Mark McAfee on Raw Milk and the Michael Schmidt Case

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What every successful farmer needs to know… he will learn from his consumer

by Guest Blogger, Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Dairy

Consumer’s needs are driving the demand for raw dairy

With the advent of the pasteurizer in 1893 (first called the par boiler) far more than bacteria were killed. The pasteurizer killed personal responsibility. The pasteurizer disconnected and marginalized the farmer and made his quality efforts irrelevant. The pasteurizer killed enzymes and good bacteria and nutritional values. The pasteurizer produced a dead partial food out of a once vital alive and complete whole food. The pasteurizer started milk markets toward a 100 year long slow death as more and more people could not drink dead milk and became sick from it.

This was a death marked by dairy lies that covered its own demise and cover stories of its false benefits and a racist blame game against broad categories of people for their innate deficiencies from a pasteurized dairy invented deficiency called “lactose intolerance” or “Lie” (abbreviated and very true in deed). Literally no one has lactose intolerance…instead it is “ pasteurization intolerance” and nearly anyone can drink raw milk just fine. Yet the dairy industry has invented a blame game that tells Asians and blacks and American Indians that they are not white enough to drink milk. That they have a deficiency. This is a false science and a huge dairy lie. It was their dead food product made toxic by their own shelf life extending technologies that was the problem. It was not the consumer’s fault, regardless of race. The pasteurized milk industry has created a racist blame game and this is the very tip of the iceberg….many more lies lay deep in the political and economic game of selling dead food from industrial farms that do not know any of their customers, personally.

Farmers benefit when they listen to their customers

Last month I was visited by a raw milk dairyman that for 30 years had milked a thousand cows but three years ago had decided to follow his daughters advice and started making raw goat cheese with many fewer animals.

He told me that listening to his daughter was the best thing he had ever done. By making and selling raw goat milk cheese he connected himself to the markets, the people, their taste and the value. He was no longer disconnected from the consumer, their money and choices as he once was for 30 years. He was one very happy guy and sold his cheeses nationally under his own brand. He was in California, visiting Cal Poly SLO. The very university that had preached the mega dairy dogma, “Get Big or Get Out” to so many California dairyman’s sons and daughters…was bankrupt and was now for sale. Yes, the University dairy had failed when it followed its own land grant, BST hormone, Monsanto based advice. The raw milk dairyman was going to visit the funeral and pick over the bones.

The Organic Pastures Team

The Organic Pastures Team

So goes the story of farm market systems in the USA. Farmers fail when they disconnect themselves from their consumers and their consumers nutritional needs. When pasteurizers and  meaningless faceless brands get between the farmer and the consumer…there will be trouble and the trouble will rest on both the farmer and the consumers plates. The farmer becomes irrelevant and the consumer becomes malnourished.   A bad food chain for all involved.

A new breed of farmer is beginning to emerge

What does this mean to the new farmer? This means that he must have marketing skills. That means people skills and the ability to write, speak with,  and connect with people and listen to their needs and respond to those needs. This is radical speak. Aren’t farmers supposed to be conservative red necks stuck down on the farm tractor?…no way…. this is the route to certain disaster.  Complaining at the coffee shop about the weather and the market is a pathway to losing the farm. Pushing the flesh at the farmers market with your ears wide open and a smile on your face is the path to an agronomically sustainable business plan. Practically anyone can learn to grow food but selling and education of others is a rare yet essential farmer’s skill. That’s the culture in agriculture and it is missing in America.

When ever a farmer connects with people and goes about meeting their needs he starts a raw revolution and all kinds of hell breaks loose. Look at the Amish that serve their communities with raw milk and other unprocessed whole foods. They have listened to the consumer and know that there is no lactose intolerance with raw milk and people want it raw.

A case in point, Michael Schmidt of Canada

Look at Mike Schmidt in Canada. He has been repeatedly beaten down by the politics of the Canadian milk system that bans raw milk not because of safety but because of market control. Look at us here at Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno CA, we have grown every year since 2000 and 50,000 California consumers love us…why? Because we have listened to what they say and we have responded by producing food that they can eat, food that nourishes the inner ecosystem and rebuilds the immune systems destroyed by antibiotics and sterile food. We, just like Mike and the Amish know that people are literally sick of pasteurized milk…because it makes them sick and triggers allergies and asthma. We listened and we are now connected to our consumers and bypassing the commercial dead food chain.

