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“Take me to your leader.”
 

 

I couldn’t help thinking of that cliche from old cowboy-Indian-style movies, as I listened to a recent podcast by two professors of food safety discussing raw milk (this is the podcast Joseph Heckman originally provided a link to; it’s the last 25 minutes that are most relevant to raw milk risk and safety). 

 

The two professors are Don Schaffner of Rutgers University and Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University. Schaffner is also president of the International Association of Food Protection, one of the largest educational organizations around food safety. They regularly discuss various aspects of food safety, and this week chose to focus on how to more effectively alert raw milk drinkers about the dangers of the product. 

 

“This product is risky,” said Schaffner. “We have to figure out a better way to get to the people with that risk information.” 

 

Giving the professors new hope, they gushed, was the recent Minnesota study on raw milk (sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control)–the one that estimated that more than 20,000 people got sick from raw milk between 2001 and 2010, versus the 21 reported.

 

“Kudos to the people in Minnesota who carried out that study….it’s a fascinating piece of work,” said Schaffner, who is taken by its confirmation (to him) of the huge risk associated with drinking raw milk. It seems so obvious to the professors that not only is raw milk terribly dangerous, but that anyone who chooses to drink it must be completely uninformed….or just plain weird. 

 

After all, how could anyone not understand? “It’s going to be hard to reach them” (these hardcore raw milk drinkers), bemoaned Schaffner. 

 

“Maybe by reaching the farmers,” offered Chapman, and quickly dropped the idea: “Or maybe not if they are making money selling raw milk.” 

 

Ben Chapman, assistant professor of food safety at North Carolina State UniversityEventually, the two profs came up with a plan, the “take-me-to-your-leader” brainstorm. They recalled an effort by public health people in Washington state to convince poor Hispanics to avoid raw-milk queso fresco, the soft cheese that has a history of causing serious illnesses because it is often made in home bathtubs, from conventional raw milk intended for pasteurization. The public health people decided they couldn’t convince ordinary Hispanics, so the officials worked through leaders in the Hispanic community, and apparently made progress in reducing queso fresco consumption. 

 

All of which brought Schaffner and Chapman back to the dilemma at hand: how to get word out to the fast-growing number of ordinary Americans who persist with this crazy habit of drinking raw milk. “We have to figure out a better way to get to the people with that risk information (about raw milk),” said Schaffner. “The people don’t trust us.”  

 

The solution: Identify the leadership in the raw milk community who can get the word out. Just one problem, said Schaffner: “We don’t know who those advocates are, how to sell them.” 

 

Huh? Don’t know who the advocates are? I didn’t realize that those of us advocating for availability of raw milk were so invisible. People like Mark McAfee, John Moody, Liz Reitzig, Pete Kennedy, Sally Fallon, Michael Schmidt, Vernon Hershberger, Alvin Schlangen, Heather Retberg, among many others, even yours truly. I didn’t realize the discussions over the last couple years about the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) and reducing the risks associated with raw milk had gone entirely unnoticed. 

 

Shortly after exploring this line of reasoning, it must have hit the profs that they were considering actually speaking with the natives. They backed off. Encouraging discussion, Schaffner said, is akin to trying to eradicate needle sharing by drug users. “You don’t want to make it safer so that you encourage it (needle sharing).” 

 

Did I hear that right? (I do know they were comparing raw milk consumption with drug use.)

 

In the end, they collectively shrugged their shoulders. “There’s something about raw milk that gets people all in a bind,” concluded Schaffner. 

 

Maybe what gets people in a bind is that these guys seem so completely clueless about what is going on outside their ivory towers. That they fail even to pay lip service to the possibility that raw milk drinkers experience health benefits, as suggested by research from Europe. That they fail to find even a hint of a problem in the Minnesota raw milk research. That they fail to explore even a little why so many people are so distrustful of what the public health community’s dire warnings about raw milk. 

