My Raw Milk Experience

In the summer of 2009, I belonged to a neighborhood co-op that purchased raw milk and free range eggs from a small farmer in Malvern, PA (western suburbs of Philadelphia). The milk came from one cow. I don't remember the cow's name. Let's call her Bessie. I would get two gallons each week and each member of the co-op would take turns driving out to the farm to pick up the orders. I only participated for about 6-8 weeks, just to see how I liked raw milk and how it affected me.

To start, raw milk definitely looks and tastes different than the stuff you buy in the store. Some people in the co-op would pasteurize their milk, but what's the fun in that? The milk had a yellowish/brownish tint to it and you could literally see the cream floating on top. This was unskimmed, pure whole milk. It had an earthy taste and a thicker consistency, but it was definitely drinkable. Toward the tail end of my raw milk experience I came down with a nasty stomach bug that lasted for about three days. It was bad. So much so, that I had to call out of work for two days because I couldn't go twenty minutes without having to destroy the porcelain.  I thought the milk may have been the culprit but in reality it was probably a tainted surf n' turf burger I had (crab cake on top of a beef patty), as no one else in the group had gotten sick, and the stomach troubles started immediately after the nefarious surf n' turf burger.

When I went to my doctor to get treated for the stomach bug, I thought he would have flipped out over my drinking raw milk. He surprised me in his response, saying that he didn't see anything wrong with it or that it would have been the cause for the stomach bug. This coming from a guy whose only line of defense is bed rest and an overdose of Vitamin I, if I go to him with an injured shoulder or back. He must think physical therapy is voodoo because he is vehemently opposed to writing me a script for it when I ask.

After I recovered from the stomach bug, I decided not to renew my membership in the co-op and take a break from milk for a while. I'll go through phases where I'll drink it for a month or two (now is a good example of that), and then I won't have any dairy for a six month stretch.  I would probably try raw milk again in the future or raw goat's milk if I could find it. I've had pasteurized goat's milk and while it's a bit saltier it's still pretty good, and apparently closer to breast milk in its chemical make-up. And who wouldn't want a big, tall, frothy glass of breast milk? Yum.

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