Keynote Address for the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Conference, Ahmerst, Massachusetts August, 2003
I am often asked to speak on the subject of farming, which can be embarrassing because I know nothing about farming. Today I have been asked to speak on the economics and politics of food, subjects about which I also know very little. I can justify giving talks about farming because I know how we need to grow and produce our food in order to be healthy. And my excuse for holding forth on the august topics of politics and economics rests on the fact that how we eat determines the kind of government and economic system we will have.
It was Dr. Weston Price who formulated the principles of healthy diets and demonstrated the fundamental importance of grass-based animal husbandry to ensure that essential nutrients will be in our food, particularly in the butterfat of our milk and milk products. Modern milk production takes our animals off pasture and puts our dairy animals in barns where they receive dry feed, and then pasteurizes (or ultrapasteurizes) the milk, resulting in a product vastly inferior to the milk Americans drank sixty or seventy years ago. In fact, more and more people today simply cannot drink modern commercial milk.
Dr. Price showed us how certain nutrients, namely vitamins A and D found exclusively in animal foods like butter and organ meats from grass-fed animals, protect us from cancer and heart disease, and ensure that we have healthy children, generation after generation. Dr. Price demonstrated the fact that the marker for a good diet is uniformly broad faces and straight teeth in all members of the population, physical attractiveness bestowed not just on the few, but the natural birthright of everyone.
So this evening, I will approach this subject, the economics of food, in order to answer the following question: What kind of economic and political system would we have as a consequence of making food choices that are truly healthy, fundamentally supportive of optimal development and superb well-being, instead of merely convenient.
The Blessings of Technology
To begin with, let me say that I am not a Luddite–I am not against industrialization, not against machinery. I am glad that I live in the era of automobiles, airplanes, computers, dishwashers and, above all, cuisinarts. In fact, you can make the argument that industrialization, and in particular, the modern reliance on oil, has been good for the environment. What we often fail to realize is that the need for wood for warmth, for cooking and to produce metal objects in forges denuded a large area of Turkey, Greece and other parts of the Middle East–Greece used to be covered with trees. The early sugar industry depended on wood to make fires for refining the sugar, resulting in the stripping of trees from the Madeira Islands and then progressively westward to the Caribbean and Latin America. America has far more tree cover today than it did in 1900 because we have transitioned from the horse to the car–much land was denuded to grow hay for horses. My family has property in California. Today the undeveloped hills behind their land are covered with greenery. Photos from 1850 show these hills completely bare–because Native Americans needed wood for fires.
Nevertheless, like all other areas of life, we need to be selective in how we use these modern inventions. We can use machinery to build huge tractors, or nifty gadgets that make it easy to plow with a horse; we can use our industrial knowhow to keep our cows in huge confinement dairies or to manage cows on pasture with solar-powered electric fences. Most problematic is the use of poisons to control weeds, insects and other impediments to the profits of industrial farming–these threaten to extinguish a large part of life on earth if we don’t come to our senses very quickly.
The Economics of Theft
Let’s turn to the subject of economics. I am sure that many of you realize that today we have a system in which money is created out of nothing. Money is a medium of exchange that can be based on the productivity of a society–in other words, the government prints money based on the Gross National Product, the sum of goods and services produced in the country– or money can be created out of nothing by private banks and loaned to governments at interest. Because our money today is created out of nothing, it seeks to get its clutches on real production–industry, agriculture, trade and so forth. I call this Vulture Capital. Vulture Capital is always in search of prey–it cannot live without eating up the real sources of wealth.
In her book Stolen Harvest, Indian activist Vandana Shiva makes the following statement: “Over the past two decades, every issue I have been engaged in as an ecological activist and organic intellectual has revealed that what the industrial economy calls ‘growth’ is really a form of theft from nature and people. . . in agriculture as much as in forestry, the growth illusion hides theft from nature and the poor, masking the creation of scarcity as growth.” She describes how the resources of the Third World poor–their farms, their shrimp ponds, their health, even the life of their soil–“are being stolen to generate profits for giant corporations.”
