Raw Milk a Tough Sell in an NFL Town’s Burgers-and-Fries Culture

““In Russia, we can’’t say what we want, but we can eat what we want. In the U.S., we can say what we want, but we can’’t eat what we want.”” ~ From an attendee at the postponed hearing in Foxborough considering tough raw milk regulations for Lawton’s Family Farm

Supporters of Lawton's Farm at Monday evening's postponed hearing in Foxborough, MAThe non-hearing over Lawton’s Family Farm was frustrating in one sense–the 140 or so attendees who overflowed the meeting room were brewing for an active debate. When someone in the audience suggested to the Foxborough Board of Health that, instead of postponing the hearing, the board just withdraw the proposed tough new regulations designed to replace long-established state regs, the audience burst into loud applause.

The board was obviously impressed by the outpouring. “We’ve never had this much interest in something we are doing,” one of the health board members stated.

I don’’t think the board is going to withdraw the regulations, but I sense there will be some easing in its approach. I had a long talk after the postponement (new date not set yet) with Eric Arvedon, the Foxborough board member who is leading the charge on the tough town regulations, and he told me that “revised” proposed regulations will be posted within the next few days. Missing will be the requirement that Lawton’s test its milk on a weekly basis, instead of the state’s monthly requirement.

He also suggested there would be adjustment to a couple other controversial items: that Lawton’s file an operating and safety plan each year to get its raw milk permit renewed, and that the dairy be shut down for up to 30 days in the event of high bacterial readings.

“We’re not trying to make it hard for them (Lawton’s),” he told me. “The regulations will pretty much mirror the state regulations.”

If that is the case, why get a town involved in something the state seems to be handling very well? Arvedon said he isn’t convinced the state is handling the situation as well as it could. He was perturbed when, last spring, the state twice required Lawton’s to halt sales for a few days because of certain high (non-pathogenic) bacterial counts, and, in his estimation, Lawton’s seemed unresponsive to the town’s concerns that customers be notified.

Terri Lawton, who helps run the dairy with her parents, says customers were notified, even though the state has no notification requirement. She says she rejected a town request for confirmation that customers were notified because this would have meant sharing a customer list.

From my conversation with Arvedon, I would say that the town officials have a very steep learning curve about raw milk….if, indeed, they are sincerely interested in learning. The health culture in which the Foxborough Board of Health spends much of its time is the factory-food culture that typifies the U.S., and is far removed from the raw milk/nutrient-dense food culture.

It seems that one of the big problems in the Foxborough situation stems from the fact that Massachusetts is one of the few states, perhaps the only state, in which both towns and the state are granted authority over raw milk by the legislature. For the nearly 30 dairies that produce raw milk around the state, the towns seem content to have the state handle the permitting and inspection process via its two full-time dairy inspectors. However, a little more than half the towns actually have prohibitions against raw milk sales, dating from the 1950s and 1960s, though at least three of those towns have reversed the bans in recent years so as to allow local farms to sell raw milk (and none of the towns that allow sales have enacted bans).

In the case of Foxborough, it seems clear that the board of health members are just getting up to speed on the realities of raw milk. I inquired with Arvedon about something he was quoted about in local papers–that 30 states prohibit raw milk and cheese sales.

When I asked him where he obtained that information, he said he was sure it was from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and began rummaging through a thick file of FDA and CDC printouts about raw milk. He wasn’t able to find it, probably because even the FDA hasn’t exaggerated the situation with regard to raw milk availability that badly; as we know, raw milk cheese that has been aged at least 60 days under FDA regulations can be sold anywhere, and there are 17 or 18 states that prohibit raw milk sales to the public, though most of those states allow herdshare arrangements.

Why would a local board of health that mostly oversees a National Football League stadium and local restaurants want to inject itself into something as challenging as raw milk? According to the Lawtons’ lawyer, Frank DiLuna, who represents clients before local health boards on various issues, “They do it because they can.”

In this case, all it took were a couple of high bacteria readings, and the local officials were prepared to pounce. Seemingly another reason why raw milk producers, in particular, can be well served by involvement in the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI)–for the information and teaching it provides on producing consistently high-quality milk, and for the credibility it provides to uncertain local regulators.

While waiting last evening for the Foxborough Board of Health to take up the raw milk issue, board members debated food preparation procedures at nearby Gillette Stadium for New England Patriots games. An inspector had just been over there Sunday evening, and was concerned that some cooked food might be held more than four hours before being served to customers. There was an intense back and forth about how food vendors at the stadium might need to mark the time various foods are prepared, so food more than four hours old could be disposed. I’m not sure why four hours was such a huge deal, but it was.

In a culture where keeping the fast-food burgers and fries fresh and antiseptic is a high priority, educating about raw milk, the microbiome, and fermentation is definitely going to be a big challenge.

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129 Comments on "Raw Milk a Tough Sell in an NFL Town’s Burgers-and-Fries Culture"

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mark mcafee
November 29, 2013 12:56 am

Once again, the blessings of turkey at Thanksgiving reminds me that the gut is definitely connected to the brain. Tryptophan and saratonin wins again….I need a nap.

Deborah - Pacifica
Deborah - Pacifica
November 28, 2013 9:26 am

Huh??? rawmilkmike…what are you meaning here??? What do you mean by “a state like California where raw milk is supposedly legal sell”?? What do you mean by the word “supposedly”?? It IS legal here in California to sell raw milk…I can go to either Sprouts or Ramona Family Naturals to get any raw milk product I want (& which I do!!). These two stores are the closest to me. And what’s Hawaii got to do with anything, especially California??

Pete
Pete
November 28, 2013 8:38 am

Mike, you’re shooting from the hip. There isn’t enough math there to check and what you do have is wrong.

You may be on to something conceptually but you ain’t got nothing yet.

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 6:02 am

No, that’s why I posted it. Please tell me. What is it? Where’s the flaw?

Donte
Donte
November 28, 2013 4:05 am

Mike-are you for real?

Don’t you see the flaw in your reasoning?

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 4:03 am

Quick question; does anyone know if a state like California where raw milk is supposedly legal sell any more raw milk than a state like Hawaii where it is said to be illegal?

null.set
null.set
November 28, 2013 3:48 am

a cute photo atop this article about the meeting in Foxboro on Monday night = an authentic new-fashioned New England townhall meeting !

http://www.foxbororeporter.com/articles/2013/11/27/news/14343447.txt

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 3:42 am

Shawna, regulators love to talk but hate to listen and answer questions. They can not be reasoned with.

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 3:28 am

Tue, 11/26/2013 – 09:05 Mary McGonigle said:
“Since 2005, there have been 27 children who have developed HUS from drinking raw milk.”
……………………………………………
Mary, there are 10 million raw milk drinkers in the U.S. Are you saying that they only experienced 27 cases of HUS over a 7 year period? You do realize that the national average for HUS is 1/6 x 5 to 10% per year. An average group of 10 million people experiences between 583,333 and 1,166,666 cases of HUS over that length of time. If what you say is true epidemiologically speaking raw milk would have prevented between 583,306 and 1,166,639 cases of HUS in the U.S. sense 2005.
…………………………………………..
[(The number of raw milk drinkers in the U.S. Divided by 6) times 7 yrs] times 10% divided by 2.
……………………………………………
[(10,000,000 / 6)x 7yrs] x 10% = 1,166,666 and 1,166,666 / 2 = 583,333
…………………………………………….
10,000,000 / 6 = 1,666,666
1,666,666 x 7yrs = 11,666,666
11,666,666 x 10% = 1,166,666
1,166,666 / 2 = 583,333

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 3:25 am

Possible “Epidemiological”evidence that it is unsafe to “not” drink raw milk, regardless of it’s quality.
……………………………………………………….
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually due to foodborne illness in the US (Scallan et al, 2011). Approximately 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year.”
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%201.pdf
At that rate any group of 900 people should have 12.5 cases of “foodborne illness” each month just to be average. And since 10% of all STEC cases in the U.S. progress to HUS any group of 900 people should have 1.25 cases of HUS each and every month!!!
…………………………………………
That means if any cow share with 900 people has less than 1.25 cases of HUS each month, their raw milk is preventing HUS not causing it. Is there any cow share with a safety record that bad? Someone please check my math.
……………………………………………
According to the CDC’s epidemiological evidence 100 raw milk drinkers should die from food borne illness every year, but so far none have. Which means raw milk saves 100 lives per year regardless of it’s quality.

