Brief Science Things

1. Crows. Holy shit. You start to see why Odin hung out with them. Odin. Hung. Hee hee. Okay, just me. Fine.

2. I have mixed feelings about this. I believe people should be able to drink local non-pasteurized milk all they want, for whatever reasons they want, and that the farmers should be regularly inspected to make sure they’re exceptionally clean, and people should know that even that will not remove all risk and that there is a real risk. I don’t believe the want to drink unpasteurized milk should lead you to smuggling milk from another state. That seems dangerous and that you’d be making it very easy for con artists to take advantage of you.

But this? “People get better when they drink raw milk. It gives a child everything they need.”? Um, no. Cow milk is designed to give calves everything they need. Not human children. That would be breast milk.

And this? “good raw milk tastes like ice cream without the sugar”? Yes, because it’s whole milk. All that milk fat? Yum. But the amount of milk fat in your milk doesn’t have to do with whether its pasteurized or not.

I think the locavore movement, if it means people actually go visit the farms they buy their CSAs from can only improve America, because we seem to be missing out on some vital understanding of basic facts about where our food comes from.

11 thoughts on “Brief Science Things

  1. This quote disturbed me… “they’re the same people who think home kitchens shouldn’t be inspected”

    The implication being that someone in Virginia thinks that the government needs to be inspecting home kitchens.

  2. B, as someone who used to drink raw milk from a small, well-and-frequently-inspected herd, on occasion, I think “good raw milk tastes like ice cream without the sugar” isn’t just referring to the butterfat content. (And anyway, you shake the bottle up before you pour, unless you deliberately want to take some of the cream off the top, so it’s not as creamy as all that.) Raw milk really tastes different from pasteurized. It tastes better. It tastes sweeter. It tastes … milkier. OK, I’m not any good at describing the taste. But trust me that there’s an easily perceptible difference. You know the way a homegrown heirloom tomato tastes when all you’ve ever eaten before are “vine-ripened” (i.e. gassed while on the vine) tomatoes shipped in from Holland in the middle of the winter? It’s like that.

    I do not trust people who rail against inspection of herds or who think that the dangers of drinking raw milk are invented by some eeeevul conspiracy; I think those people are idiots. But people who say there is no difference between raw and pasteurized milk are idiots, too.

  3. W., well, yeah, when DFS gets involved, your home kitchen gets inspected. I think the point she’s awkwardly making is that you don’t get to do whatever you want to your kids or live however you want with them without expecting the state to get involved.

    NM, well, maybe my taste buds just aren’t that discerning. I’ve had it unpasteurized and shortly after pasteurization and coming out of the milk case at the store and I think the fresher the better, sure, but I can’t tell the difference between unpasteurized and freshly pasteurized.

  4. B, I think you may have missed out on one of the great pleasures of life, then. I don’t know any farmers around here whose raw milk I would trust, but there was this one farm outside of St. Louis … mmmmmm.

  5. I’m comparing the small farm raw milk to local grocery-store pasteurized milk. The pasteurized milk the groceries used to get at that time was from a local co-op, and I assume it was medium-sized factory farms making up the co-op, but I may have been mistaken about that. It would be very interesting to compare raw and pasteurized milk from the same pasture-fed cows from a small, local farm. If there were a local farm that made those options possible, I’d even try the comparison myself. If you know of one that does (and you trust their raw milk), I’m game.

  6. I’m curious to know if these people who want to drink raw milk would drink it directly from the teet? I’m just sayin’!

    Not that I’m a vegan. I eat some cheese. I eat ice cream. But I can’t drink milk. It just grosses me out.

  7. Directly from the teat is just too warm for me. But I drink my goat’s milk unpasteurized and I haven’t died yet. And we had a milk cow growing up.

    But since I’m not super tidy I wouldn’t feel comfortable selling raw milk to others.

  8. I would not mind milk from the teat (of a properly inspected cow, etc., etc.) in my coffee (the main place I drink it), but I draw the line at a cow in the kitchen to put milk right into a soufflé or quiche (the main ways I cook with milk). I’m clean in my kitchen, and the cow has to stay outside.

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