Did you know that a local dairy is one of five elements described by urban anthropologists as key to the longevity of a city?
It seems that people have long valued having their milk, cream, and cheese in close proximity. The example often cited is that of Oxford, England, with centuries-old working dairies at the heart of city life.
Such used to be the case in the United States too, until the differences in practices in rural versus urban dairies gave rise to concerns over contamination. Those concerns, a quick follow-on to the era of an imbalanced germ-phobia, led to hastily passes pasteurization laws as well as the removal of dairies from the edge of city life.
In truth there were some unsanitary conditions in some of those early 20th century dairies, especially when dairies and breweries shared facilities, slack practices, and little consistency.
But we’ve come a long way since then, and as people have begun to take seriously the need for humans to live in some kind of more beneficial symbiosis with the bacterial world (while yet being mindful of cleanliness), an increasing cry has risen up to peel back some of the most pervasive laws governing dairies and let us have access to traditional milk products with the beneficial bacteria our strained gut biomes so desperately need.
This is an aim shared by a left-right coalition of Food Freedom activists who don’t want the government to arbitrarily and hegemonically rule over every thing we choose to ingest.
The return of urban dairies offers myriad opportunities for high quality locally sourced milk products, as well as more urban farming jobs from the farm field to the production floor to administration and distribution networks.
God didn’t send the Jews to the Land of Milk and Honey for nothing. These foods have long been held sacred in many cultures, and have been staples in almost all, whether as goat’s milk or cow’s.
So like Christopher Walken before me, I see the need for More Cowbell!
— Lindsay Curren, 31 Days of Urban Agriculture