Those of you who keep up with my 365 Project might remember a post I made at the end of July about raw milk. Since that time, I got connected with another farm and had been getting between 1 and 2 gallons each week. For all the reasons I stated in the 365 post (and more), I really felt like I was doing something good for my family by getting milk straight from a source I trusted. I knew there were risks, but the benefits seemed to outweigh them. Raw milk is nutritionally superior to pasteurized milk, and I stand behind that statement.
When we left for Seattle, Wyatt was battling a bit of diarrhea. After a doctor recommended my mom (my parents stayed with the kids while we were gone) cut dairy out of his diet to give his gut a break, his symptoms cleared up. We didn’t know what the problem was, but were glad it was taken care of. The day after we got home, I got really sick. I also had diarrhea, and felt quite nauseated. Four days later, Markus was showing similar symptoms. At that point I went to see a doctor and he had some tests done. He seemed sure it was viral, but ordered the tests just to be sure. Public health called me the following week to inform me I had Cryptosporidium. I had to give a play-by-play of what and where I had eaten while we were on the west coast, so they could check other databases and see if my information matched up with any other reported cases. I assumed I had picked it up in Seattle, that Markus got it from me, and Wyatt’s illness was unrelated.
So what does this have to do with raw milk? Maybe nothing, maybe everything.
Maybe my initial thoughts were correct – maybe Wyatt’s problem was unrelated. Maybe I became infected on our trip, and maybe I passed it on to Markus.
Maybe the milk made us all sick. Markus got sick only 4 days after me, and the average crypto illness shows symptoms 7-10 days after infection. The timing of everyone’s sickness doesn’t seem to compute if it were unrelated to the milk.
I really don’t know where this came from, but I do feel unsettled about the milk now. Given the possibility that it made us sick, I’m not interested in taking the chance that we could get sick with something else. If it was crypto this time, what next – listeria? No thanks.
To be honest, I didn’t even want to post about this. I was fighting a battle, sticking it to The Man who said I couldn’t drink unpasteurized milk if i wanted to. Oh yeah, you wanna bet?! I was triumphant about beating the system and coming out of it with food that I felt was better for us. Now I have reasonable enough doubts to say it was perhaps not the best idea. I’m okay with that. Don’t we all do things that are unwise? While I sometimes feel like I’m out to prove something, I guess this just goes to show that all I’m proving is that I don’t know everything, and there is always room for us to learn and grow. And I’ll grow in spite of my pasteurized milk.