Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Freedom of choice and raw milk.
Doesn't freedom of choice include a most basic freedom to choose one's food?
There are many people in this country who make very poor food choices. Just look at their shopping carts in the check out line. Look at the frightening increases in everything from diabetes to food allergies to heart disease. Our government does not look at the cost of health care and restrict the diets of these folks who make processed foods, cheese puffs and deep-fried Snickers bars (have you seen this at the fairs? I am incredulous...) a part of their diets. But the government makes it near impossible for families to purchase whole, raw milk for their own consumption.
We ourselves are currently clabbering our excess milk and feeding it to the chickens and the cats, skimming the cream off first so that I can make and freeze butter. But our budget is pretty tight. How much better it would be if we could sell these extra 5-7 gallons to a family who would enjoy and appreciate the excellent Jersey milk! We can't, however, without breaking the law. We may sell it for animal consumption or enter into the tedium of a "cow share" agreement (hard to do when our one lactating cow's production goes up and down with the weather and quality of the pasture), but we may not sell it outright.
I can understand the concern for cleanliness and potentially deadly bacteria. But when it comes to something like picking up milk at a farm, don't you think that the buyer ought to be able to make that judgement and take the responsibility? I mean, if I buy a loaf of banana bread at a high school bake sale, how do I know how clean that woman's kitchen is? We are talking about small farms here, not massive commercial production. The FDA has conducted raids on small farms selling raw milk and raw milk products. Here is an article from the Washington Post on some of the outrage over this issue.
Senator Ron Paul has introduce House Bill HR 1830 to "authorize the interstate traffic of unpasturized milk and milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption." The Farmer-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has an online petition you can sign which will be sent to your state representatives. Please consider signing it, as the freedom to choose our food is really a very fundamental right.