Thursday, May 12, 2011

Raw Milk

Yesterday was a field trip day - off to the capital! :)   Gathering in a parking lot, a number of families met to take a bus (that our friends own) to St. Paul for a hearing on a raw milk bill.  The hearing was much later than scheduled, and we ended up doing a LOT of sitting, but it was great to hear all the people testifying...and very educational for our children. :)  
On the bus

Mike making good use of his time on the bus. :)

My boys and some friends, in the front row, waiting for the hearing to start. :)

The bill is about making raw milk more accessible to the consumer.  Right now, in MN, consumers need to go to the farm to buy their raw milk.  The bill would change the current law to allow farmer's to deliver to the consumer and also to sell at farmer's markets.

I do think it's important that consumers go to the farm where they are getting their milk, but I also think that people should be free to do as they please.  If people want to take the risk of buying milk from a farm that they have never seen, that should be their choice.  The bill is really a freedom issue, not a raw milk issue.  But of course it ended up being a hearing about the legitimacy of raw milk.  While I firmly believe in raw milk, there may be times when pasteurization would be a better option for human consumption.
One of the testimonies yesterday was from the president of the Dairy Association.  He was trying to convince the board that pasteurized milk is a better product.  He said that, on his farm, his calves were having so many health challenges that he has been pasteurizing the milk he feeds to his calves and now they are living happily, without all the health problems they had previously.  Can you imagine?!!  Then he went on to say that he and his family have also stopped drinking raw milk (for the past year).  First of all, his cows must be really sick if he has to pasteurize the milk he feeds to his calves.  Secondly, it's a GOOD thing his family quit drinking it!!  In this case, pasteurizing their milk before they drink it may be a safer option for them. 

Some of the people at the hearing, who were supporters for the bill, were concerned about a label people were wearing to promote raw milk.  The labels were from real milk cartons, sold in the state of California, in a retail store.  The label contains a warning, which states that raw milk can have harmful bacteria in it.  They felt that this would shed a bad light on raw milk and ruined our message about how healing raw milk is.  The problem is that it's true that raw milk can contain harmful bacteria, but it's also true that it has helped many people recover from terrible health problems and it is far more nutritious than pasteurized milk.  The bottom line is...... people should have the freedom to choose what they want to buy, who they want to buy it from, and where they want to buy it!

Representative Ron Schimanski gave our group a tour of the capital

1 comment:

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Now THAT is an educational field trip!

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