Rachel Bayne interviewed Joyce Snook for the Bellingham Herald about her farm, on which her cows give her raw milk to enjoy. Her farm is one of only six farms in the state of Washington licensed to sell raw milk to the public.
Although raw milk may taste richer and creamier than homogenized, pasteurized milk, it is also a potentially harmful product that could be contaminated with salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, and E. coli – all bacteria that would be killed with pasteurization.
The farms that are licensed to sell raw milk go through an exhaustive licensing process, which includes testing of the facility and the cows. An outbreak of E. coli from an unlicensed dairy reiterates the need for the stringent process.
In much of the United States, raw milk and even raw milk aged cheese remain contraband. Transporting it across state lines is also illegal. Luckily for raw milk lovers, more small dairies are looking to get into the licensing process, which may mean more access in the future.