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Raw Milk Renegades

March 3, 2009

rawmilkThe Mother Earth folk have a small story on the crackdowns on Raw Milk bought by willing consumers from small independent dairy farmers. In a transaction that is simply incapable of producing a large, industrial food style outbreak, based on the small numbers involved.

Family and customers of Mark Nolt, a Pennsylvania farmer, watched in horror last April as a squadron of police cars and state agents drove him away in handcuffs. Was his crime terrorism? Narcotics? No. Nolt was selling raw milk, yogurt, fresh kefir and cheeses directly from his farm without a permit.

Meanwhile congressmen puff up like bloviating toads at the thought of a single uninspected serving of food entering the mouth of a consumer. All while federal bureacrats still can’t get a handle on the latest salmonella outbreak, an outbreak that happened right under their noses.

“I’d like to see some people go to jail,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to a Georgia peanut plant that has sickened more than 550 people and killed at least eight. Leahy said food manufacturers should face possible jail time and other tough penalties to beef up compliance with federal food safety rules. “Fines won’t do it,” he said.

Here’s a thought, do a better job policing the large industrial operations that are going to send food across the country, in myriad forms. But at the same time, know that small operations are going to insure their quality and safety much more than the lowest common denominator set forth by state standards, as those few sales represent a much larger percentage of their livelihood. Consumers who would knowingly buy uninspected products are aware of the risks, is it really too much to ask?

BTW, I buy my milk from the store, as God intended. Milking cows is a punishment I’m not going to endure.

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From → Food Safety

4 Comments
  1. Great post. You make a good point about the wrong focus of regulators. I have often wished they would stick to regulating the big guys and leave the little guys alone. Only bullies pick on the little guy.

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    Lots of good stuff about raw milk!

  2. Matthew permalink

    Regulate them but not me?

    Not to be a dick, but such legislation seems pretty impossible to write up/enforce. Where is the line between small independent and large corporation?

  3. Vines & Cattle permalink

    There are already exemptions for small feedlots that don’t fit the CAFO standards. When a small farm store has to tens of thousands of dollars just to meet the same regulations as Wal-Mart, it’s pretty damned cost prohibitive to even get started. How do you know if people are willing to buy your product if you can’t even sell it on a small scale to get started?

  4. Matthew permalink

    Maybe then the regulations as whole need to be cut back?

    I’m just not a big fan of one set of rules for A, another for B.

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