Late 2014, four articles appeared in the news celebrating the value of Raw Milk in Australia and the contribution it has made to communities, small scale producers and consumers.
The demand for this unprocessed food have grown as people become increasingly aware of what's being done to their food and seek alternatives.
People also want to connect directly with the small farmer who use ethical, organic farming practises and focus on quality, non-allergenic, nutrient dense food, something many conventional food supply chains are no longer able to provide.
There is also great empathy for these farmers, as large scale agriculture, low farm gate prices, supermarket price wars, banks, cheap imports and over-regulation have squeezed them out of the ability to sell their products and make a living. The problem lies with Australia's neoliberal political economy where food is seen as a commodity, rather than a right. Agriculture is the very basis of any economy and with farmers prevented from producing food there is a real market for, everyone is plunged deeper into varied forms of poverty. People know these small producers are our real assets; they want access to their produce and to support them. Raw 'bath' milk had been available in Victoria for around 10 years.
Also of interest, three of these four articles were published just weeks before the first 'killer milk' news report broke on 10 Dec 2014 about a child who died and others who got sick 'after drinking raw milk', as the mainstream media reported. It became a media frenzy and a witch hunt, in what led to knee-jerk reaction, new regulations by Victorian Minister of Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett. One has to wonder if the way in which all of this was handled, was not a case of jealousy, greed or callousness to further push raw milk out of reach, with shock factor from the media and by ushering new regulation in after Christmas day, when nobody was able to object. These 1 Jan 2015 regulations require that a bitter, gag inducing agent be added to all raw milk before sales. Also excessive fines of up to $60 000 for selling or providing raw milk without the bitter agent and threats to cancel the dairy licenses of dairy farmers who sell without the bitter agent. Read more:
Many countries have seen recent relaxing of raw milk restrictions, to the point where 11 states in the USA now allow retail sales of raw milk and 43 out of 50 USA states allow its availability in some form. See the Raw Milk Nation Map. States like Wyoming introduced the Food Freedom Act that have brought great expansion of farm cottage foods like those of a 100 years ago.
One has to wonder if the scaremongering tactics seen in Australian mainstream media, is not a fear inducing methodology to keep these food freedoms from making inroads into Australia.
After all, most of the large food processors in Australia are now foreign-owned, multi-national corporations, who do not seem to have any 'Australian values'. They don't seem to be able to give the struggling, small-scale farmer a fair go. Big food processors want to be the winners. What does that make small-scale farmers? The losers? Many large-scale food producers are also facing a struggle to hold onto the cheap food empires they've created as the food integrity movement brings with it significant change.
These small boutique dairies are in the perfect position to produce high quality raw milk for human consumption that is low risk and pathogen-free. These farmers are able to take great care of hygiene, the herd's living conditions and are able to make a living keeping them on pasture and managing the farm holistically.
4 Raw Milk Articles:
Direct funding model milked by organic dairy brand - 1 Oct 2014
Miranda Dale dairy at Lakes Entrance shows whey forward - 19 Nov 2014
Click on images for a larger view:
This article should have been titled "Five articles singing the praises of raw milk in Australia". There is a fifth article about raw milk that was published only three weeks before the "killer milk" article by The Herald Sun. It is about dairy farmer Julia McKay and her herd share model published on the 14th of November 2014: