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Odd strategies work around absurd laws that regulate raw milk

Some like it raw

A few years ago, I told you about a Manhattan man who ran a community garden. That sounds innocent enough, even for the big city.

But once every few weeks, he pursued a shady criminal activity. He arranged the transport of raw milk over state lines. It was smuggled into New York City by a New Jersey dairy farmer.

That’s a federal offense, so the gardener and his NJ friend sold only to a small group of raw milk aficionados. They communicated discretely. They met secretly. They bought raw milk, raw half & half, and raw yogurt.

Do we have a prison strong enough to hold these hardened criminals?!

Raw milk “clubs” like that are not uncommon. But according to NPR, raw milk outlaws are getting even more creative.

Be afraid…be very afraid

Florida doesn’t allow the sale of raw milk. But close to 50 dairy farms have registered to sell raw milk as “commercial feed.” This is legal, as long as you and the seller agree (wink, wink) that you’re not buying the milk for your own use. You’re buying it for your dogs, cats, giraffes — any creature except humans.

Very clever. But state officials know that this method delivers raw milk to more people than pets. So it’s anybody’s guess when, or if, authorities will cinch up that loophole.

But don’t think that’s the end of the line for these dedicated raw milkers. Other options are open.

For instance, there’s “cow sharing.” With this technique, a farmer sells or leases shares of individual cows. Part-owners of a cow also become part-owners of the milk produced by the cow. So farmers never “sell” the milk. They simply distribute it to the rightful owners.

And if The Man shuts down those schemes, then maybe your garden could use a raw milk spritz. Some gardeners use a milk spray to control mildew on flowers and vegetables. Milk is an ideal fungus control. It also qualifies as “organic” when raw milk is used.

And then, if someone were to spill that “gardening” milk on a bowl of cereal, who would be the wiser?

Rise of the Raw Milk Nation

Why go to all this trouble for a glass of milk?

If you consume milk products, there’s no contest. As I’ve mentioned before, the nutrition in raw milk is far superior to any processed milk products at your local grocery.

Ideally, raw milk comes from cows that have fed on fresh grass that’s organically grown. So no traces of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers end up in the milk.

What IS in the milk is conjugated linoleic acid. As I’ve mentioned before, CLA is an essential fatty acid. Research has shown that it helps reduce abdominal fat and boost the immune system. It also helps control insulin resistance and triglyceride levels.

And organic raw milk contains FIVE TIMES more CLA than commercial milk.

Meanwhile, pasteurized and homogenized commercial milk comes from cows raised mostly on factory farms. The animals feed on grains, not grass. So there goes the CLA and other valuable nutrients. Also, factory farmers often give their cows antibiotics and hormones to unnaturally hype up milk production.

You can easily find out if raw milk is available in your state. Just check the website for A Campaign for Real Milk (realmilk.com). For many states, specific information about dairies is available. This website is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Sources:
“A Legal Loophole For Raw Milk Lovers: Call It ‘Pet Food’” Maria Godoy, NPR, 10/13/11, npr.org

“Moo-nshine: Resistance to FDA Regulation of Raw Milk” Alex Sundstrom, LEDA at Harvard Law School, April 2005, leda.law.harvard.edu

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