While doing research on my new series about Benjamin Lapp, the Amish 9/11 Series, I ran across an on-going impasse that has been brewing in the USA concerning the FDA regulations. I think the regulations may be getting out of control. This is about two questions: what constitutes "distribution" and if one owns the cow, does one also own the milk?
I talked to some of the local Amish about the problems with regulation and learned a little more. Apparently, the FDA regulations which govern the distribution of all produce and milk have hit against the Amish farm markets. While most of us feel that buying produce from an Amish farm market may be the freshest and most wholesome fruits and vegetables we can find, the FDA claims that raw food could not be sold in such a way without inspection which is of course paid for by the farmer. (Raw food is the food that you get right off the tree or bush from the farmers market without going first through FDA inspections which may take days, weeks or months, lessening the freshness of the food) The FDA said that the food must be inspected and graded before sale, no matter that the Amish have sold at farmer's markets for generations and the produce is clearly marked as such.
Prior to 2010, as long as the food was labeled that it was not inspected, the consumer had the right to choose to eat what they wanted to eat. Apparently, that has changed. The USA government now not only "protects us" but says that we are incapable of deciding this for ourselves. I am amazed that Amish food must be labeled but GMOs do not have to be labeled. I am just shaking my head here. In any case, I could not find any law that said this labeling law changed, but lately, Amish farm markets have been raided, with, believe it or not GUNS! Yes, that's right, armed federal officials have raided farm markets to impound the food which may or may not be okay for human consumption. Ironically, some of the Amish ate the food in front of the armed officials to prove a point. The food was good. I venture to say, much better than some of the stuff in stores!
I would venture to guess, the government that allows our food to be laced with mercury (fish) and water (In Flint, MI) with lead has no real interest in our safety. What the government does have an interest in is the money that the Amish is NOT paying to have the food inspected. There were serious charges laid, claiming that the Amish were engaged in racketeering and other crimes because they distributed food without the inspections. After this, some Amish decided to pay to have the government inspect. After all, they knew their food would pass. There was nothing wrong with it. This was just how they were selling for generations. This means though, that the consumer had to wait while the inspection was performed and the food was no longer "tree fresh" by only hours off of the vine.
The drama continued with raw milk. The milk was claimed to be "distributed" even though the milk was only given to the members of the gmay who also owned the cows. They were well aware that the milk was raw, ie not pasteurized or homogenized. The initial finding is that it was illegal to "distribute" raw milk. The Amish are fighting for their right to drink their own raw milk if they so choose. They also contest that since the cows belong to the gmay in a co-op the milk also belongs to the group. The finding was in favor of the FDA stating that no, the milk is not owned in a co-op because the cows are. Makes you wonder if the judge knows where milk comes from, doesn't it? This issue is still pending. Google: Amish raw milk and raw milk raid.
If you wish to read more, here are links to some of the articles I found. I am amazed that there are so many problems and so much corruption in our government and yet the Federal Agents felt that they had to attack the most peaceful among us, the Amish. We must all choose our battles, and apparently the Amish are no different. We all struggle to be a peaceful people, and yet we also espouse justice. What happens when those two clash? Isaiah says we must not just speak, we must act.
Benjamin Lapp, my character, in the first of the Amish 9/11 series must confront the issue of peace and what it means to live apart from the world when he moves to New York City circa. 2001. For those of you in the USA, you can guess that Benjamin will come face to face with violence in the Big City. How will he react and how will he serve God? I think many of us have struggled with this thought. I hope Benjamin's thought will help bring you closer to our Lord. Please pray for our county and our world. Amen.
Please find Book 1: Benjamin in the Big City on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZR0SIN
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More References about the Amish and the Raw Milk Raid
I ran across this series on Youtube a while ago. It is very factual. Of course, the Amish, and Mennonites, portrayed in this series are not the most conservative of the Amish gamays. No. These are more liberal Amish, but you will see first hand how the Amish live.
I think you will also notice some of the differences in the Amish and Mennonite way of life. It might give you better insight into the situation between Hannah and Elam. Both are Christian. Both are trying to live their lives as best they can in God's love.
