I’ve had some trouble writing this post. I keep starting it, and then someone posts an intriguing comment that takes me off in yet another direction, and I start over again.
I started off wanting to relate the Obama Administration’s response to a petition seeking an end to the federal ban on raw milk, to the debate over the Raw Milk Institute.
There’s no surprise in the administration’s actual response, that Obama supports pasteurization of all milk, and opposes raw milk. We can assume he doesn’t pay much attention to this specific issue, but the reality is that his aides don’t issue positions he opposes. He said he was against raw dairy when he was a senator, and so he continues to say the same thing now.
What’s discouraging is that the White House adviser who wrote the response was cynical enough to suggest, “We…understand the importance of letting consumers make their own food choices.”
These words were just fluff to the adviser, and his boss. They, of course, “understand” nothing of the sort. In their world, they can’t allow true choice because they know best, they are the repositories of “science.”
I wanted to point out that as much as these autocratic opponents of true “food choices” want the issue to disappear, it won’t. It will inevitably expand, as ever more people learn about not only the ever-expanding restrictions on our liberties, but the costs in human health.
It seems to me that one important way it will expand is that it will wend its way through the courts, likely on a number of fronts (an appeal of the Wisconsin Craig/Zinniker case, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund case against the FDA, the Dan Allgyer case, among others).
It seems to me that RAWMI is a way to reply to the fear mongering the regulators throw out there, as a way to demonstrate that raw milk providers are self policing. Sally O’Boyle’s immediate reaction was similar to mine: “When I first heard about RAWMI and its attempts to be a private regulatory ‘agency’ for dairy farmers, I immediately called to join up, to be trained as an inspector for KY. I would so much rather have a private agency inspecting my milk than a gov agency, bought and paid for by corporate interests.”
But what should this RAWMI we refer to look like? Should it even exist at all?
Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. expresses surprise about the depth of opposition to RAWMI. “I did not know about farmers that absolutely want no help or assistance to develop consumer friendly programs to show the work they do for safety. I did not know that many Cow Share operators reject any kind of exposure and demand absolute secrecy.”
But I wonder, is his surprise that this segment of farmers exists? Is he surprised by the depth of their concerns? Or is he surprised that they “demand absolute secrecy”? Or does he mean “privacy” instead of “secrecy”?
So strong are the feelings, on both sides, that they are difficult to articulate. That leads to frustration. Gayle Loiselle,a plaintiff in the Craig/Zinniker cases in Wisconsin, sums it up when she says, “We need to organize and educate within our communities about the far reaching dangers of highly processed mass produced food and the benefits of sustainably produced nutrient dense food. And not waste our energy arguing over who is more right…that is exactly what the opposition is hoping for.”
Yes, all this was a lot easier when all we had to do was rail against the state and federal regulators at demonstrations, or express our cynicism during the Raw Milk Symposium. But now that we are looking at creating a new safety-oriented entity that is at once “consumer friendly” and “transparent,” as Mark McAfee puts it, the situation is much more challenging. Partly because we each have a different vision of what all these qualities mean.
Tim Wightman rightfully raises the fundamental question many of us would just as soon not think about: What should RAWMI (or a similar organization) actually do? He’s not sure exactly what it is, but knows what it isn’t. “To supplant wisdom with testing is not the answer and is the very reason we got in this mess in the first place. Balance is the key, in our soils, in our understanding and in our approach to the forces we must align ourselves with. To relegate that balance to testing alone is to ignore the other 75% of what it takes to create a quality product, and takes responsibility away to gaining wisdom and the relationships it forges.”
And then there are a good number of clear-thinking people who have serious problems with the idea of the Raw Milk Institute (or any such additional institutional entity) being a part of the food scene to begin with. Doreen Hannes fears “monopoly,” “control,” and diminished overall dairy quality–all the result of some kind of repeat of the setting of costly organic standards, which resulted in giving the biggest advantages to the biggest players.
Dave Milano worries about my perceived “monitoring void.” He suggests that “the need for third-party controllers resulted from invented systems that created voids between people and the products and services they use. Controls are emphatically not necessary and not desirable when a product or service is natural and uncomplicated, and when face-to-face contact can occur between the provider and consumer.”
And then there is the anger that comes out. Much of it is directed at McAfee. Some is way over the top, overly personal, though I prefer to think of it as indicative of the huge amount of emotion people have invested in this issue.
And some of it is directed at this blog, and me, for not regulating or censoring the commentary more.
As Deborah Peterson says, “This blog has turned into such a negative, ugly blog which has lost its focus in its intent. That is what is sad.”
I think there is something to that, though it is worth noting that things have actually gotten uglier a number of times in the past. Still, I am especially sensitive to the rising number of complaints over the years that those using pseudonyms are more prone to engage in personal attacks on others, especially on those who do use their real names.
In the big picture, though, Doreen Hannes has captured the dynamic real well, articulated the explanation that has eluded me for answering those who demand (ever more frequently), “Get rid of the jerks.”:
“To everyone that wants David to control the commenters, that is a very tough thing to do from an ideological standpoint. How can you be for freedom and cut some people off from expressing themselves?…It would be too time consuming to monitor all comments and then David would find himself having to explain why he wasn’t allowing x or y to be posted. So, while I personally detest many things that are said and the spirit they appear to be given in….and while I rarely comment here myself because of the continued personal vendettas and even outright silliness of some of the commenters, I think David just needs to let it be. Spit out the bones and take the meat. It is evident who is worth discussing things with and who is not. Let’s all just self police on the comments.
I still think much of it comes back to our difficulty confronting all that RAWMI implies. Maybe the solution is something akin to what Maurice Kaehler suggests, which is a return to more simplicity in our thinking. “How about everyone milking the cows twice a day, keeping your numbers down, taking care of your customers and starting an association based on a 4-H model where info about research, technology and practices are shared. The bison farmers have been doing this for years.”
I prefer to be more optimistic than to go along with his predicted “split” in the food rights movement. “For some people and farms too much is at stake as the cart is before the horse.” Getting the cart in the right place can’t be that difficult, can it?
There’s a rally tomorrow (Wednesday) in Sauk, WI, to support dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger when he makes his first court appearance in connection with criminal misdemeanor charges. The charges were filed a year-and-a-half after Hershberger cut the tape placed on his coolers by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to prevent him from distributing raw dairy products to members of his food club.
The rally will be at noon, on the Sauk County Courthouse Steps, 515 Oak St.
Not sure if the timing is good or bad, but this blog is getting a new look. It is a look intended to highlight more effectively the commentary that takes place here, as well as to make topic searching easier, and just be easier on the eyes.
As you might imagine, moving this blog, and its six years worth of content, from one locale to another, is no trivial matter. Along with that challenge has come the challenge of making sure the new site operates smoothly.
All this by way of saying that, if you are registered with this site, you will sometime in the next few weeks be receiving an email from me announcing the switchover. The email will provide a link to the new site, so you can set up your password there (either the one you are currently using, or a new one). Your user name will remain unchanged.
As we spit out the bones and eat the meat….let us all embrace the diversity of our entire movement. Embrace the many places we all live. The many political ideologies we all follow.
As perhaps the most diverse group of people ever aligned on a single subject, we are the raw milk drinkers and raw milk thinkers.
We can have cow shares, retail raw milk, family cows, micro dairies….all at the same time in America. We can all embrace and support one another. This is possible if we put the health of our children first. People in down town LA deserve raw milk just as much as those that live in rural America.
you can find an hour a day with your relentless, irrational nagging, dredging up minutae for no good reason but to demean one of the heroes of this movement, yet you can't seem to get around to answering the simple question : when's the last time you actually got your boots muddy in a real farmyard which produces REAL MILK?
what qualifies you to critique the operation of a multi-million $$ industry, which is on the very cutting edge of the technological AND legal fronts, meanwhile you've never so much as gone out to the barn and come back with a pail of milk?
Musing on the trends here related to nasty exchanges…seems like for a long time the down and dirty exchanges (between "real" names and pseudonyms) occurred almost entirely against food safety types posting this blog. The food safety types left and the "void" was filled by attacking each other.
As the discussion continues, I hope you will consider your words and proof read your messages before you post. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. You undo much of the hard work that you have done to make raw milk available when you denigrate other producers.
OPDC is not the only supplier of raw milk to urban markets, nor should it be.
Many more people would be willing to get behind RAWMI as an educational organization that promotes research and understanding of the benefits of raw milk from healthy cows, as well as the potential pitfalls possible in the production among other topics.
Offering recommendations and training in quality production methods is a good thing. Forcing production methods on someone is another story. There is usually more than one way to accomplish a task successfully. RAWMI can make recommendations AND it needs to allow each producer to do what works best for their farm and customers.
What we don't need is a Raw Milk Tong that extorts protection money from producers with fewer resources than large operations like yourself. A fireman who starts a fire to help his crew look like heroes is still an arsonist. I sincerely hope that none of the recent harassment of small share operations are the result of your or RAWMI's discussions with the CDA et al. I never wondered about that in the past. Some of your recent posts now give me pause.
Some of your posts give the impression that you think you are the only producer supplying urban markets or that you want to have a monopoly in these areas. Please think again. That is not the current situation, nor is it a desirable one.
I would love to talk with you directly. Would it be possible to connect via email or a call. Please email me so we can talk. http://Www.email@example.com or call me at 559-846-9732.
I want to discover more about how the RAWMI message can be shaped to be more inclusive and helpful to all.
To me, the issue of RAWMI and it's rather uncertain, or confused, focus of activity is easily seen in the light of history. While focus on herd health via controlling new animals brought in and monitoring health of the herd and their environment is important, and proper milking cleanliness and quick cooling of raw milk is also important to taste and longevity of the product, we really must remember that throughout history, there was no refrigeration. If you were lucky, you had a spring house. In the last 60 to 70 years refrigeration has become the norm and our taste buds have acclimated to that scenario. Prior to that, the only deaths or illnesses associated with raw milk were due to brucellosis and tb in those milking the animals…..and occasionally getting caught by a cow horn or hoof. I can't speak to the dangers of camel milking, although I did milk a cat once.
The thing about the RAWMI common standards, that have been put out, but not completely made available to people in general, is that there is a continuing inference to "risk management, risk analysis, and risk assessment"..along with a huge amount of testing for a,b,c, in the milk itself. What that says is…Insurance, Insurance, Insurance, Inspection, Inspection, Inspection, Stress, stress, stress….and NO amount of insurance will stymie the fact that life is a dangerous endeavor. It nearly always leads to death. Insurance policies do not prevent anything, they only help financial liability.
Not too long ago, a very good, very academic, and highly trained friend of mine wrote to me regarding the outbreak attributed to raw milk in Wisc., saying, "This is why I can't support uncontrolled access to raw milk. The people who are raised in the city don't have the immune systems to handle potential bacterial issues…" Well, I wondered immediately, "How in the heck can they develop any immune system if everything they encounter is sterile? The germs are always mutating. Wouldn't they be stronger if they had some systemic challenges?" And that is the critical point here, folks. Life is not safe.
There ARE potential dangers from drinking raw milk. Certified or not. There are also dangers from ingesting GMO's, MSG, meat glue and DHA, along with all other manner of food additives, treatments or enhancements. There is a serious danger to your health if you fail to eat living food that your body can actually use. The FDA approves of nearly everything EXCEPT raw milk…..other healthy food is rendered potentially dangerous by their control paradigm as well….as are supplements. Yet, the FDA also approved Vioxx and a myriad of other drugs that cause serious health issues.
So why do we want to cater to the fear mongering mentality by indulging the populace in the faulty logic that "certification" will make something more safe? Lack of certification would then, by inference, make something "less safe".
The USDA is about to approve corn genetically engineered with Agent Orange's active ingredient. They are also involved in discussions with "organic" leaders on how they can approve GMO's to be organic!
I guess, in a nutshell, my ideology just breaks down to this. I believe we are smart enough to decide what food we want to eat ourselves. We do have a right to know what we are eating, and that right is not being honored by the food safety agents (who some think we need to appease) regarding raw milk.
If anyone deems to tell you otherwise, they likely have an agenda for financial gain ready to spring on you…..or already sprung.
Your last post you speak of diversity and embracing and supporting one another.
Walk the talk and stop speaking of herd share farmers as if they are criminals. You have referred to us as "Black Market Milk", "secret handshakes" to obtain milk, we "have no interest in basic food safety practices", we "operate under the radar with no testing programs", you accused us of causing the latest EColi outbreak in California, refer to us as "unknown milk", called us Un-American, compared us to pot growers ,and said I would not blame CDFA for shutting down all cow share programs in CA,
This is not supportive!
In a diverse world we let people be who they are. Please leave herdshares alone, we do not need the help of RAWMI. All the stainless steel, colored graphs, and testing protocol will never replace great soil and caring farmers that tend to their healthy animals every day 24/7.
Most of us started milking a cow to feed our own families and the extra milk started pouring into our communities. The same milk we feed our children is the same milk we share with our neighbors. We milk our own cows and look our herd owners in the eyes and know the names of their children. Their children attend the same schools and churches as our children. They visit our farms and begin to understand where there food comes from. We are ordinary caring people that love our animals and are struggling to make ends meet.
So set down your sword and I will set down mine. Let me milk my cows in peace and some day I may gain your trust again and consider you as my ally.
Mark you have done great things for the raw milk movement. Why throw it all away?
"Congressional investigators looking into an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe linked to 30 deaths last year found that third-party auditors who gave Colorado's Jensen Farms a "superior" rating just before the outbreak largely ignored government guidance on food safety."
This is what happens when you allow others to monitor for you. 3rd party monitors and the govt inspectors/regulators are inadequate.
It was not the farm that was contaminated, it was the processing plant that was contaminated.
I simply do not understand, after reading the comments on this blog, why McAfee is considered a leader in the raw milk movement? How does someone who throws all the other producers in his state under the bus, repeatedly, get elevated to a leadership role?
Please answer me this, raw milk lovers! Or does it not matter how he treats his fellow producers here on this blog? For those of you far away, would you want him denigrating your dairy or dairyman/woman this way?
It seems to me he has a good thing going. Is his aim to be the sole producer of raw milk for the state of CA? How, then, does he propose to meet the demand for raw milk from the CA urbanites, suburbanites and ruralites combined?
"Beware of the false prophets that come to you dressed in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15
Being repeatedly "thrown under the bus" has felt very painful.
I've come to fear for our safety!
Now, when I hear assurances that Mark is on our side, I find myself thinking: "Sure… until the next time he throws us under his bus".
The fact that he announces a new policy, without explanation, without even admitting the prior policy, does not instill confidence. Instead, I fear that the new policy of "inclusiveness and mutual support" is P.R. strategy rather than a new way of doing business.
When Mark wrote: "Suzanna. I would love to talk with you directly. … I want to discover more about how the RAWMI message can be shaped to be more inclusive and helpful to all."
I note that the question is about how to shape the RAWMI *message*, not how to shape the RAWMI reality.
I hear Mark/RAWMI sending a new message about being inclusive and supportive.
To *believe* this new message, I'll need to see Mark/RAWMI *acting* inclusive and supportive.
A good first step would be admitting the past attacks and lack of support, and explaining why RAWMI has adopted a new policy of inclusiveness and support.
Last May we organised a scientific conference on the topic 'raw milk, health or hazard'. About 10 different scientists have spoken about the pros and cons of raw milk. We took this focus after a talk with the German Food safety authorities. I asked them what their focus was on the raw milk issue. Well, they said, for us the negative sides of pasteurising milk (loss of milk contents, effects on health) are smaller than the positive sides of drinking raw milk. But, if we have new scientific information about the milk issue, our judgment might change. This opens possibilities for a discussion, for a scientific approach and for adoptions of farm practices. I took from that exchange, that we should work on the scientific evidence that raw milk has another health effect than heated milk on the one side and on the other side we have to aware of the potential negative impact in term of food safety and try to reduce this as far as possible.
In Europe epidemiological studies on raw mailk in relation to asthma and allergies of young children showed the clear protection of raw milk consumption, independently if you were a child growen up at a farm or not. Only the heating of the milk at farms strongly reduces the protecting effects among a group of 800 farm children. Testing allergic children with shop milk versus raw milk showed the same patterns: raw milk could be taken and in almost all cases heat treated and homogenised shop milk could not be taken by the young allergic children. They immediately showed the typical reactions (skin, breath). This kind of research is very helpfull for the discussion, because it can safe large amount of money in treatment of children during the rest of their life and strongly improves the quality of living.
However, we should be aware of the risks as well. During the raw milk symposium in Prague in May last year in Hamburg there was an EHEC outbreak which killed over 40 people. My breath was taken from this awefull event and immediately my mind went into the question: Was it raw milk? But no, the most plausible factor was the consumption of infected sprouts.
We have to work on a better understanding on the 'ecology of the zoonotic germs' and implement these finding in our food chain. Where and why do these bucks develop, what are the circumstances, and very important, what might be the critical control points in a farm and during delivery and packiging of milk?
In Germany, there is a legal raw milk in shops, called Vorzugsmilk. 'Bevorzugen' means 'prefer'. It was the 'child-milk', the milk for the weaks in the 1930s when it started. Some physians warned against the consumption of pasteurised milk in those days, because the strongs sides of the raw milk were gone after heating. Nowadays the meaning has changed completely and raw milk drinkers are seen as people playing Russian roulette.
Farmers delevering Vorzugsmilk undergo a strict control system. Every month a milk sample is taken and they have to 'proof' that there milk is safe. If not veterinarians can stop the raw milk delivery until the level of risk is reduced. This is to my opinion a big help in the acceptance of raw milk drinking. I also would not drink any raw milk, and I always encourage farmers who sell raw milk to take samples in a regular repeated distance. Show the public by nowadyas safety standards and laboratory methods that your milk is OK.
I am convinced that every farm who is delivering raw milk should built up such a control system and should adopt some scientific proven standards about hygien, etc. The way how, you want to reach this as a farmer is free, but at least you have to show to the public that your produce is 'safe'.
I believe, that we can change the balance in thinking about the consumption of raw milk, if we reduce or even can get rid of the risks, understand the mechanisms and ecology of the germs and if we can communicate the positive sides.
In my humble opinion, safety is not generally the true agenda of those who oppose raw milk. More often, it is the profit interests of industrial dairy and their political bedfellows who, despite what they say to the contrary, will do everything in their power to keep the public from having easy access to raw milk. Indeed, it has been demonstrably their aim to keep the public ignorant of the health and nutritional benefits of raw milk, and in unreasonable fear of its potential risks. This will not change, as corporate dairy cannot profitably produce and distribute safe raw milk through their factory farms and national distribution channels.
Thus, I would be very pleasantly surprised if Mark McAfee does not eventually realize that, despite the talk and the promises, every time success appears to be on the horizon (no pun intended) the bar will be raised. Or worse, he will find himself set up to take the fall for an outbreak of e coli etc. that causes widespread illness and death. Big dairy would love nothing better than to keep raw milk producers jumping through hoops, scrambling to meet ever changing standards, and sidelining all real progress while appearing to be genuinely working with them. What they do not intend is to really create a process by which consumers can be guaranteed certified safe raw milk, however disingenuous their claims. They will continue to do everything they can, in every way they can, to string us along until they can, once and for all, 'prove' that raw milk cannot be safely provided to the public. I do not believe they can be trusted, nor do I doubt for a moment that they would stoop to deliberately setting up a raw milk producer – even at the cost of lives.
Perhaps I am overly cynical, but as for me and my house, we will drink raw milk, and we will not ask for government approval.
