Monthly Archives: March 2009

Raw milk is the most briskly traded underground commodity in America, after illegal drugs — says MSN news

Here’s a fascinating story from Ann Monroe of MSN Lifestyle news titled “Trafficking in raw milk” and subtitled “After illegal drugs, raw milk — milk that’s unpasteurized and unhomogenized, just as it comes out of the cow — may be the most briskly traded underground commodity in America.” David E. Gumpert, from whose “The Complete Patient” blog we learned about this story, has this to say about it: “You squeeze legitimate producers enough, and they go underground. Doesn’t that theoretically increase the danger? After all, the underground sources presumably aren’t being tested or otherwise monitored by regulators. Dairy czar John Sheehan of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and his minions in state ag and public health agencies should consider the implications: If this growing volume of unregulated raw milk doesn’t create an uptick in food-borne illness, might not ever more consumers ask themselves a dangerous question: What’s the big deal about raw milk?”

 “It’s early Saturday morning, and the Brooklyn street is almost empty. Except at one half-open store, where about 30 people are lined up in the narrow aisle clutching empty backpacks, shopping bags and suitcases. At the door, a man checks each entrant, asking “Are you here for the…pickup?”

Someone shouts “The van’s coming!” and the place burst into action. People run into the street and come back hauling heavy cartons and cooler chests. Then the store empties as quickly as it filled, as everyone lugs their contraband purchase home. Continue reading

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Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt interviews himself for the Bovine on the status of raw milk in the Ontario courts

Interview of Michael Schmidt with himself on his thoughts about the trial, the consequences, and the only possible outcome.

Raw Milk Farmer Michael Schmidt outside the Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket, in September 2008

Raw Milk Farmer Michael Schmidt outside the Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket

M.S.: Thanks Michael for taking the time to look at some of the events of the past. The trial is over, what next?

Michael: Well the trial might be over, however the final arguments regarding the constitutional challenge regarding section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, which refers to the issue of Governments infringement on our individual liberty, has not been made. The Judge agreed that we should have the transcripts of the trial first, before we formulate our final arguments.

M.S.: How long do you anticipate this will take

Michael: We have to submit our written closing arguments around June 16.

M.S.: When can we expect a decision in this matter?

Michael: Realistically may be in August may be later.

M.S.: How do you feel about the trial? Continue reading


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Raw milk roundup #12 — 12 new stories

Dairy cattle in Britain -- where raw milk is legal. Photo by James Ravilious, via Corbis

Dairy cattle in Britain -- where raw milk is legal. Photo by James Ravilious, via Corbis

French government supporting small farmers instead of big agribiz

One Food System to Cure Us All — I don’t think so:  “….More fear-mongering. Raw milk is more healthful than pasteurized, for most healthy people (even lactose-intolerant people may be able to digest it, since it contains lactase; I understand lactase is destroyed by the heat of pasteurization). It is largely the processing and prettifying of foods that create these troubles, not the cows or pigs or plants themselves. Agribusiness mostly focuses on volume and appearance, rather than wholesomeness and naturalness….” Continue reading

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Vancouver restaurant combines best of health-food & meat-eating philosophies

Gordon Watson sent us this story from the Vancouver Sun about an innovative local restaurant that (although it’s not mentioned in the story) is also a drop off point for Home on the Range cowshare members. From what’s said in the story it sounds as though these folks follow the Weston A. Price approach to healthy eating using nutrient-dense foods:

Jazmin Riddell, Tessa Pauls (3 months), Barbara Schellenberg (Tessas mom) and sister Fiona Schellenberg of the Ethical Kitchen in North Vancouver. On the table is a beef burger, beef stock, borscht, pastries and a Jitterbug (a chocolate cake made with esspresso).

Jazmin Riddell, Tessa Pauls (3 months), Barbara Schellenberg (Tessa's mom) and sister Fiona Schellenberg of the Ethical Kitchen in North Vancouver. On the table is a beef burger, beef stock, borscht, pastries and a "Jitterbug" (a chocolate cake made with esspresso). Photograph by: Stuart Davis, Vancouver Sun

 Restaurant Review: Like Walking into Someone’s Kitchen

Ethical Kitchen

1600 McKay Rd., North Vancouver (across from Indigo Books). 604-988-6280.

Open Tuesday to Friday, 8:30 to 6; Saturday, 10 to 5.

VANCOUVER – The name: Ethical Kitchen. The ambience: a lighter shade of The Naam. The staff: wholesome young women with fresh faces. Food: 99-per-cent organic. First impression: It’s a vegetarian haven, a Birkenstock collective.

So what a surprise – I had the most delicious, juicy burger here. The beef stew was crammed with very good beef. I could have had an equally meaty, juicy sausage on a bun.

When you put together the bits and pieces of information posted on the cooler display, you realize Ethical Kitchen is an unexpected mix of healthy and sustainable and lots of meat. Continue reading


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Avian-flu-virus contamination found in flu vaccine — just another reason not to get vaccinated, or the tip of an iceberg: Create the perfect storm of a pandemic to ram through “Food Safety” legislation giving control over all agriculture to bio-tech firms like Monsanto & their proxies

We understand the following excerpt is originally from Alex Jones’ Prison Planet, but we found it via (you may need a free sign-up to access the Mercola site):

“Were Tainted Vaccines a Conspiracy to Provoke a Pandemic?

