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Activism Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

Why an Idaho Girl Supports CA Raw Milk – Organic Pastures Dairy

www.mypicshares.com
For nearly five years, my family has drank raw milk. It’s one of the most important staples in our kitchen for sustenance and health.  Not once has it made any of us sick.  It should be the right of everyone to be able to to choose what foods he or she will and won’t consume. In a country where food recalls are frequent and the companies that sell those products are continued to allow to sell those products despite little to no change in their growing and production habits, I will continue to stand up for our rights as citizens in this country to consume the foods we choose.

Last week, some children in the state of CA became sickened and three were admitted to the hospital. On Tuesday, Novmember 15th, the State of CA issued a recall on all products from Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno, CA.  The California Department of Public Health reported that no E. Coli 0157:H7 was found in any of the products taken from the homes of these five children who became ill.

By law, Organic Pastures performs weekly tests on their milk before sale, and continue to receive clean test results. However, because all these children reported drinking raw milk, the State of California maintains that the culprit must be from the milk and that Organic Pastures may not sell dairy products until further notice.  According to Mercury News, “California State Veterinarian Annette Whiteford ordered all Organic Pastures’ raw dairy products, except for cheese aged at least 60 days, to be pulled immediately from retail shelves. She strongly urged consumers to dispose of any such products in their refrigerators.”

On the heels of this incident, just two days later, Ready Pac Foods Inc., based in Irwindale, CA was asked to recall 5,379 cases of their bagged salad products due to possible E. coli bacteria contamination.  Just last month, another recall of bagged lettuce was issued from Taylor Farms of CA (same state).  These are not isolated incidents nor coincidences.  The reality is, recalls from bagged produce and other products happen all the time.

Where is the E. coli coming from? Answer: runoff water from factory farms, where E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella are rampant due to unsanitary and unhealthful practices. This is why I don’t buy any bagged lettuce. I buy local, whole heads of lettuce when they are in season, and whole lettuce heads at the health food store, organic when I can.

During the time when my family first started drinking raw milk, for nearly two years we had no raw milk access here in Boise, ID. So I ordered packages of raw dairy products to be shipped to our home every 6-7 weeks. We consumed milk, butter, cheese, and colostrum and it was a delicious and nutritious part of our family meals. Then, the State of CA decided that raw dairy foods could no longer be shipped beyond the borders of their state, so we had to start finding raw dairy sources here in ID.

What’s all the fuss about raw milk, anyway?

Raw milk receives a great deal of criticism by mainstream health communities and the media. But raw milk from healthy cows on pasture is a safe and natural food, no different than farm-fresh produce from sustainable farmers using healthy practices. It’s important to note that thousands upon thousands of food products are recalled in our food system regularly – including many types of fruits and vegetables which have been found to contain the E. coli bacteria. And yet you won’t hear medical and health authorities telling the consumer public to stop buying and eating these foods.

When milk is pasteurized, the heating process destroys healthy bacteria which prevents the pathogenic from becoming a problem. The beneficial bacteria, found in raw milk, are largely unavailable in the food supply due to processing, irradiation, and pasteurization. We need these bacteria to keep our digestive and immune systems, and health in optimal condition.  Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D., a leading authority in health, discusses the importance of probiotics in maintaining our health. Pasteurization also destroys necessary enzymes which allow us to absorb the nutrients found in milk.

Raw milk is not the same

Of course, authorities claim raw milk is different than fruits and vegetables.  They say it isn’t the same as consuming raw vegetables or other agricultural products containing pathogenic bacteria because milk is not cooked, such as vegetables, or washed and that if contamination exists there is really no method of destroying it. Public health officials contend that pasteurization was developed to kill these harmful bacteria, since before it was used milk contained harmful bacteria that regularly made people sick or killed them.

Commercial dairies use unsafe and unsanitary practices

In her book, Real Food: What to Eat and Why, Nina Planck tells us that pasteurization came along as a response to slop dairies in the 1800s, which started to spring up in urban cities in the eastern U.S.  These dairies were located next to whiskey distilleries for convenience – they used cheap feed from the distilleries in order to control costs. Some of the dairy owners even added molasses, burned sugar, starch, flour, or chalk to impart more texture and body. Some dairies added water to their milk to stretch the milk farther and save more money.

Cows also lived in the most horrific, unsanitary conditions as well, and were often found crammed together in close quarters, having open sores on their bodies, and ulcerated gums with teeth falling out. It’s no surprise that when the cows consumed this feed and lived in this manner, they became sick. Then, the milk consumed from the cows in these dairies made humans sick – causing all the diseases which have been reported by public health officials for many years and bringing the justification for pasteurization to surface – tuberculosis and brucellosis (also known as undulant fever), and many others.

Cattle are ruminants and their digestive systems are intended to process grass – not grain, corn, soy, flour, sugar, or any other substance. When you take the cow out of its natural environment of pasture and sunshine, and force feed it substances it was not meant to ingest, problems occur. In the case of slop dairies, regulations and laws for keeping cows healthy and clean were not in place; and the advent of pasteurization did not improve conditions, it only allowed them to continue.

So when public health officials made the statement about pasteurization being developed to destroy harmful bacteria – they were only partially right. The pathogens were indeed there due to the horrific conditions present in dairies, but pasteurization doesn’t always solve the problem.  Nina Planck also mentions the fact that certain bacteria such as Listeria, are not impervious to pasteurization.  Also, in large dairies, pasteurization “allows less scrupulous dairy farmers to be lax with cow health and milk handling because they count on pasteurization to destroy pathogens – at least the heat-sensitive ones – that may taint milk.”  This is as true today as it was over a hundred or more years ago.

Watch highlights from the video conference given by Mark McAfee about the recall:

Read the official press release from Organic Pastures. And, please take action and make your voice heard about this matter!

Contact:

California Department of Food and Agriculture, Office of Public Affairs, Steve Lyle:

(916) 654-0462
slyle@cdfa.ca.gov

Leave your comments on the California Department of Food and Agriculture Facebook page.

Keep up with the latest developments on this case via Organic Pastures Facebook page.

What’s the bottom line?

Raw milk from healthy cows on pasture eating grass is the obvious choice for health – it is full of important beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and brimming with nutrients that simply are difficult to obtain in most of what’s available in our food supply. Milk that is pasteurized is sure to contain harmful bacteria that will make you sick, and as we’ve reviewed, pasteurized milk is not always “safe” to consume.

Why our family chooses raw over pasteurized milk

Is cheap food really cheap? The hidden costs of industrial food

The truth about raw milk, Part I

The truth about raw milk, Part II

This post is part of Sarah The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Take Action Now – Oppose Fake "Food Safety" Bill S3767

www.mypicshares.com

Who’s the picture of the elderly gentleman to the right? Why, that’s Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat, Vermont. What does he have to do with health freedoms? Keep reading.

Foodborne illness has become quite a ubiquitous event – and people are so used to it happening, they scarcely think twice about the repercussions.

But did you know that 1 in 4 people in this country are stricken annually with some type of foodborne illness?

When I was in my twenties, I contracted a foodborne illness on an average of once a year for 10 years. Yes, I had food poisoning every year for 10 years, some years multiple times. It was during this time that I was eating a lot of processed and fast-food meals. This is not normal and shouldn’t be acceptable to the consumer public!

Five years ago when I decided enough was enough and I would change my eating habits, my health started to turn around. And guess what? I haven’t had an episode of food borne illness since then.

Listen up.

Food recalls could be the end of real food as we know it.

It’s time to communicate to your senator and representative that enough is enough. Food recalls should be waking people up to the practices going on in the facilities where food is grown and being produced. But instead, it’s causing the opposite effect – the government wants to add more safety and regulatory laws onto the already dense pile already in place. This “solution” is not going to make these problems disappear.

Just before the egg recall (July 2010), significant “changes” in the law were made to “make egg production safer”.  This effort started over 10 years ago, but it took nearly a decade to get it done. Funny how the law went into effect and then the recall occurred anyway. Doesn’t this say something about the regulations in the first place – that it’s not the laws, it’s the farming practices?

When are the food safety regulatory bunch going to wake up and get it through their heads? The answer is the entire system is geared toward supporting and growing profits for commodity agriculture. Cargill. Swift. Tyson. Smithfield. And all others of their ilk that control the food system. Those few corporations control over 90 percent of the food people in America eat – including the facility in Iowa that got hand-slapped for the egg recall.  The authorities won’t stop. There’s too much profit at stake.

