Daily Archives: October 13, 2008

Case in point: how the news gets twisted and how raw milk gets “smeared”

Remember the story we excerpted from a while back by David E. Gumpert under the heading “So let’s import our milk from China”

As indicated in that post, the story ran in “The Nation” under the title “Toxic Loans, Tainted Food” because it was about comparing the effects of bad lending and adulterated milk.

But now the “San Francisco Chronicle” — which you’d think would be a respectable media outlet with some interest in publishing the truth — runs the same story under the totally misleading headline:

“What Raw Milk and the Economic Meltdown have in Common”

Author David E. Gumpert is clearly an advocate of raw milk and a follower of raw milk news on his blog The Complete Patient. I can’t imagine he’d be too pleased about the mislabeling of his story. It will be interesting to see if he’ll be able to get that headline changed. I’ve sent him an email to draw it to his attention, in case he hasn’t noticed it yet. Continue reading

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Advice for the next “Farmer in Chief”

Michael Pollan, author of the recent bestseller “In Defense of Food”, addresses his concerns and ideas on food policy to the next American president in a NY Times feature titled “Farmer in Chief“. And while this is not specifically about raw milk, a lot of the issues he raises do speak to the concerns of raw milk drinkers. It’s a nine page article, from October 9th, 2008, and there’s a lot more to it than is excerpted here:

“Dear Mr. President-Elect,

“… Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention…” Continue reading


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California raw dairies labour under “degrades” by state “health wardens”

Here’s the latest, as of Oct. 12, 2008, from California, where new raw milk legislation that had been the result of public consultation and near-unanimous legislative approval was recently vetoed by the Governer. That leaves California raw milk dairies at the mercy of state officials applying stealthily-passed legislation requiring a 10-coliform limit. And according to this post on The Complete Patient blog, the margin of error on the state’s testing procedure is greater than 10-coliform. The result of all this is periodic interruptions in the flow of raw milk to store shelves and consequent economic damage to the viability of raw milk dairies in California. Here’s an excerpt:

“You’ve heard of Chinese water torture. Interrogators determined to obtain cooperation from a prisoner subject him or her to the drip, drip, drip of water on the forehead…until it drives the prisoner crazy. Continue reading

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Press reports about newly-permitted Quebec raw milk soft cheeses

Thanks again to Paul Ericson for links to the stories excerpted in this post.

First up, here’s “Quebec’s Smelly Revolution: Cheese makers free to use raw milk” by Graeme Hamilton, writing in the National Post, July 31, 2008. This is a great story that covers all the salient points from the change in regulations to the impact on taste to Quebec culinary culture.

“MONTREAL — Yet another example of Quebec’s specificity is making the news: today, new rules come into effect allowing the province’s cheese makers to produce a full range of raw-milk cheeses. “The Québécois exception with regard to cheese is once more confirmed,” reports Le Devoir, calling the measures a North American first. La Presse headlines its story, “Real raw-milk cheeses in Quebec.”

“This is a true revolution,” Agriculture Minister Laurent Lessard said in a statement. “Our artisans will be in a position to put their renowned savoir-faire to use to create a new generation of raw-milk cheeses responding to consumers tastes.” Continue reading

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