I was at a food safety conference a few years back that focused on raw milk, and one state public health official concluded his remarks by saying, to effect, I personally dont see why we spend all this time going after raw milk. If people are going to be stupid enough to drink it, then let them go ahead and kill themselves.
Then, at a raw milk symposium a couple years after that, I heard a raw milk proponent give the other side of the same mind-set. You know, things will change over the next few years, because the people who oppose us will die off from all the junk food they eat, she said, referring to the public health regulators.
I always thought those attitudes, while not the sort of peace-making attitudes wed like to envision, could be the basis of some sort of live-and-let-live approach to the wide gulf over food rights and food safety that exists in our society. Its definitely preferable to the regulate-and-control approach that has driven oversight of raw milk.
But no, it seems as if the regulate-and-control approach has been judged such a success for raw milk, its being extended in a big way to junk food. New York Citys mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is proposing to ban the sales of soda in containers of 16 ounces or greater. The idea is to reduce the obesity epidemic in the cityaccording to the New York Times report, more than half of New Yorkers are overweight or obese. I’ve seen other estimates that possibly two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese.
Since the East Coast and West Coast are often national trend setters, its not far-fetched to expect such junk food bans to spreadto more locales, and more foods. More regulation. More restrictions. More control. The initial New York ban will cover the sale of drinks from restaurants, push carts, and movie theaters. But you know it wont stay that way.
I dont have any brief for soda or other junk food. But if were going to be true to a philosophy of favoring food rights, we cant any more back a ban on sodano matter what the sizethan we can serious limitations on raw dairy.
Theres a debate on raw milk upcoming in Canada on Monday, and to go along with it, a debate about the debate.
Canadian dairyman Michael Schmidt has expressed doubts about the usefulness of debates modeled on the one I participated in at the Harvard Law School last February.
In a way I agree with previous comments, why should we at all even engage in the debate, how we can get the law changed to have the right granted to us to obtain raw milk? he wrote a few days ago on The Bovine.
I appreciate his frustration, that the general debate format isnt necessarily useful for resolving anything substantive concerning raw milk and food rights in general. But it is useful for educating people who arent familiar with the subject and all its complexity. Thats why regulators tend to shy away from participating in these eventsthey dont want to educate the public. In the meantime, nearly 20,000 people have viewed the Harvard debate. Lots of good learning going on.
Thanks to Jan for the link (following my previous post) to Sen. Rand Pauls speech asking for limits on the FDA using armed agents, going after small farms selling raw milk, and preventing food and supplement sellers from making health claims. I like also his mention of the proliferation of federal laws and regulations designed to ensnare law-abiding citizens. He definitely said some things that needed saying in that august chamber. More in the way of helpful education.
That’s absolutely right. If you believe that you have the right to drink raw milk (which other people do not agree with) then you need to understand that they in turn have the right to stuff themselves full of junk food (that you perhaps don’t agree with). It’s about respecting others’ rights to choose what is best for themselves at any given time, not imposing our nutritional belief system on others.
Bill is correct in supporting/promoting the concept of “food sovereignty” because that is where one/many will be able to function under “freedom.” We must collectively have food sovereignty in order to freely engage in the business of growing, supporting those who grow, purchase, and generally promote healthy whole foods for ourselves, our families, and communities. If we want to eat healthier foods as individuals, we simply purpose to do so and we can accomplish that goal (albeit, not conveniently, these days). But, if we want to demand as a nation to have available higher quality foods, then we must demand also the policies that allow for us to engage in the “market place” so that we can either produce those foods without onerous regulations, on both the producer and consumer. Lola is correct also, in that individuals have the right to eat/ingest junk phoods, but insight into this thought is that those phoods will not loom so large over the culinary/caloric intake landscape if/when we can be assured of food sovereignty. Personally, I’d like to relegate soft drinks back to the “soda fountain” where an 8 oz. serving was a Sat. afternoon treat, not THE major calorie intake of our young folks. But I’d never consider this by mandate…rather by “crowding it out” or shrinking the consumption naturally by instituting policies that promote healthy fare, rather than highly processed phoods, which means supporting our local food producers/farmers and giving them the ‘freedom’ to do what they do best…feed America. (And if you’re from CA, please consider instituting the policy of “label GMO’s” as a beginning to these endeavors by voting for that in the voting booth this fall).
In my travels across the country, I’ve seen people using huge cups/containers (64oz) for filling their coffee and/or sodas at gas stations. These containers were reusable. (saving the environment!)
For the obesity problem, other than walking/moving; teach people how to consume healthy non or low processed foods, teach them how to prepare them and how to buy them. At this point, I’d say even eating conventional produce is better than none at all or consuming the processed phoods.
