July 7, 2010

The debate pro and con for drinking raw milk is immaterial. Actually, its more like a smoke screen obscuring what matters: Industrial Agriculture has a near monopoly on farming. And they are working every angle, from buying politicians all the way to fear mongering citizens, to keep it that way. And the way they keep it is, in the mean time, ruining our soil, biosphere, and food.Have any of you seen "Fresh" or read "Omnivores Dilemma"?

Keep arguing over a thousand derivations of an inane topic: Milk, raw or cooked. But understand, while you argue, farmers are losing their farms and so the public is losing access to the last source of real food healthy for our bodies as well as our environment. And when these farms go, its not just sad because Aunt Martha and Uncle Frank get displaced. Its sad because the farm land gets turned into condos. The United States is losing farmland so fast that future generations may HAVE to keep dairy animals in their backyard.

But don't diminish, Mary et al, what motivates farmers and their advocates to fight so hard. Its not just a pitcher of milk on the table.

Sundari, it would be a good thing if more folks realized what they can grow for themselves in the suburbs. I have 8 chickens, fruit trees, roses, and a garden on my property under one acre. We are looking into goats. My cows live 2 miles down the street on a farm where I, personally, care for and milk them every day. This urban farm project has been a surprise to me.

And the most surprising part has been the realization that somewhere, a hundred years ago, common folks sold their rights to common food. Because the difference in quality is so shocking. I will never live without my own milk and egg sources again. But I am old and political. Consider, then, my son. I bought him a bottle of chocolate milk from the grocery store last weekend. An hour later he quietly poured it out. Even though he's 11 and his mother bought it for him and its full of sugar and chocolate, he didn't want it. He's had nothing but raw dairy for the last year. (No, no one has gotten sick.) He will never go back to Industrial Milk, even when he is free to choose. AND THAT IS WHAT INDUSTRIAL AG FEARS. THAT is why they fight so hard. We are fighting for land, health, cultural identity, access to animals, and biodiversity. They are fighting for consumers.

This is the United States of America. We are fighting over raw milk, on the surface. But really, we are fighting over the most valuable commodity of all, consumers. Industrial Ag does't give a flying fuck what our children consume, not as long as they dependently pay for it all their lives. But, ooooops, Industrial Ag doesn't own raw milk. And that is the real conflict here.


Anonymous said...

This is so BRILLIANT, Katherine.
You have hit the nail on the head {of course you have...you always do.:)}
I'm in SW Ontario, Canada and selling raw milk is illegal here. (In all of Canada, actually.) Of course it is for all the reasons you have expressed in your post. Big corporations like Maple Leaf (package meat) have caused the deaths of many, many people over the years due to listeria...and are still open for business...but a dairy farmer who's milk has never even made anyone sick...is forbidden to sell to us consumers. It is so obvious why...and as a consumer - I want to be able to make that choice myself. Thanks for this post...and kudos to your son. :) -Debbie

Heather said...

"Food is at the foundation, but it's really about life." - Will Allen (thanks for the link)

I keep falling back on that phrase I read so long ago on a messageboard somewhere; I don't even remember what the subject was - homeschooling, breastfeeding, who knows what - but it doesn't matter, because it fits so well no matter the subject: "Once your awareness is raised, it can't be lowered again." When someone becomes aware of the truth, they can't be made unaware. They can't go back to blindly accepting the "facts" given by big corporations with no concern but $$$, and they can't stop themselves from making others aware of the truth.

Symphony Farm said...

Keep rocking with your cows!!!!!!!!! Love from up here in VT. Love to know there are other people doing it!

Katherine said...

Thanks! :D

Lisa Dage said...

This is onlly the tip of the iceberg. i worked for Hunt Wesson foods while going to UC Davis. 30 years ago they were making ketchup using genetically altered tomatoes that have a natural insecticide "built in" Im sure they still are, Hmmm why would I want to eat anything with tomatoes that kill insects.