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Milk Pasteurization Had a Place in History



Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 7 May 2023…

Hey Y’all!

Hello and happy Sunday from Air2Ground Farms! The weather changed...yesterday around noon. We started the day by milking early so we could get to the market and get set up by 0800. It was quite cool and foggy. We couldn’t decide if we needed a jacket at the market or not, at times it felt cool and then it would feel warm. By the time we took everything down at 1200, there was no question. It quickly climbed into the 80s and was warm and humid. We had another great market day! I am consistently amazed at the folks we meet and thoroughly enjoy the conversations. We had family coming to visit the farm that also stopped by the market. My dad, mom, mom’s brother, sister and brother in law, their daughter, her husband, and their daughter all made the trek from Oklahoma for a visit. They had a great time at the market also and then joined us at the farm. We had an awesome visit, riding around and chatting about all of the things we are doing. I shared 3 pics of my cousin, Hazel, meeting Stella (the Jersey calf) for the first time and brushing Betty. Hazel took in all of the sights and sounds of the farm and I believe she really enjoyed her visit. Uncle Rick, Uncle Carl, my dad, and I set up a new paddock for the dairy cows. Everyone helped with evening rounds. Today, my mom and Aunt Carol made yogurt. They then foraged for some wild onions and made cheese flavored with the onions. While they were making cheese, the rest of us unrolled some hay for the beef herd and the sheep flock. It’s always great to have visitors on the farm! The animals are all doing really well this weekend. The last pic is the new bull calf. He is doing amazing! We really like the way he looks and will keep a close eye on him with the intention of him becoming our herd bull. The incubator didn’t yield any more chicks, so we only got 5 out of this batch. The guinea eggs should start hatching soon. We are resting a bit this afternoon and will continue to work on the computer.

I’ve written a lot about raw milk and the benefits we see in raw milk. I’ve discussed the laws regarding raw milk to include those that I think are ridiculous. I haven’t discussed how we got to this point, so I thought I would take us on a trip back in time a couple of hundred years. I’ll keep it brief…With the Industrial Revolution, families began leaving farm life for the factories in the big cities. With the farm, they left the family milk cow. In the early 1800s, the best vessel in which to transport milk was the cow. Thus, the need to move the cows closer to the people. Farmers began moving large numbers of cows into the cities and found that they could cram lots of animals in small spaces and feed them grain mash left over after whiskey distillers had processed liquor. The distiller’s grain mash was higher in calories than the grass the cows normally ate, so milk production increased. The problem was that the cows were housed in terrible conditions and were not created to eat waste grain as their only source of food. They began producing a light blue milk called “swill milk.” Additionally, due to the squalid conditions of the cows and the unsanitary conditions of the milking equipment, disease became rampant in the milk. Tuberculosis, typhoid, and diarrhea causing bacteria from contaminated milk took the life of literally half of the children under the age of 5 in many big cities. Without refrigerated transportation, the option to move the cows back to the farms and feed them grass wasn’t considered. They did make some dairies in the city parks, like Central Park, but not enough. In 1862, Pasteur invented pasteurization but it was largely used in wine and wasn’t widely used for milk until the late 1800s. By then, distillery farms were banned, but the lack of cleanliness still resulted in the need to do something with the milk. Thus, pasteurization of milk was the answer. Initially, there was no way to force farmers to pasteurize and home systems became popular. As pasteurization increased, the infant mortality rate was cut in half. Within a few years, regulations took hold and continued to grow until we get to today. My conclusion: given the conditions, pasteurization was obviously a good thing and saved many lives. That said, it is not the only option. Today, when we do have amazing refrigeration capabilities, we have the option to allow cows to be on farms, not in the city. We have amazing capabilities to ensure cleanliness of milking equipment and containers. I think it is time for a nationwide discussion of the alternative to pasteurization and a real look at the potential benefits of unpasteurized milk instead of trumpeting centuries old talking points.

We’re trying to upload quite a few things to YouTube. If you subscribe to our channel, you can also click on the little bell and it will let you know when we post something new. https://www.youtube.com/@air2groundfarms


Local Farm Report for 5 & 6 May 2023:

50 Chicken eggs

38 Duck eggs

2 Goose eggs

12 1/2 Gallons of milk

Cheers! Psycho & Shelley

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Auntie Fiat
Auntie Fiat
May 07, 2023

Settlers heading west put a silver coin in their water and milk to keep it fresh longer.


Silver has antimicrobial properties. This is at least partly why the wealthy of yesteryear used true silverware.

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Too cool! I had no idea. Talk to me again about getting into silver...! ;-)

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Todd Campbell
Todd Campbell
May 07, 2023
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There was a study done in 1983 by a physician named Francis Pottenger. The 'Pottenger Cats' were divided into 2 groups. The first group was fed only raw food (meat, milk and cod liver oil). The second group was fed a mixture of raw and cooked food. The first group had no health issues. The second group developed impaired growth, birth defects and FERTILITY PROBLEMS (emphasis mine). Modern science has made the assertion that his study was nonsense, because cats are not people. The fact still remains that when you feed cats the sludge that the average person eats, the cats will develop health problems.....including obesity. My outdoor cats all eat raw meat, eggs and whatever nasty critters they hunt…

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I have never heard of that study. Really interesting comment, thanks for sharing, Todd! I agree with the industrial solvent thought--I think I'll write an upcoming blog regarding the origins of vegetable oil! I also agree with the concern regarding chemicals in food, and thus my focus on the mRNA vaccines in livestock. I haven't written about mRNA work in plants but may in the future. Enjoyed chatting yesterday! Cheers! Rich

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