CHICAGO OUTRAGE: Switch from real strawberries to corn syrup, or get shut down

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Sorry this is a long one.  It’s just a news story I read today got to me.

I’m a pretty happy and good natured guy.   But there are a few things that really get under my skin.   Bullying is one of them.  Destroying people’s livelihoods for no good reason is another.  Add them together, toss in some corn syrup, and you’ve got quite a wretched concoction.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening right now in Chicago.   And it’s symbolic of a serious national problem.

Kris Swanberg is one of the many Americans forced into unemployment during the 2008 recession.   But the Chicago mom didn’t let that hold her back.  Instead, she put her entrepreneurial skills into action and created her own company:  Nice Cream.

Kris Swanberg, founder of Nice Cream

According to her website:

Nice Cream is a seasonal ice cream handcrafted right here in Chicago, IL.  We use fresh & organic ingredients from local farms that treat their animals with love and respect. You can feel nice about putting this in your belly.  We promise!

Her tasty treat is so healthy and popular that she became a favorite at local farmers markets and even started getting stocked at Whole Foods.   As the Chicago Tribune put it, “Nice Cream is considered a star of Chicago’s rich and beloved artisanal ice cream scene.”

Indeed, things were really flying for Kris…until mid-July.

That’s when officials from the Chicago Department of Public Health showed up, telling her that she had to shut down—or else spend over $40,000 and jump through countless hoops to get the government’s permission (in the form of a special license) to keep working.

Her problem?   She uses fresh, healthy ingredients.

A government official said that if she switched from using fresh strawberries to corn syrup, and from real ice cream to a fake processed mix, she should be able to get their blessing to keep working.

As another official put it, they would make Kris’s life much easier if she simply used a pre-made ice cream mix—the non-food processed junk that’s full of additives and used at places like Dairy Queen.

And the problem with the strawberries?   A government spokesperson explained that real strawberries are bad “because when you try and clean a strawberry to make sure it doesn’t have any bacteria, it kind of deteriorates.”    Of course, corn syrup doesn’t have that problem.

The thing is, in no way is this bullying an isolated incident.  Consider Chicago entrepreneur Flora Lazar.  The health inspectors showed up, opened up all her healthy fruit, and poured bleach all over them.   And then fined her $500.   Incidentally, she happened to be getting interviewed by a Chicago Tribune food reporter who caught it on film:

Beth Milnikel from the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship explains the whole situation here.

Beth is currently fighting for Chicago food vendors.  She launched a campaign called My Streets!  My Eats!  because the city has taken to ticketing and even arresting vendors for simply serving their customers.   Regulations currently prohibit vendors from working within 200 feet of bricks-and-mortar restaurants.  It’s also illegal for vendors to put toppings on a hot dog from their cart or serve any food before 10 am.   Here’s a quick video that explains:

You’ve probably heard about the raw food raids.  Reason magazine shot an excellent video and posted it to their blog, including these comments:

This summer armed government agents raided Rawesome Foods, a Venice, California health food co-op. What were the agents after? Unpasteurized milk, it turns out.

Raw milk raids are happening all over the United States. The Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk consumption can cause health problems, but a growing community of raw foods enthusiasts are ignoring government recommendations and claiming that they are getting tastier, more nutritious food by going raw.

Sometimes these regulations come about because officials have too much power and time on their hands.  And all-too-often these laws are put in place for one reason: to protect a politically powerful group from honest competition.

That happened this year in El Paso, when the city turned itself into a No Vending Zone, telling all food vendors they couldn’t operate within 1,000 feet of any restaurant, convenience store or grocer.  And they couldn’t even park outside the zone; they had to drive around and wait to be flagged down.   Vendors caught violating the laws were threatened with thousands of dollars in fines.

Why did these ridiculous laws pop up?  The restaurants didn’t like the competition and so they got their buddies in government to hamstring the vendors.   They even admitted it on camera:  “We wanted this ordinance in place to help established restaurants keep their businesses.”

