Main Page CJLY
Deconstructing Dinner: Reconstructing Our Food System
recent showslisten live
Read a Transcript & Donate to Support our Work:

The following transcript is protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

Link to Audio and Episode Info Here

Show Transcript

Deconstructing Dinner

Kootenay Co-op Radio CJLY

Nelson, B.C. Canada 


October 15, 2009


Title: Sally Fallon Morell


Producer/Host - Jon Steinman

Transcript - Pat Yama


Jon Steinman: And welcome to Deconstructing Dinner - a syndicated weekly one-hour radio show and podcast produced in Nelson, British Columbia at Kootenay Co-op Radio CJLY. I'm Jon Steinman.


On today's broadcast we listen in on a lecture of a familiar guest to Deconstructing Dinner - Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Sally was recorded in Massachusetts by the E.F. Schumacher Society and spoke on the importance of whole traditional foods, pasture-fed livestock and organic farming. She believes that it is possible to return to a food system made up of small scale production and processing.


The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit nutrition education foundation with over 400 local chapters worldwide and helps consumers access local foods. She's the founder of A Campaign for Real Milk and the co-author of the bestselling cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" and "Eat Fat, Lose Fat".


Sally lives in Washington D.C.


increase and fade out


Male Announcer: You're listening to Sally Fallon Morell speaking at the 28th Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures held at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts on October 25th, 2008.


The E.F. Schumacher Society is a membership supported organization. For more information about the E.F. Schumacher Society, write them at 140 Jug End Rd., Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 01230. Call 413-528-1737 or visit us on the web at


Sally Fallon Morell: Years ago, after I graduated from college and began my education, I read three books that had a profound influence on my thinking and in fact set me forth on the path, my career that has brought me in front of you today.


The first book was, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston Price. He was the pioneering dentist who had the wisdom and persistence to study the dietary habits of healthy non-industrialized people before they disappeared from the face of the earth. His studies lead us to the radical conclusion that the diet that supports good health is in virtually all respects, the very opposite of the dietary recommendations given by all those clever people who work for the medical/agricultural complex and the government. It is a diet rich in animal fats, rich in animal fats, organ meats, and raw-milk products from grass-fed animals; and that contains fermented foods full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. If your dinner plate is swimming in butter, swimming in butter and you eat sauerkraut or some kind of lacto-fermented condiment with your meal or perhaps a deliciously nutritious, fizzy, lacto-fermented soft drink, you have a good idea of the principles of healthy diets.


And I'd like to just stop here and talk about what Dan was talking about. It's just so serendipitous. Dr. Price had discovered a vitamin that he didn't know quite what it was and we call it Activator X. And this vitamin is responsible for facial development in people. When diets are full of this vitamin, you get beautiful faces in people - broad faces, high cheekbones, naturally straight teeth, and also complete freedom from tooth decay. And we finally figured out what this Activator is. It is vitamin K2, the animal form of vitamin K. And the number one source of vitamin K2 in the Western diet is goose liver! (laughter) So thank you Dan.


The second book I read that had so much influence on me was, "Small Is Beautiful" by E. F. Schumacher. This had enormous influence on my thinking about the value of small mixed farms and local food economies, and it was the inspiration for the Weston A. Price Foundation local chapter system which is a confederation of volunteers that helps connect consumers with farmers engaged in nontoxic pasture-based agriculture.


Now the arguments that people used in Schumacher's day-and they still say it today-against his ideas is that we would all starve if we had a system of small farms, that only big agriculture can save us, that's the argument we hear. But I remember when I first read this book, I was so excited about it and I got in a conversation at a party with a UCLA professor in early 1970s. And I was talking about Small is Beautiful and he said, "Oh yes, we tried that in Africa." And he was talking about small-scale production of egg cartons. And he said the problem, he said with the "small is beautiful was abundance. We just ended up with so many egg cartons." And then he went on to explain how abundance severely disrupted the global economy! (laughter).


