Dairy Farming in New Jersey: Good News and Bad News

I grew up in New Jersey so I have a soft spot for anything happening in my home state, even though I no longer live there.

First the good news: Because people care more about what they consume, they are more likely to buy raw milk from local farmers instead of pasteurized milk bought in grocery stores and supplied by large dairy farms.

The bad news? The sale of  raw, or unpasteurized, milk is illegal in New Jersey. And, it’s illegal to move raw milk across state lines. Because people are willing to pay a premium for raw milk, and the demand for pasteurized milk is down, New Jersey dairy farmers are suffering.

According to The New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration banned the interstate sale of raw milk 22 years ago. The agency calls unpasteurized milk and related products “inherently dangerous,” warning that they could contain a host of potentially lethal pathogens, including salmonella, E. coli and listeria. But individual states regulate how unpasteurized milk is produced, bought and sold within their borders, and just over half allow its sale in some form. Now, the weak market for pasteurized milk and its effect on dairy farmers is motivating some states to reconsider their ban.

Read the article in The New York Times.


2 responses to “Dairy Farming in New Jersey: Good News and Bad News

  1. In Texas, where I live, the sale of raw milk is legal, from what I can gather. However, it has to be picked up at the farm. Also, the city where I live discourages restaurants from purchasing or cooking with raw milk, ever. Buying or using raw milk is something that must be “corrected”, according to the food safety guidelines here.
    This means it’s not even allowed to be sold at the farmer’s market. 😦

    • Thanks for your comment, Laura. In Michigan the only way to get raw milk is through a cow share. This week, Michigan Radio did a segment about raw milk in our state. There continue to be opposing view points!

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