Tony Katz has an excellent write-up on last week’s Rawesome raid, a government action I find absolutely asinine. Look, I don’t care if you want to make the choice to purchased labeled raw dairy or local, organic food. I love to eat massive amounts of homemade beef jerky, young organic coconuts, and oven-baked bacon (don’t knock it, only way to do it). I don’t want the government busting up in my butcher shop, or any shop, any private facility with proper licensing (copious licensing is soft tyranny) and prevent the private sector, free market exchange of cash for goods. I also don’t trust a government that can’t find the time to produce a budget, yet can micromanage the citizenry, telling me what I can and cannot eat.
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We all talked about the FDA when the Amish were jacked for selling raw milk; we bemoan the administration’s plans to control school children’s diets; regulate restaurant menus; we complain when the state cracks down on lemonade stands run by hopeful 10-year-olds from their parents’ front yards, 10-year-olds who want to experiment with capitalism and participate in citizenship; so why are more not talking about this latest government overreach? Because it’s in Venice, CA? More importantly, why are LA folks not making the connection between their desire for food freedom and the tea party’s desire for food freedom? If this were my hood I’d be rallying right about now.
Katz, an LA denizen, writes:
The investigation ended in the raid of the Venice market, Rawesome Foods, and a farm, Palmer’s Healthy Family Farms in Ventura County. Prosecutors claim that Rawesome Foods did not have a license to sell unpasteurized milk, which is required by the state of California. Rawesome Foods, however, is not open to the public. It is a private club that requires a paid membership. It is not known how undercover officers got into the club to purchase the dairy items, or if they paid for a membership. This is not the first raid on Rawesome Foods. They were raided in 2010 for the sale of unpasteurized, or “raw” milk.
What is known is that the government has gone too far in “protecting” its citizens. Grown men and women have the right to eat whatever they want. While you and I may not think raw goat milk is the way to enjoy our Captain Crunch, there is no reason that government should outlaw its sale. Further, the licensing requirements are called in to question when the type of sale does not fit into its parameters (to the public versus via private membership club.) On the surface, this looks more like governmental bullying than “protecting” the unpasteurized goat-milk-drinking public (which one could assume is a very niche market.)
The Tea Party movement has long advocated for smaller government as one of its central tenants. This unwarranted attack on this small business is a perfect analogy as to why the Tea Party is on the side of all Americans who believe in personal liberty. The politics of the owners of Rawesome Foods and Palmer’s Farm isn’t important. The conversation here is about the continued over reach of government into our food and food choices. We’ve seen New York work toban salt and trans fats from restaurants. In California, food establishments are required to post calorie counts of all items. McDonald’s is under attack for putting toys in Happy Meals, and now will only offer apple slices with Happy Mealsinstead of french fries. In Chicago schools, students can have their home packed lunch thrown away, and then be forced to purchase the school lunch.
All of those things are not the advancement of a society, but a horrific growth of the Nanny State.
Say, I wonder how many robberies, rapes, murders, and shootings took place that day when the FDA decided to divert the local police force to raid a private, organic food seller? Forgive me, I didn’t realize that Venice and the surrounding area had become such a crime-free haven that police are now free to seize and trash private property at their leisure. Aren’t you glad that we have a swollen, bureaucratic federal member like the FDA to direct the authorities in localities far from its state headquarters in Sacramento?
I reject the theory that only the government can protect consumers. The free and unburdened-by-regulations market is far more effective and powerful. Surely there is a way to implement a UL-style of safeguarding against worst-case scenarios, but the FDA and its ever-growing list of dos and don’ts is too much.
When does “protecting” citizens become “impeding on their rights?” And how long will the apathy last?