The Real Deal
Nature’s Perfect Food
We here at Arcadian Acres are proud of what we are doing; what we have and will achieve. We stand by our reasons and motivation in everything we do. With that comes our effort to bring to you, not only the animals and products themselves, but the information we provide both in this site and in person. We spend much time researching and educating ourselves on everything we do and everything we work with. All the information provided on the various pages you can either check for yourself, or have faith that we provide you with as true, accurate, and up to date information that is possible. Most of the other subjects on this site and our farm are easy enough to have faith in what you read as being fact, and not opinion. This topic however, being as controversial as it is, and by involving as much still being discovered scientific, anecdotal and nutritional evidence, is a little different.
We have decided that, we will state our educated opinion on the basic information concerning raw milk. We are by no means scholars on the subject, but rest assured before undertaking this massive commitment, we did quite a bit of research. Reading and visiting literally everything we could find on the subject for months. However this is still to be taken as our opinion. Below we will also provide links to a number of different sources so you as well can compare opinions and information, and decide for yourself. We will be adding links as time and new evidence surfaces. If you would like to see anything added please by all means let us know. We look forward to and enjoy all feedback we get, and feel information exchange is vital to our ability to grow.
Since the dawn of civilization and the domestication of animals, humans have consumed milk. Worshiped as divine animals, producer of natures perfect food, the cow (or comparable milk producing mammal) has been the constant companion and best friend to man; seconded only by the beloved canine. As with everything else in the history of human consumption, we learned through our evolution and trial and error, what would kill us and what would sustain us. It is more than fair to say that if raw unpasteurized milk was unsafe to the point of public health risk, humans would not have evolved to consume raw milk, any more than we did poison arrow frogs. Until less than one hundred years ago, all anyone anywhere had ever known was raw milk.
In eighteen-sixty four, a Frenchman by the name of Louis Pasteur discovered a solution to the contamination and loss of wine and beer, heat it to the point you kill everything harmful; thus pasteurization was born. It stands to reason that in a time where more than half the people who died in a war was from the infection from non fatal wounds, that sanitation standards were relatively nonexistent. Hence the start of the Red Cross.
Over the next fifty or so years, the industrial revolution picked up, and people started moving to the city in droves to fill the factory jobs and the close, often unsanitary living conditions the city provided. By nineteen-twenty food related disease within most US cities was reaching epedimic proportions. People had little to no concept of sanitation, or how to treat the diseases they brought. Since the city workers were no longer farming, so had to rely on farms often owned by the businesses they worked for, to provide the workers with the food to buy. Even if you got food from the local grocer, it was likely to be coming from one of these farms. The first of these “factory farms” were as true to the one goal then as they are today: Make the most profit possible, whatever it takes.
When you stop to picture the scene in a nineteen-twenty dairy, you can easily see why things needed a change. Most of the urban dairies were overstocked with cows to begin with to fill the growing demand within the city. In no time the cows overgrazed what small fields they had, tromping them into mud and manure pits sometimes up to their stomachs. The dairies found a cheap alternative to normal grain by purchasing the spent grains from local brewers. This caused an even higher rate of disease in the animals. Now imagine taking that cow, and hand milking it in those same conditions into an open bucket (often rusty). It is not hard to see why so many people, namely children, were sick to the point something had to be done.
As no tests existed at the time, all milk was considered dangerous. Therefore, pasteurization became a standard. It was championed as one of the great leaps in public health. Frankly, given the context, we do not blame them.
Now, fast forward almost one hundred years. We have today the knowledge and technology to keep our cows truly healthy, and in sanitary conditions. We have the ability to harvest milk in a way as to prevent any possibility of cross contamination. Which is the real cause of the illnesses associated with raw milk. There is no debate by anyone, on either side, that raw milk does not contain ANY pathogens whatsoever. E. Coli, listeria, salmonella, and literally ALL of the other diseases associated with raw milk are simply introduced to the milk in order for them to be there. Its as simple as that.
Picture a typical raw milk dairy of today. Healthy cows come in off their green properly rotated pasture to a routinely cleaned holding room. From there the cows are brought in a few at a time to a regularly cleaned milking room, where they are cleaned, udders washed and stripped. Then the sanatized milking machine is hooked up, pumping the milk directly from the cow to a closed holding container. After milking reclean the udder, and send them back to their green pasture. The milk is then cooled immediately, bottled, and ready for consumption. Some dairies will give a little grain as a treat and production booster while the cows are being milked which is fine. We offer an alfalfa hay in accordance with our strictly grass fed practices.
The simple and horrible reason that the United States has its head in the sand about raw milk is a combination of corporate greed, and government vanity. It has been proven in multiple studies (which many raw milk opponents site) that in a general study of the main dairy producers, more than six percent are contaminated with one or more harmful pathogens. The problem is this only accounts for the big corporations whose practices are already in question. It does not speak for the number of raw milk dairies that have successfully avoided ever testing positive for any disease. If raw milk were legalized it would mean the loss of unknown amounts of money for the big dairies.
The Vanity issue comes in with the fact that the American Government would have to do something almost unheard of; decriminalize and or outright legalize something. Essentially admitting they had made a mistake. The government would rather play it safe and deny you your freedom of choosing for yourself. This is a sad but true, all to common problem with our government in all kinds of areas. We do not wish however to start a political debate, so we will leave it at that. Rest assured though, despite its flaws, we truly love our country.
Similar to the above mentioned theory on humans evolution, consider that it is estimated some five hundred thousand people in the United States today consume raw milk on a regular basis. That number is thought to double in the next three years and double again in the next five, and that is if the laws do not change! Of those five hundred thousand people, an average of sixty one people a year (according to a recent thirteen year CDC study) have gotten sick from raw milk. Compared the the roughly five point eight million people a year who suffer from food born illnesses caused by something other than raw milk. This statistic proves, at least to us, that any potential risk is acceptably low, as even foods that are labeled safe can be dangerous.
This could go on and on, there are whole websites devoted to this topic. Quite simply, we support and consume raw milk on a daily basis and encourage others to do the same. We believe in the health benefits, as well as the right to choose whether or not to consume. We go a step further in being the first dairy in Southeast Ohio to offer a herdshare program; giving consumers the chance to legally obtain their own raw milk if they desire. You can find out more about that on our Herdshare Program page.
Below are the mentioned provided links. Browse through them, do your own research, make your own decision.