Saturday, my wife and I ran over to the local dairy where we buy our raw milk. We drink about two gallons of milk a week, unless we are making cheese or cooking a lot. The dairy is a nice 15 minute country drive, and the milk is $4.00 per gallon. Over the past few weeks, I have been noticing more cars with Ohio plates, and more people buying LOTS of milk. Last Saturday, this culminated in a woman buying somewhere around 40 gallons of raw milk to take back home to Cleveland. We, and two other local people waited patiently while this lady filled her 40+ jugs one at a time from the bulk tank. She will drive the 90 miles home and fill her freezer, then thaw the milk as she needs it.
The State of Ohio, in its infinite wisdom has deemed raw milk too dangerous a substance to be sold to the general public. Our local licensed raw milk dairy is the nearest place these poor people can come to legally get milk that has not been pasturized and homogenized so it can taste like swill and probably lose its nutrients. I keep telling the dairy to send a Christmas card to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. ODA might miss the card, because they seem to be busy conducting undercover stings against anyone who would sell raw milk.
I have a strong taste preference for raw milk. I also like that I can look inside the dairy and see how the cattle who are giving me their milk are treated. I like seeing that the milking parlor and milk house are clean. I like not having to milk a goat twice a day (Which we used to do) and still having decent milk. However, I can only enjoy this because of my good fortune at being born a few miles east of the Pennsylvania-Ohio line.
I have been to Youngstown, Ohio. It is a heartbreaking place. The main businesses seem to be selling illegal drugs, drug addict women selling their bodies,auto lots with cheap cars to leave town. and bars to drown out the reality of living in Youngstown. I would think that the law enforcement resources of the state of Ohio might be better put to a place like that than undercover sting operations against dairy farmers. However, I suspect ODA's undercover goons are too cowardly to go up against real criminals.
As the lady pulled away, I remembered the old time moonshiners, running cars full of whiskey. I like to think of her as a "Cowshiner" a kind of 21st Century suburban moonshiner. I hope the ODA doesn't pull her over, dump the milk and Taser her. I hope that mini van can go fast enough to outrun them. Good luck cowshiner lady.
Some of the girls who keep us in milk.