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News for August 4, 2010

Suggestion to Media: Start Questioning the Germophobes About What They Fear from Research on Raw Milk's Nutritional Benefits

The recent raids of private buying clubs--notably the one of Rawesome Foods in Venice, CA, last month-- have drawn even more media inquiring about raw milk, and there was quite a lot of media attention prior to the first of this month.

While the main focus of the articles up until now has been on safety, two major media items on National Public Radio suggest an effort to provide additional nuance to the subject. One on Sunday used interviews with Rawesome members to explore the perceived benefits of nutrient-dense food, and the dangers of factory food.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

Investors sour on U.S. dairy giant

When consumers cut back on discretionary spending and go back to basics, the place to be is a defensive, consumer-staples stock like, say, a milk company.

Investors in Dean Foods , the largest U.S. dairy company, have seen their investment curdle over the last year, however. Dean Foods is among the five worst stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 for both the prior 52 weeks, and year-to-date.

READ MORE (Natural News) ]

Fructose Drives Pancreatic Cancer Growth

Pancreatic cancers use the sugar fructose, very common in the Western diet, to activate a key cellular pathway that drives cell division, helping the cancer to grow more quickly, a study by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has found.

Although it’s widely known that cancers use glucose, a simple sugar, to fuel their growth, this is the first time a link has been shown between fructose and cancer proliferation, said Dr. Anthony Heaney, an associate professor of medicine and neurosurgery, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and senior author of the study.

READ MORE (Health News Digest) ]

USDA Finds a 16% Increase in Farmers Markets!

Tomorrow, the USDA is releasing its findings about the growth in farmers markets in the U.S.

READ MORE (La Vida Locavore) ]

Clone beef's been on sale

Beef from a clone farm bull has illegally entered the food chain, ending up on family dinner tables.

The animal, the offspring of a cloned cow, was slaughtered last summer and the meat put on sale to the public.

READ MORE (Daily Mail - UK) ]

Gov. Schwarzenegger Gives California's Farm Workers the Shaft

The Governator recently terminated legislation that would have made life a little easier — and maybe even more enjoyable — for California's farm laborers. SB 1121, also known as the farm workers overtime bill, recently earned approval from the state's lawmakers. Once enacted, the addendum to the state's labor laws would serve as the first legislation in the country to mandate that employers provide overtime pay for hourly farm laborers if they work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours per week. It would also allow farm workers to take one day off out of every seven.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Pretty much all U.S. workers — be they McDonald's hamburger flippers or scientists at government agencies — are entitled to time off and overtime. So it stands to reason that California's 700,000 farm workers should be afforded the same rights.

READ MORE (Change.org) ]

Don't Frack Organic Food

As certified organic farmer Greg Swartz spoke to me on the phone last week from his front porch in picturesque Damascus, Pennsylvania, he lamented over the big natural gas drilling rig staring him down just 0.31 miles from his home at Willow Wisp Farm. It's not just his home but also a farm that provides a diverse array of healthy vegetables for hundreds of families in a way that keeps toxic contaminants out of the soil and drinking water supply of his neighbors. The water he uses to grow food comes from the Delaware River watershed and is among the cleanest in the entire country. This watershed provides clean drinking water for nearly 16 million people.

Natural gas drillers want to mix some of that clean water resource with hundreds of toxic and sometimes cancer-causing chemicals in order to inject it at high pressure (known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking) deep into the ground to release deep natural gas deposits. So far, more than 200,000 acres surrounding Swartz's farm are under lease to natural gas companies. Not exactly the prime place to grow organic veggies.

READ MORE (Huffington Post) ]

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