Can you Buy Raw Milk in Maryland?
Retail sale of raw milk for human consumption is not legal in Maryland. However, due to growing interest in raw milk, raw milk laws are changing.
If raw milk is something you are interested in enjoying, there are ways to do it legally in Maryland. However, it is not as simple as going to your local market. Raw milk in Maryland is not easy to get.
Why Avoid Pasteurized Milk?
Pasteurization began in the mid to early 1900s, in response to tuberculosis and other disease outbreaks due to longer supply chains for milk. Some now say that this is no longer an issue and that raw milk is much safer than it was back then.
Milk used to be sold very locally. As cities grew, dairy farms began moving away from the cities. Longer times to get milk to city residents allowed more bacteria to grow before they drank it.
Milk with bad bacteria meant many people got sick and many died from raw milk before milk pasteurization became widespread. Pasteurization involves heating milk to kill bacteria. Some say it kills off the good bacteria as well.
There are advocates that say raw milk is not only safer, but is much better for your health than pasteurized milk. The argument is that pasteurization not only destroys nutrients and good bacteria, it causes allergies and behavior and growth problems in children. They say that calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly.
Raw Milk Laws in the US
Raw milk laws in the US are complicated and differ from state to state. In Maryland, retail raw milk is not for human consumption. But in Pennsylvania, raw milk can be sold in retail stores. In Virginia and Delaware, buying into a herdshare is not illegal. In West Virginia, herdshares are legal. In Maryland, herdshares ARE illegal.
Those of you living north of Baltimore who want to try raw milk can find it just across the border in Pennsylvania.
If you live closer to DC, you might be interested in joining a herdshare in Virginia to get your raw milk and cheeses.
Much of the raw milk in Maryland is through private buyer clubs, something to look into if you decide raw milk is something you want to try.
Another way to get raw milk in Maryland is to buy it for your pets! There are three dairies in Maryland that will happily sell you raw milk for your pets. The human families also enjoy that pet milk.
P. A. Bowen Farmstead is located in PG county, in Brandywine. They sell raw milk for pets. You can also find raw milk cheeses, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and eggs there.
Though it seems the milk is only sold on farm, you can find them with their other products and the Anne Arundel County Farmers Market. At their store on farm, you can find other local products as well!
Hensing Hilltop Acres is located in Woodbine and sells at the Baltimore Farmers Market on Sundays and the Howard County Farmers Market on Wednesdays. You can find their raw milk for pets at the markets, at the farm, and online.
They also sell pastured pork and grass fed beef. They have lots of poultry, so you can get eggs as well.
Prosperity Acres is in Sunderland, and they sell both raw goat milk for pets, goat meat and cheese, and dry aged beef. They sell on farm.
Purifying Pastures sells raw pet milk in half gallon glass containers, and offers delivery as well! They are located west of Frederick, in Knoxville.
Purifying Pastures also sells pastured chicken, turkey, beef, and pork online!
At the Baltimore Foodshed, you can find all the local meat and dairy options out there near you. Even if raw milk isn’t something you want to try, i encourage you to seek out local dairy for the freshest options for your family!