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News for August 2, 2010

County farmers honor slow foods movement with farm tour

Cheesemaker Brian Futhey finds himself recognized more and more by seeming strangers.

“I’m constantly having people come up to me at a farmers market and say, ‘Yeah, I was at your place last year.’ I don’t remember them,” Futhey said with a laugh. “Because there’s 100, 120 people that come through.”

READ MORE (Centre Daily Times) ]

You Want to Believe, But Here's Why Cooperation with the Food Police Is So Dicey

Warren Burgess has a difficult decision to make.

Burgess is a partner in Traditional Foods Minnesota , which was raided by state agriculture authorities in mid-June, and has been shuttered since. Its crime, like that of Rawesome Foods in Venice, CA, and Manna Storehouse in 2008, seems to be that it makes nutrient-dense food available to a private membership.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt stages opera 'Milk Trial by Jury'

After years in court defending his unpasteurized dairy operation, farmer Michael Schmidt has decided to take his notoriety and milk it.

The so-called "raw milk crusader" was thrust into the public eye in 2006 when two dozen police officers raided his farm, charging him with violating the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

READ MORE (CP24) ]

Clone farm's milk is on sale (UK)

Milk from the offspring of cloned cows is secretly - and illegally - going into high street shops.

Despite deep unease among consumers, the milk is not being labelled or identified in any way, leaving shoppers in the dark about what they are drinking.

READ MORE (Daily Mail) ]

Raw Milk-Why Mess With Udder Perfection?

Milk may be the single most historically important food to human health. Not just any milk, mind you, but raw milk from healthy, free-to-roam, grass-fed cows. The difference between the milk you buy in the store, and the milk your great-great grandparents enjoyed is, unfortunately, enormous. If we lived in a country where raw milk from healthy, pastured cows were still a legal product and available as readily as, say, soda or a handgun, we’d all be taller and healthier, and I’d see fewer elderly patients with hunched backs and broken hips. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where raw milk is available in stores and you don’t buy it, you are passing up a huge opportunity to improve your health immediately. If you have kids, raw milk will not only help them grow, but will also boost their immune systems so they get sick less often. And, since the cream in raw milk is an important source of brain-building fats, whole milk and other raw dairy products will also help them to learn.

It’s a common misperception that milk drinking is a relatively new practice, one limited to Europeans. The reality is that our cultural—and now, our epigenetic—dependence on milk most likely originated somewhere in Africa.

READ MORE (Dr Cate) ]

Food safety bill likely delayed after recess

Food safety legislation probably won’t be considered by the Senate before the August recess, but it is a top priority after Labor Day, according to a Capitol Hill source.

While action is possible before the recess, two other bills and a Supreme Court nomination will take precedence over food safety legislation the week of August 2, said the source, a Democratic staff member speaking on condition of anonymity.

READ MORE (The Packer) ]

Michael Pollan: The Mighty Rise of the Food Revolution

It might sound odd to say this about something people deal with at least three times a day, but food in America has been more or less invisible, politically speaking, until very recently. At least until the early 1970s, when a bout of food price inflation and the appearance of books critical of industrial agriculture (by Wendell Berry, Francis Moore Lappé, and Barry Commoner, among others) threatened to propel the subject to the top of the national agenda, Americans have not had to think very hard about where their food comes from, or what it is doing to the planet, their bodies, and their society.

Most people count this a blessing. Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than any people in history—slightly less than 10 percent—and a smaller amount of their time preparing it: a mere thirty-one minutes a day on average, including clean-up. The supermarkets brim with produce summoned from every corner of the globe, a steady stream of novel food products (17,000 new ones each year) crowds the middle aisles, and in the freezer case you can find “home meal replacements” in every conceivable ethnic stripe, demanding nothing more of the eater than opening the package and waiting for the microwave to chirp. Considered in the long sweep of human history, in which getting food dominated not just daily life but economic and political life as well, having to worry about food as little as we do, or did, seems almost a kind of dream.

READ MORE (Cornucopia) ]

At The Lands at Hillside Farms, they make milk the old-fashioned way

I RECENTLY read with interest and surprise that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has only now begun to accept that antibiotic resistance in humans has in part occurred as a result of overuse of these drugs by large-scale agricultural practices.

The news seemed anticlimactic for me, as the first time I learned of the concept was 24 years ago during my first year of veterinary school. Doctors who dispense antibiotics to any species generally understand and accept that their use needs to be judicious for this reason.

READ MORE (Times Leader) ]

The Green debate - Organic or Local?

At a time when many farms are struggling to maintain production costs, there's hardly enough money for organic certifications, so small farms in MetroWest are shifting their focus to buying locally.

Hanson's Farm in Framingham is not certified organic but Tom Hanson, the farm owner, said two-thirds of the crops it produces are grown by means of organic methods.

READ MORE (MetroWest Daily News) ]

Organic activist presents her 'Manifesto'

Maria Rodale does not mince words.

The sustainability advocate and head of Rodale Inc. publishing company believes we must rapidly convert to organic farming systems or jeopardize the health of the planet and its inhabitants.

READ MORE (Chicago Tribune) ]

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