Most parents seem to understand that you shouldn’t give illegal stuff to the kids who come over for playdates. But what if the illegal stuff is something that seems innocuous to you, like raw milk? Over on Reddit’s always-engaging “Am I The A—hole?” Forum, a mom seemed totally, completely baffled that she got in trouble with another parent for serving their kid unpasteurized milk.
Here’s the scene: the mom in question is a “homesteader” — which likely means that she has a garden and chickens. She also has a lot of beliefs about food and the environment that might not be shared by everyone.
One day, her nine-year-old daughter “Lily” had her friend “Sam” over to play. They collected eggs and played in the garden. Trouble started when she made lunch for the kids: cucumber sandwiches and raw chocolate milk.
“The chocolate milk was raw milk from a neighboring homestead and organic cocoa powder,” she wrote. “My family strongly believes in raw milk, it’s healthy and not dangerous. Its also local. It’s a bit of a mini activism thing, since it is illegal in our state. Also, we simply just don’t have pasteurized milk, no purpose in buying it, especially if it’s not local.”
She didn’t say anything herself about the milk, but she was honest when Sam asked.
“When serving the two lunch, Sam asked if the milk was from our cow,” she explained. “I said we don’t have a cow but it’s from our friends cow and it is called raw milk and is super good for you. He seemed interested and the two finished lunch and the play date with no issue.”
Sam must have reported her raw milk speech to his parents.
“Later I get a call from Sam’s mom, nearly screaming at me,” she recounted. “She said Sam told her about the raw milk and I put her son in danger by giving him something not safe for me and something illegal in our state. I calmly explained the benefits but she said Sam will not be coming over again soon.”
Now she’s not sure if she did the right thing or not.
“I feel horrible but raw milk is just the norm in my family and I don’t mentally view it was dangerous, it really isn’t. I’m morally conflicted- I want my daughters to have a good social life and children to feel comfortable at our home but I also want to not demonize a natural product.”
The comments were pretty clear and in alignment: she shouldn’t have given the kid that milk.
“I'm going to leave aside my opinion on raw vs pasteurized milk,” the most up-voted comment reads. “The fact is this: you gave a child who is not your child a food substance which is illegal in your state without consulting that child's parent.”
Seems pretty clearcut.
Another pro-raw milk reader agreed that she always texts parents any time she’s in doubt.
“We got raw milk for the first 8 years of kiddo's life,” they wrote. “I always asked parents before giving it to their child. Hell, at that age I'd text parents to make sure candy was okay.”
A third reader pointed out that she wasn’t just giving the kid raw milk, she was pushing her beliefs on the kid, too.
“I'd be more sympathetic if she'd just forgotten to mention it or something, but the whole ‘it's called raw milk and it's super good for you!’ thing is so obviously pushing an agenda.”
Raw milk — milk that is unpasteurized and unhomogenized — is illegal to sell or highly regulated in many states. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns against drinking it because it “can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and other germs that can cause serious illness, hospitalization, or death.” Not only that, they warn, but raw milk bacterial infections are more likely to affect kids and to have more severe outcomes.
Pasteurization, on the other hand, the CDC states, heats milk to a temperature that kills many types of harmful bacterial, while preserving the bulk of milk’s nutrients.
There is a bit of a happy story to this saga: the mom in this case wrote back to say that she read the comments and realized she was, indeed, an a—hole.
“[E]dit: I am the asshole,” she wrote. “I called Sam’s mom and apologized. I have a feeling she’ll be hesitant about him returning, but it’s okay. I’ll boil our dinner milk for you tonight, Reddit. Thanks for helping out.”
A good lesson learned for all, hopefully.