"By milk I mean safe milk," says Alfred W. McCann, "and, the only scientific way of insuring safety is by the process of pasteurizing."
McCann knows that safe milk depends upon: (1) a healthy cow, (2) proper food, sunshine, fresh air and exercise for the cow, (3) clean handling. He knows that healthy dairy cows are extremely rare; that no dairy cow is properly nourished; that their food is always denatured and unbalanced; and that milk is not always handled in a way to keep it clean. What then does he mean by calling pasteurized milk, "safe." He means this:
If the cow is sick pasteurize the milk and use it.
If the milk is deficient, due to a deficient diet or to lack of sunshine, pasturize it and use it.
If the milk is dirty, paseturize it and use it.
The false sense of security that the process of pasteurization gives people, who use such milk, is only one of the evils of this process. It puts a premium upon carelessness and uncleanness in the handling of milk.
In the process of pasteurizing, milk is heated to 145 degrees F.,
and maintained at this temperature for a half hour, or longer. This
produces some very important changes in the milk itself, none of which
are beneficial. The process is intended to destroy bacteria which are
supposed to cause disease. It does destroy
some of the germs in milk, including the lactic acid bacilli, which are the natural protectors of the milk. The destruction of these lactic acid bacteria allows the milk to rot--it will not sour.
The Welch's Bacillus and various putrefaction germs are present in pasteurized milk and, due to the absence of the protective lactic acid germs, these set up putrefaction in the milk, which then becomes poisonous. Diarrhea is perhaps only the least of troubles resulting from such poisoning.
Many bacteria or their spores are not killed, even by boiling. I put no stock in the germ theory, but it was this theory that started this pasteurizing monkey-work, and I want to show its folly, even from this angle. Dr. Chas. Sanford Porter, who is considered an authority on milk, declares that pasteurization destroys the lactic-acid forming bacteria and that "these bacteria are not dangerous to health, and the methods of restraining or destroying them are without effect on the bacteria of consumption, typhoid, or other fevers that might contaminate milk in certain places."
Dr. Kellogg declares that:-- "Present methods of controlling the milk supply are by no means entirely satisfactory. This is especially true as regards the bacteriological examination of the milk. At the present time this examination usually extends no further than the determination of the total number of bacteria present except when a special research is undertaken. The number of bacteria present is no criteria whatever of the character of the milk as regards safety to life and health. In general the greater number of bacteria present are ordinary sour milk germs which are entirely harmless."
So much for that; let us come now to the changes in the milk itself. These are the serious effects of pasteurization. If pasteurization only killed a few harmless germs nobody could offer any objection to it.
There is a great and physiologically important reduction of the bone-nourishing salts of the milk. calacim-magnesium carbonophosphate is broken up into its constituent salts and at least three of these--calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate and calcium carbonate--are practically insoluble and their usefulness almost destroyed.
There is a partial coagulation of the milk protein, the coagulated portion being precipitated with the salt, and the milk albumen being practically destroyed as food. This destruction of the protein and disturbance of the mineral balance of the milk destroys much of its food value. That food quality to which the term vitamin C has been given, is also destroyed by pasteurization. The sugars are broken down and to some extent the colloids are agglutinated. The original structure of the milk is broken down and there is a slightly reduced cream line. The chemistry and physical structure of the milk are altered. its growth-promoting and life-sustaining qualities are greatly impared. It is more unfit as food than raw milk.