Jim Roberts of Springboro is an advocate for raw milk.
People call him weekly to find out where they can get it in the Miami Valley, he said.
“We like the fact that a lot of the enzymes and a lot of the live things that are killed through pasteurization are still in the milk,” said Roberts, who has been drinking raw milk for 10 years.
But health experts have a warning about the growing trend — it can make you sick.
From 2007 to 2012 there were 80 outbreaks linked to raw milk and children and the elderly are more likely to get sick, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Raw milk is milk that has not pasteurized, and that pasteurization process is heating the milk to a certain temperature for a certain length of time to remove the bacteria,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor for Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County.
It’s the bacteria- salmonella, E.coli, listeria, and campylobacter- that may be present in raw milk that can cause serious illness from vomiting to abdominal pain, said Suffoletto.
It is illegal to sell raw milk in Ohio, but consumers can legally get it through a herd share.
“There’s a private contract between the producer and the person who wants to purchase raw milk. They own a part of that cow. They own part of the production,” said Suzanne Mills-Wazniak, OSU Extension Montgomery County agriculture and natural resources educator.
Roberts said he’s never been sick from raw milk
“I’ve had far less flus and colds in the last 10 years than ever,” he said.
But the CDC, the FDA, the USDA and the local health department all agree that drinking raw milk is too much of a health risk.
“Do not drink raw milk because it could make you sick,” said Suffoletto.
Additionally, the USDA warns pregnant women that listeria from raw milk can cause harm to a baby even if the mother doesn’t feel sick.