Raw milk becomes more readily available in North Dakota

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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BOTTINEAU, N.D. (KMOT) - The way people consumed milk changed in 1862, with the advent of pasteurization. Prior to that, drinking raw milk was the norm.

Thanks to a new law passed by the North Dakota Legislature this past session, it’s now easier for North Dakotans to enjoy milk the old-fashioned way.

Your News Leader spoke with a producer who’s selling dairy products to a lot of new customers thanks to this change.

Peter Bartlett has a herd of sixteen cows he milks twice a day.

His Jersey, Brown Swiss and Guernsey breeds are producing something more and more North Dakotans are craving.

“The biggest reason people come to us is their kids can’t tolerate dairy,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett said anyone with dairy sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance or a different food allergy, can usually tolerate raw milk.

“According to the FDA, pasteurized milk is the number one food allergy in the U.S. When you don’t pasteurize or homogenize, then raw dairy becomes the number one healing food to help relieve asthma, allergies, eczema, and all kinds of gut-related disorders,” said Bartlett.

The North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services had a different opinion.

“I can’t stress enough that there’s a risk in consuming raw milk. Not every single person is going to become ill from consuming raw milk but that one time can be a very potentially life-changing event,” said Slate Boyer, a foodborne epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bartlett said they have more than 200 that prefer purchasing raw milk straight from the farm.

Milk goes straight from the utter into a bottle, and then it’s delivered to families across the region.

“We have about seven delivery drivers that work with us, so we call it the raw milk Uber. So you show up with your car, you take a load of coolers, and you sign into the app and deliver it to the doorstep in your neighborhood,” said Bartlett.

A gallon of Bartlett Farms raw milk, including delivery, costs $25.

“That’s something that gives me the most joy, is to see families thriving as a result of the milk that we produce here on our farm,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett also said there are ten raw milk dairy producers in North Dakota.

To find one near you, go to www.realmilk.com.

The Department of Health and Human Services spoke in opposition to the passage of the bill making raw milk more available to North Dakota consumers.

If you’re interested in what the agency said are the myths and risks of drinking raw milk, click here.

To find out more about Bartlett Farms’ raw milk, visit their website.