There is so much that surrounds this topic and it is getting hotter and hotter. When ever money starts to change hands and the paradigm in power starts to lose control they scream bloody murder in their attempt to retain control. They will use any means possible to keep their money and their power as it falls away like sand through their fingers.

The organic movement was corrupted when industry got a hold of biodiversity and killed it at the factory when it needed to fix shelf life issues. Organic products are now some of the longest shelf life products on earth…they are ultra dead and they are not local at all.

Consumers, connect with your local farmers

As we pay respect and show our admiration for our farm leaders that include Mike Schmidt, Joel Salatin and others…remember that they produce living foods for living people that love them and connect to them. These farmers do not work from behind a pasteurizer and or from behind a brand that takes the profits and the truth of their existence from them. They stand proud and shake your hand and share the bounty directly with you and your gut says thank you with health and immune system integrity that can only come from the earth through the hands of a farmer that has a name  and a family.

Go see the movie, FOOD Inc…it is mandatory viewing for everyone on spaceship earth. You must all know the truth about what is happening on board this very small earthly space ship. Someone is poisoning our limited supply of food and people are getting sick and business is profiting on both ends…the dead food and the illness it produces. The voice of a small minority know exactly what is going on and now it is an act of political disobedience to speak of it. It is radical speak condemned by the FDA and others in power.

Why are we relying on science from the 1890′s?

Now our finest scientists at NIH ( the National Institutes of Health, which is performing the $143 million dollar, five year, human bio-genome project)  tell us that gut bacteria are essential to health and that using certain antibiotics destroy our gut immunity permanently (Dr. Young). So much for the killing technologies of 1893 being the saving grace of mankind. Now we find out that the tremendous biodiversity of good bacteria found in raw milk are critically essential to our immune systems and our health.

Give your farmer a hug and heal yourself with real food.  Vote with your dollars and starve the paradigm in power.

Power to the people from the raw roots up.

Mark & Blaine McAfee, Raw Milk Pioneers

Mark & Blaine McAfee, Raw Milk Pioneers

Mark McAfee founded  Organic Pastures Dairy Company in 2000, the first organic dairy in Fresno County, California.  McAfee pioneered the concept of decentralized milking ( his Mobile Grade A Milk Barn goes out to the cows when it is milking time). His cows graze on a pasture based integrated organic farm with closed nitrogen loop, no lagoons and no concrete, just “clean and green pastures”. The operations now employ 40 people and provide retail ready raw organic dairy products to more than 400 California natural food stores including Wholefoods.  Sales are growing at 20% or more per year and now exceed $5 million since being founded.

OPDC is the largest retail approved raw organic dairy products producer in North America. Mark McAfee is regarded by many in the industry as a foremost expert in raw milk safety and raw dairy product markets and technology. Mark is known for bold leadership and was the first milk producer to ever post sensitive bacteria count numbers on a website for the world to see. Mark has made formal presentations on raw dairy issues to legislative bodies, national and international conventions in Canada and Melbourne Australia and or Universities (including Stanford medical school and Rutgers), and fifteen of the United States.  Media credits include: ABC’s 20-20 and CBS evening news with Katie Courick.

Mark and his wife Blaine have been married  for 25 years and have two children, Aaron 24 and Kaleigh 21, both are fully involved in the creamery and marketing operations.

Mark also helped found the RAWUSA.ORG raw milk production standards. RAW USA.ORG  was developed and founded to assist raw milk producers with producing safe raw milk  and also allow the consumer to identify these living and safe foods.  In more than 100 million servings not one pathogen has ever been found in OPDC raw milk. Visit their website: www.organicpastures.com  or call 1-877 RAW MILK.

This post is part of the Natural Cures Tuesday blog carnival, and Michael Schmidt Month on Hartkeisonline.com

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Comments

  1. Wonderful post, Mark! Especially love the story about the dairy farmer who switched to raw goat cheese.

    Sending you, our farmer, a virtual hug in cyberspace. Our fridge and freezer are always stocked with Organic Pastures raw dairy products. Appreciate all you do!
    .-= CHEESESLAVE´s last blog ..Update: Making Kombucha? Organic Tea vs. Lipton =-.

  2. I started noticing I could “tolerate” raw milk products about 2 years ago…I didn’t get all phelmed up and full of mucous (sorry…so gross a description) But then, I visited family in SoCal, who reminded me how “dangerous” raw milk was…”That is was the primary way polio was spread” ~ back in the day…Really, that was the comment from my folks! It threw me for a loop…my folks are educated and usually informed…this milk thing is a real fear!

