Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

“Microbes run the world”, and not just through the guts of raw milk drinkers

From Stewart Brand, on Edge.org:

Click to go to the NY Times story this picture is from.

STEWART BRAND, Founder, Whole Earth Catalog, cofounder; The Well; cofounder, Global Business Network; Author, Whole Earth Discipline

Microbes Run the World

That opening sentence of The New Science of Metagenomics sounds reveille for a new way of understanding biology, and maybe of understanding society as well.

The breakthrough was shotgun sequencing of DNA, the same technology that gave us the human genome years ahead of schedule. Starting in 2003, Craig Venter and others began sequencing large populations of bacteria. The thousands of new genes they found (double the total previously discovered) showed what proteins the genes would generate and therefore what function they had, and that began to reveal what the teeming bacteria were really up to. This “meta”-genomics revolutionized microbiology, and that revolution will reverberate through the rest of biology for decades. Continue reading

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This “Economics 101” includes raw milk

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Tijssen to sue for malicious prosecution

From Tony Spears, in the Ottawa Sun:

Click image to go to a page where you can watch the video. Image from Ottawa Sun.

“Home butcher Mark Tijssen’s “persecution by prosecution” ended Tuesday to the applause of supporters and to deafening silence from the province.

The next time he’s in the courthouse, Tijssen vowed to be on the offensive.

“There is going to be a tort for malicious prosecution,” he said. Continue reading


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Vermont surveys raw milk farmers

From Vermontbiz.com

“Rural Vermont is requesting all raw milk producers across the state participate in a survey on raw milk sales in Vermont. The Vermont Legislature has requested that Rural Vermont present data to the House and Agricultural Committees representing the viability of raw milk sales in the state. Farmers who sell raw milk will be asked questions ranging from gross annual sales to issues encountered with the current law. The motivation behind this comprehensive survey is to gather valuable information to convince policy makers that raw milk is a growing and important part of Vermont’s agricultural economy.

Since 2005, Rural Vermont has been advocating with farmers and consumers to expand the legal allowances of raw milk sales. In July of 2009, the Un-pasteurized (Raw) Milk Bill, Act 62, took effect and created a two-tiered system for raw milk dairies. This regulatory system requires basic production standards to be met by all farmers. Farmers selling up to 40 gallons per day or delivering directly to consumers have to meet additional standards. Continue reading

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Raw milk fight: from Amish farms to hippie co-ops — Bloomberg News

By Stephanie Armour, Bloomberg News

Photo via Bloomberg News

“WASHINGTON — One sun-drenched August morning, armed officers wearing sunglasses and bullet-proof vests descended on a market in Venice, Calif., searching for illegally sold goods. It marked the end of a year-long investigation where undercover agents posed as customers.

Their target: raw, unpasteurized milk.

Federal regulators say it’s a dangerous and unnecessary public threat, pointing to 143 cases of contamination linked to still births, miscarriages and kidney failure since 1987, the latest involving five California children. Grassroots, back-to-nature consumers say the product strengthens the immune system by keeping intact good bacteria that’s killed in pasteurized milk. The choice should be theirs, the activists say. Continue reading


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