Even the city’s health inspector admitted that the law was purely protectionist and had nothing to do with health or safety.   Cool enough, both of these comments were caught on tape:

Occupational licensing as a means of protecting favored insiders isn’t limited to small food producers and vendors.   Such laws are everywhere in America today.  I wrote about this a couple years back for the Foundation for Economic Education in a piece called The Right to Earn a Living Under Attack.    Consider a few recent examples:

  • Mercedes Clemens was threatened with thousands of dollars in fines and criminal prosecution unless she stopped . . . massaging horses.   The vet cartel was pissed that she was cutting into what they figured was a potentially lucrative market, so they decided to hamstring her with legislation instead of competing fairly.
  • Louisianans were told they had to get the government’s permission to sell and arrange . . . flowers.   And to get that permission, they had to pass a special test, which was conveniently graded by existing florists.
  • My home state of Ohio fined a parent $10,000 for competing with the Cleveland Bar Association.  The CBA filed a complaint that the concerned parent represented his autistic son without a CBA-approved attorney when he sued his school board because of the poor quality of his son’s education.
  • In California you can’t help people devastated by forest fires unless you’re part of a politically connected contracting crew.  The government went so far as to send out a press release during a massive fire warning unlicensed workers that doing things like removing debris is a serious felony subjecting them to $10,000 fines and 16 months in prison.
  • Monks were threatened with crippling fines and jail for selling wood boxes.   The funeral industry didn’t like the competition.

Not to get all philosophical, but think for a bit about this question:  What defines you most as a person? 

If you think about it, nothing will more influence who you are as an individual and who you become as you get older than what you choose to do for a living, with the possible exception of who you marry, whether you have kids and maybe your faith.

But if you think about what you put most of your time and most of your energy into, and the thing that shapes you most as an individual, for most of your life it’s what you do for a living.   And the idea that your ability to choose and work in your field of employment gets no respect, well that’s really concerning.

This goes back through history, all the way to the time of guilds in the middle ages and even before that.  What happens is, somebody who is earning a living in a particular way is concerned about competition.   It comes down to that.  And what do you do?

Well, if someone shows up to the market with a better mousetrap, or opens a better restaurant or a better flower arranging business or whatever, and you know you can’t compete with them because they’re delivering a better product or service at a better price, you have three options:

  • You can lose business, or even go out of business
  • You can step up your game
  • You can hamstring them

The single best and most effective way to hamstring a competitor in today’s world, certainly in America, is to go to the government and manipulate the levers of government power.   To put anti-competitive regulations on the books that will hamstring your competitors.   Those regulations go by the name protectionism.  And they typically are cloaked in occupational licensing schemes.

According to an outstanding piece worth reading from Forbes magazine called The New Unions:

Today there are 1,100 occupations–from secretaries and librarians in Georgia to wallpaper hangers in California–that require a license in at least one state, according to the Council of State Governments. That’s up from roughly 80 in 1981.

To be clear, not all of these laws are purely protectionist.   And I don’t know if Nice Cream is the victim of a protectionist scheme or simply the result of bullying — or as the Huffington Post puts it, “a state-created bureaucratic nightmare that has put the company’s entire future in jeopardy.”

Regardless, licensing laws have exploded over the last few decades, and largely to protect the politically powerful at the expense of entrepreneurs and consumers.  According to economist Morris Kleiner, licensing laws drain $100 billion from the economy in lost output, and transfer $300 billion from consumers to protected insiders.

Most fundamentally, such laws are wrong because there’s something morally important about living your own life on your own terms.  

Simply put, we should have the freedom to earn an honest living without being subject to such arbitrary and offense regulations.   And we should have the freedom to choose what we buy — including where we get our food & who we get it from.

As for eating primal, health officials shouldn’t be working to make healthy food more difficult to buy and sell.    They need to stop bullying entrepreneurs and protecting industry insiders.  We should demand better from them.

Everyone deserves to be healthy and free.

(If you would like to get involved in helping to save Nice Cream, click here.)

