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Name: Raw milk.

Age: Ancient.

Status: The hot new milk that everyone has to try!

I’m already confused. How can something be ancient and new at the same time? Oh, that’s easy. People used to drink raw milk for centuries. Then they stopped. Now, they’re drinking it again.

Interesting. Why did they stop? There’s a chance that they died of food poisoning from drinking all that raw milk.

Sorry, what? Anyway, hey! Raw milk is the best drink in the world and you should try it. Even the queen’s son says so.

But didn’t you just say … This weekend, Tom Parker Bowles wrote that raw milk has endured “no pasteurisation, homogenisation or standardisation, meaning it still contains the full complement of vitamins, minerals and natural digestive enzymes, as well as providing the most lusciously creamy mouthful of pure dairy delight; rich, sweet and voluptuously full-bodied.”

Oh, that sounds quite nice. Remember, we’re talking about the queen’s son here. A litre of raw milk costs about £3.50, compared with £1.35 for the same amount of the usual stuff at a supermarket.

Is it worth the expense? As a food fad, raw milk is growing in popularity. Aside from Parker Bowles, a fleet of TikTok influencers cannot overstate how good it is.

Why do I feel a “but” coming on? But, I mean, where to start? Pasteurisation has saved countless lives, because it eliminates bacteria such as E coli, salmonella, listeria and campylobacter; these can cause illnesses that – not to be too delicate – tend to leave you pallid, sweaty and blasting hot liquid jets from both ends at once.

Blimey. Sorry. But raw milk is banned in Scotland. Additionally, in 2016, 65 cases of food poisoning were linked to a vending machine in Cumbria that dispensed raw milk. Reputable vendors claim their raw milk is perfectly safe (as long as it’s kept fresh), but one study  found that Americans who eat and drink raw dairy products are more than 800 times  more likely to contract food poisoning than people who choose pasteurised ones.

I’ll stick to semi-skimmed then. No! Don’t do that, either. Do you know what enormous emitters of greenhouse gases cows are? Industrial livestock farming is a huge emergency to the climate emergency.

Almond milk? No! While it’s better for the environment than cow milk, it takes 74 litres of water  just to make one glass of almond milk. It represents a huge strain on the planet’s resources, especially in areas where the almonds are grown.

Oat? Soy? Rice? All require water and cause greenhouse emissions.

Aargh! What do I do? Honestly, would it be such a sacrifice to drink your tea black?

Do say: “Raw milk will make you lean and ripped.”

Don’t say: “Because you’ll end up sick and dehydrated.”

Source : The Guardian June 19th 2023 by Tom Parker

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