Raw milk lovers are spinning the government's H5N1 warnings into a conspiracy theory

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/05/13/raw-milk-lovers-are-spinning-the-governments-h5n1-warnings-into-a-conspiracy-theory.html


Don’t forget tuberculosis!

But really, this is fucking stupid. I agree that selling of raw milk should be illegal.


In advance of solid information on pasteurization and H5N1, I was wondering if it would be prudent to switch to UHT pasteurized milk.


This is obviously not human epidemiological data; but H5N1 milk has already worked out poorly for several farm cats.

I didn’t even know that H5N1 would target the brain, eyes, and heart along with the lungs; but the interwebs is a journey of discovery.


a supplement company called Heart and Soil.

Uh huh. The pun can’t hide the real message. Once again, wellness woo provides a gateway to the far right.


A few years ago, white nationalists and neo-Nazis became strangely infatuated with drinking milk.


It was “a ridiculous attempt to demonstrate their genetically encoded capacity to process lactose, a sugar in milk that cannot be digested by the majority of humans after weaning,” he wrote.


But as should be apparent, white supremacists – who think they are better than others simply based upon the superficial paleness of their skin – are not exactly skilled at grasping scientific nuance.


Bodily sovereignty and purity tests have long been part of fascist and white nationalist playbooks.

But… Oh, right. Bodily sovereignty for manly men only.


My wife’s mother in Poland has been drinking milk for 90 years. Drinking raw milk is not a certain death sentence or even guarantee of getting sick.

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Neither is walking across a mine field. I still wouldn’t do it.


Finally, we have some real anecdata to counteract scientific studies!


Nobody, NOBODY said it was. That’s one of the more pathetic rhetorical tricks in the book. Go away.


That fig leaf is practically microscopic.


I had a professor who got brucellosis from unpasteurized cheese. In Switzerland! It took the doctors a while to diagnose him. Meanwhile he was walking around looking like grim death warmed over.


Wolfgang Willrich (1897-1948), Familienbildniss (1938)


No, but it still is a very bad idea. Do you think everyone just started pasteurizing milk on a whim?


Neither is smoking, driving without a seatbelt, or riding a bike without a helmet. But they all reduce risk. Milk is the perfect medium for growing and moving viruses and microbes. We can’t even deliver lettuce to people without risking e.coli. Why do we think we can safely do that with a medium like milk?!?!

The point is you can quickly spread disease with unpasteurized milk, and most of the benefits folks tout are a bunch of woo-woo. So, the real question is if the risk is worth it. Unfortunately, the risk is greater than just a personal decision, like wearing a seatbelt. The impact of spreading disease impacts communities, not just individuals.


And smoking is not a guarantee of lung cancer. This all about relative risk, and there is no question that raw milk is riskier than pasteurized. The argument is basically over how many chambers are in the revolver when playing Russian roulette. It’s a far better idea to not play the game at all. Avian flu was not even on the radar when this was published. Listeria, TB, Salmonella and others are sufficient reason to pasteurize.



Counterpoint: let people do what they want, drink all of the raw milk or other -insert stupid thing here-. The catch: you don’t get to avail yourself of a hospital or any taxpayer services.

In all seriousness, make this illegal, there is no upside to drinking raw milk, just downsides.

As I like to say, just because you got away with it doesn’t mean it was a good idea. :thinking:


I had raw milk cows milk once. My mom squirted a little into my plastic cup when I was probably 4? One of my earliest memories.

I can’t remember why - probably me bugging her knowing we had some cows that were renting pasture land we had.

I remember it being warm and tasting different, probably full of the fats we don’t get with 2%.

But, charming childhood anecdote aside - don’t do this on a regular basis. I find it hilarious and dismaying the rejection of the pasteurization process, because some how raw milk is supposed to be more healthy and posses magical properties we ruin when we process it.

No, you idiot, people used to get sick all the time. Sometimes they died.


One of my thoughts on raw milk goes like this
Raw milk producers don’t believe pasteurization is a good idea. What other disease mitigating techniques do they also believe don’t have any value? Periodic testing, storage temperature requirements? Sterilit measures?

And for what? Some extra fats and a different flavor? No thank you