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Raw Milk Vs. Pasteurized Milk - Weighing in on the Pro's and Con's

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Publicity abounds on the raging battle between pasteurized and raw  milk. Could this be a case where perhaps everyone is right? Looking at this objectively we have to visit back to the roots of pasteurization.

Sterilization is defined as killing everything harmful in consumable product. Sterilization is the safest approach of keeping harmful bacteria away from you. Bear in mind, this also keeps good bacteria away from you and the amount of heat required for Sterilization reduces nutritional content and breaks down proteins and other desirable elements in the food. You could associate this with boiling water for a long duration of time to kill bacteria. The bugs are eliminated, but at a flavor and nutritional detriment.
    Pasteurization is defined as reducing the count of harmful bacterial to a range considered safe for consumption and production but stopping short of sterilization. Thus the intent of pasteurization has always been to create a compromise between flavor, nutritional value, food safety, and shelf stability.

    Watching the argument rage over pasteurized and raw milk, it would seem all involved are have valid and valued arguments. Raw milk is not always safe to consume and can carry e-coli and listeria - and raw milk clearly woudl have more nutrients and unbroken protein strings than pasteurized milk would have. Here you can read more about it on the FDA's website.

    In the end all forms of pasteurization are a trade off: Increase food safety by reducing the number of living organisms in the food. In thermal processes of pasteurization it is true that some nutritional value is reduced and flavor is changed.

    Raw milk should be expected to be more tightly controlled and much more expensive than even organic milk. Count on raw milk having a price at the store that far exceeds normal milk. While there are many advocates for raw milk we all need to consider that for the average American a safe, healthy, and low cost glass of milk is their first priority.


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