• Pasteurfarians VS Raw Warriors Down Under

     

    I spied a fascinating exchange taking place on my Facebook wall that I feel needs a little wider exposure. In involves a couple of Australian skeptics, one of them being Chris Guest, who recently got into a scuffle with some raw dairy zealots. I’ll let Chris take it from here:

    I pushed myself into a bizarre and “unme” situation today – going to a raw milk “drink-in” at Consumer Affairs minister Jane Garrett’s office as the pasteteurisation counter-protest. There were 150 raw milkers and 2 skeptics.

    There was a little bit of jostling, intimidation and screaming from the more unsavoury types but Steve and I somehow managed to hand out CDC flyers & speak to a few civil people.

    One character had his 4 year old son on his shoulders and was doing dervish swings in my face in an effort to get me out of television camera sight. He kindly offered to follow me around the corner and smash my face. This guy was wearing a fluro vest and appeared to be a protest steward. It was heartening later than another raw milk guy told this fool to get lost because he wanted to have a civilised conversation with me.

    A group of 15 year old raw milk drinkers kept telling me that they were all above average height thanks to a life of raw milk so everything I was saying was wrong.

    I just hope that a lot of parents who saw the throng of mycobacterium compromised bouncy milkheads thought twice about feeding the stuff to their children.

    As we were leaving a tenant who lived in the same building came out and thanked me and Steve for being the sane people there. It was a positive reality check as I was beginning to think that the world had gone mad.

    Woah. 150 vs 2? Those are some crazy numbers. Plus, things got a bit physical when one of the raw folks engaged in “dervish swings?” Sheesh. I also appreciate the peek into the mind of the raw milk drinking crowd. I had no idea that height was dictated by the type of milk you drink. How ’bout that?

    Linley Kissick was there to snap this pic:

    Chris GuestWhat fascinates me about this situation is how two, vastly outnumbered people took on this throng of unreasonable people. That said, I have noted that when you mess with people’s ideas on food, you’ve got a fight on your hands.

    I asked Chris for some details on the protest and here’s what he wrote:

    “…here’s the background regarding this weekends shenanigans. Hope this gives you plenty of material. Some of my friends may know more:

    1. In the state of Victoria it has been illegal to sell raw milk since the 1940s.

    2. In recent years raw milk activists were able to circumvent this ban by selling the product as “Bath Milk” and printing the words “Not for human consumption” in fairly small letters somewhere on the carton.

    3. This “non-food product” was inevitable sold in health food shops in the refrigerated section next to all the products that were for human consumption.

    4. A local newspaper article & radio interview give good background to the recent raw milk tragedy in Victoria.
    http://www.theage.com.au/…/toddler-dies-four-children-serio…

    5. New licensing conditions took effect from today (1st Feb 2015)

    http://www.dairysafe.vic.gov.au/…/dairy-…/licence-conditions

    The following new condition takes effect on and from 1 February 2015:
    1. (k) Ensure that milk or any milk product which is sold, delivered
    or supplied by the licence holder other than:

    (i) for human consumption; or
    (ii) to another holder of a licence under the Dairy Act 2000,

    is treated in a manner approved by Dairy Food Safety Victoria
    so as to deter human consumption and such that the milk
    could not reasonably be mistaken as for human consumption.

    6. The protest at Jane Garrett’s office was organised on the 31st January 2015. The last day that dairy farmers could legally distribute unpasteurised milk.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/322938397896923

    As I read on, it seems the raw milk drinkers aren’t above twisting stats. Check this out (again from Chris… note he uses some flowery language. If your eyes can’t handle such things, skip this quote.):

    Their own pamphlet states that there are 10.7 times as many illnesses linked to pasteurised milk (according to the CDC).
    But the CDC state that raw milk is <1% of total consumption, so that means the Raw Warriors are at least 9.25 times as likely to get sick as the Pasteurfarians. Innumerate child abusing dumbfucks.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Thanks to Chris and everyone who protests these actions. You rock. 🙂

    P.S. You can find more pics and commentary on Chris’ Facebook page.

    Category: In the NewsScienceWhat?!?

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    Article by: Beth Erickson

    I'm Beth Ann Erickson, a freelance writer, publisher, and skeptic. I live in Central Minnesota with my husband, son, and two rescue pups. Life is flippin' good. :)

    5 comments

    1. I have eaten raw animal foods, on and off, for about 15 years. No problems whatsoever. This included making my own curd cheese from raw goats milk. My experience with the raw-food crowd is that, generally speaking, they often come to it from a health crisis. They are well aware there are some risks consuming raw foods, but they think the health benefits outweigh the costs.

      I’m an atheist, and skeptic. However, I don’t think this is generally a matter of ignorant raw fooders. As I said, most of them are choosing life as nature intended, and they acknowledge the risks.

      Many people have recovered from health problems on raw food diets, including raw animal foods. And this needs to be considered in the debate. It’s too easy and simplistic to label all raw fooders as just another moronic target for myth-busting.

      When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything you see is a nail. And that’s the perspective skeptics bring to this debate. They don’t understand the health crises these folks have been through, nor do they see all the people saved from health problems by raw food.

    2. As for the “child abuse” allegation, raw fooders can make the legitimate case that a cooked Western diet is not a risk free diet. Indeed, such a diet is blamed for many childhood health problems such as asthma, diabetes, allergies, lethargy, ADHD, obesity etc. So, the child abuse allegation could equally be made against a cooked Western diet.

      It’s a false dichotomy to allege the Western diet is risk free, when it is clearly not. Neither raw food, nor the Western diet, is risk free. Raw fooders simply choose nature as it intended, risk and all.

      1. Michael R,
        Nature doesn’t intend anything. If it did, we would have to say it intended humans to be full of parasites, the bitch. Cooked food (they use fire in the East too if you were wondering) isn’t a risk. That doesn’t mean cooking removes all risks, or that there are no other considerations to a healthy diet, but it’s just a dumb argument to say ‘Well, nothing is risk free so I might as well drink pond water.’

    3. Micheal, one does not get to call one’s self a Skeptic if they ignore the evidence. Being a Skeptic means to question things, but to question things in a valid scientific way, following the validated evidence.

      Rejection the evidence based on personal belief, or anecdotes (which is not evidence, due to the nature of human biases) or testimonials, makes one a believer, relying on faith. You can not reject the evidence based on tested fact, and call yourself a Skeptic. Science has tested raw milk for many of known bad pathogens, and the effects on human health, and compared the results with treated milk, and the testable results show raw milk not to be safe. Yes, you may, may, have safe raw milk, but you will all ways be safer with pasteurised and homogenised milk. The validated studies done, time after time support this.

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