An Indiana health agency is asking residents to comment on the banned sale of raw milk and dairy products made from unprocessed milk.
Raw milk has not gone through any process of pasteurization, homogenization or irradiation. It has not been altered with additives or chemicals in any way, and can still be tested for bacterial diseases. It comes directly from the animal and is said by many to contain larger amounts of nutrients than pasteurized milk. Many believe that drinking raw milk helps with digestion and other health problems.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health will hold a virtual public hearing on their website from June 1 through Sept. 1 where people can suggest potential changes to Indiana law, which doesn’t allow the sale of raw milk. Residents must provide a name and contact information to comment.
Pasteurized, irradiated or homogenized milk has gone through a process that kills germs, and processes of chemical treatment to enhance flavor, fortify and preserve the milk. The milk is heated to a temperature above the animal’s average body heat for a period of time. This process also kills some proteins and enzymes that aid digestion.
Raw milk supporters say the process depletes nutrients The dairy industry defends the process, saying that the threat of E. coli or salmonella is more important to prevent.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health hearing will inform lawmakers on the topic, should they decide to legalize raw milk.
Establishments can circumvent the current ban of raw milk sales by offering cow share programs, where participants purchase a share in the lifetime of a cow. Share-holders also pay a monthly boarding fee and in return are entitled a portion what’s produced, with which they can do whatever they want. Herd share programs are legal in most states, including Indiana. Hoosier cow-share programs include Apple Family Farm, McCordsville, Ind.; Fiedler Family Farms, Rome, Ind.; Hopeful Farms, Ligonier, Ind.; Pasture’s Delights Dairy, Decatur, Ind.; and Sunny Meadow Farms, Argos, Ind.
Grass Corp, Leopold, Ind., sells raw milk under a pet food license, labeling the product Not For Human Consumption.
To learn more about raw milk see: The skinny on raw milk