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Patrick D Hahn

Patrick D Hahn
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
June 07
I used to wash trucks for a living.


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MAY 3, 2009 6:10PM

War On Food

Rate: 32 Flag


On December 1, 2008, Lorain County Sherriff’s deputies stormed the home of John and Jacqueline Stowers of LaGrange, Ohio, where they run a natural foods co-op called the Manna Storehouse, which distributes locally produced food, including grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range chicken, organically grown grains and produce, and raw milk and cheeses. The Manna Storehouse website promises food that is “...all natural, as God intended it to be.”

In a video statement on youtube, the Stowerses claim that the police rounded up their children, who were being homeschooled, and held them captive for more than six hours while they ransacked their home, seizing not just co-op supplies but also a year’s personal supply of food for the Stowers, as well as their cell phones and computers. The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund have joined forces to represent the Stowerses in a civil suit against the State of Ohio and Lorain County.



According to a statement by the Buckeye Institute, there has never been a complaint filed against the Stowerses or Manna Storehouse related to the quality or healthfulness of the food distributed through the co-op. The Manna Storehouse Rules, Regulations, & Policies clearly states that Manna Storehouse is a “members-only private business that does not sell to the public,” and that “members agree to take responsibility for their own health, health choices, food choices, and food quality.”

Assistant County Prosecutor Scott Serazin defended the raid, telling a reporter, “Protection of health is one of the important roles of the government.” You need only take a stroll through any supermarket or Wal-Mart and view the row upon row of edible food-like garbage to know how much credence to give that statement.

In a previous post, I argued that it is no coincidence that we are caught in the middle of an incredibly destructive War On Drugs at the same time we are all the targets of a multibillion dollar propaganda machine to get us all addicted to as many kinds drugs as possible. Are those who seek to control the food supply now going to foist upon us a War On Food? Stay tuned.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons 

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Very interesting.
Should not the government be more wary of agribusiness? of hormones in cow's milk? Did it not just happen that we cannot be sure any more about hormones since Montanso won something in court preventing labeling about hormones? Shouldn't the bureaucrats be more eager to inspect their massive importations from countries that do not at all regulate their agriculture (China comes to mind recently...)? Shouldn't they be happy that local-grown produce will translate into local jobs? That organic and locally-grown produce will in the end make us healthier than the junk food bags at Wal Mart or Target?
I find this pretty sad. I do wonder the why here.
This should be front page news.
War on food? It is here.
Tell us more.
The real role of the government is not protecting the food supply, it's protecting the profits of global megacorporations. These nice folks got in trouble because they're trying to support an alternative system where food is produced for the benefit of people's lives and health rather than maximizing profit, with a direct connection between small-scale local producers and the people who benefit from their efforts.

Who knows - if this caught on we might have successful family farms growing organic food, treating their livestock humanely, managing their land sustainably, and selling what they produce directly to healthy people, who wouldn't need to spend so much money buying drugs and supplements from for-profit corporations, because they would get better nutrition and less poisonous chemicals from their food. This prospect scares the bejeezus out of the corporate establishment, because it cuts out the opportunities for them to make a profit by processing the food to death and then trucking it long distances to sell it corporate-owned supermarkets at inflated prices.

That said, much as I respect what these folks are trying to do, I am not in favor of trying to solve the problem with small-scale local food co-ops. They are laudable, but look what happens - if they start to catch on, the government finds an excuse to try to shut them down. What we really need to do is replace the profit system with a system of production centered around human needs, and a government that is run by and for the benefit of ordinary working people and not global capitalism.
By the way, I checked out the Buckeye Institute, the group that is defending these folks. I wish they had found a group with a more progressive philosophy to side with them. The Buckeye Institute appears to be one of those ultra-conservative/libertarian outfits that things all taxes are a ripoff and the best government is no government. I agree that what was done to these people is a violation of their rights and a crying shame, but I think that's probably for different reasons than the people who are representing them in court.
I'm just sorry we don't have Dr. Amy around anymore to warn us of the dangers of organically-grown food. ; )

Thanks for your comments.
So it's illegal now to grow your own food and share it with your friends? Might as well arrest me then because I'm guilty.

I recall years ago there were Amish, German Baptist,
or Mennonites who made white butter with no yellow.
Because there was no yellow dye the Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms federal agents raided the small PA store.
Strange days, indeed Ma!
Patrick Hanh, thanks tho!
You a pebble throw away!
You gotta love boondocks!
I rural human in Maryland.
Western Maryland's not far.
Ya pop some Skittles, visits?
Stuff the M&M's in a pocket!
They melt in Ya britches tho!
Well. In sane day Ya turn too!
You tune back to Nature. Yes!
Harmonies. Eat white hominy!
This is so infuriating. Have these folks contacted their representatives? That can work, if they have a sympathetic one.