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About Bob Ewing

On twitter @DCBarefootRun. Media guy for libertarian law firm by day, primal/paleo (rocking climbing, BJJ, barefooter) by, well, lunchtime... http://theprimalchallenge.wordpress.com/ http://DCBarefootRun.com
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88 Responses to CHICAGO OUTRAGE: Switch from real strawberries to corn syrup, or get shut down

  1. Anna says:

    I think a related idea is the number of homeless people. We won’t let someone build a shack and live in it because it doesn’t meet code but they can sleep totally unprotected under a viaduct. Or actually perhaps not because I hear they get run off from there too. Yes, our cities look prettier than those in other countries but isn’t that really just the surface?

    • Esther says:

      Or, even worse, you can’t just cook for and feed a homeless person out of your own kitchen. I tried to cook soup and cookies with my kids which we could then donate to homeless shelter, and we were told they could not use our help because I do not have a state inspected kitchen. REALLY, the homeless would be better eating out of the garbage can than my kitchen?!

      • It’s pathetic!! It’s the same thing about bringing snacks into school to celebrate your own child’s bday. The snacks cannot be home made. They have to be store bought. Who can we blame for these wonderful new “laws” and rules??? Lawsuits and lawyers!!! It’s the scrupulous, devil lawyers for all this “progress” in our lives. Lawyers are the bottom of the chain.

  2. Arrow says:

    These stories are examples of increasing governmental control over free thinking people. Did we vote for all this? No. The governmental agenices are defined by our legislators who are lobbied and paid under table to create laws that benefit corporations and in so doing the legislators are assisted by the corporations to keep their policial seats.

    The huge one to watch out for and to defend yourself against is the current FDA’s move to seize all natural supplement companies, essentially hamstring them though legislation to make dietary supplements illegal regardless of their long term use of proven safety. Meanwhile pharmaceuitcal companies go about legally murdering people with their drugs and their side effects (poisonous effects). Their intended goal is to take over the dietary supplement industry and make many supplements available by perscription only, significantly increasing the cost to the consumer for product itself and the required visit to a doctor. If this occurs thousands of business in the United States will be forced to close,, bringing unemployment to many hundreds of thousands of people both through storefront and in manufacturing creating another notch downward on the economic ladder for this nation. Profits from supplements will then fill the coffers of pharmaceutical industires that really, for the most part, hold no national allegiace to this nation as they are international corporations.

    For futher information on this topic search “codex alimentarius” and go to the site called healthfreedomusa featuring Dr Rima Laibow.

    • Lee says:

      This is a typical “not thinking past the first step” argument. It’s not government that’s the problem, it’s corporate control of government. And the cure isn’t to get rid of government, it’s to get the corporate hand out of the government’s butt. If you let yourself be deluded into thinking that government is the problem, you’ve become a tool for corporate greed.

      • AlisonH says:

        Yes. I know that a classic example held up is the licensing requirement for nail salons. I wheeled a friend into admitting at the local hospital and never saw her alive again because of an infection she’d gotten that lab testing, after public outcry, traced directly back to an unlicensed salon where she’d had a pedicure.

        They never got licensed. They seldom cleaned their footbaths. And because they had no license, they had no insurance and no one to back them up financially in such a case and no one to hold their feet to the fire–and so my friend’s were, and she died.

        It’s not all about making money, it’s about how we impact other people, too. Government is for the people. Corporations, as the commenter above points out, are of the profits and protecting only those profits, which is where the real problem lies.

      • Patricia B. Ridge says:

        I beg to disagree. Greedy corporations could have no control of government without the equally greedy and corrupt politicians who make laws specifically to protect the corporate hand that feeds them, at our expense.

      • The reason corporations have so much power is because government can be bought, making them part of the problem, if not the sole problem. Corporations do not create themselves, they are approved by government, usually because those in government are greedy and care more for money than for what is right. Corporations and government are parasites helping each other out at everyone else’s expense.

      • MissBrooks says:

        If government wasn’t complicit, corporations could do nothing to us. So yes, government is the problem, because their the ones with the police power.

      • MissBrooks says:

        Crap, “they’re”.

  3. mpw says:

    The liberals want the government to be more and more involved in our lives until it the government blocks their access to organic food or raw milk then they get their knickers in a knot. Maybe they should rethink their demand that the government get more involved in their lives and vote for freedom from government rather than servitude to government.

