Written by Dale
Raw milk is more controversial than legalizing marijuana. In upcoming articles I will explore the various faucets of this hot issue. About 30% of my work at the University of Maryland is spent helping dairy farmers improve their profitability. I have worked on the old dairy collectives of Poland, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. I have toured the high technology automated milking systems (robotic) of Denmark and Holland. I have visited the grazing systems of New Zealand. I have seen the smallest and largest confinement and grazing dairy farms of the United States. The complexity of dairy farms absolutely fascinates me and I crave milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and sour cream. Dairy cows are the wet nurses of the human species and we owe them our love and respect.
Pasteurization - Raw milk is heated (pasteurized) to kill the most harmful micro organisms or ultra heated (UHT) to kill almost all micro organisms. In 1924, the Food and Drug Administration developed the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance which has been adopted in full or in part by all 50 states. By law, milk must be pasteurized before it is sold in stores.
Homogenization - When milk is allowed to stand, the fat or cream rises to the top because it weighs less than the water and protein portion of the milk. To prevent this from happening, nearly all milk sold in stores is homogenized. The milk is pumped at high pressures through narrow tubes, breaking up the fat globules which will then stay suspended in the milk. Homogenization is not required by law. Homogenization makes processing simpler in delivering uniform dairy products to consumers. Consumers are use to it, and many would not want to go back to “cream line” milk.
In my next article I will discuss the “Good” of raw milk, that is, why do people want it and why do farmers want to sell it?
Jerseys – compact producers of rich, high fat milk. These cows are enjoying fresh grass on the eastern shore of Maryland.
Dale explains a robotic milking system to his university students.
Dale’s students face off with a herd of Jersey cows. The farmer is explaining his organic pasturing system.