So says Kyle Nabilcy on “The Daily Page”. When you start to attract hecklers like this, you know you’re getting somewhere:
“When you wander the vendor booths at a symposium, and you see a book titled Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, you have just been given your first hint that someone’s preaching to the choir in Conference Room B.
I encountered that very book at the second annual International Raw Milk Symposium at Monona Terrace on Saturday, April 10. The symposium is put on by the Farm to Consumer Foundation, and funded in part by the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Weston A. Price was a dentist who practiced around the turn of the 20th century, and has since been lionized by those who find his teachings on nutrition and “traditional” lifestyles particularly compelling. His presence looms over much of the world of raw milk advocacy, not unlike L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology.
“Traditional” is a word that I heard a lot at the symposium. I had hoped to see the presentation from nutritionist Sylvia Onusic, Ph.D, but arrived to find out it had been rescheduled for earlier in the day. I managed to sit down and discuss some of Onusic’s presentation with her after she’d finished. She has experience with raw milk policies in Europe — Slovenia in particular — and informed her audience about the mlekomat, or raw milk vending machines found in Slovenian farmers’ markets.
She thinks that these dispensers would succeed in the United States as well. They’re farmer-owned, but inspectors are given swipe-cards that grant 24-hour access to the inner workings. The milk is stored in stainless steel tanks inside the machine, and customers fill their own containers and pay by volume dispensed. Slovenians love cutting-edge technology, Onusic told me, and their government respects and supports traditional foods and practices.
This is usually the tipping point in conversations at the symposium, when reasonable, “drink what tastes good to you” opinion veers into “the government hates you, and thinks your food is evil” invective. This latter sentiment was expressed to me in those exact words by Kimberly Hartke, a publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation, and it reflects the trajectory of much of the discussion I witnessed.
I saw a distinct conservative, anti-government vein running through the event. Bumper stickers and t-shirts all shouted roughly the same slogans: “I (heart) raw milk,” and “Keep the government off our farms.” Right-leaning libertarianism with a soupcon of left-wing distaste for corporations was the sentiment of the day….”
And from the comments that follow:
Bill Anderson: “Its too bad you had this experience, Kyle. I for one was a local, and I met a number of locals at the conference, including a few locals I had never met before. You are right that the symposiumn was international in scope, that was the point. It moves to a new location every year (last year it was in Ontario) like many professional and topical conferences.
Perhaps if you wanted to get a feel for how many locals support raw milk, you should have attended the legislative hearing in Eau Claire back in March, where over 800 people came to voice our support for raw milk rights.
I do agree that the raw milk movement has some wacky elements. So does the anti-war movement, for that matter. But does that mean we support the war in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Perhaps it is a leap of faith for you to believe that our modern food system and nutritional ideologies are only designed to benefit corporate bottom lines. That is understandable if you aren’t educated on the topic. I have a suggestion: read some Michael Pollen books. They are perhaps more accessible and mainstream than the WAPF, where the understanding of real nutritional and natural health principles have reached a deeper level….”
“…..The hubris of modern science and technology are astounding. You are right, the “cows with horns” was not substantiated… it was a suggestion for a topic for further research and study. If you are interested, I can tell you some of the sheer idiotic and hair-brained studies coming out of our own Wisconsin “Center for Dairy Research” at Babcock hall on campus. It makes me furious to think that our taxpayer money and our dairy farmer’s milk check-off goes to fund those people, who openly admit their approach is a type of trickle-down “Reaganomics” (if dairy processors can make more money, eventually it will trickle down to dairy farmers)
Why do you choose to pick on the underdog, instead of the establishment? It is very offputting for me. I do NOT think this was an objective review of the symposium. Why no mention of Michael Schmidts moving MLK-esque speech?….”