April 20, 2009

Raw milk trendy

Raw milk is gaining popularity among people who say its health benefits outweigh its risks, officials say.

Officials say the practice was made illegal because unpasteurized milk can carry deadly pathogens. But a few farmers, some of whom have been drinking raw milk for generations, say it's safe and legal to provide to the public on a limited basis.

Wisconsin state law says farmers cannot sell or give away raw milk, but they can consume it themselves from cows they own. So to meet the legal requirement, farmers are selling shares in their dairy and providing raw milk to shareholders for a handling fee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday.

Wayne Craig's dairy is one of about a dozen farms in Wisconsin providing unpasteurized milk to the public. The newspaper said the Craig farm in New Holstein, Wis., has had 1,000 members.

They're trying to get back to natural, unprocessed food for the health benefits, Craig said.

One of the dairy's members, Linda Conroy, said drinking raw milk has boosted her energy level.

I have never been sick from it, she said. In fact, just the opposite is true. My health is a lot better.