I can’t believe it! I just read a news story that claims the Indiana Board of Animal Health will take public input on the issue of raw milk.
Currently in Indiana, it is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption. Folks who want to consume raw milk either buy “pet milk” (raw milk that our dogs or cats can consume, according to the labels), have their own dairy cattle, or buy into a “cow share”. As usual, the government is trying to protect us poor, dumb citizens from ourselves by making raw milk illegal.
If you folks have read my blog for any length of time, I think you know how I’ll comment. Raw milk is a consumer choice issue, and in my opinion, consuming raw milk from healthy cattle that was collected with cleanliness in mind carries fewer risks than eating at a restaurant. Seriously!
Now, I can guess how the debate will go. Much like the homebirth debate in Indiana (in which I have participated for many years now), the folks who fear they have the most to lose will get vocal. They’ll site that awful CDC “study” that claimed to show how dangerous raw milk is. They’ll throw around terms like “e. coli”, “deadly”, “salmonella”, and “dangerous” in order to scare lawmakers into “protecting” Hoosiers. I don’t WANT that kind of “protection”.
To me, raw milk is more of a local food issue than anything else. To be honest, I dont’ want to walk into Kroger and grab a quart of raw milk (although I know that folks can do something similar to that in some states.) I don’t want to feel like I’m part of some secret underground when I want some yogurt or butter made from raw milk. If it has to be that way, then fine, but it SHOULDN’T be that way.
I have to admit that the propeganda machine has done a great job of worrying folks about raw milk. When I first heard about folks drinking raw milk, I thought, “Now why would they want to do that? It’s so dangerous!” I was uninformed though, and after I made the conscious decision to GET informed, I made a decision that seems to carry less risk than riding in the family car to church each week. Seriously! I’ll bet I have a much higher likelihood of getting into a car accident than I do of getting sick by drinking raw milk from trusted sources.
Finally, we Hoosiers are going to get a chance to speak our minds, and even if it doesn’t go favorably for the few of us who’d like to buy raw milk, we can bring some positive attention to the issue. I’m SO tired of the government trying to get between me and my food! I’m so tired of the government getting between me and my kids’ food! The coming public comment period will be a great way for our voices to be heard, and I couldn’t be happier!