    • Chester says:

      Actually, liberals DON’T want government more and more involved in anyone’s lives. They want government to do what it’s supposed to do, which is fill in the gaps of service where localities cannot. It seems to me that conservatives are the ones that want all this protectionism and keeping out competition. This country is becoming run by one big mob family, called government. If you don’t fit in with their way of doing things, you will be run out.

      • Bob Ewing says:

        Thanks mpw and Chester. I do think that this is more systemic and goes beyond any particular political party or ideology. Human nature is to act in our own self interest, and as long as the government has the power and capability to dish out privileges, people and groups will naturally be lining up to get those favors.

      • Chester, one problem is you can’t make a corrupt government do what it is supposed to do. Another one is that so many people are willing to let the government interfere where it has no business in exchange for it doing what they think it is supposed to do.

    • I’d call myself a progressive, but many people would call me a liberal. The government should check up on things that are a matter of safety, sure. But people have a right to do unsafe things if they choose, so long as it is only unsafe to their own person. As long as nobody else can be harmed by their action, then they have the right to make that action.

      • Dana says:

        It hit me the other day that two major categories of laws we have on the books are preventative laws and reactive laws. The first category are laws meant to prevent something bad happening; the second category are laws meant to respond to a something bad that has already happened.

        We have provisions in the Constitution to protect us from the excesses of reactive laws, most strongly embodied in the Constitutional restriction against cruel and unusual punishment. But we don’t have so many protections against the excesses of preventative laws.

        For that reason, the most oppressive laws in the United States, at least from where I’m sitting (and I could be wrong) tend to be the preventative laws. They seem to be the ones causing the most trouble.

        I’m not sure what the ultimate answer is. Because it seems to make more sense to set a legal threshold for how much disease-causing bacteria can be present in food. But in practice, enforcing that law requires all sorts of testing that most food sellers just can’t afford, because food is necessary for survival and therefore can’t have that high of a profit margin built in without risk to public health (witness what’s happening since they found ways to build a high profit margin into grain foods!). But if you wait to punish a food seller after they’ve made someone sick… well, they’ve made someone sick, and sometimes people die from food poisoning.

        And yet if you “leave it up to the free market” that’s still a reactive thing–someone has still gotten sick or died when it could have, in theory, been prevented.

        No one’s really got an easy answer to this, even if they say they do–I just thought I’d spell out the problem a different way. This is not really about conservatives versus liberals, either, or big government versus small government, because there are arguments on all sides of the table going all over the place. You’ve got conservatives who are perfectly OK with big government in our bedrooms, liberals who are fine with smaller government if it means pot will be illegal, and I’m not sure how we’re supposed to have a small government if we’re going to maintain a big nation, and on it goes.

      • Dana says:

        I said:

        “liberals who are fine with smaller government if it means pot will be illegal”

        LEGAL. I was thinking too fast for my grammar to keep up. Whoops.

      • Debbie says:

        Dana – that is brilliant re: preventative and reactive laws.

        re: cost of testing…When I work with clients I spend a lot of time having them identify their intentions. It is so easy to get off track as one thought leads to another. If we could focus on the intention “prevent illness from contamination” our problem-solving process would focus on the contamination rather than whether something is raw or not, for example.

        I watched a documentary a while ago re: organic farmers and the farmer said that he has to have every batch of milk tested before it goes out. Prevention of contamination by testing for contamination. It’s do-able. Now we just need to find a way to make it easily accessible and affordable for everyone.

        My 2 cents.

  4. Katie M says:

    Well written and great job connecting the dots that most people don’t connect. THANK YOU!!

    • Bob Ewing says:

      Thanks Katie!! I really appreciate that. Our blog here is new and we just love getting comments like yours. You made my day.

  5. Tom Orzechowski says:

    mpw: the problem isn’t liberals, it’s the capitalists who buy the politicians. As the story mentions, the city health inspector admits that the law is purely protectionist, and has nothing to do with health and safety.

  6. MsDebbieP says:

    very well written.
    It’s time for a “do over day” (an idea that has been popping into my head for some time now). Remove all the laws and bi-laws, remove the established salaries and pay rates and let’s start over. What is right? What is just? What is moral and ethical? What is beneficial and empowering?
    It’s time to start with “play nice” and build from there.