The third book was, "There Is a River" by Thomas Sugrue. And I don't have time to go into the contribution that this book made to the change of consciousness in this culture that we have undergone since the 1950s. It has tremendous effects on the change we've seen. But suffice it to say this book eventually led me to the writings of Rudolf Steiner, whose work dovetails with that of Schumacher and about whom I will have more to say as we go along. But this book helped me form what Schumacher calls the center of basic convictions; those ideas, which really have the power to move us and which, help us form a coherent and meaningful view of the universe and our fundamental human purpose. Everybody needs that core of ideas upon which to build their career and their life.


Well, what I would like to do today is talk about some things that are very, very small. Living objects that have been ignored, marginalized, or even demonized by the clever thinkers of our modern age. Namely enzymes, cells, and bacteria. Let's look first at enzymes. And I don't have a picture of an enzyme but they are very beautiful proteinaceous objects in three dimensions. In diagrams they look like beautiful bunches of twisting ribbons in all dimensions, And they are even more complicated than they look because every section of the surface of these twisting ribbons has a specific positive or negative charge. Enzymes are so small that their actions take place on this subtle electronic level, and if the charges are not the right ones in just the right spot on these beautiful twisting ribbons, the enzymes cannot do their work.


Now raw milk is full of these beautiful enzymes. There's dozens of enzymes in raw milk and all of them work together, they work synergistically to inhibit or kill pathogens, strengthen the immune system, and ensure that all of the nutrients are absorbed. And this is why raw milk only very rarely causes disease, in spite of what you may have read. There's a lot of propaganda out there accusing raw milk of terrible crimes, but these beautiful enzymes in raw milk prevent the growth of pathogens and strengthen the immune system to be immune to the pathogens.


Just to take an example, the enzyme called lactoferrin. It works by stealing iron away from pathogens and carrying the iron through the gut into the bloodstream. So it actually does a double duty, as many of these enzymes do. First it kills off a wide range of iron-loving pathogens, such as TB bacillus. Most pathogens are iron-loving. Another super iron-loving pathogen is candida, a big problem today. Lactoferrin kills candida. At the same time it helps the infant to absorb all the iron in the milk. This is why infants on raw milk or breast milk don't get anemic, but they do get anemic on pasteurized milk. In addition, lactoferrin stimulates the immune system.


Now lactoferrin is one of these beautiful small things that our modern health officials have marginalized. They simply have no sense of shame over what industrial processes do to these elegant fragile compounds. Rapid heating, pressure, and chemical treatments can warp and distort the precise folds and the surface electrical charge of these enzymes in raw milk, thus rendering them ineffective and destroying their potency. And in fact, when we drink pasteurized milk, what we get is a messed-up bunch of enzymes and the body thinks that they are foreign, and it mounts an immune response.


Alright, now let's turn our attention to cells, the components of animal and human bodies. Modern materialistic science marginalizes cells by calling them simple. Early biologists saw cells as simple, membranous sacs containing fluid and a few floating particles. Today's biologists know better and they know that cells are infinitely complex. For example, we know that animal cells actually contain tiny little motors in the mitochondria. Motors that turn around. The fuel they run on is called ATP, and the enzyme ATP synthase present in the mitochondria acts like a water turbine. "The energy from high energy electrons is used to pump hydrogen ions across the membrane towards the outside of the mitochondria, they flow down their concentration gradient through a tube in the enzyme ATP synthase, and the energy from this backflow is used to turn the turbine." That's in the mitochondria of the cells, and there are literally millions of these motors in every cell. Amazing!


We also know that cells have elaborate ways of communicating with each other through various hormones and other substances. They actually have receptors on their outer membranes, which allow them to sense signals from other cells and to reply with their own signals. It seems that the brain of the cell is the membrane-the mem-brain , get it? (laughs). And by the way this elaborate sensing mechanism simply will not work if the cell membrane is not completely replete with saturated fat and cholesterol. Your cells cannot do this communicating unless they've got plenty of saturated fat and cholesterol in them. One-celled organisms, as opposed to cells forming human and animal bodies, have not only been marginalized but completely demonized. Under the catch-all term of germs, these one-celled organisms have, since their discovery, been blamed for most of the diseases that we suffer from which are actually caused by either toxins or nutritional deficiencies.