 

Or maybe it’s their reluctance to actually engage in any kind of serious direct way with people who might have a different view than them. It’s kind of like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doing a risk assessment of raw milk cheeses without even setting foot in a cheese-making facility, and then determining that soft raw milk cheeses are 50 to 160 times more dangerous than pasteurized ones. It’s the sanitized approach. You don’t dirty your hands by messing with the natives. 

 

Part of the problem stems from their own logical and emotional inconsistencies. Several times during the podcast, Schaffner and Chapman said they were in favor of people having the freedom to choose raw milk. Yet they agonize about how to warn raw milk drinkers about the dangers so there is no chance they will want to continue consuming it. Totally irreconcilable goals. 

 

In the end, Schaffner and Chapman said they welcomed comments, and are considering another show on this same subject. Here’s a suggestion: Why not include some real live raw milk drinkers and get some real-world input, and possibly initiate serious discussion about effectively reducing risks while also building bridges. 

 

 

  • O
    It’s a kicker of a name if you ask me, but please don’t. There’s no foot in football, the American version anyways.
    Reply
  • m
    I just spent 5 hours at the Visalia Farmers Market. It was “meet the farmer day” and I was there to meet and greet the farmers market customers at our booth. repeatedly…I asked each of our customers and even the new customers why they they seek out raw milk. The answers were uniformly the same….

    They said, “we can not drink store bought pasteurized processed milk”.
    The reasons given were broad:
    1.Allergies to processed milk!
    2.Can not digest processed milk!
    3.The flavor of raw milk is so much better!
    4.The raw kefir settles my stomach & healed my Crohns or IBS etc.
    5. Raw milk is great for my asthma…pasteurized makes it worse.
    6. My kids love
    7. Excema resolved with raw milk…gets worse with processed milk!!
    7. My family will not touch anything else.

    The Visalia Farmers Market is in the heart of very conservative CAFO dairy country. This is not down-town LA or San Francisco. This is mostly “good-ol mostly red-neck conservative San Joaquin Valley old-school America with a sprinkling of all sorts of other political and cultural flavors throw in for good measure!”

    Sounds to me like the fluid processed milk dairy industry has a very serious problem. A problem being universally experienced by everyone. This drives the 2% decline of fluid milk sales every year!!!

    All of us at TCP know this by heart…but I thought I might remind the AAP, AMA, FOOD INC processors, FDA & CDC one more time why they should and must open their eyes and climb out of their raw milk denial tent and stand behind raw milk food safety efforts. Raw milk is not going away!! It is growing like crazy.

    I asked our new consumers how they found out about raw milk.
    The answer: it was mostly internet research driven by intelligent people with support from other moms that suggested raw milk.

    Perhaps saying this a million & one times will help the FDA and CDC educational absorption process.

    Reply
  • m
    It also helps for the farmer to outreach & touch the consumers.
    They want to look you in the eye… and “Get to know their farmer & Get to know their food”
    Reply
  • h
    University professors need to get out there and ask the same question.
    Reply
  • O
    A 1,000,oo2 mllions and 2 would bettetter than butter, but ok. Make bread your house will smell better. And Mark don’t your ever get tired of just posting good news? Surely there’s something you can grumble about
    Reply
  • O
    Eye to eye is UNbeatable , here’s my neighborhood local farm nicest people I ever known http://www.pbase.com/revsnet/white_barn_wedding&view=slideshow. Eat different but stay local http://www.whitebarnfarm.org/ Just wish we could have that California winter weather/ What’s a cold rooster crow in the morning in New Egland? Yup that’s right BRRRRRRRRRR
    Sorry, i think I missed an n there. thought just occuring, is Nova Scotia kinda like New England in it’s naming? Just wondering since wifey’s mom was from there
    Reply
  • O
    Why you guys so quiet around here lately? and I’m the one that sposedly died? Are we not stirring the pot hot enough? Or has it come to the point that only proponents preach to the choir and there is no serious debate anymore. David? Looking forwrd to next weak
    Reply
  • O
    Sorry, not meaning to things getting hot enough as in pasteurization, just mental. And speaking of the pot, I’ll brb. Wait I forgot to go danr lyxdesia.

    Just tell me when to stop David thanks for you tolerance/

    Reply
  • O
    Oh and one last word don’t ask why or how she may spew at you, wonder why she’s never jumped on me guess I’m not worthy orgood looking enough.

    Mary

    Happy belated BY/

    Reply
  • rawmilkmike
    Mr. Heckman, you said “when I speak with anyone on the subject of raw milk I try to stick with factual material that I know I can defend.” but then you said “It has long been known from the history of milk that when not properly produced raw milk can make people sick.” Do you mean when it’s pasteurized, separated, and homogenized or are you talking about swill milk? Do you have any reliable data on swill milk? I spent several hour researching it on the net on more than one occasion and found some interesting facts that I have posted in the past. Obviously swill milk can make people sick after it’s pasteurized but do you have any proof that raw swill milk ever made anyone sick?
    …
    There is no “raw milk debate”. Consumers say they want raw milk. The cheese and the pharmaceutical industries say no they can’t have it. That’s not a debate.
    …
    Thank you for posting: “Feeding preterm infants pasteurized as compared to raw own mother’s milk reduced fat absorption. When the infants were fed raw milk, they gained more in knee–heel length compared to when they were fed pasteurized milk.” (Acta Paediactrica 2007 96, pp 1445-1449).
    Reply
  • m
    More good news…

    The California Dairy Campaign acting as the board for the National Farmers Union in CA, nominated me again to be a CA delegate to the NFU congress to be held this year in Santa Fe NM in March 2014. I was then nominated and elected to sit on the Executive Board for CA Farmers Union which is the board that versees NFU activities in CA.

    I was humbled and very gracious. The CDC is an organization made up of 250 or more conventional and organic dairymen in CA.

    I do not want to blow my cover….but as a raw milk dairyman I feel something like achieving super spy-mole status…except that I am not a spy & not a mole. The CDC dairyman actually have some regard for what we have achieved in CA. We all stand together ( Conventional, Organic and Raw ) and in doing so…we will achieve great things for all of us as a team of producers serving all of the markets including the emerging niches.

    It feels really good. I had to pinch myself…I did not expect this at all. As a special treat, I was able to have some very quality & connected time with Diane Feinsteins CA staffer, David Valadao ( state congressman ) Rudy Salas State representative and USDA federal milk pool order experts from WA DC.

    Sorry…Ora, more good news! It is my humble opinion that organic raw milk has earned its place at the table. It may be in the baby high chair or booster seat…but we are at the big table. No question.

    Reply
  • S
    Congratulations, Mark! Wish we has this type of good news here in BC where (by current laws) I can receive a 3 million dollar fine or 3 yrs in jail for just giving a glass of raw milk to my neighbour! 🙁
    Reply
  • n
    but if there’s no proof that glass of milk is for human consumption, Shelly-D, then your explanation is : it’s for the cats. There is no law regulating pet food in British Columbia. I recommend that people who have extra milk, sell it as the base for milk paint, which is certainly is. Before World War One, that’s what a lot of paint was made from. Rather than dig through the mountain with a teaspoon, go around the mountain. Just be sure when some badge-wearing statist comes ’round, you can point to a nice big barn wall painted with the classic colors = mellow pastel ‘buttermilk’ and ‘violet’. Milk paint colors were still around on lots of buildings in BC, when I was a kid … a mere 6 decades ago.
    Reply
  • O
    Guess we need to get ourselves a cat just in case and a really big teaspoon but then again we don’t have big mountains around here… and maybe make some official looking badges too.

    What did they use for food coloring in those days Gordon?

    Reply
  • m
    Ora,

    Red barn paint was made from Milk and Rust. Thats why they were red.

    As far as BC is concerned….they really sucks!! Sorry to hear about this darkages approach. In Canada, the dairy farming economics stakes are much greater than the US dairy economic stakes. Canadians have protected their dairymen with huge financial protections that preserve their wealth and markets….artificially with their crazy QUOTA system that costs upwards of $35,000 per cow for the right to ship milk to the approved state processors for state apporved products. That economic intrastate trade barrier IS THE reason that the anti- raw milk forces are as strong, persistent and as huge as they are.
    Good old money…the source of all that lives and breathes behind the Wizzard of Oz curtain.

