Last week on The Grapevine

November 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Last week on The Grapevine, we chatted about raw milk.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. In Canada, the sale of raw milk is illegal. A well-known case is Durham farmer Michael Schmidt who was charged for distributed raw milk through a herd share program. The charges were dropped earlier this year, but raw milk still remains a controversial topic in the food community.

According to, “The pasteurization process involves heating milk to very high temperatures and then suddenly cooling it down in order to destroy disease-causing bacteria. This process is mandatory for all the milk sold in Canada not only to ensure the safety of milk but also to increase its shelf life.”

Here’s a bit of what was said on the show:

Grace: “The ideal dairy industry, would be an industry that was not raising dairy cows on feedlots and industrial dairy practices, so these cows would be eating grass and being happy, and living good lives, and farming practices would be clean, and ethical and sustainable, And in that situation there probably would be way less of a possibility of getting sick from consuming the raw milk of those cows and those farmers. It’s kind of like pasteurization and the laws enforcing pasteurization are just really enabling dairy famers to get away with cutting corners.”

Alex: “Yeah… it just makes me think about accountability in terms of the food system… when you’re producing for people that you see and you know, you might put more care into how you’re producing. Similarly if you’re buying from someone selling a product, and you know them and you can go and see how they’re doing it, that keeps a lot of things in check very naturally I think. But now with the current food system where it’s just… barns full of cows, or, I don’t even know how they’re kept.

G: “The whole idea of the collective milk industry, how milk is pool together in Canada. Various dairy farmers will pool together their milk, and then that is the way it is processed and pasteurized and packaged. In any given 4-liter bag of milk you’re having the milk of thousands of cows across… Ontario. So if something is wrong in one of those dairy farmer practices, of the thousands that you’re consuming, if you are drinking raw milk you’re getting it from one individual farmer and the few individual cows.

A: “Which is so strange because there are quite strict guidelines for raw milk, and farms being tested for the quality of their raw milk even before it’s processed. But I guess maybe that’s still not good enough.”

You can listen to the whole show at: Just search “The Grapevine.”


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