I don't believe testing as it is currently performed has ever done anything positive for raw milk. Negative results just don't seem to have the impact they should. Just as with a warning label, they could be 9 feet tall, but the ignorant among us choose not to see them.
As for raw milk's availability, Dave Milano's KISS metaphor seems eminently practical. As with all good things, it should be sought after. it isn't a given, but I bet you can find it if you look – even in LA.
Testing is a good indicator of process quality, when results are viewed over a period of time.
But even a consistently low coliform count over 12 months does not guarantee product safety. I've seen results with low coliform (<10), and low Standard Plate Count (<5,000), come back with positive pathogen results. We'd have to test for every probable pathogen, on every batch of milk, to get even close to a "guarantee" – and after it leaves the farm, there's no telling what contamination exposures, immune health, or temperature controls are in place in the hands of thousands of raw milk consumers.
Anyone looking for or promising a zero-pathogen guarantee is just plain naive (e.g., some people and some state health departments), or lying (e.g., the FDA/USDA) to protect the status quo of industrial farming.
But I'm still an advocate of testing – on a monthly or at least quarterly basis – because when test results are consistently low, it shows the farmer is consistently in control of key inputs to the process.
It helps the farmer tweak steps in their process (cleaning, chilling, herd health), improves shelf-life (we've seen examples where shelf life went from 5 to 12 days), and shows the health department that we care about food safety.
If an educated consumer visits the farm, talks to the farmer, inspects the facilities and the herd, gets full disclosure about farm practices, and feels confident that s/he has made the right choice about their raw milk source, AND sees a monthly report that reinforces their opinion of milk quality, that's a heckuva lot more quality assurance than they get from ANY product from a grocery store.
Ongoing education and communication, with regular testing, create an acceptable risk.
Most raw dairy farmers have less than 5 years experience, about half have less than 3 years experience, and I know at least 20 in this state that just started up. They want to share info, learn from others' mistakes, talk shop, and get on board as quickly as possible so they can sleep at night.
Isn't it time to start bringing the "barrier to business" issue to the top of the political heap regarding raw milk? Mr. Hershberger's case seems like a timely example:
"The Department of Agriculture has been trying to stop Vernon Hershberger from selling raw milk, but the Loganville farmer has continued to operate his business. Hershberger represented himself in court Wednesday when he made an initial appearance on four misdemeanor charges. He argued that no license exists that would allow him to sell raw milk, that's why he doesn't have one…."
As for Vernon, he has chosen his personal route of resistance. There are many paths up the same mountain, it seems.
Bill, for those of us that don't know what lacto-fermentation is or understand the difference from sweet, can you please explain? Thanks.
Blair, your posts rank among the most informative and least rancorous, much appreciated.
Rigorously high standards tend to do a number of things. First, if small farmers are required to meet them, there will be a hurdle effect so that entrance to the market is restricted for reasons of cost and complexity. Second, the more complex the standards, the more likely the slightest deviation will simply prove the plaintiff's case, whether or not actual cause and effect is established. High standards become a plaintiff lawyer's dream: he sets the standard up on a pedestal, and then he starts asking a million questions about how the farmer did or didn't meet each and every requirement of that standard. The discovery phase of a case alone will bankrupt the small farmer. Big guys should be able to handle the risks that go with the territory.
Even the FDA and the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance are not immune; yet no-one will sue the government (they can't) for setting up a standard that nevertheless permits x number of people to become sick, or even to die. And if it's another food other than raw milk (say, peanut butter or sprouts or tomatoes or take-your-pick), even with iron-clad "scientific" standards and enforcement, s**t happens. Local food advocates understand this risk in mass-market processed foods, and quite aside from the choices made to favor better nutrition, the choice for local food is a choice to avoid the other risks inherent in the large-scale.
I'm not saying that continuous education, especially for new producers (and warnings, especially for new drinkers), and sharing of best practices should not occur. The goal always must be to have the cleanest possible product, with the least likelihood of contamination. But nothing is perfect. And far from being inherently dangerous, raw milk that is contaminated stands a better chance of mitigating the effects of contamination than would contaminated pasteurized milk. The question is simply where does the contamination occur: with raw milk, the risk of contamination exists through the entire spectrum from teat to glass. With pasteurized milk, the risk occurs primarily after pasteurization, since the heating tends to zap bugs from the pre-pasteurization period (which is good, because there are more of them to zap). But there is little in pasteurized milk to mitigate the risk of contamination, once it occurs after heating, and given the economics of mass production and widespread distribution, the risk from pasteurized milk can be large in impact, as has occasionally occurred. And raw milk drinkers are probably better equipped, in any case, to deal with contamination if it gets to their glass.
Risk is here to stay. We simply should be permitted, especially in private transactions, to choose what food we wish to eat since the calculus of risk/reward in nourishing ourselves is inherently personal.
Add the fact that the number of new pathogen strains is apparently rising exponentially under the loving management of Big Ag and Big Pharma. (That recent strain in Germany was a deadly e. coli that was not 0157:H7.) How much will it cost to test a batch of milk for that new pathogen? And and the next? …and the next… It appears that testing for known pathogens is another "economies of scale" game, where the smaller operation pays a much higher per-unit price.
So rather than focusing so much on pathogen testing, I like Michael Schmidt's idea, that we consider the big picture of the farm as part of the ecosystem, and look to optimize that.
– It seems if you just ignore the insults (which desire to generate an angry response), they often go away. I would challenge all involved here to just press on with the meat of the matter. Of course, no one agrees on everything. Debate is healthy. Bring it on and let's learn!
Questions for the producers of milk out there…
I am not a producer of raw milk, just a consumer. We recently switched to a local farm that opened a grade A dairy. They produce low temperature pasteurized, vitamin A and D fortified, unhomogenized milk from grass-fed jersey cows. I decided to give them a try because I know what a hassle they went through to get the permits and pass inspection. It's a huge risk for the farm and I wanted to support their endeavor.
Problem is, the milk tastes terrible! It definitely has a higher cream content, but that doesn't really bother me. It's the taste. It kind of reminds me of carnation instant breakfast drink. It tastes really vitaminy to me. And really cooked. Like the boxed milk you could buy off the shelf when I was in Niger, West Africa and there was no refrigeration. AND, while we drank it, I had a terrible stomach ache and bloating. It seemed like lactose intolerance (which I have never experienced before). I made yogurt thinking the fermentation would improve the taste and, while it produced amazingly thick yogurt, it also tasted terrible AND I still had the stomach ache and bloating (which should not happen if it were lactose intolerance since the lactose has been broken down). We switched back to raw milk and my stomach is fine.