And I'm reminded of a story, this is a true story, and it was told to me many years ago by some friends from France. And they said they were at a family gathering and there were people of all ages. And a little girl of about four dropped some food on the floor. And she went to pick up the food and her parents said, "Don't eat that, it's got germs on it!" Now this is a four year old child. She straightened up. She said: "Germs, Jesus Christ, and Santa Claus! That's all I ever hear about, and I haven't seen a single one." (laughter) She's four years old.


Jon Steinman: This is Deconstructing Dinner. We are listening to Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation based in Washington D.C. Today's episode is archived online at and posted under the October 15th, 2009 episode.


Sally Fallon Morell: Because these so-called microorganisms-viruses and bacteria-are invisible, they can be blamed for attacking us and making us ill. Modern medicine blames not only infectious disease like flu and pneumonia on microorganisms but also chronic illness like heart disease and cancer. And if it's really too much of a stretch to blame these types of diseases on germs, they blame it on the other G word, genes. So germs and genes take the rap for nutrient deficiencies and for toxins in our air, water, and food. And I'll give you a very good example of this. The symptoms of polio, said to be caused by this dastardly virus, are identical to the symptoms of DDT poisoning. And the polio epidemic in this country waned when DDT was outlawed in the U.S. The polio vaccine, deliberately held back until that ban, was then trotted out with great ceremony and said to be the reason of the decline in polio. So the invisible virus still takes the rap.


I recently clicked on an AOL trailer on my computer which warned and this was the headline-"283 kinds of bacteria lurking here." The "lurking" you know is real bad stuff. And the article revealed that your dashboard can be as dirty as a toilet seat, with 283 different types of bacteria present per square inch. Drivers with children and pets were found to host a greater number and range of potentially harmful germs. Dangerous germs from children and pets "lurking" on our dashboards, doorknobs, and kitchen counters. The world of the materialist scientist is surely a dangerous and hostile place. The demonization of microscopic life, the belief that the only good microbe is a dead microbe, provides the justification for the pasteurization of milk and the sterilization of the food supply and has also built the edifice of modern medicine based on antibiotics and vaccinations. These measures as we know have not solved the problem of disease. And the desperate solution now proposed is ultra-pasteurization, irradiation, full-spectrum-cure antibiotics, and dozens of required vaccinations before the age of five, starting at one day old, when baby gets his first vaccination at one day old. And I'm going to quote from Schumacher here. He said: "The neglect, indeed the rejection, of wisdom has gone so far that most of our intellectuals have not even the faintest idea of what the term could mean. As a result, they always tend to try and cure a disease by intensifying its causes. The disease having been caused by allowing cleverness to displace wisdom, no amount of clever research is likely to produce a cure." Very apropo to modern medicine and agriculture, this statement.


Now the irony is that in recent years scientists have completely discredited the germ paradigm. Now our public policy is being made by biologists and microbiologists who went to school 30 years ago. They would not be learning this in school today. We now know that we live in symbiotic relationship with microscopic organisms on our skin, in our mouths, and throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract. Without the six pounds, there's six pounds of bacteria in a healthy gut, lining the gastrointestinal tract-without them, and by the way this is more than the total number of cells in our bodies- without them we could not digest our food or absorb the nutrients they contains. They provide our number one protection against toxins in our food. If you have healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract, they keep out mercury, pesticides, and all sorts of toxins. They are 85% of our immune system is these healthy wonderful bacteria in our guts. They produce a range of nutrients and they even produce feel-good chemicals. Without germs we are dead. And there's more. Germs are now being harnessed for soil remediation and environmental clean-up. I'm almost a little reluctant to say this to this audience but there is even a wild theory that oil is a renewable resource produced by micro-organisms inside the earth and also that life forms can transmute one element out of another by enzymatic action.