    Reply
  • O
    Mark, I think you know that I was just jesting about good news, keep them coming and making it happen. Congratulations we are glad to see you get recognition but don’t lose your head, you can declare yourself humbled but gracious is a word that can only be used by others, or is it gratuitous inducer?
    Reply
  • J
    I agree with rawmilkie and Mark, getting to know the product and the consumers of it will be by far the best way to understand the reasons why most choose to ignore or even laugh at reports such as the Minnesota one. If you use the saying about “6 degrees of separation”, then using their mathematical figures, everyone would know someone who got sick, which is of course absurd.

    Ben & Don, another suggest is to get along to local gatherings of raw milk consumers, especially if food is part of the gathering. You will see that its not just milk changing their lives, they have also rediscovered some really good food. Sure you will find a few followers, but most are leading, having done their research and are “experiencing” their own true science. It is not based on mathematical probabilities using a false starting point, theirs is real food and they experience the difference, not just think about it.

    Most Raw milk producers don’t need to do what we are doing, we could do without all the agro. But we hear over and over from our customers what a difference the milk makes to their lives. In some cases it is truly lifesaving, so how can we not continue to battle through the insanity based on 100 year old information. And whether you realise it or not, there is a stampede happening of families giving up on food produced based on politically corrupt policies. They know politics is corrupt and are gradually seeing their food is affected in the same way and are returning to true nutrition.

    So you can either get caught at the bottom of the stampede or you can help manage it and the consequences of it.

    Reply
  • Ken Conrad
    You could have fooled me Mark!

    The few remaining dairy farmers that are left in Canada are in debt up to their eyebrows. From 1971 to 2011, under the reign of quota managed marketing boards the number of dairy farms in Canada has dropped by 91 percent. In my area where we used to have over 40 producers in the early 1970’s, there are now less then a handful left.

    For farmers wishing to enter the market and start a new farm in Canada, the price of the quota at $30,000 plus/cow can be prohibitively expensive. This leaves those farmers entering the industry with a huge debt burden.

    I can assure you the few remaining dairy farmers left in this country do not feel that their wealth and markets are protected, especially with the advent of this new free trade deal between Canada and the European Union.

    In the US dairy farmers are manipulated via government run subsidies in Canada via government legislated marketing boards with both being equally manipulated via government trade agreements and cheap food policies.

    As far as I am concerned they are one and the same with both systems having been equally effective at decimating the small family farm.

    Ken

    Reply
  • m
    Thanks for the report from Canada…my sources obviously need some updating.
    On a lighter & very innovative side…..This is awesome-simple…we need more of this kind of thought!!
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/iAp8pEaWB1Y
    Reply
  • O
    Pretty cool Mark. Is this how I should launch my one cow home operation but using a 5 gallon sized bottle? And how do you propose cleaning the bottles and making sure no BPA or manure leaks into it. Do you wash your eggs? We almost never do unless it’s a real messy or bloody blotch, and yet nobody ever gets sick.

    Actually I almost never separate the yokes from the whites unless I’m dealing with Gordon each has it’s own merits, like Benedict. Scrambled or sunny side maybe over easy? Sorry for the rye humor, but the Patriots are getting spanked and I’d rather laugh than cry.

    Reply
  • D

    Jeneraytions, excellent advice. One difficulty for Don and Ben (and others among raw milk opponents) is that they work for institutions that may receive support from Big Ag, and view raw milk as the enemy. Mixing it up with raw milk consumers thus becomes more problematic than we may appreciate. 

