As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on May 5,
On a quiet, 100-acre farm in Cumberland County, Mennonite farmer Mark Nolt, his wife and his 10 children have for three years operated a dairy whose best-selling product is one the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture considers contraband: raw milk.
Pennsylvania requires its raw milk producers to obtain a permit, but Mr. Nolt stopped applying for the permit in 2005 and has continued to sell raw milk and dairy products in the face of multiple citations, a court injunction and two raids that resulted in $50,000 of product and equipment being seized from his farm in Newville.
Raw milk has been a hot button topic in Southwestern Pennsylvania for at least a couple of years, and the advocates for access to raw milk are extremely vocal about their perceived right to get unpasteurized milk. They have also been somewhat militant in their insistence that it is the best choice for everyone.
I am willing to concede that there are enzymatic changes in milk as a result of pasteurization. I am not, however, willing to accept every piece of information distributed by the Weston A. Price Foundation (the main proponent of raw milk rights) as God’s honest truth.
In promoting the health benefits of raw milk and the consumption of high fat diets, they rely on photographic evidence reminiscent of eugenics and, whilst complaining that pasteurization advocates rely on studies from the 1930s, distribute pamphlets boasting that “Galen, Hippocrates, Pliny, Varro, Marcellus Empiris, Bacchis, and Antithimus, leading physicians of their day, all used raw milk in treatment of disease.” Well, we’ve had some remarkable discoveries since their day: including the fact that the earth revolves around the sun.