From Naturalness to Hybrid Qualities
While it is well known that raw milk includes a number of bacteria and viruses that may cause severe illnesses, and severe outbreaks have occurred recently in Europe, the technology of pasteurization is still discussed, as raw milk is seen to possess benefits for nutrition, digestion, and immunology (Almli et al., 2011). In some countries, such as Finland and Norway, practically all milk is pasteurized and milk products are also made from pasteurized milk since the middle of twentieth century, while in others, such as France, traditional raw milk and products derived from it are marketed with success. In France, cheese is seen to have a very strong position in the culinary culture, and about 10% of cheeses are made from unpasteurized milk (Almli et al., 2011). Lay immunology aligns with the scientific findings, albeit from different grounds; milk's natural structure with its enzymes and proteins, together with “dirt and bacteria" are claimed to provide consumers with a “strategy” of “natural immunization” (Enticott, 2003). Thus, enlightenment ideas about purification are seen redundant, as natures in unpasteurized milk (UPM) cure illnesses and have health-inducing capabilities. Moreover, consumption of UPM is seen to support rural entrepreneurship, rural development, and local identities as an “authentic product” knitting the community together, as the product needs to be produced close to its consumption (Enticott, 2003). The author identifies freedom from modernist agendas in decision making through UPM consumption, which refers to the very political position of dairy farming and milk trade. In similar way, “authentic” cheeses are claimed to need less demanding microbiological criteria for food safety for producers and consumers of these products (Enticott, 2003).