So, does anyone know what could produce the taste I described. Is it the kind of cow? The feed? The processing? And I am puzzled at my stomach reaction. When we are out of raw milk and I cannot get to the farm (which only happens maybe once a month), we buy organic grocery store milk and that does not bother me. Thoughts from those with experience?
You can force the process yourself by inoculating your milk with the bacteria. That is what yogurt cultures are.
As far as a safety issue, I believe that milk which has been inoculated and allowed to ferment really forces the hand of the good bacteria and doesn't let the potentially bad ones reproduce enough to get you sick. But I would like to hear Bill's explanation to see if this is correct.
Steve, Why can't the govt be sued?
I wonder what the cause is? I doubt it is "hysteria". In another news article a father stated his daughter was NOT diagnosed as the media touts, they don't know what is wrong.
Jennifer: Sounds like cooked/burned milk. For me, after drinking raw milk, all pasteurized milk tastes burned. Could also be the vitamin fortified stuff they add. It is adulterated milk, the processing changed the natural state. The shelf milk we got in Germany in the 80s was horrid!
If I consume pasteurized dairy of any sort, my fingers become stiff and I get a rash on my scalp and eye lids. These symptoms began about 7 or 8 years ago. It took me awhile to figure out what he problem was. I have been dairy free for over 5 years.
If I dont consume dairy, I have no symptoms at all. This past summer we went on vacation to the east coast. It is impossible to eat in restaurants without consuming some sort of dairy product. I actually became quite alarmed at how quickly my fingers began to hurt. Once we return home and I was back to my strict healthy diet, it all went away.
I dont drink raw milk or consume raw dairy products. Is it possible that people think raw milk cures what ails them when really it is just not consuming store bought pasteurized/homogenized milk and dairy products?
Just something to ponder.
There were a good number of people who showed up at the court house. There were speakers, and raw milk to drink, other raw milk producers; Family Farm Defenders had a presence there as did the Wisconsin Raw Milk Association. And there was actually main stream media in attendance! And it was a HUGE MISSED OPPORTUNITY to educate the wider public audience on the need for food rights, and the over emboldened actions of our government agencies, judicial system and elected officials. The media carried the angle of Vernon operating without a license as though that were the only issue. With the exception of public radio the media did not carry any real discussion regarding the violation of individual rights to consume the foods of our choice and only briefly mentioned the fact that Vernons operation is private, and all his milk products go to those who specifically want raw milk products.
So Vernon and his family were not alone…and that was a very very good thing. But I said it was a missed opportunity because the media was there and ripe for the picking but the most credible well-spoken media savvy heavy hitters in the raw milk movement were not. With at least 2 networks there the message of choiceindividual rights and the abuse of power by the government could have all been spun into powerful sound bites by those who know how to use the media to the best advantage. We need trained spokes people who can handle the media and that the public can relate to. And we need an easy to follow list of talking points so people can talk to friends, families, and coworkers etc. about real food and the right to buy and eat it. The regulation of raw milk wont mean anything if we the people dont have the right to consume it.
We need to organize folks.
So, per Gayle's suggestion…
From those with PR experience, media experience, what are the sound bites? Bullet points would be helpful. So we can say them over and over again. To everyone. Until it hurts. Whether or not you like his big operation or RAWMI, Mark is great with the bullet points and spin. Care to share a quick check list. The "you have 2 minutes with the cameras rolling" talk. Let's be productive!
Greetings from Scotland
Robert the Bruce: A rebellion has begun.
Robert's Father: [pause] Under whom?
Robert the Bruce: A commoner… named William Wallace.
William Wallace:Are you ready for a war?
"if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.''
"Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.''
Gayle, Jennifer et al,
it is now more important than it ever has been in Wisconsin's Raw Dairy history to support Vernon and enlighten and awaken your neighbors about the injustice being served and the war that is on for your food. Organize on the local level, you do not need professionally trained talking heads, or former media darlings leading the charge. Create a flyer with local issues and bullet points that revolve around your local battle and distribute them at the local farmers markets and raise the awareness. Have raw milk flash mobs drink raw milk in the state Capitol. Invite the authorities such as DATCP and the FDA to observe while you "Disobey", invite the media too. Are you willing to go to jail for Raw Milk?
Our founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to secure liberty for all. Are you willing to do the same as this nations great founders did? There has to be a line drawn in the sand, when will the consumers draw that line and risk all? We need consumers rallying for their food and to stand in harms way if need be to preserve their rights. We need consumers to be pro active and pro liberty and not to in-fight as we have witnessed in the past by the attacks that the libertarian minded activists' have taken on this blog by avowed socialists and even Mark McAffee. If we do not hang together now, we will surely hang separately.
This is America where Freedom Reigns and not a King or dictator.
Without freedom all is lost. Your hopes are in a commoner in your own back yards.
Now organize!! Lead!! The troops will follow.
as for the low-temp pasteurized milk … they guessed wrong on their business model. You're not helping them out by continuing to buy something which is bound to fail. What that dairy needs is honest feedback.
The chief veterinarian here told me that he drank raw milk on the farm, up til he was 12 years old. He quit the day his mother started par-boiling it on the stove as she'd been instructed by the govt. … he didn't like the taste
Interesting twist of words in your quote used above. The entire quote is :"beware the freedom peddlars in matters of love and life". William Reich was writing about the sexual exploitation of youth see page 172 of his book. Anyone can use partial quotes and twist their meanings to fit a particular agenda. What you have done is taken a quote out of context to demonize something you may be afraid of facing. Reality. The reality is the sacrifice made by the founders and our armed forces (including our fellow farmer's in 1776) to preserve, protect and defend liberty and freedom in the U.S.A. for all people. The responsibility of freedom and liberty is great, and has come at a great and bloody price. Some gave all and it is high time to honor those that put their lives on the line for freedom and liberty. Do you feel that the blood poured out upon the soil in the founding of this nation was in vain? Do you live in America, Gordon? We had freedom in this country at one time and the powers that be have regulated those liberties away incrementally. Are you Gordon willing to give all so that your posterity may live free from tyrannical rule?
It is amazing how some people detest liberty and call the "libertarians'' irresponsible. The "food freedom riders'', advocates that drive across state lines, disobeying the oppressive regime, are putting it all on the line. They are taking a huge risk because they know that if they do not stand now they will regret not standing shoulder to shoulder with their fellow "foodie'' when their grandchildren no longer have the choice to eat anything but industrial food. How many youths, Gordon, have given their lives around the world, in numerous wars, in the U.S. armed forces to preserve freedom? Do you want to tell their loved ones they were irresponsible and that their lives were a waste for a libertarian ideology? Do you? Have you ever been to a V.A. cemetery, or a V.A. hospital and seen the sacrifices made first hand of life and limb? Spend a day with these men and women and I dare you to tell them that the leg, or arm that they gave was irresponsible.