Fascism is alive and well in our country, thanks to the corporate take-over of our regulatory institutions.

This isn't really my issue, but when I read about this I though to myself, Aw geez, you mean the War On Drugs isn't causing enough harm? We gotta have a War On Food, now?

I did a google news search and I found nothing about this story. It's the bloggers who are keeping this one alive.

Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting.
This is beyond astounding. Our tax dollars hard at work again. What I wouldn't give to have access to the kind of food that the Stowers family was producing. I hope they win huge and triple the size of their co-op. When I am up in Cleveland next, I want to meet them and shake their hands. I'm DIGGing this and rating it too.
Between this story and documentaries like "The Future of Food," which clearly shows how Monsanto et. al. are systematically "trademarking" crops in order to shut down farmers who don't use their seeds (one stray plant from a neighboring Monsanto-seeded field is cause for crippling legal action), I have absolutely no doubts that there is in fact real institutional prejudice against those who would seek to merely feed themselves and their communities.

I'm following Cartouche to Digg.
Two words that will kill us all: Codex Alimentarius
Look it up.

live it...learn it...grow it...store it.
What in the world? Update us when someone explains the reasoning behind this one.
The reasoning behind this, I assume, is that the Stowerses don't believe a natural foods co-op distributing organically grown foods prepared with loving care should be bound by the same rules as a giant food-processing plant staffed by high-school dropouts who hate their jobs. I tend to agree.
Oh this is grade A bullshit . . . .what the hell? Why isn't this getting more coverage?

This pisses me off!

Pawed, dammit! :)
Just to be contrarion, I would like to mention that Louis Pasteur was a public-health hero. Stores here (in Canada) can, however, sell unpasteurized cheese if it's labelled and (I believe) people can buy and consume raw milk. While I'm anti-Monsanto and all for healthful return to days of yore, I wouldn't go back TOO far...
To Myriad:

Back in the nineteenth century, people didn't understand the basic principles of sanitation. This isn't really my issue, but I understand that today there are better ways of keeping pathogens out of milk than blasting it with heat and killing off the beneficial microbes as well. Pastuerizing milk also oxidizes the cholesterol molecules, and there is evidence that this also may have long-term adverse consequences to health. So which is better: pasteurized or unpasteurized? The fact is, we don't have all the relevant data. That's precisely why I believe people should be allowed to make their own choices in such matters. But thanks for the reminder that every choice we make involves trade-offs.
I am so saddened that this had to happen in Ohio. This is criminal for these people to have to have gone through this. Our government has lost touch so badly with the individual's of this nation and have become such whores to the corporations, banks and rich elite that we are nothing more than peasants who have no say in what happens in our daily lives.
Hippy Mike
I wasn't able to listen the audio on the clip and am unsure of what health issue the county prosecutor was referring to. I am guessing that it was sale of raw dairy products. No doubt this was an unnecessarily heavy-handed response.

I grew up drinking raw milk, but understand that there are real dangers in consuming raw dairy products that haven't been handled properly - more today than in the '70s when I was a kid. My state (Pennsylvania) has a well regarded certification program for raw product dairies, but I understand that sale of raw dairy products is illegal in most states.

While the risk of illness from raw dairy products is real, direct and immediate, I would hope that the members of this co-op are well informed on this issue and have chosen to take the risk. It would be nice to see more attention paid to the risks of food products which contribute to the development of medical problems over time, especially those which most consumers believe are healthful such as baked goods made with fortified white flour (it has vitamins!)
To Brandywine tomato: You may also be interested in my essays, "Michael Pollan's subversive proposal" and "Michael Pollan's subversive proposal Part 2."

Thanks to everybody for your comments.
I was following the Feed. Thanks for the best mamma,
and keeping us updated. Patrick? We are close neighbors. We were invited to participate in the new Baltimore Farmer's Market. There is some "good things" and outrageous "stuff" happening. Lots of change.
The old USDA?
get rid of cats.
'um lick paws.
'um eat beans.
'nap in greed.
lick CEO feet.
thanks for this.
maybe we meet?
you can skin cats?
we wear cat socks.
bunny cat slippers.
Good Luck. spit fir.
Quality of our products directly influences a state of health. Unfortunately, more and more "our food" is exposed to influence of consecutive destruction of environment. An underside of technological achievements were acid rains at which exhaust gases and toxins from air settle on soil.
Industrial and chemical waste filters into subsoil waters, getting finally in a foodstuff. Besides it, vegetative products are grown up by means of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides,boka konferens, fungitsides. Animals feed with antibiotics and growth hormones. Food factories process products, depriving of their natural nutrients. Instead in products add synthetic vitamins, artificial preservatives, dyes. It is pleasant to us or not - we are compelled to absorb a chemical soup. Many of these chemical compounds collect and postponed in organism fabrics, influencing finally for health.
incredible and amazing notice, good post.