Many a raw milk story includes a statement or two from the Weston A. Price Foundation.   Raw milk advocates look to the foundation group to call the shots, often at the state level, and always nationally.

I should acknowledge at the outset that there is more going on at the the foundation than its raw milk campaign.  Founded in 1999, this $1 million or so a year membership-based organization has a lot going on.

Every year legislators in a handful of states will skirmish over changes in raw milk laws.   Usually when it’s all over not much has changed in the crazy quilt of state law governing what happens with raw milk.  Wisconsin was this year’s big example, a big dust-up ending in a veto that means nothing changes.

Its never good, especially when you are membership-based organization, to put your troops through the same battles year after year with precious little change.  It wears your people down, and makes it much harder to get them to re-enlist the following year.

I think I have found the foundation’s problem.  It’s right here in their own goal statement, saying they are for the “establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk.’

That amounts to the “we win, you lose” strategy.  Fine if you can make it work, but it wears your own side down if you cannot.   My advice for the foundation people is to adopt a new goal based on the bungee jumping strategy.

Hey, it you are tall enough and old enough and willing to sign all the various release forms, and if the company has sufficient proof of insurance and recent OSHA inspections–go for it!

Bungee jumping is not legal because its advocates went to their state capitols saying: “This is safe and everyone should be able to do it.”  No, they said: “Bungee jumping is dangerous and definitely not for everyone.”

The foundation is going to have to figure out some of the details on its own.  Bungee jumpers typically are not throwing their kids off bridges, but raw milk advocates seem to resist making it an adult drink.

The Foundation will just have to work that out.  Dropping that universal access goal is key.  I am not even going to charge for providing this valuable advice.

I thought as long as I was looking at the foundation’s raw milk goal, I’d pass on a little more about the organization.  It’s worth noting that it’s the second foundation named for dentist Weston A. Price.

Price died in 1948 at age 78.  The first foundation named for him was created in the early 1950s, and today goes by the name of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.  While Price was known for his studies of the teeth and diets of native people around the world, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr., through experiments on some 900-house cats, is the one who came to conclusions about eating raw meat and raw milk.

Today’s Weston A. Price Foundation “is organized and will be operated for charitable and educational purposes including to disseminate nutrition research and to promote education, research and activism in the field of nutrition and food production.”

In its publicly available filings with the IRS, the foundation is getting around half million dollars a year in membership dues, and earns income from other donations and by putting on conferences.  These include an annual raw milk symposium and big annual conference.

The foundation says “it supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.”

And, the foundation’s tag line is “for wise traditions in food, farming, and the healing arts.”  I am not sure if they came up with that before or after reading those 900 cat autopsies.