William: I AM William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country men, here, in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that FREEDOM? Will you fight?
Soldier 1: Against that? No, we'll run, and we'll live.
William: Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take… OUR FREEDOM!
Do you feel like running or standing Gordon? That is the question.
It would be an interesting experiment to do with raw milk,do your own low temp long time pasteurizing of milk and see what the result is. They must do something to the store milk to make them all taste the same. More adulterations? Like the orange juice?
I found that eating in hospital cafeterias caused all kinds of GI upsets. Many of the foods sent up to patients is highly processed phoods. Not anywhere near a healthy diet especially for recovery from injury,illness,surgery.
Steve; If not suing then an appeal (or whatever the legal term would be) in regards to poor or unjust standards-setting. When I went up against the VA, I used their own laws/regulations to win my case. As I did when I went up against the US govt. I think many are too intimidated to stand up to tptb. It can be costly (legal fees and filings) and take years to resolve. When I was dealing with the VA,(this cost me my time only) I felt they dragged their feet in the hopes that I would just go away (It took 3.5yrs), and watching others fight their own fights – that is just what they did-give up. I don't think any of my family or friends thought I could win in either case. Sometimes you have to make a stand and fight for what you believe in.
It's funny too about my stomach. Since we cut out ALL processed foods 2 years ago (I make my own bread, yogurt, etc.) I find that my stomach cannot take the phood I used to eat. We rarely eat out because it just doesn't taste good and it always bothers my stomach afterwords. And it tastes like chemicals. Interestingly, I also lost 30 lbs while adding back fat and real food even though I am consuming more calories. I suspect my metabolism has changed. I feel very sorry for those in hospitals and the kids in our schools. Both institutions are are forcing what I consider dangerous foods on people who are in most need of good nutrition. We homeschool and so my kids don't eat the garbage served in schools. Before we pulled out and started homeschooling, I was told by the school that I was out of line when I questioned the foods they were feeding the kids. I send a lunch for my son, but they fed him garbage as a reward for doing well in school, as daily treats, as motivation for reading. One day they brought in McD's, pop, ice cream, and Popsicles. That was just one day. It was sick. Aand my son was sick afterwards as well. When I took control of our food completely, I saw amazing behavior and concentration changes.
As for the war on our hands, I do think that everyone is fighting in the best way that they can. I am educating on a small local level. I work with homeschool families, church groups, youth groups. I teach about food history, facts and fictions in nutrition, freedom of food choice, how to remove yourself from the food system (I provide local shopping resources, recipes, cooking classes). I have 4 children (with one on the way) and homeschool. I can't just show up with to a rally with the kids in tow…well I CAN, but I risk the safety of the kids. I almost joined the freedom riders in Chicago, but since I would be breaking the law, I would have to face the possibility of jail..with kids in tow? Also, I have known others who have joined protests with their kids and the police were called because the kids were not in school. It brought in another legal battle – the right to educate your children as you see fit. It was very scary.
I think the value of a cohesive message is being undervalued here. There is great power in being able to persuade people to your side. And the message, the spin, the branding of the movement is very important. It can mean the difference between an real cause and the appearance of a bunch of health nuts making crazy statements. Even the Revolutionary war had its message and it really helped bring the people together for a cause. There were the media darlings of the time that were looked up to and helped lead the way forward.
I think educating on a small local level will go far. Word of mouth is very powerful. Your teachings sound wonderful and something like what you are doing in many locals areas would go very far in teaching the public. I think many people don't know how to cook nutritious foods from scratch. They feel they are limited by time.
I think factual bullet statements are key, also facts that show untruths to what the govt et al says.
you're new here, aren't you?
a couple of days ago I did post my bona fides in the Campaign for REAL MILK, and got sneered at by one of the more dyspeptic naysayers. I've been at it for a decade, lately, full time.
As for your queries about defending freedom ; I could reel-off the careers of my father, and mother and uncles and grandfather in the Cdn army … suffice to say = my citizenship in this country was bought and paid-for in blood sweat and tears. My name / pedigree goes back to Robart Fitz-Walter, one of the Barons at Runnymede, who was so fractious that they made him stay on the other side of the River Steynes, lest hostilities break out again.
the Hollywood version of patriotism to which you allude, is ridiculously far away from the reality early Americans lived. They were a homogenous white Christian nation. Today, Ham-merica is an anti-christian multi-cult mess, in control of people who hate us. See the difference?
Educate you-selves : go back and read the transcripts of the sermons preached from the pulpits of the colonies in 1776 in the run-up to war They knew they were Israelites. Their rationale for rebellion was predicated in their theology. Do we see that today? No, the movie audiences applaud like trained seals, then fart, then go home to snore -away, while the country slides down into third world conditions. People like me and my friends who dissent, go to gaol
I've been booted-off serveral raw dairy forums for saying that the engine of the Campaign for REAL MILK is, white people, awakening to our heritage through the food and agricultural laws of the Bible. Which terrifies the one-worlders …. whatever would if Caucasians were to harken to that message?!
What's happening now is the stage of the cycle of the Israelite race = we go down into punishment, having squandered our inheritance … see the parable of the Prodigal Son… in which we wind up contending with the swine for scraps to eat. Of course, that's the most politically-incorrect thing there is to be said.
The good news is : at the very bottom we, nationally, come to our senses. When we,start to separate ourselves in order to serve our own God, namely Jesus Christ, the tyrant gets really nasty.
you don't see this on the evening news, but you can find out how it all ends, by reading the Bible
on the steps of the Courthouse the other day, Vernon Hershberger corroborated my theme : that the raw milk controversy is : American's faith in our God being put to the test by the anti-christ state demanding subservience. He's finding out, how, In the midst of the firery furnace, things become clearer. Last time I went through it, the judge convicted us of practicing Christianity on the public sidewalk, then sent us out of the Courtroom in shackles, to do a month in gaol. I recommend you DO NOT go in that direction – the gulag. The immature man is willing to die for his cause ; the mature man is prepared to live for his cause.
a foot note :
just before he died in the penitentiary, Wilhelm Reich, born a Jew, and a communist during his lifetime, made a profession of faith in Jeus Christ as his saviour.
Half a century ago, he had been incarcerated by the FDA, for contempt of its order prohibiting him from healing people. His books were burned by Order of the Court.
Surely you know who Thomas Paine was. Paine was instrumental in the success of the American Revolution.
