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News for July 21, 2010

The Truth About Raw Milk — Part I

Raw milk is a hot topic in the news and media these days. And with good reason. It’s a subject that is near and dear to my heart, and it’s very important to become informed about it, but not because drinking it will make you sick.

Today you will read about the history of pasteurization and the health benefits of raw milk as discussed by health professionals, two journalists, and a steward-conscientious and progressive dairy farmer. The second installment of this series will cover my family’s personal testimony of consuming raw milk, what to ask your farmer when buying raw milk, and action steps you can take to assure raw milk is available in the future for everyone.

READ MORE (Journal of Living Food and Healing) ]

Raw data

Most people buy milk at a grocery store, not a motel room.

But every Friday and Saturday, Windsor Dairy distributes its raw milk out of Room 321 at the Boulder Outlook Hotel and Suites.

READ MORE (Times Call) ]

As Food Recalls Soar, Regulation is a Perpetual Myth

One of the most recent tragic stories involving food contamination is of 22 year-old Stephanie Smith, a dance instructor left paralyzed from the waist down by E. coli contaminated beef. Minnesota officials later traced the E. coli to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007.

“I ask myself every day, ‘Why me?’ and ‘Why from a hamburger?” said Smith. Stephanie Smith has sued Cargill for at least $100 million.

READ MORE (Friends Eat) ]

Raw Milk Worth Risks? Enthusiasts Drink Up Despite Warnings from FDA

Raw milk enthusiasts are going to keep drinking their milk pretty much straight from the cow, it seems. Even in states like Maryland and Alaska, where the pure stuff has been driven underground as an unintended effect of legislation.

The popularity of raw milk is fueled by consumers' concerns about the chemicals and hormones used in traditional dairy farming, as well as a growing interest in unprocessed, organic foods.

READ MORE (CBS) ]

Farmer's fight over raw milk lands in courtroom

Almost 100 raw-milk proponents packed a Sibley County courthouse on Tuesday to watch their hero, dairy farmer Michael Hartmann, fight state regulators who consider him a blatant scofflaw.

What they got was a day full of tedious technical testimony -- much of it having to do with milking equipment and cow manure.

READ MORE (Star Tribune) ]

Raw milk farmer seeks Tory seat

Durham-area farmer Michael Schmidt announced Tuesday that he is running to replace outgoing MPP Bill Murdoch as the Progressive Conservative standard-bearer in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

Schmidt, perhaps best know for his long and very public fight against provincial laws prohibiting the sale of raw milk, is the first person to declare his candidacy for the PC nomination since Murdoch announced earlier this month that he won't seek re-election.

READ MORE (Sun Times) ]

It’s Irrational to Say that People Who Get Risk Wrong are Irrational.

How irrational it seems to lament how "irrational" we are about risk. In the name of intelligence and reason, bright and well-intentioned people unintelligently and unreasonably ignore the vast scientific evidence which teaches us that risk perception is not, and can not be, a purely fact-based rational process. Risk is subjective, a matter of not only the facts, but how those facts feel. We know that. We know that the brain reacts instinctively to possible danger. We know the psychological characteristics of situations that make them feel more or less scary, the facts notwithstanding. We know the mental shortcuts people use to make judgments on the fly that produce behaviors which don't seem to make much sense. There is so much evidence, from various fields of science, which explain why our fears often don't match the facts. Why do the rationalists so irrationally deny all that evidence, the cold hard facts, about the affective way we perceive and respond to risk?

Let's take one current case. Deborah Blum, one of the finest science writers around, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York (and a person I'm proud to be able to call a friend), has written a piece for Slate lamenting the irrationality of those who want to drink raw milk. Deb dismissively calls them "cult-like" and "pure food obssesives...in love with a past that never really existed." She lays out quite convincingly how risky drinking raw milk can be, and is clearly frustrated at the farmer who argues that raw milk is safe because "everything God designed is good for you", despite the fact that an outbreak of God-designed and quite deadly E. coli O157-H7 was linked back to his farm. Deb writes, "I wish someone would explain the logic that leads to the conclusion that this apparently divine infection is actually ‘good for you'."

READ MORE (Psychology Today) ]

Raw Milk Worth Risks: Would you drink it?

Following on from our earlier report which informed you of the potential risks of drinking raw milk, we would now like to get some first hand consumer opinion on this matter. What are your thoughts on Raw Milk still in circulation in some parts of the US?

READ MORE (Product Reviews News) ]

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