The Atlantic covers Rawesome Raid: ‘An Attack on Food Freedom?’

By Ari LeVaux
The Atlantic

August 3 was a telling day for food freedom in America, but the events were framed in terms of food safety. In Venice, California, the Rawesome raw food club was raided by armed federal and county agents who arrested a club volunteer and seized computers, files, cash, and $70,000 worth of perishable produce. James Stewart, 64, was charged on 13 counts, 12 of them related to the processing and sale of unpasteurized milk to club members. The other count involved unwashed, room-temperature eggs—a storage method Rawesome members prefer. The agents dumped gallons of raw milk and filled a large flatbed with seized food, including coconuts, watermelons, and frozen buffalo meat.

That same morning, leaders at the multinational conglomerate Cargill were calculating how best to deal with a deadly outbreak of drug-resistant Salmonella that originated in a Cargill-owned turkey factory.

When word of the raw milk crackdown got out, a bevy of high-profile lawyers offered to represent the raw foodies pro bono, says Rawesome member Lela Buttery, 29. Christopher Darden, who helped prosecute O.J. Simpson, appeared at Stewart’s arraignment just in time to lower his bail from the $121,000 that prosecutors had recommended to $30,000, and to strike a rarely used clause that would have prevented Stewart from employing a bail bondsman.

Buttery told me the mood in the courtroom was almost comical when Stewart’s initial $121,000 bail was announced. “We’d been watching child molesters and wife-beaters get half that amount. James is accused of things like processing milk without pasteurization and gets such a high bail amount … the felons in court burst out laughing.”

Read the full post at The Atlantic


8 responses to “The Atlantic covers Rawesome Raid: ‘An Attack on Food Freedom?’

  1. Legally charges cannot be added once the initial set of charges has been answered. See Christine Meyer et al. vs. The US of A. Can’t be done, I was one of the people who was honored enough to be part of this landmark case.

  2. Weren’t they an unlicensed facility? Shouldn’t everyone follow the same rules? Why should a licensed facility have to compete against an unlicesed facility that will have lower costs because they are breaking the law?

    • @Jim Schmidt: You’re a total moron and probably too stupid to live (wthout kissing authoritarian ass) Licensing produces conformity and conformity is anti-Nature and anti-life. Examine the diversity inherent to life! Licensing grants increasing power to bureaucrats and bureaucrats invariably are psychopaths and killers of the worst kind. You are a MORON.

    • Why are licenses required between farmers and buyers? Seeds of tyranny here.

  3. It was a PRIVATE buying club, not some run-of-the-mill grocery store.
    Didn’t matter WHERE they did it, you read and signed the agreement, knew and understood the basics.
    Obviously those who can not grow/harvest their own (whatever-milk/meat/eggs/etc) will seek out those who can. People all over the world do this every day.

    If there was dis-honesty in re-packaging the foods, and/or someone lying about the food (wasn’t raised like it should of been; i.e. purchased food grown in unknown/questionable conditions) then yes, someone’s greed should be called out, and held accountable for.

    Stay tuned folks, this could get interesting….I hate to say it, but it could make many, many other buying clubs look bad, even if they’ve done nothing wrong, and become targets as well.

  4. Margaret Bartley

    This is the very essence of tyrannical abuse of power- unaccountable bureaucrats wasting precious tax-payer money to fit some hidden agenda.

    In spite of the pubic’s outrage, the heavy hand of the State will be used once again to thward the public good and to promote venal self-interest.

    Everyone involved in this, including the DA, should be fired.

  5. Pingback: Unmistakably Food

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