Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Have you read this? Rawesome Raid

The states position
The raw advocates position

If you recall Rawesome last year was raided for illegally selling raw milk and dairy products.  What do you know its happened again.  So the Raw foodies are all in an uproar as are many other groups.  If you've read my blog for a while you know I'm not a raw milk junkie.  I pasteurize our milk when we have guests or if I'm making cheese and pretty much did it for all of our drinking milk until recently.  Mostly I switched out of laziness, not out of a health reason. 

So back to the events at hand.  Here is how I feel about it.  You would think that after last years raids, Rawesome would have gotten a clue and gotten a proper business license.  You might also think that someone would get smart and find a licensed dairy for selling raw milk.  Alas no, they set themselves up for this disaster by not taking those wise precautionary measures and now, big surprise, they are once again in the spotlight.  I'm not saying these raids are right either.  Surely it doesn't take a SWAT team with guns drawn to handle a situation like this.  It probably doesn't take a stay in jail either.  My guess is that those measures are being taken to send a very LOUD message. 

Here's what I don't get though.  In California, raw milk is legal.  This is the legal summary:
Sales of raw milk and raw milk products are legal both in stores and on the farm. In order for raw milk to be sold legally, it must be 'market milk. 'This is milk that meets the standards provided in the Milk and Milk Products Act of 1947.
Under the Act, market milk is graded and designated into three classes:'certified milk,' 'guaranteed milk,' and 'Grade A milk. 'Of the three classes, only Grade A raw milk is available for sale today in California. The standards for guaranteed raw milk to be market milk are more stringent than those for Grade A raw milk. While the Milk and Milk Products Act calls for county milk commissions to set the standards for certified raw milk, not a single county milk commission still exists.
Raw milk dairy farmers need market milk permits in order to produce their product. In addition, any person engaged in an aspect of the milk business that falls under the statutory definition of milk products plant must obtain a milk products plant license. There is an exemption from the license requirement, however, for "any producer whose business consists exclusively of producing and distributing raw market milk produced by such producer."
Raw milk and most raw milk products require warning labels. Municipalities and counties in the state have the power to establish compulsory pasteurization laws but only Humboldt County has done so.
Here's a link for additional details.  The dairy, Healthy Family Farm, does not hold the appropriate license according to the state.  

In my state of Indiana, raw milk is not legal for sale.  Milk shares are a non-pursued gray area.  Raw cheese must be aged over 90 days.  So these folks have a legal way to sell raw milk and you can't convince me that they don't know the legal route to this.  I mean COME ON!  They were trying to exploit a loophole that backfired and now they are suffering the consequences.  Pardon my lack of compassion on this one.

The only thing to be really angry about here is that the raid cost the taxpayers a lot of money, the accused were said to have not read their Miranda rights and the warrant was MIA.  You want to be mad, that's where you should be mad.  I truely believe that if these folks had all their ducks in a row they wouldn't be dealing with this.

While I'm not a raw milk junkie, I do believe that the stuff shouldn't be illegal.  I believe it should be available through licensed inspected dairy with proper facilities to ensure a quality product.   I believe it should carry a warning label, we are talking about a fluid that comes from an animal that stomps happily in its own dung....there is an inherent risk of contamination.  


  1. BTW, I'm pretty sure everyone has a different opinion on this. Just be nice about it

  2. I'm going to do some further research as I was informed today that the dairy being a private dairy doesn't require a license.