My addiction to the pure white stuff began when I was living in Australia. It was easy to purchase and its use was almost mainstream. Lots of people knew I was using it, yet neither family, friends, nor co-workers derided or chastised me. Some were users like me and, from time to time, we would go on trips to the mountains lured by the promise of “the really good stuff”. I first tried it out of curiosity but, by the end of the year, I was truly hooked.
On returning to Canada, I was quickly able to find a local supplier. The product was good quality and cheap. But then, suddenly, my supplier left me dry! After two weeks since I last tasted the pure white stuff, I longed for the rush of its sweet goodness. Without my regular bedtime fix, insomnia became a frequent visitor, robbing me of my colourful dreams. Without sleep, I was increasingly irritable and unfocused. Friends were starting to notice my lack of concentration and commented on my performance.
In order to allay the muscle cramps and tightness in the chest due to withdrawal from the white stuff, I resorted to buying inferior product. It was easily available at the market, but did little to assuage my cravings for the pure stuff. Then, the buzz on the street gave me a lead – a potential new supplier! Unfortunately, the supplier wouldn’t deal with me directly, wouldn’t even speak to me, until someone on the inside would vouch for me. It took several furtive phone calls, but I was in! The buy was arranged for a week later, so I continued to use the inferior street stuff to keep my withdrawal symptoms at bay.
The actual buy was so stereotypically clandestine as to be laughable! At the arranged time, I drove to an older area of town. The small houses had definitely seen better days and were much in need of repairs. I cautiously parked at the curb, noting that other buyers had parked down the street or in the back alley. I approached the back door and gave my name as instructed. When the door opened, I was quickly shunted inside where crate after crate lined the floor, each one filled with packages of the white stuff. One at a time, the buyers approached the supplier and the deals went down.
Finally, it was my turn. Hesitatingly, I presented my money – cash – and was given my drug of choice. The cost was three times what I had been paying, but my addiction didn’t care that my pocketbook was empty. Other tantalizing goods were proffered. “Next time, next time,” I assured the supplier and she smiled, knowing I would be back, unable to resist the lure of more goodies.
The deal complete, I grabbed my package and scurried to my vehicle. I had to force myself to ease up on the gas pedal: I certainly didn’t want to get pulled over when I was carrying the white stuff. At home, I stealthily hurried inside, my package clutched tightly to my chest. Locking the doors, I rushed to the kitchen and, with trembling hands, I lifted the white stuff out of the package. Quivering with anticipation, I greedily imbibed, letting the cold liquid quench my desires. Aaahhh! This was the real stuff! And so pure! The next mouthful, I savoured more slowly, swishing the liquid around in my mouth, between my teeth, letting it roll over my tongue and down my throat. Already I could feel my muscles relaxing and knew that a deep, peaceful sleep awaited me that night. Aaahhh! There’s nothing like a glass of cold, raw milk!
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Sadly, this is a true story of buying raw milk in Canada. I grew up on a small Ontario farm and drank raw milk as a child. When I moved off the farm, I did not drink milk for many years. I rediscovered this delicious and nutritious food in Australia. Many people tell me they are lactose introlerant, and I ask them, “Are you lactose intolerant or are you pasteurization intolerant?” Many are surprised to find that they can drink (and digest!) raw milk. If you wish to protect your right to access raw milk, there are two ways to show your support. Remember, this is not just about raw milk, it is about our right, our freedom, to choose the foods we eat.
1. Sign the petition by The Canadian Consumer Raw Milk Advocacy Group. According to the website, this group is working to “regain the legal right to provide families with clean, healthy raw milk and it’s various products through a provision made to the current law for an agreement between farmer and consumer that does not in any way ‘endanger’ the public. This has been done successfully elsewhere and can be done here if Canadian raw milk consumers will band together and have a united voice with government. Raw milk is being consumed legally in many other countries.” You can also volunteer your time if you feel inclined to do so.
2. Donate to the Canadian Constitution Foundation who is defending Ontario raw milk farmer, Michael Schmidt. “We believe that informed consumers should have the choice about what they eat and drink — that you, and not the government, are best equiped to decide how to look after your own health and well-being.”