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Gun-toting investigators raid Venice raw foods grocery

July 25, 2010 | 10:49 am

Investigators recently entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.

Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid's target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.

"I still can't believe they took our yogurt," said Rawesome volunteer Sea J. Jones, a few days after the raid. "There's a medical marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they're raiding us because we're selling raw dairy products?"

Cartons of raw goat and cow milk and blocks of unpasteurized goat cheese were among the groceries seized in the June 30 raid by federal, state and local authorities — the latest salvo in the heated food fight over what people can put in their mouths.

Read the full story on raw food here.

-- P.J. Huffstutter 

Photo: Ebrahim Rafatjah stands in the walk-in cooler full of unpasteurized dairy products. On the other side are Ziploc bags of raw chicken, beef and pork, many without expiration dates. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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