What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and what do you get when you join? Learn the basics about this locally-focused but worldwide movement. To find a CSA near you visit localharvest.org
For the second time, FBI in conjunction with the FDA raided Rawsome Foods, a private members-only food buying club inVenice, California. The club, is designed for people who choose to purchase unprocessed foods that are “as natural and organic as possible.” The FDA has expressed concerns about this type of natural, unpasteurized foods. The FDA has now passed regulations against selling various raw foods, hence the need for a private club, which legally can operate without a license.
In order to shop at Rawsome, one must first read and sign a document detailing the alleged dangers of consuming natural, unprocessed and unpasteurized food products. Once signed, an annual membership fee is paid to gain the right to shop at the club. Two raids have been conducted, high-quality food destroyed, and Rawsome has been shut down allegedly for operating without a license – a license that is not legally required for them to operate their private club.
One person was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime and two people were arrested for producing milk without a license or permit. I can’t imagine what my grandmother would say? There wasn’t a license needed to milk the cow and trade milk or butter with the neighbors for fresh produce and eggs. Where did we go so astray?
Now, I understand, with all the ecoli outbreaks and salmonella poisoning there has been more call for government to protect us. But is that really the right answer? Sure, those farms mass producing hundreds of thousands of pounds of product help us to get it cheaper, but at what true cost to our small farmers and ultimately our health?
The USDA started a campaign “Get to Know Your Farmer, Get to Know Your Food” – LOVE IT! But careful there government people . . . you might get what you ask for. I do know my farmer’s and my food. And given the option to be part of a food co-op similar to Rawsome, I’d be the first in line to sign up! What I’ve learned about my farmer is that they work hard to supply me with great foods. But my farmer isn’t mass producing anything and won’t be found at a Walmart Superstore. What I’ve learned about my food is that I don’t want it processed, irradiated, industrialized, homogenized, pasteurized, or any other -ized for that matter. I want milk from a farm with a local, pasture fed cow enjoying life, fresh air, and sunshine. I want produce from my garden, my neighbors garden, my community supported agriculture, and my local farmer’s market. I want my eggs from chickens that run around and scratch dirt while digging for grubs and worms. I want my beef from those same cows and my chicken or turkeys from those same poultry running around. When did I lose the right to choose this lifestyle for myself, my family, my environment, and the animals that feed me? When did I lose my freedom of choice?
Our Founding Fathers ensured a lot of rights and freedoms when they drafted the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution. They had known tyranny that kept them from the ability to openly assemble, or speak out and risk prosecution, and a blurred line between church and state. They protected us, to this day, by guarantying our freedoms. But, they, like my grandmother, most likely never foresaw the inability to choose your foods without government intervention. How could it have occurred to them that raw foods might be harmful, since raw foods were the staple of their diets – there wasn’t processed foods to even choose from. Given our society today, I think they would have added ‘everyone shall have the right to freedom of choice in food procurement; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart foods of all kinds, regardless of origin, processing, or manufacturer’.
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