Glencolton Farms Farmshare member Mascha Perrone wrote this letter in October of 2015, around the time of Canadian Thanksgiving. And her husband took this picture to go along with it. The picture has since been used on the back of the Glencolton Farms van, and on posters and memes promoting food freedom. More recently we asked Mascha to write an introduction and an update to provide a bit more contemporary context to her letter. This is what she wrote:
Introduction: Six months ago I wrote the following letter to ask for answers to my questions and to invite the authorities to talk to me. To this day I have no answers to my questions and I have not been invited to talk to any of the people that represent me in the provincial or federal government.
I have high hopes that this New Year and this new government will bring me the dialogue and cooperation I expect to encounter in this democratic country. I truly wish that soon Glencolton Farms will once and for all be left in peace while continuing to farm biodynamically!
My Thanksgiving to Glencolton Farms
Over the past fourteen years, I have had the privilege to pick up my weekly allotment of dairy products and other wholesome, farm-fresh food from Glencolton Farms at a local drop-off site. First Michael Schmidt and now Elisa Schmidt have faithfully driven to this site so I, as a part owner of the farm, can receive my weekly share of food in a convenient manner. Continue reading
From a news release sent out to media on Thursday:
Mothers, Farmers Threatened With Arrest Over Milk
Farmers, Others Criminalized for Feeding Communities
Raw milk activist, Michael Schmidt, his wife, Elisa, his son, Marcus, and a church pastor are threatened with arrest if they do not immediately cease raw milk distribution. A peaceful protest supporting Michael will be held at the Ontario Court of Justice on March 16.
The media is invited to witness the peaceful milk and cookies picnic celebration. The gathering will be followed by a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on distribution of raw milk in Ontario. Explicitly targeted by the application is anyone else, including mothers, who are engaged in ‘counseling others to….distribute unpasteurized milk.”
SPEAKERS: Michael Schmidt, Farmer; Liz Reitzig, Founder Nourishing Liberty; David Gumpert, Journalist, Author and raw milk expert; Elisa Vander Hout, Founder Our Farms, Our Food Coop Continue reading
From a recent editorial in the the Era-Banner:
“There is a growing trend in society toward more natural food consumption.
What began with people buying products directly from farmers at local markets, through farm share programs or at actual farms, has spread to grocery store shelves through the growth of things such as organic products, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat selections and packaged food that’s free of artificial colours and flavours.
By and large, the trend is a good thing. The fewer unnatural additions to food, the better, if only because we don’t have adequate research on the long-term effects of some food additives. Continue reading
From Joanne O’Connell in The Guardian:
“The industrially-produced milk that costs £1 for four pints at the supermarket isn’t the freshest or healthiest on offer. But most people don’t have the option of popping over to a local farm to purchase a frothy pint or two over the gate.
That’s where new micro-dairies come in. Small, local processing rooms are being set up in a handful of farms across the country to deliver fresh, healthy, locally-produced milk to doorsteps, nearby shops, restaurants and cafes. “Every fridge in the country has a bottle of milk in it,” says Nick Snelgar, a smallholder who has recently set up a micro-dairy in Salisbury. “But the dairy industry is in the hands of just a few powerful companies. We’re trying to change that.”
Ten months ago, Snelgar set up a micro-dairy processing plant, funded with a £45,000 award he won from the Prince’s Countryside Trust. He bought second-hand machinery and trained in how to pasteurise and package milk. Continue reading
Calvin Weber is a student from Listowel, Ontario. And the following is a speech he originally wrote for an assignment at his high school, and which he subsequently presented at the 2016 Raw Milk Symposium in Guelph this past January (photo below):
Thousands of people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in these accidents every year, but people of legal drinking age still have a choice to buy liquor.
It is readily available, even in some grocery stores. But what about raw milk, some people would like to drink raw milk but cannot legally do so. They do not have a choice, shouldn’t people have a choice?
I think people should be able to choose if they want to drink raw milk or not. Liquor has caused many deaths, but it is still available. Continue reading
From Claudia McNeilly, in She Does the City:
“For millennia, people across the globe have been drinking raw milk. This type of milk has not undergone the sanitation process of being heated to a high temperature to kill pathogens—otherwise known as pasteurization. In the 1920s, when milk started travelling from farms to cities and we hadn’t figured out the whole refrigeration thing 100% yet, contaminated raw milk made people sick with tuberculosis. The process of pasteurization to avoid disease became widespread soon after that.
Decades later in 1981, the federal government banned all sales of raw milk in Canada under the Food and Drug Regulations Act, and raw milk has been illegal in Canada ever since. Nearly 100 years after the tuberculosis outbreak, our government and health authorities continue to cite tuberculosis as one of the main reasons to avoid raw milk, and it continues to be legal in Europe, Africa, Asia, and parts of the US. Continue reading
This is not about raw milk or organic agriculture or ant-GMO, it’s about a seemingly fresh and successful new voice for conventional agriculture. From the London Free Press:
“Bill Cosby, the embattled American comedian whose tour hits Southwestern Ontario this week, has more than four million Twitter followers, but follows only six people himself. For the Coz, it’s a one-way street on the social media network.
Andrew Campbell, a London-area dairy farmer, had 12,300 followers on Twitter at last count. Astoundingly, he’s been picking up hundreds of new ones daily. Truly social, he also follows more than 2,400 people.
Both Cosby and Campbell have been in the news lately, but it’s no contest who is the more interesting. Continue reading
“Of all the G8 countries, Canada is the only one to ban the production for sale, transportation and consumption of raw milk: milk that is unpasteurized. Raw milk can contain dangerous and sometimes deadly pathogens.
In Ontario, the Milk Act has prohibited the sale of raw milk for over 26 years, though farmers are allowed to consume their own if it’s produced on their farms. Dairy farmer and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt of Glencolton Farms, an hour’s drive south of Owen Sound, provides raw milk to over 100 consumers through a farm-share program — a means for raw milk proponents to skirt the law by owning part of the farm or the cow that produces the milk. Championing the sale of raw milk has cost Schmidt; his farm has been raided three times in the past 22 years by the Ministries of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Finance and local and provincial police.
Shifts in food culture such as locavorism, the 100 Mile Diet, Food Freedom and gut health science have spawned a growing market for raw milk — not just for Schmidt but around the world. Many proponents do not believe that raw milk produced in sanitary conditions contains dangerous pathogens and many believe consuming it has beneficial effects on their health….”
More, including three video clips, on TVO.org
From the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund blog:
“Falls Church, VA—March 4, 2016—Raw milk is now legal in West Virginia, the state that previously had the most anti-raw milk laws in the United States. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed Senate Bill 387 (SB 387) yesterday, a bill that will allow the distribution of raw milk through herdshare agreements.
Last year, Tomblin vetoed a herdshare bill that passed through the legislature. The national dairy groups, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association, successfully lobbied the governor to veto the bill last year but were quiet this time around. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided testimony against SB 387, but the testimony had little impact. Continue reading
“For Gillian Fyvie, a splash of milk on her cereal typically led to stomach ache, bloating and a swollen tongue. Not since making the switch.
Fyvie’s symptoms were avoided not with soy, organic or even lactose-free dairy, she says, but a type of cows’ milk from a2 Milk Co. The Sydney-based company is gaining an international following for its products, developed from the premise that the milk most of the industrialized world has consumed for generations is causing everything from digestive discomfort to diabetes. Continue reading