/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » tasty tuesday: preserve your food rights!

Ordinarily on Tasty Tuesdays, I post a recipe with photos.  Something tasty, something relatively easy, something that works for busy moms and families.

Today, I’m diverging from that to ask you to get involved in something that may or may not have crossed your radar screen:  your right to eat what you wish and buy it from whom you wish.

“What?  I already have that right!” some of you are probably thinking.  And at the moment, you do.  But there’s a problem in our food-supply chain that’s becoming bigger at an alarming rate.  From time to time, the FDA is deciding to “raid” storehouses, buying clubs, farms, and even private homes, armed with guns, search warrants, taking computers, and sometimes holding entire families at gunpoint for hours.  These aren’t places where illegal aliens are hiding out, they’re not storehouses of child pornography.  They are places where people pool their money to buy natural, healthy foods, oftentimes right from the farm or supplier.

“So what’s the crime?” Many times there isn’t one.  There was recently a raid on a buying co-op named RAWESOME in California.  RAWESOME was a collection point for people who had purchased memberships and were then paying farmers for natural goods from their farms – raw milk and other raw dairy products included.  But before you think, “Well, isn’t THAT illegal?” it isn’t.  California is one of the few states which permits raw milk sales (Arizona is another such state – yay!) in retail facilities.  Police raided RAWESOME with guns drawn (no, I’m not kidding – when have you EVER seen a container of milk be dangerous enough to have firearms drawn?!) and took raw milk, yogurt, and butter from the coolers.  The government went in and told RAWESOME that they needed a retail permit to “sell” these things – and yet RAWESOME isn’t a retail establishment – it’s a liaison between farmers and consumers with twice-per-week pick-up times.  The people who run the buying club cut the tape seals on their location and were back in “business” the next day, but their defiance of the court order attempting to stop them is likely to only engender more rage within the government and future raids.

Raids have been cropping up everywhere – from my own (now-former) milk-supplier in Michigan (Richard Hebron) who became cause-celebre after being raided by the Michigan State Police in 2006 – to farms in Kentucky, Ohio, California, Minnesota, and other locations.  Why is the FDA cracking down on raw dairy and other “from the farm”-items?  No one knows for certain, but the pressure is increasing from Big Dairy and other Big Businesses that are losing money to these private sales and buying clubs.  Of course, the FDA would tell you directly how “unsafe” raw milk is and how they are “protecting citizens,” but the fact of the matter is the FDA has never been in the business of protecting citizens – they exist to protect businesses and the government from … what?  People who dare to think outside the box, are educated about their bodies and nutrition, and do things differently from how the government and business would like us to eat.  More illness has been linked to pasteurized milk and other “un-regulated” produce (think organic spinach, peanut butter, hamburger) than from raw milk.  And yet, raw dairy is the only item which is treated with such scorn and discrimination.

I’m not big on conspiracy theories and never have been.  But I’ve been contemplating writing this post for several days and realize that by putting myself out there in this way, there is risk.  We consume raw dairy and I pay a pretty penny to make sure that we have it.  The taste is outstanding, the nutritive values are incomparable, and our health is incredible.  Pasteurized milk simply doesn’t taste the same and the nutritive values of it pale in comparison to the stuff we drink.  But is there risk to me?  Yes, based on our buying-situation.  Do I want to go in to that online?  Not so much – but I find myself worried about a time when all of our food-buying options end up “underground” so that we can do what we believe is best for our families, nutritionally-speaking.  We’re already “off-grid” with our schooling choices and we’re moving further and further in that direction with our dietary purchases as well.

So what am I asking you to do?  Read up and learn about your consumer-rights. The FDA was quoted in a legal document a few months ago saying that we have no right to choose our food (yes, they really said this in legal briefings).  If you think this doesn’t affect you, consider this:  Vitamin C helps people get over colds and/or prevent them.  The FDA would like to regulate Vitamin C & its consumption.  My family supplements with Vitamin D3 and we haven’t been healthier and felt better in a l-o-n-g time.  Guess what?  The FDA would like to regulate that as well.  And the things that truly can be harmful (like Genetically Modified Organisms [GMO])?  They don’t want those items labeled, remarking that they are safe and preventing people from making educated choices.  Does this sound like a government agency that is seeking the “best for consumers and citizens” or one that is working hard to protect Big Pharma and Big Ag?

If you never think you’ll drink raw milk or consume raw dairy, that’s entirely up to you.  It’s within your rights to choose to consume pasteurized dairy for your entire life (or to consume none at all).  But others have a right to choose differently – unless we don’t speak up as a group and stop the raids and legal precedents that are attempting to be won in the court system.  If we don’t stand up for each other and our right to buy food that is appropriate for our families and to make those decisions for ourselves, we won’t have many choices to make in the future.  Our rights will be stripped away faster than we can imagine.  Speak up on behalf of your friends, neighbors, and family members – make your voice heard.

I’m doing things I never expected to do, but they include being prepared.  I’ve got documents, forms, and other things at the ready, should our situation ever become endangered.  And if the situation here in Arizona ever becomes one where we hear of local farms being raided or the laws changing regarding buying raw dairy or pastured meat, you can bet that I’ll be on the front lines, trying to preserve our freedoms.

If you’ve made it this far and are interested in learning more, I suggest several articles:

I sincerely hope that our rights are not eroded further by the FDA and/or pressure from Big Ag – but I’m not hopeful.  Vigilance and citizens knowing their rights are the best defenses we currently have.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.