Rawness versus Pasteurization


Although it is illegal to sell in most states, raw milk is gaining popularity as claims about its healthfulness multiply. Proponents of raw say the heat of pasteurization destroys beneficial enzymes and probiotic bacteria, while homogenization damages the natural structure of milk. Sharon Astyk drinks raw milk on Casaubon's Book, but only from animals she raises herself. She says raw milk "tastes better," "is easier to digest," and "should be available for sale everywhere." But she also acknowledges the inherent bacterial risks of rawness, warning that it is not for everyone and requires extra vigilance in selection and storage. On The White Coat Underground, PalMD regards the raw milk movement as so much woo, writing that the pasteurization of milk has been one of the biggest success stories in public food safety. Pal adds that milk is "not adversely affected by pasteurization" and its "nutritional value is preserved," while dismissing the idea that humans utilize enzymes other than their own. And on Adventures in Ethics and Science, Dr. Free-Ride recounts the story of Louis Pasteur himself, who undertook his foundational experiments at a time when "your morning milk could be a good source of calcium and tuberculosis."

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