According to Catherine Austin Fitts, a perceptive commentator on the realities of modern economics, the global First World economy actually has a negative return on investment. So-called growth comes through a four-phase process, which is a kind of theft. The first phase is destruction–through organized crime, covert operations, warfare or a variety of all three. Remember Rhett Butler’s famous line in Gone With the Wind, when Scarlet asks him how he has managed to do so well during the Civil War. He says, “Mah deah, there is much more money to be made in the destruction of civilization than in building it up.”
In Third World countries this destruction is accomplished with bombs that take out lives and infrastructure; in American communities this destruction is accomplished through crime and drugs as our neighborhoods deteriorate, or low farm prices that cause farms to go bankrupt. The profit generated from breaking up is then used to buy or seize “legal control” at a discount; this is the second step. Phase Three is the Fix-It Phase: “Government funding, credit and subsidies are used to begin repair, while harvesting remaining assets continues–including narcotics trafficking, sex slavery and any other form of liquidating the human, intellectual, environmental and physical capital.” In Iraq the harvest is huge–not only oil, which is flowing into tankers once again (though not yet directed to restoring essential services to the Iraqi peoples), but also gold and archeological treasures. Phase Four is to declare victory so that “a flow of foundation and academic grants funded by the ‘break-it/fix-it’ profits generate awards, photo opportunities and official archives and documentations for the perpetrators to be admired for their bringing of advanced civilization to the natives.”
In the United States, the result of this theft of real assets is a total debt that works out to about $100,000 per person, which we experience as rising unemployment, and see visibly as the decline in the quality and safety of our neighborhoods, small towns and countryside. Fitts argues for the creation of solaries, which she describes as investment databanks and investment advisors for a place, typically no larger than 10,000 people, that “will allow global investors to generate high capital gains from building healthy people in beautiful, safe and environmentally rich and cared-for places–not just extraction and consumption.” Or as the poet Wordsworth said, not just “getting and spending.” Fitts has created what she calls the Solari Index, which is a measure of the desirability and safety of a neighborhood.
“When I was a child growing up in the 1950s at 48th and Larchwood in West Philadelphia,” she says, “the Solari Index was 100 percent. It was unthinkable that a child was not safe running up to the stores on Spruce Street for a popsicle and some pin ball.” Today she reckons that the Solari Index in her neighborhood is 0 percent–no parents would allow their child to go alone to the corner store. A great deal of that decline she pins on narcotics trafficking and the people that narco dollars put in power on our streets–and in city hall, in the banks, in Congress and the corporations and investors down town and that ring the city. Fitts likens this system to a tapeworm that parasitically eats away at its ecosystem. A tapeworm prospers by injecting a chemical into its host that triggers a craving by the host for what the tapeworm wishes for its dinner. By managing its host’s desire, a tapeworm manipulates its host to set aside self-interest and please its parasite. And so the tapeworm proceeds to consume its host’s energy and health, with the host doing most of the work.
Coming Home to Roost
So returning to our subject of Vulture Capital, what has happened in this country since the creation of the Federal Reserve and the debt system in 1913 is that Vulture Capital has swooped down to devour more and more facets of our economy. The first targets were industries that depended on large amounts of capital–manufacturing, railroads, automobiles, airplanes and so forth. It fed on minerals, of course, and on oil–mining and refining. Then it turned to plants. By that I mean that it took over the medicinal herbs, herbs given by the Creator to all mankind for use in keeping the body healthy. It learned to generate enormous profits from these herbs by extracting certain components, or making them synthetically, and placing a patent on them–the so-called patent medicines–and a portion of the profits generated funded the continuing war against natural remedies.
Vulture Capital must always seek new sources of wealth. After exhausting the manufacturing sector, it turned to the types of industry typically carried out on the local level–shoes, clothing and food. It has glutted itself on animals–pigs, chickens, dairy cows and fish–taking them off the land or out of their natural maritime habitat–and placing them in confinement. Only one sector of the food animal economy cannot be completely managed by the industrial farm system and that is beef. The early stages of beef production must be done in the open, on the range, in order for the industry to be economically viable. This is the real reason our government tells us not to eat beef. It’s because beef cannot be completely brought into the Vulture Capital system, not because it causes heart disease and cancer–this is just a smokescreen.
Having gobbled up most of America’s industry, food production and agriculture, Vulture Capital is now exploring uncharted territories, seeking to lay claim to all food (through a system of mandatory irradiation) and all seeds (through genetic engineering.)
