Posts tagged raw milk

Raw Milk Rant

The following is my Jan 29/10 Garden Gossip newspaper article… and they actually printed it sans editorial wrist slap…

So this is winter, after all. I was beginning to wonder just a little bit. That was probably the warmest January I’ve seen in a while and it will be interesting to see just how it affects the maple syrup season which is just a few weeks away. I guess this is a sign of the El Nino weather patterns that we’ve been told to expect for summer.

So while the weather has been the main topic of conversation on the Island in recent days, a more compelling drama has been playing out in a Southern Ontario courtroom where raw milk producer, Michael Schmidt, received the long awaited verdict on the charges he faced, of endangering human health by selling his raw milk. In a truly unexpected turn of events, he was found not guilty! While those of us who have been following the story closely simply see this as the only logical and common-sense ruling that could be made, we are also quite aware that common sense is, as the old saying goes, not at all common.

While there is no question that if the milking process is carried out improperly, then raw milk can pose a health threat to the people who consume it. However, all customers buying from the couple of existing Canadian raw milk producers are educated about these risks and are able to make an informed decision. There are many other things that potentially pose as great, or greater, risk to human health that are freely accessible. Processed meats, wieners and soft cheeses are such a “serious health risk” that pregnant mothers are warned to avoid them for fear of potential Listeria contamination that could kill them or their baby. But, these foods are not illegal. Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are finding their way into our food supply with alarming rapidity. There is no safety testing done by our government on these foods. Independent studies are showing “probable” links between GMO’s and serious health issues in lab animals. Since it often takes several generations for genetic-type problems to show up, we won’t know the true effects of these foods on our species for a few years yet. So are they illegal? No! In fact, our government is complicit in promoting GMO’s as one of the futures of world agriculture. How about the old stand-bys, alcohol and cigarettes. Everyone knows the health dangers related to these substances. They are considered two of the three leading causes of death in the developed world. Pregnant mothers can legally use either substance. Young children can grow up in a house full of tobacco smoke. While the government has made modest efforts to curb the exposure of children to smoke, they have not made it illegal (except in cars). The government makes millions of dollars annually from the sales of these products. But, because we live in a free country, we are allowed to make our own decisions about consuming these products despite the possible deleterious effects on children (the main argument of the anti-raw milk group). Lets move on to fast food. Once again, we are well informed of the negative health effects of eating at the local burger and fry joint. Canadians are becoming obese. Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are so serious that Health Canada has now listed twenty year olds as an “at risk” group. Our health care system is flooded trying to keep up with the fallout of self-inflicted dietary illness. Is fast food consumption regulated in any way? No. In fact our government is now looking at adding chemotherapeutic medications to fast food to make it a “safer food source”… yum. Let’s move on in the list. There is “white” sugar, “white” flour and “white” oil in one form or another in almost every food item that is available to be purchased, except raw products. Similar to the fast food situation, these additives (they are NOT food products) are purchased and used freely. They can, in fact, comprise nearly the entire diet of young children with the inevitable health ramifications. You’d think since our government is so concerned about negative health effects on children that this would be highly illegal, after all, children are dying. Uh, no, apparently we live in a free country and once again this is a freedom of choice situation for the parents. Then what about over the counter health care products such as “children’s” vitamins, acetaminophen, motion sickness pills, cough and cold mixtures, ASA and more. These medications have each been linked to serious health problems and often death; in children. Illegal? Not with the amount of money available to be raked in from pharmaceutical companies. And don’t even get me started on plastics and what our government knows about them, but ignores. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is not about our health, not close.

So is raw milk for you? I guess in a free country that would be for you to decide, wouldn’t it? But at least in a free country you could inform yourself and then make the decision that best fits you and your family. In a free country…

Leave a comment »