11/09/2010

Joe "E. coli Is My Friend" Mercola Pushes Raw Milk

Mercola never met a dangerous practice he wasn't in favor of. Today he's pushing raw milk again: "Personally, I find the idea of bringing back the milk man to be downright enchanting. What could possibly be better than getting farm-fresh milk delivered in glass bottles right to your doorstep every week? I'm not sure the King Dairy brothers currently sell RAW milk, but that would truly be an ideal to strive toward."


Of course, much like this weekend's "fight for your freedom from vaccinations" post, this one is also pushing the idea of fighting: "This issue is in fact about much more than just raw milk in and of itself. It's about your ability, your right, to purchase and consume natural, unadulterated food. And it's about big business trying to quench a competitor they know they can't compete with."


Yes, that's right, not only is the government forcing you to get nanobot-infested vaccines so to better enforce mind control, industry is trying to get you to eat unnatural, adultery-committing foods that will feed the rapidly reproducing nanobots working their way to your brain.


Mercola might as well go that far, you know? Okay, vaccines are bad, tanning beds for vitamin D are good, and raw milk is divine: "Avoid being fooled by this issue. As you'll see below, raw milk is typically far safer than pasteurized milk. The evidence to support their claims that raw milk is dangerous to drink simply does not exist; their claims are based on false assumptions."


Bullshit.


According to the FDA


"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998.
Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses.
These harmful bacteria can seriously affect the health of anyone who drinks raw milk, or eats foods made from raw milk. However, the bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems."


"Decades ago, before pasteurization of milk was mandated by government agencies, milk contaminated with harmful bacteria was linked to several serious diseases including typhoid fever, diphtheria, septic sore throat, scarlet fever, dysentery, Q-fever, and other kinds of foodborne illness. Other diseases, including tuberculosis and undulant fever (brucellosis), can be transmitted to people in raw milk from diseased animals. Milk pasteurization was initially designed to kill the bacterium that caused tuberculosis, considered to be the most heat resistant pathogen found in raw milk. As recently as the 1960’s the temperatures at which milk is pasteurized was increased slightly to insure destruction of the bacteria, Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q-fever."


Mercola never met a fact he couldn't ignore and willy-nilly substitutes his own, like the fact that animals who are grass fed are free from bacteria. Right.


"While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, what they completely overlook is the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk.
They make no distinction whatsoever between disease-riddled factory farmed milk and the milk from clean, healthy, grass-fed cows. One MUST be pasteurized in order to be safe for consumption. The other does not."


Bull. Shit. Does the dude realize that contamination with E. coli  is as simple as one of them back-to-the-40s farmers he's in love with managing to get E. coli on his hand, then milking the cow by hand? I don't get it. I really don't. Traditional farming will not feed over 300 million Americans. Yes, we need to do better with factory farms, but Mercola is romanticizing farming and food and the dangers of food-borne illnesses, which are far less frequent today, even with factory farming and how inhumane that can be.


According to the FDA, 


"Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time. Pasteurization kills the bacteria responsible for diseases such as listeriosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and brucellosis, as well as other bacteria. However, pasteurized milk still contains low levels of the type of nonpathogenic bacteria that can cause food to spoil, so it is important to keep pasteurized milk refrigerated."

Mercola offers little reason other than the idea that grass-fed cows are cleaner to believe that raw milk is safer. He uses reports of illness of pasteurized milk versus nonpasteurized milk with the CDC to come to the conclusion that raw milk is 4 times safer. Alright, since it's illegal to sell raw milk interstate and only a few states allow intrastate selling of raw milk for people to drink, which number would you expect to be higher for a number of reasons? Mercola is supposed to be better educated than this and should know better than to take the numbers of reported illness from the two groups and divide one into the other. Unfortunately, it's not likely that many of his believers will get this is wrong.


Awww jeez, here you go, one of the last lines from Mercola's piece. Make of it what you will: 


"If a cow is covered in filth and manure, stinks, is wet and cold and doesn't look particularly comfortable, that could be a warning sign that her milk is less than ideal for raw consumption, even if it's from a small, local farm."


Ya think? Oh yummmmy, that cow looks like it will give super-duper pathogen free milk! Come on, Pa, lets lie underneath it and drink it really fresh!

9 comments:

lifewithasperger said...

That last part is really rich. When was the last time the average American saw the cow from which their milk came?

kathleen said...

I live by a number of small family dairy farms...you know the kind he is talking about? The cows well..they don't shower..and they don't mind walking around in muddy pastures..they also like to lie down..and those grass fields they eat in?-well it is their bathroom as well..Cows get dirty. We used to have a milkman when I was little-and he delivered pasteurized milk. Perhaps along with tanning beds-he will now be pushing for personalized cows?

KWombles said...

Yeah, Laura, I thought it was pretty rich, too, for that reason and others, as well.

Now people are gonna think cows are like the ones on the cartoon Barnyard.

Kathleen, you reckon he'll charge 3 grand per cow? Hah, with its own personal tanning bed so you can make sure it's fortified with vitamin D?

Clay said...

I've read in the local newspaper about how, 100 years ago, every summer hundreds of kids in the city would get sick, and many of them died. It was discovered that many milk companies put formaldehyde in the milk, to prevent it from spoiling too soon. Thank God we have regulations about such things now.

Also, you know how Nestle's has a new warning on their packages of frozen pre-formed cookie dough to not eat the dough raw, to prevent salmonella poisoning from egg ingredients? How true, I ate one pre-formed blob from my last package, and regretted it the next day. The big, messy "D"!

I think I've read where 80% of eggs now carry salmonella, and so eggs should be thoroughly cooked, no runny yolks anymore. (And no more raw eggs in your energy drink.) Mercola should be horse-whipped for his bad advice.

KWombles said...

Clay, or at the very least, put out of business.

M.Bulger said...

"He uses reports of illness of pasteurized milk versus nonpasteurized milk with the CDC to come to the conclusion that raw milk is 4 times safer."

I don't know how on earth he could have managed to do that (although this is Mercola).

The CDC numbers actually show an alarmingly higher rate of illnesses from raw dairy. They end up accounting for an average annual total of over 70% of dairy-related illnesses. This is in a country where less than 1% of the population drinks raw milk.

Here's just an example of good ol' grass-fed dairy making scores of people sick. http://foodpoisoning.pritzkerlaw.com/archives/campylobacter-hartmann-dairy-milk-poisoning-case.html

For the record, I'm for shifting production to more traditional methods in many of the aspects of our food system. However, it's not going to pay to let people like Mercola lead the way.

Clay said...

"Clay, or at the very least, put out of business."

Given the option, which do you suppose he would choose?

Roger Kulp said...

Isn't he a germ theory denialist too?

Well there you go.

I've been hospitalized with salmonella twice,in the last fifteen years,once because I developed sepsis...

KWombles said...

Clay, yeah not hard to figure that one; he'd probably insist there's health value to being horse whipped.

Roger, yeah, he is.