By P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times
Do you have the right to eat anything you want?
That question is at the heart of an increasingly heated war between consumers and government regulators, who are facing off over raw milk and other raw – read unpasteurized, unprocessed, as-pure-as-possible – foods.
The latest salvo in this fight happened June 30, when federal, state and local authorities raided Rawesome Foods, a private food club in Venice that investigators allege broke the law by not having the proper licenses for a food retail business.
While the raid was happening at Rawesome, another went down at one of its suppliers, Healthy Family Farms in Ventura County. California agriculture officials said farm owner Sharon Palmer’s processing plant had not met standards to obtain a license. Palmer could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that milk, as well as honey and some other grocery products, be pasteurized prior to human consumption.
Pasteurization heats the milk to a specific temperature for a period of time to quash harmful bacteria and other contaminants. Some enzymes are destroyed in the process – a loss that regulators say is crucial to maintain food safety, but one raw-milk advocates say undercuts potential health benefits.
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