Monthly Archives: June 2009

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt keynote speaker at Canadian Holistic Nutrition conference, Toronto May ’09

Ontario raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt was keynote speaker at Friday’s Opening Gala for the Canadian Holistic Nutrition conference in Toronto May 22, 2009. According to Orly Dinar who helped organize Michael’s participation in the event, Michael was able to inspire the audience of holistic nutritionists to care about agriculture and the essential role it plays in healthy nutrition. 

Farmer Michael Schmidt at the podium.

Farmer Michael Schmidt at the podium.

One example Orly recounted from Michael’s talk was his description of how he could put his hand out and catch some manure as it comes from one of his grass and hay-fed dairy cattle and how he could then turn his hand over and let the manure fall to the ground. Then looking at his hand, you would not be able to see any trace of the manure left. Try this with a conventionally-managed dairy farm and it would be a whole different story. Here are some of the pictures Orly took to share with readers of the Bovine: Continue reading

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Who’s behind U.S. “food safety” bills?

Here’s an interesting personal history of the personalities who are attempting to bring America into a new era of so called “food safety”. This is excerpted from a much longer piece on the Farmwars blog titled “The 2009 Food ‘Safety’ Bills Harmonize Agribusiness Practices in Service of Corporate Global Governance“:

Will we be seeing signs like this across America in the years to come? Photo by Rose Atkinson via Pbase.com (picture is from Western Australia)

Will we be seeing signs like this across America in the years to come once new "food safety" bills become law? Photo is by Rose Atkinson via Pbase.com (She took this picture in Western Australia)

“……After a series of well-publicized cases of food contamination – E. coli-tainted meat, melamine-adulterated pet food and baby formula, salmonella-infected peanut butter – the public has been well primed to look toward Congress to fix a poorly funded and insufficiently staffed food safety inspection system.   And, right on cue, a crop of “food safety” bills gets dumped our way.  The most controversial and transformational of these pieces of legislation, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s HR 875, can be traced directly to recommendations made by the Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit organization sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Continue reading

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Raw milk is key to dairy farm survival

In the United States, where they don’t have supply management like the milk marketing boards in Canada, dairy farmers’ survival is typically at the mercy of the market price. Lately that price has been driven down by decreased demand that is reportedly due to increased importation and use of milk protein concentrate, an industrial product intended for uses such as glue, but is now being used as an unapproved food additive to increase profits for big processors because it’s cheaper than buying fluid milk from farmers.

Kraft Velveeta -- harbinger of dairy foods to come? Helmerson comments: I must say I’m a little wary of ingesting anything that masquerades as cheese but yet doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has an almost neon orange glow about it… but its so good! -- photo and comment from Redravine.wordpress.com

Kraft Velveeta -- harbinger of dairy "foods" to come? Helmerson comments: "I must say I’m a little wary of ingesting anything that masquerades as cheese but yet doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has an almost neon orange glow about it… but its so good!" -- photo and comment from Redravine.wordpress.com -- for those not into raw milk! Some people have fond memories of growing up on this stuff.

The one bright spot, the one exception to the cloud of gloom that’s settling over dairy in America is the raw milk scene. Is it any surprise that more farmers are latching onto this one chance for economic survival in the face of all that’s arrayed against them? Here’s an excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s thoughtful analysis of the business case for raw milk dairying, from a recent post on the Complete Patient blog:

“…. a new study has just come out from the Northeast Organic Farming Association examining in some detail the economic impact of raw dairies in Massachusetts. What it says is that raw dairies have more economic impact than we generally realize, and that the impact is growing rapidly. Continue reading

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Turkey board demands all turkeys be kept in the slammer — puts kibosh on free range organic turkey market

Tyrannical tendencies are apparently not limited to the “milk” marketing boards, as this issue demonstrates. There are also echoes here of the intervention in farming practices threatened by the “food safety” bills currently before the U.S. legislature. So here’s “Talking Certified Organic Turkey”, a commentary on behalf the National Farmers Union, by Grant Robertson. Thanks to Gaille for sending it our way.

