From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
“Last month, while visiting at a small ag and liberal arts school in upstate New York to give a talk, I got to tour its well-run conventional dairy of more than 300 cows (and a 50,000-gallon bulk tank—pictured at left). It serves as an on-campus training facility for students at the school, the State University of New York in Cobbleskill.
I also got to meet with a dairy professor. I didn’t expect a lot of encouraging words, given the school’s focus on conventional dairying, and how I predicted in my talk at the school ongoing upheaval in the food world, symbolized by the raw milk revolution. Continue reading
Humorless might be a good word to describe the mood of regulators who find it in their karma to deal with those contemporary messianic figures whose mission involves producing, promoting and distributing raw milk on this fine continent of ours. I’m sure a lot of what gets their back hairs standing on end is that, unaccustomed as they are to dealing with folks who don’t bow down to their authority, it’s doubly annoying to deal with people who have a sense of standing on the moral high ground, as many of our raw milk advocates do. I mean, isn’t that why Bill Marler calls David Gumpert the Pope of raw milk? It’s like raw milk is some sort of heretical cult, and the public health officials whose duty it is to reign them in, fall inevitably into the role of inquisitors. So have you heard the latest from the Holy See? Here’s an excerpt from the “imprimateur” of David E. Gumpert’s blog, “The Complete Patient”:
“The public health community would like us to think that it goes after small dairies and food clubs in the interests of food safety. But in more places, regulatory and enforcement actions are looking like nationally coordinated grudge matches, a settling of old scores. Continue reading
From Christopher Fisher, on Civil Eats:
“Amidst a spate of law enforcement raids and other regulatory actions taken by local, state, and federal officials against raw milk producers across the country, an alarmed group of small California dairy farmers and consumers have recently formed the Food Rights Coalition and begun to push state regulators and legislators to take action to help them. The coalition formed in response to at least a half dozen cease and desist orders issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) over the past year to small dairy herdshares across the state.
At a Petaluma, California meeting last week, several local members of the group expressed concern for the loss of their livelihoods and the safety of their families, seeking the assistance of 6th District Assemblyman Jared Huffman to protect their milking rights. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:
Michael Schmidt with supporters at Foodstock event in Canada Sunday; it drew an estimated 28,000 people to publicize food diversity. Photo via The Complete Patient
“The enormity of Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike is sinking in with more and more people.
For one person to put his life on the line so that others might re-gain or keep the right to eat the foods of their choosing–not the government’s choosing–says more than anyone could articulate in a speech or an article.
It’s important to remember as we consider Michael Schmidt’s act of self sacrifice that he comes from a country with a tragic fascist background. I mention it because he frequently brings it up to me–he knows well of my family’s Holocaust background. Continue reading
David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog;
Sign from Rawsome Food club in California.
“It sure would be nice if the emerging food rights movement could always pick its spots to protest government brutality and criminality against farmers and food clubs. Note, I am choosing my words carefully here. Yes, when government agents from ten or more agencies steal hundreds of pounds, thousands of dollars, worth of food–not once, but twice in 15 months– that members of a club have contracted for, that is brutality and criminality.
I’m talking about the Rawesome Food Club situation, but it’s not just Rawesome that has been brutalized. It’s Denise and Joseph Dixon (Morningland Dairy), Barb and Steve Smith (Meadowsweet Dairy), Dan Allgyer, Michael Hulme, Wayne Craig, Mark Zinniker, Max Kane, Vernon Hershberger, Grassfed on the Hill food club. And their compatriots in Canada are intent on making an example out of Michael Schmidt. I’m sure I’ve missed some names here, and we don’t even know all those that have been hit hard by the ripple effects of the government clampdown on Rawesome and these other food clubs and farmers. Sharon Palmer was just one of many farmer suppliers to the food club. Continue reading
The latest from David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:
Farmer Vernon Herschberger. Photo from David E. Gumpert at The Complete Patient blog.
“I wanted to meet Hershberger in person, because I admire his courage in challenging the Wisconsin authorities in their campaign to deny people access to healthful foods. He said at that time he was fine with me writing about him, which I hadn’t yet done by the time Judge Fiedler made his decision. Since the decision came out, I checked in to make sure he wasn’t afraid to be quoted in light of the harsh decision.
Being the humble man that he is, Hershberger told me it was okay, “But I don’t want to be boastful. I only want to encourage the consumers and farmers.” He didn’t say it, but fear seems not to be part of his makeup. Continue reading
Michael Schmidt reports on today’s meeting. See earlier post for context.
Words on farmer's hat say it all.
Michael Schmidt reports that this morning he and Paul Noble were on the Brian Allen phone in show. And he said that every person who called in spoke in support of food rights and raw milk. Continue reading
Via Margo McIntosh, on Facebook:
I just received this plea today and am asking that everyone who lives in Southern Ontario who can possibly come out to this meeting please come. We have to stand up to these people who threaten to take away our food rights and not give us free choice in issues of our own health!
Today, April 21, 2011 (Maundy Thursday in the middle of Passion Week, and the day when Christ had his last supper with his disciples), I stood in the middle of my farmers driveway before 5 government officials. They wanted to talk to my farmer, it was in his best interest, could he be reached? where was he? they just wanted to talk.
They arrived with no notice, no forewarning. They were armed with paperwork (the Milk Act, the risks of unpasteurized milk, the consumer protection act). OH MY! This was an assault from the faceless dictatorship, my choice to drink raw milk was threatened, my toe nails clattered against my steel toes, my stomach churned, and I STOOD. Continue reading
David E. Gumpert’s latest discoveries as reported on The Complete Patient:
“He’s back! MDA agent Jim Roettger shown last December hauling food and holding a search warrant at a suburban Minneapolis dropoff site for the Hartmann farm. “I’m new to this community and…get food from Alvin (Schlangen),” writes Elisa on a listserve. “I’m so upset they have done this, as is my whole family.”
Welcome to Minnesota, Elisa, where official interference in ordinary people’s access to food has become a major public initiative, along with paving roads and building schools. Continue reading
This just in from Ontario raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt:
Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt. Photo via Nelson Daily
I have to be thankful for the rather degrading and heated discussion following my post about the need to support Eric and Judith in their struggle to fight for their cow share operation in Alberta.
The discussion laid open the variety of positions dealing with the issue of how to deal with the current underground raw milk trade across Canada and across Province lines. Continue reading