Daily Archives: October 26, 2009

Chill on raw milk cheese in Quebec

Here’s an excerpt from a recent Toronto Star story titled “Cheese Stores Say Quebec Rules Go Whey Too Far”:

Cheesemonger at Montreals Fromagerie Atwater. Toronto Star photo by Andrew Chung

Cheesemonger at Montreal's Fromagerie Atwater. Toronto Star photo by Andrew Chung

“MONTREAL–At the pungent Fromagerie Atwater, one of the best-known cheese shops in Montreal, patrons feast their eyes on a glass display case piled with cheeses.

With the help of the maroon-smocked experts behind the counter, patrons carefully choose their pleasures, with an increasing proportion from Quebec.

But unbeknownst to many, there is a cheese war going on in Quebec.

Since a listeriosis crisis sent Quebec into a frenzy last fall, you could cut the tension between cheesemakers and the provincial regulator with, well, a cheese knife.

Producers say the crisis was overblown, with millions of dollars in cheese thrown out. And the reaction since has been overkill, many add, especially those who use unpasteurized milk, said to make more flavourful cheese. Continue reading

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Is there a rational explanation for regulators’ behavior on raw milk?

That’s the question David E. Gumpert was asked to address in his recent presentation, described in the story excerpted below:

Bioneers by the Bay photo by Kevin Trimmer

Young people want to know. Bioneers by the Bay photo by Kevin Trimmer

“The concept of “beginner’s mind” in Zen Buddhism advises us that, no matter how advanced we might think our knowledge of any subject, we should always seek to approach it from the perspective of the beginner.

I felt as if I was being pushed to adopt beginner’s mind yesterday while speaking to a group of about 40 attendees at the Bioneers by the Bay conference in New Bedford, MA, when I tried to answer tough questions from several about the government’s most recent campaign against raw milk over the past three years. While the conference explores all kinds of issues around sustainability, it has an environmental orientation, which explains why probably three-fourths of the attendees at my presentation weren’t super-familiar with the legal and regulatory problems around raw milk over the last few years. But they were young–most seemed to be in their twenties and thirties–and extremely curious about raw milk, and why it is so controversial.

Here were some of the questions I received: Continue reading

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