    Your article is full of powerful and uplifting information and will be forwarded to them…I fully support speaking up and speaking out and add to your belief that farmers being in contact with their consumers is the best connection….EDUCATING their consumers is also important…and “Here’s to you for doing just that!”

  3. scientific method says:

    I notice a distinct lack of scientific evidence in this post. There’s mainly a generic ‘pasteurised is bad, raw is good’ vibe without any actual hard data to back this up.

    I found the article interesting – I would just like some further reading so that I can form an educated opinion. Do you have anything?

  4. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Yes, I recommend the realmilk.com website, particularly the Powerpoint rebuttal WAPF did to the FDA. Also, search raw milk on the westonaprice.org website.

    Mark is taking for granted that everyone understands the scientific basis of his beliefs, but for many, you will need to do more research on the issue. Thanks for raising this point.

    Kimberly

  5. Also Scientific says:

    Scientific Method:

    This is a great sermon. But there is no science to back up his beliefs. Generally, religion doesn’t require science anyway.

  6. Truth Wins says:

    ‘scientific method’ said,
    “I notice a distinct lack of scientific evidence in this post. There’s mainly a generic ‘pasteurised is bad, raw is good’ vibe without any actual hard data to back this up.”

    I agree, and further reading to educate yourself is, as Kimberly pointed out, here: the WAPF 141-slide presentation (updated Nov 5, 2009) is BANG ON. This presentation has now been updated — it’s just as jam packed as it’s 111-slide (updated Aug 1, 2008) predecessor, but now with even more content.

    Go here to get this PPT file http://www.realmilk.com/ppt/ and download the PowerPoint on that page. It’s JAM PACKED with clinical studies, statistics, news reports, and science experiments. It’s full of facts, leaving you the reader to make up your own mind.

    ‘Also Scientific’ said,
    “This is a great sermon. But there is no science to back up his beliefs. Generally, religion doesn’t require science anyway.”

    I couldn’t agree more, but Mark wasn’t trying to be scientific — he was preaching to a group of people, many of whom already know it’s right. You probably should have started reading the WAPF website first, http://www.westonaprice.org or http://www.realmilk.com, because they’re more evidence oriented, whereas this was a blog post by Mark McAfee based on the evidence on the websites and real world of his dairy farm.

    I do not have a blind faith. My faith is backed up by fact, real, verifiable, truth. Everybody is religious, even the atheists, the humanists, the communists and the capitalists. The question isn’t “are you religious”, the question is, “do you believe in the truth?” In other words, what is the object of your faith? Faith is dead unless the object of your faith is truth. So, research it, find answers — they are out there.

    With regards to the raw milk debate, check out the above PowerPoint from the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF), and you will find yourself swimming in facts and evidence. The only question for you is of course — who’s interpretation are you going to believe?

  7. Dear Scientific,

    I invite you to do your own scientific experiment. If you live in CA…go get some OPDC raw milk and see what happens.

    For the written science….please send me an email and I will send you thirty links to studies on raw milk from the USA and EU. It will leave you reading for days. It will also give you the information you need to make the change to whole unprocessed foods.

    By the time you are done reading the science your own gut will give the data feedabck that will confirm your reading and studying….Raw Milk Rocks and there is no gas or mucus production. It is easily digested and most of all it is delicous. My email is http://www.mark@organicpastures.com ask for the resource links.

    All the best,

    Mark McAfee’
    Founder OPDC

  8. I have always been a milk fanatic and once I discovered Raw milk I was hooked! I give your product to my 2 year old daughter and we have NEVER had any problems whatsoever. I never realized there was so much debate over selling Raw milk until recently, and I find it disgusting that our own government can take away our choices consume what we want. I live in San Diego and usually buy my milk from WholeFoods, because it’s the only place I know that sells it close by. Recently however, I haven’t been seeing it on the shelves and now I have no other choice then to buy what the government wants us to buy.

    Mr McAfee, I am currently writing a 10 page research paper for my English class on this very problem, and wonder if you could send me any information that could help? Thank you for your efforts to keep choices in our refrigerators.

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  2. [...] Mark McAffee of Organic Pastures dairy wrote a fiery guest post for fellow Real Food Media blogger Kim Hartke at Hartke Is Online. His topic? Raw milk, of course, and the Michael Schmidt case. [...]

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