Because it's not heated or homogenized and comes from pasture-raised animals, raw milk tends to be richer and sweeter than pasteurized milk and, according to raw milk advocates, nutritionally superior and with possible healing properties. The New Yorker article (subscription required) delves into the scientific support (or lack thereof) for these claims, as well as the history of pasteurization in the United States, and the food-freedom movement. It's worth a read in its entirety.
A small follow-up interview with Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill Stone Barns in New York, reveals the chef's support for raw milk. (Note: Barber doesn't sell raw milk in his restaurants—that's illegal—but he experiments with it at home.) He calls grain-feeding "a little like pasteurization" for its dumbing down effects, and says he believes "wild" foods, like raw milk, may indeed have value that has yet to be fully discovered or understood. He tells The New Yorker:
My personal opinion—not from hard evidence—that nutrient-density benefits follow from flavor... Over the course of ten thousand years, we bred and improved and preserved things not to sell to a foreign market but because they tasted better. I believe advocates of raw milk are right because the taste buds say so.
Do you drink raw milk? Why are you for or against it? Share your thoughts below!
Read More: Raw Deal (subscription required) and Is Raw Milk Worth It? The Case of the Single-Udder Butter at The New Yorker
Related: The Slice: The (Raw) Milk Itself