As elsewhere, there are two schools of pure-milk crusaders: (1) those who want cities to do things, to pasteurize all milk, start milk farms, milk shops, or pure-milk dispensaries; and (2) those who want cities and states to get things done. So far the New York Milk Committee has led the second school and has opposed efforts to municipalize the milk business. The leader of the other school is the noted philanthropist, Nathan Strauss, who has established pasteurization plants in several American and European cities. The discussion of the two schools, similar in aim but different in method, is made more difficult, because to question philanthropy's method always seems to philanthropy itself and to most bystanders an ungracious, ungrateful act. As the issue, however, is clean milk, not personal motive, it is important that educators and parents in all communities benefit from the effective propaganda of both schools, using what is agreed upon as the basis for local pure-milk crusades, reserving that which is controversial for final settlement by research over large fields that involve hundreds of thousands of tests.
A New York Milk Committee's Infant Depot And School For Mothers
Pasteurization, municipal dairies, municipal milk shops, municipal infant-milk depots, are the four chief remedies of the doing things school. European experience is cited in support of each. We are told that cow's milk, intended by nature for an infant cow with four stomachs, is not suited, even when absolutely pure, to the human infant's single stomach. Cow's milk should be modified, weakened, diluted, to fit the digestive powers of the individual infant; hence the municipal depot or milk dispensary that provides exactly the right milk for each baby, prescribed by municipal physicians and nurses who know. That the well-to-do and the just-past-infancy may have milk as safe as babies receive at the depot, municipalization of farm and milk shop is advocated. Some want the city to run only enough farms and milk shops to set a standard for private farmers, as has been done in Rochester. This is city ownership and operation for educational purposes only. Finally, because raw milk even from clean dairies may contain germs of typhoid, scarlet fever, or tuberculosis, pasteurization is demanded to kill every germ. There are advocates of pasteurization that deprecate the practice and deny that raw milk is necessarily dangerous; they favor it for the time being until farms and shops have acquired habits of cleanliness. Likewise many would prefer private pasteurization or laws compelling pasteurization of all milk offered for sale; but they despair of obtaining safe milk unless city officials are held responsible for safety. Why wait to discuss political theories about the proper sphere for government, when, by acting, hundreds of thousands of lives can be saved annually? These methods of doing things will not add to the price of milk; it is, in fact, probable that the reduction in the cost of caring for the sick and for inspecting farms and shops will offset the net cost of depots, farms, and dairies.
One Of Rochester's Schools In Cleanliness
Rochester's Model Dairy Farm
As to pasteurization, its cost is negligible, while the cost of cleanliness is two, four, or ten cents a quart. Whether ideally clean milk is safe or not, raw milk that is not clean is unfit for human consumption. All cities should compel evidence of pasteurization as a condition of sale. Large cities should have their own pasteurizing plants, just as many cities now have their own vaccine farms and antitoxin laboratories. Parents in small towns and in the country should be taught to pasteurize all milk.