“Milk”, the third documentary film in which raw milk and food rights activist Michael Schmidt has figured prominently, airs tonight at 8 pm on CBC’s Documentary channel. See trailer below:
“Milk: The Documentary is an entertaining, award-winning documentary that dares to question the conventional wisdom of the much publicized health benefits of milk and dairy products. An inquisitive man sets out to find the facts about milk and discovers more about the growing controversy surrounding it.
Throughout the journey, he is left with more and more questions instead of answers and remains dangling and confused amidst vastly opposing positions held by various doctors, scientists, nutritionists and experts. Milk is a food so fundamental to our daily diet that its value for our health, it seems, is meant to be left unquestioned. Milk is the perfect food. Or is it?”
An interview for the film was shot with Michael Schmidt and David Gumpert at Glencolton Farms in January 2010, on the eve of the not-guilty verdict. “Milk” filmmaker, Sebastian Howard, was also there along with the other media when Michael Schmidt emerged victorious from the courthouse the following day. Of course there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then. The crown has appealed. Michael has been convicted and sentenced. Michael’s lawyer, Karen Selick, requested leave to appeal. That leave was granted. And now we’re waiting for the appeal to be heard, probably sometime this spring.
But, as has been noted elsewhere, Michael Schmidt has other irons in the fire, besides his own raw milk case in Ontario. He is due to appear in court in Vancouver next month, along with west-coast raw milk activist Gordon Watson, to face charges of contempt of court, because of his work with a Chilliwack-area cowshare operation originally known as “Home on the Range”. That, and the recent sheep napping case, replete with criminal charges laid by the CFIA that threaten to send Michael to prison for years. That case will resume March 27th in Cobourg, Ontario.
Unlike the previous films, “Michael Schmidt, organic hero or bioterrorist” and “Milk War”, this film is not so narrowly focused on raw milk per se, but addresses the broader question of milk generally, with raw milk being a part of that bigger picture. The mainstream milk business is not going so well, in spite of continued massive promotional spending by marketing boards. By most reports, milk sales are steadily declining. Raw milk, and, perhaps also organic milk, seem to be among the few growing niches within the overall decline of the product sector.