The New Zealand government have heard their people, allowing public access to raw milk that is packed with health boosting properties. The New Zealand government have not simply taken the assumption that raw milk is inherently bad, the way that many people do as soon as they hear the word “bacteria”. Instead they have made the effort to allow their people the choice. Those in NZ can decide for themselves what is best for their diets and health.
While considering the options of completely banning raw milk, limiting the volume available to the public or effectively regulating the unlimited sale and delivery of raw milk, the New Zealand government have made the best choice for their people by choosing the latter. Jo Goodhew in saying that the NZ government “worked hard to find the right balance between managing the risks to public health while recognising the demand from rural and urban consumers to access raw milk.”
It is unfortunate that raw milk is still viewed with suspicion by some. Data provided by the center for disease control shows that there is still a heavy bias against considering raw milk as a safe food to consume. However, the NZ government is still researching and monitoring the quality of the milk and the processes used for obtaining and distributing it, while allowing all to have access to as much raw milk as they want to buy.
From the 1st of March 2016 there will be updated laws that continue to provide for and protect the public and their consumption of raw milk. Farmers will need to register with the Ministry for Primary Industries, meet all hygiene requirements, effectively test their milk for pathogens, correctly label their milk and keep an accurate record of sales.
For any of you wondering about the safety of raw milk, only an average of 42 people reported raw milk attributed illnesses in a year, over an 11 year period. Only illnesses, no fatalities. That’s 42 out of about 9.4 million people who drank raw milk and had a negative experience. With those numbers, crossing the road is a riskier endeavour than drinking raw milk.
So what can raw milk do that pasteurized milk cannot? The problem with pasteurization is that it kills all bacteria and enzymes in milk, good or bad. Unfortunately most people associate bacteria with infections or disease, but actually, many bacteria are incredibly beneficial. Probiotics are an example of good bacteria that are essential for effective and healthy digestion. Raw milk contains probiotics as well as enzymes that assist in assimilating the precious nutrients, like calcium and vitamin C, that are found in raw milk. These probiotics and enzymes have been suggested to help even the lactose intolerant in digesting raw milk and fully benefitting from consuming it. Probiotics, enzymes and nutrients, among many other nutritional benefits are rendered useless in the pasteurization process as it does not define the good from the bad – effective pasteurization is measured by the complete lack of enzymes and bacteria.
Raw milk is actually safer to drink than pasteurized milk. There are a range of lymphocytes and other protection systems that naturally exist in raw milk that are obliterated or have reduced efficacy when pasteurized. Lymphocytes, which are responsible for producing antibodies, are rendered inactive by pasteurization. With such a range of benefits in raw milk, pasteurization looks more and more like the result of fear mongering that could be used to keep the current mass production method of confinement or factory farming in the lead.
Many people already realize that free range farming methods are far better for the animals that are reared naturally as well as for those consuming the products that result. Unfortunately, not all milk that is said to be organic is sourced from free range cows. If the cows are not roaming freeling and eating a healthy, natural diet, their milk cannot be truly organic. Raw milk promotes the rearing of healthy cows that roam, graze and live for 12 happy years. Restrained factory farm cows only live for about 3.5 years and aren’t able to produce truly healthy milk, as they themselves are never completely healthy and happy while only being fed on hormone and chemically laced grains and indigestible soy, all the while being cooped up.
Sustainable development can be boosted with the purchase of raw milk from organic, rural farmers. Rural America has suffered a huge decline due to corporate America. If we want a more natural, healthy life, we have to make lifestyle choices that support this, and not simply continue to fund the unnatural, mass production methods that are clearly not sustainable.
Ultimately, drinking raw milk from a properly registered and run free-range farm can only benefit you, your family and the sustainable development in your community, so why not give the milkman a call for some of the creamy good stuff?