The Disdain Factor, Which Decrees That Unhealthy is Healthy; Some Personal News
I’ve been reading the various analyses of the terrible events in Mumbai over the weekend, and realizing that most of the analysts don’t really know what happened or why. But that doesn’t prevent some from venting their hostility on other matters.
An op ed article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by one of the paper’s top editors assesses comments made on CNN by Deepak Chopra, the writer on spirituality. In her initial description, we learn all we need to know about where this editor is heading when she describes him as “... healer, New Age philosopher and digestion guru, advocate of aromatherapy and regular enemas...”
I’m not a huge Deepak Chopra fan. I found a couple of his early books insightful, but kind of lost interest in him the last few years, as he seemed to become increasingly commercial and trendy. Still, the editor has clearly set him up as a straw man for her disdain for those who are different in important areas—not only in how they approach terrorism, but in how they come at health and food.
That disdainful description, got me thinking about Judge John Egan’s decision in the Meadowsweet Dairy case. In particular, how he determined what a “consumer” is by looking it up in various dictionaries, to come up with the scholarly legal conclusion that, well, based on all the definitions, everyone in New York is a consumer, and therefore all New-York-produced food is subject to regulation by the New York Department of Food and Agriculture.
He couldn’t be bothered with the notion that a person who purchases food at a grocery store is different from, say, a food co-op member or farm shareholder who invests and commits to receiving regular food output, or even a person who milks a cow or grows his or her food.
By being unwilling to examine the shades of gray in this case, and by limiting his analysis to dictionary definitions, he was, in effect, saying: "Look, all you had to do was look this stuff up in a dictionary. Even a bunch of twelve-year-olds could have done that." It would have been difficult to be more disdainful than that.
The message behind such disdain seems to be this: Don’t you people get it? Aromatherapy is snake oil. De-tox is a relic of a bygone era, replaced by allergy medications and fast food.
And you raw milk drinkers are all consumers, no matter how you obtain your milk, and you’re under the control of the state. We’re going to protect you from your childlike craziness, no matter how hard you kick and scream. (And despite the fact that dairy is the least threatening food for illness, per An Observer's comment and link following my previous post.)
Dave Milano says it well in his comment on my previous post concerning warning signs: “A government-industry alliance has decreed that food coming from unnatural ag practices, which is then deconstituted, reorganized, chemicalized, heated, and otherwise processed, is ‘normal’ and therefore requires no health warnings, while a natural product like raw milk is treated as a virtual poison.”
I’ve wanted to mention a couple of personal items from the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions conference in early November. I was honored by the WAPF with an award--its first-ever Integrity in Journalism Award, “for dedication to accurate reporting on raw milk.” I wasn't able to be present for the actual ceremony because I had to leave for Germany, so I want to say here how truly gratified I am to have been honored in this way.
Second, I announced at the conference to attendees of the panel session I participated in that I am in the process of writing a book about raw milk. I will be trying to make sense of the controversies and battles that have emerged over the last couple of years—not an easy task, as everyone here well knows
This blog, and its participants, will be a big part of the book. I will also be looking for personal testimonials about how raw milk has improved people’s health. I already have a good number of these, which have come from consumers in Michigan, Ohio, and California in connection with legal and legislative battles in those places. Christine Chessen is collecting them for her organization, CREMA, and certainly you can feel free to copy me in anything you do for CREMA. If non-Californians have other examples, I'd welcome them (send to email@example.com).
I'm on a tight schedule—the book is due to be completed this spring, so if my blog postings are a little erratic in their timing...you'll know why.