Raw Milk Talk With Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures on the Homegrown Evolution Podcast

Image from the Organic Pastures website

In the second episode of the Homegrown Evolution podcast we present a talk by Mark McAfee, founder and CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy, a raw milk dairy in California. The talk was recorded on August 28th, 2010 and was sponsored by Altadena Heritage and the Arroyo Food Co-op.

McAfee had slides, but I think the talk is self explanatory without them for the most part. When he mentions his neighbor’s farm he showed a slide of a typical concentrated dairy operation: a lot of cows packed together in muddy pens. By contrast, the cattle on Organic Pastures’ land grazes on green grass. Another point that might need to be clarified is that when McAfee mentions the two kinds of raw milk he is referring to his own milk, meant for consumption raw and most other dairies whose milk is only raw for the brief period between when it leaves the cow and when it is pasteurized.

Click on the player above to hear the podcast. You can also subscribe to the Homegrown Evolution podcast in iTunes or download an mp3 of the podcast via archive.org here:


A big thanks for letting us record this talk goes out to the folks at Altadena Heritage who, incidentally, sponsor some amazing events. Check their website for details. And also thanks to Mark McAfee who is open and transparent in his business and operations. Unlike his competition, you can visit his farm and see where your milk comes from.

We’re raw milk fans but realize there’s considerable difference of opinion on the subject. Let us know where you stand on raw dairy–leave a comment! And listen to McAfee’s talk.

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  1. It seems like all the folks who support raw milk are die-hard in favour of it. I’m all for being passionate about something so I appreciate that, but in looking into this controversy I’ve never seen good quality research that shows that either a) raw milk provides valuable components (supposed enzymes, etc.) that are not present in pasteurized milk, and b) raw milk is safe. I have, however, read lots of research articles showing the different types of foodborne illnesses that can result from drinking raw milk.

    Do you have suggestions of high quality sources of information on this? I am familiar with Weston A. Price and am not particularly impressed with their approach and qualifications. Are there other sources of research-based information on this?

  2. How about thousands of years of continuous use by people all over the world? Do you really need an expert to tell you what’s good or bad for you? Why not just try it and see if you like it?

  3. I’ve just spent hours researching this issue. The “con” side has a lot of evidence, and there are so many of them that it’s hard to argue “corporate corruption” for the whole lot.

    Key point: In 2010, raw milk accounted for 70% of the food illness outbreaks attributed to milk products, but only accounts for 0.5 – 3 % of total consumption. That should sober everyone up!

    To everyone who says “yeah, but I’ve been drinking it and I’m fine”… you’re putting forth a fallacy of small sample size. To get the big picture (and truth) we can’t look at one or two peoples’ experiences, but instead a whole country’s.

    Key reading:

    page 7 of this addresses raw milk:

    Well referenced testimony to the FDA on raw milk:


  4. I’m all for raw milk. It doesn’t do anything bad to you if you just follow COMMON SENSE. Common sense is getting a bit rare these days, however.

  5. Ananamous

    The CDC misstated data when they presented their argument that raw milk was more dangerous than pasteurized milk…the intentionally misguided facts were gross. Instead of stating numbers of illnesses….they stated numbers of clustered outbreaks.

    From 1972 to 2010 there where 422,000 reported illnesses from pasteurized milk or cheeses. There were 1100 illnesses for raw milk or raw cheeses. No deaths from any raw milk….77 deaths from pasteurized milk or cheeses. Tragically, the CDC failed to report that 8 children have died since 1998 from allergic reactions to perfectly pasteurized milk!!!

    Yes…check for yourself. Pasteurized milk is the #1 most allergenic food in America!!!

    Double check your research. There is a smart reason moms feed their kids raw milk. It is delicious and far safer than pasteurized allergenic and non digestible processed industrial waste.

    The markets show this clearly. Pasteurized milk is done. Raw milk sales are skyrocketing!!!

    Mark McAfee

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