What is it about milk straight from the cow that gets people so wound up? From this week anybody providing raw milk for consumption will face a fine of up to $60,000 (in case you were wondering the penalty for distribution of small amounts of the drug "Ice" attracts a $45,000 fine). This weekend as we quietly finish our last bottle of Schulz Bath Milk I'm puzzled by the hysterical reaction raw milk seems to draw and the extreme measures that are being taken to stop people drinking it (from this week the new law mandates raw milk must have a bittering agent added to it).
Drinking raw milk has risks associated with it but we do many things that have risks attached - we drive cars, swim at beaches, skydive. If you've ever done a food safety course you'll know we eat many foods that we need to be careful with; rice, chicken and leafy greens are common foods most responsible for recorded food-borne illnesses. The thing is we don't ban them we take a preventative and educative approach.
You can buy raw milk from vending machines in Europe (see pic above), from any farmgate in New Zealand
and in 30 states in the US. Knowing how similar countries to ours approach raw milk it's not surprising that the
wisdom of our laws are being questioned. And when people decide a law is unreasonable they resist it.
Prohibition doesn't work,never has. We will see farmers and retailers being unnecessarily fined and imprisoned.
People will lose their farms and businesses over unpasteurised milk! For politicians it'll be a public relations
nightmare and in end no one will win. We'll end up spending time and money policing farmers and shopkeepers
while at the same time we'll be neglecting far more important things.
A child has died drinking raw milk and that is a terrible and tragic thing. But as a mature society our reaction to such an event should be measured. We accept that people will and do die in car accidents, drinking alcohol,
swimming in pools and taking prescription medicines. Our response as a community is not to ban these things
but to implement legislation, safety procedures and education to help people reduce associated risks.
From this week Schulz Organic Dairy will no longer produce its Organic Bath Milk for sale.
If you'd like to know more and get involved here are some links
This is a quick update on our November crowd-funding campaign. This is the not very exciting part of the process. At the moment there's lots of back and forth of emails; contracts are being written, our site is being documented, data is being cleaned and prepared for migration and a very detailed specification of what we need with the new site is being written and rewritten. We want to get this part as right as we can and we know from previous experience that good preparation will save lots of pain and expense later. Once this is done the actual building of the new site will begin.
As people return from holidays the last of your crowdfunding rewards are being sent out with grocery orders or in the post so thanks for your patience. And for those of you enjoying the vegetable related musings a new email will go out this week containing another chapter in the search for The Giant Cabbage of Berastagi.
Unglut your Gut Challenge Tip of the Week
Congratulations to the 300 households taking part in this year's Unglut Your Gut Challenge, Fair Food's glamorously titled four week long event to help get our human microbiomes back into shape.
Here's my unglut your gut tip for this week
First I was thinking of suggesting that instead of a kitten or a puppy for your household this year how about a keeping your own kefir culture or a kombucha scoby as a pet. But after trying it out on my own children I was quickly returned to the real world and think this might be a better way to go.....
....Our microbiome loves fibre and the more variety of bacterial foods we eat the more diverse and resilient our guts become. Compared to our hunter gathering ancestors we hardly eat any dietary fibre at all and what we do eat comes from just a few sources This week the challenge is to can increase the quantity and diversity of dietary fibre to feed your microbiome, Sources of fibre include: fruits, vegetables, oat bran, barley, flaxseed, psyllium, dried beans, lentils, peas, wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, nuts, seeds and wholegrain foods generally. A small warning - don't overdo it on the fibre or you'll possibly overwhelm your system and housemates with an excess of human biogas.
Have a great gut week
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