Farmers Discuss Benefits of Raw Milk at Upcoming Event in Sequim, WA

On Monday, January 6, 2014, dairy drinkers in the Sequim, Washington area will have a chance to hear the views of two local farmers on why raw milk is more beneficial than pasteurized milk.

Ryan and Sarah McCarthey are second-generation farmers and the owners of Dungeness Valley Creamery in Sequim. They will talk about running their dairy farm and caring for their Jersey cows, and will also provide some tips on how to make butter, yogurt and other dairy products from raw milk and cream.

“Why Raw Milk?” is the third installment of the North Olympic Library System’s Food for Thought series. The event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is not required.

The event will take place on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 6pm at the Sequim branch of the North Olympic Library.

630 North Sequim Avenue

Sequim, WA 98382

For more information, click here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Illinois Raw Milk Producers Concerned their Views are Misrepresented in Dairy Work Group

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Dairy Work Group has met five times since January 2013 and it appears that members are no closer to agreeing on a set of reasonable, constitutional set of rules and regulations regarding raw milk.

The Dairy Work Group was created in an attempt to regulate the state’s raw milk dairy farmers and consumers. The group is a subcommittee of the Food Safety Advisory Committee, which reports to the head of the IDPH. Unfortunately, since the creation of the subcommittee, several members of the Illinois raw milk community have become increasingly concerned that their views are being either ignored or misrepresented by the committee – mainly, that meeting notes inaccurately reflect discussions and agreements from previous meetings.

In an attempt to rectify these inaccuracies, several raw milk producers presented a letter at the November 4, 2013 meeting that clarified their recommendations for Tier 1 classification of raw milk, which included:

1)   Voluntary registration by the raw milk farmer with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

2)   Posting signs on farms where raw milk is sold stating that the milk is not pasteurized.

3)   Allows sales of raw milk only on the farm, direct to consumers with consumers providing their own containers.

“Any other suggested requirements for a raw milk farm under a Tier 1 designation such as inspections, limited sales amounts, mandatory testing, required permits, etc., have not been agreed to by those of us who have signed this letter.” They also requested that a copy of the letter be attached to the meeting minutes, so as to avoid further confusion.

Read more about the Dairy Work Group’s 2013 progress and plight here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

“I Like to Eat Whole Foods:” Why Some Tennesseans Choose Raw Milk

Despite the health risks and state law, many Tennessee residents choose to drink raw milk. In a riveting radio segment from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, reporter Michael Edward Miller investigates why.

In Tennessee, the sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal – but consumers can legally obtain raw milk through herd shares. At one dairy farm, for example, customers pay $30 plus a monthly boarding fee to become co-owner of the farm’s five-cow herd. As co-owners they are allowed access to a share (one gallon per week) of the fresh milk.

In the segment, Miller looks at why Tennessee residents are willing to skirt the law or jump through hoops in order to have access to fresh, unpasteurized milk.

“I like to eat whole foods,” says one resident. “I like to buy my food at the farmer’s market, I like to grow my food. I am of the opinion that it’s healthier than what is provided to me by the industries.”

Raw milk drinkers emphasize the importance of knowing the cows from which they get their unpasteurized milk. Dairy farmers encourage customers to visit the farm to see how the cows graze, where they live, and the cleaning and safety measures behind the milking process. Both are quick to point out that while small, family-owned dairy farms are able to produce safe batches of unpasteurized milk, larger industrial dairies cannot. They agree with authorities that raw milk from large, commercial dairy farms is unsafe for human consumption and should not be allowed.

Listen to the complete broadcast here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Interview with David Gumpert Takes a Look at the 100-Year War Against Raw Milk

As more Americans embrace the farm-to-table movement, tensions between consumers, farmers and food safety officials in the dairy industry have grown increasingly contentious when it comes to the sales of raw milk.

David Gumpert, author of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights, spoke with Steve Goss of Atlanta’s NPR station about these tensions in an interview on November 18, 2013.

In the interview, Gumpert discusses the history of raw milk and pasteurization, how farmers are penalized in states that ban the sales of raw milk, and how some consumers are finding loopholes in state laws that will allow them to buy it.

At one point, Goss points out that states that allow the sales of raw milk also mandate warning labels, and asks if there is a parallel between tobacco and raw milk production.

“Tobacco products are, from any vantage point, much more dangerous than raw milk and so you’re pointing out an inconsistency or, I guess some people would say, a double standard. Raw milk is riskier, in my view, than pasteurized milk but both raw milk and pasteurized milk are not very risky in the whole scheme of the food pyramid,” responds Gumpert.

Despite the risks, Gumpert believes that consumers should have the right to decide what kinds of foods they put into their bodies and the information necessary to make those decisions. Although this means fewer regulations on raw milk, he concludes that there should be regulations on food suppliers that taint the food supply, such as pathogens, antibiotics and GMOs.

Learn more about Gumpert’s views in the complete broadcast here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Public Interest in Raw Milk Overwhelms Foxborough, MA

Foxborough, MA Public Hearing on Raw Milk Moved to December 16

The public hearing on proposed changes to the regulations allowing the sales of raw milk in Foxborough, MA has been moved to Monday, December 16, 2013 at 7pm at Ahern Middle School auditorium. The proposed changes threaten to put out of business Lawton’s Family Farm, which has been operating for over 300 years and is the only seller of raw milk in Norfolk County.

The Board of Health was forced to postpone the first public hearing on November 25 after a crowd of 140 people, made up mostly of Lawton supporters, exceeded the capacity of the meeting room and brought on safety concerns.

A large crowd is expected at the December 16 public hearing as well. The meeting is expected to start at 7pm, with the public hearing set to start at 7:30pm.

Monday, December 16, 2013
Ahern Middle School Auditorium
111 Mechanic St, Foxborough, MA 02035

More information about the change in venue here.

The Campaign for Real Milk posts blogs of concern to raw milk fans. Get active, get milk! Follow this blog for future news on the raw milk front.

Oregon Dairy Farmer Challenges Constitutionality of Ban on Raw Milk Advertising

In August 2012, a dairy farmer received a visit from Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) officials, who instructed her to remove the prices of raw milk from her website. The officials were enforcing an old ban that prohibits the advertisements of raw milk, despite the fact that raw milk sales are legal in the state. Now, the dairy farmer is challenging the constitutionality of the ban.

On November 19, 2013, the Institute of Justice, a civil liberties law firm, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the dairy farmer, arguing that the ban violates the First Amendment.

“It shouldn’t be a crime to talk about something that’s legal. You can’t run a successful business if you can’t talk about it,” says Michael Bindas, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice. “…The First Amendment protects not only political and artistic speech, but commercial speech as well, and government therefore cannot prohibit entrepreneurs like [her] from advertising a perfectly legal product.”

The farmer claims that the ban has prohibited her from reaching out to new customers when she has a surplus of raw milk to sell; explaining the milking, bottling and testing procedures she uses; and educating the public on safety measures.

“I would love to speak freely about my milk and farm without fearing someone will construe that as advertising,” she says.

Bindas argues that there is precedence with U.S. Supreme Court striking down similar bans on legal products such as alcohol because they would violate the First Amendment, giving raw milk advocates hope that this case, too, will have a just outcome.

Read more about the ban and lawsuit here:

http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131120/ARTICLE/131129989/1318

watchdog.org/116796/farmer-fights-raw-milk-ban/

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Wisconsin Senate Committee Passes Raw Milk Legislation

On November 12, 2013, the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues passed Senate Bill 236, which would allow the sale of raw milk directly to consumers on the farm.

The Bill makes several requirements of the farms, including:

  • Farms selling raw milk must register with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
  • Farms must keep records of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of raw milk customers.
  • Farmers must take daily milk samples that must be available to health officials.
  • Raw milk must be free of pathogens, as determined by monthly tests, and meet bacterial and somatic cell counts.

Unfortunately, people on both sides of the issue have complaints about the bill. Some raw milk advocates believe the requirements could make it too expensive for small farms to sell raw milk. Some raw milk opponents believe the bill is too relaxed and are unlikely to support farm inspections once every two years when once every six months is standard for other dairy businesses.

Current Wisconsin law prohibits the sale of raw milk, so the passage of this bill is a small yet significant step. Wisconsin is the heart of America’s Dairyland, and “…has been at the center of the national raw milk debate for several years, [so] the current legislation will be watched closely by both sides of the issue in other states.” The bill passed the committee by 3-2 and now goes to the full Senate for vote.

Sources:

http://www.jsonline.com/business/wisconsin-bill-would-legalize-raw-milk-with-caveats-b99139658z1-231516791.html

http://www.jsonline.com/business/senate-committee-passes-measure-to-legalize-raw-milk-sales-b99140829z1-231603271.html

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Farmers Experiment with Milk Treated with UV Light Instead of Pasteurization

Several farmers in the United States and other countries are experimenting with treating milk with ultraviolet light instead of pasteurization, for feeding calves on the farm. Pasteurization does not guarantee the destruction of all pathogens, but it does kill beneficial nutrients such as proteins and vitamins. Exposure to UV light does not destroy pathogens but it does prevent them from reproducing, and the technology has been successfully used to purify water.

