Friday, October 26, 2007

Save California Raw Dairy!

This is a press release from Organic Pastures Dairy in Kerman, California. I've been to visit, had a tour of the entire facility, and went home with the most amazing milk I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.
You know how they say "happy cows come from California"? Happy cows live at OPDC. I've seen them. This is how dairy cattle ought to live. If you have the slightest inclination to support animal welfare, please do what you can to fight this bill. It will eliminate the only clean and humane dairy I've ever seen. This is a place where the cattle live out in the sun, in open, green, organic pastures. Don't let them be legislated out of existence in favor of the horror of industrial dairy production.

Come fight for your right to eat whole, unprocessed foods and raw milk

Eight words are threatening to change your life:

or more than ten coliform bacteria per milliliter

Those are the eight words added to dairy legislation in California on October 8, 2007.

Assembly Bill #1735 (AB 1735) was signed by the Governor and becomes law on January 1st 2008. Contained in this law are new standards for raw milk. These new standards require 10 coliform bacteria per ml or less. This standard does not increase the safety of raw milk and it will make the production of organic raw milk in California nearly impossible. Under the old tried and true old standards that have been in existence for forty years or more, coliforms could be 50 or 500. It did not matter.

Coliforms are not pathogenic. They do not cause disease. They actually act very effectively to protect raw milk against pathogens like E. coli 0157:H7. Coliforms make vitamin K, B-1, B-2, B-6 and B-12 and without coliforms, and the beneficial colicins they produce we would die.

These eight words in California law will in effect remove and deny your access to raw milk, because it is not possible to reliably produce raw milk with coliform levels at less than 10 per ml. Most milk samples simply have coliform counts higher than 10 per ml. That is just the nature of milk, a fact that is in USDA published peer reviewed journals show the value of good coliforms in food safety and surely this should be known by the CDFA in California.

Read the studies.

The language contained in AB 1735 was placed there by CDFA to get rid of Raw Milk in California. Last year you might remember that CDFA ordered a recall of all OPDC raw milk products. Several months ago after threatened legal pressure CDFA settled with OPDC for a cash amount, mutual legal release, and the promise that OPDC would not sue CDFA or its personnel for the biased and unfounded recall. FDA, DHS, and CDFA concluded after several weeks of intensive testing of cows fresh manure and OPDC dairy products that there was no connection between any sickened children and OPDC raw dairy products.

AB 1735 is nothing more than a CDFA sneak attack trying its very hardest to once and for all get rid of raw milk and OPDC.

But don’t take my word for it. Go to the California Assembly website and check out the legislative notes. This attack was directed right at you and me and we were not even consulted.

It is time for you to call your representative in the Assembly and Senate, the Governor, and the Secretary of Agriculture to make sure your voice is heard.

It is also time to write to your local paper and post on your blog how you feel about these eight new words in California law.

Find out how.

The Agriculture Committee Staff claims that there was no argument or discussion about this issue and that there was unanimous consent during the vote when AB 1735 passed. There were supposedly public hearings held in January 2007, but neither Claravale nor OPDC was advised and no raw milk consumers were told either. These are the only two dairies in the state to be effected by the change of code and law.

If you want raw milk on the shelf or at the farmers market in California; it is time to fight for this right.

We ask that you please come to the Fresno Farmers Market on Saturday October 27th at 11:00 AM for a press conference and formal announcement of the sneak attack.

The press will be present and will want to hear your testimonials.

We do not lose our rights all in one day. We lose them little by little every day.

I have contacted all assembly members and California Senators. Please do what you can, and visit OPDC's online home at to see for yourself and read about raw, whole, living foods.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Out of the Eyrie

I am Mixie, the owner, founder, and head artisan at Raw Dog Leather. I seek a better life than an endless loop of salary and debt, of meaningless work to collect a paycheck. I seek a life where I make my living with my hands and my head and my heart, my ambition and perseverance. A life lived outdoors and at home, instead of in the office.
With a lot of luck, sweat, and the love, support, and unfathomable patience of my husband and partner in all things, we are working towards the following goals.

Self-employment. I decided a long time ago that working for other people was not going to work out for me. Staff meetings and management bureaucracy give me hives. So do busywork and clocking-in and nine-to-five, Monday-through-Friday schedules.

Physical fitness born of a life lived outdoors, of physical labor, of working livestock, and running forest trails and stalking wild things, and not of running endless, mindless hours on a treadmill in a gym.

Home-raised foods. Tying into the goal of sustainable self-employment, we hope to do some small-scale farming, raising 100% pastured heritage breeds of livestock and an organic kitchen garden as well as raw dairy products. We wish to work our land with horse-power on the hoof, instead of horsepower in a tractor. We wish to take responsibility for the lives that feed our own and to stop supporting industrial livestock and dairy production.

Home-raised children. We feel that the human population of our planet is quickly nearing maximum capacity, and that the raising of children should be a very carefully and thoughtfully made choice, that raising children is the most sacred undertaking of our lives. We recognize the necessity for dual family incomes and working parents, and we do not in any way belittle or look down upon parents who work outside the home. That being said, we choose to set the goal of self-employment at home as a benchmark for beginning our family.

Every day is a new adventure, and these are the adventures of a lifetime.
Life is beautiful. Look up sometimes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Hunter's Heart

"Why do I hunt? It's a lot to think about, and I think about it a lot. I hunt to acknowledge my evolutionary roots, millennia deep, as a predatory omnivore. To participate actively in the bedrock workings of nature. For the atavistic challenge of doing it well with an absolute minimum of technological assistance. To learn the lessons, about nature and myself, that only hunting can teach. To accept personal responsibility for at least some of the deaths that nourish my life. For the glimpse it offers into a wildness we can hardly imagine. Because it provides the closest thing I've known to a spiritual experience. I hunt because it enriches my life and because I can't help myself… because I was born with a hunter's heart."
- David Peterson