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 28, 2013 1:39 am

Milk Filters, we saw them open for the Cheese Cakes eons ago, before they became a corporate restaurant. Aside to Mark: Have an earthquake and wake me if you do.

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 9:31 am

A little something for Mr. Watson;
National Geographic Live! : Dinka: Legendary Cattle-Keepers of Sudan
http://youtu.be/erNAdYoqaFo

Russ
Russ
November 28, 2013 9:45 am

A cow share is not a random sample, Mike. Also, HUS cases would tend to be clustered, not smoothly distributed among the entire population. I didn’t check your math in itself.

Your conclusion may be correct, but it’s not provable in the way you’re describing.

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 10:28 am

Deb, the “supposedly” refers to the Rawesome raid and the extremely expensive regulations that keep small dairies out of the raw milk business and paying nearly $20 a gal. Hawaii probably has the toughest anti raw milk statutes and yet people still manage to get raw milk. All ten states in the FoodNet Survey seem to sell about the same amount of raw milk(3% of their population drinks it.) regardless of their regulations. So it seems there’s more than one way to skin a cat or in this case, inhibit the sale of raw milk to the general public.

mark mcafee
November 28, 2013 6:06 pm

Erin,

A great paper published by Dr. Ton Baars PhD in the EU earlier this year addresses your questions about raw milk in other places in the world and especially the EU and Germany. According to Dr. Baars there has been no reported illness related to raw milk consumption in the German system of “Vorzugsmilch”. They test and use special protocols that are not particularly tight or perfect. But the results are outstanding when considering the history and data that flows from it. See this article for more. I will see if I can find a link. It is the holy grail for a summary of the best research found arround the world on raw milk. Dr. Michele Russell is even quoted in it. RAWMI standards go far beyond the German system but we have just begun to create our track record and collect data. We are also under intense political and econmic raw milk pressures in the US that are not generally found in Germany. A link to the summary of the Peer reviewed and published article can be found here:

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/255685679_Milk_Consumption_Raw_and_General_in_the_Discussion_on_Health_or_Hazard

Journal of
Nutritional Ecology and Food Research
Vol. 1, 91–107, 2013

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 28, 2013 5:19 pm

Nice find Gordon and yes cute cow hat picture. I guess I’m not photogenic enough, I was semi expecting to see me and my sign hanging around my neck “Anybody here remember The Prohibition.” Maybe next time.

I actually have a small treasured media credential for Foxboro Stadium from 15 years ago when I worked with the Foxboro Reporter newspaper covering the Kraft’s other team that nobody knows exists. I say “worked with” rather than worked for, because I volunteered and never got paid a dime. If I find it I’ll post a link because I think it’s wicked cool to have a badge that says Foxboro Reporter with my name on it.

null.set
null.set
November 28, 2013 4:22 pm
glad you brought that up, Rawmilkmike : had you done the bare minimum to get some fact so as to be ABLE think for yourself, rather than letting WikiPedia do your thinking for you – you’d have found that the Dinka are of the tribes of Kush, who trace their lineage back to the Queen of Sheba. Both the Bible and secular history report that the Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem, to see for herself why Solomon was the richest and wisest of all the kings of the earth. The oral history of both the Jews, and the Kush-ites says she then went back home pregnant by him. Thus, the trait for producing enzymes to digest milk, became part of the genetic code of that particular group, and is so TO THIS DAY, and why they are they are traditional rulers in Africa. As politically-incorrect as it is, the scientific facts being discovered about the human genome suggest a better explaination of why some groups predominate over others, than all the Marxist claptrap. Yes, “white privilege” is a fact of history. And our God = the God of Israel = is the One who determined it, for His purpose… Read more »
Donte
Donte
November 28, 2013 3:33 pm

Mike,

STEC (whether 0157 or non-0157) are the only pathogens that cause HUS. Salmonella, norovirus, and other pathogens listed in the Scallan study do not cause HUS.

