Welcome to this week's installment of "Dairy Good Questions". I've had several good questions come in over the past several days, and I would like to focus on two of those today. I had intended to answer three, but a breakdown on my silage chopper is costing me half of my lunch break. So with that in mind, let's get started...
DGQ #1) Have you ever drank raw milk?
|a refrigerated bulk tank full of raw milk|
Answer: I have, but not many times. There have been occasions in the past when I have collected a couple of quarts from our milk tank to either drink or make ice cream/milkshakes with. If I was to do that now, however, I would pasteurize it first. That would allow to me to keep the extra butterfat while removing potential harmful bacteria in the milk. Truth be told, though, it's a lot easier to buy milk at the store and add some half-and-half if I want to thicken it up.
The safety of raw milk is one of the great debates within the dairy industry, as well as the argument over whether or not consumers should be able to purchase it if they so choose. I have felt relatively comfortable drinking raw milk from my farm because I spend so much time around my cows and are exposed to the same "bugs" that they are. But while I would figure our raw milk would be 99.99% safe for someone else to drink, the consequences of that 0.01% just don't make it worth it. Proper pasteurization provides a food safety aspect that far outweighs any perceived flavor or nutritional benefit gained from drinking raw milk.
DGQ #2) Do your milking devices self-disconnect when cows are finished milking?
Answer: Yes, our milking machines have automatic take-offs which turn off and disconnect the units when a cow finishes milking. In our system, each cow's milk passes through a chamber that contains a pendulum. As milk hits the pendulum, air in another small timing chamber is released. As the milk flow slows to the point it no longer moves the pendulum, the pressure in the timing chamber begins to increase. Once that pressure climbs to a certain level, it triggers a series of valves that first shut off that milking unit's suction and then pulls the unit off and away from the cow's udder.
Until next time, thanks for reading and have a "dairy" good day!