Last week I posted an article about the debate surrounding raw milk. I was trying to understand the emotional intensity behind the debate a little bit better. However, this week I would like to point out that I think the raw milk debate is just heating up, because raw milk found its way into a prime time summer series (Royal Pains, on USA Network). Debates have an interesting way of starting in a small subsection of the population and then becoming part of popular culture. I think that once popular culture has developed an opinion then action can be taken (generally legal or policy actions). However, acting before the society is ready often leads to reversals and a lot of tension.
On the show a farmer owner was sick. As usual Dr. Hank didn’t know what was wrong with her. He asked her about raw milk and explained that some bacterium and viruses can be passed from the cow to humans using the milk as a vector. As the farmer’s condition deteriorated, the doctor insisted that the farm vet come over immediately and inspect the animals, so that he could better treat the patient. At the end of the episode we learn the cause of her illness. It had nothing to do with raw milk. The vet never appears and that aspect of the plot was quickly dropped. But it was there.
From this it looks like raw milk doesn’t have a good reputation in the media… but only time will tell. I never expected to see raw milk on any TV show that I watch.