Sam and Dave
Most importantly, Vulture Capital has gorged itself on the underworld economy of drugs. Fitts provides a most instructive explanation for the ascendancy of the drug economy with the story of Sam and Dave. She starts in 1947. World War II is over and America is ready to rebuild. Two boats pull into the docks in New Orleans. The first boat belongs to Sam and is full of a white agricultural product grown in Latin America, called sugar. Sam sells his boatload of sugar. Then he pays his workers and all his costs of growing, refining and transporting the sugar, spends the weekend in New Orleans with his wife, pays himself a bonus, buys some new harvest equipment and pays his taxes. How much money does he have left? Probably about 5-10 percent, depending on how smart, lucky and hardworking Sam is. This is called a slim percentage, with not much room for error and not much left over.
Now we turn to Dave whose boat is also bringing in a white agricultural product from South America. His cargo is drugs. In 1947, it was probably heroin, these days it is more likely to be cocaine. Dave sells his white agricultural product for a lot more than Sam does. He then pays his workers and all the costs of growing, refining and transporting the drugs. He spends the weekend with his wife in New Orleans, pays himself a bonus and buys some new harvest and radar equipment. He doesn’t pay taxes but he needs to pay bribes and bonuses to a few enforcement and intelligence operatives and retainers to his several law firms–which as a percentage of his gross income works out to less than Sam pays to the IRS. In the end, his profit will be 20-30 percent on much higher gross income, compared to Sam’s 5-10 percent. This is called a big percentage.
Now after comparing Sam’s profit with Dave’s, Fitts asks the following questions: “Who is going to be more popular with the local bankers, Sam or Dave? Who is going to have a bigger stock market portfolio with a large investment house, Sam or Dave? Who is going to donate more money to political campaigns, Sam or Dave? Whose wife is going to be bigger in the local charities, Sam’s or Dave’s? Whose company will have more prestigious law firms in retainer, Sam’s or Dave’s? Who is going to buy the other’s company first, Sam or Dave? Is Dave the drug man going to buy Sam the sugar man’s company, or vice versa? When they want to buy the other’s company, will the bankers, lawyers and investment houses and politicians back Sam the sugar man or Dave the drug man? Whose son or grandson has a better chance of getting into Harvard or getting a job offer at Goldman Sachs, Sam’s or Dave’s?
It all comes down to cash flow. Who has the best cash flow, Sam or Dave?
The Milk Industry
Now let’s turn to another white agricultural substance–milk. Vulture Capital has sunk its talons into milk. Consumers see many brands of milk on supermarket shelves, but behind these brand names, four multinational companies control over 70 percent of fluid milk sales in the US: Land O’Lakes, Foremost Farms, Dairy Farmers of America and Dean Foods. These giants have grown through debt-financed acquisitions and mergers, and by keeping payments to dairy farmers as low as possible. Industry profits on this white agricultural substance are not as great as they are on either sugar or drugs, but because we consume so much of this product, the gross returns are quite handsome. Salaries of corporate officers in these companies typically range in the high six figures, with CEOs garnering one million dollars or more per year. Needless to say, these premium paychecks reward executives for maximizing profits for the corporation, not for ensuring high nutrient values in the nation’s dairy products and certainly not for maintaining a decent standard of living on family farms.
Political influence is an important weapon in the industry arsenal. Dairy industry contributions for 2002 totaled almost $3 million, and that’s the visible portion. That influence has ensured that successive administrations have ignored the nation’s antitrust and racketeering laws and allowed intense concentration in the industry. For example, Dean Foods, the largest US dairy company, controls many familiar labels including Adohr Farms, Alta Dena, Borden, Meadow Gold, Nature’s Pride, Shenandoah’s Pride and Sealtest, and produces the usual line of processed products like coffee creamers, whipped toppings, dips and dressings. The company controls the soymilk maker White Wave, and owns 100 percent of Horizon Organic Milk. Although Dean Foods has $2.5 billion of debt, and an uninspired BB+ credit rating, it donated $1 million to the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation in July of 2003. And while 16 US dairy farmers went out of business every day in 2002, Gregg L. Engles, the 45-year-old CEO of Dean Foods, made $3,200,000 that year.
Beating the System
Lots of people have tried to put a name on the economic system we have ended up with–is it capitalism, corporate socialism, fascism, or oligarchy? But it really doesn’t matter what you call it because, basically, there are only two economic systems in the world, one in which millions and millions of people make a decent living, and one in which a few people make millions and millions of dollars while the rest are paupers. Obviously, we are getting closer and closer to the latter system, with disenfranchisement, poverty and even outright slavery–both throughout the world and in the US–growing every day. We have more people doing slave labor in our prisons today than we have full time farmers. It’s actually a very ugly picture, about which many Americans are blissfully unaware.
Many thinkers and writers have proposed solutions to this growing disparity between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the seemingly powerless—a new third party, government reform, local community organizations such as co-ops and solaries, violent revolution, even rescue by angels or space aliens. But I think there is an easier solution to returning the power of government to the people and to local economies, of bringing sections of our economy that should be small and local–food, clothing, shoes, etc.–back into local hands, and even, ultimately, returning our industrial base and our oil and mineral resources back into the hands of the people. And every person can contribute to this solution, even those who don’t want to get involved in committee meetings, politics or activism. My solution is this: Drink Raw Milk.
Let me explain. We have talked about Sam and Dave. Now let’s talk about Mike, a dairy farmer producing a white agricultural substance called milk. Let’s say Mike has 30 cows and he sells his milk to the local co-op, such as Foremost or Dairy Farmers of America. He gets about $10 per hundredweight for his milk, which is less than farmers received before World War II. In order to maximize his return, he has modern Holstein cows and he feeds them lots of grain. So he may get 190 hundredweight per year from each cow, which works out to a total yearly income of $57,000, most of which is eaten up with feed and vet bills. His wife has to work to bring in some cash and obtain health insurance, and they live just above the poverty line. If they have gone into debt and the prices drop even a little bit, or their cows produce less than expected, they lose their farm.
Let’s now look at what Mike’s income would be if he had a grass-based dairy and sold milk directly to the public. He would use Guernseys, Jerseys or some other old-fashioned breed because these cows do better on grass. He would only get about 100 hundredweight per cow per year, about half as much, but if he sells the milk at $4 per gallon, he would get at least five times as much for the milk. Actually, some farmers are getting $8 or $9 per gallon for their raw milk, but let’s be conservative and stick to the figure of $4 per gallon. If he sells it at $4 per gallon and the equivalent amount for butter (about $10 per pound) and cream (about $9 per quart), he makes about $50 per hundredweight. If he makes a good cheese, he can actually make more per hundredweight–in France the value-added product that brings the most to farmers is not wine but cheese. But let’s stick to a round number of $50 per hundredweight and do the math. At $50 per hundredweight, he grosses $5000 per cow per year. With 30 cows his gross income on the milk alone is $150,000.
But there’s more. Because Mike makes butter, cream and cheese, he will have whey and skim milk as by-products, which is free food for pigs and chickens. So in addition to milk and milk products, he can sell eggs, chicken, turkeys, pork, bacon and lard as by products. The male calves go to veal or beef. Depending on how hard he wants to work, he can put his manure to good use by growing vegetables or fruit. He may produce maple syrup or honey. So let’s add, for the sake of argument, another $50,000 (which is conservative) to the total, bringing us to $200,000 gross income for a farm with 30 dairy cows on something like 100 acres if they sell all that they are able to produce. Of course there are capital investments and the cost of the land to consider–this is going to be about the same no matter what Mike is getting for his milk, but his operating expenses will be much lower because he is bringing in only a minimal amount of feed from the outside, his vet bills will be very low, the fertility of his animals will be high and his cows will live a long time.
Now this is a lot better than Sam does with sugar and it may even be better than Dave does with his white agricultural product when you count the occupational hazards attached to the business of illegal drugs. Actually, the best thing to do with opium poppies, and the legal way to consume them, is to give them to cows. I am not making this up. The best cheese in the world in my opinion is the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Italy, which is made from cows fed poppies so that they will be contented and produce the wonderful milk that is used to make the cheese. This cheese sells for $15 per pound, which is the equivalent of about $500 per hundredweight of milk! The farmer may only get one-fifteenth of this, but hey, that’s $75 per hundredweight. Would you like to get $75 per hundredweight for your milk?
