Interviewer: Why is raw milk under the gun so much? I mean, we buy a lot of products.
Victoria Bloch: We do.
Interviewer: You know, raw vegetables, raw fish, and sushi, yeah. Why do we hear so many stories like yours about raw milk?
Victoria Bloch: You know honestly, I wish I really understood. I don't know if it's a figurehead product or what. If it's sort of the canary in the coal mine sort of thing. That if you can get raw milk blocked completely, then you can start to go after other products. I honestly don't have a good answer for you on that. I do know that the CDC has gone out of its way to demonize it. They issued that report about, what was it, a year and a half ago or so, that said it was 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized milk. But it was interesting, the cutoff dates that they had. So they went through observational studies, outbreak studies, etc., and they cut, they started their review of studies just after there had been a huge pasteurized milk cheese outbreak. And they ended it just before another one. And they also included outbreaks that had been as small as two or three people with a stomach ache up to 100 people that had gotten salmonella, and even those didn't all trace back to raw milk. Like I know in California there was a long time dairy, there's the Stueve family owned a dairy called Alta Dena and they used to ship milk to Nevada, to Oregon, to Arizona. And that was Reagan administration actually was when the law was passed that blocked interstate sales of raw milk. Before then, you could across state lines as long as it was legal in the state that you were selling it to. But that got blocked. But the Stueve family was constantly under assault and had to recall, recall, recall until they finally couldn't afford to produce milk anymore. But in every single case, they tested it and found that the milk was fine. There were no pathogens because they ran a clean dairy, and it was very safe. But there was one notable queso fresco. We have a lot of Latinos living in California, obviously, just like all the southwestern states. And queso fresco, fresh cheese, is one of the popular products. And it's often made from, in Mexico it'd be made from raw milk, but in the U.S. from pasteurized. There was an outbreak and the inspector said it was being made from raw milk. It turned out that it wasn't. The manufacturer had actually taken back the unsold cheese and melted it back down with fresh milk and it's like, this is not a good idea in any way, shape, or form. That happened many years ago, 15, 20 years ago. But virtually every outbreak that was attributed to raw milk in California never traced back to a raw dairy. It actually traced back to pasteurized. Because if you think about, sure you're going to kill the bugs, whatever, if there's good bugs, bad bugs in milk, it's going to be killed by pasteurization. But you're still going to have the bodies of the dead bugs. Those don't get cleaned out. And that may be why allergies, people get allergies to pasteurized dairy and sometimes don't to raw dairy because those little pathogens aren't there. And also once it's pasteurized, it can be contaminated after that point. You're not necessarily going to take the milk home and boil it before you drink it. So if something happens betwixt the pasteurization process and the bottling or the handling, you've got a perfectly lovely medium for culturing other bad bugs. So it isn't like it always solves everything. So I think it's more symbolic. It's sort of symbolic perhaps of an earlier time in our history. It may be simply that it's an easy one to blame, because it is possible to get sick with raw milk. Of course it is. Just like it is with sushi, or with bologna, or with raw spinach and lettuce. But it isn't worse than those. I mean, you don't have people dying at the rate they did with the melons that came out of Denver a few years ago, or the peanut butter that came out of Georgia a few years ago, or the eggs from the lovely co-op up in Iowa, etc., etc., etc.