I have recently come across a series of "Life with the Amish" videos on Youtube.com which I wanted to share with you. I've found them very enlightening. Several British youths come to visit and live with various Amish families for a little time. Each family is treated in a different video. In this way, you can see that the Amish lead very different lives according to their particular gmay and the ordnung that the community espouses. In this section, the British youth visit the Mennonites. In this way, you can visually see the difference between Amish and Mennonite and perhaps understand the background that went into the story of Hannah and Elam.
I particularly loved seeing the black British girl dressed in Amish plain clothing. I know there is a Mennonite family near me who has adopted several black children. I know that I also have black readers. This truly shows the love of God does not see color. We are all God's children! Comment below, or on my Facebook page. What do you think of my incorporating a black character into the next book, either as an adoptive child or as a love interest?
My love Affair with Kindle Unlimited
One benefit of using Kindle Unlimited is that it contains lots of free e-books to download and read on your Kindle device. Aside from my own Arwilda Allshouse Amish Romance books, there are many public domain books available for free at the digital store which you can download instantly on your device. The free books section contains one of the most historical bestsellers from authors like Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen and several others. You will find the plethora of free e-books at Kindle store if you know how and where to search for them. You can also get the Bible on your Kindle. There are several compendiums if you want someone to explain the Scripture to you. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can download the app and read all of this on your computer or your phone.
What’s not to like? I know many of you have asked for paperback books, and during the summer that is especially understandable, but paper is expensive. It costs nearly $10 to print a book. The ones you buy on clearance sale at Walmart or on the remainder shelf at your local bookstore are not paying the author a living wage. Even at full price, the author is making a piddling 0.20-0.25 per book. The book you read, even if it is short, is a lot of work for twenty cents.
Why not Kindle? You worry about taking your kindle to the beach, but really, will you leave your phone behind too? You can keep that in your pocket. If you turn the phone sideways, it automatically makes the print larger without even changing the font. It’s a lot easier to carry than a paperback.
I for one am a great advocate of inspirational books. I love having many of them on my Kindle. I have quite a collection. I have read pretty much all of them and some of them several times over. They are full of yellow highlights and notes now. Yes, you can highlight on Kindle! I like outlining thoughts which mean a lot to me. These books have seen me through some upsetting times, giving me inspiration and have helped me meet challenges head on. They can help you get to grips with your most provoking of problems, too, Books can help you improve your relationships, work on your problematic love life & business, keep you on track and fully focussed, motivate, challenge you to do better things, help you move out of comfort zones, instruct you how not to procrastinate, help you deal with stress, certain illnesses, teen angst, anger management, body language, confidence... and the list goes on. Is there anything that we won’t ask for God’s help with? Someone, somewhere has pulled together the Scripture that will interest you. And if you are not ready to deal with the problems, escape them with a good novel.
Electronic Books (Ebooks)
With modern technology, the Ebook has become probably one of the most popular methods of marketing and publishing books. Self publishing has never been easier. On the other hand, finding and buying a book has never been a more difficult task. The easiest thing to do is to type a keyword in the address bar and see what comes up. Do you want Christian Romance? Sweet and clean romance? Amish books?
The Ebook comes in different guises and is designed to be read in different ways. With the advent of the 'Tablet' and 'Kindle' as we all know them, locating and reading an Ebook is now incredibly simple... and quite inexpensive too. I personally love that I can collect a dozen or so “read free on Kindle Unlimited books” before heading out to the local pool. Then if I start one book and decide I want to read a different one, it is right there beside me. If I finish a book, I can move on to the next.
Sure, sometimes it becomes quite a headache comparing and choosing. With the freedom of Kindle, there are authors who probably should have a good editor working with them, but personally, I’d rather have to overlock a few misspellings than miss out on the book altogether. I have learned that sometimes, albeit only occasionally, I have to close a book and move on without reading it. Sometimes the book is just too terrible or too filled with grammatical mistakes, but does that mean I would like to go back to having a publisher be the gatekeeper for all of the great books and great new authors out there? Absolutely not. At times technology stymies me, but all in all, I love the freedom of Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle yet, why not?
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