Food Safety

Jun 032011

Today’s Leviathan Ankle-Biter award goes to the Whole Life Buying Club of Louisville, Kentucky.   Forty members defied a cease-and-desist order from the Food Security Nazis.    They put the following note on their milk cooler and took their quarantined milk home anyway:

I, the undersigned, hereby declare that I have taken my milk that comes from cows I own via private contract under the protection of the KY constitution (articles 1,2,4,6,10,16,26), and if the county health department would like to speak with me about this matter, I can be reached at the number given below.

I learned about this from Jerry Salyer at Front Porch Republic, in an article titled, “The War on Raw Milk.”  It’s good reading.   My own comment in response:

Statism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may make a consequential personal choice.

A corollary definition: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may trust his neighbor more than the state.

When I was growing up we often bought unpasteurized milk from local farmers precisely because it was unpasteurized. This became more difficult already in the 1960s, with the widespread use of bulk tanks and tighter inspections for Grade A milk, but we did it anyway. I’d sometimes be the one to walk over to a nearby dairy farmer’s milk room and dip some out of the bulk tank into a pail I had brought along. This was not exactly legal, but we had instructions on how to do it without risking any problems with the milk inspections. Such problems could incur considerable cost for the farmer.

Laws against the sale or purchase of unpasteurized milk do have one positive effect, though. They teach impressionable young minds that the regulatory state is more often stupid than not. They act as a preventative against unwarranted respect for government.