But there’s more. The whey leftover from making the cheese is fed to the pigs which are the source of the wonderful prosciutto ham, which sells for up to $30 per pound! This explains why the most delicious food and the most beautiful clothes, shoes, handbags and furniture come from this region of Italy–there is tremendous disposable income for these kinds of locally made products.
Returning to the US, what do these numbers do for local communities and local employment? If just 10 percent of the US population bought raw milk, raw butter, raw cream and raw cheese directly from farmers, as well as all the other products produced on the farm, we would need about 75,000 100-acre farms each with 30 cows. If each farm generates an annual income of $200,000, the total revenue is $15 billion, year after year, much of which stays right in the local community. (If the whole country drank raw milk, the total would be over $1.5 trillion, or 8 percent of the current Gross National Product.) You see now why the original and basic source of wealth is cattle. Cattle are the stock of the stock market and the word for capital is derived from the Latin for heads of cattle.
In my lifetime, I have witnessed first hand what this kind of farm revenue does for local communities. During the 1960s, the town of Healdsburg, California was a dump–it had been a thriving town before Prohibition shut down the local wineries. But during the 1960s the local farms produced pears and prune plums, commodity crops that were bought by big corporations which sold the pears fresh and dried the prunes. Everything was run down, there was no good restaurant in town and most of the buildings needed paint. Today Healdsburg is hopping. There are numerous trendy shops around the central square, several great restaurants, a fabulous hardware store, several bakeries, and an independent grocery store that does well in spite of the fact that there is a big Safeway on the other side of town. There is even a nice hotel across from the central square. And everything is neatly painted and attractive. What caused the change? It was the rather sudden switch from a commodity crop to a value-added one, from prunes and pears to wine grapes and the opening of numerous wineries selling their value-added product.
Wine is a rich man’s hobby. Grapes are very expensive to plant and it takes about six years for them to fully mature, and another two years for the wine produced from them to be ready to drink. By contrast, entry into the raw milk business is relatively easy. If you purchase a cow for $1000 and sell the milk for $50 per hundredweight, you recoup your investment within three months.
As for employment, let’s assume that the 75,000 farms employ 3 people full time. Maybe it is the farmers (husband and wife) plus one older child, or the couple and one hired person–perhaps the head of another family which lives on the farm as well. The total for these farms will be 225,000 individuals. There is also the multiplier effect, usually given as a ratio of 2.7. That is, for each direct farm employee, there will be 2.7 indirect employees. Thus the total employment created (direct plus indirect) is 872,500 thousand people, about the number of unemployed we currently have in the US today.
If we add to milk and farm products other items that can and should be produced locally–healthy soft drinks, bread and other bakery products, sausage and broth, lacto-fermented vegetables and so forth–we would see an unbelievable explosion of local prosperity, a small town renaissance throughout the US. We’d see a return of small, local clothing and shoe factories. With the right technology, we can also make paper from hemp, locally and in an environmentally friendly way. Craftsmanship would flourish–furniture making, carpentry, home building, dressmaking, gourmet cuisine, art and music. Medical bills and insurance costs would decline and there would be employment for all. In fact, a shortage of labor would result in a decent living wage for anyone willing to work.
The one major impediment to this happy picture is the anti-raw milk agenda–scare-mongering propaganda and compulsory pasteurization laws. Can you see how compulsory pasteurization has been a major factor in the destruction of America’s local economies? Fortunately, there is a way around these laws with our cow-share, herd-share and farm-share programs. In fact, now that we are rolling back the propaganda and creating more and more customers for raw milk and related products, these pasteurization laws can actually work to the benefit of farmers. If people can’t get raw milk in stores, they will make the effort to come to the farm, or pay you for the service of delivering your products to their doorstep. The farm-share system also allows you to provide other value-added products which health laws prevent you from selling directly–farm-butchered meat, sausage, baked goods and so forth could be “provided,” not “sold,” to farm-share owners.
Although we constantly hear rhetoric extolling the efficiency of very large farms, rising costs and declining prices are rendering this model more and more untenable. The farm of the future is not the mechanized CAFO or mega-monoculture, but the 30-cow dairy farm that sells directly to the public or provides products to shareholders. This model will flourish because the day is coming when no conscientious couple will dream of starting a family until they have found a source of pure and healthy raw milk for their children; when no town planners will proceed without first setting aside the most fertile land for the local dairy; when no doctor will omit raw milk as part of his treatment; and when no government official will dare to impede access in any way to raw milk and other pure foods–and that raw milk will come from small, local farms.
