What a Load of Bollocks, Food Police and Raw Milk

What a Load of Bollocks, Food Police and Raw Milk

How much personal responsibility should I be allowed to decide what sorts of food I eat or drink?

A few days ago, I read an article that got me thinking about this on news website Stuff. The article covered a series of raids by MPI (Ministry of Primary Industry) staff on raw milk suppliers who were selling to the general public. The raids had been in the planning stages since February and goodness knows how much they cost.

I have since reread the article three times because I could not believe that this actually took place.

So how were the raids justified?

The raids were justified because the farms selling the raw milk were not abiding by the regulations. Regulations set by who and why? Please don’t give me the health rubbish – but more on that later. These farms had indeed got fairly creative in setting up systems to get around the regulations, with their customers becoming shareholders in the business and so able to drink the milk they in effect owned. Not so says MPI. No doubt it will be argued out in court.

From what I have read, it appears that the regulations have put in place barriers that make it incredibly difficult to supply raw milk, most of which is supplied by small boutique operations. Incidentally, the non-compliance around the regulations appears to be more around how the milk is being sold rather than the cleanliness of the milk sheds.

However, for me, there is a larger question here, and that question is where my personal responsibility begins and ends to what I eat or drink.

Growing up on a small dairy farm, all we drank was raw milk, with the cream poured off for porridge. Yum. Nicola and her family were the same, milking a house cow and producing their own butter from the cream as well. When I first came to this area and had a job on a local farm, one of my daily chores was milking the house cow. That milk supplied the families working on the farm. When Nicola and I were first married, we milked a house cow and also made butter.

While I do not dispute that potentially there could have a been a health problem, I have never encountered one among any of my extended family, or people I have known, that can be laid at the door of raw milk.

However, it is not a level playing field. We have all seen, and see almost every day the effects of junk food and high sugar consumption on our health. If it is about our health and keeping the population safe, then:

Where are the raids on soda and energy drink dispensing machines? Why is Coca Cola not being taken to court?

Where are the raids on fast food outlets? Why is McDonalds or KFC not being taken to court?

Where are the raids on Supermarket shelves and the removal of highly processed “food” items that we know are injurious to our health?

Where are the raids on alcoholic liquor suppliers?

Where are the raids on tobacco suppliers and retailers?

Oh yes, I forgot, these products are all supplied within the regulations. Because they are sold within the regulations, they are deemed in some way safe. What a load of bollocks!

So the bottom line for me is this.

It is my body. I am a grown-up. Every day, I get to make decisions about all sorts of important (to me) things. One of those decisions I make regularly is what to put into my body. If I choose raw milk, then that is between the supplier and me.

Of course, who gains when boutique, often environmentally kinder, operations are shut down? The corporates.

Of course, should have guessed. The big food corporations have the monetary and political clout. Ma and Pa with a few organically farmed cows do not. Says it all.

Brian Megaw

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By | 2020-01-05T21:58:07+00:00 December 29th, 2019|Articles, Blog, Environment & Food, social change|0 Comments

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