Rawesome Foods

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This article is part of the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. Find out more here.

Rawesome Foods is "a private membership club that sells raw and unpasteurized foods like nuts, honey, dairy products and other items" in Venice, CA.[1] Police and federal and state agents have raided Rawesome Foods twice, in June 2010 and again in August 2011, confiscating inventory of raw dairy products and arresting three people.

June 30, 2010 Raid

On June 30, 2010, four agents raided Rawesome Foods with guns drawn. In the raid, the officials seized raw cow and goat milk and raw goat cheese. Following the raid, Aajonus Vonderplanitz, co-founder of Rawesome Foods, said, "This is about control and profit, not our health. How can we not have the freedom to choose what we eat?"

August 3, 2011 Raid

On August 3, 2011, agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the California Franchise Tax Board, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and police raided Rawesome Foods, arresting James Cecil Stewart, Sharon Ann Palmer, and Eugenie Victoria Bloch.[2] The charge? The District Attorney's office says the three:

"were charged in a 13-count complaint ... Palmer owns Healthy Family Farms, LLC, in Santa Paula, which prosecutors allege has operated without any type of license or permit for milk production since 2007. The business Healthy Family Farms and Palmer are charged in nine of the 13 counts. Bloch works for Palmer and is charged in three conspiracy counts.
"Stewart runs the Venice market Rawesome, which has been in operation for more than six years but has never had any type of business permit or license, prosecutors allege. Stewart is facing 13 counts."[3]
"The arrests followed a one-year investigation during which undercover agents purchased unpasteurized dairy products from Healthy Family Farms stands in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, said Matthew Krasnowski, a district attorney spokesman. The products included unpasteurized goat milk, cheese and yogurt."[4]

Rawesome volunteers estimate 500 gallons of dairy products were thrown out by the government agents.[5]

Another account of the raid comes from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which says the "issue seems to be the club’s use of a herdshare or boarding agreement for its dairy goats."[6]

Contact Information

  • Rawesome Foods
  • 665 Rose Ave.
  • Venice, CA 90291
  • Ph: (310) 452-2244

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Elina Shatkin, "Cops Raid Rawesome Foods; Owner James Stewart Arrested," L.A. Weekly, August 3, 2011, Accessed August 4, 2011.
  2. Dennis Romero, "Raw Milk Raid in Venice: Three Arrested For Alleged Unpermitted Sales of Unpasteurized Dairy," L.A. Weekly, August 3, 2011, Accessed August 4, 2011.
  3. Dennis Romero, "Raw Milk Raid in Venice: Three Arrested For Alleged Unpermitted Sales of Unpasteurized Dairy," L.A. Weekly, August 3, 2011, Accessed August 4, 2011.
  4. "Protest planned over raw food raid at Venice health food store," L.A Times, August 4, 2011, Accessed August 4, 2011.
  5. Elina Shatkin, "Cops Raid Rawesome Foods; Owner James Stewart Arrested," L.A. Weekly, August 3, 2011, Accessed August 4, 2011.
  6. Rawesome Farm Buying Club Raided Again, Accessed August 4, 2011.

External resources

External articles