Friday, May 21, 2010

Oishii: Raw Milk

For the past year or so we've been ordering raw milk products from Farmer Dan, an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania.  Both Mr. Q and Mayumi love the taste, and after reading about all the benefits of raw milk (and understanding the rare but possible dangers) we became avid consumers and advocates for it.  We hear first-hand accounts of how our friend's children exhibited allergies to regular store-bought milk, but they have no averse reactions to rawmilk.  And we feel good that we are supporting a small, local farmer who engages in humane, organic, pasture-fed practices in raising his cows.

For some reason, the FDA is not a fan of raw milk.  In fact, they have made it illegal for farmers to sell it (in their efforts to regulate and control food safety, which in some cases is a complete joke.  Anyone want salmonella with their spinach?). They've increased their persecution of farmers who sell raw milk products.  Farmer Dan's family farm was raided by federal agents at five in the morning and is now facing possible prosecution.  My access and my educated choice to drink raw milk has been denied.

One of the women in our buying club wrote these wise words:
Many years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal" While I really understand those of you who feel that signing the contract will put you in some jeopardy of following the law, please remember that it used to be illegal to help a runaway slave. Would you follow that law? It is used to be totally legal to ban people of certain backgrounds to eat at the same lunch counters as people of other backgrounds, use the same bathrooms, go to the same schools, take seats in the front of the bus, etc. And people took that really seriously and followed those laws. Would you not challenge that law? In some cases, laws are tools of mob rule. As the Declaration of Independence states: "and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." I think we all need to be aware of our own limits. At what point do you say "that is enough!" and begin to challenge the status? Perhaps an armed FDA raid of a peaceful Amish farm is not your limit. What is your limit and at what point do you stand up for what you believe is right?

I'm not sure if this is an issue that any of you care about, or are even aware of, but I just wanted to put it on your radar.  I try to conscientous about the food I put into my body and into my family's mouths, as well as the political implications of my decisions.  I will be writing letters to the appropriate leaders, joining organizations that are fighting for freedom of food, and if I ever get the chance, I'll stand in picket lines to protest these kinds of regulations that do more harm than good.  So, if you're of the same mind, mamas of the world unite!


Ye Stewart Clan said...

I'm guessing most, if not all, of Farmer Dan's customers have educated themselves about the choice they are making like you have. I know people that grew up on dairy farms that LOVE the taste of raw milk fresh from the cow. I have never tasted it. I have never milked a cow. I have never even watched a cow be milked, except on television. It seems kind of sad actually.
Poor Farmer Dan!

MamaD said...

Seems ridiculous that the FDA is cracking down on something like this while there is inordinate amounts of soda and overly processed junk food being sold that contributes to the obesity epidemic in this country which in turn increases the health care costs as well. Maybe Farmer Dan needs to pay a ridiculous amount of money to a lobbyist so he won't be bothered....

MamaM said...

I don't know a thing about raw milk and I loves me some pasteurized cow's milk, but the important thing is that you and others stand up for your right to eat what you choose by writing to the powers that be. Good luck, Q.