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News for July 2, 2010

Marler vs. Gumpert: A Raw Debate About Milk

Raw milk. In the past month, no two words have caused more controversy on Simple, Good and Tasty than these. In the wake of an E.coli outbreak that's been linked to raw milk from a small, Minnesota dairy farm, we have seen our readers line up in two distinct camps: those who can’t understand why anyone would risk drinking raw milk, and those who can’t understand why anyone would drink anything else.

I wanted to broaden the debate, to take it beyond the local story about the Hartmann Dairy farm, its customers, and the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture. I wanted to know more about raw milk from the people who are considered the experts: so I e-mailed Bill Marler and David Gumpert.

READ MORE (Simple Good and Tasty) ]

Will this drive Greenpoint to libertarianism? More corporatism in Brooklyn

After billionaire developer Bruce Rattner teamed up with billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg to steal land through eminent domain and steal money through development subsidies in the quest to reshape downtown Brooklyn, I suggested Brooklyn’s denizens might start to see government power as the destructive, corrupt thing it is.

Today, I stumble across another story reeking of corporatism from the hip parts of that borough. Turns out, government regulations are quashing independent grocers to the benefit of more established grocers.

READ MORE (Washington Examiner) ]

Market crash! City scrutiny scuttles Greenpoint food vendor gathering

The organizer of the Greenpoint Food Market has decided to fold her 10-month-old indie eats bazaar in the face of a threat from city health officials to slap summonses on her vendors because they lack commercial food handling permits.

Food market organizer Joann Kim announced last night that she had canceled the next event scheduled for June 26 rather than risk a city crackdown.

READ MORE (Brooklyn Paper) ]

WSU study on potato farming gives organic way a boost

If you want to grow a bigger potato, organic farming may be the way.

The balanced mix of insects and fungi in organic fields does a superior job of keeping pests in check, leading to larger plants, according to researchers at Washington State University in Pullman. Potato plants exposed to conditions typical of pesticide-treated fields fared more poorly in the research team's experiments.

READ MORE (Seattle Times) ]

Organic farmers better at pest control, study says

Dovetailing nicely with Grist contributor and would-be farmer Steph Larsen’s account of her battle with the hated corn borer, a new study from Washington State University suggests organic growing techniques offer better pest control and larger plants.

But first, let’s be clear: The debate over the benefits of organic versus industrial agriculture is never-ending. No one study will convince everyone that one form of agriculture or another is superior.

READ MORE (Grist) ]

UN food safety meeting to consider melamine limit

The World Health Organization says an annual food safety meeting July 5-9 will discuss setting a global limit on how much melamine is allowed in food and animal feed.

Melamine contamination in milk products has been blamed for the sickening of nearly 300,000 babies and deaths of at least six infants in China in recent years.

READ MORE (Businessweek) ]

Dr. Mercola - Is Raw Milk Right for You?

Learn from my personal experiences with raw milk and how you can apply it to all health recommendations you receive.

READ MORE (YouTube) ]

USDA Biofuel Plan

A new USDA report provides a plan to achieve America's renewable energy goals. The USDA's Bob Ellison has more.

READ MORE (USDA) ]

Organic farming gives better pest control, bigger spuds

Supporters of organic agriculture got a boost on Thursday with a scientific study that said pesticide-free potato farming improved control over crop-munching insects and delivered bigger plants.

David Crowder, an entomologist at Washington State University, led a team that reviewed published data about local potato fields, looking in particular at plant-chewing beetles and the bugs and fungi that prey on them.

READ MORE (AFP) ]

Consumers Can Choose Organic Products to Avoid Synthetic Food Dyes

In response to a call from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to ban synthetic dyes to color foods, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) today reminded consumers that they can already avoid such dyes in the marketplace by choosing to purchase organic foods.

CSPI's latest report entitled "Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks" outlines health concerns posed by the nine currently approved dyes used on conventionally produced foods. According to CSPI, the dyes present "a rainbow of risks," including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and even cancer.

READ MORE (Organic Trade Association) ]

Free Your Picnic: Food Independence Day

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Eating local food is patriotic.

GThe nation seems to grow ever more deeply divided about what that means, especially this last year, with the tea partiers insisting that the so-called liberal elite are not patriotic (and to be fair, many progressives seeming sheepish about their citizenship). On a good day, though, I'd guess that most people would agree that while there is a great deal wrong with this country (even if we don't agree on what those things are), we would like to see it prosper, we would like to preserve its land and waters as best we can, and we would like our fellow citizens to prosper as well.

READ MORE (Huffington Post) ]

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