In July of 2007, the Weston Price Foundation helped to create the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which aims to help protect the rights of farmers to provide meat, eggs, raw dairy products, vegetables and other foods directly to consumers. According to Pete Kennedy, the president of the fund, this includes protecting consumers' "freedom of choice to consume raw milk". In the first year of its operation, the Fund raised over $350,000 and receives around three requests for assistance per week from farmers across the United States who are facing legal or bureaucratic challenges, or both in relation to sales of raw milk.
The raw milk issue so dear to the foundation, was put to the test when residents in eight small Maine towns voted to declare "food sovereignty". These ordinances explicitly allow local farmers and ranchers to sell their food--meat, eggs, unpasteurized milk, honey, veggies--directly to consumers within town borders, without state or federal licenses, permits, or regulations. Towns in Massachusetts, Vermont, and California have all replicated these experiments. The URL for a template of the food ordinances is listed below.
In the early part of last century, clean, raw milk from grass-fed cows was actually used as a medicine. Milk straight from the teat was a sort of "stem cell" of foods, and was utilized as medicine to treat, and frequently cure some serious chronic diseases. From the time of Hippocrates to until just after World War II, this "white blood" nourished and healed uncounted millions. (White blood is exactly what milk is; it is blood transformed into milk).
According to Cree (1929), clean raw milk from pastured cows is a complete and properly balanced food. You could live on it exclusively if you had to. Raw cow's milk has all 8 essential amino acids in varying amounts, depending on stage of lactation. About 80% of the proteins in milk are casein- reasonably heat stable and are easy to digest for most people. The remaining 20% or so are classed as whey proteins, many of which have important physiological effects (bio activity). Also easy to digest, but very heat-sensitive, these include key enzymes (specialized proteins) and enzyme inhibitors, immunologists (antibodies), metal-binding proteins, vitamin binding proteins and several growth factors.
Thus according to some of the old-timers, raw milk and naturally raised foods are healthier for you and your family. Popular author Michael Pollen is in agreement. In his Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollen states that the healthiest style of living is through hunting and gathering followed by local organic (eg., family farms, free range chickens, etc), followed by industrial organic and last and very much the least healthy, corporate farms. Local organic is the diet that the Price Foundation is primarily orienting us towards. Since most of us are not proficient at hunting and gathering, the best option remains using local organic that allows free range as well as natural diets for its animals. This doesn't mean we should not consider becoming reacquainted with any of the small parcels of woods that have not been destroyed by corporate greed.
Regarding raw milk, Pollen states:
"You do have to wonder about the Food and Drug Administration's priorities. Why is the government putting its resources into shutting down raw-milk producers, a teeny-tiny "industry," when there are many more serious threats to food safety on factory farms? (In fact the overwhelming majority of illnesses tied to milk and cheese come from pasteurized products.) While Amish dairymen are being raided by the F.D.A., Jack Defroster, the notorious Iowa egg producer whose filthy, salmonella-infected eggs were linked to an outbreak that sickened more than 1,500 people last year, received a mild warning letter from the F.D.A. What is going on here? Sounds like political theater to me."
It's really more than political theater. The fact is large corporate farming companies such as Monsanto and Cargill have the government in their back pocket. The government does not work for the people. It works for the Corporation. It subsidizes them, it routinely approves their inadequately tested products, and it skews its "food safety" policies in their favor.
According to the regulations in the European Union, all raw milk products are "legal" and considered "safe for human consumption", and can be sold without any price, variety or quantity restrictions. However, the European countries are free to add certain requirements, usually special sanitary regulations and frequent quality tests (at least once per month).
Raw milk and especially raw milk cheeses are considered the standard for high quality dairy products. Many French cuisine traditionalists consider pasteurized cheeses almost a sacrilege. Many traditional French cheeses have solely been made from raw milk for hundreds of years.
In Germany, raw milk is sold as Liebfraumilch. This means the raw milk has to be packed before vending, with the necessary information (producer, durability etc.) written on the product. The distribution license has severe quality restrictions, and so just 80 farmers in Germany have one.
Unpacked raw milk can only be: