An entire section of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website is devoted to warning Americans about the “dangers” of raw milk. There it states that more than 1,500 people in the US became sick from raw milk from 1993 to 2006.1
This is just over 115 people per year, on average… in a country were 9 million people get sick from foodborne illness annually.2 Is it possible to get sick from drinking raw milk?
Yes! But it’s also possible to get sick from eating a salad, a cheeseburger or a bowl of fruit. In fact, you’re far more likely to be infected with a foodborne illness when eating any number of foods other than high-quality raw milk.
A new report produced by the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a partnership of the US Department of Agriculture, the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed which foods are most likely to make you sick… and the answers might surprise you.3
Picking Out Food at Your Supermarket Is Like Playing Russian Roulette
Of the 9 million people who get sick from eating food each year, 55,000 are hospitalized and 1,000 will die.4 These are the estimates from IFSAC, which are actually far lower than those given by the CDC in 2011.
According to those estimates, the problem is far worse with 48 million people being sickened by foodborne diseases each year, including 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
Whichever figure is correct, suffice it to say that it’s a lot.5 According to the IFSAC report, certain foods cause so many illnesses each year that shopping at your supermarket is like playing a game of Russian roulette.
Will you pick the package of chicken breasts with salmonella in it? Will the ground beef for your hamburger patties contain the particularly deadly E. coli O157? Will your bagged salad be covered in any number of disease-causing pathogens?
Government agencies have painted the picture that if you go to a farm and purchase high-quality farm-fresh milk (i.e. raw milk), you’re walking away with a food that is crawling in dangerous bacteria. The way they make it sound you’d think you could get sick just by looking at it. But I’d take my chances on the farm any day.
The fact is, the majority of foods that are making people sick are coming not from small organic farms selling raw-milk products… they’re coming from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). And if you shop at a typical supermarket, where do you think most of the food comes from?
The very same CAFOs producing the most contaminated foods… the companies behind the so-called “ag-gag” laws trying to keep you from seeing what’s going on behind their closed doors.
Their food might not kill you… but then again it might. Or, if you pick the “wrong” package of chicken, for example, you might simply end up spending a few days in the hospital or, if you’re “lucky,” just 24 hours or so tied to your porcelain throne.