Raw Milk: Healthy or Hazardous?
Pauline Bartolone, Capital Public Radio, 5/2/2012
Milk, in its unpasteurized form is consumed by at least a hundred thousand Californians. Many believe the drink has special health benefits.
In California, there are two main ways to get raw milk. You can buy it at a local health food store, or you can find an unlicensed cow owner willing to share the milk.
Someone like Pattie Chelseth.
Chelseth is a retired firefighter who lives on a farm in the rolling hills of El Dorado County. Her two cows supply at least 15 families with unpasteurized milk.
"I got a cow for my granddaughter, and people started finding out we had a cow and asked if they could have the milk, " says Chelseth.
Chelseth set up a herdshare. She boards the animals, and the other families are co-owners. They pay $65/a month per share, which gets them a few gallons of raw milk. Chelseth takes care of the milking and distribution.
Her sanitation methods are scrupulous, and the barn facilities are pristine. There's no manure smell and her animals look healthy. First she goes through a rigorous sanitization routine. Then she cleans the cows' teets and hooks them up to a small milking machine.
(Watch a video of Pattie Chelseth milking her cow)