I don’t normally do long, opinion pieces here on this blog. The most recent raid on the Rawesome food club has many folks, including myself, riled up and rightfully so.
Normally, most law enforcement personnel are decent folks doing a difficult and sometimes dangerous job. But this ever-increasing use of multi-agency crackdowns, especially the use of armed SWAT teams, to repeatedly invade law-abiding businesses and family farms is disturbing. I cannot help but wonder what these folks think and feel about what they are doing. They have lowered themselves from being officers of the law to mere thugs enforcing a mob-style Corporatocracy.
If you haven’t heard, the private buying club, Rawesome Foods, has been wrongfully raided for the second time in one year by armed SWAT teams. We’re talking gun-toting, jackbooted thugs taking down people who lawfully produce and distribute fresh food.
Rawesome provides safe, raw foods to their private club members. They are not a retail outlet. Their members are under private contract. Because they are not a retail operation, their farmers and their club do not require the permits necessary for the retail sale of raw dairy in California. Private herd shares and buying clubs are becoming more common across the country, and also more frequently the targets of FDA and state harassment.
Within the span of just one year, Rawsome has now been subject to two unlawful raids by armed enforcement (I’m sorry, I just cannot recognize the individuals that raided these places as “law” enforcement- they are simply government and corporate-interests enforcement). Over $10K of perfectly safe raw food and dairy were dumped- pouring the milk directly down into the sewer! Three people are now in jail facing felony charges, including “conspiracy to commit a crime”. They are being held in prison, unless their families pay the extortion fee of thousands of dollars in bail.
It wasn’t long ago that local dairies delivered fresh milk to our doors, without fear of the many pathogens inherent in factory farmed milk. So why is fresh milk supposedly such a big danger all of a sudden? Because the Industrialized Food Industry needs fresh milk to appear unsafe, otherwise no one would drink their blood and pus tainted dairy product they pass off as milk.
People have been waking up to what the Industrialized Food System is doing to our health. People are asking why our government is cracking down on healthy, natural foods, unfairly painting them as unsafe in the media, while at the same time they are pushing sugar-, salt-, and chemical-laden, GMO, processed foods through their food stamp programs and agri-business subsidies. People are demanding real food- food that tastes better and is actually good for us. We are literally sick and tired from the processed foods that result in chronic disease that are the plagues of our age which are brought on by manufactured foods from factory farms.
We are turning to local farms that simply do a better job of producing a higher quality of food. We are growing our own produce and planting heirloom variety tomatoes that actually smell and taste like a tomato! (Commercially available tomatoes are picked under-ripe and gassed to turn red and look ripe, then coated with wax to look shiny and healthy, but with little taste, smell, or nutrients.) We are growing local economies by supporting farmers markets and local private buying clubs. We are establishing new farms and homesteads and turning to agriculture as a new career in the face of massive layoffs. Small-scale agriculture is actually one of the few GROWTH areas in our failing economy! But, the government seems intent on scaring us and subduing all these activities. Why would they do this?
One reason only: they are bought and paid for by the lobbies of the Industrial Food System. And if this trend towards healthy, quality food continues, Industrialized Food won’t be able to compete. Government has become the enforcement, protecting corporate food profits.
California’s Rawesome isn’t the only SWAT-invaded operation in the country. There have been dozens of these raids. Two notable raids have targeted horse & buggy driving Amish farmers! The FDA has been treating Amish dairy farmers back east like drug lords. Both Dan Allgyer and Mark Nolt, two Amish farmers (running separate dairy farms) ran thriving businesses offering cow shares. People purchased shares in the cow, just like investors buy shares in corporations on Wall Street. They then become shareholders and part owner of the cow. They then also own the milk from the cow, which is divided to represent the share that each shareholder has in the cow. The FDA had government agents infiltrate these cow share programs, just as they do with drug rings. In Dan Allgyer’s case, the surveillance went on for over 18 months!
Really? Is this really what our tax dollars should be spent on? While our government spent weeks scaring us with threats of disaster and halting payment of Social Security benefits in order to pass some unconstitutional plan for a Super-Congress, do we have the tax dollars to waste on harassing small, local farmers? Are the Amish such a threat to national security? Is raw, fresh milk, once the standard for in-home milk delivery, now in the same category as cocaine or heroine? This is such a waste of tax payer resources as to be shameful.
There are a lot of other blogs covering the safety of raw milk and cheese. There are plenty of articles on just how disgusting and unsafe pasteurized milk from factory farms actually is. I would like to see more people asking questions like why any law enforcement personnel would stoop so low as to allow themselves to be thugs for Big Agri-Business? Do you remember your oath? Do you remember you swore to uphold the Constitution and to protect and serve the People? Why would you follow orders that are clearly only being given to serve the Corporatocracy? We need you folks to honor your oaths, and to stick up for the citizens that you swore to serve. Otherwise, you are nothing but hired guns. Is that what you signed up for? Is that what you dreamed of being when you made the choice to enter law enforcement? I know it’s not. You are better than that, and it’s high time you started acting like it!
We the People have enough trouble securing healthy, affordable food, and farmers have enough challenges producing this food while still earning a living wage, without having to fear the police on top of it. I know that corruption is difficult to challenge. But, either live up to your oaths and refuse corrupt, unlawful orders, or have the moral compass to find another career.
Check out the video below to see how a part-time employee of a farm who had nothing to do with the farm’s raw dairy operation was arrested. While I cannot see how these felony charges would stick, this must be very frightening for her and her family. Shock and awe people. Shock and awe.