As always, the way one gets the right answer on anything is to analyze from the pro-relocalization, anti-corporate perspective, and then take action from there. This would lead to the best outcome for small producers and those who eat food, socioeconomically and health-wise. Specifically, if one wants to get involved in reformist advocacy, then everywhere one should simply focus on ending corporate welfare. This would help real milk, and all small producers, while helping to abolish industrial food including anything having to do with HFCS (a pure creation of government policy; without corporate welfare, HFCS wouldn’t exist as a commodification phenomenon).
This also leads to the best freedom outcome, since liberating ourselves from corporate tyranny would unleash all the bottlenecked human creative forces, especially where it comes to our food.
So while we always should fight directly for our own real Food Sovereignty (for example, raw milk freedom), there’s no point fighting for any aspect of food corporatism because some aspect is allegedly subject to a “freedom” assault. On the contrary, food freedom must fight to eradicate food corporatism everywhere, by any means possible. (If mass-produced soda is truly viable and “free”, i.e. if there’s actual bottom-up demand for it, then it won’t need the corporate form and corporate welfare in order to exist. The same is true of every other food product.)
As long as zero corporate welfare is involved. Otherwise, no.
Senator Rand Paul
Imagine gun toting agents from the Food and Drug Administration storming onto your property because you choose to sell raw milk.
Think this cant happen? Think again.
FDA agents have been barging in to farms and natural food stores to crack down on individuals whose only crime is believing they know better than the government what was good for their health.
Last week, I offered an amendment to the Food and Drug Reauthorization Bill.
My amendment would curb the FDAs abuse of power and overreach.
It would disarm the FDA, terminate FDA raids on Amish farmers and natural food stores, and put an end to their censorship of dietary supplements.
I hope youll take a few moments to watch my floor speech explaining why my amendment to disarm the FDA is so vital.
After you watch the video, I hope youll sign the petition urging your senators to support my amendment to end the FDAs trampling of our rights.
Once you have watched the video and signed your petition, I hope I can count on you to chip in a contribution of $50, $25, $10 or whatever you can afford so RANDPAC can mobilize grassroots activists across America to turn up the heat on Congress and reign in the FDAs rogue behavior.
United States Senator
I refuse to sign online petitions, sorry.
Money blocks teaching…so you ban adverts for Coca Cola and you tax the hell out of it. The sin tax will pay for the public service announcements. Treat Coca Cola like cigarettes…take their ads off TV and out of magazines, teach the kids and put up bill boards all over the place. Instead of the Cow Boy with the LIMP CIG in his mouth,….show a really unsexy fat ass with a 96 ounce Coke at his mouth and an insulin seringe in his arm. That should do it…
Oh….be sure to sell your Coke and Pepsi stock before this initiative is launched.
I agree with freedom 100%….that includes freedom to be educated about the truth and to be taxed for sins. Coke should be 100% legal,….just taxed into oblivion with all tax dollars funding education about truthful healthful nutritional information.
This is not going to happen….not anytime soon. Money runs America…and its fat ass loving illness industry.
As far as how to change the raw milk paradigm…market building and teaching will do it….it already has in CA. Teach and build markets. If people have never tasted raw milk they do not know what they are missing and do not know how to vote with their dollars.
But in this context, they’re nothing compared to the welfare upon which Monsanto, Cargill, ADM, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Walmart, and the like are 100% dependent. I suspect that anyone who would immediately say, “what about [the relatively miniscule] OPDC?” is trying to misdirect.
Small milk producers of course get almost no state support (in the form of agricultural subsidies), so the question of milk’s safety compared to HFCS soda is irrelevant to this discussion. But yes, if the transaction is truly between the producer and the buyer (something that’s never true where the government and corporations are involved), then it’s nobody’s business but theirs.
But as a rule, the smaller and more truly independent the producer, the healthier the food is likely to be. So just like with every other benefit, so healthiness and safety also correlate with local/regional, non-corporate production and distribution.
You need to know who your enemy is if you’re going to fight.
So keep fighting about whether or not you have the right to drink Coca-Cola and ignore the fact that world leaders and CEOs are making decisions that affect you, right now!!!
one of the best lessons I learned about politicking, was, standing outside an abortuary in San Antonio in 1992. I was upset at how blase passersby were, in the face of the ghastly images we were displaying, trying to inform the public as to what was going on inside. I said to my friend – who’d been at it for years – “how can you stand to do this and be calm?” He replied = “It’s not that they won’t come around, it’s that they’re slow to come around” ….
political movements have to ripen. In the meantime, all the defamatory slings and arrows of reproach on the ‘bortion issue, and lately with race realism, are water off my back.
applying that lesson to the Campaign for REAL MILK = the most powerful information of all, is : some of the good stuff put in their hands, to drink. They’ll be convinced by their guts
After the crash of 1929, farm prices plummeted and farmers were losing their farms left and right. The government, in order to stabilize prices and keep farmers on their farms, took over the regulation of agriculture and as part of this contract with farmers guaranteed them parity prices for their goods (this also made agricultural products regulatable in commerce). I believe it was around 1952 when farmers last saw parity for their goods, and subsidies are the remnants of this broken contract the government has with American farmers. Farmers have tried to sue the government over this broken contract, but no judge will side with the farmer, as this would make the government liable to pay out billions of dollars in back subsidies to farmers over the course of several generations.