Even the so-called pathogenic germs that have been found to play a beneficial role in the human ecology. What germs do, even the pathogens, they scavenge dead tissue, which our bodies give off when they're malnourished or poisoned. And Dr. Weston Price put this very well. He said, "We do not die of disease; we get disease because we are dying." And it's the germs of course who are just the clean-up crew who are blamed. The modern hostility to microorganisms has led not only to our dysfunctional medical system but also to gross problems on the economic level, and this is where it all ties in with Schumacher, as we will see. Well, even if modern science grudgingly admits that cells are actually immensely complicated or that microorganisms can have beneficial effects, they still consider these beautiful tiny organisms to work as individual units or even to be in competition with each other, just imposing our own views of economic man on the microscopic world. But we now know that single-celled organisms form groups or colonies in which cells cooperate with each another and then specialize in function.


As an example of this cooperation I would like to consider a very provocative statement by the late philosopher and seer, Rudolf Steiner. When a student asked him what was needed in order for the proper development of humanity to occur in the future, the very subject that Schumacher explores so eloquently in "Small Is Beautiful," he replied with a list of three statements and I'm only going to look at the third statement here. Each statement is food for a very long lecture in itself. The third statement was, he said that for mankind to make any progress-economic, political, or spiritual-he must understand that the heart is not a pump. What are we to make of this strange statement that in order for human beings to make progress they must understand that the heart is not a pump? Why didn't he talk about nuclear proliferation or you know, class struggle or something. No he said in order to make progress we have to understand that the heart is not a pump.


My colleague Tom Cowan, the author of, "The Fourfold Path to Healing" has pondered this statement for over 20 years in order to ascertain its accuracy and to understand its implications. I'm just going to give you the short explanation today. Let's consider what is a pump? A pump is something that pushes a liquid, that makes it go faster, and that is responsible for movement of a liquid. That's what a pump is. And normal science and medicine take it as given that the organ or the aspect of the circulatory system responsible for the movement of the blood is the heart and that the muscular contraction of the heart walls provides this pushing for the movement of the blood. They accept this assertion even though scientists do not understand how such a small and relatively weak organ can generate the amount of pressure needed to move a viscous fluid like blood through all the resistance presented by the miles and miles of blood vessels that make up the circulatory system. Nor do they really understand how the heart can perform this muscular activity minute after minute, day after day, year after year for a whole lifetime.


Credit for the discovery of the so-called pumping action of the heart goes to William Harvey, the so-called "father" of modern cardiology. In 1628, Harvey claimed that the beating of the heart is the sole cause for the circulation of the blood through the living organisms. Another physiologist, Antoni, describes this succinctly when he claimed the heart function as a circulating pump that drives the blood through the vessels. This is the edifice upon which all modern cardiology is based. It is a distinctly modern and mechanistic view. Aristotle and Vergil thought that the heart rather than the brain was the seed of the mind. And a similar belief can be found in ancient Hindu scriptures and other Eastern philosophies. But Western materialistic science sees the heart merely as a mechanical pump. And this is a perfect example of what Schumacher would describe as the sacrifice of wisdom to know-how.


And the first problem with this mindset is that it is actually wrong. The blood going into the heart is actually going at the same speed as when it leaves the heart. The heart does not speed up the blood. The blood is already going at full speed when it enters the heart. The so-called pumping of the heart does not make the blood go any faster. After the blood leaves the heart, it slows down - it kind of goes "down hill," if you want to think of it like that - into the tiny capillaries, where a transfer of nutrients between the blood and the cells occurs. Actually, at the capillaries the blood stops and it kind of oscillates and then it starts moving again. After this transfer, the blood enters the venous system and at first the tiny venules and then the veins, which become progressively larger as they approach the heart. And as the blood gets closer and closer to the heart, it goes faster and faster.