Photo via Mercola

Photo via Mercola

Czech newspapers are questioning whether the shocking discovery of vaccines contaminated with the deadly avian flu virus — distributed to 18 countries by the American company Baxter — were part of a conspiracy to provoke a pandemic.

Because of laboratory protocols that are routine for vaccine makers, mixing a live virus biological weapon with vaccine material by accident is virtually impossible.

Baxter flu vaccines contaminated with H5N1 (the human form of avian flu) were received by labs in the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovenia. Initially, Baxter refused to reveal how the vaccines were contaminated with H5N1, invoking “trade secrets.” After increased pressure, they then claimed that pure H5N1 batches were sent by accident.

But in the Czech Republic, reporters are investigating whether the contamination was part of a deliberate attempt to start a pandemic. Continue reading


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On the Blue Bus with ichannel TV reporters & camera crew Tuesday

Last Tuesday  raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt and a few of his cowshare members were interviewed on the blue bus for a documentary to air on ichannel TV. Here are a few snaps from the proceedings:

Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt on the blue bus

Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt talks raw milk to a TV reporter on the blue bus

It was a beautiful spring day last Tuesday.

It was a beautiful spring day last Tuesday.

Continue reading

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Grass-fed fluid milk producer in Ohio takes on the big-dairy monopoly

This story about Snowville Creamery is originally from Graze magazine and appears on the Snowville Creamery website under the title “Grass-Fed Fluid Milk in Danger“:

Building a dream for grass-fed fluid milk:  Snowville Creamery wants to return taste and value to milk

By Joel McNair

Pomeroy, Ohio

The dream is big, the vision wide, the obstacles great. Warren Taylor wants nothing less than to resurrect American fluid milk quality and consumption from sorrowful depths.

Warren believes that a product that has become a standardized, industrialized and sometimes sterilized shadow of its former self can be returned to the wonderful food that so many mothers and children enjoyed in the days of his youth. Milk made with grain, hormones and stressed-out cows can instead come from contented animals grazing lush pastures. Continue reading


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Would Bill HR875 outlaw Raw Milk?

We’ve done a few posts now on proposed bill HR 875 and it’s implications for small scale organic farming, backyard gardening and other good things. This latest (March 23, 2009) excellent summary of concerns around this bill from Sarah Foster at includes the following discussion of possible impact on raw milk availability:

Could “Raw” Milk Take a Hit?

Many critics are wondering whether they’ll be able to buy “raw” milk if HR 875 becomes law. According to the FTCLDF it’ll depend on the regulations, but the future doesn’t look good. Right now it’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk across state lines, but some states allow its sale within their boundaries, albeit grudgingly and with heavy restrictions. HR 875 puts even this limited market in jeopardy.

FTCLDF explains:

“FDA has long wanted a complete ban on the sale of raw milk. The agency’s mantra is that raw milk should not be consumed by anyone at any time for any reason. The agency does not consider this subject to be debatable…Under HR 875, FSA is given statutory authority to unilaterally impose a ban.” [Emphasis added] Continue reading

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Fraser Valley Health Authority in B.C. won’t rescind Cease and Desist order against Home on the Range cowshare

Further to our post from yesterday, here’s the latest news from Gordon Watson in British Columbia:

I received a letter tonight in which lawyer Guy McDannold tells me that his client – the Fraser Health Authority – will not be rescinding the Cease+Desist Order which was issued to our depot at Rockweld Farm, Abbotsford, last Wednesday

So the battle is joined. I’ll start composing the documentation for appealing the Order, this evening. I may get it in to the Court Registry by tomorrow close of business … but if not, then by Thursday.

I am quite irritated with these people = the bureaucrats. It galls me the way they play the silly-bugger … pretending not to understand simple logic. A child can read my explanation and see that milk from our cowshare is not caught by the Milk Industry Act nor the Health Act. I guess one of the qualifications for receiving a law degree is the candidate’s ability to stifle common sense. Continue reading


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Is this “salmon scented milk” report actually a GMO experiment gone bad?

Here’s a sad but no doubt true excerpt from today’s post on the Books and Boulders blog, talking about an unnerving experience with store-bought milk. This is the kind of thing that makes people want to go straight to the farm and get the real McCoy — farm fresh raw milk, produced to a standard suitable for raw consumption: 

Is something fishy about your store-bought milk?

Is something fishy about your store-bought milk?

Because I only just now got around to eating anything resembling lunch – pb&j with carrot and a glass of milk – it is now that I’ve discovered that the brand-new, bought yesterday, doesn’t-go-bad-til March 30th milk reeks of old salmon.

I wish I ran my own basement lab.  If that was the case, I’d run my own tests on the milk to discern what bacteria strain is in it, and then I’d alert the company to what brand of badness this batch was. Continue reading

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