It's 9:35 p.m. and Paul is reminding me of the early morning we have tomorrow for market, but I really want to get a few thoughts down on 'paper' as such.
Food regulation by the local, state and federal government
The disconnect between food and perceptions
I guess I'll start on a positive note - was at the Phoenix Public Market again with Paul today (took the kids to the PHX Childrens' Museum--which ROCKED, by the way). This market is SO UNBELIEVABLY GREAT! The variety and quality of food and vendors present is unmatched. The Market also has the Urban Grocery that is open through the week, where you can shop for local groceries and get FABULOUS food at the deli which also has a wine and a coffee bar for those intellectual-types ;) ...Paul hosts the Thomas Jefferson hour there after market, so this was a tease at him alone.
First beef - or well, first dairy lactose bubble--why are people allowing the government to characterize milk as 'raw' just because it has been unpasteurized?! They should be pushing back for 'grocery store milk' to be labeled correctly as 'Cooked Milk' and for 'raw milk' to be called what it is -- just MILK. Milk in its most natural and unadulterated form. Yes people can get sick from it if proper procedures are not adhered to, but there is a growing demand for fresh, local and humanely obtained milk, something which you cannot get from the 'industrial store-supplying dairies.' So how to satisfy the demand? Allow producers to sell their product direct to consumers if it is labeled as an un-Inspected food product. If people want to assume the risk and buy a food product that is not 'government blessed' (through mounds of red tape and bureaucratic boxes to be checked) then let them do it, by God. I see it as a violation of my right to property (my money) for government to tell me what I cannot buy with my own money. I'm mad that people have allowed the government to characterize their product as 'inherently dangerous' when there is nothing inherently dangerous about it.
Government regulation - the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the local Departments of Health maintain that they are empowered by the federal government to protect us from...OURSELVES. They, perhaps unwittingly, fostered the ignorance about food that has made people believe that they ought to rely on government job-security-leeches and big-industry-run regulations truly know best about the food we consume. Instead of seeing that big industry is what caused the mayhem and irresponsibility in food production and going back to a local, direct market for feeding the population; government went the opposite way and enacted regulation after regulation that further entrenched industrial food production and quashed small, local, responsible, direct food producers.
Food and perception - people want to be deceived. They want to believe the cute picture on the organic milk jugs; they don't want to see cows with their tails docked (cut off so they don't get their udders dirty when they try to swat at the unhealthy amount of flies that reside at industrial agriculture 'centers.' They don't want to see the calves being taken from their mothers and either 'kept alive' in small cages drinking watered down milk, or sold at sale for veal or direct slaughter. Unlike what Food Inc. would want us to believe, the deception is not one-way; there's an awful lot of people out there who want to be kept in the dark, and they're just as responsible for the inhumanity as those who want to hide the horrors of industrial food production.
To end on a lighter note, the cows are in our yard now, so with the bedroom window open I can hear the pleasing sound of them chomping down on the grass (and hopefully some of the weeds, but it's not likely). It's such a lovely sound to hear animals walking around in the dark eating grass, the tearing of the leaves and peaceful breathing. I think everyone should get to hear it. It's pleasant, it reminds us of the life within us and around us, and makes me feel small and happy.
My one-egg conundrum. My chickens are laying beautifully now, and from my greatly-shrunken flock of 7 ladies, I get about 6 eggs a day. I'm very very pleased with this. However, almost without fail, I manage to break an egg before getting into the house after collecting them from the nesting boxes. I mean, it's uncanny - I'll have made it into the kitchen and I am congratulating myself for making it in, and then boom I'll drop an egg while putting them into the carton. UGH! ;)