Mom to Mom, Let's Talk About Raw Milk

It’s no secret that moms today make the majority of the health and food/nutrition decisions for their families. And, as decision makers, moms are being inundated with information, making it very difficult to have time to sort through the rhetoric and discern fact from fiction.

As an RN working with Dow AgroSciences, I’m excited to see that people are taking an active interest in their food and where it’s coming from. Working for a company built on science, I love seeing people ask questions, share the latest health resources with one another and have conversations about their health and the health of their families. I strongly believe in the importance and power of making informed decisions, while recognizing that individual choice dictates that one size doesn’t fit all.

But how do you have time to find the answers you seek when making food decisions for your family? As a mom and grandmother, I know firsthand how very busy young mothers are as they juggle careers, motherhood, household responsibilities, care of aging parents and the unavoidable unplanned life events that will inevitably arise.

milkcowOne of the hot topics we’re seeing right now is the rise in the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products. I would strongly encourage anyone who is considering providing unpasteurized dairy products to their families, especially their children, to seriously consider the pros and cons, as well as the risks related to this choice.
There are many reliable, easily accessible resources for additional information on this topic. Here’s a shortlist to help you save time and get some of the info you need:

Also, you’ll find it helpful to speak to your pediatrician and family doctor before you make your choice to place unpasteurized dairy products on your table.

The great news is that milk you buy at a grocery store is still a perfectly fine option because it’s been pasteurized. Pasteurization was discovered in the mid-1860s. It is a simple process of heating milk to a temperature that will kill harmful bacteria.

It is considered by many in the field of public health as one of the most significant discoveries (if not the most significant) impacting public health ever. According to the Mayo Clinic, prior to pasteurization, raw milk accounted for up to 25 percent of outbreaks of food- and water-borne illness. Now dairy products account for only about 1 percent of these outbreaks (with most of those occurrences being the result of eating and drinking unpasteurized dairy products).

The young, elderly and those with compromised immune systems (i.e. chemotherapy, HIV) benefit the most from pasteurization because they are more at risk to develop significant illness and complications.

As a busy mom and grandmother, I’m grateful that we have scientific advancements that have helped make our food safe. It’s one less thing I have to worry about.

StumphotoCynthia Stum, RN, COHN/CM is the US Health Services Leader for Dow AgroSciences. Sheis an RN and also have a degree in business. She is also certified in occupational health and has been at Dow AgroSciences for over 20 years. Prior to occupational health, her clinical experience has been in ICU and ER. She has two grown sons and two grandchildren and is expecting a third grandchild in March. She loves spending time with her family at the lake, riding bikes and camping.