The War on Good Food

Unknown to most folks is the U.S government's war against the small independent dairy farm. The politically correct posture in mainstream nutrition circles today is a war against saturated fat (found mostly in animal foods). Brad Edmonds has pointed this out on several occasions. The FDA, the USDA and numerous state health departments would have conniptions over the articles which have appeared on the LRC website from such libertarian gourmands as Gary North, Brad Edmonds, Karen DeCoster and Jeremy Sapienza extolling the virtues of fatty animal foods and (gasp) even raw animal foods.

Gary North would merit particular censure because he dared claim that such a dietary regimen (which included raw milk and raw organ meats like brain) saved his life. I think Brad Edmonds might get a few hacks as well for suggesting that raw or undercooked pork can be eaten safely. Holy bejeezus! That must explain the crazy anarcho-capitalist stuff he writes.

An exciting thing (for me) is that Gary North, Ph.D. was treated by Francis Pottenger, M.D., whose book, Pottenger's Cats, makes a powerful argument for using raw animal foods to prevent and heal disease. There is even a foundation devoted to preserving and expanding his work, the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.

The Price-Pottenger Foundation and the Weston A. Price Foundation are primarily dedicated to the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. This Cleveland dentist was, in my opinion, the greatest clinical nutritionist of the last century. If you want a primer on real nutrition, his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is the place to begin. Dr. Price traveled the world studying societies who for generations had withstood the onslaught of modern degenerative diseases like tooth decay, diabetes, stroke, cancer and coronary heart disease.

His is an ignored work today because the healthiest groups he observed had diets full of butter, cream, milk, meat, seafood of all types, organ meats, etc. Some of the groups, like the Eskimos and Masai, hardly ate any starchy carbohydrates at all. The Eskimos had very little carbohydrates of any type in their diet. The Masai, whose diet consists mainly of milk, meat, and occasionally blood, had and still have as a group one of the lowest cholesterol levels in the world.

He also noted that the distinguishing characteristic of all these groups, regardless of the actual specifics of the diet (which varied greatly depending on geography which affected the availability of food), was the daily use of raw animal foods of some sort, without exception. And in a further politically incorrect observation, Dr. Price commented that the premier health food around the world was…butter! One author notes:

"…many people around the globe…have valued butter for its life-sustaining properties for millennia. When Dr. Weston Price studied native diets in the 1930’s he found that butter was a staple in the diets of many supremely healthy peoples.1 Isolated Swiss villagers placed a bowl of butter on their church altars, set a wick in it, and let it burn throughout the year as a sign of divinity in the butter. Arab groups also put a high value on butter, especially deep yellow-orange butter from livestock feeding on green grass in the spring and fall. American folk wisdom recognized that children raised on butter were robust and sturdy; but that children given skim milk during their growing years were pale and thin, with “pinched” faces.2

~ Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. "Why Butter is Better" Health Freedom News, 1999

He noted that whenever people from these groups adopted what he called "the displacing foods of modern commerce" they would invariably suffer from modern degenerative diseases. Whenever they returned to their native diets they would invariably recover from these diseases. Perish the thought! Eating fat and meat to recover your health? The low fat (and vegetarian) police simply don't know what to do with his body of material.

For a modern nutritional application of his principles, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig, is a good read even though it is a cookbook. The first seventy eight pages are priceless and deserve to be in a stand-alone format.

For a modern clinical application of the observations of Price and the work of Pottenger, see We Want To Live by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. For those of us who are more academically inclined the book will be frustrating for its lack of references, but the story is quite compelling. It details the use of raw animal foods like meat, milk, butter and cream in healing people of cancer, diabetes, and a host of other diseases.

Price, Pottenger, and many others like them are ignored because we live in a fat phobic and raw phobic society, despite solid evidence that the high-carb low-fat approach is one of the roots of much of what ails us today (as well as evidence suggesting that Pasteur was wrong and the danger of bacteria and parasites in food is overstated, especially given modern entrepreneurial inventions which do wonders in protecting our food supply. Some Doctors have even suggested that some diseases are a result of not having enough parasites in our system).

While high-fat high-protein diets are all the rage at the moment (Dr. Atkins and Protein Power for example), rest assured the food Nazis are working overtime to turn the tide against this populist monstrosity. Even more, in many metropolitan areas around the country, it is considered de rigueur to eat raw animal dishes like sushi, sashimi, carpaccio and steak tartar. There are even restaurants out here on the left coast that use raw in their name.

I will never forget the delight my server had the first time I ordered steak tartar from a popular upscale restaurant in my area. He is from the old country and was simply delighted that a relatively young chap like me knew "what was good for him." Little did he know I was about to sprinkle my tartar with a wonderful homemade sauce that consisted of raw butter, virgin coconut oil, and garlic, which I had secreted into the restaurant. Tartar is my favorite politically incorrect dish because it has raw beef and raw egg.

This brings me back to the original point of this article and the problem at hand. While it is still possible to go into a store and buy raw meat, fish, and eggs (and this may soon change because of the threat of biological terrorism, at least according to my local paper), has anyone noticed there is one product you cannot buy raw?

Hmmm…think about it for a moment. It is the stuff which is supposed to do a body good. It also helps build bones in twelve different ways. Various celebrities sport moustaches on billboards around the country extolling it virtues. There is even a major computer maker that uses the source of this foodstuff as their logo and occasional ad spokesman. You got it, milk, or more generally, dairy products of all stripes.

As of this writing the only raw dairy product that you can find on a somewhat regular basis at retail is cheese. Even then, by law, it has to be cheese that is aged over 60 days (presumably to kill any dangerous pathogens present in the milk) which severely limits the choice to only hard cheeses.

Any real cheese connoisseur knows that some of the best cheeses in the world are imported or local raw milk cheeses and wouldn't think of eating a pasteurized copy. There has been more than one occasion upon returning from Canada that cuban cigars weren't the only contraband I was carrying, a number of fresh soft cheeses that I can't get in America somehow magically appearing in my luggage.

Ronald Reagan signed into a law a statute forbidding the interstate sale of raw milk products. So even in states where raw dairy is legal the products can't cross state lines (except cheese aged at least 60 days) although people often cross to obtain these products. Most states have for all intents and purposes regulated raw dairy out of existence even where it is legal.

Despite the proven virtues both medically and nutritionally of raw milk (in contrast to the proven negatives of pasteurized homogenized milk, which we only have today because of bureaucratic intervention) there has been an unceasing war against it producers. Dr. William Osler called it white blood. Hippocrates referred to it as a cure for tuberculosis. Dr. J.R. Crewe routinely healed people of various disorders using raw milk in the early part of the last century. Dr. William Campbell Douglass has in our time done the same thing. None of this is speculation or private opinion but a matter of public record.

Yet producers and sellers of raw milk, butter, and cream are regularly persecuted around the country, saddled with enormous legal bills and often robbed of their livelihood. Consumers like me often must go through enormous pains to get the stuff and are very leery of sharing sources lest the powers that be force them out of existence.

Several months ago I received an email that highlights the plight of farmers who want to meet the demand for raw dairy products:

Dear Friends,

I am writing to request MIGHTY prayers from you on our behalf regarding a very critical situation.

Last Thursday 2 State Dept. Ag people and 1 USDA person arrived at our farm unannounced. Their sole intent appeared to be shutting down every operation we have here. Below are some of the highlights:

1. Because we sell PEOPLE food for pets, they say we are not in compliance with labeling laws for pet food and they will require nutritional analysis and additional labeling for EVERY package of pet food.

2. The SAME agency who said we could sell raw dairy for animal consumption now says that we cannot and furthermore THEY WILL BE LEVYING A FINE.

3. The USDA, whom we had met with regarding our on farm (legal) chicken processing, now questions its legality and compliance.

4. They even took a SOAP label to question its merits, and soap is regulated by FDA, not USDA.

5. On this Friday I found out they had also visited the place where we purchase DRY ICE and inquired about our business with them.

This is very, very serious and threatens our very livelihood as well as that of other producers' grass-fed meats, pastured poultry or even soap! If the state or Feds in TN are able to shut down ANY aspect of our operation, it will set precedence for other government agencies EVERYWHERE.

Before it is over and done, I expect to also see EPA (feather and blood composting) and OSHA at our door as well. Without Divine intervention I expect this to escalate and get very, very unpleasant. (BTW, yes we have attorneys on retainer.)

Please feel free to cross post this email, but only in its entirety.

Jenny Drake

Peaceful Pastures All Natural Meats Beef, veal, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork www.PeacefulPastures.com

Now the point of this article is not to convince you of the efficacy of raw dairy products. Due to the influence of Pasteur (who was a poor scientist and was refuted by his colleagues in his own day) the idea of raw animal foods of any sort may scare you to death. Rather it is to point out the extremes to which Leviathan will go to control every aspect of our lives. Mrs. Drake is apparently not aware of the precedents that have already been established around the country regarding the raw milk issue (if this is of interest to you I would suggest locating a copy of The Milk Book by William Campbell Douglas, M.D. It is a delightfully funny read on the trials, travails and benefits of raw milk).

Forcing people who voluntarily want to purchase raw dairy products to request them under the guise they are buying them for their pets is a rather silly intrusion of government into our lives. "Hey Fido, move over boy so I can lap up some of that milk you are having. If I drink it on my own I will be guilty of a crime."

Or gathering a group of people to jointly buy a cow in order to partake of raw dairy (since owners are not restricted by law from drinking or eating their own product), while creative, is an equally silly intrusion and often time consuming. It is called a cow share program in some states. Some rather adventurous smokers have done the same thing with a bar in California to get around the onerous smoking laws in their state. Since all the patrons and workers are owners they can't be prosecuted for violating the smoking ordinance because it only applies to establishments that have employees.

Or having to drive an hour and a half each way because there is only one producer in the state who is bold enough to sell raw milk at retail; by the time you add up the costs that is a very expensive bottle of milk or pound of butter. I currently pay $16 a pound for my dairy contraband (my dog loves the stuff). Before the producers in my area grew tired of being harassed by the state health department and ceased operations, I could buy it direct from the farm for $3 a pound.

The USDA and the FDA have routinely forced alternative health practitioners, medical doctors who use effective, harmless, non-invasive therapies, even vitamin peddlers and producers of independent food stuff out of the market.

Most of us think of the FDA in terms of the middle letter of the acronym — Drug. I say it is time we looked at them in terms of the first letter of that acronym — Food. Their police powers are just as onerous albeit less noticed in this area.

Yes, the war on drugs must come to an end, but so should the war on food. Both the food and drug wars attack and criminalize the behavior of people who are often near and dear to us, and in the case of small farmers, hard-working entrepreneurs as well. Moreover, the idea that government can dictate what appears on our plate does not square with a free society. To the FDA and the USDA, I say a pox be on both their houses.

July 25, 2002

Michael Miles [send him mail] writes from Seattle, WA.