Nobody talks about the GOOD things the Mafia does
Farmers make new product in pilot program
By Mark Keating | Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
Here’s a story told from a friend, a born dairyman and career county ag agent. He served on the Department of Agriculture milk marketing advisory committee in a state where the sale of raw milk for human consumption was and remains illegal. His peers were mostly elder fellows like himself and one of them commented,”We grew up drinking raw milk – why ban it?” A Department of Agriculture official interjected that one disease outbreak would be a disaster, so don’t even think about going there.
Dairy-related disease outbreaks can be indeed be disastrous, for the lives damaged and sometimes lost and to the commercial viability of farmers producing a once trusted but suddenly suspect food. I don’t question the motivations of those who favor prohibiting public access to raw milk to mitigate against such outcomes. We all have consciences to sort through our motivations. I do question the efficacy of using the legal system to ward off potentially undesirable outcomes by denying individuals the liberty to make choices regarding their best interests. The purpose of the legal system is to prevent people from intentionally hurting each other; it isn’t designed and doesn’t work well at preventing people from hurting themselves. Personal as well as public interest is best served in the long run when people are fee to think for themselves and rise and fall on the merits of the decisions they reach.
Okay, John Stuart Mill is long gone so let’s look at the landscape today. Anyone dispute that the diary industry is in economic, environmental and social free fall? Who is left in dairying from a generation ago, and who will be left a generation from now? These outcomes result from the systematic curtailment of public access to meaningfully differentiated diary products wrought by “democratic” (state-imposed regulation) and “market” (mercenary capitalism) forces. The pasteurized, homogenized, fractionated commodified dairy products widely available today truly merit the “double plus good” standard from Orwell’s 1984.
We see a light at the end of this tunnel and, not surprisingly, it’s the sunlight behind us coming from where we started digging our technological hole in the ground. Whole fresh and lacto-fermented dairy products derived from ruminants adapted to the local vegetation – no civilization on earth ever overlooked this extraordinarily efficient and downright delicious source of complete nutrition. Restoring pasture, grazing animals and farmers to our landscape and whole fresh and lacto-fermented dairy products to our pantry isn’t everybody’s solution to which ever global crisis they’re trying to solve, but it’s mine. The more people experience it, the more they will reach similar conclusions. No doubt that “mafia” is a loaded term (“cosa nostra” is authentic) but I don’t find it too objectionable when I consider the collateral damage that has resulted from the corporate and state controlled food system we have let overtake us.