From these facts it is easy to see that the pump that is the driving force for the movement of the blood, must begin at the level of the capillaries. It's not the heart. As the blood returns to the heart and the cross-sectional area of the veins progressively narrows, the blood moves faster and faster, just like water in a river slows down when the river is wide and goes very fast when the river is narrow. The valves in the vein keep the blood moving uphill, so to speak, toward the heart, and the contractions of the muscles of the leg help increase the momentum. The blood builds up maximum speed as it enters the largest veins and meets the heart. The heart actually acts as a dam for this onrushing blood - it actually stops the blood. It dams up the incoming blood and traps it in its four chambers, which can be likened to expandable holding tanks. When the chambers are filled to a maximum, the heart gates open-we call these gates valves-and the blood essentially falls down the rest of the body due to the force of gravity. The heart does not pump the blood; the blood pumps the heart. What does the heart do, then, if it doesn't pump the blood? What the heart does is listen. This amazing organ senses what is in the blood and then calls forth the necessary hormones so that homeostasis is maintained and the cells can function optimally. The heart is working for the cells - very important. The heart serves the cells not by pushing blood towards them but by balancing and integrating the blood's chemistry. In fact, Steiner suggested that the heart also senses and integrates our thoughts, our emotions, and our will to carry out tasks. The heart, then, is not a mechanical pump but actually a sensitive integrator of all of our experience.


Well, this is all very interesting but what does it have to do with the future of humanity and why we need to realize the heart is not a pump. It is not uncommon in the history of the world for philosophers or social scientists to look to the human being as the model for society at large. The alchemists summarized this way of thinking with the phrase, "as above, so below." A famous example of this thinking was the use of social Darwinism to justify the mistreatment of the poor or the slaughter and repression of indigenous people, the so called survival of the fittest. We now know that this is not an accurate description of nature at all. Nature's not about survival of the fittest; it's about exquisite cooperation. But that social Darwinism is still used to justify all sorts of terrible things that happen on the social level.


If we are to use the human being as a model for our social system, it is important to get the model correct. Survival of the fittest is no more an accurate description of human evolution than the model of the heart as a pump. They are both inaccurate and inherently misleading. A society that believes the heart is a pump is a society that accepts centralized control, planned economy, central banks, a national foreign policy, government-dictated medical policy, chain stores for our clothing, and one big company that makes everybody's shoes.


If the heart functions as a listener rather than a pump, then the model for the state should not be one of central control, be it socialist state or the Federal Reserve, but one of wise decentralization. Of ten million local farms each taken care of their own land and neighbors rather than a few central farm policy; of thousands of artisans making shoes and clothing rather than a few large shoe companies and clothing produced in third-world sweatshops; of a billion personal religions, not three or four central dogmas; of a God who listens and reacts to our needs just as the heart reacts to the circulation, not the other way around. The heart as a pump reflects itself onto society as control leading to slavery and the inability for mankind to progress, just as Steiner suggested. The heart conceived as a listener, powered and sustained by the products of billions of beautifully coordinated cells, allows us to progress to the kind of political and economic system that Schumacher envisaged.


Schumacher very well describes the fallout from bigness in agriculture, from the view that the living world, I love this phrase when he says, "the living world has no significance beyond that of a quarry for exploitation." That's how he describes this mechanistic view. Monocultures require the use of toxic chemicals, animals raised in hellish confinement, agricultural bounty broken down into component parts in huge factories, and the economic decline of rural life, the disappearance of small towns and concomitant growth of huge cities. The challenge is to revive our farms, return prosperity to the countryside, restore balance between the urban and the rural. Okay, that's the challenge that we're all working towards. How do we achieve this goal? How do we meet this challenge?


In his introduction to, "Small Is Beautiful", Kirkpatrick Sale describes the answer that Schumacher gave to a request for political advice stemming from his economic and social insights. And his reply was to plant a tree. I would offer a slightly different suggestion. This is something we can all do to reach this goal of diversified, prosperous, local economies. If we all did this, it would serve as a powerful engine for restoring our land and creating millions of prosperous villages throughout the world. It would also largely solve our health crisis. And my solution is this: Drink raw milk. (laughter)


Jon Steinman: This is Deconstructing Dinner, a syndicated weekly one hour radio show and podcast produced in Nelson, British Columbia at Kootenay Co-Op Radio, CJLY. You can learn more about this show and learn how you can financially support our work at Today's show is archived under the October 15th, 2009 episode.


On today's broadcast we are listening to Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Sally was recorded in October 2008. She was last heard on Deconstructing Dinner in January 2007 as part of our two-part Deceivable Dairy series which is also archived on our website.


