Whole Foods for $6 a half gallon, $12 a pint for the cream. I haven't tried it since I eat very little dairy, but have friends who swear by it and think that pasteurized milk is an abomination.

      1. Oh how I miss raw milk! When I lived in the Midwest there was a dairy farmer who was passionate about his product. He farmed only guernseys and "sold" his milk in a small, unmarked shed. You had to know how to find his farm and how the system worked. There was a cooler with whole and skim milk and cream, and a book. You made a note of what you were taking and left money in a small tin. It worked by the honor system.

        The farmer was raided fairly regularly by the health inspector. But in court he produced laboratory analyses showing that his raw milk had a *lower* bacterial count than pasteurized commercial milk. So he kept going, last I heard (I moved about over 10 years ago).

        The taste was unbelievable, so rich and full of flavor. I made ice cream from the cream (60% butterfat!) and yogurt from the skimmed milk. Friends of mine churned their own butter. They also moved away but when we meet we still lament the loss of this great resource.

        1. I am sorry to hear that. Raw milk is legal in California but regulated and taxed to death. Quite expensive and very delicous. They test every batch and the bacteria count is very low.

 is one such brand.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JudiAU

            What happened to Alta Dena? We used to get AD raw milk home delivered.

            1. re: rainey

              In my reply above I included a link to a bit of history about this. Here is an excerpt:

              During the 1980s, the main producer of raw milk in the United States was the Alta-Dena Certified Dairy, of City of Industry, California. During this period, it falsely advertised that its raw milk products were safe and healthier than pasteurized milk. These claims were challenged in a lawsuit filed in 1985 against Alta-Dena and its affiliate Stueve's Natural by Consumers Union and the American Public Health Association and later joined by the Alameda County District Attorney. In 1989, a California Superior Court Judge that: (a) "overwhelming evidence proved that Alta-Dena's raw (unpasteurized) milk frequently contains dangerous bacteria that cause serious illness"; (b) the company must stop its false advertising; and (c) that the company's milk containers and advertising must carry conspicuous warnings for ten years The court order also required the dairy to pay $100,000 as restitution to a fund to fight consumer health fraud, and civil penalties of $23,000 to the Alameda County District Attorney.

          2. I didn't realize that it was legal in so many states (I live in Va and, although my extended family has a dairy, I haven't managed to get myself the right milk to make my desired creme fraiche- my one try failed). When I was young, the raw milk was what was used; when my sister and I came to visit, they went and bought the pasteurized stuff, as we wouldn't drink the raw. It is what you are used to, I suppose.
            There is a recipe on another board for corn soup, which calls for creme fraiche, so I may have to try to make it again.
            I'm opposed to strictly forbidding the sale of raw milk here in Va, though. I know about the cow share option, but it is very restrictive and makes access to raw milk pretty much beyond the average Joe, who may just want a little creme fraiche for his menu preparation.