WAR on Milk
This morning after sitting down behind my desk and logging into my e-mail account, I was hit with an article titled “The War Over Raw Milk” written by Sarah Gilbert. Midway through the article I took into account the conversation I just had the night before with my father. The foods we buy today in our grocery stores have more miscellaneous ingredients than the actual food itself.
For example, the recipe for chocolate chip cookies is ;
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour :
1 teaspoon baking soda :
1/2 teaspoon salt :
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed :
1 cup granulated sugar :
2 eggs :
2 teaspoons vanilla extract :
1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature :
1 package (12 ounces or 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips.
The above recipe consists of 9 main ingredients to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Now you will see the ingredients listed on the package of a major food company’s chocolate chip cookie mix.
SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE SUGAR :
VANILLIN – AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR:
BLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR:
HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL:
VEGETABLE MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES:
NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR:
BETA CAROTENE COLOR:
VITAMIN A PALMITATE ADDED):
CORN SYRUP SOLIDS:
baking soda :
SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE:
All the ingredients listed above in lower case are ones used in the original recipe. All the others in all caps are added to make the cookie dough have a longer shelf life. There are over 20 ingredients added to make a simple batch of cookies. My favorite is the last one “SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE” mmm there’s nothing like a little aluminum with your cookie.
The reason for the cookie story is to explain how with time we as a people and country have settled for less quality for more quantity and most importantly convenience. We like the idea of picking up a bag of pre made cookie dough that only requires to be placed in the oven for 10 minutes and voila! Cookies. We don’t realize how much of our food is processed and stripped of its nutrients so that we can have it readily available on a shelf.
In Sarah’s article she shows how the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), claim that “people do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish”. The FDA has long banned interstate sales of raw milk, and many states restrict or prohibit the sale of raw milk entirely. The article goes on to say that Raw milk drinkers and would-be sellers, who had previously purchased raw dairy products through legal loopholes began fighting back in early 2010.
The Raw Milk Debate
Raw milk is milk that has not been heated to at least 145 degrees, a temperature sufficient to kill the living things present in all mammals’ milk. These enzymes and bacteria have been shown to strengthen the immune system, develop healthy bacteria in the intestines and reduce the chances of everything from respiratory disease to obesity. Anything that yogurt manufacturers say about the “good” bacteria in yogurt is also true of raw milk.
Pasteurization, on the other hand, destroys both the good and the bad bacteria (like E. coli); it, along with homogenization (a process in which the fat globules in cream are broken to such a small size that they remain suspended evenly in the milk), allows milk to be transported over great distances and have a much longer shelf life. The widespread use of pasteurization and homogenization meant that dairies no longer needed to deal directly with consumers, as in the days of the milkman delivering glass bottles to your doorstep.
As the FDA sees it, the most important benefit of pasteurization is the virtual elimination of the dangers of bacterial infections. It was a huge concern in the late nineteenth century, as dairies moved closer to cities to provide nourishment for the newly industrial and urban population. But the concentrated quarters of the cows and a change in diet caused disease to start spreading. Pasteurization, say scientists, greatly reduced its spread.
The FDA officially banned interstate sales of raw milk in 1987, but it wasn’t until 2006 that the so-called “crackdown” began. Agricultural departments in several states, with the help of the FDA, started to stage raids of small dairies and buying clubs that were “replete with undercover agents, sting operations, surprise raids, questionable test-lab results, mysterious illnesses, propaganda blitzes, and grand jury investigations,” writes journalist David Gumpert, who has followed the raw milk war and written a book on the topic.
A Movement Takes Shape
As early as the 1970s, proponents of healthy eating and sick people in search of cures began to consume raw milk as a health-giving tonic. At the time, Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz (along with cookbook author Sally Fallon) came to the conclusion that drinking raw milk from cows who are raised on a ruminant’s diet — grass, and clover, and not much else — and treated well could be the basis for the most nutritious possible diet — and a movement was born.
As Dangerous as Romaine, Pistachios and Sushi?
Even Bill Marler, an attorney who has made his name representing victims of food borne illnesses, especially raw milk, has written recently that the FDA’s actions don’t make sense given the comparatively small number of the outbreaks of illness from raw dairy products — less than 1% of foodborne outbreaks. Marler asked on his blog last month, “is raw milk treated unfairly? Have health departments brought the hammer down on raw milk, while giving a free-pass to other dangerous products?” His answer was, “yes.”
On occasion, people do get sick from drinking raw milk. But the number of people sickened by raw milk compared to other foods does not seem to warrant the FDA’s focused, expensive campaign. Marler highlights five cases of spinach and romaine lettuce-linked illnesses in which, despite the sickening of about 200 people, there were no recalls or publicity initiated by the FDA. Yet, while a few pages on the FDA’s web site detail “The Dangers of Raw Milk,” there are none on the “Dangers of Spinach” (or lettuce, or tomatoes, or green onions.)
No government regulations of interstate commerce in peanuts, kale, or cantaloupes have been suggested, despite the much greater number of people sickened by consuming these foods. Sushi, a raw food that provides a greater opportunity for illness than raw milk, is legal in all 50 states, too. French restaurants everywhere serve steak tartare, a chopped raw beef dish.
My question is whether the FDA is doing this for our protection, or for the protection of the over $12 billion dollar a year milk industry.
To read more of Sarah Gilbert’s article visit http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/the-war-over-raw-milk-a-battle-heats-up/19444343/?icid=main|main|dl3|link2|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailyfinance.com%2Fstory%2Fthe-war-over-raw-milk-a-battle-heats-up%2F19444343%2F#
Felo, Miami FL