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My Milk Is Frummer Than Yours

 

Or: My milk is only legal in 28 states
Or: My Chalav Yisrael milk won’t spoil 30 seconds after I leave the store

More on raw milk: link.

This is a real ad in last week’s Torah Times (click on image to enlarge):

 

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Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

 
The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
 

59 Responses

  1. GIL:

    “Or: My Chalav Yisrael milk won’t spoil 30 seconds after I leave the store”

    well now we know you have nothing to do with kitchen-related matters in your home, because if you did then you wouldn’t be so bold to brag about the shelf life of CY milk :)
    you probably shouldn’t be bragging about the shelf life of your conventional CY milk.

  2. Hirhurim says:

    I was making fun of this ad’s claims.

  3. Ari Enkin says:

    …sickening

    Ari Enkin

  4. Eskimo says:

    Um, don’t they pasteurize milk so you don’t die when you drink it? A

    As to the CY milk spoiling, I know someone who used to be in the kosher milk business, and it was ALL shtick and corruption. The dates are a joke. On the other hand, I bought CY milk in Baltimore b/f Pesach, and it was still fine two weeks after. I think there is less shtick here. (Maybe they can get the new “Kosher / Yosher” hechsher.)

  5. Mike S. says:

    If the mashgiach is bragging about being machmir to go to mikveh every day for no particular reason he is a ba’al yuhara and should be removed from his post. If he is bragging that he needs to go to mikveh because he is choshesh for takkanas Ezra despite it being removed, he is both a ba’al yuhara and a ba’al aveira and should be removed from his post. And if he is trying to signal that he is a good chosid unlike the mashgichim on other dairies he is both violating several Torah prohibitions against lashon hara and thinking ill of others and is also a ba’al yuhara and should be removed from his post.

  6. Rafael Araujo says:

    You guys do know that unpasteurized milk is all the rage today, frum, Jewish, or not…not like I would drink it. Just sayin’.

  7. Mike, yehura is a bad trait; but where in halacha do we find it invalidates someone as a witness or mashgiah?

    As for ad’s claims: I am not familiar with ‘most’ milks having preservatives. Certainly not west of the Delaware River. The pasteurization process extends the milk’s life by removing bacteria that would hasten the spoiling. For longer shelf-life without refrigeration, ultra-pasteurization is used.

    We occasionally drank fresh raw milk on kibbutz as a treat. It wasn’t recommended, but folks did it anyway. It does have a different taste, even when refrigerated. I don’t think I’d want to be responsible for distributing it to others, though. http://www.dairyforall.com/milkborne-diseases.php I most definitely would not teach my patients to drink raw milk without testing for pathogens.

    As for the ‘frummer’ claims in the ads – simply ridiculous. What, are they now going to disparage all the other mashgihim of present and previous generations whose personal dedication and sacrifice made the widespread availability of kosher food possible? Or are they making some idiotic claim that the mashigiah’s qualifications are effected by whether or not he went to mikvah? They didn’t mention of the mashigihim put on Rabbenu Tam’s, or is that a given? Hashem yishmor.

  8. ABK says:

    Cue the Libertarian/Anti-Vac Raw Milk advocates in 3… 2… 1…

  9. MDJ says:

    Mike S.
    FWIW, I think the grammatically mangled description of their supervision indicated that there are more than one mashgiach, and that hte claim is being made by the owner (Smeel?), not an individual who feels superior for going to the mikvah.

  10. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    “Comes from cows that are free to walk, graze, and play on grass?”

    – But do they play ball on Shabbos?
    :)

  11. Mike S. says:

    OK. And I probably over reacted. But if you are using your (or your employee’s) adherence to a chumra to disparage the behavior of other frum Jews (i.e. the masgichim at other dairies) and claim that your milk is therefore “more kosher” the kindest thing one can say is that one is using the chumra improperly, as a way to feel superior rather than as a way to improve one’s avodas Hashem.

  12. IH says:

    So, what %’age of the demographic that can parse the “kashrut” bullet can afford to spend $12/gallon on milk?

  13. grant says:

    Does the fact that this is all-natural milk mean that the milk is just as it came out of the cow, with what we would call the cream?

