Trautman Family Farm

  (stoughton, Wisconsin)
The Grass-Organic Life in Wisconsin!
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Risk Factors

We all talk about it. A lot.

They all talk about it. A lot.

Time to focus the attention on the problem. I want opinions.

I want to know what a good cross section of people think on this. I bet it's real interesting. And I will let you know the results.

Please indicate to me some idea of who you are. Health official, University researcher, farmer, consumer, activist, nutcase, oddball, weirdo, fascist, idiot (okay I'm getting a little off track here and amusing myself)

But really. What is your source of inspiration for your opinion.

Rank for me your idea of what the largest to smallest risk factors in raw milk are. For those of you that think there are no risks, well, you are fools. For those of you that just say don't drink raw milk, the same. Fools. You've got an opinion - risk factors that make the possibility of raw milk making people sick - rank them. Start with 1 as the highest risk, and end with 5.

Five reasons is all; anyone's that thought about this at all ought be able to come up with five risk factors.

Drop me an email at

Please include "Raw Milk Risk Factors" in the subject line. Don't bother sending me a bunch of garbage. Don't go on forever about it. List out the risk factors, and if you feel like you need to explain it, then great, but no War&Peace epic. And indicate your place in all this, what perspective you have.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Scott Trautman - despite the very best efforts of the State of Wisconsin - STILL proud Wisconsin Dairyman
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I'm thinking on this as a mom and a mom alone.

1. I'm pregnant and cannot consume things that are not pasteurized for risk to my unborn child.

2. I have a 1 and 2 year old and would worry about them and their immune system not being able to handle non pasteurized milk. However, I do not allow my children to drink milk that came from cows receiving hormones of any kind but it is pasteurized.

honestly I don't know a lot about raw milk. I believe in drinking milk that is not treated with hormones and should look into the rest of the arguments.

Posted by Kristi on April 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM CDT #


This Q&A talks about risks vs. benefits. It was prepared by scientists and health educators.


Posted by RRMF on April 28, 2010 at 10:41 AM CDT #

I am a farmer who offers cow shares. With careful sanitation and by the grace of God we have never had any trouble with our milk.

What I believe are risks:
1) campylobacter--its been in the news a lot lately.
2) E coli--not so frequently occurring in raw milk, but has the potential to be deadly. Has not killed anyone in raw milk yet.
3) Farmers who are not as careful as they should be and whose are not honest about their practices. They are a danger to their customers or cowshare holders and to other farmers.
4) the risk to honest careful farmers of being falsely accused by govt and law enforcement
5) all other bacterial contamination.

My sources for my beliefs are the excellent discussions on David Gumpert's blog The Complete Patient, the WAPF and my own good sense.

Posted by anna on April 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM CDT #

The biggest risk, by far, is the political risks associated with being a producer and consumer of raw milk. It has nothing to do with foodborne illness, but rather, with the outwardly hostile stance of the health authorities and dairy industry towards raw milk. You and I have learned this firsthand, Scott, in our dealings with the dairy industry and regulatory authorities. On the consumer side, parents who feed their kids raw milk are scorned, and put on the same level as people who practice "prayer healing." Consumers of raw milk are told by others that they should not be allowed to use public health insurance programs like Badgercare if they get sick. The list of political risks could go on and on. It has nothing to do with foodborne illness, but with a political and economic that marginalizes us.

The second biggest risk, is probably Camplylobacter.

Third. E. Coli

Fourth, Listeria.

Though 3 and 4 are possibly interchangable.

Fifth, Salmonella.

Posted by Bill Anderson on April 28, 2010 at 01:09 PM CDT #

Not knowing your source
Weak immune system / Leaky gut
Sugar / Standard American Diet

Posted by Blair McMorran on April 28, 2010 at 03:06 PM CDT #

I'm an RN. I've followed Thecompletepatient for years. I've done my own research, and learning what is in the processed foods available in stores is nauseating, I can see why so many are ill. What right does another have dictating what I consume? I drink raw milk because it tastes better than the watery boiled milk from the stores.

Risk factors:

1. Big dairy/govt pushing out the small farmers and selling raw dairy from their confined feed-lots;pure poison.

2. The unscrupulous that sell raw dairy for a buck (they won't care about the animals or people)

3. Poor sanitation ( may be from uneducated or lazy)

4. weak immune system/poor diets/medications/pre existing conditions

5. bacterial contamination (if there is a contamination, find the cause and make changes to prevent a repeat) everything has a potential for contamination.