Sally Fallon Morell: So, let me explain by describing the economics of milk production. Now we get into the nitty gritty of this.


Let's take the case of a conventional dairy farmer, he's got his cows in confinement - he's got 30 cows, who sells his milk to the local coops such as Foremost or Dairy Farmers of America. I don't know what it is around here but you know, you only have one choice if you're a conventional dairy farmer. Four big dairy companies in America have each territories split up so there's no choice to the farmer. The farmer today is getting about $10 per hundredweight for his milk. Now this is the same price that he got before World War II. He's not gotten any more for his milk. Following the advice of his state Agriculture Department, he has modern Holstein cows, bred to produce the maximum amount of milk - you know the cow is just a machine for producing milk. And he feeds them lots of grain. He may get 190 hundredweight per year from each cow if he really pushes them. And this works out to a total yearly income of $57,000 per year; most of which is eaten up with feed and vet bills. His wife has to work - or maybe the wife is the farmer and the husband 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, it's curtains. They lose their farm.


As I said, the dairy industry is largely controlled by four corporations. They are Dean Foods, Dairy Farmers of America, Land o' Lakes, and Foremost Farms. And just to give you an example of what these dairy companies are in to - Dean Foods controls many familiar labels like Ador Farms, Alta Dena, Borden, Medal Gold, Nature's Pride, Shenandoah's Pride, and Sealtest. So they keep the names of the local companies that they buy up. You think it's just your little local dairy company but it's actually owned by Dean Foods. The company produces the usual line of processed products such as coffee creamers, whipped toppings, dips, and dressings.


Dean Foods controls the soy-milk maker White Wave. The people say, "Well, you're against soy, so you must be in the hands of the dairy industry." Well, the dairy industry and the soy-milk industry are same industry, well at least the soy-milk industry. Every big dairy company owns a soy-milk company. They make more money on the soy milk than cow's milk anyway. And also Dean Foods own 100% of Horizon Organic Milk. Yeah, so that's owned by Deans Foods too. Meanwhile the little local dairy farmer is making $10 per hundredweight. While sixteen U.S. dairy farms went out of business per year in 2002, Mr. Greg Engels, the 45-year-old CEO of Dean Foods, he made $3,200,000 that year. Mr. Engels is paid this well because he has made his business "economic." He has exploited everything he can out of the farmers, the land, and the cows, and you and your health. He's paid as low a price as possible to farmers and getting as big a profit as possible on the sterile products of the dairy factories. What has led to this obscene disparity? It is the demonization of germs, of microorganisms lurking in Nature's perfect food, which clever modern man must eradicate with pasteurization. Because pasteurization, with few exceptions is required by law for all milk products, farms are forced to participate in this system. It's like going down this big funnel into a little tunnel and all milk has to go in that direction. And they cannot sell directly to the consumer or local stores.


When I read, "Small Is Beautiful" almost 40 years ago, I was most taken by Schumacher's vision of technology, and that's what really inspired me about his book. He was not against technology. And I come from a family of engineers, sat at the dinner table and heard about engineering for the first 18 years of my life. And so this appealed to me. Schumacher notes that man cannot live without science and technology any more than he can live against nature. The attitude in his day, and that attitude is still with us, is that technology can help us dominate nature, or in the case of genetic engineering-which hadn't come on the scene yet when he was writing-do better than nature. A friend of mine once related that a scientist actually said to him in all seriousness, "Oh, we outsmarted nature long ago." Now this is the attitude especially among these genetic engineers.


