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Estimates of non-farm, urban and suburban consumers who purchase raw milk from stores or farmers markets are drastically lower compared with farm family consumption. Commercial raw milk sales make up less than 1% of milk sales overall (28). Whole Foods discontinued sales of raw milk in 2010 due to liability concerns (29). Deaths attributed to drinking raw milk were from “bathtub cheese” and factory farms, not legal or “certified” raw milk. This myth goes back to at least the 1980s when a single certified raw milk dairy in California was ultimately shut down after numerous illnesses and deaths from Salmonella Dublin (30).
Homogenization is simply the process of physically breaking up the fat globules in cow’s milk to make a “homogenous” fluid milk beverage (11-12).
In developing countries today, from India to Africa, raw milk is routinely boiled before being fed to babies, children, and other family members to protect them from deadly milk-borne infections. When pasteurization started to become more mainstream early last century, some people were suspicious of the technology.
Subsequent analyses of the nutritional components of raw and pasteurized milk revealed no significant differences for the major nutritional components such as proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins (7-10).
Retail commercial raw milk is a highly specialized niche product that is legal in only a few states and sold mostly in small natural food stores and co-ops.
Major retailers do not sell raw milk because of the well-documented food safety risks.
Raw milk activists in developed countries, especially the United States, mostly perpetuate this myth.