Let’s see, if I was going to be involved in a real-life conspiracy to alter government behavior, what would I want to do? For starters, I might arrange for Mark McAfee to become head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Then, I might work on getting Michelle Obama to push her husband to veto the new Food Safety Modernization Act. For kickers I might influence the judge in charge of the federal suit by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund to invalidate the ban on interstate shipments of raw milk.
But connive to establish a set of standards for raw milk producers? I don’t think so. That’s why I had to chuckle at some of the comments by Barney Google and lola granola. I appreciate their sincerity in arguing that this is such a touchy issue it requires secret planning–I just wish I had the conspiratorial power ascribed to me (and others) and, more important, that something significant was being accomplished. As Mark McAfee correctly points out, nothing formal is anywhere near being accomplished on the standards-setting side. Just a bunch of informal emails with ideas and discussion. A lot of sincere people without much power, trying things out.
I wish things were further along, but developing serious standards and figuring out how to implement them–for example, whether they should be voluntary or part of some organizational agenda–is a big project. Maybe Barney Google and lola granola want to get involved, since there’s a crying need for serious leadership.
I’m not necessarily big on any new regulatory overhang. I just think that, as several commenters suggest, we have a new reality, what with new federal safety legislation about to go into effect and judges showing very little inclination to listen to explanations like those from Max Kane and Aajonus Vonderplanitz–compelling as they may be–about the role of bacteria in building immune function, or otherwise countering the regulatory agenda.
A quick review of recent history makes one trend clear: nearly every time there’s an outbreak linked to raw milk in one state or another, the authorities use it as an excuse to bring a chokehold on local raw dairies. Consider:
- Raw milk producers enjoyed a long period of relative peace in Minnesota. Yes, there was a court action a few years ago involving Michael Hartmann over meat production, but essentially he was producing, selling, and delivering milk for at least ten years…until illnesses were linked to his milk. Then all hell broke loose, as regulators went after not only Hartmann, but all kinds of other people associated not just with raw milk, but with a wider variety of nutrient-dense foods.
- Regulatory controls were easing in Colorado, until a couple of outbreaks there were linked to raw milk in the last two years, and suddenly the regulators began pushing back.
- Wisconsin had had a peace of sorts for raw milk sales, until an outbreak of 30 illnesses was linked to the Zinniker farm in 2009. A regulatory crackdown that had already begun only intensified, and it isn’t over yet.
- Connecticut has allowed retail sales of raw milk for many years. Illnesses at Town Dairy prompted the state ag authorities to try in 2009 to prohibit retail sales, and only a concerted consumer effort involving legislators beat back the effort.
- California was peaceful for raw milk production for a number of years until 2006, when six illnesses were linked to Organic Pastures Dairy Co. Then there was a year of unsuccessful battle over SB201, designed to beat back new regulations that grew out of the illnesses.
- Ohio was peaceful as well, until illnesses were linked to Carol Schmittmeyer in 2006. The state’s effort to crack down on herdshares was only countered by a victory in state court by Gary Cox representing Schmittmeyer.
Sure, there have been regulatory crackdowns in states like New York and Pennsylvania, where there were no illnesses to speak of; there’s nothing approaching a perfect correlation here. But the weight of evidence is such that I can say with much confidence that raw milk producers and consumers would be a lot better off if the events listed above hadn’t happened.
How do we keep them from happening? As Bill Anderson points out, some farmers do a better job of controlling milk quality than others. A good way to further education is via standards, and Mark McAfee even provides some interesting starting points. I’m not saying that’s the only way, but it seems to me the most direct and effective approach.
People can talk about about our God-given rights and being free men (and I do as well), but when illnesses happen, and state and federal regulators go crazy, lots of real people get hurt. Farmers lose revenues big time, and sometimes are even forced out of business. Consumers have their dairy supplies interrupted.
On the other side of the equation, an absence of illnesses makes it more difficult for the regulators to come after raw milk. When they’ve done so in Massachusetts, they’ve stimulated an outcry, and big-time pushback. No official victory, but signs the regulators may be more careful.
We can fight among ourselves with conspiracy theories, or we can fight the common enemy. The best way to fight the common enemy, given that the legal and regulatory climate is ever more tenuous, is to counter with good health outcomes and effective public relations. It’s much more difficult to succeed in the public relations arena in a place like Minnesota, when there’s convincing evidence that a farmer’s raw milk has sickened a dozen people, than it is in Massachusetts, where there hasn’t been a documented case of illness in well over a decade. ?
Do we really understand how people get hurt?
Now Bill gets a lot of praise from certain quarters here, and a lot of heat from others, and I don't mean to add to either just now, but would nevertheless like to use his comment on David's last post as a springboard to draw careful attention to statements that this or that system is practical (or good or better… fill in your own adjective) and will therefore cause less hurt.
I have no objection to the types of things goat maid and Ken are talking about, Bill said, but they are not practical for a farmer milking 30 or more cows.
This is just one of countless pronouncements we hear everywhere and always from experts and laypersons alike, that purport to represent the actual costs and benefits of an activity. They are all largely bunk. The reason is simple: So many factors affect costs that we are virtually unable to calculate them correctly. Doesn't matter whether we're talking about milking cows or building roads or mining coal or building a sewer or wearing cotton or implementing standards. We really do not, cannot, understand the complete and full effects of what we are doing. Even when we have a pretty good handle on a particular set of factors, there are always many many more factors lurking in the background, unappreciated, certain to overwhelm the few we know and understand.
What are the effects, for example, of a simple milk line if one considers even these relatively few factors (which all have myriad environmental, financial, social, and psychological effects behind and within): Plastic, metal, and chemical production facilities, farm buildings, the nudging of production processes toward a centralized system, the machines and fuels required to distribute greater quantities of milk, health effects of all the above… Have I scratched the surface?
I'm well aware that this is very big-picture talk, and perhaps impractical then in its own way. But since so many of our big ideas have caused so much pain, we ought to at very least allow the concept of externalities to slow us down. Even a notional understanding of externalities suggests that the simplest system is the safest and wisest, and that idea exchange rather than blanket idea implementation, is most humane.
Please, to fortify your understanding of externalities, view all six of these video segments (the link is to part 1):
There are no "national raw milk standards" being written to my knowledge. I believe Tim Wightman is writing a document which should be released fairly soon, but this is his work and his alone.
The only thing I am advocating for here is for more education and helping farmers implement simple inexpensive procedures so they can more effectively monitor their milk quality on a day-to-day basis.
There are a few simple lab tests, and even some tests that do not require a labratory. It is not difficult to learn how to identify coliform contamination of milk simply through taste and smell of the lacto-fermented clabber.
Also, to the point on corporate agri-business– YES, they are already planning to co-opt the raw milk market from the small farmers. And I'll tell you exactly how they intend to do it:
Its called ultra-filtration.
I am familiar with this technology, as I have actually operatored a nano-filtration system at a PMO dairy plant. The technology for ultra-filtration is similair but slightly different than the system I ran.
It is possible to sterilize milk using membranes (similair to reverse osmosis membranes) instead of using heat. Because this milk is technically "unpasteurized" in the eyes of the PMO, the dairy processing industry thinks they can call it "raw milk."
They already do this with cheese — for example, Organic Valley will set their pasteurizer to 155 or 160F and make cheddar with that sub-pasteurized milk (legal pasteurization is 161F), then go on to call the cheese "raw milk cheese."
This is deceptive advertising. Raw milk (and raw milk cheese) means that the milk is in its CRUDE FORM — NOT processed in some way that renders unsafe PMO milk "safe" but which falls short of legal pasteurization.
That was the thrust of the email I wrote to Tim Wightman and others. We need to define raw milk (and cultured raw milk products such as cheese) as being made from milk which has not undergone further processing or heating from the time it is harvested. These dairy processing technologies that are alternatives to PMO pasteurization, but which are NOT the same thing as REAL raw milk, are the problem — not some non-existant conspiracy to establish national raw milk standards.
The ideological rigidity of some people here could prove to be the downfall of the raw milk movement. The dairy processing industry is going to steal this market from right under us, and you aren't even going to know what hit you until its too late.
btw… I have nothing to gain personally by being involved in this movement. I am not a farmer. I am a cheesemaker. It is legal for me to make raw milk cheese if I age it 60 days and do it in a licensed facility.
I say these things because I genuinely care about the farmers and the authenticity of the food we consume. I do not mean to belittle very small farms that use bucket milking. I am 100% in favor of having more of these kinds of very small farms.
What I am concerned about are the small to medium sized Grade A farms (20-100 cows) that are milking on a pipeline, because those are the farms that are usually implicated in outbreaks. This is due to their size and scale of distribution coupled with a lack of sufficient validation of milk quality and safety due to limited resources.
As I said above, there are simple inexpensive ways to validate milk quality for these kinds of farms. We just need to educate and help these farmers.
Are we slaves whose right of what we put into our bodies come from unelected tyrants
that represent the state?
Or are we free men and women graced by our creator with the inalienable right to contract and to choose what we put in our bodies?
The Declaration of Independence tells us that we are the later. It also instructs us that we have the right to use whatever means necessary including bringing the tyrants to room temperature, to rectify the usurpation of the very limited powers that we trusted our government with.
Can anyone show me where in the US Constitution that we delegated to government the power to choose for us what we put into our bodies?
