Monthly Archives: November 2009

“What would Jesus buy?” — Raw milk?

“What would Jesus buy?” is the question from Reverend Billy and his “Church of Life After Shopping”. The Reverend is a full-blown culture jammer if ever there was one. Yeah I know this is a little off topic on a raw milk blog, but it’s just so funny I couldn’t resist. The following is from the Greenhorns “Irresistable Fleet of Bicycles” blog:

"When the going gets tough... the tough get weird" Reverend Billy on his Christmas tour with the "Life after Shopping Gospel Choir" in Union Square... only in America!!!

“We start on Buy Nothing Day, Friday Nov 27, 5 AM – trying to convert the Consumers at the front-door of Macy’s. Then off to the Valley Stream Wal-Mart to remember Jdimytai Damour. The on-the-road part of the tour starts with the Rev in Minneapolis and St. Paul, then Savitri joining him in Los Angeles and Pasadena. They return to the 40 voice gospel singathon at the Christmas Revival at the Brooklyn Lyceum on Saturday December 12th. Then on the 17th, 18th and 19th, the full choir buses up to Albany, Troy and east to Greenfield, Massachusetts. Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt calls police because of threat from an MNR officer, and Grey County Chief Medical Officer of Health, Hazel Lynn gets a $100,000 pay raise

There’s certainly a poignant human story behind the recent events described below. As we understand it, when Susan Atherton approached Michael Schmidt about becoming a cow share member in the fall of 2006 she told him she was sick and hoped that the drinking raw milk would help improve her health — a common enough sentiment among those who seek out raw milk. Of course, seeing as how it turns out she became a cow-share member to obtain milk samples for the government, she probably never did get to drink any. So it’s little wonder that Michael was concerned about how she was doing and decided to give her a call.

Government agent/cow share member Susan Atherton/Susan Taylor investigates the barn where the cows are kept at Glencolton Farms during her undercover operations there in the autumn of 2006.

The world is a strange place, or maybe Canada is a strange place.

Hazel Lynn Chief Medical Officer of Health in our region gets a pay raise of $100,000. She now makes $275.000 a year plus expenses. For what? Continue reading

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Raw milk breakthrough in Michigan

A process of meetings and dialog involving raw milk advocates and regulators, such as Michael Schmidt has long asked for in Ontario, is beginning to yield fruit in Michigan. Here’s part of what David E. Gumpert, of the Complete Patient blog reports about recent exciting developments in that process:

“Did you ever think you’d see this statement endorsed by dairy regulators?

“Milk fresh from the cow is a complete, living, functional food…the full benefits…are only realized when all of these components function as a complex interdependent and balanced process.”

Or how about this:

“Of all the milk constituents, the milk fat globule is the most drastically altered by the combination of pasteurization and homogenization.”

After endless reassurances from scientists and other officials in public health, agriculture, medicine, and government that there’s no difference between pasteurized and unpasteurized milk, we are now being told something entirely different by an organization that includes top dairy regulators and an agriculture university dean (along with a number of raw milk proponents). The organization is the Michigan Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk Workgroup, which includes among its members the two top dairy officials of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and a dean of the Michigan State University College of Agriculture. Continue reading

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A brief history of raw milk in Ontario

This chronology is admittedly not all inclusive as it focuses solely on Glencolton Farms and Michael Schmidt. Other raw milk producers have certainly been operating in the province during these years. However, we unfortunately don’t have sufficient information on their stories to be able to include them properly in this survey:

Out behind the barns at Glencolton Farms. Photo: Andrea Lemieux

1990 Michael Schmidt starts first cow share model in Ontario at Glencolton Farms

1994 Grey Bruce Health unit raids Glencolton Farms

1994 Charges are laid under the Milk Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Under duress Michael Schmidt pleads guilty to protect his family from further threats. He receives a $3,500 fine and a 2 year probation. Schmidt lost 2/3 of his farm and most of his cows. Continue reading

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From farmers to underclass citizens

A reader writes to Joe Bageant, author of both the book and the blog titled “Deer Hunting with Jesus“:

Author Joe Bageant with friends, in Belize, his second home. Photo Arvin Hill

“…..As for me, I was born working class, well, underclass, truth be told. My dad had been a prosperous farmer post World War Two, but after he lost the farm, he had no other skills to fall back on. He became a house painter, working from dawn till dusk. When his health failed, he became a janitor. My mom was a nurse’s aid at a time when not only didn’t you need a certificate, you didn’t even need to show an 8th grade diploma.

It was my bad fortune to be born long after the farm was gone, so all I ever heard from my parents was how wonderful everything use to be, and how shitty it is now. I was one of those quiet, bookish, pessimistic little kids, having little in common with my parents or peers. But rural poverty will have its effect, and I grew up to hold the same jobs as everybody else, working at Wal-Mart, Kroger, and at gas stations which seemed to change their names every few months. I never had what most would consider a real job. I guess because I never felt I deserved it….” — Dave

And now, an excerpt from Joe Bageant’s reply: Continue reading

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Raw milk a Charter of Rights and Freedoms issue — Karen Selick, Canadian Constitution Foundation

Karen Selick, lawyer with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, being interviewed for television outside the legislature building at Queen's Park, Toronto, November 17, 2009

Here’s the text of a statement presented by Karen Selick, representing the Canadian Constitution Foundation, in support of consumer choice on raw milk. The statement was presented at a news conference at Queen’s Park, Toronto, with raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt’s farm was raided Nov. 21, 2006. The charges arising from that raid came to trial last January 2009. A verdict is expected January 21, 2010. Here is the Canadian Constitution Foundation statement on the issue, from the CCF website:

“TORONTO: At a press conference at Queen’s Park today, the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) announced its support for a court case involving consumer choice, freedom of contract, and the right to earn an honest living free from government regulation that is arbitrary, unreasonable, unnecessary and unfair. Continue reading

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Eldon Dahl v. Health Canada, Bill C-6

Click on image to go to YouTube and watch video report from Jan. 2009

Dr. Eldon Dahl is a naturopathic doctor whose home was raided by the RCMP and Health Canada about a year ago. From his description below it sounds as if what happened at his home was very much like what happened at the Manna Storehouse Coop in Ohio last December, and, for that matter, at Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms 3 years ago. In his case however, it seems to have been about vitamins that someone, apparently, didn’t want him to have. The video above and those linked to mid-way down the letter were made in January 2009. The letter that follows was written recently and was addressed to members of Canada’s Senate, which, as far as we know, is still contemplating the passage of Bill C-6. Thanks to Gordon Watson for passing this news item on to the Bovine. It’s hard to know what to make of raids like this, whether to take them at face value, or to read into them an attempt to cow others and spread fear of the government. Continue reading

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