IN THE RAW: Chef Lee Richardson has joined the legislative battle to allow unpasteurized milk sales at the farm level.

  • IN THE RAW: Chef Lee Richardson has joined the legislative battle to allow unpasteurized milk sales at the farm level.

Lee Richardson, the award-winning former executive chef at Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel, has been keeping busy lately working on a new business venture, but also getting engaged in the political process.

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He’s been striving to help pass HB 1536, which would allow the farm sales of unpasteurized milk in Arkansas. A somewhat unusual bipartisan collection supports the measure, though a far-right libertarian strain predominates. Richardson, by the way, has no commercial interest in the bill, but has long been an advocate for small local producers of foodstuffs.

Raw milk? Richardson contends the various state authorities that oppose the sale badly overstate the risk. I’ll testify there’s nothing like the raw milk cheeses you can buy from the surrender moneky cheese eaters in France, another product frowned on by persnickety U.S. regulators.

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Richardson says the bill could be before a House committee again Friday. It failed on its first outing, 8-9, with 11 votes needed to move to the House floor. Richardson thinks some votes have been added.

With that vote coming, I thought it worth sharing Richardson’s extensive thoughts on the subject. They follow on the jump. UPDATE: Kat Robinson at Tie Dye Travels also is plugging the bill and the benefits in cheese making.

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