    Reply
  • O
    To warm you up at the end of this long weekend (MLK a true hero but you knew that right?) except for those of us that have to work and a return visit from the Polar Vortex, but this is not that long and mostly right on so enjoy:

    “For local eating to remain possible for the foreseeable future, our local economy has to be economically viable, balancing food access for everyone with prices that allow farms and other food establishments to be decent places to work. Along with clean air and water (they somehow either forgot real milk or are afraid their job may be on the line to even mention it) food is a basic human right, recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by every civil government except our own.”

    What next, they outlaw sweat because it smells?

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29091.cfm

    Reply
  • l
    Mark,

    Here is a quote from the Wisconsin State Farmer, Jan 17, 2014, titled “Stephenson forecasts strong year for U.S. diary producers in 2014”

    The following statement is made by Dr. Mark Stephenson, a leading UW-Madison dairy policy and marketing specialist.

    He noted that fluid milk sales in the U.S. have been disappointing in recent years.
    “Mostly, we managed to maintain total sales of fluid milk because our population was growing at a reasonable pace” Stephenson said. “Our domestic fluid milk sales have been dropping like a brick over the last four years. Last year per capita consumption of milk dropped below 20 gallons.”

    It is interesting that the article does not mention raw milk as one of the competitors….

    –bill

    Reply
  • m
    I have been invited to speak and appear at a raw milk legislative hearing to be held in Indianapolis Maryland on the 28th of January. This should be a really interesting hearing….it is in the back yard of the FDA. The FDA made even humble cow shares illegal in Maryland.

    After spending some quality time with top administrators of the USDA federal milk pool orders, I am reminded that ” lincolns peoples department” is so different than the FDA. The USDA tends to listen, hold open hearings, and mostly try to reflect what the people want. This is far removed from the FDA, that secretly does its own thing and does what it’s FOOD Inc corporations want.

    Looking forward to a raw milk teaching moment for the good legislators of Maryland. CA may be 2400 miles away….but we are all still Americans and should have the same rights to food access.

    Reply
  • n
    as for “(MLK a true hero …right?)” > hardly
    once upon a time – having been brain-washed in the communistic public fool system – I did believe that much. But when I found out the rest of the story about the real Martin Luther King Jr – I don’t accept the made-for-the-masses fable anymore.
    Get the facts : think for yourself
    http://www.amren.com/news/2009/01/the_unknown_mar/
    coming to understand how he has been apotheosized, is part of learning how utterly stupified this nation is, by communism
    Reply
  • J
    Dr Heckman doesn’t appear to be affected by that pressure. It comes down to a question of ethics and having a will to make a difference. Should teachers use only theory or personal experience to spread a message?

    All of us are teachers in some form or another, but Don and Ben as extension service people, are teachers by profession. I take more notice of people with personal experience in a subject, as against those who have only read about it, especially if the information has come from the top and not from grass roots.

    Reply
  • rawmilkmike
    Gordon, don’t one or two families control the private companies that control the international corporations that control the governments that control the people? What’s all this talk of Communism?
    Reply
  • rawmilkmike
    Lensmire, hasn’t the number of children been dropping? Aren’t they the only ones who can drink pasteurized milk?
    Reply
  • rawmilkmike
    Mark, do you have poor people in California? Is it possible for you to donate raw milk to food banks, homeless shelters, and programs to feed starving U.S. Children?
    Reply
  • R
    So why does he think this year will reverse that trend? Just typical market hype, of the type a flack like him is paid to spew. Otherwise more dairymen might think of making the leap from industrial servitude to raw milk independence.
    Reply
  • m
    Rawmilkmike,

    We take on medical projects free of cost to the patient. One great example if the child in Mammoth Lakes CA that was cured of his head to toe excema with just raw milk. That support continues.

    We have a huge heart that drives OPDC. Just this last weekend, we were approached by a mom that did not have enough pennies to buy her raw milk for her kids. We gave her our loose lid products for free. We try our best to be as humanitarian as possible.

    The real problem is this….we have a country that has totally screwed up priorities. We would rather provide everyone with costly insurance than feed everyone with much more cost effective and effective food!!!!

    I have never ever not provided food to people that expressed a need regardless of ability to pay. We always have some product someplace.

    The other part of the situation is being sustainable. That takes money…there is a balance.

    All of our OPDC employees are trained,brainwashed and indoctrinated to the concept of LOVE ALL SERVE ALL. We do our best to feed all people that want our products. Even our return products are sold at deep discount or given away. The homeless at some of our Farmers Markets get product at the end of the markets.

    We are based in service to humanity. That is our Karma & guiding north star. All good things flow from this orienation with all that is good.

    Reply
  • S
    Yup Gordon, made milk paint myself and did the grape trellis in the garden one past summer Dry curds, lime, water, and a bit of iron oxide powder for colour. Has held up wonderfully against the weather! And no horrid chemicals to drip into my plants! 🙂
    Reply
  • n
    that’s so neat! Shelly-D. If you’re inclined, I’d love to have a photo of the trellis done up with milk-paint, peeking out from the grapes, for the gallery on my website. If the govt. of BC can ‘deem’ raw milk to be a health hazard, then I deem it to be milk paint base. Amusing … that when I first looked up websites for milk paint, they emphasized that it wouldn’t work ‘lest’n the milk was pasteur-ized. THAT I don’t believe

    do you have a recipe for the milk paint base? what proportions did you use? when you say “dry curds”, how dry? Inquiring minds want to know… any suggestions for other natural substances which will lend a distinct color?

    In his Reasons for convicting us, Judge Wong grumbled that we ‘did not have any material posted on the website, convincing him that the stuff in jars labelled Cleopatra’s Enzymatic Bath Lotion, was sincerely intended for cosmetic use’. Wherefore he drew the inference it was not. But if I sell raw milk for use as milk paint base, satisfying the Learned Justice that it’s actually being brushed-on barns … at least, some of it will be … who’s to know otherwise?! : one of the hallmarks of communism = it compels good people to break the law. In this case … not ‘break’ it, rather = “circumvent it”.

    my raw milk website < www.freewebs.com/bovinity > < watson.gordons@gmail.com >

    Reply
  • h
    Growing up on an organic farm before organic was cool has given me some experience in dealing with controversy.
    Heckman, J.R. 2006. A History of Organic Farming: Transitions from Sir Albert Howard’s War in the Soil to USDA National Organic Program. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 21:143-150.

    Republished by Wise Traditions:

    http://www.westonaprice.org/farm-a-ranch/468-history-of-organic-farming.html

    When It Comes to Raw Milk, Joseph Heckman Finds That Academia Not the Best Place for Open Debate
    http://thecompletepatient.com/article/2010/february/1/when-it-comes-raw-milk-joseph-heckman-finds-academia-not-best-place-open

    Traditional Organic Food & Farming Systems
    https://byrne.rutgers.edu/seminars/courses/traditional-organic-food-and-farming-systems

    Reply
  • l
    I do not know…I guess the question is what does the author mean by “…population was growing at a reasonable pace…”? births? legal immigration? illegal immigration? visitor? I do not know….he did not give any reference to back his claim…

    Sounds like the author is trying to “soften” the bad news that fluid milk consumption of dead milk is in a downward spiral…

    In a related article, you have the National Milk Producers Federation urging the scientific advisory panel working on the next round of federal dietary advice to keep the recommendation of three daily servings of dairy products for most Americans….

    Look at our society today as the result of the current federal dietary advice….I can just imagine what the next set of federal advice will do to the population…..

    –bill

    Reply
  • S
    I made my own recipe from scratch – didn’t measure anything — but it was similar to http://www.earthpigments.com/milk-lime-paint/ . Remove as much cream off as possible before curdling the milk. I used some lime from the big bag out in the shed, and some iron oxide powder from a potter’s supply shop (they have other mineral pigments as well, for other colours – and maybe try chalk or talc for white). You can use industrial pasteurized “cottage cheese” from the grocers as well (best use ever for IPP milk, imho). Mix together the curds, water, and lime in a plastic bucket with lid on, and let sit a bit (took mine 2 days) until the lime has dissolved the curds (I eventually helped it along with a blender). Add in pigment and paint on a nice sunny day. 🙂 A little went a long, long way.

