Tag Archives: private

Should you be able to buy food directly from farmers? U.S. local and federal governments disagree over food rights

From David E. Gumpert on Waking Times.com

Some people like to buy their food direct from the farmers who grow it. Click image for source.

“This would seem to embody the USDA’s advisory, “Know your farmer, know your food,” right? Not exactly.

For the USDA and its sister food regulator, the FDA, there’s a problem: many of the farmers are distributing the food via private contracts like herd shares and leasing arrangements, which fall outside the regulatory system of state and local retail licenses and inspections that govern public food sales.

In response, federal and state regulators are seeking legal sanctions against farmers in Maine, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California, among others. These sanctions include injunctions, fines, and even prison sentences. Food sold by unlicensed and uninspected farmers is potentially dangerous say the regulators, since it can carry pathogens like salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli O157:H7, leading to mild or even serious illness. Continue reading


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Public vs private raw milk markets

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

“I have to say that I feel funny about buying the supermarket raw milk. I am uncomfortable about the fact that I don’t know the farmer, and thus know almost nothing about the farm where the milk is produced. I can tell that the milk isn’t as high quality as my farmer-supplied milk. It doesn’t taste as good, doesn’t have as much cream, and it begins tasting sour within a week of purchase.

I also feel funny about not being as loyal a private buyer as I would like from the farmer. But I do pay a price–sometimes the farmer has milk for me, and sometimes, when I call in advance, I’m told there won’t be enough, since the regulars have to be served first. What’s fair is fair.  Continue reading


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The public / private divide on raw milk and nutrient-dense food availability

The latest from David E. Gumpert on his “The Complete Patient” blog:

“….So I have tried to answer the question, what’s goin’ on? Here are a few things I see goin’ on:

* There’s a huge, and expanding, gulf between the raw milk “public sector” and its “private sector.” Or maybe I should say, between publicly sold food, and privately sold food in general. A big part of McAfee’s problems (and of the Raw Milk Institute) has been an inability to appreciate the different landscapes, and mindsets, of the two arenas. It may simply be that they are incompatible, as Violet Willis suggests, and as Dave Milano has suggested in the past. People who become accustomed to obtaining their food privately, via food clubs or herdshares or CSAs, come to have different priorities and values than those who are mostly buying their raw milk in retail stores. There’s a bigger emphasis on cooperation and community in such private initiatives, run as they are invariably by volunteers working together with farmers. Continue reading


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Wisconsin Attorney General taking Judge Fiedler’s decision to mean so called private clubs must be licensed

From David E. Gumpert, on The Complete Patient blog:

Vernon Herschberger. Complete Patient photo.

“The Wisconsin attorney general’s office sent dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger a little invite this past week. It came from an assistant attorney general, Eric D. Defort.

“I am writing to invite you to meet with me at the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office at 1300 Lange Court in Baraboo, WI, on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. so that I may inform you of the progress of the investigation of your dairy and retail food establishment. Feel free to bring an attorney to the meeting.

Hershberger is the Wisconsin dairy farmer, you may remember, who cut the tape placed on his coolers in 2010 by inspectors from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. He doesn’t think he wants to have this little tête-à-tête with the AG. His reason? “I don’t have a retail store,” he tells me. “I have a private club.” He has nearly 200 members in his club, who pay an annual membership fee for the privilege of obtaining their food privately. Continue reading

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Will trial of the Rawsome Three in 2011 be like trial of the Chicago Seven in ’69

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

The Chicago Seven. Click for source and info on their trial

“The criminal charges filed against three individuals associated with the Rawesome Food Club in Venice, CA, have gotten me thinking much about the trial of the Chicago Seven.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good old-fashioned political trial. The last important one that comes to mind was probably that of the Chicago Seven,  back in 1969. The defendants included such anti-Vietnam-War and black rights luminaries Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, and Bobby Seale. They were indicted for violating the Civil Rights law by crossing state lines to incite the riots outside the Democratic National Convention in August 1968. (Of course, the riot was  by Chicago police, who beat mostly peaceful demonstrators.) Continue reading

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Was Rawsome founder Vonderplanitz blacklisted by the mainstream media?

David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog,

Aajonus Vonderplanitz, speaking in Los Angeles in the autumn of 2010. Photo by Jennifer Sharpe, via The Complete Patient blog.

From an email from Aajonus Vonderplanitz to his supporters: “”On August 4, 2011, I attended the rally and court proceedings. About 80 people attended the protest/rally at the Los Angeles County courthouse regarding the Rawesome Club food-raid.

It was a good turnout but no one knew how to organize it or knew what to do to take advantage of the press exposure. About 5 TV networks were there to cover the story.

Approximately 25 people remained outside picketing and about 55 people inside. I offered the 4 network TV stations present my comments as President of Right To Choose Healthy Food, since I had built Rawesome. They began to move for taping but when I gave them my name, they refused to receive my comments. Who blacklisted me? Rawesome members or government-controlled media?” Continue reading

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LA Times story about the Rawsome raid refers to “so-called raw dairy products”

Stuart Pfeifer and P.J Huffstutter, in the LA Times:

Danielle Fetzer and Steven Pociunas, volunteers at Rawesome Foods in Venice, hug each other outside the store, whose owner was arrested Wednesday. (Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times)

“The owner of a Venice health food market and two other people were arrested on charges related to the allegedly unlawful production and sale of unpasteurized dairy products, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

The arrests of James Cecil Stewart, Sharon Ann Palmer and Eugenie Bloch on Wednesday marked the latest effort in a government crackdown on the sale of so-called raw dairy products. Continue reading


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