  7. Kay Walker says:

    This sort of “health inspection” is not what real Public Health is all about. These dumb by-laws pushed through by hard-hearted capitalists are just rules for the sake of rules. Note that these “health inspectors” didn’t arrive with an array of laboratory findings and health statistics that identified large numbers of bacteria from people suffering serious illness directly due to consuming Kris’s Nicecream. REAL Public Health people would contact her, examine her production methods and test random batches of products at the place of production, the distributors premises and at retail outlets. Then they might help her make some decisions about her business. Of course, if the illness was proven beyond reasonable doubt to originate at her production facility, she would be shut down. Since no one seems to have become ill and angrily confronted her before, it seems unlikely. Stoopid world. Hope Kris can pick up the pieces and get more good food to her fans.

  8. Vicki Chan says:

    http://vicki-chan.blogspot.com/2011/07/something-about-mary.html

    I recently returned from Kenya and surprise surprise, witnessed the heavy hand of big business in the slums of Nairobi…

    • Liutgard says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. This has nothing to do with the President.

      • Primal Toad says:

        It has everything to do with the government. We need LESS government. Obama wants MORE government. Ask him the question straight up. He will agree with me.

        It does have something to do with the president. He is aware that this shit is going on… what does he say about it?

      • Dana says:

        Toad–that other commenter said Obamacare. What’s making sure everybody can at least get insurance have to do with an ice cream shop being shut down? You ever been without insurance? I sure have. If the private market was able or willing to make sure everyone had coverage they would have done it by now. If all Obama did was do away with the pre-existing condition clause that would have been fine with me. That alone was worth the legislation. It doesn’t matter how ruggedly individualist I am, I can’t make an insurance company cover me. And no one can afford a medical bill in the tens of thousands. Sorry.

    • NC says:

      It’s pure corporate greed with a bought-and-paid-for government, and it’s been going on through every last administration. But by all means, continue the partisan sniping–it keeps the sheeple distracted from who’s really pulling the strings and decimating the middle class.
      Besides, @Primal Toad, Obama just gutted the EPA beyond what even Bush wanted.

  9. reason says:

    Protectionism arises from greed not capitalism. The entrepeneurialism of the small businesses being attacked are the backbone of capitalism. They are capitalizing on a consumer need/want.
    The protectionist laws and overbearing regulations and regulators arise from a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” corrupt political systems which are neither conservative or liberal, both sides employ that philosophy equally and nanny state attitudes. You can’t want government to save people from themselves and then decide you don’t like it when it encroaches on *your* freedom. If one of the evil big corporations, said, used fresh strawberries in their salad and they were contaminated and dozens of people got sick, how many people here would be up in arms and carrying pitchforks?? Be honest.
    As far as I am concerned, good for the small guy, you came up with an idea, worked hard and made it. Spectacular. As for the health dept et al….require them to slap a sticker ‘warning’ if they are so concerned that a bad berry will sneak through. Let consumers decide. If the big guys don’t like it? Too bad. They were all small businesses once too. If they are good enough they will survive competition, if they aren’t then it is no ones fault but their own. Again, let consumers decide.

    • Esther says:

      Exactly! She is showing the TRUE spirit of capitalism. What we have in this country is not capitalism…….it’s a mutated form of what used to be a capitalistic society.

    • Dana says:

      It isn’t all protectionism. We actually don’t have enough of the right kinds of protectionism in this country. One of the Founding Fathers, I think Hamilton, pointed out that if you want to develop a nation’s economy, you impose import tariffs. And that’s exactly what we’ve done for much of this nation’s history, which is why we had any economy at all to destroy in the twentieth century and on forward.

      But if you eliminate import tariffs and then get all protectionist about big business within your borders and leave no protection for the little guy than you get exactly what we have now, which is a few businesses holding all the money and power while everyone else has to be their obedient serfs because any alternatives to wage slavery have been utterly destroyed.