Can anyone show me where in the US Constitution that we delegated to government the power to interfere with our absolute right to contract?
(Hint: Even if it were there it were there – and it is not – it would be null and void because no one and no thing can take away my God given Inalienable rights. Not even the Constitution.)
These agencies are acting in absence of legitimate authority. Their actions are tyrannical and treasonous in nature. At the very least those involved including law enforcement should be tried for treason with the possible penalty of death if convicted as that is something spelled out very clearly in the US Constitution.
As a compromise and to humour those that that think it is somehow proper for government to try and protect us from ourselves I have a proposition. We leave the USDA/FDA etc. in place. And YOU can purchase only food that is USDA approved. You can feed to your infants and family GMO, pesticide, aspartame, bovine growth hormone, irradiated, dead, lifeless , food. While on the other hand you respect my God given right to choose what I put in my body.
Very simply I respect your God given right to choose only USDA inspected food and you respect my God given right to determine in any manner that I wish what I put in my body.
You respect that the USDA is NOT my God and they do not give me rights. (Nor can they take them away.) I likewise will respect that you choose the USDA and government as your God and they can determine all of life's decisions for you.
The scope of the voluntary standards is also not clear. Pete was asking, way back at the Trautman post, how to avoid the pitfalls that were encountered by organic milk –
Small producers keep asking for consideration and are being scoffed at –
BIG mistake! The smallest producers must be protected or the "larger is more profitable" rule of thumb will eventually overtake and swallow YOU, whatever size you are. Learn from our mistakes of the past.
From Previous Post, Mark wrote: "All facilities to be visually clean, kept free of flies and other vermin and well organized. "
All facilities? The shop where a teenage son is rebuilding his engine? That shed where Aunt Bea was reupholstering a chair before she broke her hip? The house?
Visually clean and well organized? Is that a pile of stuff we're collecting for Goodwill or is it junk that lures rodents?
Does dust and cobwebs in the rafters of a barn have anything to do with the milk parlor or cheese room?
Standards should be measurable and they should be necessary. "Clean" is nice – but how clean is clean enough? There's broom clean and there's particulate measuring clean-room clean… You can't get rid of dust – so how much dust does it take to contaminate the inside of a pipeline?
Who is deciding? Write your standards as if the person inspecting you thinks your sleeping with his wife.
I'd also like to mention that pipeline milking seems a little over the top for a raw milk producer. We use a surge milker. It is a small, stainless steel tank. All we have to keep clean is that one tank, and whatever stainless steel buckets the milk is poured into. Our ability to keep contact surfaces clean are, in my opinion, farm more manageable than a larger dairy passing off raw milk on the side.
And once we have voluntary standards, you'll see the government peruse them and state they are not enough. Just wait for words like, "Unattached to living space" and "separate room with self closing door"
Fact is, we small ones started the whole raw milk movement in the first place by staying under the radar, handmilking only a few animals while gathering raw milk converts with teachings and explanations about raw milk, and nobody got sick or died drinking that milk pulled by hand from the teats of cows and goats… because if they had, we wouldn't be here now. Moreover, there are many thousands more people like me who milk relatively few animals by hand or with a small bucket-milker than there are those who run pipelines with a hundred or more cows. And I'm not even counting all the Amish dairymen who handmilk 20-50 cows twice a day, possible with all that child labor.
We're not just a few quaint oddities scattered here and there. This group of supposed "rustics" is growing. Milk cows, milk goats, even milksheep are snapped up immediately within a day or two at most of posting for sale–for asking price and no haggling. Lists and groups contain frequent ads begging someone to sell them a cow; some people even buy them sight unseen across the country and ship them home because there are so few dairy animals in their area. Someone bought my first cow and took her home in a rented U-Haul truck, to my dismay.
The Family Cow board I mentioned a while ago (which link Lykke recently reposted), always has new people joining to learn about milk cows; same thing with the goat lists. I get frequent calls asking if I have or know of a milk cow for sale; and I continually lose customers simply because they buy their own animals… some even buy them from me. Now that's TRUE dedication to the raw milk cause… when you sell milk stock to your own customers, knowing you'll lose those customers and potential others when they gain their own converts. ha
Yet, it seems the raw milk movers and shakers would get rid of us small-timers as well as the "Know Your Farmer" motto, so they can replicate the Stoneyfield example and put raw milk in Walmart: "Get big or get out." Hmmmmmm, where have we heard that before??? Oh wait…. the GOVERNMENT!
Get Big or Get Out: The main reason why we have so few farmers now….
Fact is, I don't believe this country is ready for mass-produced raw milk. Let's face it… most consumers are not ready to drink raw milk. Brain-washed as they have been in the last 60 years to believe that pasteurization is necessary to kill germs, they'd be the first to jump on raw milk as causing any little stomach upset.
"But the REAL MILK is so important to me – nigh on sacred – that I'll compromise."
And how far will you compromise?
Won't be too long before the quality of Stoneyfield will be compromised as well… how long before Dannon says to start cutting corners so profits can be maximized?
Any of the above sound like THE NOBLE LIE tool that Plato exposed?
Watch the video THE NOBLE LIE.
David and Bill, you call me a "conspiracy nut" in order to discredit me, but the evidence is there for all of us to see. Don't play the readers of this blog as fools.
Bill, you claim to have no knowledge of the National Standards being crafted by Farm to Consumer and others, but the e-mail where Tim Wightman describes these standards is attached to an e-mail you sent regarding the WI DATCP raw milk working group and how their recommendations will fit into the new WI raw milk bill. As I said in the last posting, I'll forward those e-mails on to anyone who doubts their authenticity.
The fact is, Farm to Consumer is crafting National Standards for the Production of Raw Drinking Milk, and they have consulted Codex to understand how their standards fit into it. Also, if one reads the text of the Tester Hagen Amendment to S510, you'll see that it would empower the government to review milk standards and establish third party certifiers for enforcement resolutions. Funny how all of these fit together. Move along, no conspiracy here!
I really don't think my last posting on the last article should get buried, so I'm copying it here:
Is it conceivable that the organizations supporting the Tester Hagan amendment and their subsequent support of the Food Safety Modernization Act acted on their own behalf to deliver a means to an end?
We find within the Act the answer:
(n ) Regulations
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations—
(A) to establish science based minimum standards for conducting a hazard analysis, documenting hazards, implementing preventive controls, and documenting the implementation of the preventive
controls under this section;
(3) CONTENT.— The regulations promulgated under paragraph (1)(A )shall–
(D) not require a facility to hire a consultant or other third party to identify, implement, certify, or audit preventative controls, except in case of negotiated enforcement resolutions that may require such a consultant or third party.
(5) REVIEW.— In promulgating the regulations under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall review regulatory hazard analysis and preventative control of programs in existence on the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, including the Grade A pasteurized Milk Ordinance to ensure that such regulations are consistent, to the extent practicable, with applicable domestic and internationally recognized standards in existence on such date.
Herein lies the explanation as to why these groups now move for Codex standards for raw milk as they knew full well the Act would empower the Secretary to review milk standards and establish third party certifiers for enforcement resolutions. This is why these groups deceived so many, it was for their own benefit and the knew full well and in advance it would be so.
Fact is, national standards would do little to alter raw milk in the eyes of government. They will only serve to divide the raw milk community, encourage industrial production of raw milk, and give a free pass to the consumer in regards to research. It helps take the farmer out of the equation. National standards also is no guarantee of a safer raw milk supply…it'll only foster a increased, and false, sense of security…
The best way for people to get good clean raw milk is to develop a relationship with the person creating the food….not falling in love with some 'certified' label.
More smaller farms is a better way.
I love bucket milkers!!! They are by far the easiest method to use to get rock bottom bacteria counts. Line milking is good…but there can be issues with getting every little bit clean. Those gaskets, corners and top inside "can not see um areas" can drive coliforms up considerably. Not to mention the pumps and receivers and plate chillers. All nasty little places that can build coliform counts. Trust me I know all about this.
But these are not places that collect or create pathogens. Pathogens are supposed to come from the manure and the cows. When ever I do a bucket milking to check on a cow's illness or other situation….I get coliforms from 1 to 5 and SPC's less than 500 if she is healthy. So do not automatically think that I may be against bucket milking. I strongly recommend it when milking less than 20 cows ( my arbitrary number ). As far as hand milking is concerned, I am biased against it. To much work and too much opportunity for you know what. You are open to the world.
If responsibility and liberty and freedom are the goals.,,,then standards are a way to achieve these goals.
Who in the hell believes that freedom is associated with illness or never measuring anything and a free for all. Ignorance is an enemy of freedom. Knowledge drives freedom and health.
I am not for heavy government regulation at all. In fact I think that it is a fairly burdensome process and can be expensive. I like what RMAC has done privately yet professionally.
I support volentary national standards and a "seal of standards excellence" if the producer particiaptes. If is he is in the program consumers will know….if he is out they will also know. If he is in, then the standards will clearly show what he is doing. When they visit the farm, the standards and the visual niave inspection should always match.
Simple as that. Consumers will seek farmers that follow the standards and proudly exceed them.
I am more and more convinced that those that follow the "do not tread on me"…god given rights concept are also the ones that refuse to learn new things and adapt to change. God made change also….he created the bacteria that always want to adapt to their challenges and get smarter and better. Why do some of us humans fight this so much!!!