In the Scallan study, it lists 3704 cases of STEC E. coli 0157 and 1579 cases of STEC non-0157. So if you estimate 10% of these will turn into HUS (I have heard the number closer to 5%), you are looking for approximately 500-600 annual cases of HUS due to STEC nationally.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
Mary McGonigle-Martin
November 28, 2013 2:56 pm

Mike, approximately 200 people a year in the US get HUS. This is for the entire population of 317 million people. It is considered a rare disorder.

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/h/hemolytic_uremic_syndrome/prevalence.htm

D. Smith
D. Smith
November 28, 2013 1:43 pm

Wishing everyone a beautiful and bountiful Thanksgiving.

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 12:15 pm

Erin, not really an answer but your question brings to mind the fact that WHO says breast-milk is the best food for babies and breast-milk is closer to raw cows milk than it is to formula or pasteurized milk.

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 12:00 pm

Approximately 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year.”(AFBI)
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%201.pdf
At that rate any group of 900 people(CS) should have 12.5 cases of “foodborne illness”(CSFBI) each month just to be average.
(1/6 AFBI x 900 CS) / 12 MO = 12.5 CSFBI
………………………………………….
10% of all STEC cases in the U.S. progress to HUS.
http://www.newjersey.gov/health/cd/documents/chapters/ecoli_ch.pdf
Any group of 900 people(CS) should have 1.25 cases of HUS each and every month!!!
0.10 STEC x 12.5 CSFBI = 1.25 CSHUS
…………………………………………….
Ruffly 300,000,000 people in U.S.(USP)
The CDC’s FoodNet Survey says there are 10,000,000 raw milk drinker(RMD) in the U.S. http://www.foodrenegade.com/government-data-proves-raw-milk-safe/
CDC estimates 3,000 deaths annually due to foodborne illness in the US.(FBID)
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%201.pdf
According to the CDC’s epidemiological evidence 100 raw milk drinkers should die(DRMD) from food borne illness every year,
(10,000,000 RMD/300,000,000 USP) x 3000 FBID = 100 DRMD

Erin
Erin
November 28, 2013 11:07 am

Thank you for the reply–I love this blog and am learning a ton. Does anyone know if there is a protocol for testing in the EU (or Japan or elsewhere?). Does it vary by country or within each country? How does it compare to the best practices for testing here? Do they have the same political fight we do? If you have any websites I could look at, I’d appreciate it. Also, I thought I saw an article earlier this year stating that the WHO “declared” raw milk as “safe”. Now I can’t find it–anyone have a link to that? Thanks!

rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 28, 2013 10:50 am

Russ, “not provable” isn’t that kind of the point. The CDC’s epidemiological evidence doesn’t prove it’s case against raw milk. There evidence suggest a completely different scenario. Doesn’t this theory fit the epidemiological evidence a lot better than theirs.

mark mcafee
November 27, 2013 11:55 pm

At OPDC we use two new milk filters for each milking. One for each half of the herd. We save them for team inspection and evaluation. We match the physical appearance to the end product test results. Not a very conclusive comparison. We then send some of the milk filters off for pathogen culture testing on a protocol schedule basis as part of our RAMP plan. We also send secondary down stream creamery filters off for testing as well. This is all part of an attempt to up our food safety game. I can not take any credit here…. Dr. Cat Berge suggested this idea a while ago. The data that comes from this study “over time” will be fascinating.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
Mary McGonigle-Martin
November 27, 2013 10:26 pm

Thank you Shawna. You are a breath of fresh air. The raw milk myths you mention somehow need to die. Too many people still believe them and site them as reasons raw milk is safe to drink.

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 1:37 pm

These go great with raw milk! This one’s for Gordon: Torta. Or pita… hmmm.

http://www.naturalnews.com/043066_racism_public_schools_peanut_butter_and_jelly.html

Courageous Conversations, I saw them open for the Shenanigans and the Innuendos at the Holiday Inn decades ago.

Russ
Russ
November 27, 2013 10:38 am

“Seemingly another reason why raw milk producers, in particular, can be well served by involvement in the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI)…for the credibility it provides to uncertain local regulators. ”

This is the first time I recall seeing this rationale for RAWMI. Where local regulators truly are uncertain, as opposed to fascistic, that’s exactly the kind of thing the food freedom movement should be doing.

But in the past I’ve always seen the rationale as being to collaborate with centralized bureaucracies like the CDFA and FDA, who aren’t uncertain at all about what they’re trying to accomplish.

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
November 27, 2013 8:55 am

How is the data different Mark between the two sample sources?

How many times do you change the filter or wash it out during milking?

Was there milk from previous milkings in the cooler prior to introducing the current milk into the cooler?

How long does it take for your cooler to start up once your milk is introduced?

Where do you store your filters, in the original package or do you place them into a container?

What type of material are your filters manufactured from, fabric, or stainless steel?

Filters will accumulate clotted milk, is there any mastitic cows in the herd? Etc.

Ken

mark mcafee
November 27, 2013 5:48 am
Raw milk pioneering secret…..if you want to really know what could possibly be in your raw milk…test your milk filters for Bugs. That will up your food safety game to a whole new level. Why be complacent with good final product numbers ? Much to be learned from this new protocol. When we discover more we will share. There could be some real food safety breakthrough protocols based on milk filter monitoring. We will see…studies being done right now. Question: if you have multiple filters in your system….does the first filter have the same bugs as the second or third filters have??? Any thoughts? How do bugs behave arround fabric filter media? Why do they agrigate and concentrate ? Why do filter tests not reflect thevsame data as bulk tank tests from the same flow of milk? Our university PhD friends say that the best way to find pathogens in a body of water is to leave a fabric sleeve in the water for a period of time…the fabric will show or collect bugs that a simple sample from the body of water will not show. Is this the same for raw milk flows?? These are unknown pioneering questions. The… Read more »
mark mcafee
November 27, 2013 4:26 am

http://desmetdairy.com/

Here is the Desmet Dairy website. I was off a little they are milking 16 cows of mixed breeds and state legal and inspected. Great story….his dad owned a CAFO with huge number of cows doing the highly processed commodity market thing. Mike made the shift and is the face of the new generation of innovation and the national raw milk rennaisance. Great to see this!!

mark mcafee
November 27, 2013 4:12 am

Standing ovation to Shawna!!! One heck of a RAWMI LISTED mentor and teacher!! You beat me to the educational punch. Nicely done.

I am very excited to announce that Mike Deschmidt in New Mexico is up and producing state authorized retail approved raw milk…in just less than 2 months he is selling out from his 30 ( do not have the exact number ) or so cows!! Mike is the first producer of legal NM raw milk in quite some time. It is legal in NM but no one had been producing it for more 15 years from what I understand. I flew down to see him last spring and he was making great progress then. He even had a pasteurizer installed to process some of his extra raw milk product because he thought that his raw milk might struggle in sales. After just a few weeks….not a drop extra, all sold out !!! He has not used his pasteurizer one time. He is testing and getting great numbers. He increased his testing after Marcy McBee had her challenge last month…just to know more information and not have any surprises. Congrats to Mike and his family.

Shawna Barr
Shawna Barr
November 27, 2013 3:53 am
Great question Erin. Routine testing of milk for pathogenic bacteria is not a good measure of milk safety. Pathogens can be elusive and surveillance testing for pathogens can be like finding a needle in a haystack. If a pathogen is not present in one sample, it doesn’t mean that it is not present the milk tank, or that it won’t be present in tomorrow’s milk tank. A much better measure of cleanliness and quality is to measure the total number of coliform bacteria present in milk. Coliform is a family of bacteria that is widely found in the environment. Most varieties of coliform are benign, but some are not. E coli 0157H7 is a member of the coliform famly. Measuring the total coliform present in a milk samples is a good measure of the overall cleanliness of the milk processing plan. Coliforms are picked up between the udder and the bottle. If the plan for getting the milk from udder to jar is good, the milk should have very few coliform bacteria present. If that plan is followed consistently, the milk should be conistently low in coliform bacteria, which means the risk that a pathogenic strain of bacteria is present… Read more »
Erin
Erin
November 27, 2013 3:20 am

Hello. I’m new to this–why do they test for non-pathogenic bacteria? Thanks!

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 3:04 am

I never thought or expected that my beeyoutiful wife would ever end up to be front and center on TCP front page. Extra Extra!

Can I send in a picture of my puppy? She’s just as beautiful but didn’t make it to the meeting. Maybe next time wherever they reschedule. W

Thanks David it was great meeting you too and the book autograph, priceless.

mark mcafee
November 27, 2013 2:30 pm

I hate to side track this great string…but this is just a reminder of the dangers of the flu shot that does not work and gives people the flu quite often.

Considering the dramatic enhancement that consumption of raw milk provides to its consumer and zero deaths in the CDC data base from fluid raw milk, raw milk is a much better flu treatment Nd prevention than a shot injected acros America in tens of thousands of local pharmacies by non medically trained minimum wage aides. http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/11/25/heartbroken-mother-fox-and-friends-healthy-teenage-son-chandler-webb-died-after-routine

Death from a flu shot is a crazy outcome. It is also something Bill Marler can not sue for… Pharma is the one that gets immunity while the 19 year old gets death!!! Just a reminder of the sickness of our system.

D. Smith
D. Smith
November 27, 2013 3:18 pm

@ David: Yes. Most of the time we all tend to think the regulators are “just doing their job”. But maybe this idea of yours is the key – they truly are ignorant about that which they regulate.

There it was – hiding in plain sight.

When the people who are “just doing their job” make statements like the goon from my State who said he’d rather drink gasoline than drink raw milk, we should all have known he had no clue and needed to be educated from the real world side of raw milk, not the propaganda side.

Good going, David!

Shawna Barr
Shawna Barr
November 27, 2013 3:24 pm
Russ, when we began our herdshare, we invited both our county Sheriff and DA to our farm for a visit. We wanted to talk about property rights and private contract, and explain to them our intention to remain within the law via private ownership. Our Sheriff and DA were very supportive of us. We actually have one of the most “Constitutional” sheriff’s in the nation right now. However, neither of them knew a thing about raw milk, other that the bits that they had picked up via the media. They knew raw milk was “controversial” and considered risky by some. So for us, working with RAWMI was very helpful in bringing credibility to our risk-management plan. It was beneficial to say, “Here are standards for safe raw milk production. I didn’t develope these, rather they have been created by a team of experts in this area. We are voluntarily meeting or exceeding these safety standards.” So far, we’ve not had any interations with our local health department. But I’m sure they know what we are doing. Its a small county. People who work in their office who get milk from us! And since there is very little good information about… Read more »
Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 9:07 pm

I forgot and didn’t ask for Terri’s permission and feel free to take it down if out of bounds David. This place is so scary, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to get food there/

http://www.pbase.com/revsnet/51912_oak_knoll_farm&view=slideshow

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 7:15 pm

The Permutations, saw the open for Ultimate Spinach back before it was toxic, on a clear sunny day in the summertime at the Boston Common. I think the Straightjackets were suppose to open but got taken away. Grandfathers are great, hope to be one someday. Urgent, that was Foreigner. As I am vs being an alien.

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 7:01 pm

Shawna, your icon picture is the best ever on this blog seriously. And here I thought I had a monopoly on cute animal parent/child photos, silly me.

And it’s not a pot here, it’s a cauldron. Be wear heat resistant gloves or get burnt.

Shawna Barr
Shawna Barr
November 27, 2013 6:51 pm

I’ll also concede that in the Lawton’s case, there is so much emotion and public outcry right now, and perhaps trying to save face and preserve credibility on the part of the BOH, that any kind of open minded and respectful dialogue may be out of the question in the heat of it all.

Dialogue before a confrontation, or a crisis, is much prefered.

Shawna Barr
Shawna Barr
November 27, 2013 6:34 pm

Not to stir the pot here, but I have to disagree that science-talk is uninteresting to regulators. I have found that talking about pathogens and bacteria and quantifiable data is actually a language that health and science people speak very well.