      I really wish the conservatives and libertarians would quit fighting for the sharks in the name of free-market capitalism. The free market is dead and so will our freedom be if this doesn’t stop very soon.

  10. This is ridiculous! Obviously, the problem is that you ignorant people think you can eat whatever you want! But, just as obviously, you can’t be trusted to know whether it’s safe or not! NO! The answer is to eliminate food altogether, and for companies to manufacture the chemicals we need to fuel our bodies in convenient, safe, tasteless pills, and for those pills to be sold only by the government for as much as they can squeeze out of people! That’s the future, people, deal with it! (This has been a Public Service Announcement from your Friendly and Helpful Government.)

    • NC says:

      I would bet that the inspectors were “encouraged” by big business to intervene. So, I would amend Destiny Circle’s clever “Public Service Announcement” with a pulling back of the camera so we can see the corporate master pulling the governmental-mouthpiece puppet off his hand.

  11. MsDebbieP says:

    I’ve recently participated in a few “discussions” that have gone awry after someone provides a perspective that triggers antagonistic interchanges. Reflecting on these conversations I realize that where things get off track is when someone uses an argument for one issue to justify or attack another issue.
    With the raw food scenario, for example, there are (at least) two issues: 1) the freedom of choice re: food we eat and 2) regulation of food safety. What I see happening is people attacking the raw food choice because someone got sick, rather than attacking the process to ensure the food is not contaminated.
    A couple of weeks ago I was watching documentary re: organic foods and the dairy farmer said that he has to have every batch of milk tested before it can be distributed: safety measures to ensure the organic food is not contaminated. Raw milk could go through the same accountability process.

    • CMTorie says:

      Raw milk DOES go though the same process! (At least in California and when purchased through a legal-to-sell producer.) And for 99.9% of the ‘raids’ there is NOBODY that got sick. Just some pissed of Dairy industry that is trying to shut down this teeny tiny percent of people that choose to go Raw. Pretty soon it will be illegal to eat Raw Broccoli!

    • What’s really aggravating about this is that raw milk is the only milk that is fit to drink at all. I’m personally a vegan, but as a nutritionist I highly recommend raw milk over pasteurized milk. The enzymes in the milk that are destroyed with the high heat are what allow the body to do anything at all with the milk that is useful.

  12. Wow…just wow. Thank God that Food Trucks are welcome and THRIVING here in Cleveland!

    • Bob Ewing says:

      Good to hear Mary! I grew up in North Olmsted and will be in town this weekend. I’m happy to the hear the Cleveland food trucks are kicking butt. And thanks so much for checking out our blog. Of course, feel free to subscribe!

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  14. Phil Sergent says:

    This posting in The Primal Challenge just shows how systemic the problems with the American Corporates is becoming… alarmingly, the FDA can’t be trusted since most of the people on their committee(s) have financial interest(s) in the determination(s) they make, so it’s not surprising the same can be said for all facets of governmental oversights from the top (Federal) to the bottom (City, County and State).
    American’s need step out of sheep-herder’s line and vote with the most important balloting weapon they have, their dollars!
    Stop spending monies on what “We the people…” KNOW is wrong.
    To make the point get driven home, have noticed more and more products are trying to get your dollars (votes) by putting on the label “No High Fructose Corn Syrup”?
    It’s because “We the people…” are ‘spending’ our ‘ballots’ on the NON-HFCS products!
    So, wake up America, ‘vote’ with your Dollars!

  15. Justin says:

    Well, that rules Chicago out as a travel destination…

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  17. Big Agri-Business. That’s all you need to know. This is where all these laws are coming from. Billions of dollars used to process food, force corn syrup down our throats, and keep corporate restaurant giants in business.

    Both sides of the political isle. Democrat and Republicans take money from Agri-business special interest. Then they push ridiculous laws through at the local, state, and federal level. Write, email, and call your local politicians, state reps, and congress and senators. No more money from BIG FOOD. Source local….eat local.

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  19. Primal Toad says:

    This is bull shit. I live in Chicago and may have to do something about this before I leave October 27.

  20. Visitor says:

    Your blog is dishonest. She doesn’t have to use corn syrup. Even though I feel sorry for her, I would wish you’d cite the article correctly

  21. PatG says:

    Tough call. Looks like heavy handed corporatist protectionism but then there is Jack in The Box. Food for public consumption should be prepared in a clean environment. Regular inspections and licensing should guarantee that. They should not be used to bludgeon small businesses under.

  22. George says:

    Pasteurisation is a good thing. Though I am of the opinion that it only needs to be done once to the milk. at the source or distributor. Repeated pasteurisation will just kill the flavor. I think it’s silly to require the ice cream maker to buy a pasteurisation machine. A thorough cleaning of the strawberries with multiple rinses, and some kind of mild antibacterial should be enough (there are several natural substances that would work here). Even pasteurisation doesn’t kill all the bacteria, it just lowers the numbers to a negligible level.

    Why not raw milk? People don’t remember that up until Pasteur’s process, milk was a major vector for several diseases. Milk can carry tuberculosis, and any other diseases transmissible in bodily fluids. Even when the cows are closely monitored, bovine diseases like brucellosis can end up being transmitted to human consumers. That’s why I’m fine with pasteurisation as a process. Yeah, I do prefer the taste of raw milk from my youthful summers on dairy farm. But I know what can go wrong too.

    • Dana says:

      That’s where you test the milk. And make sure that everyone has access to a healthy diet, because the better-nourished the population is, the less susceptible we are to even infectious diseases. Weston Price documented that in his travels. Good traditional diet = very few people getting TB. Industrial foods displacing the healthy foods = lots and lots of young people in sanitariums.

  23. This is stupid. No wonder people have a hard time getting work..If you have a great idea and try to market it you get shut down..WTF is wrong with this country??

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  25. traderpaul says:

    @George
    You have avoided the issue of freedom which is the main point of the author’s blog post.
    Is there enough freedom in America for someone to knowingly buy and drink unpasteurized raw milk and for someone to produce and sell it to him without intervention by the state?
    It’s fine that you think pasteurization is a good thing but what does your opinion have to do with individual freedom? Are you implying that your opinion should be imposed on others?
    Your only argument is that unpasteurized milk was the cause of tuberculosis and disease and sickness but to use this argument you have to deny all of the technological advances made in food storage and the increase in knowledge of food safety since the 19th century.
    No one is dictating that you drink only raw milk. You are perfectly free to continue to purchase pasteurized milk. Why shouldn’t someone who wishes to drink a glass of raw milk have the same freedom?

    • Tara says:

      Well, I think the question of Raw Milk arises when someone gets a communicable disease thru it and spreads it to the larger population. Thus one would be spreading the risk beyond themselves. That said I am REALLY not a fan of milk anyway. Seriously, drinking cow milk in general is not something really biologically good for us. Leave it for cheese.

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  27. Leta says:

    Great piece, with a largely sensible comment run. I linked to the OG article on FB.

    What I want to know is if issues like this unite the right and the left, what are we going to do about it? Because this kind of thing cannot stand.

  28. Frode S says:

    Very interesting read and most of these laws on the books seem just plain ridiculous, except one; pasteurization. To paraphrase: That’s not just the law, that’s science! Not to construct to grand a straw-man or venture out on a slippery slope, but selling unpasteurized milk isn’t much better than selling toys with led paint. Quoting wikipedia: “Diseases that pasteurization can prevent include tuberculosis, brucellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever and Q-fever; it also kills the harmful bacteria Salmonella, Listeria, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli among others.”
    I know you like your vaulted freedoms America, but you have to pick your battles..

  29. Sally Greenfield says:

    $50 says that all of those people who say they want less government in their lives are all for THESE laws. Just an educated guess…

  30. Ken Brown says:

    This is quite normal. Happens everywhere. Over here in London landowners and property developers regularly enlist the help of local government to “regenerate” a neighbourhood by shutting down small independent businesses and bringinb in the usual corporate franchises. Government is usually on the side of big business against small business, of corporations against individuals, of those who own great property against those who work for themselves. That is one of the things government is *for* in our society. Its been going on a long time. Its called “capitalism”. Get used to it and deal. (Or else organise against it)

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