Sunday, August 28, 2011

Raw Milk

By estimation made by the USDA about 12 million people across the US drink raw milk every day.  Of course the opposite of raw milk is generally considered to be pasteurized, homogenized milk from large commercial dairies.  In controversy all across this country, not so in many parts of Europe where raw milk is accepted as nutritionally demanding, is not only should people drink raw or processed milk, but the USDA would claim that Americans do not even have the rights to drink raw milk if they choose to.  And of course since practically never do any of the 12 million raw milk drinkers fall to their health demise, as suggested by the USDA. I'll take my chances drinking milk from cows standing on grass instead of in their own feces.

Since I have been drinking raw grass fed milk daily for most of my 50 some odd years I am extremely biased and can't for the life of me see what all the hoopla is about.  Since the government is suspected of more than one disservice to it voters, I suspect they must have their hand somewhere in the milk bucket or why else would they even care.  People die everyday from car accidents, cancer caused from tobacco, drowning in swimming pools, and the list goes on and on but all of these highly dangerous activities are allowed.  I think it's pretty easy to put the economic pieces together.

Some may think that drinking raw milk is some sort of new fad and practiced by only the liberals from California or some other forward thinking local.  Nothing against my friends from California.  Anyway, raw milk is drunk all over the world and has been for centuries.  Many believe raw milk has important nutrient content and has even been used as a treatment for illness by yes, real certified doctors.

One very interesting medical practice is to utilize the immunity offered up in colostrum, milk from a ungulate who has just given birth, for fending off diseases or pathogens.  There is even a US patent from work done back in the 1950s describing the process.

It seems the medical profession was injecting serious antigens into the teats of the cow just before calving.  The biology of the cow lends itself to the manufacturing of antibodies to combat these deadly pathogens.  From a cowboy's perspective what they were doing makes all perfect sense.  Once the cow, goat or sheep, gave birth and began producing colostrum, this colostrum would contain the antibodies to fend off the disease.  Once the infected individual consumed the colostrum with the produced antibodies, the healing would take place at phenomenal rates.

This appears to be a very economical and efficient way to fight disease.  I in fact have a friend who was deemed terminal from a well known disease, and went through this very process on his own.  He has told this story for many years now and obviously has outlived his termination date.  I can't imagine our current day highly esteemed medical profession accepting this sort of human treatment for disease.  And I even have a greater problem living long enough to see this ever get FDA approval.  I guess there is more money in statins.

But whether or not raw milk from grass fed cows contains disease fighting qualities from the manipulation described above, I feel much healthier personally when I get my daily fix.  And knowing how dangerous driving a car is compared to drinking raw milk I intend on doing both.  And surely common sense would dictate that no one else, and particularly the government, should be given the authority to dictate over our diets.  And besides, it tastes like drinking the best milk shake in the world.  And to my friend, Dr. ####, anyone who can't taste the milk shake in my raw milk has lost the battle of mind over matter.  But then I can't force myself to eat cottage cheese.  At least we now know our weaknesses don't we, Doc?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

America The Beautiful

I have very little patience for the conspiracy theorists of today.  As a farmer I believe to be somewhat pragmatic, slightly logical,  a believer in faith, an optimist, and I seldom count on a good rain until AFTER it arrives.  However, the mood of this country, I believe, is changing to an almost aggressively, quasi-militant, average working class of struggling soccer moms and fed up dads with the FEDS.  That is, more average folks are seeing dirty stuff going on in Washington and being of the nature many Americans are, we might even have a chance if we somehow make changes for the better sooner than later.  Of course it will takes some sort of unification and strong leadership.

Something I have been having a problem with for the last couple of years is this bashing of big corporations.  As a graduate of a business school my teeth were cut on the free enterprise system, the economics of Adam Smith, efficient operating systems, and buyer be ware.  When I heard my first bashing of the cooperate form of business structure at one of the annual sustainable agriculture conventions, I thought I was witnessing heresy.  After reading, listening, and lots of observation, I may be getting a little goofy myself.  It isn't that I do not believe in the benefits of pooled resources put to benefit in the form of a corporate entity.  But now, our politicians and complete political system have learned to suck out all the fresh quarters before milking time starts.   That is, politicians have learned which business entity can garner the most financial support, and it sure isn't us small farmers.  This frenzy of Washington huddled around big corporate activities has distorted basic business practices of free enterprise and nothing is even close to being black and white any longer.

So I am now coming out of the closet with my old college business classmates and will surely be black balled.  Our corporate business structure as we practice in the US is quickly destroying our country at a rate that is not sustainable for very much longer.  Greed has taken precedence over everything from child rearing, to basic food consumption.  Big government desires to legislate what we eat because it is in their best financial interest for the corporate giants they are nursing.

We have displaced millions of Americans and have put them on some sort of government form of welfare because someone said big farms and big business is the wave of the future.  As farm ownership shrunk, unemployment and government subsistence sky rocketed.  Doesn't this look a little bit like prerevolutionary Europe?  Think about how many folks could be put to work if 70% of our population once again moved to small farms and once again became real farmers instead of pesticide mechanisms and tractor mechanics.  The 2% that now produces on our farms would certainly benefit because they could finally become what they really dreamed of being, real farmers.  Unemployment would be almost non existent, many of the large deceptive and politically run corporate entities that cater to agribusiness could go to the way side.  Now this would be truly a free enterprise system that Adam Smith would recognize.