- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 9 months ago by Phil Ridley.
18th February 2017 at 11:30 am #522Phil RidleyKeymaster
These forums have only just been launched, with little fanfare, but hopefully over time folk can come here and network and discuss the issues important to them.
I started being interested in the works of Dr Price and the Weston A. Price Foundation in 2009. At this time I had a pretty bad lactose intolerance and so when Emily and I discovered that some people have resolved this problem with raw milk, we set out to find out what this was all about. Fortunately, we were living just 10mins from the farmers market in Islington, which sold wonderful raw milk from Guernsey cows and also buffalo milk.
Given the horrid impact it had had on my life, like the number of meals I would have to avoid at restaurants and also the headaches and impact on my skin, etc. I was simply horrified that not only did my GP not refer me but that the entire industry and regulators appears to be conspiring against this wholesome product, worldwide, apparently to maintain profits in the wholesale and manufacturing sectors, effectively robbing farmers of their right to sell this wonderful product direct to consumers.
It didn’t take me long to realise that the same people, particularly at the Weston A. Price Foundation, were saying equally “crazy” things about a whole range of issues, with the cholesterol and saturated fat controversy being the most famous. I must say that I really wanted to rail against a system that would attempt to separate human beings from their ancient birth right for the sake of short term profit, so I started the London Chapter.
Soon after the Chapter was started, Sally got in touch and expressed her delight at having a London group. She said she was visiting London the following March, 2010 and I asked her to speak to the group that then had about ten people! Not wanting to do things in half, I gathered a number of other speakers and found a wonderful conference hall in Camden and my wonderful Mother provided the catering. We filled it with well over 150 people, plus a significant number of exhibitors.
The next year I held a larger conference with two halls, over two days in 2011 at Kensington Town Hall, with Sonia Dunduru doing incredible catering. We had almost 300 people and double the exhibitors. Next, we went to Epsom Downs Racecourse with over 300 people a large exhibition hall. Organising this was such an effort that I took a year break but then came back with an even larger event in 2014 at Sandown Racecourse with more like 500 people.
Just after the 2014 event was our first real political action. Through the movement we had created, when the Food Standards Agency tried to ban raw milk, we were able to mobilise enough people to stop that happening. I was able to debate their Chief Microbiologist on stage and demonstrate that whilst mass produced milk should be pasteurised, they were not creating the necessary distinction with artisan raw milk produced for human consumption. We won, and after decades of a falling number of producers, we now have over 150 registered producers, which is right about double where it was.
I have also been honoured to be given a place on the Honorary Board of the Weston A. Price Foundation in early 2016.
Since then, I have been focusing on getting my career back on track and setting up a home for Emily and I in north London. In the background I have been plugging the gaps that made such a large event difficult, implementing many things in the background such as paperless accountancy, etc. that used to take weeks of time but now operate in real-time. However, the main issue was not having a website, and I have Sheepdrove Trust to thank for funding the production of this site. They have been a wonderful help.
The ambition now, is to move towards regular individual talks in University lecture theatres throughout the year alongside hopefully developing an online community that can move somewhat away from places like Facebook and Meetup, where it is not possible to reach people very easily to let them know what is going on, and where we have no control over how our community can develop over time.
Once the following is large enough I am hoping to once again return to running a conference, but that will rely on paid membership, which will provide access initially to our video library. However, the possibilities are endless and I really look forward to working with all the wonderful, dedicated people I have met over the years, to start something.
Welcome to the group!
26th February 2017 at 10:09 am #595Diana RatzerParticipant
Thank you for all the wonderful work you have done since 2010 for healthy eating/raw milk /WAPF
4th May 2018 at 2:23 pm #798Phil RidleyKeymaster
Apologies, things did go quiet because we had DIY hell for a year! This is now complete and I am now logging on daily to tidy up and populate the website. Coming soon will be videos of previous events and by the end of the summer, autumn at the latest, a series of talks. I hope to have monthly talks. Now seems like a good time, fingers crossed!
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