Raw Milk

The  Vermont legislature is considering very narrow legislation (S 70) that would allow the two largest raw dairies in the state to deliver raw milk to customers at farmers markets. Not sell it, mind you, just drop it off to customers, so they don’t have to trek to the farms to pick it up.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says raw milk is “inherently unsafe”, it means inherently unsafe.

Some years ago, I took a vacation in Costa Rica, and while traveling back roads, I got to see lots of corporate banana plantations. What I noticed first and foremost about these vast agricultural preserves was that most of the banana bunches were covered with blue plastic bags.

The proposed legislation to rescind or liberalize the federal ban on interstate raw milk sales holds out the prospect of a national debate on raw milk. 

It’s only Thursday, and I find myself planning my food club order, to be entered Sunday and delivered late next week. Actually, I’ve been planning it for several days already. How many dozen eggs should I order? How much kefir? How many beef livers? How much raw milk? 

One of the things that always amazes me about the raw milk controversy is how public health and medical professionals come to definitive conclusions with little or no research basis. 


Licensing. It is an issue that lurks in the background for many small dairy farms that sell or distribute raw milk and other dairy products. People frequently assume that licensing is not only straightforward and doable, but essential—a governmental stamp of approval that presumably ensures a certain minimum level of quality or safety. But there’s more to licensing than meets the eye, especially when it comes to raw dairy. In this guest post, California herdshare operator Shawna Barr explores some of the challenges with licensing for small dairies.

The most significant raw milk legislation in memory—affecting 1,000 or more California home dairies—has begun a journey toward consideration, with an impressive head of steam behind it.