Never mind that he thinks it’s all a bunch of neo-romantic claptrap — that’s just the standard skeptical reporter mindset. What matters is that he’s telling readers about tonight’s movie and they’re going to be so curious and intrigued, wondering whether what he says is true, that they’ll sit themselves down and watch it. Then they’ll make up their own minds. So it’s all good. Still, it is fun to hear how John disses Michael Schmidt and the whole idea of raw milk. I wonder what John Doyle drinks. Here’s a bit of what he has to say in his column today titled “What Marie Antoinette and Michael Schmidt have in common”:
“…Raw Milk Crusader: Michael Schmidt (Newsworld’s The Lens, 10 p.m.) is about the Ontario farmer who has made the distribution and consumption of unpasteurized milk into an evangelical cause. It’s a fascinating documentary with many passionate declarations on whether farmers should be allowed to sell raw milk and the public should be allowed to consume it. It’s rich in irony.
It’s also an enraging program, largely because the real issue is the existence of the urban bourgeoisie’s delusion of invincibility, ignorance about science and tendency to posture in order to justify selfishness.
Schmidt himself is a fascinating character, self-mythologizing relentlessly and shrewdly. He’s always in a hat or cap and presents himself as an artist. No doubt his little farm is clean and well-run, but when Schmidt and his cabal of celebrity-chef supporters appear together and prattle on about taste and claim to be against “big business,” they’re just nitwits.
They posit a farming world of green pastures, cute cows and earnest farmers dutifully engaged, at every step, in protecting the health of those who consume their products. Well, if only it were so. A little model farm such as Schmidt’s is not representative. It’s a fantasy version of reality.
Schmidt himself says in the doc, “It is an issue of the freedom to farm and freedom of choice for every consumer in this province and country. Bureaucracy and government is governing us as if we cannot think.”
What utter twaddle. The pasteurization of milk is about the prevention of milk-borne Mycobacterium bovis (that is, non-pulmonary tuberculosis), as well as typhoid and salmonella, that are commonly found to be present in raw milk. Pasteurization was a major landmark in the struggle to keep children and the elderly safe from a variety of disease. It made the world a better place. It’s not some cockamamie notion invented to stop the urban middle class from having a more piquant taste in their milk or cheese. La-di-da.
Sure, there are, as the doc points out, places in the world where raw milk is produced and sold. In the European instances, the farms producing raw milk are very heavily regulated – usually at a high cost partly carried by the farm itself – and in the United States (as is also pointed out in the program) the allowing of raw milk has led to an increased level of children being infected by E. coli. Little wonder that some of the scientists and food regulation officials interviewed for the program roll their eyes in frustration….”
BTW, I know what Marie Antoinette and Michael Schmidt have in common; they both drank raw milk. Only, in Marie’s case, her “crimes against the state” were not raw-milk related!