Raw Milk Farmer on Trial for Keeping Eggs at Customer Preferred Temperature

By Brad Jordan

The state of Minnesota is going after a small, peaceful dairy farmer…again. Alvin Schlangen is wanted for selling raw milk and other real foods to members of a private, buying club, without retail food sales permits. The state – which generally sees local foods produced outside of the industrialized food system as “dangerous” – aims to make an example of this farmer for disobeying rules, which no one, except the high priests in government, had a problem with.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture – still with egg on its face from an earlier court battle, which Schlangen won – has decided to press charges against him for similar infractions in another county. Charges include selling cold eggs (too cold for state officials, but just right for his customers), not having a license to “handle” his own food (while delivering it free of charge), and selling “adulterated” and/or “misbranded” food (stemming from a wild accusation that Schlangen’s milk caused a man to become ill).

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Control freaks

Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which is representing Schlangen in court, chatted with Food Riot Radio recently about the trumped up charges. As to why the state would try to convict Schlangen of the same crimes he has already been acquitted of, Kennedy explained, “It’s all about control.Alvin has a private buyers club and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture refuses to recognize any distinction between public and private distribution of food.”

This is a recurring theme when it comes to government. Whether you’re an NSA whistle blower or a farmer who dares to sell unapproved foods, when you challenge the lords of control, they meet you with force, often at the barrel of a gun, and threaten to lock you up. Lock you up for what? For selling food to other peaceful human beings who desperately want it, or for notifying a mummified nation that their benevolent fathers are nothing more than peeping Toms, that’s what.

What’s next, will the NSA be used to spy on small, organic farmers and drones used to fire heat-seeking, hell-fire missiles on these raw milk rebels?

Do state officials not have a soul? Don’t they have any empathy for the consumers who are so loyal to Schlangen, who need his food for their otherwise failing health? Has our government become so corrupt, so evil, that it aims to destroy small, sustainable farmers, our last sources of real food?

Is it just coincidence that Hormel, Land O’ Lakes, and General Mills happen to be headquartered in Minnesota? Is it possible they could’ve asked government to step in and shut down their local competition?

The farmer’s hand

Schlangen slapped the state in the face when he won last year’s trial. Well, if the MDA thought his forehand stung, wait till he comes around with his backhand.

Even though he was acquitted of selling adulterated food in Hennepin County, the state is going to try him again for the same “crimes,” committed on different occasions.

According to Kennedy, the prosecution is lacking in the evidence department though. The state is trying to argue that Schlangen’s milk caused an outbreak of campylobacter, because one person in his buying club tested positive for the infection. The “evidence” is a questionnaire from the sickened man. The man said he consumed raw milk that day, but he also consumed fast food and chicken, which is the leading cause of campylobacter illness. Officials don’t have a stool sample, or campylobacter-infected milk sample, or any other physical evidence that links the bacterial outbreak to Schlangen’s farm, just a questionnaire.

If that doesn’t seem like enough of a reach, the state is also trying to prosecute Schlangen for storing his eggs at 50 degrees fahrenheit, 5 degrees higher in temperature than the MDA requires, which, as Kennedy pointed out, normally would warrant nothing more than a citation of some sort from the inspector, not a full blown criminal trial. Schlangen says, “The co-op members like their eggs being refrigerated at 50 degrees just fine. After 25 years of egg production, I might have some insight.”

Who would have ever thought providing a free community service, like driving groceries to people, would be a crime? Well, that’s another misdemeanor Schlangen being charged with.

Kennedy said Schlangen’s lack of a food handler’s permit is where the state really has him in a stranglehold. If a small food producer can’t distribute his product, it’s pretty hard to sell it. He can’t afford to hire a large food distribution company, like Sysco, and it’s impractical given his rural location that customers are going to drive out to his farm.

This is organized crime at the highest level, where government picks and chooses the winners, especially when it concerns what we, the simpletons, eat and drink.

It’s time to get pissed off

If after reading this, your blood starts to boil, followed by the fires of liberty burning in your belly, the clenching of your fists and the gnashing of your teeth, because you’re so damn frustrated at these charges, realize that it’s okay to feel this way. That means you’re human, and feeling these emotions toward a completely lunatic, tyrannical, out-of-control government is a good thing. It’s okay the show these emotions that government schools told you to suppress, that your boss told you to suppress, that your parents told you to suppress. Well, Food Riot Radio doesn’t want you to suppress them any longer. It’s time to get mad as hell!

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It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to join Alvin Schlangen at the courthouse in St. Cloud Minnesota on August 13, 14 and 15, to show government we won’t be bullied any longer. We won’t stand for this kind of abuse and overreach by over-zealous state agents. We will stand with our famers, just like we stood with Vernon Hershberger.

Please consider donating to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, whose lawyers are dedicated to preserving our food freedom, and please like Food Riot Radio on Facebook.

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