Unpasteurized milk: Black market and Chalav Yisroel


While visiting friends in Sharon, Mass. a few weeks ago I went along with them one morning to buy milk. This was no ordinary milk. It came from a goat on a private farm raised by a caring woman who feeds her goats organic carrots and provides them with plenty of sunshine, fresh air and movement. Not only was it milked right then and there by my friend and her children but also they drank it straight from the glass jars it had been pumped into without any further processing or pasteurization.

The woman on the farm explained that she used to pasteurize milk, which is the process of heating it to at least 161 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds and then letting it cool in order to kill disease-causing bacteria. Then she discovered the benefits of keeping milk unpasteurized – or raw – such as beneficial bacteria, antibodies and enzymes, which aids better digestion and builds stronger immune systems. Many people have trouble tolerating milk or develop allergies to it but when the enzymes are present and not boiled out they can handle milk just fine.

The trend for unpasteurized milk has been climbing over the past few years and now it’s slowly becoming available for the chalav yisroel market but not without some legal complications. Raw milk in New York sells mostly on the black market and there’s an underground group of people buying chalav yisroel from upstate and selling it to friends in Brooklyn.

There’s a flyer that’s circulating the New York area for raw cow’s milk under the name Shmeel’s Milk, claiming that “most milk is pasteurized, killing good bacteria and vitamins, contains artificial preservatives to make it last longer, comes from cows fed grain and soy to increase production and comes from cows confined in pens with cement.”

Page 1 / 4