Daily Archives: October 9, 2008

Investment in Glencolton Farms cow shares not losing value like the stock market

“One thing I can guarantee you after this week,” said Michael Schmidt, referring to how much people have lost in stocks, mutual funds and retirement pensions over this last week, “is that you still have a cow.”

Speaking at a meeting of cow share holders earlier this week, Michael Schmidt suggested that instability in world markets may actually have a silver lining in that it could encourage tighter cooperation, both practical and financial, between Glencolton Farms and the cowshare community. He said “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we would come up with a viable concept so that we could somehow provide food security for all those 150 cowshare families”.

This would no doubt involve greater hands-on involvement from the community as well as new financial and social structures to back it all up. Some preliminary groundwork has already been laid for a new more cooperative ownership and management structure for the farm. The several years of experience people like Doug Wylie have had working out communal social arrangements for the Carrville Community Garden could be put to good use. Mark Ross has also been involved in developing these kinds of new social/agricultural initiatives.

Note: Michael Schmidt is at the centre of a number of charges and court cases in southern Ontario, where he farms on behalf of 150 cow share families.

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Raw Milk wanted in New Jersey too

a Jersey girl drinks raw milk from a Jersey cow

Imagining the future: a "Jersey girl" drinking raw milk from a Jersey cow - beautiful!

New Jersey citizens are working together in an effort to legalize raw milk in the Garden State. Apparently committee hearings there originally scheduled for June have been postponed till this fall. Hey, that’s about now, isn’t it? However, no date has yet been announced as of Oct 9th, according to the website.

Say "Cheese"! - New Jersey raw milk farm family.

Say Cheese! - New Jersey raw milk family of the future.

Their organization, “Garden State Raw Milk” describes itself as “a grass-roots group of consumers, farmers, scientists, health professionals, and non-profit organizations, working together to create legal access to raw milk in New Jersey.”  GSRM is a project of the Foodshed Alliance.

The GSRM have put together a very professional looking website for their promotional effort. The pictures on this post are from their site. Continue reading

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So let’s import our milk from China…

Here’s another bit of penetrating analysis from David E. Gumpert, writing for “The Nation” on the subject of “Toxic Loans, Tainted Food”:

“What do American collateralized debt obligations have in common with Chinese dairy products?

Chinese milk products for Canada?

Chinese milk products could be exported to America.

For starters, both can be highly toxic. Collateralized debt obligations based on subprime mortgages have brought America’s economy to its knees. In China, dairy tainted with melamine was used to make infant formula that is now blamed for sickening 53,000 infants and killing at least four.

In addition, both can wind up in unexpected places, and do serious harm to consumers. Some of those exotic debt instruments wound up in very conservative, “ultra-short” US bond mutual funds, sparking declines, and on the balance sheets of far-off European and Asian financial institutions–threatening the same kinds of illnesses they caused in the United States, where they have decimated Wall Street.

The Chinese dairy products that sickened so many infants have turned up in Pizza Hut cheese in Taiwan, cookies in Macao, White Rabbit Creamy Candy and Cadbury chocolate all around Asia–even in instant coffee and tea in the United States…”

There’s lots more. Read the whole story on “The Nation”‘s website. This piece is from October 7, 2008.

Read also some of David’s further thoughts on the subject as elaborated on his Complete Patient blog:

“Outsourcing our dairy industry to China…”

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Raw milk – BIG IN JAPAN? – Not

Unlike iconic singer Tom Waits, raw milk is not “Big in Japan”. However it does seem to be legally available there, though expensive.  According to Paul Ericson, who was recently in Japan, raw milk, which is supplied from only one dairy in the entire country, is distributed through perhaps 50 retail outlets scattered throughout Japan.

Japan's one source of raw milk.

Omoiyari dairy: Japan's one source of legal raw milk

At any given grocery, there will be a dozen different types of milk, varying in things like butterfat content and % of fresh milk vs powdered. On pasteurized milk, the pasteurization time and temperature are indicated on the package. Much of the milk in Japan is ultrahigh temperature (UHT) pasteurized. And while pasteurized milk costs 140 yen for 500 ml, raw milk costs about 6 times as much, 385 yen for 180 ml.

Here is a link to the website of the one raw milk dairy in Japan. Note: this is in Japanese, so you’ll need to be able to display Kanji characters on your system and be able to read Japanese to see what it says. Good luck with that. Thanks to Paul for this intelligence.


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