In most areas of this country, selling raw milk is against the law, which puts folks like Alvin Schlangen into the black market. Schlangen, an organic egg producer when he isn’t being arrested for crimes against homogenization, recently stood trial in Hennepin County District Court, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on three misdemeanor counts: “distributing unpasteurized milk, operating without a food handler’s license and handling adulterated food.”
Why the prosecution? Why the milk police?
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, consumption of raw milk products caused a couple hundred hospitalizations and two deaths in the eleven years following 1998.
That shows a risk, but it’s a risk a lot of people are willing to take. Those who drink raw milk claim “pasteurization destroys important nutrients, enzymes and beneficial bacterial.” By drinking raw milk they are trying to improve the health and well-being of their families.
For millennia, people have thirstily consumed cow’s milk . . . like, right from the bovine udder. Pasteurization, wherein certain bacteria is killed, didn’t come along till the 19th century. Perhaps the fact that we’re alive today is evidence that raw milk can’t be all that bad for you.
Terry Flower traveled all the way from New Hampshire to see Schlangen’s trial. “I am very passionate about the fact that we need to be able to choose our own food,” Ms. Flower said. “In New Hampshire we can do that.”
Fortunately for Schlangen, a jury of three men and three women found him not guilty on all three counts. He now hopes to prevail against similar charges in another Minnesota county, where he’ll go to trial later this month.
Agree or disagree, but why not let free citizens educate themselves and make their own decisions?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.