A Time Magazine cover from a previous issue has a very apt headline.
Mainstream Newsweekly Gives Raw Milk a Fair Shake
by Kimberly Hartke, Weston A. Price Foundation Publicist
One of our Weston A. Price Foundation volunteer chapter leaders in New York, Angela Davis, and Stacey Ornstein of the Traditional Nutrition Guild referred Journalist Josh Ozersky to me a few weeks ago. Josh is the Taste of America columnist for TIME magazine, and he was working on a story on raw milk.
I helped him with securing interviews with experts and dairy farmers, and gave him background information about the issue.
This week’s issue had the completed story, Got Raw?, available only on your favorite newstand or the TIME ipad app.
When I facebooked the link, I was totally surprised by the number of fans of Weston A. Price who assumed (without reading the story) that the article would be negative. As a publicist, I truly believe that any mainstream media attention works to the good, because even a heavily slanted article is apparent to the reader, and would often cause them to dig deeper and form their own opinion.
Here is a comment that typifies the reaction from a few of our fans:
“Why waste the money. They’re just going to tell us how lucky we are the govt outlaws such “dangerous’ food. No way will they support the raw milk industry. Time always has an agenda and it’s not on the side of natural health.”
But, I knew something our fans didn’t, which was that Josh knew about the Rawsome food buying club raid in Los Angeles, and was likely to include that in his coverage. I truly believe an armed raid is the only thing that will get the attention of big government loving types that seem to think big regulations are the answer to all our food safety ills.
Thus, this article would bring news of the raid to the 3.4 million readers of TIME and would, to-date, be the brightest media light to shine on the raid outside of the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times Coverage of the Rawsome Raid
July 24, 2010 (reached 700,000+ weekday readers) Raw Food Raid Raises Questions about Existing Milk Laws-Safety of Potlucks
July 25, 2010 (reached 1,000,000+ Sunday subscribers) Gun Toting Investigators Raid Venice Raw Foods Grocery
TIME Magazine Article, a Tipping Point for American Media Coverage of the Raw Milk Issue
I ran to buy a copy of TIME, and much to my delight, Josh gave not only raw milk, but food freedom a thorough and overly fair deal.
Only two negative sources (against raw milk) were quoted, and yet, a number of cogent arguments were cited on the positive side. If anything, the article tips in favor of informed consumer choice and leaving small artisan dairies unmolested.
Dave Gumpert was allowed to challenge the CDC stats on raw milk illnesses and fatalities, the first time I have ever seen an opposing view of the government version of raw milk-borne illness.
Importantly, the article mentions that Senate bill 510, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act will decimate (my word) the raw milk market, because the FDA is looking to do just that.
Food Safety Legislation, Consumer Groups, the Mainstream Media and You
Yesterday, I forwarded this blog post, Public Interest Groups Get it Wrong on Egg Recall and the Hartke is Online! Food Safety Opinion Editorials to two PIRG staffers, hoping to clue them in to the widespread grassroots resistance to giving the FDA unbridled power. Small farmers and health conscious consumers don’t trust that agency to value the freedom to farm with traditional, holistic practices.
Consumer groups and politicians mean well, but they simply don’t know the unintended impacts of such sweeping legislation. See my blog post on the House Food Safety Bill: HR2749 is Food Insecurity NOT Food Safety.
I am just one person, and all these issues seem so big. But if you have a contact at a public interest group, in the media or in the halls of Congress, by all means send my blog articles to them and help us influence the decisions being made on our behalf. Our leaders need to keep freedom and liberty in the mix as they seek to protect the citizenry.
It’s about TIME for Raw Milk
And, by the way, jump to your nearest newstand (don’t skip it like a few of our facebook friends suggest) and buy this week’s issue of TIME (by Sunday it may be gone). If this issue sells out, someday, it might be the cover story!
Now, that would be yummy.
Write your letters to the editor and tell TIME thank you for covering this important issue.
On the eve of the vote on SB 510, it couldn’t be more TIME-ly!
Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Campaign for Real Milk. She and her husband own a cowshare and drink raw milk produced by a cow named Aster. Her great-grandmother was healed of TB by raw milk in the 1920’s. Because of her passion for the raw milk issue, she blogs, writes and gives speeches around the country to help educate the public about the therapeutic benefits of the Weston A. Price dietary guidelines. She has overcome chronic knee pain as a result of lifestyle and dietary changes, especially raw dairy. Her desire is to keep it safe, legal and accessible for all Americans.
This post is part of the weekly blog carnival, Fight Back Friday. To see what other food activists are thinking this week, visit Food Renegade blog.