News for June 24, 2010
Got Raw Milk?
In Massachusetts, a controversy over raw milk regulations has cast doubt on our seemingly basic right to unprocessed food. Government, public health and dairy industry officials want to restrict the sale and distribution of raw (unpasteurized) milk, citing grave safety concerns. But small dairy farmers, organic consumers' advocates and raw milk drinkers say the issue isn't safety-it's control of the dairy market.
In January, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) proposed new regulations that would ban off-the-farm sale and distribution of raw milk. Prior to making the revamped regulations public, MDAR issued cease-and-desist orders to four milk-buying clubs that buy raw milk directly from small farmers and distribute it among members. MDAR Commissioner Scott Soares insists the clubs' activities are illegal and that the new rules are "intended to be a clarification over what has always been the case."
[ READ MORE (In These Times) ]
Heated Debate over Heating Milk
Across the U.S. many state governments are taking up the debate about raw or unpasteurized milk. Living on Earth's Jessica Ilyse Smith reports that while some people claim that raw milk can carry harmful bacteria, making it a threat to public safety, others say just the opposite - that unpasteurized milk can have positive health benefits and a better taste to boot.
[ READ MORE (Living on Earth) ]
Hamburger recall: E. coli found in ground beef in California and New York
E. coli has been found in hamburger meat at companies on opposite coasts, leading to a recall of tens of thousands of pounds of ground beef and patties just ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend.
Nearly 40,000 pounds of ground beef from processing distributors in California and New York are involved in the two separate recalls, both involving the same strain of E.coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
[ READ MORE (Wallet Pop) ]
Hospital Food Gets A Push Down The Organic Aisle
The local and organic food movement is spreading to an area not commonly associated with freshness, or even taste: hospital kitchens. Advocates say higher-quality produce, and smaller servings of meat, will help patients.
But the idea, which stems from a trial documented by a Johns Hopkins public health study, has its critics.
[ READ MORE (NPR) ]
Program makes local food more affordable
Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced yesterday that the Dewey Square farmers' market will become the latest participant in a program that provides low-income residents with more affordable and accessible local farm produce.
Under the Boston Bounty Bucks program, more than 82,000 residents who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be eligible to receive credits of up to $10 when they buy produce from local farmers' markets using electronic benefit transfer cards, according to the mayor.
[ READ MORE (Boston Globe) ]