In The Dairy State of Wisconsin legislators are being urged to allow the sale of “raw” (unpasteurized) milk to consumers and their decision is expected to set national precedence. The battle, ultimately, centers on public health. Proponents tout the health benefits of the product. Meanwhile the opposition fears the potential compromise of public health should the measure pass and outbreaks of milk-borne illness become more common. But beyond the politics and debate lies a bigger, more immediate question; how does one buy raw milk now?
The answer may be simpler than you think.
Decide What Kind of Milk You’d Like
While cow’s milk is traditional, the black and white spotted dairy producers of our childhood (and countless big dairy commercials) are not the only producers of delicious milk and milk products. Raw goat’s milk is just as good — and in the opinion of some, even better.
Locate a Supplier (or three)
Raw milk is available for purchase for human consumption in 28 of the United State’s 50 states. (It’s available in a handful more when intended for animal consumption.) Unfortunately, finding it — even within those states — can sometimes prove difficult. A great place to start the search however, is with The Campaign for Real Milk’s database dedicated to help consumers find raw milk in their area. And even if you’re not in a state where raw milk itself is available, dairy shares — where you purchase a share of a cow or goat and receive a portion of its milk in return for your investment — are.
Do Your Homework
Whether we like it or not modern, conventional farming calls for mass production to meet demand. Streamlining technologies and processes that make that production possible unfortunately also make it more and more possible every day for a cow (or goat) to be a number rather than an animal. All the while requiring the help of numerous farm hands who have little interest in the end product. Both of these make the potential for contamination of milk greater. Get to know the suppliers whose products are available in your area. Ask about their herd, their help and their processes. A familiarity with the animals, a close oversight of production by the owner and processes and materials that are easy to keep clean and sanitary (look for glass and stainless steel) all reduce the potential for milk-borne illness.
Do you drink Raw Milk? Where do you buy it?