Sunday, October 28, 2012

Conscientious Objection and Cheese

I bought a $10 4 oz chunk of goat cheese at a San Mateo farmers market Saturday.  I asked if was raw milk cheese, and she said no way, not in California, it is pasteurized.  Sigh.  Even Washington state lets Goats milk go by raw.  She said "well, we could, but... regs, licensing, inspections..." and I don't doubt that.

I also do not doubt that last thing she would allow is any of her customers to get sick.  A friend pointed out that all of these e coli and other disasters come from big houses which cannot control, for sheer volume, for these things.  To do so effectively, the farm has to be small.

I have no science to back this up, but my sense is I eat better nutritionally, although consume less product, when I pay the extra for the better food.  Now, I read recently the science is the benefit claims of "organic" are bogus.  I don't doubt that, but the problem is the definition of "organic" not in the benefit of better food.

I too want to see small farms thrive.  But as Earl Butz said, the ag policy of USA is "get big or get out." And so it seems.  What to do?  States back off in the face of conscientious objection.  it is the state policies that are holding small ag back.  Wouldn't a conscientious objection movement in ag advance food freedom?

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