By Clint DesJarlais
I am writing in regards to your action to legalize raw milk sales and distribution in Maryland.
I am a recent graduate of the US Naval Academy Class of 2007 and a newly commissioned officer in the US Marine Corps. I was Midshipman in the US Naval Academy for four years. Before coming to USNA, I was an Enlisted Marine Corps firefighter for three years, as a Corporal. I majored in political science and focused my studies on international relations. As an engineering and sciences student, I received a Bachelor of Science degree.This technical training helps me to understand on the atomic level what all the issues are in regards to real milk and the health problems associated with pasteurized, homogenized, non-pastured dairy.
I also understand the big business issues. There are many holes in the opposition’s arguments regarding the health claims against raw milk, and the perceived health benefits of industrial pasteurized dairy operations. This is an uphill battle, but it is a mountain worth climbing.
I have seen the detriments of non-real commercial dairy in my family. I also have seen it affecting myself and others. While on overseas deployment when enlisted in the Marines, I saw the processed foods and UHT milk take a severe toll on my fellow Marines’ health. Some couldn’t pass bowel movements for a week. Everybody was so tired of eating because the food was polluted with preservatives and chemicals, and the milk was not beneficial for good health. I understand we were in the jungle, but it was a good personal test on how bad food can make you feel and look sickly.
The Naval Academy still owns a large pasture in Gambrills, Maryland. It was used as the Academy’s dairy farm for Midshipmen to have fresh milk. This was the main source for dairy products for a long time, until they thought they could save money by going commercial with pasteurized products. Though leased by a dairy co-op, the land is still owned by the Navy. This Naval Academy could be used as a raw milk test for Maryland, the way it was common to all Americans in the past. How great it would be to have free raw pastured milk for USNA’s leaders and select Midshipmen.
Letter to the Editor of Wise Traditions, published in Fall 2007 issue