Power and money, it’s what motivates so much of this world. Unfortunately, power and money has way more to do with feeding the world than do nutrition and ethics. Here’s some thoughts from Joel Salatin on the topic. It’s a lengthy read (he was an English major), but interesting.
Recently I was doing some research on dairy cow shares. Michigan does not allow the sale of raw milk. However, you can own a share of a cow and enjoy the produce of your investment, from milk to manure. In the process I came across a telling quote www.foodpoisonjournal.com: “It is not a constitutional right to eat whatever you want.” What?? I can’t make informed choices and be responsible for my own eating decisions? All the herds that offered shares also stated that they test routinely for cleanliness and safety in their milk. They also invited the share holders to come to the farm so that the individuals could examine for themselves the cleanliness of the facility. Did you know that the USDA allows a Grade A dairy (where store milk comes from) to have a 300-400,000 somatic cell count (a measure of the white blood cells in the milk, an indicator of cow health and parlor cleanliness). The 12 cow dairy near us has a average count of 80-100,000 with standard cleanliness and husbandry practices. They said many dairies are routinely over the count allowed. I decided that pasteurization is a necessary evil for store milk. The cow herd share concept (note that all of the ones I researched were Grade A certifiable) vs. the Grade A system is only one example of how a local food system can be as good (or better) a regulatory system as a government regulated, big business run and lobbied food system. Yet your food choices are best controlled by the government, according to some.
Joel’s article is well worth the time to read as he outlines many of the arguments against a local, consumer driven food system and offers replies to them.