The Got MilK Campaign

Got Milk? is a U.S. advertising campaign created in 1993 by the agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Board and later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. This long-running series of print ads features ethnically diverse celebrities, athletes and fictional characters sporting their own "milk mustache”. But what kind of milk are they promoting? And does that kind of milk really "do a body good"?

Pasteurized Milk

The kind of milk this highly decorated campaign endorses is pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, homogenized conventional milk from cows in confinement fed a diet high in soy, grain, bakery waste, pesticide-laden citrus pulp and even pellets containing chicken manure. Pesticides, antibiotics, trans fats, estrogens and similar toxic substances can end up in the milk. Pasteurization or ultra-pasteurization is a quick-heat process that destroys enzymes and immune factors, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Even worse, modern conventional milk has most of the nourishing butterfat removed, and nonfat dried milk – a source of carcinogens and dangerous oxidized cholesterol – added.

In animal studies, raw whole milk promotes healthy bone growth, normal organ formation and good disposition while pasteurized milk results in weak bones, calcification of the organs, high levels of stress and poor coping skills. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly, and many die before maturity.

Raw Milk

The milk that the Got Milk? campaign endorses is not what we call Real Milk. So, what is Real Milk?

  1. Real milk comes from old-fashioned cows that produce lots of butterfat, such as the Jersey and Guernsey.

  2. Real milk comes from herds allowed to graze on green pasture.

  3. Real milk is not pasteurized or homogenized.

  4. Real milk is full-fat milk.

  5. Real milk contains no additives.

Today's milk is accused of causing everything from allergies to heart disease to cancer, but when Americans could buy real milk, these diseases were rare. In fact, a supply of high quality dairy products was considered vital to American security and the economic well-being of the nation.

Is Raw Milk Safe?

Let's look at raw milk safety in California, where the Nourishing Our Children campaign is based.  Currently, there are two commercial raw milk dairies, which are highly regulated and arguably over-regulated.

  1. Organic Pastures – Since 1999, there have been over 40 million servings of Organic Pastures raw milk, yet not one confirmed illness; in over 1,300 tests, there has not one proven illness and no pathogens found in the milk or milking area, or in any of the dairy cows being milked on the farm.

  1. Claravale – In Claravale Farm’s 80-year history, no consumers of their milk have ever gotten sick from milk-borne pathogens and no pathogens have ever been detected in the milk.

  1. Pasteurized Outbreaks– Since 1999, there have been several pasteurized milk products recalled in California and one publicized outbreak of illness due to pasteurized milk during the same period, an outbreak of Campylobacter that sickened 1,300 inmates in 11 state prisons |1|.


Still not convinced?

In California, raw milk must be labeled with the following Government Warning: "Raw, meaning un-pasteurized milk and raw milk dairy products, may contain disease-causing microorganisms.  Persons at highest risk of disease from these organisms include newborns and infants, the elderly, pregnant women, those taking corticosteroids, antibiotics or antacids and those having chronic illnesses or other conditions that weaken their immunity."  

Yet – there have been no proven outbreaks of human illness that have been reported from the consumption of commercially sold raw milk in California. Conversely there are repeated reports of illness caused by pathogens found in pasteurized milk and other foods.

Keep in mind that the human race existed long before Louis Pasteur proposed heat-treatment as a way to control micro-organisms. Our position is that those whose immune systems are weak or taxed are the ones who would benefit most from the vital nutrients found in raw milk.   

High In Vitamins - Including B12 

All 22 Essential Amino Acids

Natural Enzymes - Including Lactase 

Natural Probiotics 

Good Fatty Acids

The consumption of all foods, including milk, whether pasteurized or unpasteurized, inherently carries some degree of risk. Not all raw milk dairies have the same safety record as Organic Pastures and Claravale in California and people it is true that a few people have gotten ill from raw milk.  Yet based on figures reported by the Centers for Disease Control related to food borne disease outbreaks in the United States one can argue that pasteurized milk is safer than other foods and raw milk is actually safer than pasteurized milk |2, 3, 4|.  As such, we recommend it with confidence.

Learn more


Read an abundance of raw milk facts:

Join an online discussion group on raw milk

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  1. 1.

  1. 2.MMWR Surveillance Summary November 10, 2006 / 55(SS10);1-34

  1. 3.MMWR Surveillance Summary March 17, 2000 / 49(SS01);1-51

  1. 4.MMWR Surveillance Summary October 25, 1996 / 45(SS-5);1-55

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Got Real Milk?  Chances Are, You Dont

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Nourishing Our Children: Timeless Principles for Supporting Learning, Behavior and Health Through Optimal Nutrition

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