We’ve been drinking pasteurized milk for over a century, but some people would like to turn back time. They’re risking their health buying unpasteurized milk based on myth that it’s healthier.
We did a show on the dangers of raw milk and today we’re reminding our listeners since a recent scientific review reaffirms the link between raw milk and bacterial infections.
To give you some idea of the importance of pasteurization, in 1938 bacterial milk contamination accounted for a quarter of all US food borne illnesses. Today that number is less than one percent.
Yet, three and a half percent of Americans report drinking raw milk and a number of web sites claim it’s better.
Here are the facts. Studies found between 13 and 30 percent of raw milk samples had bacterial contamination, such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. Between 1993 and 2006, over one hundred dairy products caused illnesses. Sixty percent involved raw milk that led to 1,600 illnesses, 200 hospital stays, and two deaths.
Studies have concluded there are NO health benefits over pasteurized milk. Heating the milk has a minor effect on the proteins and none on the minerals. As for vitamins, the effect is trivial.
Data analysis do not show any correlation between increased respiratory allergies or atopic dermatitis to milk pasteurization. So, drinking raw milk does not help someone avoid allergies.
Some people even believe raw milk is okay for people who are lactose intolerant. Not true. The bottom line is that pasteurized milk is safe and nutritious, whereas raw milk is not, especially for children.