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Author Topic: Blood/Pus in Cow's Milk
Electrotiger
Deck the Malls


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A pair of friends last night gave me all the reasons why they've switched to "organic milk," because in commercially milked cow's milk there's "pus and blood and bacteria and they have to mix in white dye to get rid of the red and yellow colors."

There is of course the "bloody milk is made into chocolate milk" UL, but this is the first I've ever heard anyone claim of milk producers putting dye into their product, because apparently it's so discolored from pus and blood.

A quick search on the Goog firstly turns up lots of pages detailing the strict rules of cleanliness and stringent testing processes that milk harvesting goes through, but some further digging turns up a bevy of pages, mostly of he "OMG MILK IS GROSS!!!11!!11!!" vareity, with many of them making cites to such unbiased pages as www.milkisdangerous.com or www.does-a-body-bad.org and other similar sites. (I just made up those URLs, but the real ones aren't much classier. Here's a good example of the common complaints.)

The big issues that these people are claiming seems to be the "somatic cell" (which they are equating with "pus") content of milk, which comes from "infected udders" of cows that have been given antibiotics or hormones to aid in milk production.

Call me crazy, but aren't somatic cells simply a sort of body cell that (duh) would be naturally occuring in any sort of lactation? Just because there's a somatic cell component, doesn't mean it's the yellow/white liquid that's associated with blisters and/or wounds, right?

The whole claim seems like claptrap to me. Some of these people are claiming that there's a "milk danger cover-up" and the big diary conglomerates (the evil mercantile powerhouses that they are) are using such rouses as "get strong bones with calcium" and "protien is good for you" as excuses to keep millions of children hooked on their products.

(my apologies for the gratuitious use of "quotation marks")

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tribrats
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I grew up on dairy farms. If a cow is on any medication, it is milked into a separate container and the milk disposed of. Same with a cow that is infected or sick. If a sick/infected/medicated cow is milked into the common tank, the whole tank is disposed of and the tank sterilized. If it makes it into the truck, the truck-worth is disposed of and truck sterilized, etc right on up. (Sometimes it isn't discovered until after milking that a cow is sick.)

Edited to remove "at all" and to clarify that there are some medications that are fine for the cow and won't be excreted into the milk (just like in humans).

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Ouch My Ankle
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I second your claptrap evaluation. If anything there's probably more gross junk in the "organic" stuff. Also, I don't think there is such a thing as a white dye.
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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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This is a long shot, but for the sake of the arguement, let's assume that the "ickies" described above actually make it into milk.

Wouldn't pasteurization just kill it off anyway? [Smile]

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tribrats
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I don't know much about the pasteurization side of the process but I remember as a kid being told to make sure that I clean, disinfect the teat well both before and after putting the milking machine on. The reason being that e-coli was the biggest risk to the milk. We also gave each teat a pull to make sure there was no dirt present and to assist in the milk dropping. This also allowed you to see the milk and if there was anything questionable going on. (It was squirted into a can with a screen on top so you could see if there was anything easier.)

Don't know if this answers any questions, but I hope it helps. I know that this goes back a few years but if anything, I would think that rules are even stricter now.

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Chickee Daizy
Live and Let Madai


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quote:
Originally posted by Electrotiger:
Call me crazy, but aren't somatic cells simply a sort of body cell that (duh) would be naturally occuring in any sort of lactation? Just because there's a somatic cell component, doesn't mean it's the yellow/white liquid that's associated with blisters and/or wounds, right?

I found this website that has a lot of info about somatic cells in milk.

quote:
The somatic cell count (SCC) is commonly used as a measure of milk quality. Somatic cells are simply animal body cells present at low levels in normal milk. High levels of these cells in milk indicate abnormal, reduced-quality milk that is caused by an intramammary bacterial infection (mastitis).

The majority of the cells in a somatic cell count are leukocytes (white blood cells), and some are cells from the udder secretory tissue (epithelial cells). The epithelial cells are part of the normal body function and are shed and renewed in normal body processes. The white blood cells serve as a defense mechanism to fight disease (infection), and assist in repairing damaged tissue.

Milk markets routinely rely on somatic cell counts to help ensure a quality product. SCC levels are monitored to assure compliance with state and federal milk quality standards. Today, most markets pay a premium for low SCC, good-quality milk.

I don't think that companies add dye to the milk to make it white; I don't think that milk with blood in it would be acceptable and would be disposed of immediately.

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SkyeTisTheSeasonWynters
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quote:
Originally posted by Ouch My Ankle:
I second your claptrap evaluation. If anything there's probably more gross junk in the "organic" stuff. Also, I don't think there is such a thing as a white dye.

You're absolutely correct (from what I can find):
Dyers like to say that white dye is called water. Dye is transparent, so a white dye would have no effect on the color you place it on top of.

Removing dye from fabric is called discharging. Discharging agents include chlorine bleach and sodium hydrosulfite.
[/QUOTE] (emphasis mine).

I doubt very much that milk is chock full of Clorox. What is that, like Vitamin SC-Johnson?

[lol]

Skye

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Elerinwen
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I live in Argentina, and though it is not heard a thing about blood in milk, some people say that the less known milk producers add water and white dye to their milk to 'multiply' it without having more cows... *shrugs*
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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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CHOW - Chocolate Milk Contains Cow's Blood?

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Joseph Z

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I noticed when I was looking at some cows at the state fair this weekend that there was a sign in the enclosure to the effect of 'No, the cows' teats don't have blood on them; we put iodine on them to keep them from getting infections.'

Wonder if there will be any ZOMG IODINE IN MILK!!!one1!!1 rumors now?

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TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
CHOW - Chocolate Milk Contains Cow's Blood?

Electrotiger already linked to this page.

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