All About Raw Milk Cheese
The Raw Milk controversy has been featured in the media a lot recently after the FDA raided an Amish farm last year because they were selling raw milk across state borders. After this incident, the media paid close attention to any activity involving raw milk and captured the American public’s curiosity.
Advocates of raw milk believe that raw milk is more nutritional, easier to digest, helps with some allergies, has a superior flavor, and supports the local farm movement. They also believe that the process of high temperature pasteurization (HTST) is very destructive to milk, as it kills natural enzymes, proteins, and vitamins. Because of this, milk has to be refortified with unnatural vitamins to give people the vitamins they need from milk. But on top of all of the positives drinking raw milk gives, advocates believe that the raw milk controversy is a freedom issue and that they should be able to choose what foods they intake, rather than the government choosing for them.
People who are against the consumption of raw milk believe that the risk outweighs the benefits. In the article “Raw Milk Reality: Benefits of Raw Milk,” Chris Kresser stated that there is a proven relative risk of drinking raw milk that is 9x greater than it is from drinking pasteurized milk, but the absolute risk that results in hospitalization is very small and only about 1 in 6 million. The negative feelings towards raw milk started in the early 1900’s when Tuberculosis and Brucellosis outbreaks were found to be caused by raw milk. As a response, the government made it essential for dairy farmers to test their herds for TB and pasteurize their milk. However, TB is currently dormant and under control, which makes many people believe that the government’s second precaution of pasteurizing milk is unnecessary, as it destroys the milk.
Raw Milk Cheese
A lot of people assume that the discussion of raw milk and raw milk cheese is the same thing. However, they are completely wrong, as raw milk and raw milk cheese are completely different subjects in the cases of aged cheese. Raw milk cheese is a lot less dangerous than raw milk, provided that the cheese is aged at a minimum of 60 days. What happens during this time is that the natural bacteria enzymes found in cheese vigorously fight with the “bad bugs” found in unpasteurized milk. The bacteria usually win the war when good, high-quality milk is used, but the cheese-maker can tell right away if the “bad bugs” won because the cheese goes bad. Usually cheese makers make sure to use their best milk when creating raw-milk cheese, and save their lesser quality milk for pasteurization.
Advantages of Raw Milk Cheese
Almost every cheese-maker agrees that the cheese produced from raw milk is a lot higher in quality than cheese produced from unpasteurized milk. It tastes better, has more nutritional value, and is less costly to produce.
Unnecessary Government Regulations
There are really no disadvantages to aged raw milk cheese. However, un-aged cheeses, such as Chèvre and cream cheese, have the same risks affiliated with them that raw milk does. Currently the government is trying to push for laws that make the production of raw milk cheese illegal. This is caused by public fear generated by journalists who have written stories about the minimal outbreaks of listeria on dairy farms. The government has responded by wanting to create more regulations, including making raw milk cheese illegal. What most people don’t know is that listeria is caused by contamination in the work place post pasteurization. This can happen to any cheese, whether it is raw milk or milk that is pasteurized. What the government needs to focus on is enforcing the current dairy farm regulations that are in place, rather than trying to make raw milk cheese illegal.
Please contact Lively Run at 607-532-4647 if you would like to find out more information about raw milk cheese.