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Beginning in 2006, the agriculture departments of several large states-with backing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-launched a major crackdown on small dairies producing raw milk. Replete with undercover agents, sting operations, surprise raids, questionable test-lab results, mysterious illnesses, propaganda blitzes, and grand jury investigations, the crackdown was designed to disrupt the supply of unpasteurized milk to growing legions of consumers demanding healthier and more flavorful food.

The Raw Milk Revolution takes readers behind the scenes of the government's tough and occasionally brutal intimidation tactics, as seen through the eyes of milk producers, government regulators, scientists, prosecutors, and consumers. It is a disturbing story involving marginally legal police tactics and investigation techniques, with young children used as political pawns in a highly charged atmosphere of fear and retribution.

Are regulators' claims that raw milk poses a public health threat legitimate? That turns out to be a matter of considerable debate. In assessing the threat, The Raw Milk Revolution reveals that the government's campaign, ostensibly designed to protect consumers from pathogens like salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and listeria, was based in a number of cases on suspect laboratory findings and illnesses attributed to raw milk that could well have had other causes, including, in some cases, pasteurized milk.

David Gumpert dares to ask whether regulators have the public's interest in mind or the economic interests of dairy conglomerates. He assesses how the government's anti-raw-milk campaign fits into a troublesome pattern of expanding government efforts to sanitize the food supply-even in the face of ever-increasing rates of chronic disease like asthma, diabetes, and allergies. The Raw Milk Revolution provides an unsettling view of the future, in which nutritionally dense foods may be available largely through underground channels.

Do Americans have the right to privately obtain the foods of our choice from farmers, neighbors, and local producers, in the same way our grandparents and great grandparents used to do?

Yes, say a growing number of people increasingly afraid that the mass-produced food sold at supermarkets is excessively processed, tainted with antibiotic residues and hormones, and lacking in important nutrients. These people, a million or more, are seeking foods outside the regulatory system, like raw milk, custom-slaughtered beef, and pastured eggs from chickens raised without soy, purchased directly from private membership-only food clubs that contract with Amish and other farmers.

Public-health and agriculture regulators, however, say no: Americans have no inherent right to eat what they want. In today's ever-more-dangerous food-safety environment, they argue, all food, no matter the source, must be closely regulated, and even barred, if it fails to meet certain standards. These regulators, headed up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with help from state agriculture departments, police, and district-attorney detectives, are mounting intense and sophisticated investigative campaigns against farms and food clubs supplying privately exchanged food-even handcuffing and hauling off to jail, under threat of lengthy prison terms, those deemed in violation of food laws.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights takes readers on a disturbing cross-country journey from Maine to California through a netherworld of Amish farmers paying big fees to questionable advisers to avoid the quagmire of America's legal system, secret food police lurking in vans at farmers markets, cultish activists preaching the benefits of pathogens, U.S. Justice Department lawyers clashing with local sheriffs, small Maine towns passing ordinances to ban regulation, and suburban moms worried enough about the dangers of supermarket food that they'll risk fines and jail to feed their children unprocessed, and unregulated, foods of their choosing.

Out of the intensity of this unprecedented crackdown, and the creative and spirited opposition that is rising to meet it, a new rallying cry for food rights is emerging.

In early 1939, after Kristallnacht, young Inge Josephbs family in Germany is broken apart, and her desperate mother sends her alone to Brussels to live with wealthy relatives. But she soon finds herself one of a hundred Jewish children fleeing for their lives following Hitlerbs invasions of Belgium and France.

For a time, in 1941 and 1942, it seems as if Inge and the others have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, as they find shelter through the Swiss Red Cross in an idyllic fifteenth-century French chC"teau. Inge even finds love there. But the rumors and horrors of the Holocaust are never far away, and eventually French gendarmes surprise the children, taking them from their protectors to a nearby transit camp. In their desperate attempts to escape, Inge and her boyfriend face unexpected life-and-death decisions -- wrenching decisions that will haunt Inge for the rest of her life.

This powerful, never-before-told memoir is based on Ingebs own sixty-six-page manuscript, found after her death; David Gumpert has also drawn from Ingebs personal letters, from the recollections of friends, relatives, and people who were with her in Europe, and from his own close relationship with his aunt.

One of the most dramatic stories of Christian rescue of Jewish children during the Holocaust, "Inge" is at the same time a totally frank account of the life and feelings of a teenage girl struggling to survive the Holocaust on her own -- and of how the effects of that experience reverberated through her life and on into the lives of her descendants. No matter how or why one reads it, "Inge" is a story of survival not soon to be forgotten.

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