By contrast, Schumacher argues for a technology that leads toward a harmonious cooperation with nature rather than a warfare against nature, towards the noiseless, low-energy, elegant, and economical solutions normally applied in nature rather than the noisy, high-energy, brutal, wasteful, and clumsy solutions of our present-day sciences. And I cannot think of a technology that is more noisy, high-energy, brutal, wasteful, and clumsy than the pasteurization and homogenization technology used to destroy the goodness of fresh, raw milk. The journalist Emily Green describes the inside of a pasteurizing plant in an article published eight years ago in The Los Angeles Times: "Before entering the bottling area, workers must dip the soles of their shoes in antiseptic baths. Staff members wear smocks, hairnets, jackets for the cold, and earplugs against the roar of machinery. Conveyor belts foam with antibacterial lubricant. Inside that machinery, milk shipped from farms is remade: first it is separated in centrifuges into fat, protein, and other solids and liquids. Once segregated, these are reconstituted to set levels for whole, low-fat, and no-fat milks. What is left over will go to butter, cream, cheese, dried milk, and a host of other milk products sold." But you see what they are doing with nature's most perfect food. They're actually breaking it down into industrial components. Why? Because there is a lot more selling these components.


Some of you may have asked yourself why does the dairy industry go along with this low-fat business since the butterfat is, you know, a dairy product. Well what the dairy industry has figured out is that they make a lot more money on butterfat if it is put into ice cream. So they are happy to go along with what I call the puritanical diet, which is low-fat milk, and lean meat, and high-fiber foods, and no salt-deprive yourself all day long; be really good on this puritanical diet, as long as you finally succumb around nine o'clock at night for the pornographic food in your freezer, which is the quart of ice cream. And you eat a quart of ice cream and that way they will make a lot more profit on the butterfat. So it's not that they're against you eating butterfat but they just want you to eat it in a way that makes the most profit for them.


How is milk pasteurized? You know it's not like we do it in our kitchen. It's not like bringing something gently to a higher temperature, not that that's good for milk either. But pasteurization is done by rushing the milk past superheated plates. It goes from a cool temperature to the pasteurization temperature or the ultra-pasteurization temperature which is 230 degrees Fahrenheit - that's above the boiling point. You can't do that in your kitchen on a stove. You can't get it above the boiling point. So this is totally unnatural and very, very quick. Just think back to those enzymes. What does this do to them? They're very fragile. The homogenizer is a machine literally as big as this room, that smacks down and goes whoompf, pressures the milk through teeny tiny holes, it is extremely noisy, and smells like burnt grease.


With what rationale is this technology applied to milk? Because of the belief that germs are the enemy and that milk is inherently dangerous. According to this view, Mother Nature devised this incredibly risky way of feeding her young, and man can improve on it by brutal processing. Those promoting pasteurization do so in complete blindness to the consequences, not only to the health of our growing children, who in greater, greater numbers cannot even tolerate conventional milk, but also to the detriment of the farming life and rural communities. There is no greater boon to local communities than the sale of raw milk and raw milk products, farmed to consumer, directly to the public. Pasteurization robs local economies of the premier value-added food. So let's look at some of the numbers again.


Let's take this typical farmer and put him in a different system and examine his income if he had a grass-based dairy and sold milk directly to the public. He would use old-fashioned cows, those that do better on grass, and he wouldn't get nearly as much milk for his cow. He likes his cows, he's attached to them. He doesn't think cows are just something to be exploited for their milk. He would only get about 100 hundredweight per cow per year, so about half as much as the other system, but he's selling directly and he will get at least $4 a gallon for his milk. Some farmers are getting more; we know farmers who are getting $8, $9. In California, the farmers are getting $13 dollars a gallon for their raw milk, people are happy to pay for it. But let's be conservative and stick to this figure of $4 a gallon. If he sells it at $4 a gallon, and the equivalent amount for butter, which is about $10 a pound, and cream about $9 a quart, he's making, not $10 per hundredweight but $50 per hundredweight - so five times more.


If he makes the good cheese, he could actually make much, much more per hundredweight, and sometimes up to $250 per hundredweight for good cheese. In France they actually did a study on this. What was the value added product that brought the most to farmers? They thought it would be wine or champagne. It turned out to be cheese.


