From Marianne Else:
Daily Archives: November 15, 2011
“In this age of the Internet, it’s amazing how quickly certain statistics can catch on.
Take the statistic I came up with in my Feb. 11 post, after having assessed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control–that there have been on average 39 illnesses from raw milk cheese between 2000 and 2008. It’s the first time I’m aware of that anyone has presented the data that way.
Within days, National Public Radio had a story about the controversy over raw milk cheese, and included this statement, “On average, about 40 people report getting sick from raw milk cheese a year nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” The idea was to suggest that raw milk cheese doesn’t seem to present a huge public health problem. Continue reading
From Farm to Consumer Legal Defense:
Blue Hill Maine Farmer Being Sued By State of Maine & Agricultural Commissioner
Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance Challenged
We Are All Farmer Brown!
TAKE ACTION BELOW!
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Since March of this year five towns in Maine have passed the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance, creating legal protections for direct food and farm sales and food shared at bake sales and community meals. From the beginning, Maine Agricultural Commissioner Walter Whitcomb has been telling our towns that State law preempts the authority of municipalities to make local laws that conflict with state and federal laws and regulations. Continue reading
“In NutritionFacts.org‘s video-of-the-day today, I note that the antiseptics used to disinfect cow teats can provide a source of iodine, but have been found to boost the level of pus in the milk of cows with staph-infected udders. Today’s dairy cows endure annual cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy and birth, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months of the year (including seven months of their 9-month pregnancies). This excessive metabolic drainoverburdens the cows, who are considered “productive” for only two years and are slaughtered for hamburger when their profitability drops, typically around their fourth birthday – a small fraction of their natural lifespan.
Turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics of so-called “production-related diseases,” such as lameness and mastitis (udder infections), the two leading causes of dairy cow mortality in the United States. We all remember the Humane Society of the United Statesinvestigation showing sick and crippled dairy cows being beaten and dragged into the California dairy cow slaughter plant en route to the national school lunch program, triggering the largest meat recall in history. That loss of body condition is a result of the extreme genetic manipulation for unnaturally high milk yields. Continue reading
“In both the popular imagination and ad campaigns, honey is the epitome of a wild food. After all, bees can’t be herded and overfed like cattle, or immobilized like broiler chickens if they are to continue making the sweet substance. As reported here last year, bees are “a key to global food security” due to their critical importance in food chains worldwide. In fact, honey seems to be a bellwether of global food insecurities.
The “wild” nature of even cultivated honey is both one of its major selling points and the source of many of its problems. A Guardian articlerecently reported that a European Union court on September 6 ruled that honey containing traces of pollen from genetically modified (GM) corn must also be labeled as GM produce. The ruling comes as a result of beekeepers in Germany discovering traces of corn pollen from a nearby field of Monsanto corn crops. The nature of bee biology and honey production throw the current discourse surrounding globalization and its effect on the permeability of local and global boundaries in a more literal light. After all, bees can’t be herded according to national borders. Continue reading