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News for September 8, 2010

Raw Milk Debated

A local movement has emerged opposing the county’s longstanding ban on the sale of raw, unpasteurized milk but county staff has warned against rescinding it.

The Board of Supervisors heard contrasting presentations on raw milk at its Aug. 24 meeting. Raw milk supporters told supervisors that unpasteurized milk is safe, proven to have medical benefits and is even endorsed by the Girl Scouts of America.

READ MORE (Arcata Eye) ]

Gibbon farmer says his raw milk sanitary, safe

The rebel Minnesota dairy farmer at the heart of an E. coli outbreak linked to raw milk -- a controversial beverage that has sparked a nationwide food safety debate -- got his day in court Tuesday and defended the sanitation of his farm.

Mike Hartmann took the stand in Sibley County court in a fight with state regulators over several hundred tubs of milk, ice cream and other foods essentially impounded in June after the E. coli outbreak sickened eight people and sent several to the hospital.

READ MORE (Star Tribune) ]

Is organic produce better? Study finds dramatic results

Is organic produce really better -- healthier, tastier? A newly published study on strawberries suggest it is, at least for some crops.

"The organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress," concludes the study led by Washington State University, published last week.

READ MORE (USA Today) ]

Study Finds Organic Ag Produces More Nutritious Fruit and Better Soil

Most people who regularly purchase organic produce do so based on the belief that the fruits and veggies are better tasting, better for you, and better for the environment. There's plenty of hard evidence that organic food has fewer pesticide residues than conventionally grown vegetables, but not a lot of scientifically rigorous research has been done to address many of these other firmly held beliefs. A new study, focusing on strawberries, attempts to avoid the shortcomings of earlier studies by using careful methodology and controlling for a wide range of factors. Researchers' resulting report draws unequivocal conclusions: organic strawberries are indeed superior in taste, nutrition, and promoting soil quality. They even have a longer shelf life.

What makes this study different is the fact that the researchers were both meticulous and comprehensive. First, they used actual working farms, not research stations, so they could see results in a real, commercial environment. When comparing two fields, one organic and one conventional, they made sure that the fields were actually adjacent, had identical soil, and that they were planted simultaneously with the same strawberry variety. They also made sure to test several different varieties at different times of the year, utilizing 13 organic/conventional field pairs. This is the first study to so rigorously examine both the nutritional quality of the resulting fruit and the health of the soil, as well as other factors like taste and shelf life.

READ MORE (Change.org) ]

In a Misguided Effort to Weed out the Bad Eggs, the Food Safety Bill Punishes the Safest Farmers in the Country

It’s been nearly a month since the nationwide recall of 550 million eggs, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still hasn’t figured out where the salmonella that sickened 1,470 people originated.

Well, I know where it originated, and I am about to reveal it here, both to save the FDA further trouble and to warn the public that the Food Safety Bill currently before the senate (which may be fast-tracked as election-wary lawmakers return from their break) might not prevent future food contamination epidemics and could even cause serious harm to conscientious farmers whose meat, poultry, and produce has never sickened anybody.

READ MORE (Politics of the Plate) ]

Illegal Contraband, Raw Milk! Farmers Arrested.

Raw milk is illegal to sell in most states in the USA.

Advocates of raw cow’s milk drink it because they believe it is superior to pasteurized milk and that it provides numerous health benefits.

READ MORE (Healthier Talk) ]

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