So it’s up to the citizens of this country to defend and protect and fight for our food safety by demanding bills like S3767 get taken down, and to be sure of a future for small, sustainable farmers who care about delivering a healthy, safe, and nutritious product to their customers. If you think the folks at Cargill and Tyson are looking out for you and your health, think again. They only apologize when they get caught. And when they do, they have enough power and money to absorb the damages of a food recall in the food system. Just because you eat the food and don’t get sick immediately, by the way, doesn’t mean the food is safe OR healthy to consume.

Bill S510, The Food Safety Modernization Act, which has been in process since 2009. This bill has been passed in the House, and now sitting in the Senate has been delayed.

From Health Freedom USA:

Now there is a new bill. “The Senate Judiciary Committee is planning to debate – and approve – S.3767 as early as tomorrow, September 23, 2010. It is entirely likely that while moving this bill forward, the text of dangerous, Codex-friendly S.510 will be introduced into that bill as an amendment; perhaps even elements of the long-discredited fake dietary supplement “safety” bill, S.3002 might worm their way in. Right now, to the tooth gnashing frustration of the Uber Cartel, S.510 has been stalled by Senator Coburn’s courageous hold on it. Please take a moment to tip your hat to Dr. Coburn and honor him for character unbecoming a politician: courage, the ability to act for the common good and willingness to buck the tide for what is clearly right. (Action Item No. 3 above.) Men and women of principle need to know that we know what they are doing and what they are facing for doing it!”

Remember Senator Patrick Leahy? He is the chief sponsor of this bill, as well as a number of other measures related to improving our “food safety”. According to his web site:

“As a senior member of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Leahy played instrumental roles in creating the Farmland Protection Program and the Milk Income Loss Compensation (MILC) program, and in extending the Conservation Reserve Program. He has been a long-time supporter of the organic movement and is often called the “father of organics.” He helped Vermont’s and the nation’s organic industry grow from near obscurity when he wrote and passed the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990. The Leahy charter for organic agriculture has helped it grow into an $11 billion-a-year sector of the American economy.”

Funny thing is, the “father of agriculture” as he is called, he doesn’t really seem to be trying to support the small-scale farmers at all. And notice how he is a senior member of the Agriculture Committee. You can bet he’s in close, personal contact with board members and CEOs of corporations like Cargill, Swift, Smithfield, Tyson. Starting to see a connection now?

The web site goes on to say:

“Senator Leahy has championed effective child nutrition programs, gaining bipartisan support for addressing the nation’s obesity crisis and leading efforts to implement hands-on nutrition education programs in our schools. He has also reached across the aisle to coauthor legislation that would enable the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently control the sale of junk food and soft drinks in schools that participate in the federal School Lunch Program.”

Right, Senator. You’ve worked really hard to improve school lunch programs and nutritional standards for the nation. That’s why obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are three of the most pervasive diseases we face. And somehow, obesity rates have continued to skyrocket since 1989. Why is that?

What the bill proposes:

Provisions of the bill increase criminal penalties of imprisonment of up to to ten years for anyone who “knowingly introduces or delivers for introduction into interstate commerce any food that is adulterated or misbranded”. So if you are a farmer who didn’t pay attention to miniscule record keeping data error or a manufacturer selling a dietary supplement with a label reading about the product’s ability to prevent or treat illness or disease, you’d better believe the FDA would step in and declare these actions eligible for criminal charges.

The purpose of these bills are intended to make it more difficult for safety violators to commit crimes and thus make our food system more “safe”, but it provides license to federal entities like the FDA omnipotent authority to rule over any case and to threaten, silence, penalize and imprison small-scale farmers, natural food and supplement makers and distributors. It’s happening right now in Europe.

Regulations like this would require all producers – from the corporate giants to the small-scale farmers to local cooperative clubs and groups to natural and organic food growers – to adhere to these new guidelines. And the ones who won’t be able to meet those requirements will go under – small, family farms and food producing operations and distributors. This legislation would effectively destroy income and way of life for these growers and producers, as well as adversely affect the consumer purchaser of natural, healthy food and dietary supplements.

Take action to preserve our health freedoms and rights!

Please take a moment TODAY and go to the National Health Freedom ACTION site and oppose this bill. Then contact your local senators and representatives by phone or mail and let them know you vehemently oppose more food safety regulations, and that the way to clean up this mess is to support local and sustainable agriculture and growers who practice clean and safe farming practices.

Wednesday, September 23rd is the deadline for this bill to remain on the Senate floor. Take action today and make a difference for our future!