Dec 152011

It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his
salary depends on not understanding it.
-Upton Sinclair

Our food freedoms are increasingly in danger. Big Corporate Food mandates what we can and cannot eat. Health Canada and the FDA say raw milk is dangerous and makes people sick. Why? Why are the government and big food corporations restricting our access to traditional, natural, healthful foods such as raw milk? I believe it is because of two reasons:

1. Our lives are increasingly mediated by big corporations and the government.
2. Big food corporations produce artificial food; they want us to buy the artificial food. Therefore, if our access to natural, real food is restricted, we will have no choice but to buy the artificial food.

Raw milk has become a casualty of the war on food freedoms. Conventional dairy farms employ powerful lobbyists who work on their behalf in government to ensure legislation is passed that restricts our access to raw milk. In many places, we have no choice but to buy the conventional milk which is not only treated with growth hormones (in the United States, not in Canada), but is full of corn, soy, and antibiotics necessary to keep cows alive throughout their short, miserable lives. Cows are made with a unique digestive system that requires grass in order to run optimally. In other words, cows were meant to eat grass, not grains, not anything else, just grass. When cows are fed grains, they cannot adequately digest them and they become sick and bloated. Consequently, they are given antibiotics on a daily basis to keep them functional so they can continue to provide milk.

Conversely, cows from raw, organic dairy farms are fed nothing but grass, and absolutely no medications of any kind. If a cow becomes ill and requires medication, that cow is pulled from the milking lineup and the milk will not be sold or distributed. Cows from conventional farms live out their lives in miserable, filthy, crowded conditions, while cows from organic farms live outside at pasture and get plenty of sunshine and green grass. Which milk would you rather drink—milk from miserable, sick, antibiotic-ridden cows or pure milk from happy, grass-fed cows?

But what about organic pasteurized milk? Isn’t that a good substitute for raw milk since raw milk can be difficult to obtain? It turns out, no. Pasteurizing milk kills all the nutrients and living enzymes and turns it into a lifeless fluid. Homogenization adds a further negative impact, according to Dr. Mary Enig, renowned biochemist. “During homogenization there is a tremendous increase in surface area on the fat globules. The original fat globule membrane is lost and a new one is formed that incorporates a much greater portion of casein and whey proteins. This may account for the increased allergenicity of modern processed milk.” The very best milk is raw milk, unheated and untreated, in its natural state. Organic raw milk dairies use stringent methods of hygiene to ensure absolute cleanliness of the cows and the entire milking process. The milk is also tested frequently for pathogens. Statistics show that raw milk has a far smaller chance of causing illness than does conventional milk. Conventional pasteurized milk has, from time to time, led to “widespread outbreaks of illness (for example, the 1985 Salmonella outbreak in the Midwest that sickened some 200,000 people and led to 18 deaths),” while cases of illness caused by pathogens in raw milk are few and far between. Yet, officials are on a witch-hunt for raw milk. They would do better trying to regulate conventional milk and all the toxins it contains, not to mention the frequent outbreaks of E. Coli in meat raised in big factory farm feedlots. Furthermore, what on earth did our ancestors do without pasteurization? Let’s not forget, humans have been drinking milk raw for millennia, and it we’re any proof, it’s worked out just fine.

The time to stand up for our food freedoms and our rights to consume good, healthful food is now. Burying our heads in the sand won’t make the issue go away. Instead, corporate control of our lives will become more insidious and farther-reaching. Big Corporate Food won’t be content to stop at making raw milk an illegal substance, much like recreational drugs. If we don’t step up to effect change, one day in the not-too-distant-future, we might wake up to a world with nothing to eat but soylent green.