Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Big brother is watching

Meesha brought this to my attention: An article in The Pitch that tells about the Missouri Attorney General's office seeking an injunction against some people near Springfield who were selling a dangerous substance: raw milk. You can read what Mike Adams, the editor of, has to say about it HERE. Here's an excerpt quoted in The Pitch:
"In case you're not yet sure what you're reading here, note carefully that these daughters were not caught selling crack, meth or crank. They weren't dealing second-hand pharmaceuticals to yuppie school kids. They weren't selling e.coli-contaminated hamburger meat, cancer-causing diet sodas (made with aspartame) or canned soups laced with MSG. They weren't even selling broiler chickens contaminated with salmonella -- just as you can find in every grocery store in America. Nope, they were selling raw milk. You know, the bovine mother's milk, unpasteurized, unprocessed, non-homogenized and wholly pure, natural and innocent. The stuff America was raised on. The stuff your parents fed you when you were a kid, if your family was lucky enough to have a cow."
As many of you know, Cliff and I drink raw milk from our Jersey cow; for most of my married life, in fact, we drank raw milk with no ill effects. Years ago I even sold raw milk to individuals who sought me out and asked if they could buy some. I knew it was against the law even then, but I trusted the people not to get me in trouble. There's a local man Cliff works with who really wants to buy milk from me right now, but it would force me to milk my cow more often than I want to: in winter, especially, the less I milk the cow, the happier I am.
So, what is so dangerous about drinking raw milk?
E coli is probably the main one, if the udder isn't washed off thoroughly; cows lie on the ground to chew their cud, and sometimes they lie where manure has been. I take a kitchen towel out with me when I go to milk, one end of which has soapy water on it; the other end is dry. So I wash and dry Bonnie's udder thoroughly before I milk.
Another thing cows can pass to humans is brucellosis, known in the old days as "bangs" in cattle, and undulant fever in humans. My cow was vaccinated against this as a heifer, and there's a metal tag in her ear to prove it. A long-since departed Creighton, Missouri, dairyman named Ross Helms, who used to have a big Jersey dairy, told me stories of how he lost his whole herd to Bangs back in the thirties.
And then there's TB. In years past I'd have a yearly TB test done on all my milk cows. None of them ever tested positive. I don't worry about it with Bonnie because, after all, she doesn't have that many chances to be exposed to TB, and she'd have to catch it somewhere.
I suppose I can understand Big Brother trying to keep the public safe. But what if these people know the dangers and still choose to drink raw milk? Should they be able to make that choice?
I'm wondering if a time will come when the government will put me in jail for drinking milk from my own cow.
Meesha brought this whole thing to my attention because he was raised drinking raw milk in Russia. His daughter even had a glass of Bonnie-milk when they were here at my house. She also helped churn some butter, and put some of it on a piece of toast and ate it.
This whole thing could affect the people from whom I bought Bonnie. Maybe I should give them a heads-up.


  1. I would think most of the E-coli would be unsanitary conditions. Since you are so careful with yours I wouldn't worry about it. Which I know you are not worried. Helen

  2. As usual it seems attention is given to what should be left alone and the important things that need attention get ignored. I hope it never comes to the point where we cannot do in our own homes what we want to do...I can't imagine drinking milk being illegal.

  3. Lindie9:34 AM

    Crazy world isn't it?

  4. Interesting enty Mosie. There are so many more issues the government could be consentrating on.

  5. I grew up on raw milk, cow's butter and anything else that came off my grandparents farm. I'm still alive and kicking, although I can't kick as high as I used to. Sigh.....

    I didn't have a freezer until we bought a small one for the cottage. You know, something to keep all the leftover hotdogs, hamberger rolls and ice cream that had crystalized over the summer. We moved it here to the house a couple years ago and I LOVE it! Like you, I love having those tidbits in there to grab when I want to make something and I also can stock up on certain things that I use all the time. Wish I had moved it home sooner.

  6. Anonymous3:17 PM

    I read an article about goat farming and goat milk, and they got around this by selling "shares" in their animals, probably easier for a goat than a cow. The owners had several standing orders and she would leave them in a fridge for people to pick up on their own. They owned like 1% of a goat for instance and they were only taking their percentage of their milk not buying. Karen

  7. The government does not consider people smart enough to make decisions concerning their welfare. Mandatory seatbelt wearing, smoking prohibitions, and now raw milk. I wish the alcohol industry wasn't so powerful and that Big Brother would concentrate more on the grief that drinking causes so many families.

  8. I'm mostly known as 'MA''s already happening here. A man was in his house, alone, early, early in the morning. He decided to make himself a cup of coffee without throwing some clothes on. He was arrested for indecent exposure after he was seen by a person and child walking by.

  9. Laura Ingalls would just cluck her tongue at the stuff going on in our country today. Loved learning all about raw milk! What a wonderful entry!
    Lisa in Kentucky


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