“….My latest adventure took me to rural South Carolina last week to visit a farm definitely off the beat and path (country people tell me this is usually where the farms are). It was a rainy morning as I drove down South 85 and exited somewhere close to Clemson and then promptly got lost thanks to Google Maps. However, some quick phone calls to the farmer, L.D. Peeler, and I soon passed over the bridge he mentioned and passed the sheep that were so cute munching on their morning meal, and turned into the driveway of Milky Way Farms.
I was here to learn about the Peeler’s dairy operation, specifically since they are one of the up and coming producers of raw milk. They call it “the way nature intended,” and yes, that means unpasteurized. In case you think this is for daredevils, please understand a movement is afoot. Milk Way’s raw milk sales have doubled since January of 2008, and websites such as RawMilk.org are getting the word out.Continue reading →
This story comes to us from the "Chinaworker" news site
Even eggs are contaminated with melamine in China. Photo from Mercola.
Here’s an Asian perspective on the contaminated milk crisis — in which it seems much more than milk is contaminated, and the contaminants are not limited to melamine. Here’s an excerpt from the Chinaworker site, from a story dated November 3rd, 2008:
“Fish, pork, and chicken contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine along with milk and eggs
Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info
China’s food contamination crisis deepens by the day. More rigorous food testing in the wake of September’s toxic milk scandal has unearthed widespread use of melamine – a chemical used to make plastics and glue – in a range of animal products including eggs and fish. Melamine is banned from food production as it causes kidney and liver disorders. This was tragically shown when four infants died and more than 13,000 were hospitalised after being weaned on tainted infant formula. Melamine had been deliberately added to thinned-out milk to raise its protein content – and profits. Chinese people are used to food scares. But the plight of small children, given the government’s one child policy, meant this scandal would inevitably have massive repercussions. Sales of milk and milk products have plunged since mid-September. The government has faced a storm of pressure effectively ending its Olympic ‘honeymoon period’.Continue reading →
Thanks to Winnifred for pointing us in this direction. It seems creative animators get off on the theme of “organic agriculture vs the agribiz monolith”. And here are a few more shreds of evidence in support of that thesis. Note: nothing specifically about raw milk:
We hear all the time how much better and more complex of flavour raw milk cheese is, as compared to cheese made from pasteurized milk. Here’s a brief little snippet of science showing the kind of factors that contribute to that difference. This is from a website called “cheesescience.net” from a guy who teaches graduate-level courses in the biochemistry of cheese. Here’s some of what he says about lipoprotein lipase:
“Milk contains quite high levels of an indigenous lipase, lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Like many enzymes in milk, LPL enters milk from the cow’s blood. The physiological role of LPL is in the metabolism of plasma triglycerides. Milk contains sufficient LPL activity to cause perceptible rancidity very quickly under optimal conditions. The reason milk does not become rancid is ude to compartmentalisation of enzyme and substrate…”Continue reading →
A Vermont cheddar by justly-famed makers of raw cheeses.
Once again another cheese report from the San Francisco Chronicle’s SF Gate website in which it’s slyly implied that the cheese under discussion is in fact raw, but they don’t come right out and say it and neither do they say it’s pasteurized. One wonders what’s behind an editorial pattern like that. Anyway, here’s a bit of what they have to say about this Vermont cloth-wrapped artisan cheddar:
“When Cabot clothbound cheddar won best of show at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition two years ago, the news electrified the audience. Vermont’s largest dairy had partnered with one of its smallest in a pioneering cheesemaking venture, and the judges had given their effort a big thumbs-up. It was as if Gallo had asked Screaming Eagle to help it make a cult Cabernet.
With about 1,400 farmer members, Cabot Creamery produces millions of pounds of waxed supermarket cheddar every year. But five years ago, the giant co-op approached the two young brothers who run the tiny Jasper Hill Farm about collaborating. The Kehlers and their wives milk about 40 Ayrshire cows and make minuscule amounts of raw-milk cheese – notably, Bayley Hazen Blue and Constant Bliss – by hand. Cabot wanted to make a traditional clothbound cheddar but didn’t have the proper environment to mature it. Continue reading →
Four amigos: MPP Randy Hillier, Sean McGivern, Michael Schmidt, and MPP Bill Murdoch just before the anniversary news conference November 18, 2008
Last Wednesday November 18th, raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt and supporters held a news conference at Queens Park Toronto to mark the second anniversary of the raid on Glencolton Farms November 21, 2006. In the days to come we’ll be presenting material from that news conference, much of which didn’t make it through the mainstream-media news filters. So stay tuned for more exciting episodes. To start the ball rolling, here’s a photo that Michael wanted, out in the hallway before the news conference got underway.
And as for the others in the photo, Sean McGivern represents the Grey-Bruce Landowners Association, Michael Schmidt is a well know raw milk advocate and farmer and Bill Murdoch was the MPP who sponsored a private members bill in 2006 to have the Ontario study the question of raw milk regulation. The bill was defeated.
Lead photo from Farm Dreams blog, Atlanta, Georgia
All across the continent, health-minded folks are establishing their own local supply networks for food outside the mainstream agribusiness-supermarket paradigm. Here’s one more example of this phenomenon, this time from Athens, Georgia. Read the whole story here. Or start with this excerpt:
“…Moving here I was worried about finding local sources for everything. I got on Local Harvest and found out about a group called Athens Locally Grown. It is basically a co-op. A group of people found farmers that would provide products every week. On Sunday, they post what is available that week and members can place an order. The organizers then go around to all the farms and pick up the orders, then the members go pick up their orders at a centralized place at an arranged time.
They have produce of all types, eggs, meat and raw milk. The meat to choose from included beef, chicken, pork, lamb and goat. The raw milk included cow and goat milk. They also have many cheeses.Continue reading →
Nido and Lactogen, two Nestle products affected by the recall in South Africa
Unlike in the United States where public health officials are pretending it’s “business as usual” (see post below), South African health officials have ordered Nestle to withdraw products from store shelves.
Here are excerpts from two news stories covering this latest development in the melamine saga. The first, from The Times, titled “Nestle Baby Formula Recall”, is by Nivashni Nair:
“Tests reveal high melamine levels in two batches of local infant formula
BATCHES of Nestlé baby formula have been pulled off shelves in South Africa after tests showed they contained unacceptably high levels of melamine.
“Traces of the industrial chemical melamine have been detected in samples of top-selling U.S. infant formula, but federal regulators insist the products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration said last month it was unable to identify any melamine exposure level as safe for infants, but a top official said it would be a “dangerous overreaction” for parents to stop feeding infant formula to babies who depend on it.
“The levels that we are detecting are extremely low,” said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “They should not be changing the diet. If they’ve been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That’s in the best interest of the baby.”Continue reading →
In today’s post we feature a picture parade that tells the story of melamine contamination in milk products, what it is, what it’s for, how it works and some hints on how to recognize and avoid contaminated foods.
Chinese mothers feed their babies -- Telegraph photo
Adulteration of milk has historically not been limited to China. In North America, in the early decades of the last century, substances such as chalk were added to milk from large dairy farms that tried to cut their costs by feeding their cows distillery swill (leftovers from the distillation process) instead of hay and pasture. With it’s fairly recent shift to industrialization, China may well be going through a similar sort of birthing pains as were once felt here in Canada and the United States. But while we used chalk, they’re using melamine. But the purpose was the same — to make the milk seem more nutritious than it really is.
Ultimately, the lesson of the melamine scandal is: Know where your food is coming from. Cultivate personal relationships with local growers, because the corporate food chain just can’t be counted on to look out for the health of consumers. Beyond melamine there’s the whole issue of GMOs just lurking under the level of public awareness. How long will it take before GMO contamination becomes the next “melamine scare”?
Thanks to farmer Michael Schmidt for passing the following information and pictures along to the Bovine, which he received in the form of an email. We’ve edited some of it for style and content. Continue reading →
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)