One dairy farmer in New York has been feeding his calves UV-treated milk. He “wrestles a 3-week-old calf onto a scale. The calf totters about; the scale reads 52 kilograms, a healthy weight. [The farmer] makes a note.”

Another dairy farmer in Minnesota installed a UV milk purifier on his farm a year and a half ago. “We were having a lot of problems with clostridia when we were feeding milk replacer,” he said. “That was all but eliminated after we switched over to feeding UV purified milk.”

Michael Schmidt, the author of The Bovine blog who conducted his own two-calf study comparing the effects of feeding calves raw milk vs. store-bought pasteurized milk, writes of the UV milk experiments: “If it works for calves, why wouldn’t it work for people? Though probably the bar of surety is set higher when we’re dealing with food for humans.”

Draw your own conclusions by reading more about the experiment here:

http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/uv-light-instead-of-pasteurization/

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Massachusetts Family Farm Since 1732 Threatened by New Proposed Regulations on Raw Milk

The town of Foxborough, MA is considering new regulations that would limit the bacteria count of raw milk to a more stringent level than current state regulation. The state does allow “local boards of health to ‘adopt bacterial standards for milk which are numerically less but not greater than state standards,’” but one family-owned farm is fighting back.

Lawton’s Family Farm, which milks 24 cows and sells raw milk and cheeses, believes the proposed regulations are unnecessary and could put them out of business – which would be a tragedy, because Lawton’s has been passed down through generations since 1732. Lawton’s is a Massachusetts Century Farm (recognized by the MA Farm Bureau for remaining in the same family for 100 years or more and still being farmed) and a Massachusetts Dairy Farm of Distinction (recognized by the MA Farm Bureau for adding scenic beauty to the state).

Lawton’s Family Farm is asking for help from their customers and other concerned citizens who believe in consumer choice:

“Our health agent is very anti-raw milk and vows to get rid of your choice by making these regulations so extreme as to be difficult to maintain and sell. Some of the rules would allow them to collect your names for a ‘recall’ purpose but more importantly the ability for them to stop milk sales for up to a month at a time. Please take the time to send emails…Please be sure to send us copies as we do not trust our agent to pass them along to her board members.”

Email:

Pauline Clifford, town Health Agent: pclifford@town.foxborough.ma.us
Cc: oake_knoll_ayrshires@lawtonsfamilyfarm.com

For those in the Foxborough area, there will be a public hearing on Monday, November 25, 2013. Concerned residents who wish to speak or to lend support with their presence are asked to attend.

Monday, November 25, 2013 7:45pm

Public Safety Building, McGinty Room

8 Chestnut Street Foxboro, MA

The proposed regulations can be read in full here.

The realmilk.com blog is a nutrition education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation. If you have a real milk story to tell, please contact us by email: press (at) westonaprice (dot) org.

Cow-Share Programs Under Scrutiny in Australia

The May 2013 raid of a dairy farm in Willunga Hill, Australia is another battle in the war between consumer choice and public health that is taking place all over the world.

In Australia, the sales of raw milk and raw milk cheeses for human consumption are illegal. Officers of the Biosecurity SA and the Dairy Authority of South Australia raided Mark Tyler’s dairy farm in May because they want him to register his cow-share program, which provides raw milk to share owners. Tyler refuses to do so, claiming that his operation is a legal way for shareholders to acquire raw milk as farmers and other cow owners are legally permitted to consume the milk that their cows produce.

Tyler’s “My Cow” cow-share program allows consumers to purchase a 1% share of a cow for $27.50, in addition to a monthly boarding fee. Each share yields 6.5 liters of raw milk every month. The program has been in operation for six years.

This raid and pressure from authorities has, once again, raised the issue of whether cow-share programs should be considered a means of selling raw milk to the general public – and whether raw milk sales should be illegal at all. Raw milk sales are legal in many countries, including New Zealand.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is investigating the processing and consumption of raw milk products, and there is strong opinion in support of consumer choice. Should raw milk sales be allowed, cow-share programs like Tyler’s would be subject to official quality standards which, to many, seems like a good compromise between those who believe in consumer freedom and those who act in the interest of public safety.

Read more about the issue here:

http://www.altlj.org/news-and-views/downunderallover/duao-vol-38-3/605-raw-milk-raid-at-willunga-hill-enforcing-food-safetyhttp://www.altlj.org/news-and-views/downunderallover/duao-vol-38-3/605-raw-milk-raid-at-willunga-hill-enforcing-food-safety

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab