In connection with my service on the legal defense team for Wisconsin milk producer Vernon Hershberger, yesterday had me travelling from my home base north of Milwaukee westward across the state to Baraboo, Wisconsin, for a pre-trial motion hearing. For those unfamiliar with the case, Mr. Hershberger is being criminally prosecuted by our State’s DOJ for allegedly selling raw milk after the State’s Ag Department conducted a raid on his farm, issued a holding order preventing the distribution of perishable food, and destroying hundreds of gallons of fresh milk, among other things. Continue reading
Follow the money . . . if you want to know who is opposing your right to make your own choices regarding the food you buy and consume. The “Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition” is a meta-organization (an organization of organizations) that stands ready to oppose any legislation that might be proposed to finally make direct sales of raw milk legal in Wisconsin, having just issued a letter to Wisconsin Legislators expressing their opposition to any legislation that might possibly be introduced in Wisconsin permitting farmers to sell raw milk. The last legislation that was proposed died in committee in 2012. Before that, a bill that pass the legislature was vetoed by then-Governor Jim Doyle. From the recent rumblings of this group, one can only assume that there is a new new raw milk bill on the horizon and that this group hopes to thwart it before it ever sees the light of day. Continue reading
Posted in Food rights, Free Market, Legislation, Policy, Regulation
Tagged consumer choice, food freedom, food law, food policy, food rights, free market, freedom, liberty, raw milk, Real food, Wisconsin
Filled with people desiring to exercise their God-given (and Constitutionally-protected) right to choose, produce, and provide nourishing foods, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Conference in LaCrosse, Wisconsin was an energizing 2 1/2 days. Even the exhaustion when I returned home last night was an energized exhaustion. I highly recommend the MOSES Conference to anyone considering attending an organic farming conference.
Click on the photo to order
The time went by too quickly, with many worthwhile things to do and interesting people to meet. I made many new-to-me friends and had the opportunity to get to know some not-new-to-me friends better (a special shout-out to my fellow Wellspring-ers, Angie and Darrell, both of whom I was blessed to see several times during the conference).
Sharing a Conference-provided organic meal with fascinating people who are doing admirable work allowed for in-depth conversation about such topics as: raising goats, chickens, cattle, bees, and other livestock; permaculture; sustainably and effectively growing produce using the best organic soil amendments; and, of course, the legal issues faced by organic farmers and related entities. And this is just at meal time; there were also numerous workshops, film screenings, and daily keynote speeches, most of which I was not able to attend due to other obligations. The one workshop I did attend (presented by Amanda Heyman of Minnesota-based Farmer’s Legal Action Group) was very well-presented, informative, and useful. Continue reading
Posted in About, Food rights, Policy
Tagged ag policy, consumer choice, food freedom, food law, food policy, food rights, freedom, liberty, localag, organic, policy, Real food, regulatory overreach
Here is an almost-original, cobbled-together recipe from The Real Food Lawyer, with gratitude to various others, whose ideas informed it. (Because I cannot remember *who* those others are at this time, possible suspects are included at the end of this post.) It is gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free.
The following recipe makes a dessert that is looks and feels like a muffin top (yes, muffin TOP – eat your heart out, Elaine Benes - I discovered the recipe! *insert evil laugh here*). Continue reading
As many of you know, since late last year, I have been serving on the legal team defending Vernon Hershberger in his raw milk case. I’m blessed and excited to be able to lend my legal knowledge and experience to Mr. Hershberger’s defense, but my involvement constrains me from saying much about the case here. As interesting as I find the issues, I must usually rely on what others say, and hope they get it right. The following is taken from a recent letter Mr. Hershberger sent to his supporters:
First Amendment Hearing
1PM Monday, March 18, 2013
Sauk County Courthouse, 515 Oak Street, Baraboo, Wisconsin
On June 2, 2010, representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) conducted a raid at the Vernon Hershberger farm. DATCP agents intentionally destroyed nearly 300 gallons of fresh milk by pouring blue dye into the bulk tank, claiming the milk was “adulterated and misbranded”—even though there was no logical, factual, or scientific basis for this conclusion. The milk was unpasteurized, as is all milk on all farms that is stored in bulk tanks. The agents then placed a holding order on all the fresh, wholesome food in coolers on the property, most of which belonged to members of the Hershberger’s private buying club, and some of which belonged to the Hershberger family. Continue reading
UPDATED March 4, 2013 to indicate that the FDA comment period has been extended to April 26, 2013.
The FDA recently removed one of the last hurdles before approving Massachusetts company AquaBounty Tecnologies’ application to allow its genetically engineered (GE)salmon into the U.S. food system, finding in its December 2012 environmental assessment that GE salmon should have “No Significant Impact” on human health and the environment. A comment period which ends April 26, 2013, allows the public to submit their concerns to the FDA in advance of its final determination. Continue reading
Are there any foods that are new to you since following a “real food” diet, but that you now consider staples? Here are just a handful of foods I never knew existed before going all “real food” . . . and now can’t imagine living without (in no particular order, except perhaps, to some extent, reverse order of when I last used the ingredient or ate the food):
1. Organic pastured eggs. We eat them almost every day (maybe even every day, but I try to eschew hyperbole). The “eggs” sold at most grocery stores pale Continue reading
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (the “Fund”) recently announced a victory in a case brought by Forsyth Township, Michigan, against Randy and Libby Buchler, owners of Shady Grove Farm, U.P., who were accused of violating the Township’s zoning ordinance by raising a few sheep and chickens and - this is the important part – SELLING the wool and eggs. You see, these sales of farm products made the Buchler’s 6.5 acre farmstead a “commercial” agricultural operation; the zoning ordinance governing their parcel did not permit commercial agriculture. Continue reading
The Real Food Lawyer Appears on What’s Cookin’ with K.C.
Organic chef extraordinaire K.C. Thorson, of K.C.’s Kafe, recently invited me to partake of her wonderful creations as we discussed real food on her organic cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ with K.C.” During the show, K.C. and I discussed the importance of eating and having access to real food, my advocacy for real foodies, and K.C.’s simple (but delicious) tips for preparation of real food.
Please watch the show, and “like” K.C.’s facebook page, where regularly shares great recipes, tips, and real food resources. Her fb page is almost as likeable as she is!
- Amy Salberg, The Real Food Lawyer
Yesterday’s court proceeding Arlin Bender’s case was treated as the status conference it was originally scheduled to be. As discussed here, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) filed a motion last week seeking to convert yesterday’s status conference into a hearing on its motion for a permanent injunction (a temporary one is currently in place). As requested in the brief filed by Attorney Elizabeth Rich of The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund last week and at yesterday’s conference, the state’s motion will be heard after a hearing on the merits. (Elizabeth is lead counsel on the case; I’m honored and blessed to serve as her co-counsel.)
Here are the relevant dates set at yesterday’s conference: Continue reading
Posted in About, Court actions, Food rights, Regulation
Tagged civil procedure, court action, food freedom, food rights, Real food, regulatory overreach, Self-sufficiency, Wisconsin