American Elephants

The Long Nose of Government is Inserted in Your Grocery Cart and in Your Pantry. by The Elephant's Child

More people are planting gardens or raising a few hens, planning to enjoy the bounty of their own fresh food. Not so fast, the judicial system has something to say about that:

You grow a garden; you expect to be able to harvest the food from that garden and eat it. You raise a cow; you expect to be able to milk that cow and consume the milk. You raise chickens; you expect to gather eggs and eat them. It’s uncomplicated, simple, a fundamental right. Perhaps you wouldn’t feel this way if you lived under some other form of government, but here, now, in America and other democratized countries, this is what you expect.

According to Wisconsin Judge Patrick J. Fiedler, you do not have a fundamental right to consume the food you grow or own or raise. The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the pioneers in defending food sovereignty and freedom, recently argued before Judge Fiedler that you and I have a constitutional right to consume the foods of our choice. Judge Fiedler saw no merit to the argument and ruled against the FTCLDF. When they asked him to clarify his statement, these were his words:

“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;”“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;”

“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice

As the judge interpreted Wisconsin law, only a’ license holder’ or an individual ‘who has a bonafide ownership interest in the milk producer’ can make milk available. This seems to be a ruling to conform to the government idea that no one be allowed to drink raw milk.  For those of us who were raised on raw milk this seems especially offensive.

We didn’t use raw milk out of a prejudice against pasteurization, but because it was the only thing available. We bought our milk from a neighboring rancher, and did without when the wild onions came into bloom.  No dairies. There are large groups of people who, for whatever reason, seek out raw milk because they believe it to have some healthier qualities. I don’t understand that either.

The groups supporting raw milk seem to have an unwarrented faith in anything “natural” or “organic,”which if you consider the alternative “unnatural foods” shows a little of how silly these designations are. And yoou’d better check with your doctor before getting into any “natural” cures.

Governmental interference, however, is increasing. The new, new thing is a program to change the labels on food in the grocery store (They never understand that changing labels is not free, but an enormous expense) to indicate which foods are healthy, and which contain too much sugar, salt, fat, trans-fats, corn syrup,or flavor to be considered, by the feds, as healthy. I added the ‘flavor’ to the list because by the time  you eliminate all the other stuff, the food won’t have any flavor anyway.

What this should indicate is offices in the federal government establishment that are ripe for elimination by the Deficit Commission, since they are offices that clearly don’t  have enough real work to do. And the Deficit Commission is having a terrible time trying to find spending that they can eliminate.

How about a new protest movement?  We march on Washington DC to demand the cuts that would cut the government back to size. Members of Congress may have a hard time finding anything to cut, but ordinary citizens would have no trouble coming up with things we can do without.

5 Comments so far
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I absolutely hate the raw milk movement; if it hasn’t already, it will result in dead kids.

That said, I’m a big fan of making most gov’t certification an enforcement, not a requirement. Want to run a bake sale? Put up a big sign that says it was prepared in an uninspected kitchen, with X source ingredients, by uncertified food-handlers. Have to step up willful endangerment laws, but that would be a fraction of the cost of making sure no-one is violating the other laws.

Kind of like vaccines. I think that folks who don’t vaccinate against the BIG, really dangerous social ones are crazy, all else being equal– but I haven’t had a flu shot since I left the Navy.


Comment by Foxfier

Maybe I’m being gullible, but I assume that purveyors of raw milk take extra care to make sure their milk is safe. Organic food is a marketing ploy, not a guarantee of anything. Not healthier, not purer, not fresher, not safer. Only trhat it has been grown with manure rather than ‘chemical’ fertilizers, and costs about 30% more. The only thing I buy that is organic is wheat grass for my cats, and only because I can’t get it otherwise.
Regulate that which is seriously dangerous, and stop the overprotective and intrusive nanny state. There is so much hype out there that the gullible are paranoid. Example: rBST— the artificial bovine growth hormone— has been banned by Starbucks, most dairies, and I don’t know who else, because people got scared that it passed into cows’ milk, which is physically impossible, as the dairies and other banners knew, but they felt they couldn’t overcome the fear out there.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Argh, ENDORSEMENT, not enforcement…..


Comment by Foxfier

Maybe I’m being gullible, but I assume that purveyors of raw milk take extra care to make sure their milk is safe.

From the ones I know of via personal experience? No. Even if they did, it wouldn’t take away the main risk of it– danger is inherent with something as nutritious as milk, same way raw meat is an awesome place for dangerous stuff to flourish.

It’s important to note that there’s a huge difference between raw milk because you have animals you milk and buying raw milk. My mind reels at the idea of folks treating raw milk like the milk they’re accustomed to getting from the store.

I am very pleased to see someone notice that “organic” is a market device, though! Usually we have to drag someone through an organic orchard during spraying time to get that across, or have them talk to the guys who do the spraying or fertilizing and have them explain that they love organic because it means they have MORE work, just with more dilute product.

Regulate that which is seriously dangerous, and stop the overprotective and intrusive nanny state.

Who gets to decide what is “seriously dangerous”? Supposedly, that’s what we have now. As my mom’s fond of pointing out, Pasteur was hailed more for the process that bears his name than for vaccines. One of the major risks of raw milk is listeria, IIRC, with a big dose of salmonella. There’s also the side problem that if you’re not use to eating food in a set condition, it can make you ill– for illistration, my grandmother would happily eat cottage cheese that had inches of fuzzy mold on it, and three years ago at a family reunion there was an epidemic of food poisoning. Everyone under 40 was hurling and in dire condition, the prior generation barely noticed; they grew up on raw milk (they harvested themselves) and eating meat cut off of a carcass hanging in the well house. (that you shaved the fuzz off of prior to cutting)

Listeria is so dangerous that pregnant women are warned to avoid cold cuts because of the risk.

A funny thing to tweak the noses of folks– if someone rants about rBTS, ask if they take birth control, or let their daughters do so.


Comment by Foxfier

A while back,science claimed that farm kids, who grew up with animals, barnyard dirt and growing plants, seldom got asthma. More recent studies claim that to be false, but I’m inclined to suspect the earlier studies were correct. I have been ranting about organic food for ages, and localism— though local tomatoes, strawberries and peaches are to be vastly preferred. We have a Whole Foods store a few blocks away, and now a “local” food outlet is opening in a former Safeway store. Haven’t been in to check it out, but I don’t know what local foods they are going to sell with La Nina warnings for a cold winter are up. I don’t do Whole Foods.
After I have eliminated the EPA and the Dept. of Agriculture, and whipped the FDA into shape, we can probably find some bureau that can separate that which kills lots of people from that which once gave someone a tummy ache, and identify that which is”seriously dangerous.”Oh well.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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