Vernon's faith is being tried, but he is not on trial for religious reasons, maybe in Canada, but not in these United States of America, we do have some freedom left, if we assert it.
I am not new, but as a producer and the climate of the ever encroaching police state, I need to be discreet in the public forum, at least for now. I have been in the raw milk movement for over 20 years though, and only decided to start speaking out when the schmit hit the fan with RAWMI.
Michael Schmidt was willing to die for the cause, does that make Micheal an immature man, Gordon?
And we are Israelites? Are the aliens landing soon Gordon?
Can you please take your drivel / discussion elsewhere, or privately email each other? What motivates you to do it in a public forum? I think most if not all the CP readers are disgusted that you choose this forum to continually rehash your irreconcilable differences. And please, leave religion out of it.
Now back to your regularly scheduled Raw Milk discussion…
I think it is amazing how right-wing "libertarians" go around claiming the mantle of Thomas Paine. Clearly, they have never read Paine's work. Though the theoretical concepts of "socialism" proper had not been developed in his lifetime, Paine was basically a socialist.
11GT#1 – Get the FDA totally out of regulating interstate commerce in raw milk which is supplied in final package form for human consumption.
Me: I agree
11GT#2 – There should be some kind of consistent identification of raw milk and raw milk products coupled with standard warning language, whether basic such as current restaurant-style warnings, or more elaborate such as current California warnings.
Me: I doubt most read any warning labels, so it wouldn't matter what was attached to the bottle.
11GT#3 – Claims for health benefits may be made by any customer in the producer's advertising or sales forum only if in the form of personal testimonials or peer-reviewed scientific papers; or by the producer in the producer's advertising or sales forum only if in the form of a statistically accurate summary of unsolicited customer testimonials or peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Me: tptb came down on the cherry growers who claimed health benefits…. They appear afraid of nutritious foods.
11GT#4 – Sales at retail, where the consumer is likely not to know the producer, should have increased testing under state law.
Me: Just plain testing should be done for selling in stores.
11GT#5 – Transactions (whether sales, cow shares or otherwise depending on state law) direct from farmer to consumer whether on the farm or otherwise, or from farmers with herds smaller than a yearly-average  milking cows, should not be regulated other than by individual agreement.
Me: I agree
11GT#6 – Parents are free to feed their children whatever foods they choose.
Me: I agree
11GT#7 – Farmers and individuals who provide raw milk or raw milk products to "others" should have legal protection in litigation (absent reckless behavior or actual knowledge of pathogens or other significant risk factors) so long as the proper identification and warnings (as in, #2) were provided and, in the case of "others" who are minors, so long as the identification and warnings were effectively communicated to the minor's parent or guardian prior to consumption.
Me: This is where teaching is so important
11GT#8 – Educational materials (directed to both producers and consumers) for the safe production, handling and processing of raw milk and raw milk products should be developed and widely distributed generally and in the producer's advertising and sales media.
Me: How many raw dairy farmers will be advertising? Teaching all parties is important.
11GT#9 – An open, collaborative, transparent and scientifically rigorous and neutral approach should be taken by producers, consumers and public health officials in all instances of disease outbreak with a common commitment both to protect public health and to protect continued viability of responsible producers. Public health warnings which are not connected to outbreaks of illness or warnings which prove to have been unfounded, shall be followed by public health advisory followups which are communicated with the same level and extent of publicity as the initial warning, including exoneration of producers as appropriate.
Me: Would tptb ever exonerate a raw dairy?
11GT#10 – Independent research (including analyses of testimonials and other real-life evidence as well as traditional reductionist studies) should be publicly funded to examine the nutritional value, environmental impacts of production, and the acute and chronic impacts on human health from raw and traditional foods and from industrially-produced foods.
Me: Studies that are fair and non-biased are good.
11GT#11 – Broader insurance availability for producers and other risk-sharing approaches should be developed as a counterweight to regulation-by-litigation.
what a comic! … going on about how bold you are, yet you won't even show your face publicly. You're just like all the other chickenshits who have so much to say, as long as they don't have to stand up and be counted. Your heroes who took on the Hessians, at Lexington, and Concord, didn't have bandanas over their faces
I could rebut you point-by=point, but I'm not allowed to, having been told I'm on very thin ice … apparently the audience here isn't able to handle big ideas. So I have to leave you-all, in PollyAnna's recipe patch, obsessed with bacteria counts, and not bother with geo-politics
suffice to say that the reason Ham-merica is in the degenerate shape it's in, is because guys like you are so sadly out of touch with yr history. Ham being a pun on the black man in the white house… you wouln't get that though
How ironic – banning religion from discussion, whilst appealing to the patriotic language of Revolutionary war times, which was all about religion! Read Tupper Saussy's brilliant book "Rulers of Evil" and educate you-self
Just to be clear, nobody is "banning religion from discussion"…what is off-limits is your incessant racist white supremacy vitriol, which has become offensive to many here, including me. If you can't abide by that limitation, then you need to take your act elsewhere.
And thank you Steve for the 11 points. They do seem reasonable. I think the important one is the allowance of private transactions. I think about the Farmer Brown case with his one cow and the charges he is facing and it would be a great tragedy if the small scale, individual farm to consumer transactions that have been the basis of small farms and homesteads were to be outlawed or over-regulated (which is just as good as being outlawed). I was actually quite suprised at how reasonable Marler was. While I didn't agree with all of his points, it was clear that he was not out to outlaw the choice in raw milk, just was looking towards ways to reduce risk. I was glad to see that he pointed out other high risk foods that our government doesn't seem too concerned about. The exchange between Steve and Marler drove home two important points – common ground CAN be found in discussion AND sparks don't have to fly.
Gordon, you have a problem. Everyone can see it but you. You are a man filled with anger and hateso sad. Have you ever looked in the mirror and ask why you are blocked from posting on blogs? It is obvious to all of us. David has never blocked anyone from posting on this blog. It sounds like you may be the first.
I can think of plenty of non-white people who traditionally consume raw milk.
Nomadic African herding cultures have consumed raw milk and the various forms of fermented/clabbered milk for hundreds if not thousands of years. Or take the example of India, where cows are considered sacred. Surely, Indians have consumed some or most of their milk in its raw or fermented state for many thousands of years.
I say this as someone of German and Norwegian heritage, having been raised Roman Catholic. My mother grew up on a small dairy farm in central Wisconsin, drinking raw milk. And I agree with the others here — your racism needs to stop. You don't have to agree with me about the merits of democratic socialism (though I would gladly discuss with you Wisconsin's long Germanic/Scandinavian heritage, with our particular brand of Agrarian Progressive Populism, and Urban Democratic Socialism), but your neo-Nazi drivel really needs to stop. It is toxic and reactionary.
