The terrible things happening to non-corporate farming and pure food rest, oddly enough, on liberal assumptions about science and their trust flowing from those assumptions. That trust leads not to better choices for all Americans but to mandatory regulations and to programs which have destructive consequences for farmers and food and our health.
It seems the only way to stop those destructive consequences, then, is to begin to undo the assumptions and misplaced trust in the idea that man can eliminate dangerous threats as well as solve large human health and food problems through the application of more and more complex "scientific" technology.
Pasteurization of milk is pointed to as a major public health success. The public appears to believe that milk itself was a problem which modern science finally "made safe." That is an entirely false understanding of both the history and science of milk.
The actually history of pasteurization had nothing to do with making milk from normal dairy farms safe. Pasteurization was a response to the urban industrialization of milk production. That is, pasteurization was only a response a very specific milk - industrial milk. [All emphases in the quoted material below are my own.]
The War of 1812 with England resulted in the permanent cutting off of the whiskey supply America procured from the British West Indies. As a result, the domestic liquor industry was born, and by 1814, grain distilleries began to spring up in the cities as well as the country. Distillery owners then began housing cows next to the distilleries and feeding hot slop, the waste product of whiskey making, directly to the animals as it poured off the stills. Thus was born the slop or swill milk system.
Slop is of little value in fattening cattle; it is unnatural food for them, and makes them diseased and emaciated. But when slop was plentifully supplied, cows yielded an abundance of milk. Diseased cows were milked in an unsanitary manner. The individuals doing the milking were often dirty, sick or both. Milk pails and other equipment were usually dirty. Such milk sometimes led to disease. ...
Physicians in cities throughout the country considered raw milk essential in the treatment of their patients; they worked together to certify dairies for the production of clean raw milk. This resulted in the availability of safe raw milk from regulated dairies. Initially, from around 1890 to 1910, the movements for certified raw milk and pasteurization coexisted and in many ways even complemented one another. Click here.
Notice there was a two-tier milk system. Raw milk dairies only needed to be certified as clean and doctors actually treated diseases with that natural milk. But industrial milk required pasteurization of its dirty and inferior product to make it safe enough to drink, and it was not used for medical benefits.
Our public school science classes teach that Louis Pasteur invented the pasteurization of milk. That is untrue. He developed pasteurization for preserving wine and beer. He was not responsible for applying it to milk.
That was done at the end of the 1800s as a temporary solution until filthy urban dairies could find a way to produce cleaner milk. But instead of cleaning up milk production, dairies used pasteurization as a way to cover up dirty milk. As milk became more mass produced, pasteurization became necessary for large dairies to increase their profits. So the public then had to be convinced that pasteurized milk was safer than raw milk. Soon raw milk consumption was blamed for all sorts of diseases and outbreaks until the public was finally convinced that pasteurized milk was superior to milk in its natural state. [Note the food industry's power to overturn a "scientific" reality and impact public health for over a century, still not yet righted.]
... [T]he truth is that there are far more risks from drinking pasteurized milk than unpasteurized milk. Raw milk naturally contains healthy bacteria that inhibit the growth of undesirable and dangerous organisms. Without these friendly bacteria, pasteurized milk is more susceptible to contamination. Click here.
* Kills the friendly bacteria,
* Greatly diminishes the nutrient content of the milk
* Has up to a 66 percent loss of vitamins A, D and E.
* Has a vitamin C loss usually exceeding 50 percent. Heat affects water soluble vitamins and can make them 38 to 80 percent less effective.
* Vitamins B6 and B12 are completely destroyed during pasteurization.
* Destroys beneficial enzymes, antibodies and hormones.
* Destroys lipase (an enzyme that breaksdown fat), which impairs fat metabolism and the ability to properly absorb fat soluble vitamins A and D.
* Diminishes vitamin D content so the dairy industry fortifies their milk with a synthetic vitamin D [which does not work Click here];
* Makes calcium and other minerals less available.
Complete destruction of phosphatase is one method of testing to see if milk has been adequately pasteurized. Phosphatase is essential for the absorption of calcium.
Ultrapasteurization involves higher temperatures, longer treatment times, gives a longer shelf life and renders the milk virtually sterile. The industry justifies this saying that microorganisms have become heat resistant to ordinary pasteurization. [Why are micro-organisms on the industrial becoming resistant, even to heat?] Click here.
The Lancet in 1937 reported on a study of a group orphanages in which 14 cases of tuberculosis occurred in the boys fed pasteurized milk, only one in those fed raw milk. ... and in certain institutions children brought up on raw milk had perfect teeth and no decay.
Very little research was done after about 1950 on the relative nutrient content of raw versus pasteurized milk. The move toward universal pasteurization was in full swing and interest in raw milk was waning in agricultural colleges increasingly supported by dairy industry and agribusiness funding. Click here.
Pasteurization is not the story of marvelous modern science making an unsafe food safe. It is the story of a new "technology" being used to mitigate the excesses of the industrial contamination of a centrally important and incredible food and leaving that food without much of its value. Yet, today, raw milk dairy farmers have been almost entirely displaced by an industrial monopoly over milk (that is then degraded in many ways), using the public's misdirected fear of (industrial) contamination as the means.
"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it."– Stephen Leacock
Industry hegemony allows for misinformation through advertising, control of media, and influence over government and institutions, making it possible to do three things simultaneously: