Two weeks ago we introduced you to these two lovely ladies.
Rebekah Mocerino and Kaelin Keisel-Germann are not only real food foodies, but they are the co-chapter leaders of our local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation and are making a real difference in the food sources and information that’s available for all of us! They are lobbying for change here in Montana (Rebekah was at the Capitol this week making a stand for raw milk availability in the Big Sky State … go Rebekah!) … and they really know the ins and outs, the whys and why-nots of traditional nourishing foods.
Last week, they told us all about raw milk safety.
And this week, they’re here to share where to get it!
So we’re turning it over to the experts … Rebekah and Kaelin:
Raw Milk Economics and Food Choice
Even if you are still not on the raw milk train; maybe you are thinking intentionally about your food a bit more. Let’s recap a few points. Raw milk has been safely consumed the world over since the dawn of civilization. Its health properties include live and active enzymes, the anti-cancer CLA, a plethora of bio-available minerals and vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, health promoting beneficial bacteria, and immune boosting immunoglobulins. Raw milk is an inherently safe food as it boasts built-in organisms that help prevent it from spoiling. Unfortunately, pasteurization inactivates nearly all of these components. Synthetic vitamins are then added back in. It wasn’t until the horrid swill dairies popped up on the scene in the mid 1800’s did we start to see safety issues with raw milk.
Pasteurization, it was believed, was the only answer to prevent illness and death caused by this putrid, diseased milk. Studies show that confinement dairy cattle have 300 times more pathogenic bacteria in their digestive tracts than cattle that are allowed to openly graze in pastures. However, raw milk from healthy grass-fed cows is a wonderfully delicious, safe, and nourishing food. Raw milk’s safety record cannot be ignored. Not one death from raw milk has ever been reported by the CDC since it began documenting data in 1973. Yet an estimated 3000 people die a year in the US from other foods like poultry, produce, fish, and deli meats.
The Economics of Conventional vs. Raw Milk
If you believe in local food and would love to see a revival of rural America, then raw milk is the answer! Pasteurization laws are largely responsible for the decline of American small towns and rural life. In the conventional dairy system, farmers receive about $12 per hundredweight (about 100 pounds) of milk. That is comparable to the price received in World War II. However, when a local, raw milk farmer sells directly to the public, he gets $50-$250 per hundredweight. This can be done even with a small number of cows. This explains why small and medium dairies are going out of business at such an alarming rate. In 2002, dairy farms went out of business at the rate of 16 per day! If 10% of the population would buy raw milk and other products directly from the farm, we would need 75,000 farms, all making at least $200,000 per year. Seems like a decent living!
See graph below courtesy of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
*hdwt stands for hundredweight.
Pasteurization regulations support large, commercial dairy operations and force out small farmers. Pasteurization laws transform what should be a local value-added product that keeps wealth in the local economy and into a commodity product that transfers wealth to large international corporations. (realmilk.com) Conventional dairy farms, no matter what the herd size, are losing $1.10 per head per day. Costs include feed (to get high milk yield), vet bills, and replacement cows -average life of confinement cow is only 42 months. It’s no surprise they are going under.
Our Food Our Choice?
“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in a sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny.”- Thomas Jefferson
Without getting all political on you; we want to bring a very important issue to the surface. Even if you are still convinced that raw milk will send you to an early grave; we propose that you at least have the option to choose it if you wish. In this great country we are afforded innumerable freedoms. We can smoke cigarettes, devour a gallon of ice cream, drown our sorrows in a six pack, or eat French fries for lunch. We would probably all agree that these are unhealthy choices. But we also can eat raw beef, raw eggs, raw oysters, and even raw frogs legs if we want! But the beauty is… that is our choice.
Unfortunately, the FDA thinks otherwise:
“There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food.” …
”There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.”…
Really? So, essentially, the FDA is telling us that we do not have the basic human right to feed our families what we want. Does that mean you can’t have a garden or I can’t raise meat chickens? Where is the line drawn and how long until we reach that point where it will mean that? Well the milk line has been drawn and it appears eggs and cheese will follow. Food freedom is essential. If one of the most fundamental liberties of being human is chosen by corporations and agencies then what is next?
We must fight for our rights…..
Join the Fight!
Are you ready to join the food freedom fighters?! If so, you may be wondering where you can get raw milk. Well the good news is raw milk is easily available in about 42 states. (Statistics change often according to laws)
Find real milk in your state or country here: http://www.realmilk.com/real-milk-finder/
As we write this, we are laboring for change in raw milk regulation here in Montana. Wish us luck!:)
Finally, we encourage you to make your own decisions and conclusions when it comes to feeding yourself and your family. Only you know what you are comfortable choosing. We urge you to discover how and where your food was produced. Question what you eat. Learn if substances were added or eliminated to increase profits. Write your senators. Do your own research and don’t be lulled into the “because the experts know better” view. Vote by purchasing from local producers and farms. Educate yourself and be your own health advocate, before someone does it for you.
Join the food freedom revolution!
Kaelin Kiesel-Germann is a self-described “green as a cucumber traditional homemaker.” Her explorations in raising and preparing traditional foods were inspired by the research of Dr. Weston Price and visits to Mongolian pastoral nomads. Knowing that a nutrient-dense diet is a foundation for whole body health, Kaelin has served as co-chapter leader with Rebekah for the Weston A. Price Foundation-Bozeman Chapter since 2011
P.S. We at O’Mamas recognize that the idea of drinking raw milk is controversial (the USDA doesn’t recommend it). But as “real food foodies” we think it’s important to have all the information before we make our own personal choices about the food we eat. Reminder: we are not doctors or scientists. We are moms, sharing our own experiences with food and health. Talk to your healthcare provider before making changes to your diet or exercise regime.
We’re linked up at: