Still haven't done raw milk in 2014, but that is because I'm stuck on the wrong continent.
In North America, 7 states in the U.S. and all of Canada technically ban the sale of raw milk. And states that allow raw milk sales require a few hoops to get to the prize.
But as we learned from Modern Farmer, you can get raw milk from vending machines in European countries such as France, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
So instead of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, you can get raw milk. No hoops, no risk, no hassle, no fuss.
In the story, a euro buys you a liter of raw milk, working out to about $5.50/gallon converting to U.S. money. A bit expensive compared to milk in the U.S., even organic, but you are getting a whole different type of product.
In that environment, raw milk wouldn't be just a treat or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My goal in 2014 was to get raw milk once, a taste. In these areas of Europe, raw milk can be an everyday part of their lives.
I want to try raw milk to see if I like the taste, if I would use it on cereal and the other ways I take in milk. The idea of having free access to raw milk is beyond my dreams … my North American dreams.
Now raw milk is a product that needs great care, better care than pasteurized milk. The story mentions that the mlekomats in Slovenia stop selling milk if the milk reaches an unsafe temperature, and sends a text to the vending machine owner.
While Europe and North America are both on Earth, clearly the divide on raw milk is as far as Venus and Mars. The United States approves a number of questionable food practices, yet treats raw milk like the plague. Europe thinks highly of raw milk but bans a number of questionable food practices. European parents love their children as much as "American" parents love their children. Yet their food approaches are so distinct.
Then there's Canada, a country that I love, but has issues with raw milk and medium-rare burgers. Similar to the United States, there are places in Canada to get raw milk, however tricky and complicated that might be.
During a recent Twitter chat on #AgDay2014, a Republican politician tweeted that we had the safest food supply in the world. I laughed out loud and tweeted back:
@Crawford4Cong Safest? Not really. Farmers responsible, factory farms not so much. Plus not many inspections. Lots of recalls. #agday2014
Europe trusts its food supply so well that raw milk can be sold in vending machines. Canada has so little trust in its food supply as to ban medium-rare burgers. The United States doesn't so much trust its food supply, but goes to sleep at night with crossed fingers. When vegetables have to be recalled because of runoff from factory farms, you are near the bottom of food safety in the world.
If Europe was having trouble with these food policies, we would certainly hear about that from "concerned organizations." Europe does better with raw milk than the United States does with food that should have very little risk.
Maybe I'm living on the wrong continent.
photo credit: ModernFarmer.com