In the context described above, government subsidies are the problem, they are not the solution.
It is estimated that a pound of ground beef, without all of the subsidies that go into it, would cost somewhere around $35.
The money may come from the taxpayers, but the programs and their policies are made by and administered by the government.
If you would, then why not just pay those prices directly to the farmers and leave the government out of it?
(Let me anticipate an answer: we need subsidies because small farmers would not *currently* be able to compete with Big Ag if not for subsidies.)
While subsidies *may* have started with the intention of helping farmers, it has, since 1952, become a tool of suppression. Since the government has not upheld their end of the contract in paying parity prices, farmers are forced to get off-farm jobs, cut corners or take out loans. I know a couple of dairy farmers who have $1 million + DEBT to the banks because the government dictates the price of milk (and are in breech of contract in doing so) – and currently conventional milk price is somewhere around $15+ per 12 gallons of milk, and the milk processor is not required by law to pay any more than that. Is this helping or hurting farmers? Is this government/corporate collusion or mere coincidence? Abominations such as CAFOs and fast food (cheap meat) are the direct result of depressed prices and easy credit. Subsidies may have helped some farmers in the 1930s & 1940s, but I’d assert they have pushed more farmers off the land than any other factor.
whose statue is atop the Capitol building, proclaiming that she has the government of America underfoot? The goddess of the underworld, same stars encircling her head as the one known in the RC religion as “Mary Queen of Heaven”. Just a co-incidence, though, nothing to concern you-selves wit’
Quoting Thom Paine “govt. is a necessary evil” Saussy’s conclusion is that bureaucrats swarming the land, parasitizing us, are actually divinely ordained, put in place to chastize the nation, in our sins. When we stop sinning, they cease to have power over us. At present, the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One. So until Christ comes to install the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, we have to endure these pernicious people in the high places. Petty tyrants who are only too delighted to send in the uniformed armed goons, to show their charges = us = who’s the Boss. Thus, getting a licence to cool them out, in the meantime, is more appropriate than taking them on.
I take advantage of every dairy program possible. I need those funds to pay the damn Milk Pool that rips us off every month even thought I can not buy and use a drop of Milk Pool milk in our products. We are the only dairy- creamery in CA that pays into the Milk Pool but at the same time we can get any assistance or milk from it.
Personnally I wish that all subsidies would dry up and go away. They are a welfare system for non -farmers that live away from the land and scam America. A system developed for the rich by the rich.
OPDC would do just fine with out any subsidies….but if they are giving away money, I have excellent uses for it…and I am going to take full advantage of it. Subsidies are highest when conventional dairy milk prices are lowest. It is called the MILC program. Look it up.
“when farmers in general are enjoying record prosperity.”
If I didn’t know any farmers, I would assume, after reading this, that farmers are not struggling financially.
“(There are approximately 51,000 dairy farms in the United States.)”
Wow, there must be some huge dairy farms to produce the amount of milk products that is sold in the US alone. More reason to avoid commercial phoods.
“Dairy is local. It typically takes two days to get from the farm to the grocery store.”
Really? Why don’t I believe this?
“The dairy industry has reduced the environmental impact of a gallon of milk since 1944, resulting in 90% less cropland, 75% less manure, ”
less crop land? Does that include less grasses the cows are supposed to eat? Less manure? All those cows standing in their own excrement on or next to the mountains of manure and standing pools of liquid sludge is not from the ads of the less than 5 happy Californian cows dotting a lush green hill.
“milk provides one of the richest sources of well-absorbed calcium in the American diet. ”
A shame they don’t teach people that the body absorbs (metabolizes) calcium from kale and chard better than from a cup of milk.
“I dont have any brief for soda or other junk food. But if were going to be true to a philosophy of favoring food rights, we cant any more back a ban on sodano matter what the sizethan we can serious limitations on raw dairy.”
I couldn’t agree more.
If any one is near Prineville…this will be tons of fun and should not be missed.
A good working definition is that you have the right to do anything that you please until you interfere with the rights of others. Hence you do not have a right to health care IF you think that you are going to fund it by stealing the money from others.