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"Working together we harvest solar energy with grass grown on healthy soil to sustainably produce delightful food that nourishes people and strengthens our community."


Posted by Mark Grieshop on 7/26/2012 to A Word from Mark

Propaganda is the deliberate spreading of information, ideas, or rumors intended to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.  I acknowledge that when most people are trying to promote or defend their ideas there is normally going to be some natural bias. However, once that bias turns to blatant manipulation and omission of relevant information, that that is propaganda.


When I see the information provided by individuals and agencies suggesting raw milk is dangerous and should not be consumed I cannot help but shake my head in aghast that some people have the arrogance and audacity to try to push this sort of propaganda on the American people and expect to retain credibility.  It is comforting to know, though, more and more people are seeing through the fog of propaganda and seeing the reality of matters.


One of the CDCs favorite pieces of propaganda used to shape peoples opinion about raw milk concerns the number of outbreaks from raw milk as compared to the number of outbreaks from pasteurized milk.  The CDC uses the number of outbreaks as an example to mislead people to believe raw milk is overwhelmingly more dangerous than pasteurized milk.  Consider that raw milk dairies tend to be smaller in size, and more numerous whereas dairy processing plants handle a much larger volume and serve far more people.  You can have an outbreak from 12 different raw milk dairies each getting one person sick and one outbreak from a pasteurized milk facility that gets 50 people sick, but what do you think people "hear" when the media reports twelve outbreaks from raw milk versus one outbreak from pasteurized milk?  For a really good look at how the recent CDC raw milk study is a classic piece of propaganda take a look at this article.


I would like to point out one thing that is rarely, if ever, mentioned during the course of raw milk discussion.  The data that points to increased risk of illness from raw milk does not consider the timeline and breadth of all illness associated with both raw milk and processed dairy consumption.  When someone gets sick from raw milk it usually happens right away, such as getting diarrhea in the case of food poisoning.  Illness from raw milk is usually relatively quick, over and done with, in most cases, involving no long-lasting repercussions.  Whereas the debilitating health effects from consuming processed dairy is cumulative in nature.  For example, a person is not going to get allergies, asthma, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, lactose intolerance from just one serving of pasteurized milk.  The data and statistics from this would no doubt be hard to discern.  Yet, these side effects need to be taken into consideration when people are discussing the risks and benefits of raw vs. pasteurized milk in order to not be misled by propaganda from either side.


Indianas Dairy Farmers are hard workers and put in long hours lending them to not having much time or energy to do a lot of research and think things through.  They are prime people for succumbing to the propaganda being disseminated by various organizations and spread by their industry peers.  Conventional dairy farmers are unwittingly being enlisted to wage war against fellow raw milk farmers.  Mind you, it is not raw milk farmers trying to assert regulations on them.  We are not trying to make them test their milk for pathogens or make them subscribe to practices which are otherwise necessary to ensure healthy, quality, safe raw milk fit for human consumption.


There seems to be a pervasive view among conventional dairy farmers that raw milk farmers are a competitive threat to their market.  The market for raw milk intended for human consumption and the market intended for milk processing are two different markets serving two totally different segments of the population.  For one, roughly half the herd-share owners at Pastures Delights claim themselves to be lactose intolerant and cannot even consume processed milk.  I know very few raw milk drinkers that would ever consider drinking pasteurized milk.  There is a reason people are resorting to drinking almond milk, soy milk, or no milk.  So how is raw milk a competitive threat?  It is interesting that organizations representing dairy farmers have misled them to being more concerned about a manufactured competitive threat concerning raw milk than the actual competitive threat such as Fair Oaks's 30,000 cow mega dairy which displaced the milk from the equivalent of 260 average size dairy farms forcing them to send their milk farther away. 


Conventional Dairy is hanging their hat on the propaganda that if someone gets sick from raw milk it will affect the entire dairy industry.  I take exception to that notion because if anyone is incurring collateral damage because of people getting sick it is the raw milk segment of the dairy industry.  Perhaps Corporate Conventional Dairy would care to provide an explanation why more and more medical professionals are advising clients to avoid dairy altogether due to ailments such as allergies, asthma, and diabetes, unbeknownst to these medical professionals that not all milk is the same and that any issues with dairy stem mostly from the processing of milk.  With the idea of people avoiding dairy, dairy farmers sending their milk to dairy processors are their own worst enemy.  It may take a couple generations to fully play out, but conventional dairy farmers will continue to see their market shrink due to people wishing to avoid THEIR product.


Conventional dairy farmers feel that raw milk dairy farmers have an unfair competitive advantage with not being regulated and not having to be inspected.  Raw milk intended for human consumption is its very own niche market.  Failing to grasp that concept, conventional farmers are pushing for Grade A standards for raw milk dairy farms in order to level the playing field in regards to competition.  Interestingly conventional dairy farmers and processors who fear competition from raw milk dairies and wish to create barriers in the dairy business will actually encourage the very competition they are seeking to avoid.  Once raw milk dairies are Grade A regulated and inspected they are just a stones throw away from directly competing by way of installing a pasteurizer and actually joining the competition for their market share.  With the growing popularity of locally grown food I imagine there will be numerous small dairies springing up serving their local towns and neighborhoods.  Talking about a competitive game changer for conventional dairy!  On the idea of having a level playing field, if that is going to be the premise to argue for Grade A standards for raw milk dairies, then I will argue in turn that conventional dairies must comply with the same milk testing requirements for which I presume will be required of raw milk dairies.  Of course they will say their milk should be exempted because their milk is going be pasteurized.  My point exactly:  conventional milk serves a different market.  For all the hype about raw milk illness and testing raw milk for pathogens, there is no testing done on pasteurized milk.  Who hasnt had a spoiled carton of milk at school?  I mean the school milk spoils prematurely for a reason, right?