Organic turkeys will not out and about in Canada if the Turkey Board has anything to say about it. Photos: Sheepdrove.com

Organic turkeys will not out and about in Canada if the Turkey Board has anything to say about it. Photos: Sheepdrove.com

“Many farmers and farm organizations claim that they want a science-based approach to rules when it comes to food safety and other issues.  However the brain trust of the Turkey Farmers of Ontario has thrown caution to the wind and embraced junk science while at the same time restricting consumer choice on certified organically raised Turkey in this province.

In May of 2008 the Turkey Farmers of Ontario, with little or no consultation with organic organizations or growers, released rules banning all outside access for turkeys raised under the supply managed system.  Supply management was established by farmers to improve farmer incomes and to provide a consistent supply of products to processors.  It was not intended to restrict consumer choice or to constrain farmers in type of productions techniques they might use beyond ensuring food safety.  Certainly supply management was not intended to have junk science be used to eliminate a growing niche market available to farmers. Continue reading

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Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt guest narrator at Toronto opera performance

Here’s farmer Michael Schmidt (left) narrating a Haydn opera at Toronto’s new Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, home of the Canadian Opera Company. This was a free noontime concert on June 4th, 2009. Thanks to Orly for the photos:

It takes a farmer!

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Is cow’s milk only good for calves?

There’s been controversy for a while now in nutrition circles, with some saying dairy is unnecessary in the human diet and others saying that while commercial pasteurized milk and milk products may be associated with health problems, raw dairy is altogether different in its effects on the body and is actually a valuable food.

Cows milk is for calves, right. What gives humans the idea they should drink it too?

Cow's milk is for calves, right? Are humans the only mammals to drink the milk of another species? Could be... but I'm pretty sure we're also the only mammals who use the internet. Your point?

Here’s an excellent summary of the case for milk and specifically, the case for raw milk, as part of a healthy diet. This article is written by Karen Railey B.S., CNC. It was originally found by Audrey, and circulated by Beverley. Audrey found it in “Chet’s Day” health news letter. Karen Railey, who wrote this piece, is also the author of the how-to guide “How to improve fading memory and thinking skills with Nutrition“. Continue reading

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Food Safety Enhancement Act HR2749

Here’s an update on the food safety legislation front by Ann Shibler, writing for The New American. It’s titled “From Farming to Serfdom”. It reads like a “final solution” to the whole neo-hippy organic-health-food movement that dares to challenge corporate dominance in the food sector. An excerpt:

Imagine adding a K to BAC and changing the word bacteria to government.

Imagine adding a K to "BAC" and changing the word "bacteria" to "HR 2749" and you'd have something more in tune with the times.

“Another sweeping draconian measure from your representatives in Washington is quickly taking shape under H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act (FSEA) of 2009. Though not officially introduced until June 8, this bill seems to be the bill of choice for passage, as opposed to the eight other bills on the same subject that still sit in committees.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), John Dingell (D-Mich.), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), and Bart Stupack (D-Mich.) — met to discuss the bill on May 26, which 13 days bofore it was introduced. These congressmen are all sponsors of the bill. They also held a hearing on the bill on June 3, five days before it was officially introduced. 

With pre-planning like this, it’s no wonder that there’s already an amendment to the bill, and that it has been voted out of the Health Subcommittee and already marked up in the Energy and Commerce Committee as a bill being fast-tracked.

Marketed as a bill to “amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market, and for other purposes,” the bill in actuality extends U.S. government control over the food supply and those who produce it, using the issue of food safety as the rationale. In fact, the bill doesn’t even address any bad food practices, especially those in foreign countries.

After thoroughly analyzing the text of H.R. 2749, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund reports that small farms and local producers and small business would be forced to endure “a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme” that would “disproportionately impact their operations for the worse.” The bill contains frightening and costly requirements, with severe penalties for individuals who are found non-compliant by the FDA. Continue reading

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