A Letter to Florida Governor Jeb Bush
Dear Governor Bush,
I hope this note finds you and your entire family well. As you know, there is nothing more important to “wellness” than good health. In fact, we say that “Good Health is the Greatest Wealth.”
Health is the reason that my family came to Florida. We were very happy living in New Jersey where my husband and I were both born and raised and where we were surrounded by our extended families and lifelong friends. We have been blessed with nine children, a successful business, a tight knit community, family, friends, excellent parochial schools for our children, religious services and some of the best shopping in the world. One day, however we woke up and had nothing. This is because my dear husband, the father of our wonderful children, a brilliant physicist, a successful businessman, an ordained rabbi and a respected community member began to lose his faculties due to multiple sclerosis. I cannot tell you how quickly a family can fall apart when they face losing a husband, father and breadwinner to a debilitating disease.
Additionally, one of our children was diagnosed with autism and despite our visits with top neurologists at top teaching hospitals throughout the country, none of the doctors with whom we consulted could offer us any hope of a recovery for either my husband or our daughter.
Finally one of our doctors suggested we try moving to Florida. The warm climate helped somewhat, as did some of the complementary therapies we tried. We have always been “health conscious” as a family, trying our best to eat healthy, natural, organic whole foods that are homemade. My husband has been fastidious about exercise and has fought with all of his might against the body that is failing, but still the deterioration has been fairly progressive, affecting his eyesight, digestion and bowel and making it difficult for my husband to even walk. My daughter also has successfully entered a regular parochial school, but still could not overcome the constant neurological difficulties that would have made it very difficult for her to lead a normal and fully productive life.
Fairly recently (about 5 years ago) at the suggestion of an old friend, our family discovered the work of Dr. Weston A. Price and the Weston A. Price Foundation. We have followed the Foundation’s advice based upon the original research of Dr. Price as well as the ever growing body of continued research by the Foundation. We have eliminated “new” foods such as soy and canola oil, began to eat only organically grown foods and have added back into our diet old-time staples such as gelatin, slow fermented pickles, animal fats, full fat dairy products and old fashioned soups and stocks. I am fortunate that I was raised by my grandmother and great aunts and already knew how to prepare these forgotten foods, so implementing the research into our daily habits was a simple return to the favorites of my childhood.
Recently, in the past months, as a result of the continued urging of two of my dearest friends, one in California and the other in New York, both states in which the sale of raw milk is fully legal and where raw milk products are readily available to them in health food stores, farmers markets or co-ops, I have found a way to add raw milk products to my family’s diet. This has been at great expense and inconvenience as I have had to purchase a share in a cow which is cared for at a farm in northern Florida. Every two weeks, I have had to arrange for my milk to be trucked down to me here in Miami and I fill a freezer with it. Coming from the New York area where I bought plenty of raw milk products (Hawthorne Valley Farm) and having lived in Los Angeles for a year, four years ago, it is difficult for me to understand why Florida has decided to legislate against a product from which not a single consumer in states where it is legal has ever gotten sick and which has such obvious health benefits that so many people are willing to go to such extreme lengths to purchase.
The difference in my husband, daughter and entire family has been quite miraculous. My husband has recovered a great deal of his eyesight, something that every neurologist with whom we had consulted said would be impossible. In addition, my husband has recovered the strength in his legs, proper bowel function and mental abilities. Rather than “shopping for a nursing home” as I was advised to do by the last neurologist we saw, we have instead shopped for, purchased and renovated a beautiful bayside home in Miami Beach!
My daughter has had equally miraculous results. The child who at age five was not speaking intelligibly at all now speaks English, Hebrew, Spanish and Ladino fluently and is also studying French, Italian and Arabic. At age 17, she is a year from completing her BA in Business Management equivalent from Brigham Young’s prestigious Marriott School of Business in conjunction with a seminary program in religious studies. Please let me remind you that this is the child I was told to put in a “special” residential program so that she should not be a threat to our other children. Instead of shopping for a “placement” we are instead thinking about shopping for a husband for our daughter. (Thank G-d!)
For myself, I have always suffered from some early arthritis symptoms. My grandfather was quite crippled and my mother suffers terribly. I have always expected to slowly degenerate in the same way and was not shocked when I began to suffer painful and immobilized joints while I was still in my twenties. You can imagine how happy and relieved I was when all of my pain disappeared within two weeks of beginning to drink raw milk at the recommendation of my friends in New York and California! I had not expected this and have been so much enjoying my newly recovered mobility I have taught my children how to disco dance!
Additionally my two-year-old’s severe eczema disappeared! My ten-year-old has a noticeable underbite in her jaw. We had been told by our family dentist that it would only be correctable with orthodontics. We are all thrilled and surprised to see this correcting itself! No parent wants to subject a child to painful orthodontics and the restrictions that go along with them. My fifteen-year-old daughter suffered from very noticeable acne which is not uncommon for someone her age. Almost overnight after beginning to drink raw milk her skin cleared up and her face is radiant. My thirteen-year-old has had chronic anemia that has not been correctable with iron supplementation. Yes, she is no longer anemic and also no longer tired, cranky and struggling with her schoolwork. I have also noticed that all of my children have been growing thick and beautiful hair, now have radiant skin and more energy.The only change in our diet has been the substitution of farm-fresh raw, unpasteurized, real whole milk instead of Horizon or Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk that I have always bought at Publix. I had not planned to buy raw milk for my family, only my husband, due to the great difficulty in buying and storing it. After seeing how miraculously my husband has recovered just from changing the milk in his diet to raw milk, how could I ethically and morally not feed it to my children when they are surely the same genetically as their parents and have already benefited so dramatically!
Esteemed Governor Bush, I know you to be a staunch advocate for the health and welfare of Florida’s citizens and especially our children. I urge you to please support farm-consumer-freedom-of-choice legislation exempting cowshare and farmshare programs from the burdensome regulations of the FFSA and the Pasteurize Milk Ordinance. These regulations should not apply when consumers are knowledgeable about the suppliers of the foods that they buy directly from the farm. Consumers have a right to obtain these foods they think best for their families and that come from animals they actually own. Consumers should have the right to obtain those foods they think best for their health. How is the FFSA “safeguarding the public health” by denying them this right? How is the FFSA promoting the public health by effectively putting out of business the small farmers who can best meet the needs of health-conscious consumers?
Why can’t raw milk products be sold in health food stores and markets in Florida as they are in California? Why aren’t the same health options and food choices available to Florida consumers as to those in California?
The benefits of drinking raw milk have been so miraculous for my family, so crucial in maintaining my husband’s health that if I were unable to continue to arrange to provide these foods for our family, we would need to move in order to ensure that we could still get them.
Mrs. Renee Kohn