As I grew up, I always drank fresh cows milk straight from the farm. The milk did not pass by bottling plant, did not get pasteurized or homogenized.Milk for me growing up always had a layer of cream at the top and sometimes we'd take that layer of cream off and making into ice cream or whip it into whipped cream. A few times we took the cream and made butter also but usually we mixed the cream back into the milk and drank it the way it was. Good and cold, fresh from the farm.I still have a thing for raw milk when I can get it. A lot of the reason I prefer raw milk to pasteurized milk is because of a story my father used to tell me.
My Aunt Pauline went to a three year nursing school in Jamestown, New York back in the 1940's. In one of her classes the plan was to show that pasteurized milk was safer to drink than raw milk. My grandfather ran a dairy farm so the class decided to get the raw milk from my grandfather's farm and they then bought the pasteurized milk from the grocery store. They then studied the two sources of milk under a microscope.
The results weren't what they expected. The raw milk had fewer harmful bacteria than the pasteurized milk had in it.
"How is that possible," I asked and my Dad explained to me that the raw milk that came directly from the farm was from healthy cows that had been milked the night before, then the milk had been immediately cooled and sent on ice to be tested. The pasteurized milk on the other hand had probably sat in the grocery store several days before the milk was tested hence the increased bacteria count.
What this experiment proved was that fresh milk from healthy cows was safe to drink and that milk bought from the grocery store needs to be as fresh as possible also in order to prevent diseases.