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The Raw Milk Revolution

Behind America's Emerging Battle over Food Rights

By David E. Gumpert
Foreword by Joel Salatin

Beginning in 2006, the agriculture departments of several large states-with backing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-launched a major crackdown on small dairies producing raw milk. Replete with undercover agents, sting operations, surprise raids, questionable test-lab results, mysterious illnesses, propaganda blitzes, and grand jury investigations, the crackdown was designed to disrupt the supply of unpasteurized milk to growing legions of consumers demanding healthier and more flavorful food.

The Raw Milk Revolution takes readers behind the scenes of the government's tough and occasionally brutal intimidation tactics, as seen through the eyes of milk producers, government regulators, scientists, prosecutors, and consumers. It is a disturbing story involving marginally legal police tactics and investigation techniques, with young children used as political pawns in a highly charged atmosphere of fear and retribution.

Are regulators' claims that raw milk poses a public health threat legitimate? That turns out to be a matter of considerable debate. In assessing the threat, The Raw Milk Revolution reveals that the government's campaign, ostensibly designed to protect consumers from pathogens like salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and listeria, was based in a number of cases on suspect laboratory findings and illnesses attributed to raw milk that could well have had other causes, including, in some cases, pasteurized milk.

David Gumpert dares to ask whether regulators have the public's interest in mind or the economic interests of dairy conglomerates. He assesses how the government's anti-raw-milk campaign fits into a troublesome pattern of expanding government efforts to sanitize the food supply-even in the face of ever-increasing rates of chronic disease like asthma, diabetes, and allergies. The Raw Milk Revolution provides an unsettling view of the future, in which nutritionally dense foods may be available largely through underground channels.


"David Gumpert has chronicled the Raw Milk War with insight and humor. He provides an important record of systematic government bias against Nature's perfect food. Must reading for raw milk fans and government officials alike."--Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation

"David Gumpert has become the official chronicler of the 'raw milk movement' in the United States. The Raw Milk Revolution is a highly readable expose that successfully captures how the controversy over raw milk is at the center of a larger battle between the industrial food system and the local food movement. Gumpert explains how raw milk, more than any other food, threatens proponents of the 'germ theory,' centralized food production, and the 'nanny state.' The Raw Milk Revolution is an extremely important book because it sounds a clear warning that upholding the right to produce and consume raw milk is critical in preserving our food freedoms in general."--Peter Kennedy, President, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

"David Gumpert employs his expertise as a professional business writer to dig deep and wide into the exploding raw milk controversy. His compelling analysis of the science, economics, politics and history of 'nature's most perfect food' opens the door to a greater understanding of the major challenges facing our food and agriculture systems today. Anyone concerned with the health of our people, our environment and our democracy should heed his words."--Dean Florez, Majority Leader, California State Senate

"If you want to understand the vocal opposition to food safety laws, you should read Gumpert's book. That's not the only reason to read it though. Even if you have little interest in raw milk, I think this book is a key piece in the puzzle to understanding the backwards priorities in America's food safety system."--Jill Richardson, La Vida Locavore review

"In this fascinating book on raw milk, journalist David Gumpert delves into the messy politics of food safety, which pits government technocrats and prosecutors against farmers, consumers and their advocates. It's a compelling account, one that should be read by any raw milk devotee--and more importantly, by anyone concerned about the broken and arbitrary way the government regulates the food we eat."--Samuel Fromartz, author of Organic Inc: Natural Foods and How They Grew

"The raw milk underground is one of the most contentious battlefields in the revolution to reclaim our food from industrialization, over-processing, and corporate control. In this book, David Gumpert investigates in great detail the health claims of both raw milk advocates and public health officials, as well the legal tactics being employed by government agencies to stop the growing movement to obtain and supply raw milk. His comprehensive analysis effectively deconstructs and illuminates the many complex issues of health, safety, and freedom that are raised by this debate."--Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements


David E. Gumpert

David E. Gumpert

David E. Gumpert has become a nationally recognized writer and authority on the intersection of food, health, and business by virtue of his widely acclaimed book The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights, as well as his provocative and popular blog, The Complete Patient (, and his many articles about food rights on and The Huffington Post. He gained behind-the-scenes access to the key participants and vast government documentation necessary to write Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights. A former reporter with The Wall Street Journal and editor at Inc. and Harvard Business Review, Gumpert has brought his considerable investigative and journalistic experience and business expertise (author or coauthor of seven books about small business and entrepreneurship) to bear in articulating the corporate, legal, and political forces driving Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights.


David Grumpert on
David Gumpert on Twitter
David's Website: The Complete Patient


Weston Prince 2009 Conference Keynote

Gumpert Speaks at Harvard Food Law Society

Gumpert Speaks at Harvard Food Law Society

Raw Milk Debate - February 16, 2012

Raw Milk Debate - February 16, 2012

David Gumpert looks at the health benefits of raw milk

The Raw Milk Revolution

Pages:288 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603582193
Pub. Date November 06, 2009
eBook: 9781603582605
Pub. Date November 06, 2009

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 288 pages, $19.95

eBook, 288 pages, $19.95