I am a card-carrying member of the Communities’ Alliance for Responsible Eco-Farming. This card allows me to buy delicious raw dairy, meats, eggs, cheeses and other fresh products directly from a farmer. I know this farmer’s name, I’ve spoken with him on the phone, and I write personal checks to him weekly. The food is delivered to a home not far from mine weekly and I pick it up the same day. Sometimes my egg cartons have feathers in them.
Living in close proximity to the District has afforded me some opportunities I never imagined, from a near daily market to fascinating conferences to rousing rallies. Since becoming a member of the previously mentioned group and the subset with which I place my weekly orders, I have become painfully aware of the negative impact the FDA is having on our rights as American citizens: the right to choose what I buy and what I consume.
April 26th, 2011, saw the unfortunate long arm of the law reach past where it is welcome to interrupt the family farming business of Dan Alger, an Amish farmer from PA. His business of privately providing raw dairy products to people living in the District posed no threat to anyone and was completely within his rights. The FDA, as it turns out, spent over a year covertly investigating Alger’s business and plotting to shut him down. This ridiculous and unconstitutional act spurred the rally to which I linked above.
I can’t begin to explain how important it is that those who care about the right to simply choose what food they put in their mouths begin to take action. The FDA will continue to promote medications that do more harm than good and large-scale meat processing plants and slaughter houses [like those pictured on the brochures you read the day you take a pledge of vegetarianism]
while at the same time focusing all of their power on shutting down responsible, family-owned businesses like Alger’s.
It is not my business whether you support the consumption of raw dairy, but it is my mission to inform my peers that allowing this type of regulation to continue will only limit the choices we are allowed to make as we mature and, possibly, start families of our own. Imagine a world where the bountiful grocery stores in which we shop weekly are whittled down to only FDA-approved, modified, chemical-rich, “health” foods.
Picture me, setting my alarm for 3 a.m. to meet my local farmer behind the abandoned steak house off the highway to “score” my dairy and meat. In all seriousness [please pardon the drama], I will never start a family knowing that I can’t choose what to feed them.
The least we can all do is to be aware that this is happening. When it is talked about I plead that you confidently voice your opinion. If someone tries to talk back or insult your “radical” or “uninformed” ideas, please direct them to me.
Ways you can get involved:
Shop local – a simple google search will answer your every local food question. [raw milk]
See this movie – http://farmageddonmovie.com/
Here’s a list of ways to get involved, from the Farmageddon website.
Raise your voice – lend a judgement-free opinion about the matter in conversation or on your personal blog or social media site. Feel free to spread the word via this post, if you feel so inclined.