Blog: Raw Milk: The Whole Truth
by chef jem

The High Standards of The Raw Milk Institute

A three-pronged approach for the production of safe raw milk

Date:   9/24/2020 6:42:48 PM   ( 13 mon ) ... viewed 441 times

December 4, 2020 - Starting a Farm as Grandparents -

"Like many other raw milk farmers, Shelley and Matt Harding didn’t start out intending to farm. Shelley has worked as an electrician, cosmetologist, and more recently as an educator for medical coding. Matt has a background in criminal justice and construction, and is currently a machinist for the railroad.

Their kids were grown, and Shelley and Matt were settling into their role as grandparents. Yet something was missing. Shelley and Matt found themselves re-connecting with old dreams of having a small farm. So, they purchased some farm land where they could expand their garden and raise more chickens.

But it wasn’t enough, especially for Matt. He had fond memories of having a nurse cow and raising calves as a hobby during his teens and again in his twenties. He recalled a certain peacefulness from spending time with his cattle. Now, decades later, Matt knew he wanted to have a cow again. But Shelley…

Shelley didn’t even *like* milk. The taste and smell turned her off, and she’d had lactose intolerance symptoms for almost 20 years. Anytime she drank milk or milk products, she’d end up with abdominal cramping. Even still, Shelley knew how much it meant to Matt to have a cow again, so in the Spring of 2020 the Hardings brought home Miss Daisy, a pregnant Holstein heifer.

The Habit of Excellence -
Shelley is a detail-oriented kinda person. She naturally wants to do everything with excellence, and farming would be no different. If they were gonna have a cow and milk her, they were gonna do it right and do it well. Matt built a custom milking barn, and Shelley went to work on learning the ins-and-outs of safe raw milk.

With free mentoring from the Raw Milk Institute, the Hardings learned how to optimize their milking barn set-up, udder preparation, milking methods, bottling, and cleaning. They converted their basement into a milk bottling room, and worked hard to get the all of the details right.

No More Lactose Intolerance or Allergies -
But the milk… that was a big surprise for Shelley. Miss Daisy’s raw milk didn’t smell or taste bad to Shelley like store-bought milk had. And Shelley didn’t have lactose intolerance symptoms with raw milk, either!

Since she started drinking raw milk daily, Shelley no longer has gastrointestinal problems, and her seasonal allergies went away, too. No more allergy medications and no more sinus headaches. Raw milk helped their granddaughter overcome her allergies, too. The Harding’s experience aligns with scientific studies which have found that raw milk consumption is specifically associated with reduced rates of allergies.

Next Steps -
Shelley and Matt’s S&M Farm is the newest dairy to be LISTED by the Raw Milk Institute. They pride themselves on providing healthy, low-risk milk to a few families in Kansas. Although Miss Daisy is their only cow for now, Shelley and Matt are already thinking about growing their dairy and building an on-farm lab for milk bacterial testing. The Raw Milk Institute welcomes S&M Farm to our community!"[3]*

November 25, 2020 - "President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when traveling abroad by ship, insisted that Walker-Gordon (raw) milk and cream be available, on board, for the trip."[2]

September 24, 2020 -

"...In 2011-12, RAWMI brought together a diverse international group with the purpose of establishing standards for safe raw milk. This group included medical doctors and epidemiologists, nutritional consultants, veterinarians, food safety scientists, raw milk farmers, and raw milk consumers. This collaborative group developed the Raw Milk Institute Common Standards, which were initially released in 2012.

The RAWMI Common Standards describe a three-pronged approach for the production of safe raw milk which consists of:

Farmer training and mentoring

Risk Analysis and Management Plan (RAMP) for the unique conditions on each individual farm

Stringent yet achievable bacterial test standards for coliforms and Standard Plate Count (SPC)

The Common Standards Work!
Since their release in 2012, the RAWMI Common Standards have become a foundational part of low-risk raw milk production across North America. When farmers are well-trained, use careful production practices as laid out in their individual RAMP, and perform ongoing bacterial testing of their milk, they can produce raw milk that is ultra-low-risk.

Researchers from Canada and Europe have studied the safety of raw milk intended for direct human consumption, and have specifically considered milk from farms who implement the RAWMI Common Standards. They have found that carefully produced raw milk is a low-risk food which is fundamentally different from pre-pasteurized milk. The implementation of the RAWMI Common Standards has led to a significant reduction in raw milk-related illnesses and outbreaks. ..."[1]





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