Also, I would gladly send you copies of Thomas Paine's books, if you would be so kind as to share a mailing address. One cannot talk about the American Revolution without understanding the work of Thomas Paine.
Appearances are sometimes deceiving…I know it appears as if Steve Bemis and Bill Marler aren't that far apart on their positions on raw milk. Unfortunately, there are official positions and reality. And the reality is that Marler has never supported real-life proposals that incorporate much of his position, as in recent legislative proposals in Wisconsin and New Jersey. In fact, he has only been known to work against real-life proposals.
""It doesn't really matter what happens here today because we already have won, If people lived and obeyed God's law (in biblical times), they were free. If they disobeyed God's law, they were slaves."
versus me being censored for saying the same thing
Vernon's just another court-certified religious fanatic along with so many in the history of the us of A, now going through the classic test, whether to obey the law of God rather than men. Note that in the newsstory, the prosecutor is only too happy to say that it's not about health, nor milk, it's about a permit from the state
Mr Hershberger does know a few things about REAL MILK … and he's going to find out a lot more in the process of separation from the anti-christ system, which is what's going on in the larger picture, …. as I've been trying to explain with me limited command of the English language
as for Thomas Paine : my Dad handed me that book when I was 12. You can be sure that Paine had read the Bible, as did every one of his contemporaries. Unless you've read that book – and ALL of it – you're not an educated man
A "tough cheese that does not melt", sounds like it is perhaps similar to the Finnish cheese Juustoleipa which also does not melt. The lack of melting is due to the curd's very high calcium content (a consequence of a lack of acidity). The cheese is probably made from milk which has not yet soured, and then the curd is cooked or baked to aid in preservation (the cooking will arrest any souring activity)
Gordon- I hope you know that Jesus Christ, in all likelihood, did not have white skin.
and, instead of cooking in whey, bake it? How long would you press it and is it aged at all? I had bought Juustoleipa from Green City Market in Chicago and it is wonderful! Haven't found it anywhere since. I have rennet in the freezer and we're going to get milk today.
For cheese to melt, it must fall within a specific pH range. If the cheese is too acidic (i.e. Feta) or not acidic enough (i.e. Halloumi, Juustoleipa, etc…) it will not melt. It all has to do with the way that the milk proteins come together and interact with each other. When the pH is in the middle range (about pH 5.0 – 5.5) there are an approximately equal number of positive and negative charges and so the curd protein structure can become fluid and easily re-arrange itself. When there are more negative than positive charges (aka too acidic) or more positive than negative (aka not acidic enough), the milk proteins tend to repel each other and so they become rigid do not easily re-arrange themselves.
Just try frying Feta sometime. It won't melt. Compare that to cheddar or swiss which do melt easily. It all has to do with the pH and calcium content of the cheese.
As for making cheese, there are some important differences between Juustoleipa and Halloumi (Halloumi is a "pasta filata" or stretched curd, Juusto is baked instead) but it can't hurt to experiment.
More negative than positive charges is not acidic enough, and more positive than negative is too acidic.
I was getting my OH- (base) mixed up with my H+ (acid)
He said that standards and transparency are not welcomed and when they are considered to advance universal access to raw milk….they are attacked by the raw milk dairymen.
This week, Michael resigned from Cow Share Canada as a result. He did this so he could remain objective and retain his ability to refer consumers or others to CSC and it's independent scientific review committee etc….he no longer wanted to stand directly in super negative line of fire as he worked to change the Canadian raw milk political climate.
In reviewing them, your copying of 11GT#11 was truncated. I repeat the full text below, because, perhaps of all of the 11GT, the full text is most relevant to our current discussions about standards. Basically, I propose that standards should be voluntary only, and that the viable alternative (note the OR in bold type) should be left open to the farmer's experience:
11GT#11 – Broader insurance availability for producers and other risk-sharing approaches should be developed as a counterweight to regulation-by-litigation.
Farmers might consider voluntary production standards such as various kinds of testing protocols OR simply rely on many years of problem-free operation, so as to induce insurers to write policies, otherwise the insurers will want to "go automatic" and insist on compliance with various regulations which is their current typical mode. Similarly, a litigation defense which is founded in compliance with the testing protocols of a voluntary standard or in years of trouble-free operation by simply "looking at the animals and watching what's in the filter, should help to defend against litigation, and ultimately, to reduce litigation.- Broader insurance availability for producers and other risk-sharing approaches should be developed as a counterweight to regulation-by-litigation.
The only one taking a public beating is herdshares in California and the rest of the nation and it is from within our own ranks from Mark McAfee and RAWMI.
"And the fly in the ointment" using Mark's own words is RAWMI and Mark continuing to gin up raw milk fears and a division within our movement.
Again Mark put down your sword!
Comparing the raw milk movement in Canada and the United States is like comparing apples to oranges. Raw milk is not legal in Canada and the Milk Marketing Board rules with an iron fist.
This is the Michael Schmidt I know and love, speaking of the differences within our movement.
"The internal roadmap to not only accommodate but incorporate the full spectrum of differences as a necessary cultural process is for me the guiding thought."
"The world is evolving as it should and will evolve, we are called upon to utilize our ability to embrace and resolve issues with utmost respect for the process and the goal."
If you are going to make comparisons between yourself and Michael Schmidt you have mighty big shoes to fill.
Perhaps you should start with his socks and take his lead and go back to your farm and farm. And let the rest of us farm in peace, We truly do not need the government or RAWMI looking over our shoulders into our milk buckets.
Then perhaps you could help promote the diversity in the raw milk movement as it continues to blossom.
If you ask Cow Share Canada for the standards they feel Canadian raw farmers should be using, you will be told one of two things. 1. You have to pay the yearly fee to Cow Share Canada before any information will be given. 2. You must take Cow Share College.
Why should farmers, some who have cow shares and some who are just selling a little milk on the side have to fork over hard earned money to find out what the standards are?
In Canada the term dirty raw milk is thrown about quite a bit. The thought behind that is all these farmers who have raw milk leaving the farm in whatever form (herd share/cow share./selling) have dirty milk, and only Michael and Cow Share College graduates have clean milk. If that was the case, Canada would have an epidemic of sick, dying, or dead raw milk drinkers!
If someone has standards for how raw milk should be produced then please share them free of charge with everyone!
You get to test drive the car before buying, but you can't see the standards without buying a membership first, and quite possibly without signing up for Cow Share College first! I'd say that's pretty transparent, right Mark?
Nothing will change with regards to how a lot of Canadians feel about Cow Share Canada until they truly become transparent!