Awesome pic of Michael Schmidt & his raw milk! Pic from The National Post.
As someone new to the raw milk “scene,” as it were, but not new to other food issues, I wasn’t really that surprised to learn that raw milk is a political hot potato. Of course I wasn’t; everything that is truly good & nourishing for us, that does not have some kind of industrial additive or shortcut included with it, is being attacked overtly and covertly. Advertising, misinformation, and just plain addiction are all working together to make “food” nothing more than a synthetic mishmash that rakes in billions for the few who control it. And when people contract one of the modern diseases, the pharmeceutical industry is ready & waiting to sell its drugs. Big pharm & big ag are bosom buddies, and you go against them at your peril, it seems. But most people don’t; most people don’t give a flying fig what’s in their food as long as it tastes good, is cheap, and they can eat loads & loads of it. We’re a country of addicts.
Big ag works because it’s big business. Big biz only wants to make money, and they are making lots and lots of money. The problem, of course, is that food is not—well, should not be—a typical manufacturing commodity. You wanna cut corners to make tables & chairs? Fine (well, not fine, but that’s an entirely different rant). I’m not eating my table. The table isn’t going into my body to keep me alive. But food is. Food should keep me healthy, not turn me into a future big pharm customer. But food is being produced as if it doesn’t matter what goes into it or how it is made, and people are suffering because of it. Any way big ag can cut costs, use cheaper ingredients, find cheaper labor, all the usual suspects, it does, and the end product is a shelf-stable food product that is almost completely devoid of any bodily value or true nutrition.
Yet there are still small farmers here & there who are going about their business, trying to make a living, and doing it in a healthier way that produces real food. They are finding their efforts made difficult, and in some cases completely blocked, by big ag. It’s ridiculous. A very small percentage of people prefer real food over industrial food-like products, but the way bullying and legislation is going, you’d think that big ag is scared the little guy will put a dent in their business.
Well, maybe they will. Supply and demand, of course. Although I don’t expect a statistically significant number of people to voluntarily give up fake food, and you know what? That’s fine. That’s their choice. If they don’t want to make changes, they don’t have to. But choice is the key word. If I choose to consume real food, I should be able to do so.
That’s what the raw milk issue, and Michael’s case, are about, no matter what the verdict is. Choice. If you don’t think raw milk has benefits, then by all means don’t drink it. If I do think it has benefits, I should be able to drink it. If a government wants to pass laws, then pass laws that require raw milk producers to be subject to stringent regular inspection. Require people to sign something that says they can’t sue the government if they get sick, whatever. But leave me with the choice to eat as I see fit.
UPDATE!! Michael found not guilty of all charges! Woohoo! What a wonderful step in the right direction. The battle’s only just gearing up, I’ll bet (who me, cynical?), but it’s times like these that give me hope. :)