As a rule of thumb, I don’t drink anything that comes out of a cow. But for the last several thousand years, a large percentage of the human population has consumed cow’s milk — a substance that admittedly contains quite an impressive collection of nutrients. The problem today is that those nutrients are artificially modified through pasteurization (cooking) and homogenization (breaking down fat molecules) to create a ready-made, highly processed cow’s milk beverage with a long shelf life that can be sold to consumers as “milk.”
In the history of food, pasteurized, homogenized cow’s milk is a relatively new thing. For most of recent history, milk has been consumed as a fresh, raw beverage, just hours out of the cow. Each day’s milk was usually harvested that very morning from the local cow, and most farms had at least one milk cow. (For many families, it was what kept them alive through the harsh winters…)
During all these centuries, fresh cow’s milk was considered a nourishing, even lifesaving beverage that provided people with hard-to-find proteins and fats in times when calories were hard to come by.
Pasteurization and the road to dead food
This went on until roughly the end of the 19th century, when pasteurization was introduced to the milk industry as a way to increase the shelf life of milk by killing the bacteria that spoil it. By “cooking” the milk, large milk producers were able to centralize product production at distant locations (large-scale dairy farms) and then ship the product to consumers anywhere in the country. When kept at the right refrigeration temperature, this pasteurized milk now had a shelf life many times longer than raw milk.
So the dairy industry grew profitable and large, and over the next few generations, Americans got used to “milk” meaning “pasteurized, homogenized milk” even though it was an unnatural alteration of the real milk that the country had grown up on.
Raw milk rediscovered
Fast forward to the 21st century: Now, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the health benefits of raw milk. It’s loaded with active probiotics, of course, which we now know increase skin health and digestive health while potentially even improving cognitive function. So naturally, consumers started purchasing raw milk from their local farmers and coops in order to benefit from this raw, unprocessed food. (Actually, lots of health-conscious people have been doing this since the 1960’s, but “raw milk” didn’t really become popular among near-mainstream consumers until just the last few years…)
When people buy raw milk from local farmers, this of course takes away profits from the large corporate milk producers that are selling pasteurized, homogenized milk. So the dairy industry attempted to get the federal government to destroy the competition (the raw milk producers). But instead of just saying, “We want you to destroy our competition,” they made up an excuse, “Raw milk is dangerous!”
Yep: The same beverage that America was raised on is now considered by the feds to be “too dangerous to drink.” Sure, you can drink diet soda laced with aspartame or high-fructose corn syrup — two ingredients known to cause degenerative disease — but you can’t drink raw, wholesome, fresh milk anyway because it’s “too dangerous.”
The idiotic war against raw milk
Now the war is on. State and federal regulatory agencies, spurred on by the monopolistic business practices of the dairy industry, have set out to criminalize the sale of raw milk. They’ve raided raw milk resellers, arrested raw milk marketers and seized countless gallons of raw milk to be destroyed.
Raw milk, the bureaucrats say, is dangerous because it hasn’t been sanitized yet. Raw milk is “dirty” while cooked, pasteurized or irradiated milk is “clean.” And Big Brother thinks you’re not supposed to eat “dirty” foods like raw milk.
Sure, you can smoke yourself into a lifetime of cancer — that’s fully approved by the government. You can slather your body with personal care products laced with cancer-causing chemicals, because that’s also approved by the government. You can drink brain-busting aspartame, chow down on diabetes-promoting MSG, or swallow any number of mouthfuls of processed foods laced with a thousand different synthetic chemicals that probably cause everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Go take a swim in the Gulf of Mexico and soak up some Corexit dispersant chemicals — the government doesn’t protect you from any of that.
But raw milk? Well that’s just too dangerous. It’s all natural! And if you’re the whored-out U.S. government — now run by commercial interests — natural is bad!
The secret government plot to kill all your food
You see, food safety in America has come down to killing your food. Only “dead food” is “safe food” in the eyes of the FDA and state health authorities. That’s why they killed your almonds (there are no more raw almonds commercially available in the United States of America), and it’s the same reason why they’re gearing up to irradiate all your fresh produce.
The government wants to kill your food but it has nothing at all to do with food safety. If the government were really interested in food safety, it would ban the stuff that really promotes disease: Fried fast food, toxic chemical additives like aspartame, empty calorie ingredients like white flour and bleached white sugar… you get the idea.
But none of those things have been banned at all. Instead, of all the thousands of things that are bad for your health, the government has chosen to single out raw milk as somehow deserving the most attention — even thought raw milk is arguably GOOD for your health and not bad in the least!
So why does this matter to our freedom? Because now, not only is the government deciding what’s good and bad for you (and legislating laws against your free choice); but the government’s ability to determine what’s good or bad is flawed in the first place.
Freedom of choice
Like most freedom-loving Americans, I don’t think the government has any business telling you what to eat. (But then, neither do I think corporations should have Free Speech to advertise all their junk products, either, although that’s another topic altogether.)
If some guy in Brooklyn wants to eat himself to death on hamburgers and corn syrup, that’s his right and his choice. The feds have no business criminalizing his food choices, even if they do seem rather poorly made.
But even if the feds were to start enforcing its control over your food, it would only make sense to ban the most dangerous foods first… you know, the stuff that’s really causing epidemic disease in America. Stuff like high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, MSG, partially-hydrogenated oils, petrochemical-derived artificial food colors, dangerous chemical preservatives and so on.
But none of those things are even being considered for any ban. And that means, by any reasonable logic, that the ban isn’t about your health. It’s not about “protecting you” from dangerous foods.
The government, after all, approves the sale of cigarettes, alcohol, hair coloring chemicals and a thousand other things that are terrible for your health. They aren’t interested in protecting your health in the least. What they are interested in doing is protecting their corporate masters in the highly influential dairy industry.
And that’s what this all comes down to: The war on raw milk is a juvenile attempt by the federal government to protect a profitable, powerful industry by destroying its competition regardless of the consequences to your health — and regardless of what freedoms they destroy in the process.
Your right to buy what you choose has now been overthrown by the government’s desire to protect the processed-milk dairy industry.
And that’s why the cow in my CounterThink cartoon sprays the bureaucrats with raw milk, shouting, “Take THAT, you bureaucrats!”