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Late 1800’s New Jersey Hospital Provided Certified Raw Milk


Plaque is Evidence of Medically Approved Raw Milk

Hospital Delivers Certified Milk

by Joseph Heckman, Ph.D.

In 2008, I hosted a controversial seminar series on Raw Milk at Rutgers University.

Based on my review of the raw milk literature, I support the position of informed consumer choice.

I continue to collect and review material relating to raw milk and I am now frequently invited to speak on the subject; especially now that raw milk legislation is pending in New Jersey. See Garden State Raw Milk for the latest information.


Milk Hero Honored with Street Name

Recently on my way to Northern New Jersey to speak at another raw milk gathering, I made a stop to investigate a story about a medical pioneer, Dr. Henry Coit, M.D. Note the street sign “Coit” near the hospital; probably named after him.

I found this interesting bit of raw milk history and photos posted in the hallway of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey:

“A Pioneer in American Pediatrics, Henry L. Coit, M.D., (shown in Illustration) begins his lifelong crusade for better infant feeding and cleaner milk, following the death of his first son at age two from intestinal disease. In 1892, Dr. Coit outlines a program for purification. Two years later, the world’s first bottle of certified milk, handled entirely under medical supervision, is delivered. Soon Babies Hospital delivers pure certified milk to families throughout Newark. At its peak, the program distributes 150,000 bottles per year. Over 100 years later, the original Babies Hospital becomes part of The Children’s Hospital of New Jersey – an affiliate of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, located on the campus of the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Henry L. Coit, M.D., Medical Pioneer.”


This modern hospital has a history in the untold story of milk.

I think Dr. Coit would have likely agreed with Mark McAfee of Organic Pasture’s Dairy that there are two kinds of raw milk. Certified Milk was understood to mean raw milk that was very carefully produced and kept clean. It was that kind of milk that Dr. Coit worked to make available to feed to infants and children.

More information about Dr. Henry Coit M.D. can be found in the book Untold Story of Milk by Dr. Ron Schmid.


Dr. Joseph Heckman

Dr. Joseph Heckman is a soil scientist with the Rutgers New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station. He grew up on an organic dairy farm, and has helped to organize the Rutgers Raw Milk Seminars. Heckman has written a number of articles on organic farming for Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal published by the Weston A. Price Foundation. See his recent blog post about his family trip to visit a raw dairy farm.

Another article by Joseph Heckman is In Defense of Living Organic, published in That Natural Farmer.


  1. Very cool. Love the plaque! Great shot of the hospital too 🙂

  2. How refreshing to see some honesty about what came before us. Have you looked at the Mayo Clinic’s position on raw milk? It is a far cry from what it was 100 years ago. The current position is that ALL raw milk at ALL times carries pathogens; evidently because it is possible to carry pathogens in raw milk. Perhaps we should apply that same logic to jalapenos…green onions…eggs…peanut butter…cantaloupe…

  3. This is a very interesting article that adds to our knowledge of accurate history in regards to raw certified milk. Perhaps we should bring back those standards of certification so that people would feel more comfortable with it’s safety. Kudos to Dr. Heckman for uncovering a pertinent piece of history.

  4. Raw organic milk now is as good as it was 120 years ago! I’m sure The Childrens Hospital records would showNO children got sick from this milk. The fact is, raw milk might have been the healthiest most nutritious food eaten during their stays.

    Time to take back our food-our health-our power of choice.

  5. Dr. Henry L. Coit was my great grandfather.

    • Joseph Heckman says:

      John, very nice!. I would like to track down more information about Dr. Coit.
      Please contact me at my Rutgers Address.

  6. Dear commenters,

    The certified raw milk provided by the AAMMC between 1895 and 1999 is no longer being produced. Today the Raw Milk Institue standards are used. RAWMI uses a RAMP system with audited food safety procedures and lab testing. Currently 15 dairies in North America are Listed by RAWMI. The safety and quality of raw milk from these dairies far exceeds anything ever imaged during the AAMMC days.

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