  14. emma says:

    Most raw milk providers don’t exactly advertise in newspapers – it’s a black market, after all (or, with “cow-shares,” sometimes a gray-ish market…). What does it say about Shmeel’s midset that he is not concerned about publcizing this? (I would say it suggests he assumes no one in authority is paying attention to the Torah Times, and has not considered that someone would post it on the internet…)

  15. Rafael Araujo says:

    Oh, he also spelled Shmeel incorrectly. It’s spelled “Shmiel” with an “i”, not to ee’s.

  16. Jordan says:

    Interesting intersection of the crunchy-granola and the super-machmir here. In Canada there is a big controversy about raw milk — it is illegal to sell un-pasteurized milk in Ontario but one farmer has done so repeatedly and has been taken to court.

    Organic pasteurized milk costs about $10 per gallon in Toronto so this price doesn’t seem far off the mark, even though milk is generally cheaper in the USA. Then again, antibiotics are not used for dairy farming in Canada, so the distinction between “organic” and conventional milk is not as clear.

  17. I concur with Mike S. This us truly ridiculous.

  18. IH says:

    “In Connecticut, you can buy it in retail stores; New Jersey bans it outright; and in New York, raw milk can be purchased only on the premises of certified farms that are subject to rigorous monthly inspections. (See the next page for several reputable farms; there’s a complete list at realmilk.com.) Here in the city, drinkers usually participate in delivery clubs, which have a middleman purchase a large quantity of milk at the farm and truck it in. This is not legal, so the clubs are usually underground. But with minimal Googling, I found one that would deliver to me at home in Brooklyn, no questions asked.”

    http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/65483/

  19. yoram says:

    Hirhurim on May 16, 2011 at 8:21 am
    I was making fun of this ad’s claims.

    There are enough blogs that are looking to disparage. Why not keep your blog on it’s intellectually stimulating plateau, rather than stoop to this.

  20. HAGTBG says:

    As discussed below this person is not merely advertising an illegal activity but is asking people to frivolously spend their money.

    They take EBT cards, i.e. the card for food stamps. For $12 per gallon milk. This is how a person on food stamps should be spending their money?!

    The FDA view of raw milk: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm079516.htm (Hint: the FDA is against it.)

    The area code is a NY one. The New York rules for raw milk can be found here: http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/di/PDF%20WebDocs/RawMilkRegsPart2.pdf

    Basically raw milk can only be sold (i) on the farm, (ii) directly to the consumer only and (iii) with signs nearby stating “Notice:Raw milk sold here. Raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization.”

  21. Noodle says:

    Reminds me of the old Polish joke of the guy who dies while drinking milk – the cow sat on him. (change milk for water and cow for toilet seat and you can make the joke more vulgar).

    With regard to milk spoilage – while we do not do Cholov Yisroel, we have only had CY Milk for two decades. Assuming the store you buy in knows what to do with the milk after delivery (e.g., not leave it out in the sun) you won’t have spoilage problems.

  22. Yosef says:

    yoram on May 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Hirhurim on May 16, 2011 at 8:21 am
    I was making fun of this ad’s claims.

    There are enough blogs that are looking to disparage. Why not keep your blog on it’s intellectually stimulating plateau, rather than stoop to this.

    i agree with yoram. there’s no need for this–there’s enough division in klal yisroel already and we don’t need to widen it by disparaging other people

  23. grant says:

    again i will ask –does anyone know the (approximate) fat content of this type of milk?

  24. MJ says:

    I want to drink milk from cows who toivel daily and make minyan. I could care less about the mashgiach.

  25. HAGTBG says:

    Disparaging? Divisions in Klal yisrael?! There is a reason pasteurization became mandated. There is a reason that NYS only allows the sale of raw milk in a very, very limited circumstance.

    This is a health issue first of all. First, these people clearly are not following regulations. If they were, they’d know what they were advertising was, in fact, illegal. Second, that must mean they assume NYS will not inspect them. So you can not assume the fear of oversight.

    They are selling an unregulated product that is known to be prone to cause illness and disease. If they are not following the rules there is NO reason to assume they are keeping this milk in the required conditions to limit spoilage.

    This is not the division of klal yisrael. Stopping this is to the benefit of all of klal yisrael.

