Food/Drink

Drop the chicken and no one gets hurt

So i was just walking down the street the other day and this guy in a trenchcoat sidled up to me and offered me some milk. Now i’ll partake in a little cabbage now and again…recreationally, of course and i disagree that it’s gateway produce because i never touch milk. On special occasions i’ll even fool around with beets, but i’m not “in the scene” or anything. Good thing too, because The Man is starting to crack down.

Now i don’t know about you, but i’m pretty sure that we have better things to spend tax dollars on than busting raw milk rings.

Fuck it. I give up. I don’t even know what to say. In several states it’s now less dangerous to grow weed than it is to posses chickens, fermented vegetables and unpasteurized dairy.

Just say No to self-sufficiency and real food. Here, have a USDA approved Cheeto.

Frankly, i trust a farmer to slaughter livestock well and cleanly more than i trust any USDA overseen abattoir. And the reason that farmers are selling black market chickens is that meeting government regulations for slaughtering livestock would require building an office with a dedicated phone line and a bathroom for a USDA inspector…among other things. Now any idiot can walk into the Secretary of State (DMV) and get a license to hurl 4000 lbs of steel down a road at 70 mph, but a farmer can’t take a class, pass a test and kill a fucking chicken. That makes sense.

And the government approved slaughters of livestock pretty consistently get shit all over the meat, which the government overseers never seem to catch until a million elementary school kids have eaten shit-tainted hamburgers.

This being the same government that doesn’t think twice about allowing American babies to stick known-to-be-toxic plastic softeners into their mouths (in teething toys). And here they are defending the children from the evil that is unpasteurized milk. Makes me wonder how humanity ever made it to Louis in the first place.

You don’t have to look far to find a growing movement that’s all about end-running the industrial food chain. I guess that’s a threat to big business and big government, or at least they perceive it as one, because i’ve never read a news report about regulators infiltrating agricultural conglomerates to prove that they’re willfully (for the sake of the almighty dollar) putting consumers at risk. The regulatory answer to safety problems in the industrial food chain revolves around irradiation and the like. In other words, not fixing the actual problems but rather attempting to provide an after-the-fact fix.

Now say that you got sick from eating a tainted Krusty Burger, real sick with big medical bills and the like. What do you think the odds of getting justice would be? Krusty Burger would say it wasn’t their fault because they bought the meat in good faith. The meat processor would say that there’s no way it could have known. The USDA would say that since it only inspects about 2% of the meat running through the system, it’s doing the best that it can. Liability would be limited to the vanishing point.

On the other hand, if you bought some raw milk from a farmer and got sick you’d go directly to the farmer. You might not get any financial compensation because chances are good that the farmer’s barely making ends meet and working an off-farm job to pay the bills. But an event like that would probably ruin the farmer’s business because word would travel fast through the small community that purchases the farmer’s goods.

So the small farmer has everything to lose by selling an inferior (or dangerous) product. That’s simply not the case with big producers…the ones that donate to political campaigns and get their former employees assigned to regulatory agencies.

In any case, the US government seems intent to make farming a revolutionary activity. Which only proves that it sees people opting out of the corporate-government system as a real threat.

12 replies »

  1. These are food-borne diseases only, right? So it’s not even the equivalent of people opting out of immunizations, because the risks they’re taking (such as they are) won’t affect anyone else?

    And in the “strange bedfellows” category, here’s a quote from the Texas GOP 2010 Platform:

    Unprocessed foods – We support the availability of natural, unprocessed foods, which should be encouraged, and that the right to access raw milk directly from the farmer be protected.

  2. Right. You consuming raw milk (or a non-USDA chicken) will only affect you…if there’s any effect at all. The common argument against raw milk rests on data from before pasteurization became common, but that discounts the very large improvements in storage that have happened since the early part of the 20th century…like reliable refrigeration.

    Strange bedfellows indeed, though in my experience conservatives are as likely (if not more) as the dirty hippie scene to be into gardening for self-sufficiency and raw foods. Different reasons but same outcome. In fact, of all the people i know who put in big gardens, keep livestock and put food up for the winter, the majority would fall into the “conservative” camp…though a fair number of them are apolitical to the point of non participation.

  3. Brian, that’s just my potty mouth. Sorry for the confusion, but even if i was the president giving the SotU, it would be peppered with shit’s, fuck’s and goddamned’s.

    Ah, but Retro, the government did not take over health care. It teamed up with big business; establishing itself as the collection agency for the sake of donations. So yes, this health care “reform” will be plagued by the things you mention, but that’s because government didn’t take it over.

  4. When nerds and rebels collide…

    BTW, I thought “drop the chicken” was comedy GOLD. I think it should also have some kind of suggestive slang meaning.

  5. It has less to do with being a rebel (which i won’t try to deny) than it does with the fact that my native language lacks the imperative case. Cuss words in a sentence are the only way that i know to remedy the situation with the proper emphasis.

  6. Raw milk certainly is dangerous. Pasteurization is a good thing.

    The solution to the FDA is to give it a lot more inspectors and root out the corruption.

  7. Now i’m not a raw milk aficionado (i don’t even drink milk), but beyond some chance of food borne illness due to improper storage/transport it is not dangerous. Bovine tuberculosis has been wiped out in the US (and the other bovine disease that i can’t remember off the top of my head has been too).

    I’m not arguing against pasteurization, though it certainly does kill good things along with bad.

    Maybe i’m just too libertarian, but i don’t see how it’s the government’s job to protect people from themselves. Someone deciding to drink raw milk does not affect me. And maybe if the FDA was doing much of anything to protect the population from much more serious dangers i’d let this slide. But look at all the crap it lets us consume while it worries about a few people drinking raw milk.

    Why even though the first studies about antibiotic resistance in humans as a result of subtherapuetic level antibiotic usage in animal feed came out in the late 60’s, the FDA is just not making a few faint noises about it being a problem. More than 50% of antibiotic usage (and it’s unregulated) in the US goes into feed – as a growth promoter and because animals are kept in unsanitary conditions and fed a terrible diet. The rest of the developed world started banning certain antibiotic strains and usage 15 years ago (or more). And here in the good old USA, the FDA is worried about raw milk to the point of kicking down doors and pointing guns at 12 year olds.

    Priorities, libhomo, priorities.

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