You might think that farmers markets would be a hub for food freedom. However, at the Yorktown Farmers Market, you would be wrong.
After setting up our booth and talking with a few market visitors about Pasture’s Delights, we were approached by the market master about paying for our space. As I handed over the fee, she informed me that she would let us stay for the evening, but we would not be welcome back again. Almost speechless, I asked, “What’s the problem?”
She informed me that her husband had been a local dairy inspector for more than 30 years. His experience made them dead set against raw milk, believing it to be a public health disaster waiting to happen. She admitted to seeing raw milk's nutritional benefits, but they still felt that raw milk could not be produced safely without government regulation to protect people from dairy operations like Pasture's Delights. Because of this view, they didn’t want it to be promoted at their market. Since we had come all that way and were already set up, she would allow us to stay for the evening but, again, we were not welcome back.
I expressed my disappointment with their views on raw milk and our operation which they knew nothing about. But more-so, I asked her not to deny her market patrons the opportunity to make up their own minds about what they will eat. Pasture’s Delights was only at the market to inform, and people need to hear both sides to make a choice. Even with my points, I could see her mind was made up so I didn’t press the issue. I thanked her for letting us stay the rest of the evening and assured her we wouldn’t be back.
Yet even with this initial adversity, the market was encouraging. We talked with several people interested in raw milk, and let them know about the upcoming Muncie call-out where we plan to establish a delivery in their area. We talked at length with a local nurse and her adult daughter about the sad state of healthcare and how superior nutrition—like that from raw milk—would do a lot to help with the issue. Although even the nurse was initially concerned about possible food safety issues with raw milk, after I informed her of our sanitation and testing protocol, she was totally at ease with the issue.
It is easy to see that the tide is turning against factory farming, unsustainable practices, and the unnecessary over-processing of our food. People are turning away in droves and looking to smaller farms with sustainable practices that produce REAL food. It’s not surprising at all that there is resistance to change, especially with people that are entrenched in the old system for so long (like a retired dairy inspector). We mustn’t allow adversity to discourage us, but instead be uplifted by the great hunger for change that is coming.
We at Pasture's Delights will keep making the farmers market circuit, informing people as the season goes on. Check out our Facebook notes page for a complete list of the markets we'll be attending. Stop by if you have a moment, and cheer us on!