Bootleggin’

When I was at Quillisascut Farm School, Laura Lee Misterly told us a very charming story about her family’s illicit dairy business.  Selling raw, unpasteurized milk was illegal back in the day.  Yet it didn’t stop her grandmother from schlepping the stuff up and down country roads, selling it to friends and neighbors without cows of their own.  It’s hard to imagine that a little lady with muck boots and a Radio Flyer full of milk pails was considered as dangerous as white lightning moonshiners, but there you have it.  These days of course, the sauce is on the right side of the law.  Raw dairy still isn’t. 

Until recently most Americans weren’t interested in raw dairy products-then good cheese happened to us.  The emergent trend of artisinal, hand-made foods in general has reintroduced the problem of government regulation and safety standards.  The trend has greatly impacted small-operation dairies. Where raw dairy commerce was once a small enough affair that it was hardly worth interfering with, the demand for raw products is now huge… and a new "grey market" has emerged.  The New York Times turned out an interesting article on the newest culinary crime wave: milk running.

THERE was the name of a Web site scrawled on cardboard and quickly torn
to bits by an anonymous farmer in the Greenmarket at Union Square. Then
came the paperwork, legal enough presumably, to protect the source of
the illicit substance. Finally, Yaron Milgrom-Elcott received the
monthly drop site: an address near Chelsea, open for two hours, show up
or lose the white stuff.   From: Should This Milk be Legal? by Joe Drape.  NYT, 08-08-2007

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