I have actually had more challenges speaking that language with fellow producers due to misconceptions about pathogenic risks and bad information. For example, for a long time I was led to believe that raw milk had pathogenic-killing properties, and therefore was safe for consumption even if it happened to become contaminated. Not true. At one time, I also thought that e coli 0157 was not present in grass fed herds. Also not true. I’ve found that respectful and open-minded dialogue around science is beneficial both ways…for the raw milk producer and for the public health avocate…especially as D says, on a one-to-one basis.

Let the tongue lashing now begin… 🙂

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 5:21 pm
D, I went up to the BOH people and asked a few basic questions, such as why are you doing this and who’s paying for it? No clear answers, just generic ones such as we are protecting people because it’s dangerous. When I asked “show me the stats on the number of illnesses and/or deaths” I basically got shooed away, as in “don’t ask me questions I can’t answer.” This I pilfered from one of my wife’s friend’s emails: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ According to someone “in the know” they said the hearing is not about banning the sale of raw milk. However, the article I originally sent you contained a quote from a Foxboro BOH official indicating that banning its sale should be evaluated to keep you informed. Maybe the need to attend is not as dire as originally thought – I hope that is true. See an excerpt from the email I received from the person “in the know:” “Already up on this and have sent letters to the BOH. The issue before the board is whether or not to adopt local regulations for raw milk dairies that are more stringent than the state, not to ban it.” Of course, if… Read more »
rawmilkmike
rawmilkmike
November 27, 2013 5:06 pm
The epidemiology of foodborne illness is not real science because it starts with the conclusion. In science you start with a question. You collect data, form a hypothesis, and then test that hypothesis. ……………………………………………………… The CDC simply says; My dog’s better than your dog, my dog’s better than yours my dog’s better cuz he gets KEN-L-RATION, my dog’s better than yours. (A dog food commercial from the 60s.) http://youtu.be/uZAourInlHY They start with a ridicules question is raw milk legal?(Of course it is.) If it is, can it be banned?(Of course not. At least not legally.) Then take a common symptom(the average American has it 3 times a year.) of many illnesses and a side effect of many drugs and say it is caused by a common human gut bacteria. Some of their evidence is never even written down or even spoken, just inferred. None of it even relates to their initial hypothesis. Then they simply move on to finding this hypothetical cause to this new disease we now call foodborne illness. ………………………………………………………………………. 1911, Boston Forty-eight died from streptococcus in raw (unpasteurized) milk in an outbreak with more than 2,000 illnesses.(pure speculation since there is no documentation of whether the milk… Read more »
D. Smith
D. Smith
November 27, 2013 4:39 pm
@ Shawna: You are very lucky to have a Sheriff like that. Most are pretty by-the-book. I do not believe the education of our regulators can be done en masse, in toto. We need to teach these people almost on a one-to-one basis (using RAWMI or RAMP or whatever if you wish) because en masse they tend to not “get it”. Consider them as still students. Most students learn better and retain better on a one-to-one basis, which is why homeschooling is tremendously successful. I don’t know, that’s just my take on the thing. I feel as though teaching even ONE of them (and actually getting them to understand and learn about raw milk) is good because they will then possibly try to enlighten those they work with on a daily basis – maybe even by accident. We still need to teach basic facts, because that’s where these guys are the most “lost in the wilderness” about raw milk. You come at them with terms like “pathogens” and “bacteria counts” yada yada, you lose them right away – because it’s BORING and they think they already know all that stuff. I still think, too, that the word raw tends to… Read more »
Shawna Barr
Shawna Barr
November 27, 2013 3:28 pm

Looking forward to more on this!

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
November 27, 2013 1:54 am

David, I was almost pulling my hair when they debated that “”You cooked it 3 hours ago so it should go in the trash” mentality. Where I grew up we had no refrigeration, running water or elctricity or even ecleticism.

And we’d eat cooked food a couple of days later because that’s all we had. What’s a single paradigm?

But we survived.

Have fun, or not. Your choice/

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