“This weekend, food safety is pitted against food freedom as two groups – Raw Milk Freedom Riders and Lemonade Freedom Day – take to Washington to protest the government’s interference in raw milk sales and neighborhood youth-organized lemonade stands.
“This issue is not just about raw milk and it’s not just about lemonade. It’s about every individual’s right to consume the food of their choice,” Robert Fernandes, founder of Lemonade Freedom Day told The Washington Times.
For these food freedom-fighters, the issue revolves around customers wanting alternatives to supermarkets and big-brand products without running into strict government limitations. Government officials, however, see the issue as a food-safety hazard. Many states limit sales of the unpasteurized product, and the FDA prevents raw milk producers from selling across state lines to areas where the product is illegal.
Evidence supports the FDA’s concerns. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report indicating that raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause an illness outbreak than pasteurized milk. The CDC also reported that between 1998 and 2009, it found around 1,800 illnesses related to raw milk. Of those illnesses, 200 required hospitalization and two were fatal….”
“Liz Reitzig has, over the last few years, become a national leader of America’s rapidly expanding food rights movement. She is the co-coordinator of Grassfed on the Hill buying club serving the greater Washington, DC, area, and co-founder of the Farm Food Freedom Coalition. Liz has spent the past six years working on the state and national levels representing small farms and consumers at the state legislature and in the halls of Congress lobbying for food and farming rights. She is the principle organizer of an annual National Grassroots Lobby Day and Legislative Reception on Capitol Hill. She does all this while raising five young children.
Tomorrow, she is leading a “Know Your Rights Workshop” and on Saturday a demonstration for Lemonade and Raw Milk Freedom—all these events in Washington, DC.
In this guest post, Part 1 of a two-part series, she explores why it’s so important for Americans to support their farmers engaged in producing sustainable nutrient-dense food, and provides specific suggestions for actions people can do on their own to add support.
by Liz Reitzig
I have invested the past six years of my life addressing issues surrounding access to real foods. Many people I know are astounded that food rights are even an issue and that I spend my time working to advance food freedom. Why do I do this, they ask.
I am sure that many of you reading this are aware of the many hurdles our farmers and food producers who care about sustainability go through in order to provide their communities with clean, healthy, safe, wholesome food. It is a harsh reality of life in today’s America that many have become targets of government force for simply feeding their communities.
Since this is the reality we are living with, we must acknowledge the reality that those who continue to provide our communities with real food are doing so at great risk to themselves and that it takes exponentially more time and effort than it would otherwise need to if the threat of government force did not exist.
This is why it is absolutely essential for those of us who make up their communities to take on more responsibility on their behalf. What do I mean by this? A little story about a farm and its chicken and pig might help explain:…”