Adapt or die. That is life on earth. The same goes for the CAFO down the street. They are changing also. We in this movement have given industry some very interesting leads on what to do to gain back market share.
If the CAFO system embraces French Style fake partial raw milk ( I had some Ultrafilered raw milk with Cream pasteurized, last summer in Paris ), then they too are adapting. They will be robbing us of some of our wind….but not really.
The consumer can be easily educated about the lie of CAFO Ultrafiltered Cream Pasteurized Raw Milk. By the way….the PMO does not allow for this product. This would require a change in the PMO. All farmer needs to tell his consumer is the truth explain in simple terms what raw milk is…and what it is not. One more thing….the PMO describes raw milk. So the name raw milk could not be used on Ultrafiltered stuff. Cause it is not raw milk as defined by the PMO.
When we are forced to change so goes change for everyone.
I strongly suggest that farmers embrace new learning and stop being in love with head in the sand, change adverse, intellectually growth stunted concepts of life. I know this takes work and that this work is mostly intellectual. Please tell me that farmers can do intellectual work and then apply this thinking to the physical work at hand. The farmers I know that think hard before doing things are much more successful.
Change or die. Be smart and look forward to new things as on opportunity not a threat. We also have a story and the consumers will love you!!
We have everything. Spend your time in reality and all will be just fine. Spending time in conspiracy space….is a dangerously wasteful thing to do. In our real reality there is plenty of danger and that also means we must stay eternally vigilant….cameras ready and Consumers in a close connected relationship, RAMP programs tuned up and raw milk tasting delicious.
I am very impressed with what Mark has achieved and what others want to achieve even though I personally believe that farming doesn't scale. I would prefer to see more people farming smaller farms with consumers even doing some of their own farming. I prefer to buy my raw milk from the quaint, anachronistic, small-scale hippies but I do think that a farms like Goatmaid's and OPDC can coexist. I know my farmer (and so does David) and I suspect raw milk is as much his calling as it is his livelihood. I suspect the same of both Mark and Goatmaid.
I am not a dairy farmer nor am I involved in any commercial dairy processing. I am simply a raw milk drinker who occasionally makes her own butter and yogurt and who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect and defend my raw milk supply. Gratefully, right now in the state of CT, all that requires is showing up to purchase it at the natural foods store. In fact, I'm on a list where they put milk aside for so that I don't even have to suffer through seasonal changes or calving. Things are really darn good for me. But I read and naturally I get paranoid about my supply. So of course I want to do whatever those right things are to prevent such a personal disaster.
With consumption being my motive and the goal of letting the consumer having the most power in the food chain, I am asking Mark if he'd be willing to recast his list of safety indicators for national standards as a consumer list of safety standards and I am asking Lola, Hugh, Goatmaid and others to participate as well.
What would be great is to have a set of standards for consumers to use to "validate" their raw milk supply. It should include environmental factors, process and methodology, real tests that people could perform, and whatever else it takes to be a legitimately informed consumer. It would be part check list, part evaluation form.
Here's an example of a form it might take:
– What was your initial impression of the appearance of the farm and facilities?
– Was your farmer willing to show you around the farm and demonstrate their processes and methodology (with respect to the farmer's schedule)?
– Does your farmer use one of the following methods for collecting milk, storing milk, transporting milk, and so on? <List some well-recognized safe methods for each>.
– Did you see any evidence of <list evil visible things here>?
– Perform this test on X-day-old milk samples <test procedure>.
– <More questions and tests.>
This would arm the consumer with tangible data that could be used in a plethora of situations. No more relying on folklore and anecdotal evidence to support our (imagined) right to consume whatever we want (as if simply enjoying the taste of a clean, natural beverage were not enough in a free country). Consumers would go into this with eyes wide open and be forced to keep them that way. Consumers would be the regulators and inspectors with data. Of course, this would require farmers to set aside some time for questions and methodology tours, but most of the quaint ones are doing this on-demand anyway.
What do you say? Too naive?
Rather then focus on perceived efficiency and what is practical perhaps we should consider a more responsible and sensible approach.
Thirty five years ago there were over thirty milk producers within a five mile radius of my farm, today there are two. Back then pipelines were rare with most of the producers using bucket milking machines. On our farm there were two individuals milking over 70 head of jersey cattle using Surge bucket milkers. It took less then 11/2 hours to milk the cows.
After expanding and switching over to a milking parlor system using Surge automatic quarter take offs we were able to accomplish the milking task using one person.
On the surface the milking parlor system would appear to be the more efficient and practical approach however it has several disadvantages especially in our neck of the woods where the winters are cold.
To begin with the parlor system is hog on hot water in order to clean equipment, cattle, floors, walls and ceiling. In the winter they have to be heated 24/7 in order to prevent the equipment and water from freezing up.
Now many of disadvantages of a parlor system can be avoided using a pipeline and tie stall system however such a system is a hog on hot water as well since the long pipelines are more difficult to keep clean.
Using bucket milkers in a tie stall barn although labor intensive, has a clear advantage over the above two systems in that you use considerably much less water and chemicals, the cows body heat keeps them warm and as Mark correctly stated, They are by far the easiest method to use to get rock bottom bacteria counts. During the winter I would let my cattle run outside for two to three hours while I cleaned the stable.
Marketing boards and regulators have clearly demonstrated their intent, they do not want small independent farms" and are therefore driving small farms out of business all in the name of their perception of efficiency and so called food safety. Small farm communities although perceived as impractical are a far cry more sensible and constructive then these white elephant CAFOs
Education is an on-going way of life. I would think that most want to produce healthy foods, contamination has the potential to cause you to lose your farm. (No pun intended)
"Its called ultra-filtration."
I have to ask the organic farmer where he gets his poop from, etc, Raw milk is supposed to mean; milk just as it came from the cow, goat or sheep, etc. Wouldn't that membrane prevent the fat globs from going through? There goes whole milk. This means I'd have to ask how the raw milk is processed….This sounds like the non-raw almonds sold as raw almonds…
Joe T. many have said it is an individuals right to choose as they see fit, yet "others" feel they know better. I can't understand why they don't live and let live.
Goatmaid, I have no desire to learn about cows or the proper way of milking. I have no problem paying someone to have that knowledge and abilities to do so. My dad and his siblings milked 50 head twice a day, in buckets. No one ever got sick from the milk. (back in the 1920s-30s) Yet, if tptb forces me to learn, then I will. I saved your links. There is nothing wrong with hippies.
I don't want, nor will I buy industrialized produced raw milk. It is too likely to be contaminated/altered in some way.
" National standards also is no guarantee of a safer raw milk supply…it'll only foster a increased, and false, sense of security…"
there are national standards for many foods already, look how many were contaminated in just the last 3 years. The standards did not help in preventing nor fixing the problems.
Sophie,your post appears to fall along the lines of educate, educate, I couldn't agree more. One farm may be different in some way, doesn't mean it is lower standards than another farm, just different, know what to look for.
I agree with your positions. I was hoping for something like "Consumer and Farmer Guidelines for the production of raw milk". Consumers educated to be their own decision makers. Farmers educated to develop reasonable procedures on how to monitor and improve their product for their situation. If consumers don't like what they see, that producer won't have consumers. If barriers to entry are low, competition will develop and good producers will be rewarded. Poor situations will be naturally eliminated.
Rigid standards put out as the only way to do something do not allow for creativity or flexibility for particular situations. I am for education and empowerment of individuals (consumers and producers).
Also, I would not wish to be part of an organization that "certified" someone to "our standards". That's an entity looking to get sued when something doesn't go correctly. You would be much better off teaching consumers and producers and letting them make decisions. Standing in for the decision makers, as noted earlier, removes responsibility for that decision and makes the organization liable. After all, you said the producer was fine.
Also, like the organic certified processes, raw milk standards will likely get taken over by forced regulation supposedly asked for by consumers. Any excuse for bureaucrats and NGO's to make their territory bigger is one they will eventually find a reason to exploit.
Sophie I agree with you very much. An educated consumer is very important.
I was raised on a dairy farm in Lodi, California. While I have left this farm it still remains in my family.
At a young age (based on what I saw from people coming to purchase raw milk after an evening milking) I realized that "for those who are predisposed for raw milk to be an issue it will be. For those predisposed for it not to be who it won't."
In high school, I saw (this is the late 70's/early 80's) that most Central Valley farmers (not just dairy) would be most helped by those who the farmers ideologically wanted nothing to do with. For brevity's sake these were the "hippies" and the "liberals"
I went to work for OPDC in 2005 as I had saw two things. One was McAfee et.al had made the leap and the second was the development of a moving milking parlor. This answered the question that I had based on what I saw during my family's farm growth. The bigger it got, the treatment and care of the animals began to suffer.
During the 2008 election cycle, people were coming up to me at the OPDC stand at farmer's markets. Republicans would speak with me as if I was a Republican. Democrats as if I was a Democrat.
I see and have seen that as very positive. To me this is how things have evolved since I was younger. Education IS an ongoing process.
There are two dairy farms In CA that sell raw milk retail. Both take different approaches. After doing some research of the farm I wasn't working for and knowing issues that are specific to California I found that their approach was just as valid as OP.
