Monthly Archives: July 2009

Glencolton Farms picture parade ’09

Here are some fun photos phurnished by the pholks at Glencolton farms, Ontario’s justly-celebrated raw milk pioneers:

The crew at Glencolton farm

The crew at Glencolton farm

Two angels just finished cultured milk

Angels of the dairy with just-finished cultured milk

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Big Food going the way of Big Tobacco

Here’s a significant story from syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman, writing from Boston, but published in the Seattle Times under the title “Tables are turning on Big Food”. 

Will Big Food soon be riding off into the sunset the way Big Tobacco has?

Will "Big Food" soon be riding off into the sunset the way "Big Tobacco" has?

The Times’ preamble: “Now that two-thirds of Americans are overweight, the lethal effects of fat are catching up to those of smoke, writes columnist Ellen Goodman. We are beginning to see that Overweight America is not some collective collapse of national willpower, but a business plan”

Excerpts from the story: “BOSTON — What caught my eye was not just the ashtray sitting forlornly on the yard-sale table. It was the sign that marked it “vintage,” as if we needed to label this relic of midcentury America.

Ashtrays that once graced every airline armrest, coffee table and office have gone the way of spittoons. Today the car’s cigarette lighter is used to juice up the cellphone. Ask any restaurant for the smoking section, and you’ll be shown the doorway.

If I had to pick the year attitudes changed, it would 1994, when seven CEOs of Big Tobacco came before Congress and swore that nicotine wasn’t addictive. A lobby too big to fail and too powerful to oppose began to lose clout. Smokers are no longer seen as sexy and glamorous but as the addicted dupes. Continue reading

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Food Inc. — the book that picks up where the documentary film left off

Here’s an excerpt from a great new story on the Ethicurean blog, by guest contributor Joshua J. Biggley:

See the movie -- then read the book!

See the movie -- then read the book!

Summer blockbusters are often contrived, schlocky representations of the books on which they are based. But the documentary “Food, Inc.,” which drew heavily on the nonfiction bestsellers “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “Fast Food Nation” for its subject matter, has produced an accompanying book, “Food Inc.: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer — And What You Can Do About It,” that does far more than just rehash the film. This is no “one-two punch” marketing ploy by the folks at Participant Media, but rather a well-conceived, thoughtful follow-up to the overview offered up on the big screen.

Perhaps it is the weighty subject matter-the industrialization and externalization of our food supply-or the all-star cast of creators and real-life participants, but in this case the combination of movie and book offers ample education and inspiration for even the most discerning consumer.

Happily, the book is doing almost as well as the movie, which is the year’s top-grossing documentary: it is currently No. 325 on Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt and the Crown submit final arguments in raw milk case under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Michael Schmidt’s raw milk case is in two parts (or three if you count the contempt charges). The part for which these final arguments apply is the part that is being argued under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Dinner and a movie July 18th, 2009 presented by Symphony in the Barn at Michael Schmidts Glencolton Farms near Durham Ontario.

Dinner and a movie July 18th, 2009 presented by Symphony in the Barn at Michael Schmidt's Glencolton Farms near Durham Ontario. The Silent Movie was accompanied by live chamber music.

Michael Schmidt’s final argument in the Charter case appears below (after the letter). These arguments were submitted on June 26th. The Crown’s final argument (submitted July 24th, 2009) can be found at this link. Michael will appear before Judge Kowarski on August 31, 2009, at which time a date will be selected on which the judge will render a verdict. I believe the final arguments in the other part of the case are yet to be submitted. 

And now here’s that final arguments from Michael Schmidt in the Charter case for raw milk:
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Duck hunting with Megan Nix — “To know what something is, you need to know where it comes from….”.

Here’s another great story by Denver food editor Megan Nix, excerpted from the Denver Post where it’s called “Convenience vs Ethics in Food Choices“:

The author, from the about page of her blog, considering some food choices.

Picture from the "about" page of Megan Nix's blog ( -- considering food choices.

“My grandpa’s dog Gretchen was for hunting, not for loving. She spent more time outside than she did with humans, and I had to trap her in the closet to pet her

I’d roll my knuckles down her ridged spine and whisper nice things to her, but she would just stare out the yellow crack in the closet, indifferent and distanced. She didn’t seem to mind her relegation to the animal world. It was around then that I decided not to mind my place in the food chain, either.

Grandpa gave the pheasants to my grandma with one hand under their heads and the other cradling their slick, limp bodies. She lowered them into thyme and butter, shoulder to shoulder in a casserole dish.

My grandparents taught me that animals deserve tenderness, but that we also use them to enhance our lives.

At that time, a meal’s setting started with the rustling of reeds, the first V of wings over a sunlit lake. Today, it reads like this: a vacant field and a factory’s long shadow. Stench and slaughter. Chemical injections, electric probes, polio. Continue reading


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Shopping where the price is wrong

Supermarket price deception and obfuscation was not even on my radar until I read Shirley-Ann Wood’s special-to-the-Bovine report which appears below. You see, I hardly ever shop at the supermarket anymore. This is not the result of any ideological decision to separate myself from the corporate food industry. 

It just gradually happened that my “dollar votes” have slowly shifted to farmers, farmers markets and health-food stores. But lots of people do shop at supermarkets. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they trust those supermarkets to clearly and honestly display product prices and they trust that prices charged at the checkout correctly match those displayed in the store.

How to corner nearly the whole market without appearing to do so -- Loblaws and their many aliases (aka brands)

How to corner nearly the whole market without appearing to do so -- Loblaws and their many aliases (aka "brands). This image is from; its title is "loblaws-canada.jpg". See what I mean!

 I am not a great writer, nor do I seek to be recognized as a savvy, sarcastic journalist. I am writing simply to express a deep frustration, and truthfully, what is probably more than just a frustration. The topic is a small component of a much larger picture, nonetheless………. Continue reading


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AVMA’s Seattle Raw milk symposium: David E. Gumpert and Amanda Rose

Here is some material from the presentations by author David E. Gumpert of the Complete Patient blog and Dr. Amanda Rose, who writes for the Ethicurean. Dr. Rose was commissioned by the American Veterinary Medicine Association to do a study on raw milk consumers and to present the results at the recent AVMA symposium in Seattle. The following material is excerpted from David’s “The Complete Patient” blog:

Opening slide of David E. Gumpert's powerpoint presentation at the AVMA Symposium.


Some generally accepted facts about the incidence of raw-milk-related illnesses.

Some generally accepted facts about the incidence of raw-milk-related illnesses. Again, from David E. Gumpert's powerpoint presentation to the AVMA Raw Milk Symposium in Seattle, Summer 2009.

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