Mar 20, 2010

Raw Milk, please!

Breakfast this morning was French Toast, made from homemade bread, fresh eggs (blown to keep the beautiful strong shells for Easter) and fresh raw milk from the cows we share with some neighbours, adorned with homemade strawberry jam and the last of our own maple syrup. Now the government want to deny my family this nutritious, natural, local meal.

We're legally allowed to drink raw milk in BC. But no-one's allowed to sell it to us. Tuesday's BC Supreme Court ruling just shut down the same type of "cow-share" program that we quietly enjoy here - we pay for a "share" in a cow, then get our share of yummy, full-fat and full-nutrition fresh raw milk for our butter, cheese, yogurt and whipped-cream making, as well as for drinking.

People are given the legal choice to consume, buy and sell cigarettes, alcohol, GMO produce, and hotdogs scooped up from the slaughter-house floor, but not raw milk? I just worry about when the Egg industry will become as strong as the Dairy industry and shut down my little fresh egg operation so we all have to buy those pale yellow watery tasteless unhappy "Safeway" eggs.

I'm ranting. Stop listening to me and please read this amazing article by Nadine Jazz, who says it all much much better.


  1. Dear Rick,

    I totally understand your dilemma. Here in Southern California, we are still allowed to purchase some raw products. Although, to find a decent selection, I go to an "underground" raw food market.

    It seems absolutely ridiculous that our foods in normal grocery stores are laced with sugars, high fructose syrup and many unknown poisons and chemicals that get labeled "natural flavorings".

    At the end of the day, it's up to the consumers to change these policies. The corporations have never done anything out of good will. . .so people like you and I who love our raw goods, our locally sourced organically grown foods must stay strong and educate.

    Blesssings to you and yours in B.C.

  2. We also go "underground" for our raw dairy here in MN because it's illegal to sell it off the farm. (We get it at a drop-off point.) The farm also sells free-range eggs, really raw honey, maple syrup, and 100% grassfed beef. Even though I have to do it illegally, I thank God every day that we at least have access to these foods, and I thank the farmers who risk their livelihoods to sell us their products. On one hand, I do wish that our food products were not over-regulated like this, but on the other hand, I wonder what would happen if the stuff was legal. Would quality suffer? Would the farmers have to meet such strict requirements that they couldn't afford to farm? Certain things seem to deteriorate when the government gets involved . . . . What do you think?

  3. Hmmm, it is true that the government has an important role to play in protecting consumers with quality control and standards. I would never advocate for letting big corporations self-regulate (even though that's what happens in many industries these days). And it's pretty much impossible to set separate standards for "good local" small-scale producers - how would they draw the line?

    Maybe we're just asking to be quietly allowed to continue what we're doing on the side? Or to be allowed the shareholder loophole that someone cleverly created? I'm not clear on the legalities - I do know that Nadine Jazz, whose article I linked to, and other such smart people are looking at that angle.

    What I do know or believe is that the government is putting a lot of energy into shutting down a minuscule fringe that only involves people who are consciously and knowingly making decisions about their own food. That energy would be much better spent addressing the huge societal risk of the mass food industry as it operates today.

  4. Hey Rick - first Amen on your comment above!

    Second, in January Ontario courts ruled in favour of Michael Schmidt and the cow share folks. Maybe it bodes well for an appeal in BC?

    I've been looking for a similar set up here in Courtenay but so far haven't had any success.