    BTW, this has me curious: “Paint has been used by mankind since before recorded history, first as decoration, and much later as a protective coating. The oldest painted surfaces on earth were colored with a form of milk paint. Cave drawings and paintings made 8,000 years ago, even as old as 20,000 years ago, were made with a simple composition of milk, lime, and earth pigments. ” (http://www.milkpaint.com/about_history.html) – so, could this mean that we had domesticated dairy animals 20,000 yrs ago? 🙂

    Reply
  • Ken Conrad
    This all sounds too familiar D.

    “We keep being told, ‘You need to be more efficient.’ But we’re already doing everything we can,” said Tucker, whose family started the dairy in 1966. “And efficiency can only go so far when your feed costs double and the price of water doubles, and the price you get for your milk doesn’t change.”

    I often queried this incessant propaganda directed at increased efficiency. ”How efficient do you expect us to get”, I would ask.

    I don’t have an issue with being efficient as long as it’s feasible and doesn’t compromise quality and safety. Unfortunately however, it would seem, that efficiency in the food production industry is driven primarily by the desire for cheap food with little concern for its quality or safety.

    In the name of efficiency (cheap food) farm family members have to seek off farm employment or expand, if they wished to preserve their traditional lifestyle.

    It is politically expedient for politicians to capitulate to and manipulate the consumer’s desire for cheap food by adopting fiscal, trade, and regulatory policies that drive down the farmgate price.

    What these self-serving, shortsighted numbskulls fail to comprehend is that bigger is not better and that it’s unwise to put all of your eggs in one basket.

    This greed driven scenario, that ultimately compromises the quality of food and has resulted in the drastic decline in the number of small family farms, will only be broken by an inevitable catastrophic shortage of food.

    Ken

    Reply
  • D
    @ Ken: And when there comes that catastrophic shortage of food, and it WILL happen, people can grow their own veggies and even some fruits, depending on where they live and depending on whether or not it will be legal to do so. But who will they look to for eggs, milk, cream, etc? It won’t be big dairy. If that was going to happen it would be happening now – and as far as I can tell, regular milk (junk milk, I call it) sales are headed down – because people are getting wise to the facts about sloppy production methods, however much they try to hide these things.

    But people will be looking for neighborhood/local small dairy farmers – and there won’t be any. I surmise a lot of people will opt not to use dairy rather than use the slop crap. That will be my choice if it ever comes to that.

    BigPhood is cutting its own throat, and I say let them. It will take years to rebuild these small, local, great farms and farmers but I think that’s exactly what’s going to have to happen in order for the market to make a U-turn and set things right again. When bigfood and bigdairy have screwed up the entire food system, even more than they already have, people will start getting a bigger clue about what does and doesn’t work.

    And, Ken, I agree with you about that word efficiency. What do they want the small farmers to do, put their cattle on a diet? Cattle eat what cattle eat, and they eat as much as they need, the farmer is not in control of that – unless it’s a CAFO trying to control everything – thus they produce an inferior product.

    I recently received my latest edition of South Dakota Magazine and there is a pretty decent article in there about the loss of animals during the early October blizzard in 2013 here in western South Dakota. Official reports confirm 13,977 cattle, 1,257 sheep, 287 horses and 40 bison dead from that one storm. It is sad to lose this livestock in such a manner but we lose this many and more everyday to the mismanagement from the CAFO producers and few seem to bat an eye. It’s totally mystifying to me that people just don’t see it. Of course, to the ones who aren’t paying attention and have never been on a farm/ranch much less know what it means to BE a farmer or rancher, it doesn’t mean much. They really don’t know any better because keeping things a secret from about 90% of the public is what these greedy producers want. Since the advent of the computer, more people are catching on. So to speak, the wind is blowing the buffalo hide off the tipi and exposing the inner workings! It can’t come soon enough. More of the general public need to know what is, and isn’t, in their food and where it comes from.

    Reply
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