• I have never understood statements like this from the article:

    The notion that pasteurizing milk eliminates some of its nutritional benefits is one of the primary reasons why many people choose raw milk.

    But, again, researchers disagree on this. “There’s no evidence that pasteurizing milk makes it less nutritions,” Gould says. Research shows that pasteurization barely affects levels of the main nutrients present in milk, like protein and calcium. It does slightly decrease the levels of some vitamins, such as B12 and C, but not to a huge degree:

    So there is a loss of nutritional value from pasteurizing milk, but it is not less nutritious according to the “experts” – the same experts who say there is a loss of vitamins in pasteurizing milk.

  • This is exactly why humans have difficulty with the concept of risk. There is indeed some reduction in the amount of certain vitamins due to pasteurization. This can be used to determine (somehow, in a model that has a lot of different assumptions, some more rigorous than others) that there is an additional risk due to the loss of those vitamins. You can similarly determine the increased risk from not pasteurizing the milk, and there is probably some better data for this, but it is likely quite out of date, because we have been pasteurizing milk for so long, and not considering other improvements to hygiene that are not factored into the data.

    Reconciliation of these two calculations is difficult, and filled with lots of value judgements involving the imposition of additional risk (from whatever source) and the avoidance of risk (from whatever source). The quantifications always have an uncertainty, which can be quite large, so no one gains the upper hand. Each calculation has its own set of assumptions, which can be attacked by the other side, and one side even has the imprimatur of the wisdom of the Congress, for whatever that is worth.

    Neither side can provide any real dead bodies to make their case, so they rely on models and calculations and come up with virtual dead bodies. In the end, it depends on the words that are used to describe the risks, and how believable the speakers are.