Posted by Sylvia Gibson on April 28, 2010 at 10:36 PM CDT #

I am educated consumer, I have been in a RAW Dairy club since 2003 along with 150 other families. There has never been a case of illness that I know of in my Co-Op. I consume all RAW dairy products including RAW farm eggs RAW cream,Yogurt,butter,cheeses,milk,kiefer as a matter-of fact most of my diet is RAW. The Government is out-of-control, we must fight for our rights. The putrefied Dairy Industry is behind all this, and the FDA should stick to there approval of the legalized useless pharmaceuticals, that only treat symptoms. If we all took lessons from Weston A Price and Nourishing Traditions we could live a long and Healthy life. Thank You for allowing me the opportunity!!

Posted by Roger Sarcia on April 29, 2010 at 09:01 PM CDT #

I am a parent, farmer, former nurse, and supporter of raw milk. I will be drinking my own raw milk from my own farm as soon as my heifer calves.

1. Unsanitary milking procedures/environment
2. Unhealthy stock or farmer
3. Distance raw milk must travel to get to consumer/handling practice along the way
4.Health of individual consuming the raw milk
5.Method of storage once milk reaches consumer

Posted by Linda on April 30, 2010 at 03:51 PM CDT #

All Good points Linda, our Raw farms are all State certified, our milk is transported in a refrigerated truck,All our members are super Healthy(from Raw Dairy products)all our milk is stored in really cold refrigerators. "Yours in Health" The Goji Master

Posted by Roger on April 30, 2010 at 06:44 PM CDT #

I'm the mother of a 9 year old boy, a nurse anesthetist, and a member of a raw dairy co-op in IL which is being harassed by the FDA.

Risks of drinking raw milk? I can only think of two.

1. Being targeted by the government as being involved in an illegal practice... that's pretty risky, I'd say.

2. Consuming contaminated milk which is likely intended to be sold and pasteurized (know your source!)

I've done my research and have made an educated decision for my health and the health of my son. (period) That should be the end of the discussion.

Posted by Deena on May 02, 2010 at 12:24 AM CDT #

I am just a consumer who is educated on the benefits of healthy raw milk and drink it exclusively of all other milk. We will not drink the pasteurized/homogenized/chemicalized milk because we feel it poses a greater risk factor to our family's health than the goodness produced straight out of the cow. If I were to consider risks, they would just be related to standard hygiene and sanitation practices. Never had a problem in 40 years of drinking milk from either family cows or certified raw dairies. But I do not care to consume milk from dairies that provide soy-based feed to their cows. Prefer milk from cows that are largely grassfed. The other risk is possibly extra scrutiny from an ill informed bully government that thinks raw milk should not be available to us.

Thank you for asking this question.

Posted by Sharon on June 01, 2010 at 10:27 AM CDT #

1. Terrain: a compromised immune system makes people more susceptible to any pathogens in food, be it lunchmeat or raw milk.
2. Locating a farmer who produces milk from grass-fed animals. Know your farmer!
3. Convincing the government that people should have a choice. I wouldn't try to make laws to prevent people from consuming pasteurized milk and it should be the same for raw milk consumers.

Posted by Julia Martin on June 01, 2010 at 11:02 AM CDT #

1) unhealthy cows: Where raw milk's better regulated raw cows are held to higher standards than cows intended for pasteurization. People do get sick when consumers convince a non-raw farmer to sell them raw. Farmer doesn't know the differences b/c he's not involved in raw farming.
2)All pathogens: Raw farms here are required to take frequent counts of bacterium & contaminants & have them available to consumers. AND pasteurization just reduces pathogens to very low levels. They grow continually in both milks. Raw milk's a symbiosis of "good & bad". When the 'low count' of pasteurized milk multiplies, it's often the "bad".
3)Consumer error: Driving an hr for 'clean milk' w/out a cooler. Or the refrigerator isn't cold enough. or Reusing scratched plastic containers that trap rotting particles & transfer it to fresh.
Raw milk has risks, but they can be prevented/monitored. Pasteurized milk has risks, but people have blind faith in the process thinking it 'sterilizes'.

Posted by Student of Nat. Med & nutcase consumer on June 01, 2010 at 07:52 PM CDT #

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