Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

April 3, 2014

Legislating raw milk

My grandma liked her milk just like her orange juice — freshly squeezed.

To hear her talk, raw milk was wonderful.

And her view is now shared by many of today’s urban “foodies” who believe raw milk tastes better, is richer in nutrients and can help prevent certain diseases.

In fact, the consumption of raw milk has become so popular, legislation has been introduced to ban its sale within the state of Illinois.

Yes, you read that right.

More people are drinking it, so State Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill to have it banned.

Right now, raw milk can only be bought in Illinois if it is done directly from a farmer.

Still, some view it as a health risk.

Certain diseases can be spread through raw milk. For example, if the milk comes from a cow infected with brucellosis, a human consuming it can develop undulant fever, which can result in several weeks of flu-like symptoms.

But raw-mil advocates say such ailments from consuming unpasteurized dairy products are rare.

Pasteurization consists of heating milk to kill bacteria. But raw milk promoters say it also kills or damages the nutrients, and many say milk tastes richer and creamier unpasteurized.

I’m sorry, I think raw milk is just plain gross.

You see, raw milk doesn’t look much like store-bought milk.

It sometimes can have a bit of yellow cast to it and fat globules rise to the top making the milk, well, lumpy.

But every morning and evening my grandmother would head out to the pasture and milk her pet Holstein named, “BB.”

Cats from across the neighborhood would come running and she’d ladle out milk for them to lap up.

Then she’d bring the bucket to the house and refrigerate it.

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