Is raw milk good for my family?
Unpasteurized milk is the beverage of choice for young calves and
kid goats, but choosing it for your family could be a "raw deal,"
say nutritionists at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research
Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
There is no scientific evidence that the living organisms in raw
goat's or cow's milk make it nutritionally superior to pasteurized
milk or can enhance human resistance to disease. But, what is well-documented
are the numerous cases of food-borne illness linked to raw milk
Milk is a perfect food for growing e. coli, salmonella, listeria,
and other bacteria that can and do make milk-loving humans ill.
Even buying raw milk from certified producers is no guarantee it's
free from contamination.
Another concern is whether the rabies virus can be transmitted
to humans through unpasteurized milk products. Because the answer
to this is unknown, Massachusetts health officials have taken the
precautionary measure of inoculating any human who recently drank
raw milk from cows found to have rabies.
So for safety's sake, stick with pasteurized milk products, which
are heated to kill disease-causing organisms, particularly when
feeding young children, pregnant women, the chronically ill, and
the elderly, who are all at risk for serious food-borne illness.
Also caution children not to consume raw milk when visiting petting
zoos or farms on school field trips.
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