Is it true that milk can cure what ails you? Maybe. Salon discusses advocates of the raw milk movement -- those who claim that unpasteurized milk from grass-fed cows may be the elixir of health, "capable of reversing chronic diseases from asthma to irritable bowel syndrome." The Weston A. Price Foundation is one of the leading promoters of raw dairy products. In 1939, Price penned "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration," which expounded upon the physical benefits of eating raw milk products and grass-fed beef. Many New Yorkers follow Price's lead, joining "raw milk clubs," where farm-fresh raw milk is delivered on a regular basis.
But is it safe to drink? Raw milk advocates argue that pasteurization reduces vitamin levels and kills off healthy bacteria (like the probiotics found in active yogurt cultures), while the FDA says that raw milk raises exposure to dangerous bacteria, like E-coli. They're both right. Read the full article for more data on both sides of the fence.
The New York City chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation can steer you towards local raw milk products. Or, if you're worried about safety, you can always get your probiotics through yogurt.
And on a semi-related note, the Cornucopia Institute has created a rating system for organic dairies, ranging from one to five cows, five being the best, so you can see how your organic milk stacks up .