I came across this little tidbit in one of the political magazines I subscribe to (Newsmax, if you really want to know):
“AGEs are naturally present in small amounts in the human body, said senior researcher Dr. Helen Vlassara, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. But you also ingest the compounds through food — particularly animal products prepared at a high heat.
That includes fried, grilled or broiled meats, and dairy products that are pasteurized or sterilized.“
And this comes only a few weeks after I stopped by my friend’s store (he’s often got NPR on) and hear the doctor–after downplaying the nutritional benefits or raw milk and completely ignoring the concerns about pasteurization–likening drinking raw milk to choosing to not wear a seatbelt: a risk that’s fairly low and an adult’s right to risk, but not a child’s.
My father drove a milk truck (which somehow people always assume meant he delivered bottles of milk to houses, never considering that someone has to get the milk from the farms to the dairies). Sometimes he’d bring home a couple of quarts right out of the tanks. I don’t much remember the taste, only that it was treat enough that I’d have a second glass of milk when I usually only had one–or drank orange juice. Sometimes I’d ride along with him and get to have a tinfull right out of the milkhouse tanks. I didn’t realize how lucky I was, then.
I also have a better idea than most of how the dairy industry has changed. When my father started hauling, milk still went into cans: the hauler would load the cans into his truck, take them to the dairy and load them onto a chain conveyor that would empty them and send them through a wash cycle, and then the hauler would load the cans back on to the truck and return them to the farm when he made the next days’ pickup. If there were a lot of cans on a particular day and he couldn’t fit them all in the insulated back, he’d put a few in the cab–or even balanced on the running boards. Although tankers first started operating in 1914, when mandatory pasteurization first went into effect in 1917, many dairies were still using cans well into the 1950’s.
By the time he got his own route, the industry had switched to bulk tanks. Refrigerated tanks held the milk from milking time until the hauler got to them, then it was pumped into the insulated tank of the milk truck (no, milk trucks are not refrigerated), taken to the dairy and pumped into the dairy’s tanks, then the dairy sanitizes the inside of the truck’s tank while the driver washes the outside. (Yes, milk trucks get washed every day.) Samples taken from each farmer’s tank are also dropped off for testing. If somebody’s bacterial count is too high, well (if it’s very much too high, the hauler will smell it and refuse to pick it up), for one, it’s diluted by the milk of hundreds of other farms (unless you’re talking about factory farms, which is a column of its own), and that farmer’s going to get a call from the fieldman.
But it’s generally the pre-bulk milk practices pasteurizationists are quoting when they talk about mass illnesses traced to contaminated milk. And they ignore the fact that at least twelve outbreaks of food poisoning traced to pasteurized milk have occurred from1982-2001, including 19,660 confirmed cases of Salmonella typhimurium illness traced to properly pasteurized milk. Incidentally, the largest outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning in U.S. history was traced to 2% and skim (the “healthier” low-fat) milk processed in Illinois in 1985. Think it’s getting better? Since 2011, there have been 29 outbreaks traced to dairy products sold as” pasteurized,” resulting in 2,824 illnesses and 8 deaths.
Despite all this, Government still insists there’s no evidence that raw milk is better nutritionally than pasteurized, homogenized (i.e. “processed”: that word that’s bad if you’re talking about foods other than milk) , um, “liquid dairy product.” Well, okay, now we’ve got evidence that the processing causes Alzheimer’s–oh, but kids don’t get that, do they?
So, in addition to the “we know which risks you need to be protected from” nanny-stating, pasteurized milk now qualifies for the “safe now, sorry later” myopia that Government operates by, and the vegans have another arrow in their quiver, even though it isn’t milk’s fault, but what Government mandates we do with the milk, that is bringing harm.