I left OP early this year. While during my time with OP there were periods of disagreement, there were also long periods of growth, ongoing education, positive effort and adaptation to/due crisis, need or data, pro-active response, and creating a well-informed, pro-active community. Adapting to change was continuous.
20 cows or 200, both are fine. In some large cities though you're not going to get a raw dairy farm nearby. Faith and trust is required of the farm who does ship it in. In 2005, OP had answers and standards that I liked from a farmer's perspective and from a visionary's perspective. I want standards. These standards can vary from farm to farm. I'd like these standards to come from within. The farm should uphold their end of the bargain as best they can.
Information on "Critical Path Method" or the work of J. Edwards Deming may be worth reading now.
Maurice, I think you're on the right track with Deming.
Obviously, each farm is unique, and we need to take that into account. Not all raw milk farms are tie-style barns.
I agree with what Mark said. Ultimately, what we need to look at is results. There are more than one way to achieve the same end goal. If you can achieve safe raw milk with a bucket milking system, more power to you.
But it is clear to me (and apparently to others) that there are some "problem farms", and we need a way to either educate these farmers on how to improve the safety of their milk, or to distinguish them from the majority of farms which aren't making people sick.
Lola- you are the one who is obsessed with codex. I don't think I've ever said a word about the thing. You are a conspiracy theorists. Get over it already.
How will standards and self regulation make this situation better? Half of your examples are from states where raw milk production is regulated with standards!
The problem here isn't a lack of standards or dirty producers. We already know the state can and does manufacture outbreaks. The problem is an overreaching state that is using every excuse to over react and persecute small farmers.
The problem here is the bureaucrats. All you folks eager to come up with regulations for dairy producers. What are you doing to deal with the real problem?
OK Bill, you have much knowledge to contribute on this. When will you be posting a link to your paper on these methods? You've spoken many times very eloquently about them, but have never put them all together in one place for people to learn from. And I know a few others here will have some things to add to it as well.
In the mean time don't underestimate the consumer. From my experience they know very well who produces quality milk. The only present problem is there is not enough supply to go around and so many have to settle with what they can get. But more rules, regulations, certifications, and standards won't help that situation. Only helping more folks start small farms will solve that problem.
Here's what I wrote on Sept. 27 when Trautman was on his tirade.
You've got these lofty ideas that you obviously haven't thought out very well. Questions and concerns have been raised, but you didn't really answer any of them.
Is this your idea or this the idea of the secret group of Wisconsin raw milk producers? The one you have to be part of or your opinion doesn't matter? You know, the Siegmann-Brunner-Craigs et al, with Fall Though the Cracks Legal Defense Fund and Jolene the Lobbyist? Isn't this the same group that told others to sit down and shut up when they had different ideas from the group? And who's paying the lobbyist? $11,400 so far seems a lot for struggling farmers.
I'm waiting for an answer and I will question you again.
September 27, 2010 | Barney Google
Did this supposed imaginary group get to Trautman and tell him to sit down and shut up? Because after I wrote this posting we never heard from him again.
Bill, Mark and others who like to use the term "conspiracy theorist",
Here's the definition of conspiracy –
noun, plural -cies.
1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law . an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
The conspiracy is on your end, not ours.
It seems that always, those that like to discredit others that have a 'conspiracy theory'…..are actually the ones who have something to hide.
I'm sure it's no different here.
It's no wonder we haven't heard from Tim. His silence speaks volumes.
Latin root of the word "conspire" = conspiare' (to breathe together)
Seems like we are all doing that already………
Bill, it's in the e-mail you sent to Wightman. Do we really need to keep going over this?
From the last article, comments section, p. 3:
> —– Original Message —–
> *From:* Bill <certainkindoff…@gmail.com>
> *To:* Tim Wightman <clea…@cheqnet.net>
> *Cc:* firstname.lastname@example.org ; wapfmadisonchapter<wapfmadisonchap…@yahoogroups.com>;
> 4rawm…@charter.net ; Kimberly Hartke <kimbe…@hartkeonline.com> ; Mark
> McAfee <m…@organicpastures.com> ; Michael Schmidt <glencol…@bmts.com>;
> safal…@aol.com ; p…@ftcldf.org ; Mary Falk<lovet…@grantsburgtelcom.net>;
> david <da…@davidgumpert.com> ; bleumont <bleum…@tds.net> ; mgingrich<mgingr…@mhtc.net>;
> off…@stbrigidsmeadows.com ; Joe Plasterer<joeplaste…@starkweatherassociates.com>
> *Sent:* Monday, November 22, 2010 5:30 PM
> *Subject:* Re: The new raw milk is coming!
> Tim (and others)-
(Here's where I cut text out – Lola)
> Tim, does the Codex definition of "raw drinking milk" include a definition
> of the term which excludes heat treatment and ultra-filtration? While the
> use of these technologies is inevitable, milk produced using those
> technologies is not the same thing as real raw milk, and should be labelled
> differently to inform consumers and ensure truth in labelling.
Seriously, Bill, my 4 year old can tell better lies than this. She at least has the wherewithal to throw her brother under the bus, rather than to deny the obvious.
I find it interesting that Bill's, Mark's and David's names are all on that e-mail, yet all three deny knowledge of it. Wouldn't you all be better off making up some story about "being consulted about, blah, blah, blah…" than to just blankly deny it? You realize that any credibility you had is been shot through, right?
It's obvious that this got leaked too early and you're now trying to cover your tracks.
And, if this were a novel, I think the following is what they'd call foreshadowing:
David Gumpert (from the last article): "The time for rigorous standards is upon us."
Bill Anderson (from the last article's comments, page 2): "I would even go so far as to suggest that raw milk producers should be organizing for robust reguations (be it governmental or some sort of private organization) to assist us in ensuring food safety, and monitoring milk quality and bacterial makeup."
And then we find out this is what they were planning all along. You're right Bill, no conspiring here, move along.
Monday, October 04, 2010 by Staff Report
Or perhaps, more than ever (sarcasm off), the old men of the Communist party are in cahoots with the Anglo-American power elite. The sub dominant social theme that the elite wants the West to imbibe seems to be China what a great country, but you cant trust em. Yet perhaps thats not the case. The confrontation is only for show. The reality is different.
Can you mount an unassailable argument against the assertion that the global assault on the wealth of the working class was anything less than a concerted effort by the global elite to concentrate and centralize the entire wealth of all nations?
There has been much learned about centralizing power/wealth and controlling the masses since the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire,not to mention the vast technological improvements in weaponry and surveillance capabilities currently employed by all nations, many working in conjunction to permanently subjugate the people to the will of the authoritarian state.
Evidence of the reality of the rise of the global police state exists in quantity only in cyberspace and while often anecdotal albeit glaringly obvious often suffers further dilution from many interpretations ranging from benign security protocol to reign of the Reptilians.Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.
There are very few willing to wade through the vast amount of digitized information and disinformation that resides on the net in search of that kernel of truth revealing the true nature of the beast we commonly refer to as government.
While many of us who search for truth by perusing the libertarian -bent-boards have a basic understanding of that kernel of truth that tell us were not in Kansas anymore, the vast majority of the population not only has no idea that the reigns of power are tightening but could care less.They do not seek self reliance nor individualism.They are happy being spoon fed jingoism , rainbows and ponies.
Many of the libertarian persuasion naively assume that political noise made on the internet will somehow shake those sleeping dullards from their perpetual state of self-inflicted hebetude, but as any who attempt to to awaken these blind zombies can attest, they are content in their ignorance and refuse to hear any news not concurrent with the official story as it emanates from the MSM/Federal Thugacracy since most have been indoctrinated with the false concept that negative news breeds pessimism and pessimism being the antithesis of optimism prevents good things from happening e.g economic growth.
In avoidance of anymore unnecessarily long sentences Ill break it down into what I believe has transpired in geo-politics , especially over the the last three decades.
Global banks have systematical converted monetary power into political power thereby seizing control by proxy over all sovereign states
A new global monetary system will emerge in the near future as the old system of dies a quick albeit painfully chaotic death.
While the global populace will likely suffer many deprivations including food and travel , Peak Oil will not affect military might because the government\military will own all resources;the power to take trumps monetary power.
The military use of all resources , natural and man-made will take precedence over the civilian populations in the name of national security and the people will salute their respective government and sign songs in reverence to the sacrifices they are willing to make to keep their country song.Only the few but quickly dead will suffer the ideological convictions to sacrifice their lives in the name of truth.
This scenario has played itself out many times inn the history of man , but never before has the scope been broader or better planned by the sociopathic/satanic power mongers.
The megalomaniac fantasy of many a historical tyrant could very well be realized in the near furture.
One world government/tyranny is going mainstream.Bet on it.
"For starters, I might arrange for Mark McAfee to become head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Then, I might work on getting Michelle Obama to push her husband to veto the new Food Safety Modernization Act. For kickers I might influence the judge in charge of the federal suit by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund to invalidate the ban on interstate shipments of raw milk."
It was Henry Kissinger that spoke of controlling the food to control the people, fact, not a theory.
The problem we face is two fold. First we have a government that is hell bent on over regulating our lives, and an ever encroaching world government that will control the food supply of the world. Conspiracies? Not! The facts are out there in the open for anyone to see.
