IAFP History Timeline
100 Year Anniversary
  • Motivation for Unpasteurized Milk Consumption in Michigan, 2011

  • Angela Renee Katafiasz, Paul Bartlett

  • Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 124-128, March 2012
  • Volume 32, Issue 3

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It is largely unknown why some consumers prefer raw milk over pasteurized milk. We conducted a survey to determine the demographics of those who consume raw milk in Michigan and to summarize their reasons for preferring raw milk to pasteurized milk. Questionnaires were mailed to raw milk producers, who distributed them to their cow- or goat-share members, and 56 (35%) were completed and returned by mail. The typical raw milk consumer in Michigan is a well-educated adult in his/her late 20s. Stated motivations for preferring unpasteurized milk included a desire to support local farms, taste preference, and a belief that raw milk is more healthful and digestible than processed milk. The majority of respondents believed that drinking raw milk is beneficial for relieving allergies, intestinal diseases and digestive problems. Only 4 (7.1%) generally trusted recommendations made by state health officials regarding which foods are safe to eat. Further research is needed regarding the hypothesized health benefits of raw milk and the reasons that some people prefer to drink raw milk when pasteurized milk is more convenient and less expensive.