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Raw Milk is Political

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In this topsy-turvy time we live in, almost everything is political and now this even includes food. One product gaining popularity in recent years is raw milk.

Around 2010, raw milk consumption – along with other food movements like organic, buy local, vegetarian and a few others – were gaining popularity with the liberal crowd. Now, especially, raw milk is the darling of conservatives.

For years we were told not to drink raw milk because “it could kill you.” In rural areas, myself and many others grew up on raw milk and didn’t know any different.

Raw milk got a bad rap in the 1920s when many rural people were moving to urban areas and still wanted milk. In these cities, there were many distilleries with dairies nearby where the cows could eat grain waste leftover from making whiskey and other alcoholic products. The milk from these cows contained so much bacteria, it killed infants. 

Nowadays, distillers’ grain is still fed to livestock, but it is a totally different product and it is safe for both animals and humans.

Long a fringe health food for liberal foodies, raw milk has gained popularity with many conservatives including legislators and regulators. Many conservative states in our region, including Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and Alaska, have all passed laws or changed regulations since 2020 to legalize the sale of raw milk on farms or in stores. 

Other states are looking at passing similar legislation.

They say raw milk and conservatives go together – conservatives are leery of experts telling them of what to do. This was well documented during the pandemic with face masks and vaccines. 

The liberal press is really against raw milk, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it gives them something to bash conservatives about. 

Whole Foods used to sell raw milk, but now that Amazon has bought it, has since stopped. 

A former director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Division of Dairy and Eggs once said drinking raw milk is “like playing Russian roulette with your health.” 

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control also tell us not to eat runny egg yolks and medium-rare meat. Not many people listen to this advice. The agencies don’t say anything about eating oysters, and yet they harm a number of people every year.

Food doesn’t belong in a political world. It is up to each individual to choose their food based on what they believe is healthy and/or what they like. It is called freedom of choice. 

Listening to someone on television or on the radio tell us what to eat according to political values is just wrong.

We need to take a step back and start labeling our food truthfully. Oat or almond milk is not milk. Lab-grow meat or alternative meat is not meat. It is no wonder consumers are confused. 

We need to buy the real deal, but it is a choice for all to make. We can fix the confusion with proper labeling of our food. We owe it to young consumers out there who are so out of touch with agriculture.

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