Boy, if you thought I was cranky about South Dakota's effort to ban raw milk sales, read what journalist, former Marine, and Indian Country activist Richard Boyden has to say on the topic. Boyden offers a great breakdown of the reasons South Dakota should back off its plan to price small milk producers out of business and support local sales of fresh milk:
- Economically: Allowing free sale of raw milk supports small family farms and the local economy - providing property tax funds that benefit the local community, public schools, county government, sheriff's departments, and emergency services.
- Socially: Pick up and delivery of raw milk causes gathering of like-minded individuals with the same approach toward life.
- Environmentally: Raw milk is responsible, local agriculture that reduces our carbon imprint on our planet.
- Safety: Raw milk farmed and consumed by conscientious individuals poses no more of a threat to consumers than does pasteurized milk or raw chicken sold in stores.
- Healthy: Raw milk supports preventative healthcare, reducing the burden on the state by contributing to reduced allergies, obesity, asthma, stomach ailments, etc.
- Dietary: Raw milk is the only ingredient suitable for certain dishes, nutritional drinks, and delectable treats.
- Scientifically: Raw milk is full of nutrients, and has immune and health-promoting effects that are destroyed during pasteurization. Babies do not thrive well on pasteurized milk.
- Constitutionally: Raw milk gives the people a reason to peaceably assemble, which is protected by the 1st Amendment [Richard Boyden, "South Dakota Raw Milk Producers vs Big Government," BlackHillsPortal.com, retrieved 2009.12.02].
I couldn't agree more on the local ag economy points. When rural residents have more opportunity to make a living selling goods they make to their neighbors, everybody wins... except for big corporate interests like the Dairy Dozen and Monsanto that want to monopolize agriculture and drive small competitors out of business.
But what's that last point? I'm not sure I'd phrase that argument as a constitutional argument so much as a community argument. Selling ag products locally does bring community members together, forging more neighborly connections.
Boyden rightfully points out how South Dakota state government appears to be favoring big dairies and making it hard for small raw milk sellers to compete in the marketplace or even make their case heard in Pierre. Alas, Boyden's message runs the risk of being lost in some hyperbole that seems to be lifted straight from the Tea Party crowd:
- ...State of South Dakota Initiates "Pogrom" Of Economic Genocide....
- What South Dakota raw milk producers are being faced with is a premeditated "politically orchestrated controlled riot" in the form of "national socialism” minus overt killings....
- This “new rules” proposal of the state of South Dakota exposes their pogrom agenda. I believe it is to allow for the 4th Reich of the Rich food conglomerates and their authoritarian socialist mandates which are endorsed and pimped by the FDA through the Dairy Division of the State of South Dakota, to continue to give them more control over our food, health, and freedoms as a state, nation, and people. Some folks call this the New World Order. I call it pure evil authored and inspired direct from the throne of hell itself and which the State of South Dakota appears to be a willing partner of [Boyden, 2009].
Uff da—when folks start sounding like Sibby*, I get nervous, even when they are on my side.
*sounding like Sibby—or, more accurately, sounding like the people Sibby cuts-and-pastes, since he hardly writes any of his own stuff any more. Alas.