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by Calvin E. Moss
Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Venice Beach’s Lost Organic Food Club: forgotten and Ignored by some of the so-called progressive left.
dairy_goats_1.jpg, image/jpeg, 300x166
The best quality organic fruits, vegetables, prepared specialties, and non-factory farmed animal products were all found at the Rawesome Food Club in Venice. That is, before the Federal Government (FBI) raided it and eventually shut it down. Raw goat milk was the much publicized reason for the raids, but what appears to have been unsaid is that Rawesome was just a coffee shop and one small intersection away from Whole Foods Market, a giant corporation. Rawesome was operating in Venice at its Rose Ave location prior to Whole Foods moving into the building at Rose and Lincoln Bld - previously a Big Lots.
James Stewart would open Rawesome twice a week and many people came there, some with serious health issues, seeking extremely high quality food and help with nutritional concerns. James insisted on an immaculately clean environment with an incredible water filter system, a modern kitchen, and walk-in refrigeration unlike any other food provider in Venice.
A club membership card and identification was required to enter the club and after the large corporate grocery store opened on the next corner, there was far more fear about accidentally letting non-club members in. When Rawesome was first being raided, James and the Club member/workers held their ground and one even videotaped. Food was confiscated, but the club was not completely shut down and operations continued.
Unfortunately, a year-long sting operation ensued and possibly an undercover plant was placed in the club as a member/worker. This time the Federal Agents came back, arrested James on a multiple count complaint and also arrested owners of the goat farm for operating without a license to sell unpasteurized products.
This time Rawesome was shut down.
James Steward has Libertarian ideals and during the presidential election, Ron Paul supporters, with buttons and flyers, could be found at the Rawesome Food Club. In one of Ron Paul’s speeches he mentioned that people have the right to eat raw food products.
Alex Jones, a controversial radio host, interviewed James Stewart just this year. James told the story of how the Rawesome Food Club was destroyed by the Federal Government to a sympathetic host that described James as a Raw Food Advocate. Too bad the local lefties didn’t show the same sympathy. Venice lost a unique free enterprise that provided awesome quality food.In Venice the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been broken concerning the rights of the poor. James and Rawesome assisted poor and unhoused people by providing donations, including vegetables and fruits to the vegetarian Venice Food Not Bombs chapter.Harassment of the poor and unhoused population of Venice, surveillance by Government Agencies, an FBI bust of a raw food club and large corporations moving into Venice (such as Whole Foods and Google) have brought together the excesses of oppressive government policies.
The combinations of government, corporations and abusive community groups have altered the bohemian character of Venice Beach. By using local and federal law enforcement to abuse and control the unhoused population and people who choose the freedom to drink raw goat milk.
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