Focus on Solutions
We do have a very serious situation in this country, a precarious economic situation that can only continue through a system of theft–not only of American assets but those of people throughout the world. We need to be aware of this situation, of course, but it is important to put our thoughts into solutions, not problems. (You know, dwelling on all that’s wrong, on the conspiracies, the worst case scenario and so forth, is like eating junk food. The junk food–this terrible economic and political situation–is out there but you don’t have to put your attention on it, just as you don’t have to eat junk food–and you won’t eat junk food when you realize that healthy food actually tastes better and is more satisfying.)
By the way, I do not agree with Catherine Fitts that the decline in her Philadelphia neighborhood was initiated by drug dealing. The very first step in that decline is a step in which we all share responsibility, and that is letting our children buy popsicles, made from sugar, Sam’s commodity. This is the step that sends the food dollar out of local communities, and that makes the body chemistry susceptible to drugs. The fix that initiates the decline in our standard of living is the sugar fix.
So let’s conclude by painting a picture of the kind of life we will have when we all make this one change–when we all drink raw milk that we purchase directly from the farmer. You may remember the humorous parody of various economic systems that made its way across the internet, world ideologies explained by reference to cows. For example:
You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you need.
You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM
You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
RAW MILK ECONOMICS
You have two cows, non-genetically manipulated and produced through natural breeding, who feed on fertile green pastures and produce delicious high-fat milk. They are cheerfully milked by your round-faced children having naturally straight teeth and wearing pure cotton clothes, colored with natural dyes and produced in the nearby town. The cows give birth to calves every year and soon you have a herd of 30 cows, all producing delicious healthy milk. Sam and Dave have retired and bring their grandchildren around to help with the milking.
Out-of-work orthodontists gather up the manure in the milking shed and distribute it on your pasture in which happy chickens run around, turning over cow paddies and eating bugs to produce nutrient-rich eggs. You make naturally yellow butter from the cream, and a delicious cheese. You feed the whey and skim milk to your small herd of hogs, which they thoughtfully turn into bacon and lard for cooking.
Reformed FDA officials help you make lacto-fermented juice from the fruit grown in your orchards and pickles and chutneys from your garden produce. All these products you provide in your on-farm store to your farm shareholders, many of whom are grateful survivors from the lowfat era. You make more money than you can possibly spend on yourselves and so donate to your town’s schools, theatres, symphony orchestra and opera company. You also build a nice house on another part of your farm where another family lives, and you pay this family handsomely to help you on the farm. That allows you to take a big vacation twice a year and learn how people live in other parts of the world. Missionary groups teach raw milk economics to people living in other countries and every year two foreign exchange students come to help out on the farm.
You have two. . . hundred thousand farms, all producing raw milk products and providing them in on-farm stores or by home delivery. These farms create an explosion of prosperity on the local level. Small towns revive and along with them, small businesses. Every town produces a distinctive lacto-fermented soft drink and every town supports several great restaurants. Fast food places transfer into local hands; new owners cook the french fries in tallow or lard. Unemployment disappears and everybody makes a decent wage. No one uses pesticides on their farms so the chemical companies close down that part of their operation. Many corporate employees are freed up from the system and find better pay and more fulfilling work with local businesses or on farms. It will become more profitable to put land just outside cities and towns into dairy farms than houses. Towns and cities will grow while urban sprawl will give way to green spaces. Wealthy farmers and wealthy small businessmen put their money in local credit unions; the power of international banks wanes, and so does their influence in Washington. This new wealth is real, so there is no need to wage war any longer to keep the economy afloat. The health crisis resolves; inner city hospitals are torn down and replaced with inner city dairy farms, supplying fresh milk to inner city families. School lunch programs feature raw milk and products of local farms. Because the children are eating real food, their brains get wired properly; they are filled with curiosity and learn easily; teaching becomes a joyous profession once again. Happy, well nourished children contribute to an artistic flowering–music, painting, literature, dance and the dramatic arts flourish.
You have two. . . hundred million people who drink raw milk. And all of them live happily ever after.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2003.