But let's just stick to this $50 per hundredweight number and do the math. At $50 per hundredweight, he grosses $5,000 per cow with his 30 cows, his gross income on milk products is $150,000 a year. That's almost three times as much. And there's more. Because our farmer makes butter, cream, and cheese, he will have whey and skim milk left over. And skim milk for humans is a waste product. No one should be drinking skim milk, it's toxic. It's true. But the whey in skim milk is free food for pigs and chickens. See how this all fits together? So, in addition to milk and milk products, he can now sell eggs, chickens, turkeys, pork, bacon, and lard, which he's fed almost nothing. Okay? I've had farmers tell me that in the old days they said the real money for the farms, the money that we used to build our houses and take vacations in Florida in the winter, he said that was from the pigs.


The male calves go into veal or beef. So depending on how hard the farmer wants to work, he can then use his manure to grow vegetables or fruit. He may produce maple syrup or honey. So let's add, for the sake of argument another $50,000 which is very conservative, to the total, bringing us up to something like $200,000 gross income on a small farm, 100 acres, 30 cows. That's a lot of money on a little farm. And of course his vet bills are much lower, he has virtually no feed bills. His initial capital investment is very low. This is a perfect example of what Schumacher calls an intermediate economy, an intermediate technology and low capital input to get started.


Another big theme with us at the Weston A. Price Foundation is lacto-fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and pickles, which put these good bacteria in the gut and they are extremely important to have in our diet. These can be made on the farm. Very low input, low capital investment, and intermediate technology can be used for all this. And finally, what we're most excited about is the cottage industry for soft drinks. What we desperately need in this country is healthy soft drinks and they exist. The technology is called lacto-fermentation. And you use a little bit of whey and salt and add it to juice or sap from your trees or whatever and you get this beautiful, bubbly, fizzy soft drink that's healthful and that is a huge value-added product.


Well, what do these numbers do for local economies and local employment? If just 10 percent of the U.S. population bought raw milk, raw butter, raw cream, and raw cheese directly from farmers and everyone in this room can do this, you know some people don't like to go out and be activists, they're too shy or they don't have the time but we can all do this - okay? As well as all the other products produced on the farm, we would need 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 a year, year after year, much of which stays in the local community, except for the vacations to Florida of course. (laughter) We have to do a little bit for people in Florida - right?


If the whole country drank raw milk, buying from local farms, the total income would be $1.5 trillion or 8 percent of the gross national product year after year. You can 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 from the Latin for heads of cattle. The cow is a sacred animal, and when we treat her as a sacred animal, our lives will be blessed, and local economies flourish because of new jobs created.


Well, why don't we have this? The big impediment to this happy picture is the anti-raw milk agenda. Scare-mongering propaganda directed against germs and compulsory pasteurization laws. So I think you can see from this picture I've painted how compulsory pasteurization has been a major factor in the destruction of America's local economies. Although we constantly hear rhetoric extolling the efficiency of very large farms, the rising costs and declining prices are making this model more and more untenable; it's about to collapse, I think we all see this. The farm of the future is not the mechanized CAFO or the 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 local dairies; 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 or other pure foods. And all that raw milk will come from small local farms.


We've heard of trickle-down economics, but I look forward to the return of what I call bubble-up economics, wealth bubbling up from a vibrant local farm economy. And if these individual farms can work together like the cells of the body, the heart-which is the government-will have no choice but to listen. We will force them to listen. And we can all work together to make this happen by buying local food, investing in local artisan food production, and above all, by drinking raw milk. But first of all we must believe: Very Small is Beautiful. Thank you. (applause)


Male Commentator: You have been listening to Sally Fallon Morell at the Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures held at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts on October 25th, 2008.


The E.F. Schumacher Society is a membership-supported organization. For more information about the E.F. Schumacher Society, write them at 140 Jug End Rd., Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 01230. Call 413-528-1737 or visit us on the web at


ending theme


JS: And that was this week's edition of Deconstructing Dinner, produced and recorded at Nelson, British Columbia's Kootenay Co-op Radio. I've been your host, Jon Steinman.


I thank my Technical Assistant, John Ryan. The theme music for Deconstructing Dinner is courtesy of Nelson area resident Adham Shaikh.


This radio show is provided free of charge to campus/community radio stations across the country and relies on the financial support from you, the listener. Support for the program can be donated through our website at or by dialing 250-352-9600.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.