    Moreover, they are accepting food stamps for $12 per gallon milk? How nice of them to offer this to everyone! You really think this is a good way for anyone on food stamps to spend their money? For the nominally improved taste of the milk to get a product that is double the cost of regular milk and with a much higher risk of causing illness?

    But at least the mashgiach tmidei goes to the ikvah and minyan every day. That makes it all better.

  26. emma says:

    grant,
    milk with “cream” has the same fat content as any whole milk (about 4%). supermarket milk is “homogenized,” meaning the fat is mixed in. un-homogenized milk has the cream floating on the tim, from whence it can be “skimmed” (leaving fat-free-ish skim milk). I don’t know whether raw milk is homogenized or not.

  27. emma says:

    *floating on the top, that is. strange typo.

  28. Anonymous says:

    >Assuming the store you buy in knows what to do with the milk after delivery (e.g., not leave it out in the sun) you won’t have spoilage problems.

    That’s what the cholov companies claim, but it simply isn’t true. There are stores which sell both kinds of milk and handle both kinds. The CY milk spoils quickly but not the regular kind. The problem, whatever it is, happens before it is delivered to stores.

  29. There but for the grace of G-d go you says:

    HAGTBG

    >Moreover, they are accepting food stamps for $12 per gallon milk? How nice of them to offer this to everyone! You really think this is a good way for anyone on food stamps to spend their money? For the nominally improved taste of the milk to get a product that is double the cost of regular milk and with a much higher risk of causing illness?

    I am down on my luck and for the past year have been on food stamps. If we budget well there is a balance at the end of the month. We have been eating like normal human beings (and even meat on one shabbos a months) and thank G-d for food stamps, or at least the government.

    Obviously it would be absurd for me to purchase a gallon of $12 milk once a week. I know I can’t afford it. But are you telling me that I should not on occasion buy something a little indulgent? That if my wife is curious to try this milk we should not buy it? The government applied their calculations to figure out what my family receives for now and as I said there is usually $ left over (unless there is a Yom Tov or something like that). They never said that we can’t have an occasional treat and it’s not a $100 piece of meat.

    Perhaps you didn’t intend this, but I feel that you are slighting people in a very low economic class. No, we should not buy hundreds of dollars worth of chocolate or run out of food money the first week of the month. But who the heck are you to say what we should or should not do with it?

    In terms of the health issue, that is another matter and food stamps have nothing to do with it.

  30. mor says:

    Please read Nourishing Traditions. Chasidic groups have been choshesh for takanas ezra for a couple of centuries already. People on this blog are SO behind the times.

  31. STBO says:

    IMO no sensible person should be drinking raw milk if it can be avoided. In addition to the bacterial activity, raw milk doesn’t contain vitamin D — which is added during the pasteurization process and is instrumental in bone/tooth development and preventing rickets in children (….and osteoporosis in adults).

    The FDA is explicit that raw milk poses health risks and contains no nutritional advantage over pasteurized milk. It presents an especial hazard to children and pregnant women.

    The “lasts 4 times longer” claim is deceptive. Raw milk sours much faster as a result of the acids produced by the bacteria, even if proper “spoilage” may take longer depending on the extent of bacterial colonization. And perfect refrigeration, even in a sealed container, doesn’t prevent the souring. Since none of the bacteria were killed they remain active and feisty.

    But hey, if it’s worth 12 bucks a gallon to boast that your child’s hazardous milk is produced at a factory overseen by a mashgiach who goes to the mikveh every day….

  32. Rafael Araujo says:

    My experience with CY milk here in Toronto is that it lasts just as long if not longer than Cholov HaComapanies. Mehadrin from Montreal.

  33. STBO says:

    Yosef on May 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm:
    >“i agree with yoram. there’s no need for this–there’s enough division in klal yisroel already and we don’t need to widen it by disparaging other people”

    I think there’s indeed a need for disparagement, disdain, ridicule and mockery to be directed at people who encourage Bnai Yisrael to waste their money and endanger their children’s health on hazardous products, old-wives tales and religious showmanship.

  34. grant says:

    emma–

    thanks. i just drink skim milk from the grocery store and unhomogenized milk is from before my time so I don’t know these details.

  35. emma says:

    “In terms of the health issue, that is another matter and food stamps have nothing to do with it.”
    (1) i appreciate your perspective on the initial comment – thank you for adding.

    (2) there is still an issue with accepting EBT here: it seems to me that it would very likely invovle some sort of misrepresentation/fraud to get the gov’t to pay for something it’s illegal to sell…

  36. Charlie Hall says:

    “…sickening”

    Literally!

    “For longer shelf-life without refrigeration, ultra-pasteurization is used.”

    I drink only the ultra-pasteurized Lactaid milk.

    “there’s enough division in klal yisroel already and we don’t need to widen it by disparaging other people”

    This is a pikuach nefesh issue. Raw milk is great for growing bacteria cultures, not for drinking.

  37. HAGTBG says:

    There but for the grace of G-d go you,

    I apologize if any slight was taken as none was meant. Obviously I don’t see there being any social benefit to selling this product to anyone and certainly not to let people who are watching their bottom line carefully have the option to buy a product that is both unsafe and expensive. Similarly, I think it is absurd for tax money to be indirectly subsidizing the product. That being said, the societal issues here does not mean I think it best to micromanage individual purchase.

  38. HAGTBG says:

    If Shmeel’s Milk was meant for customer’s outside NY this also a violation of federal rules set up by the FDA.

    21 CFR 131: All milk used as a beverage must be pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized.

    21 CFR 1240.61: Interstate commerce of unpasteurized milk is prohibited unless it uses some approved alternative to pasteurization.

    On the basis of the above a farmer in PA is currently being prosecuted for selling raw milk over state lines to Maryland & DC.

  39. Noodle says:

    To Anonymous on May 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm
    “>Assuming the store you buy in knows what to do with the milk after delivery (e.g., not leave it out in the sun) you won’t have spoilage problems.

    That’s what the cholov companies claim, but it simply isn’t true. There are stores which sell both kinds of milk and handle both kinds. The CY milk spoils quickly but not the regular kind. The problem, whatever it is, happens before it is delivered to stores.”

    I find that the only people who say this are those who don’t drink CY and are looking to justify their reasoning. No, I do not want to turn this into a “should you or shoudn’t you drink CY” and have all the Fans of Rav Moshe’s psak (though the same people likely ignore his tuna fish Psak) come out of the woodwork. All I can say is that over the past 18 years living in the 5T I can probably count the number of times I had to pour spoiled milk down the drain using my fingers.

  40. There but for the grace of G-d go you says:

    HAGTBG, maybe I was too hasty in my comments. Thank you for your clarification – apology accepted, if any was needed.

  41. HeshmanX says:

    HAGTBG you are very knowlegable of your information. Just courious, how do you know? There is also the PMO that has to be met to meet the IMS standards.

  42. HAGTBG says:

    Just courious, how do you know?

    At this point you are as knowledgeable as I. I looked it up.

  43. HeshmanX says:

    by chance does anyone know where the milk is comming from? Beside everything else if its to high in bacteria= Lo Bari if its not heathy it also means its traif.

  44. MDJ says:

    Not healthy = Treif???

  45. layman says:

    “not healthy” means a lot of things… but if something is known to make you really sick, I would think it would fall under the same category as not being allowed to smoke.. i.e. not something you can eat, or in the vernacular, “treif”

  46. MDJ says:

    Layman,
    You do realize that almost no one holds that it is assur to smoke, don’t you.

  47. Isaac Balbin says:

    I’m pretty sure he’d be eligible for the conservative hechsher tzedek. Someone should hat tip them.

  48. STBO says:

    Noodle on May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I find that the only people who say this are those who don’t drink CY and are looking to justify their reasoning….. over the past 18 years living in the 5T I can probably count the number of times I had to pour spoiled milk down the drain using my fingers.

    In some locales outside the 5T, unfortunately, the CY quality situation is not as rosy.

  49. chardal says:

    Why are you making fun? Their community is entitled to have their own standards for hashgacha. Just because you think that it is enough to have mashgichim who are neeman based on the shulchan aruch, does not mean that they can not add new standards to fight the real halachic issue of someone who is not yarei shamaim being on the farm. Someone who can not be trusted to keep the pigs at bay and only allow the cows to be milked.

