Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On the Dairy Fence

So, we're going to head back to Essex Farm on Friday afternoon for our second pickup, but I still have a hard time with the idea of feeding raw (unpasteurized) milk to Colden.

I mean, part of it is probably because it's not a concept I'm entirely comfortable with, yet. All my life, I grew up eating pasteurized dairy and milk. I just took it for granted that my food was safe, because it came from the grocery store.

But these days, with all the crazy GMO cow feed and growth hormones floating around, who knows what affect that will have on our health in ten, twenty, or thirty years? It seems like every time I turn around, I hear about someone else who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, or cancer in some organ. And while medical science is doing a great deal to find ways to cure cancer, I have to wonder if maybe we should start spending more time looking at ways to prevent cancer, and taking a good, hard look at our food system.

So, really, does this mean that if I choose to feed my kid pasteurized milk from the grocery store that I'm just choosing a far-off risk over a more imminent one?

I read an article about raw dairy, and raw milk in particular, this afternoon. The author summed it up like this: drinking raw milk is like driving in a car without a seat belt. Chances are, you won't have an accident, but if you do, the consequences could be catastrophic. That sort of struck a nerve with me.

I wouldn't let my son ride in a car without his seat belt, so why would I feed him something that could potentially make him critically ill, or even kill him?

I don't want to raise my kid in a bubble, by any means. I don't want to be a fear monger when it comes to things like natural and organic foods. But I just don't feel like I have enough good information on this to make an educated decision, and when it comes to keeping my kid, my ONLY kid, safe, well, that's a pretty big deal.

I know that there's always a risk with food. Anything you eat has the potential to make you sick. Look at all the outbreaks of e.Coli in spinach and peanut butter in the last few years. Those foods are supposed to be safe, but when you industrialize your food system, you introduce a greater risk of disease on a wide scale.

So for now, we're going to keep feeding Colden milk from the store. I'll go out of my way to find organic milk, if that's what I have to do. But until I  know more, I just can't bring myself to take that chance with Colden.

If anyone reading has any experience or any more information on raw milk and raw dairy, please, send it on to me. I'd love to read more about this.

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