As the raw milk study in Indiana continues it is interesting to observe how people on one hand proclaim to be patriotic and believe in the virtues of being free but on the other hand believe their opinion should dictate the laws everyone has to abide by.  Sounds to me like they are more fit for a role in a dictatorship than working for the freedom loving people of Indiana! 


For example, one person on the Indiana raw milk study panel simply doesnt like the taste of raw milk and is therefore against approving it be legalized for sale.   First, someone needs to get him a glass of Pastures Delights's great tasting REAL Milk!  Then he needs to be reminded what state and country he lives in.  I might have an opinion that pasteurized milk is bad, but I would never advocate for a law to ban pasteurized milk.  I stand firm that it is not the governments responsibility to be making those kinds of decisions for people. 

I queried a health agency official why they ascribed the dangerous label for raw milk.  I asserted that no information I have seen warrants that label and asked if they could provide the information they were basing their opinion upon.  They kindly obliged.  In looking through two presentations on the dangers of raw milk I could see why they or anyone would not want to consume raw milk.  However, I know just a tad more about raw milk and the dairy industry than apparently the intended audience of these presentations, and could easily point out the falacies in the information intended to shape people's opinion of raw milk.  Here are just a few obvious examples:  
  • "Drinking raw milk is like playing Russian roulette with your health."  - John Sheehan, USAs top dairy safety specialist.  Really?  Is he suggesting 1 in 6 people will experience adverse health effects from raw milk?   This is a far cry from Chris Kresser's calculation that there is more like a 1 in 6 million chance of being hospitalized from raw milk ( ). How can Mr. Sheehan make such a statement and still be taken seriously?
  • Still, a list of agencies (CDC, FDA, AMA, and other agencies and associations, including farm organizations) repeat this propaganda over and over, so that it is all they hear, monolithically believe, and in turn behave the same way in their desire to squash raw milk in the name of protecting public health.
  • They show pictures of a brand new, yet to be used large modern day dairy farm and then pictures of a raw milk dairy barn with weeds growing around it and ask Where do you want to get your milk from?  Well, I prefer to get my milk from a dairy that has cows with healthy immune systems, and a dairy that pays particular attention to getting the teats clean before milking.  Are those FDA approved robots that reliable in getting teats clean?
  • Talk about Pasteurization and the germ theory.  People understand germs are bad and that pasteurization kills germs!   What is not mentioned is also the terrain theory, in which researchers conclude that it is not germs causing disease but rather a weakened terrain where biology functions are thrown off and give rise to germs as the symptom of disease.  Im not a doctor or scientist, but there is a growing awareness and credible acceptance that the whole germ theory is not what it is cracked up to be.  Educate yourself:
  • The BOAH presentation says It is impossible to collect sterile milk!  I get what they are saying in terms of the challenges in keeping milk free of contamination.  Yet I will argue that milk that is healthy for peoples diets is not supposed to be sterile! 
  •  They list 14 organisms that raw milk could contain.  Are you scared yet?  Better wash your hands if youre going to eat popcorn in front of the TV.  Your TV remote has most of these organisms on it too.
  • There is subtle preying on peoples lack of knowledge and fear of raw milk.  Lets consider peoples fear of flying for a moment.  I suppose people who fear flying have a tendency to not understand the physics of Bernoulli's principle and the mechanics of how airplanes work.  In similar fashion those who fear raw milk with the belief that there is a risk of germs in raw milk that are going to harm them dont understand how (REAL) raw milk works.  Just as the Indiana BOAH says, it is impossible to collect sterile milk.  If raw milk did not contain some fifteen different immune, microorganism fighting mechanisms I guarantee people would be getting sick all the time from raw milk and we would not even be having this discussion about raw milk.  Whereas flying is inherently dangerous due to defying the law of gravity, REAL milk is inherently safe by nature's design. 
  •  Another falsehood going around being promoted by the BOAH and the State is they do not recognize the legitimacy of herd-share contracts. This is a direct assault on a persons right to ownership and contract law, fundamental concepts that define how America is set up to function.  A person can buy a cow and get milk from their own cow.  Two neighbors can buy a cow and get milk from their own cow.  Ten people can go together and get milk from their own cow.  The notion that the state pretends to not recognize the legality and validity of herd-share contracts should send red flags up for everyone, raw milk supporter or not. 
Witnessing the propaganda campaign against raw milk makes me wonder what else government could be misleading us on.  Ultimately, propaganda only works on the uneducated.  Make sure you research for yourself and make your own (principled) decisions.  Fight for your rights, because it seems these days if one doesnt protect their rights others seem to feel they have the right to take them.  The battle for raw milk is a battle for liberty and truth.  May both prevail!

Farmer Mark Grieshop
Pasture's Delights

Tim Date 7/28/2012 1:13:00 AM
Wanting to ban the sale of anything based on personal preference is so irrational that such a person has to be getting a paid to do it (and if you don’t think that goes on a lot you’re incredibly naive). NO-ONE should ever have that much power. Think about it; to whom would you rather entrust your health, a faceless, unaccountable, unelected, unconstitutional (illegal) bureaucrat, or your local farmer whom you meet and see face to face? Who has a greater interest in your health and well-being
Tim Date 7/28/2012 12:14:00 PM
To finish my point: the root of the problem is that these government offices exist in the first place. Without them there would be no incentive for anybody to try to manipulate and use the force of government to retain or gain market share. These bureaucracies serve no purpose, only drain revenue, distort the markets, and should be eliminated.
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