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The Raw Milk Answer Book

Finally, a serious and candid conversation about raw milk, unlike any that has ever occurred in the many years since raw milk became a subject of contentious debate. The Raw Milk Answer Book raises the most difficult questions surrounding our most controversial food--about the risk of getting seriously ill, whether it should be fed to children, the credibility of European research indicating raw milk has important healing powers --and answers them in calm, non-ideological terms, understandable to beginners and experienced drinkers alike. It is an engaging conversation, unblinking in its focus on real-world data, unafraid to take issue with wild claims on either side of the raw milk controversy. So controversial is raw milk that obtaining believable information about it has become nearly impossible. On one side, proponents often portray raw milk as a miracle food. In their view, it strengthens the immune system so as to reduce our incidence of health problems small and large--from colds and flu to cancer, diabetes, asthma and allergies--and being extremely safe to boot. On the other side, opponents portray raw milk as having no more health or nutritional value than the pasteurized variety that can be bought in any supermarket. They also view it as one of the most dangerous foods known to mankind--so inherently dangerous it can kill you. Obviously, both sides can't be correct. What is the real story? The Raw Milk Answer Book provides the real story by answering more than 200 of the most common questions that come up about raw milk. It is objective and fair. I took the question-and-answer approach because, whenever I tell people that I write and report about raw milk, I am nearly always asked a long list of questions. For example: -Is it safe? -Is it really healthier than pasteurized milk? -Can I get the same nutritional benefits by drinking pasteurized organic milk? -Is raw milk legal to sell in my state? -How do I locate a source to buy it from? -What is a herd share or cow share arrangement? -How do I determine if a particular dairy is producing safe raw milk? -Should I serve raw milk to my children to improve their health? -If there is even a single child getting sick from raw milk, shouldn't it be banned? -What if my spouse and I adamantly disagree about serving raw milk to our family? One question stands out, though: Why is a book necessary to help decide whether to consume a particular food? We don't have books (beyond recipe books) to help people decide whether they want to eat hamburgers or peanut butter or cantaloupe or raw spinach or even pasteurized milk, even though each of these foods has made many people, including children, very sick, and actually killed some. So polarized has the debate become, and so intractable are the positions, that individuals trying to make an informed decision about whether to commit to raw milk aren't sure what to do or whom to believe. Prominent readers of my book are enthusiastic that I have helped bridge this wide gap. Here are some of their comments: From Virginia farmer and author Joel Salatin: "Gumpert churns out every answer to every conceivable question in the raw milk controversy. A delightful must-read." From Joseph Heckman, Ph.D. Professor Soil Science, Rutgers University, Past Chair of the Organic Management Systems Community in the American Society Agronomy. "David Gumpert explains in clear and lucid prose why more people are making raw drinking milk their personal choice. And beyond that, he provides valuable guidance on food safety, a review of the evidence for health benefits, and sound advice on sourcing this special food." From Mark Kastel, co-founder and Senior Farm Policy Analyst, Cornucopia Institute: "Thanks to journalist David Gumpert for writing such an easily digestible primer on such a complex subject."
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About the Author

David E. Gumpert is a journalist who specializes in health and food issues. He is the author of two other books about food civil rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat (2013), and The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights (2009). Both books include a preface by farmer Joel Salatin. He has written for a number of online publications, including Modern Farmer, Alternet, Grist and Huffington Post. His popular blog, The Complete Patient (, has since 2006 aggressively covered a number of health and food rights issues, focusing heavily on regulatory excesses involving raw milk and food safety. It has been instrumental in launching a national discussion about restrictions on the availability of unpasteurized dairy products, and in highlighting an emerging debate over food rights. A previous book was co-authored with his aunt, about his family's experiences during the Holocaust: Inge: A Girl's Journey Through Nazi Europe. David is also a well-known business writer, having authored or co-authored seven books about various aspects of entrepreneurship and running a small business. His most recent business book, Burn Your Business Plan! What Investors Really Want from Entrepreneurs, provides entrepreneurs with concrete guidance for going beyond written business plans to attract investor interest. It has been widely praised by entrepreneurs, investors, and academics alike, and is used as a teaching tool in many business schools. He has also run several businesses. In 1995, he co-founded an Internet marketing company that grew to 20 employees and was acquired in late 1999 by a public corporation. It was David's business experience writing about and running small businesses that stimulated his interest in food civil rights. He understood that small farms are often struggling businesses, and concluded that government attacks on small farms over raw milk and private food sales impede their ability to compete and survive. Prior to his book-writing and entrepreneurship career, he spent nine years as a staff reporter with The Wall Street Journal and seven years as small business editor of the Harvard Business Review. He was also a senior editor of Inc. Magazine. His bachelor's degree is in political science from the University of Chicago, and he has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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