Needless to say, I was deeply saddened this morning (I have been out of the loop for the past few days), when I checked my e-mail and received a message containing the news that Organic Pastures raw milk has been recalled until further notice. Anne Marie at the Cheeseslave blog has put together an excellent post about what happened here. In short, 5 children over an 8-week period earlier this year have been infected with E. coli O157:H7, and a common link has been that these 5 children have consumed Organic Pastures dairy products. I quote from Organic Pastures' website:
"OPDC milk products are highly pathogen resistant. In more than 120 million servings, and more than eight years of intensive testing, not one single pathogen has been found or detected in our raw milk samples."
And to quote from Anne Marie's article on this issue at Cheeseslave:
"According to the California Department of Public Health, all products collected from the ill patients have been negative for E. Coli 0157:H7. The CDFA tests all Organic Pastures’ products every month for pathogens. Organic Pastures also uses a third- party for pathogen testing multiple times per week. All these tests have been negative."
My sympathies are with the families of these 5 children; however, clearly there has been no proof that these children were sickened by Organic Pastures dairy products. There is a huge bias against raw milk in this country. Sadly, what you don't hear about are all of the long-term health issues that are caused by our consumption of dirty, pasteurized milk (which, for the record, has had it's own share of recalls and E. coli contaminations despite all of the pasteurization). I am fully aware of the risks involved with drinking raw milk and am also fully aware of what to look for in a dairy where I choose to buy that raw milk to ensure that I do not get sick. I completely agree that conventional milk from dirty commercial indoor dairies absolutely must be pasteurized. I believe that clean organic milk from the grass-fed cows at Organic Pastures is perfectly safe for me and my family to drink raw, and I should have the right to obtain it.
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According to this article, it looks like Organic Pastures won't be back up and running possibly until after December 1. This is truly a sad day for our family as we have no other option unless we drive 50 miles to purchase Claravale Farm milk between now and then. The moment Organic Pastures milk becomes available again, I will be the first in line to stock up our fridge with this wholesome, nourishing food, and vote my dollars towards something I wholeheartedly believe in.