I had no idea that pasteurization was so provocative! Reason TV offers its Nanny of the Month, bypassing two worthy runners-up to select a federal attorney attempting to block commerce in raw milk. Stephanie Rose argues that Americans do not have a fundamental right to eat anything they want, which actually doesn’t seem as outrageous on further consideration than it does at first:
I’m generally opposed to nanny-state policies and policing, and raw milk may or may not be a good battleground for this fight, but do Americans have an absolute right to buy any kind of food they want? If so, wouldn’t that include, oh, hash brownies and other mind-altering foodstuffs like magic mushrooms? Strict libertarians would say yes, of course, but if we’re talking now about the law as it is, we do have limits on what Americans can shove into their pie-holes, as Reason puts it. And raw milk can present some dangers, at least in theory. I think I’d rather fight this issue on the salt bans or the federal mandates for menus, but YMMV.
Since I’m late to the raw milk controversy, what exactly is the issue? Does pasteurization kill milk’s nutritional value? If so, why not just replace it with supplemental nutrients or add healthier choices to other parts of one’s diet? As long as consumers know that they’re not getting pasteurized milk, I’d be inclined to support their ability to choose, but the reward hardly seems worth the effort to fight it on this issue. I think I would have picked the Baldwin Park decision to ban drive-through fast food restaurants as much less necessary and much more invasive to the private sector — as well as damaging to the local economy.