The second problem we face are those farmers that want to make a quick buck by getting on the raw milk bandwagon. These are the farmers that produce milk intended for the pasteurizer and get a good "side income" from selling to the public, for human consumption, milk that was originally intended to be burnt beyond recognition. Plain greed on their parts, and when an outbreak happens they just played into the regulating agencies hand.
The majority of raw milk farms are clean, sincere operations. Education is needed for those farmers as to how to produce a healthy alternative to factory farmed food and most importantly why they must be very careful in what they produce. Agents await an outbreak so that they can react and reign in more control. But all raids in Wisconsin here have not been about dirty food either. The Hershberger raids have been all about government control, not one person fell ill or complained to DATCP about them, so now we enter the conspiracy world.
Sincere raw milk farmers will produce good healthy food. They will take the extra steps necessary to ensure a safe and healthy product. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.
Consumers need to know all they can about the source of their food, and that those government agencies that act in the name of food safety are to be held accountable for their actions when they overstep their bounds on assumptions and not facts.
There is a war on for our food plain and simple. Dirty processes will give them the power they desire.
Agenda 21 is real, S510 is real, kangaroo courts are real, and illness happens.
The war on raw milk has increased over the last few years, not because 30 people got sick (which is the ammo government desires) but because we have been incrementally moving towards a world order.
Standards for raw milk are becoming necessary, as the raw milk industry grows, and should be a professional organization of producers (similar to organizations for architects and engineers, etc.). To keep raw milk healthy and clean has to do with each individual producers integrity.
Believing that the Standards being crafted will be similar to a professional association of architects or engineers is naive. The fact is, the Standards are being written to FIT INTO Codex and S510. One must conclude, therefore, that government takeover of these Standards is what the authors assume will eventually happen.
I asked Scott Trautman this question back in September when he proposed raw milk regulations, and he never answered me. Perhaps another who advocates Standards will do so?
Q: How will you prevent any raw milk standards from eventually being taken over by the government (much like organics has, which has been corrupted with corporatism and cronyism)?
My guess is that YOU CAN'T – and that's why the authors are writing them with the intention of government takeover. If they do it first, they can better dictate the terms.
Can anyone challenge this line of thought and answer my question above?
If you advocate Standards, you'd better be prepared to answer these kind of questions.
apparently you read my last comments through your pre-suppositions, rather than what I actually typed-in
I did NOT say that raw milk dairies have to 'get big or go home'. My experience over the last decade of campaigning for REAL MILK, here in BC tells me that there is limit to the size of a farm which can do a good job of serving consumers and make a decent living = 40 cows with two families on that farm, doing the work. Done properly, dairying is profitable at every size, so there most certainly is a place as well, for the rustics and old hippies, of whom I am chief
But you did not answer my question : is it not better that many many times the number of people get raw milk yoghurt from Walmart – which had not been available – than for it to be available only to a few?
seems to me your blindspot is understanding that a truly free market, has many grades of product, at varying prices
the best thing I did around here, was to take REAL MILK from being traded on the underground market at $5 per gallon, and prove that people in the Big City will pay $18.50 per gallon for it (CDn $). I boast that our milk is the highest-priced in N. America. Which means the farmer gets paid properly and the whole thing burgeons
I started buying silver at $4 per ounce ; you'll see $200 per ounce within a couple of years. That matters because it is the ultimate reference point in economics.
Our milk ought to be at $25 per gallon here in Vancouver BC. It isn't because of the legal confusion, but eventually you'll see $10 per quart ( no misprint ) for the very top quality, hand-milked Golden Guernsey milk.
Notice that in my last post I said 'more power to them', ie. all the people like you who are the underpinning of this movement. You have your calling and I have mine. They needn't conflict. Just don't covet the success of others
As for conspiracy theories : in fact, it's much worse than the ordinary person would believe. I could preach you a sermon on how the Campaign for REAL MILK is white Christians, awakening to our racial heritage, but it would not be well received = too strong meat even for this group ( who are the cutting edge of the movement)
Q: How will you prevent any raw milk standards from eventually being taken over by the government (much like organics has, which has been corrupted with corporatism and cronyism)?
Nullification is the only answer I can offer you when the government takes control of standards.
But now that I think about it we do not need a professional organization for raw milk producers. Consumers set the standards with what they are willing to consume and purchase. Keep the government off our farms keeps ringing in my head. You are dead on Lola. Thanks for bringing me back to reality.
I see past the smoke and mirrors being set up by others who now support S510 and will help march us into a world wide control grid. There is a war on for your food.
Vermont is on the right track.
WHEREAS All people are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and
WHEREAS Food is human sustenance and is the fundamental prerequisite to life; and
WHEREAS The basis of human sustenance rests on the ability of all people to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products; and
WHEREAS We the People of Vermont, have an obligation to protect these rights as is the Common and Natural Law; and in recognition of the States proud agricultural heritage; and the necessity of agricultural, ecological and economic diversity and sustainability to a free and healthy Society;
THEREFORE, Be it resolved, that We The People, stand on our rights under the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution and reject such Federal decrees, statutes, regulations or corporate practices that threaten our basic human right to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the State of Vermont; and,
Be it further resolved, that We The People, shall resist any and all infringements upon these rights, from whatever sources that are contrary to the rights of the People of the State of Vermont.
And also there is no conspiracy to loot plunder and rob middle class Americans of all our assets its just FRAUD AS A BUSINESS MODEL This lady is no conspiracy wingnut! Our pockets are not being picked by thugs on the street but by they that wear business suits and educated in the nations best business schools. I WISH IT WEREN'T SO tell me it isn't.
In the day, I have done a fair amount of renovation and restoration on various houses. I always do my best to follow the building code, since by doing so I know that my work will hold up. I have never, though, gotten the building permits that I was supposed to get as I felt that it was a needless expense and I did not want the hassle of the inspections that would be required. I also deviated from the Code as I chose based on my personal requirements and experience in some situations.
It is not a completely equal comparison, but I see raw drinking milk rules in a similar way. They would be good guidelines, and would no doubt be incorporated into the Codex. Individual producers, as Miguel is fond of pointing out, are free to choose not to participate in the state regulatory process — and I personally see that sort of resistance as inevitable in the food rights struggle — but having guidelines refer to would be helpful even to those who choose their own way. I really do not see much of a downside.
Maybe raw milk yogurt is available to millions in Canada and the few states that allow raw milk, but not in states that don't. Here, Stoneyfield is pasteurized. The only real difference between Stoneyfield and Dannon is that Stoneyfield is organic. But the term "organic" is so perverted these days there really isn't too much difference between them in my mind. And Dannon owns 85% of Stoneyfield, so eventually there won't be much difference between them. Anyway, I prefer to teach people how to make their own yogurt for much cheaper than either brand… and I sell more milk that way, ha!
"seems to me your blindspot is understanding that a truly free market, has many grades of product, at varying prices. the best thing I did around here, was to take REAL MILK from being traded on the underground market at $5 per gallon, and prove that people in the Big City will pay $18.50 per gallon for it (CDn $). I boast that our milk is the highest-priced in N. America. Which means the farmer gets paid properly and the whole thing burgeons"
Gordon, selling raw milk at $18.50 to $40 a gallon will not make raw milk available to millions, especially in today's economy; all you've proven is the rich are able to afford your milk. So much for helping the masses drink raw milk to improve their health, so much for making it available for millions of customers at Walmart per your Stoneyfield example! However, I really have no grudges about your success… if you can get it, wonderful! Clap clap!! sincerely.
I have no blind spot about a truly free market. Just so you know, I've studied both marketing and economics, so I understand how pricing works: how selling units at $W generally makes more money than selling fewer units at $Z, and how at the intersection of both figures is where you will find the price that sells the most units for the most profit. In theory. Except when your competitors (in my case the Amish) undercut your prices by 50-70%. High-priced quality only goes so far in a downturned economy.
I live in a very rural area and have a hard enough time selling at $7/gallon when people (if they know where) can buy it from the Amish at $2 a gallon; I recently had one Amish guy tell me he wishes he could sell ALL his milk privately at $2 instead of taking what the dairy co-op gives him. Must be very low, because he's quite content with $2 a gallon. There's no way I can possibly sell mine for $2/gallon; nor can I afford to sell eggs at $1 a dozen the way he does.. both are cheaper than even grocery store prices.
My goal is to educate people about raw milk, not to get rich; no way I can sell enough in this area to do that anyway, though I sell all I produce, so I'm content. Besides, I'm getting older now and still running my place alone with no help, so there's no room for expansion anyway. Winters in Florida are becoming more appealing all the time. ha
Look at the bright side… eventually there'll be one less raw milk farmer undercutting those $15-40 per gallon prices… unless the Amish start moving into your area. lol
Raw Milk Association of Colorado is IN FAVOR of (tailored) production standards. We are awaiting the decision for a SARE grant to finance research and development of raw milk process quality. If we don't self-regulate, we will be attacked even more viciously. Bet on that.
I'm reading "The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell. He says people like conformity. It isn't only American – it's human nature.
Furthermore, the more people involved, the more they tend to expect somebody else is taking responsibility for a given calamity. Further study about the 1964 stabbing death of a NY woman being attacked while 38 people looked on and not one of them called 911… revealed that it was not Big City Apathy so much as communal expectations that somebody (else) in the 38 onlookers would call 911.
"What [researchers] found, surprisingly, was that the one factor above all else that predicted helping behavior was how many witnesses there were to the event." …"In one experiment, for example, Latane and Darley had a student alone in a room stage an epileptic fit. When there was just one person next door, listening, that person rushed to the student's aid 85 percent of the time. But when subjects thought that there were four others also overhearing the seizure, they came to the student's aid only 31 percent of the time."
I wonder if consumers in the last CO outbreak knew about the lapse in production standards, but figured surely, somebody (else) would speak up?
I think consumption of raw milk is past the tipping point – it's here to stay, and government can and will collect their fees and fines, shut down non-compliant dairies. Bill's post about big producers entering into raw milk production suggests that the milk industry is going through enormous upheaval and change. This is an opportunity to improve and clarify raw milk industry standards. I hope small farms become intrinsic to those standards.
The intent is to protect them, include them, validate them – not destroy them. Colorado only needs a few more outbreaks before regulators will have enough "evidence" to get legislation introduced that wipes out every dairy that can't afford to meet their prohibitive standards. Let's get our ducks in a row before somebody (else) lines us up – with a rifle.
Lola et al – Freedom requires responsibility. Excellence requires education and experience. Good regulators should respect this. (There's the rub! But it's possible to aim for all those goals, make sensible, fair laws that provide choices, and take part to ensure government respects boundaries.)
If you read Codex standards (which include raw milk production standards), I suspect you'd prefer theirs to the FDA's.
And as you will note, I was asking Tim if he is aware of a definition of raw milk which would prevent alternative dairy processing techniques (alternatives to PMO pasteurization) such as heat treatment and ultra-filtration from claiming the mantle of "raw milk."
As you can tell, I really don't care that much about codex. I care about quality dairy products, and protecting those who produce high-quality dairy products from industrialized immitators (and also from poor quality local raw milk producers who taint the whole movement.)
Now instead of focusing on all the political silliness, let's focus on milk quality.
Lola, let's talk about coliform. Have you ever seen a peice of cheese which is loaded with coliform? Would you know how to identify it?
It is full of gas holes and smells like vinegar. And of course, it tastes putrid (excuse my french… it tastes like s**t, literally).
It is an unfortunate fact that there are small producers of raw milk cheese out there who are selling cheese that is just loaded with coliform because they do not know any better. There are probably also producers of fluid raw milk selling milk that is loaded with coliform as well, but it is impossible to identify organoleptically unless you ferment the milk.
It doesn't take a labratory to identify this kind of cheese. I can tell simply by tasting and smelling it.
IT is also an unfortunate fact that there are producers out there who are selling cheese and raw milk that is just loaded with pseudomonas. The milk turns bitter and ammonia after a week in the fridge.
In cheese, pseudmonas literally produces a compound called cadaverin. It makes the cheese smell like rotting flesh. And as Mark McAfee has pointed out repeadetly, pseudomonas is a precursor to listeria.
I should also point out, coliform is a precursor to E. Coli O157:H7.
These are very real problems, lola. What do you intend to do about them?
Producing quality dairy products take a pro-active approach. It seems your approach is a do-nothing hands-off approach. The last time I checked, the people who are able to make change happen do so by being proactive. What is your plan for increasing the access to and quality of raw dairy products?
After milking, but before cleaning your milking equipment, use a sterlized set of tongs to place your milk pipeline filter in a steralized mason jar. (If you are bucket milking, simply use the filter that you strain the milk through to put it in cans or jars).
Put the lid on, but leave it loose so that there is some air exchange. Pseudmonas is aerobic, so it requires oxygen to grow.
Place this mason jar in a dark room that is at roughly room temperature. Anywhere from 55-75F works. (Pseudmonas is pyscrotrophic, so it is able to grow at cooler temperatures, although this does slow it down a bit).
Get a blacklight. The easiest place to find one is your local pet store. A handheld pet urine finder usually costs about $8.
After incubating the filter for a few days, take it out of the jar. (Beware — it will stink horribly, regardless of whether it has pseudmonas or not).
Turn off the lights and look at the pipeline filter under the blacklight.
Pseudmonas will show up as a fluorescent yellow color. The amount of pseudmonas you see will be a reflect of how much the milk was contaminated.
This is obviously a very "primitive" method of identifying pseudmonas, but it is something you can do for very little cost without a labratory.
The most common cause of pseudmonas is probably the water supply — I'm told that the water utility is a notorious source of pseudmonas. If it is coming from your well (or the water utility) you can put a UV filter on the incoming water supply to your milkhouse. It also tends to live in standing pools of water. But it also lives in dirt, which is why it is important to have clean udders and good milking practices.
Life-Saving in the Bacterial World: How Campylobacter Rely on Pseudomonas to Infect Humans
Survival of Campylobacter jejuni under Conditions of Atmospheric Oxygen Tension with the Support of Pseudomonas spp.
Bill…lets create a problem here where there is none….just to justify a solution.
Where are these industrial imitators…..do they really exist? No I don't think so. Most raw milk is being produced by small local producers. When I think about 'industrialized' raw milk, I can only come up with a few 100+ cow dairies in California…and dairy in Utah that was 'blessed' by the authorities… So who you protecting?
That is not to say that there are some small local producers that aren't making quality stuff…but those producers don't stay in business long…the customer…the discerning customer…. eliminates them pretty quick.
Standards are about control of the market…and those that 'implement' those standards will control the market. As we've seen before, the minority who believe they know better than an educated consumer, are usually wrong…and only in it for the profit.
12 raw dairy outbreaks with 146 illnesses
1 pasteurized dairy outbreak with 23 illnesses
1 queso fresco Mexican-style cheese outbreak with 5 illnesses
3 sporadic illnesses from illegal Mexican-style cheese
Eliminate the cheese numbers and your 'problem' is less impressive. Cheese is processing….and when food is processed there are more opportunities for problems….and it has little bearing on fluid milk for human consumption.
Why even bother throwing in the pasteurized numbers unless to exaggerate the point (we've come to know and expect this for your ilk)
So we have one incidence a month….and as we know, and have seen, quite often the authorities jump at the chance to finger a raw milk dairy when in fact the proof is flimsy. Hardly convincing.
No I don't think there is a major problem…especially when you consider the sheer volume of raw milk consumed in this country…and if you add in all the one and two cow, selling to your neighbor producers, the problem is far from acute….unless of course you subscribe to the notion that a living food supply should be perfect (and if you do, you are living in a fantasy world)
Only Dorothy would be infatuated with your strawman.
I'm talking about industrialized cheese makers who make immitation "raw milk cheese", using sub-pasteurization thermal treatment of the milk. Many will set their HTST pasteurizers to 160 (remember, legal pasteurization is 161), make cheese with this milk, and advertise it as "raw milk cheese."
It is a total sham, and very few consumers are aware of this deception. Raw milk cheese is when the milk is in its crude form. (The French term for raw milk is "au lait cru", which literally means "crude milk.") If you heat the milk above the body temperature of the animal prior to setting the curd, it is not raw milk cheese, yet many will call it that anyways. Organic Valley does it. Mount Sterling does (they are a goat dairy co-op). Edelweiss Creamery does it. To name a few. There are many others.
And believe me, the dairy processing industry is already talking about using ultra-filtration to produce "raw" drinking milk in order to promote another industrialized immitator of a real raw milk dairy product. I have sat in dairy industry meetings where they talk about this possibility.
As I said in a previous post, the ideological rigidity of the raw milk movement will prove to be its downfall. All the hard work to legalize raw milk will be for naught if we just allow the dairy processing industry to steal this market from right under us.
It is not a question of whether there are going to be raw milk standards, because there will be whether we like it or not. It is a question of whether we wish to influence those standards (and make them favorable to our interests) or whether we keep our head in the sand (as so many here are advocating for) and thus get left behind.
I'd rather be pro-active about it.
Latest outbreak with regards to "FDA inspected Eggs" over the past 12 months due to Salmonella . . . 1500 illnesses . . . . . No shut downs . . . . . I believe that these CAFO's are still just as smelly and unhealthy as ever.
How many illnesses due to CAFO chicken due to campy and salmonella. . . . so many they can't be counted. I doubt that hospitals even are told to ask after the first question . . . . do you drink raw milk . . . . no . . . . well you have some sort of food related bug. No deeper questions asked.
Why the double standard?
After seeing what has been done to "bastardize" the "Organic" standards . . . . I think that those in favor of standards are really doing us all a disfavor. I believe in local free market standards. Let's face it . . . . Maine has a different climate than California. The one size fits all model does not work with raw milk.
I find it very, very odd that we can get produce from China labelled "USDA Organic" yet no one can identify who is really certifying the farms in China. This is because the Chinese farms are under the $5000.00 per year exemption. Big corporations are using this to put our US farmers out of business. What is our government doing about this . . . . absolutely nothing.
Most raw milk farmers I know don't make cheese….they have a hard time keeping up with the demand for the fluid stuff. I have had a waiting list since the first time I tugged an udder….and sure, during the summer when many go on vacation, and the grass comes in good, there is a little extra….but then it's ice cream season.
Lumping cheese makers into dairy farmers doesn't make sense….unless of course you think that Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are just like the rest of the country….they are not. Maybe you should be working on Cheese State Standards……..
Free markets work. And the raw milk market is working now…even in those states were it is illegal.
