This Wednesday armed federal agents busted into Rawesome Foods, a small and locally owned market in Venice, CA to arrest the owner and seize all the organic, raw foods on the premises. The owner, James Stewart, is being held on $123,000 bail. What was his offense?
Selling raw, unpasteurized milk without a permit!
Needless to say, the good healthy people of Venice were pissed. A protest was held Thursday morning at the LA City courthouse. I’m shocked that armed federal agents would need to break into a well-known establishment and treat it like a hostile war zone. I haven’t even seen this kind of decisive, hostile action taken against the sex trafficking industry which, indeed, is alive and well.
According to the LA Times, the arrests come after a year-long undercover investigation where agents purchased raw dairy products from the market and stands across Southern California. The irony (or further irony–beyond California tax dollars going to a macho-gun-toting-take-down of a health food Co-Op) is that the raid happened the same week that the Agriculture Department has recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to more than 70 salmonella illnesses in 26 states, including a death in California. Turkey sold by major national chain food retailers. Say WHAT?
I’m sure a lot of people will have strong opinions on this, either way. Its a question of public health standards and operational consistency, but also seems like excessive use of force and destruction of property. Following the rules and complying with regulations is one thing. But couldn’t this have been handled differently? Please let me know what YOU think about this!
In the meantime, cats and kittens, I’m stickin’ to my soy milk!
That’s all for now!