  50. Nachum says:

    “But who the heck are you to say what we should or should not do with it?”

    If someone is paying for another’s food, yes, he does have a right to say what food is consumed.

  51. Anonymous says:

    >I find that the only people who say this are those who don’t drink CY and are looking to justify their reasoning.

    Nice. And I find that for many years I bought CY milk that spoiled, and when on occasion I have no choice and buy CY milk I find that it continues to spoil. Many of my friends say the same thing, including those who only drink CY anyway.

    >No, I do not want to turn this into a “should you or shoudn’t you drink CY” and have all the Fans of Rav Moshe’s psak (though the same people likely ignore his tuna fish Psak) come out of the woodwork. All I can say is that over the past 18 years living in the 5T I can probably count the number of times I had to pour spoiled milk down the drain using my fingers.

    The reason why one can drink non-CY milk does not begin or end with RMF. The Pri Chodosh is chopped liver? And even he was not the first one, since his whole thing is the edus that in Amsterdam they were not makpid. Furthermore, do you think Orthodox American Jews did not drink non-CY milk before RMF? R. Henkin permitted it earlier as well. So RMF and tuna fish is irrelevant.

  52. IH says:

    Looking at the RCA site, I just noticed this 2010 statement apropos this thread and the recent discussions on Magen Tzedek: http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?id=105520

    “Among the provisions of the guidelines are:
    • All US kashrut agencies are urged to adopt transparent policies for withdrawing approval from companies engaged in significant wrongdoing.
    • Kashrut inspectors should have clear procedures for reporting to agencies on problems they encounter.
    • Effective and equitable responses to reports of wrongdoing should be developed and implemented. There should be fair and equitable policies for following up on any problems detected.
    • The Task Force also released sample materials to help ease adoption of the guidelines. In particular, they provide sample contract language for agencies to formalize their expectation of companies under their supervision that kashrus approval is dependent on law-abiding behavior, and a sample training module for kosher agency staff

    The guidelines include a list of legal offenses which should be considered significant wrongdoing, including
    • misleading the consumer
    • neglecting the health and safety of the customer, employees, or the public; and
    • mistreatment of animals.”

  53. Y. Aharon says:

    I note that nothing is mentioned in the posted blurb about methods used to insure that the raw milk is derived from perfectly healthy cows and is hygenic. The emphasis is on the alleged happiness of the cows, the ‘wholesomeness’ of any contained bactera, and the frumkeit of the mashgichim. I second those who advocate avoiding such a product.

  54. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    i’m not going to read all the posts now, but i see he has a minyan of cows to daven shacharit. mincha — sometimes. maariv — only when its sfira.

    2. seriously — back in sleep away camp days (in the end of the catskills) they served for a couple of weeks “country bottled milk” chalav yisrael. it said on the carton that its only authorized for sale in the catskills, its NOT pasteurized, and it has a two day shelf life. it was VERY DELICIOUS. you could tell how fresh, etc it was. too bad we cant get it now.

  55. Daniel Kronengold says:

    Perhaps the general thrust of the raw milk sale is wrong, but the ad does bring up a few important issues. First of all, the grain diet of farm cows tends to be unhealthy and anti-environmental. Also, I spoke to a fellow who worked as a dairy CY mashgiach, and it sounds like it was a Gehinnom–involving living life in isolation, without even davening in a shul on Shabbos. And being withhold pay by the “frum” dairy owner.

  56. Roland Thomson says:

    Louis Pasteur must be turning over in his grave.

  57. c y says:

    Can this milk be drunk Pesach Sheni cake

  58. zalman says:

    isn’t it possible that this is a hoax?

  59. Þanbo says:

    My milk/ brings all the rovs to the yard/
    and that’s right, it’s frummer than yours
    that’s right, it’s frummer than yours
    I could milk some, but I’d have to charge

    Sorry, but that’s what the headline suggested – a rather dirty/suggestive song.

    On a more serious note, where does this milk come from? The ad doesn’t say.

    Apparently, I had a great-uncle named Shmeelik Grynszpan, who was a farmer in Sullivan County. The family was still upstate when my parents visited them like 40 years ago, but I have no idea where they are now.

 
 

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