Standards that are being created in secrecy, and denied by those that are working on them, aren't ones that 'we' can influence…
There already is a definition of real raw milk cheese, established by the American Raw Milk Cheese Maker's Association:
"Cheese produced from milk that, prior to setting the curd, has not been heated above the temperature of the milk (104F, 40C) at the time of milking and that the cheese produced from that milk shall be aged for 60 days or longer at a temperature of not less than 35F (2C) in accordance with US FDA regulations."
Of course, this hasn't stopped the industrialized cheese makers from abusing the definition and calling their heat-treated cheese "raw milk cheeses" anyways.
I will show you who is actually making up standards as we speak:
This is Wisconsin DATCP's raw milk working group, which consists primarily of representatives of corporate agri-business. Many of the people sitting on this working group lobbied and editorialized heavily against the raw milk bill earlier this year. They are crafting a regulatory recommendation to legalize raw milk in Wisconsin, because the writing is on the wall. They know cannot hold back the tide any longer.
I have seen a rough draft of their recommendation, which hasn't been released to the public yet. It is over 50 pages long. The finished draft should be available for public review in a few weeks.
Most of the people sitting on this working group have argued in favor of allowing heat-treated (non-PMO) milk to be regulated under the same guidelines as real raw milk, without any kind of distinction or name-protection for those who wish to sell REAL raw milk.
We could debate all day about whether the "free market" works. I do not believe there is such a thing as a free market. It is an illussion. All markets are embedded within the customs and structures of collectivist social entities such as corporations, which are granted special privileges by the state (limited liability, legal personhood, etc…)
However, arguing about the validity of a pure free market ideal would be totally missing the point.
The point is that there ARE regulatory standards being crafted that WILL become the force of law, regardless of whether the pure "free market" ideal is the best system or not.
Of course, the more onerous parts of this regulatory recommendation will probably be wittled down as part of a legislative comprimise. However, the side representing the farmers is so ideologically rigid in their insistance on "as little regulation as possible", that they refuse to see the impotance of advocating for protecting the identity of REAL raw milk from the industrialized immitators, or on trying to influence the regulations in such a way so that they become helpful rather than harmful to our cause.
The way these regulations are being written, they will be harmful to us. They are predicated on a "crime and punishment" model of food regulation, rather than a "help and serve" model of regulation. They assume that anything which is not legally pasteurized per the PMO falls under the definition of "raw milk."
This is the consequence of people in the raw milk movement keeping their head in the sand, trying to argue about some ideologically pure ideal free market, and refusing to adapt and change to the circumstance.
Do we want to continue keeping our head in the sand, or do we want to be pro-active?
How did you get to see a copy of that, if it hasn't been released to the public yet, and with you living in Ohio?
Because I have a friend in the dairy industry who sits on the working group (several, actually…)
I cannot reveal this person's name because this is a public forum, and I am sure that DATCP is reading every word we are writing here. If you really want to know who, you can email me in private, if you promise not to go blurting it to the whole world.
Do you really think that standards created by the Foundation or other raw milk advocacy group, or let alone a group of private individuals is going to be accepted by a government who is on record to eliminate the availability of raw milk. Talk about head in the sand. Creation of private standards as a way to preclude government from creating their own is a foolish waste of effort.
Yes the RMWG will probably muck up the works in Wisc., after all that is why the group was formed (despite the reasons initially given). Sounds to me like it'll be a local problem…unless of course the Fund is successful in overturning the interstate shipment ban….. ….. ……
Something that has been overlooked here though…. there are already raw milk standards, voluntary, available nationally. Marks' RAWUSA guidelines have been in existence for years. Maybe he can enlighten us on how many producers actually qualify for that seal, and how successful that attempt at certifying raw milk dairies has gone. My guess is they're not lining up for a seal of approval. Why would a new set of standards be any different than these? Did the State of California give any credence or review to these standards when they were considering raw milk legislation..? puhleeze.
Rawusa has exactly one taker. OPDC. I have found that raw milk producers are a rogue independent group and generally follow their own path. If that path is organized and clean they do better than those that do not appear to care about image or reputation.
Standards are a tool to achieve higher performance not a noose of oppression.
FYI. RAWUSA is a set of basic guidelines and not a set of standards After this discussion I think I will post some suggested set of basic objective end point standards. The problem with this is that these standards can only be as good as the desire of those that embrace them. No hammer no real hurdle or consequences.
I think that is just human nature
"The fact is, these policies and goals do exist. I'm just guilty of exposing them. By the way, I don't call them conspiracy theories – they do. These are simply policies which I believe are wrong because they endanger my liberties. It's an issue of political philosophy and ones view of the proper role of government. And so I exercise my right to oppose them. "
I think "Conspiracy Theories" are a good thing. They make people open their eyes and question things. As Americans, it is our patriotic duty to question things. To follow blindly is no more than acceptance of slavery. I think it was Jefferson who had a good quote about freedom,, it escapes my mind at this time.
Reading these posts brings to mind…"divide and conquer". TPTB whether intentionally of not,,, have a wedge between many on this board. You all are a small sampling of the general population, watching how you react can give a good idea how the general population will react…..Years ago in psych class, we had to do experiments which involved average people. it wasn't hard to stir people into a feeding frenzy at each other, when they had been peacefully coexisted.
I would expect the person who milks with an open bucket to know all they need to know to produce a safe product, just as I would expect the person who milks with a closed system to know what they need to know to produce a safe product.
like coffee, it can be prepared in many different ways;drip, percolated, boiled, pressed to name a few. Each is a correct way to prepare it, and each is a personal preference, as long as the end result is a safe accepting product, the methods needn't be besmirched by others.
Listening to what each has to say brings more knowledge, it doesn't mean that each person is supposed to conform to another persons advise/beliefs.
I don't have the answers, I do know that attacking each other won't solve anything.
The key is Educating the public on what true organic is, what to ask, what to look for,what true raw is, what to look for in cheeses, etc,
There is :
The seafood watch guide
cornucopia has various guides/scorecards
Making a guide for pesticides/herbicides, factory farms, animal feeds, slaughter houses, etc and making available to the public, in a like manner of cornucopia and others, would educate a vast population and they would better be able to make inform choices.
And make no mistake. We're talking about standards and regulations. Education is just that, information. It offers no defense against regulators. But regulations (standards) and certification bodies, these offer defenses. But they too are of no use unless they are eventually mandated. That is the defense. Don't shut us down, see, we're self regulated and are safer, just outlaw the production not undertaken under the oversight of 'voluntary' 'self regulation'.
Its the same old song and dance we've seen a hundred times before in countless industries. Its not about freedom, liberty, or safety. Its about economic protectionism. And if you doubt that look at the reasons being given here. Big Ag is going to come in and steal our market share and make someone sick and then we'll all get shut down/loose market share. Thats the exact same argument the Dairy industry uses against us!
Those who affirm freedom but insist on responsibility speak with a forked tongue. For they insist on responsibility meaning subjection to others. And that is the very antithesis of liberty.
Yes, we need lot more education. We're never going to be able to stop the industrial outfits selling on the side. But we can educate consumers, educate new farmers, and MOST IMPORTANTLY foster a climate of freedom that allows beginning farmers to get started with just a cow or two and no infrastructure WITHOUT regulation. These small farmers are the foundation of the raw milk movement and they are the future.
These are marketing opportunities to welcome, not challenges to be faced with fear and dread.
The conventional types cannot produce the same quality of product. Nor can they offer the authenticity of buying from a small family farm. Real people, stories, faces, truth, healthy cows, relationships, local farms. These things are engender customer loyalty. The people grow tired of the fakery of big box stores, big corporations, powerless store workers and all powerful bureaucrats.
I know about several conventional dairies selling raw milk on the side. But the people who care about raw milk are not satisfied with the quality and production systems of those farms and they leave as soon as they can find a good source. There is WAY MORE demand than supply. Imitators are not what threatens to shut me down, the government is!
Farmers selling for $2/gal are generally not producing quality milk and even if they are it will not be perceived as such. Even out in the boonies of rural America Walmart sells organic milk for $8/gal. I've seen them charge $14+ for goats milk. A quality raw milk producer anywhere should be able to sell for at least that much.
The safety of eggs, beef, produce and other foods are all very important, but not the topic being discussed. For example, if a lawmaker asked about how raw milk safety is addressed, changing the subject to another food product isn't likely to be a satisfactory response.
I would agree with you 125% that the shortfalls of industrializd production are marketing opportunities for small producers.
But this takes alot of education and work — education of both producers and consumers.
I will be the first to admit that I consumed a sub-par raw milk for two years without realizing it. Turns out that farm was associated with a campylobacter outbreak after I stopped consuming it.
With the information I have now (since I have gone through a cheese maker training program, and have done a lot of my own research) I now know that this farm had an elevated P.I. Count and pseudomonas issues. (The milk spoiled in the fridge in 5-6 days, turning bitter and curdling in a strange way… definetly pseudomonas). It was only a matter of time before people got sick from that farm's milk.
But how was the consumer to know? The average raw milk consumer is not educated about the finer details of dairy microbiology and sanitation.
That is why it takes education.
Many consumers who are in favor of raw milk continue to purchase cheeses made from thermalized milk, without knowing the difference. And some who are in favor of organics continue to buy UHT organic milk, without knowing any better.
Again, the need for education.
The selling of raw milk on the side, whether organic or conventional, is a common practice in Ontario where it is flat out illegal to do so. It has been going on for longer then I have been milking cows and it will continue despite government regulation. The farmers selling the milk and those buying it clearly dont give a hoot. In their minds the governments law forbidding the sale of raw milk is asinine and has little to do with health and safety.
Spinozas words ring true, The power of individual choice is stronger than any collective seeking to suppress it. Considering our egocentric human nature the regulatory approach has proven to be a slippery slope which we aught not attempt to descend.
The following article http://www.waterwind.com/advocates.html entitled, ADVOCATES, SKEPTICS and SEEKERS by James Craig Green is relevent to the nature of this current discussion.
The concluding paragraph from the above article states in part, A healthy balance between advocacy and skepticism might be a good thing to strive for much of the time, especially if we spend too much of our time enslaved to one or the other.
You'd think so, but believe me, it's REAL tough. Sure, the rich will pay $14 a gallon for goatmilk, but they don't live here; they don't even live within 50 miles of here, and they sure aren't going to drive 50 miles one way to pay $14/gallon, at least they haven't so far. But oddly enough, I do have people driving 45 miles one way for $7/gallon. And don't forget… I'm not allowed to advertise. My advertising must all be done by word of mouth or very discreet ads in health food stores. And by the way, Walmart might charge $8/gal for organic milk, but they don't sell much compared to regular milk at $2.50/gal; same with goatmilk, of which they sell even less, quarts per week, not gallons per day.
Let's go back to that marketing/pricing theory. Yes, I could sell a few gallons of milk (a month) at $14/gallon, and I could sell a LOT more at $4/gallon except the increased labor would not be worth it. But I have discovered that $7 a gallon is the most I can charge and still keep/gain customers, and even at that low price I still lose some: "Do you know where I can buy a cow or a goat?" Even if I didn't tell them, they're gone as customers as soon as they find one. It's cheaper in the long run for families to buy a cow or a couple of goats than it is to pay me to milk them, particularly if they go in with neighbors to help with the chores in exchange for milk.
And I hate to say it, but the Amish do produce quality milk at $2/gallon. I've had it, no real difference from mine at $7/gallon. Good, handmilked Jersey milk with a thick cream layer, poured into jars the morning of milking, the same stuff the family drinks all day long. Every Amish family has at least one cow, even newly marrieds, most have 3-4 even if they don't have a dairy business. But they consider $2 a fair price because they raise all their own feed, they have free child labor, and they don't have major expenses like mortgage, electricity, gas, tractor, health/auto/house insurance, propane heat, etc, even clothes.
Considering the competition, I'm doing pretty good to sell all I have for $7/gallon. I'm able to do it only because I emulate the Amish in living as simply as possible. My car is 20 years old, my truck even older, I don't drive much anyway; the mortgage is nearly paid up; I burn wood instead of propane; watch my electric, etc.
But if some inspector comes around and says per standards and regulations that I MUST have an expensive milk barn with electricity and cement floors and washable walls and running hot/cold water with stainless steel sinks; a milk line and tank; and an attached bathroom for the inspector and employees (even though I don't have any), and regular testing to prove my milk is good… or I'll be fined and shut down despite no illnesses or even complaints with milking the way I have for 13 years?
It's all money-driven…. By doing all that, I've not only gone into huge debt which at my age I'll never recover, but my property value has been forcibly increased and thus my tax base, so I'm forced to hire employees to milk the many extra animals I'll need to justify the expense and use of such a barn, and I'll need to buy even more feed that I can't raise and barns to store it in, and suddenly I'm no better than CAFO, with too many animals on my property, so now I'll be required to invest in manure management for environmental reasons, and drill a new well to supply all the extra animals, AND put in more barns and better fencing to keep them all.
Everyone benefits except me: I'll be very quickly bankrupt… all according to plan: Get Big or Get Out.
Get new standards… are you kidding me?????
This is the problem Bill Marler, Lykke, cp and Milky Way aught to focus on rather then continue with their current futile, disease phobic obsession with organisms.
Note that, it is this very same narrow minded disease phobic obsession with organisms that has led to such a destructive methodology and is also the basis for current regulation. My money is on the organism.
We were justed visited by two very friendly, badge flashing, gun toting, handcuff displaying CA DHS inspetors. They do the work of the FDA for the most part in CA.
I would say that they have never been more constructive or thoughtful or nice. They were here to audit our colostrum and almonds. Our Kombucha was discontinued six months ago. They were impressed with our RAMP program and wanted to know more. We explained how we get our low bacteria counts and they took notes endlessly.
We knew these guys and they know us….We treated them with integrity and honesty as well.
If this is SB 510…it will be a piece of organic cake. They actually gave me some very good feedback about date codes on our almond labels. They did not know about the "truly raw almond loophole in CA". We gave them that information and they learned something as well.
We do walk softly and respectfully with these guys….and they know that on the back side of OPDC is a bunch of people that they do not want to mess with.
Why did you discontinue the Kombucha? Is it because of the alcohol regulatory issues?
I've said it before. At the markets when I ripped into the authorities because they were authorities, problems were created. When I let them do their jobs, changed my attitude and nothing else, I was left alone.
The seasoned communicator within government knows networks of communication whose existence he/she can't share. However, he/she can use these networks as long as he/she steps out of the credit line at the end. "Tell me what you want done and it will be arranged, but do not ask me how it was done, and give credit to the man whose name I will give you at some later time." Within any government agency there is a very strong network of loyal, trustworthy people of high integrity. It is these people that you must find in an agency to get the job done.
Where did you get so dead on with your insights into communications with these guys.
It has been my thought to never ever force them through confrontation to be asses because they can be real asses….work with them and validate their concerns and share with them your efforts and successes and both sides advance and respect one another.
You are also right that we all thought that passage of AB 1735 was the end of the CA legal RAW MILK world. What we did find out was that we could painfully adapt and change. We also found out that people at CDFA had cheated democracy and that got exposed in the end. When the hearings in Sacramento happened as a direct result, Raw Milk gained respect and more support than ever in CA. Process tends to be as important or more than the endpoint of goal achievement. Those are very refined airy thoughts but lessons for the true Zen of raw milk politics.
Bill….our OPDC Kombucha ( truly raw unscrewed-with legit stuff ) could not be produced reliably below .5% alcohol levels….so we stopped it. We have bigger things to get done.
We now have "pastured eggs" as a big deal happening in early 2011 and goats raw milk is burning a hole in our goal lists for later in 2011.
There seems to be so much opportunity associated with truly raw pastured organic dairy and closely associated products. So we are on it and more importantly our consumers are supporting OPDC 110% all the way!!! If hugs and thank you cards are counted….maybe 130%.
Maurice….keep on posting,… this blog needs your Calming Karma!!!
A book to check out, for processing your excess goat milk:
Because of the protein structure of goat milk, and the way it coagulates, it naturally lends itself to lactic-curd cheeses.
Goat milk has fewer but larger casein micelles than cow's milk. The casein micelles also have fewer kappa-casein endings (kappa casein is the part of the protein which rennet modifies to cause coagulation of the milk).
As a result, goat milk will coagulate more quickly (using an equivilent dosage of rennet) compared to cow's milk, but it will never form as firm of a coagulum.
That is why traditional goat milk cheese is made with very little rennet, and so the acidity from the cheese culture is what causes coagulation. The resulting curd is very depleted of calcium-phosophate, and so it is softer and more moist, but does not hold onto its moisture as tightly as a higher pH cheese like cheddar or swiss.
Ripening lactic curd cheeses is a highly refined art. It requires far more finese and attention to detail than making the firmer varieties of cow's milk cheeses like cheddar.
Don't get me wrong — it is possible to make a firmer (cheddar or gouda-style) cheese out of goat milk, but its just not naturally meant for that type of cheese because of its coagulation properties.
First I need goat milk before I can balance it….
I think I will buy you a plane ticket to CA and seduce you into helping us with goat milk raw cheeses when the time comes. The more I read your posts the more I realize that you and I are brothers from a prior life.
"But Tiny Greens owner Bill Bagby Jr. said that not a single sample of his product or facility that was taken by the FDA or the Illinois Department of Public Health has come back positive for salmonella contamination."
FDA spokesperson Siobhan DeLancey said her agency has not yet produced a positive result from the nearly 200 samples taken from the Urbana business.
"But in this case," she said, "we don't need positive samples because the epidemiological evidence is so strong."
"That evidence stems from interviews with the salmonella victims conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of them — about 50 percent came from Illinois, according to the FDA — said they ate a sandwich with sprouts on it from a Jimmy John's outlet, according to Chris Braden director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases at CDC.
Tiny Greens owner Bagby said he is distraught at the news of the FDA's consumer warning and asked why the outbreak was linked to his greens when the spectrum of infections had come from 15 states, many where he does not distribute sprouts."
This sounds just as fishy as the raw milk attacks.
FYI, There are some award winning goat milk cheesemakers in your neck of the woods. Redwood Hills Farm comes to mind. Their California Crottin is one of my favorites.
Cypress Grove is also another famous CA goat cheese maker, but they were recently acquired by Emmi USA (Emmi is the largest milk processor in Switzerland… they also recently acquired Roth Kase in WI)
I'm sure there are smaller producers as well, if you look.