Monthly Archives: March 2016

How top restaurants work with bacteria, molds and fungi in their kitchens

One of the philosophical divides between raw milk enthusiasts and the regulatory crowd has been how they view bacteria and other microbes. Are they seen strictly as pathogens to be controlled, killed and removed from food, or can they be a value added probiotic? For some perspective on that debate, here’s a story about how leading edge restaurants are taking an interest in what microbes can bring to the table, when it comes to new foods and flavours.

From Lindsey J Smith on The

“We usually think of bacteria, molds, and fungi as unwelcome visitors in the kitchen, but in restaurants worldwide, chefs–famous and acclaimed ones at that–are using microbes to create new flavors, reveals Nature Microbiology. [paywall]

Arielle Johnson, author of the article and a chemist by training, works with numerous restaurants, including Noma in Copenhagen, which is famous for its exclusive use of Scandinavian ingredients. Like MomofukuBar TartineHusk, and many other progressive restaurants across the world, Noma uses science to discover new flavors. Johnson’s current focus is fermentation.

Fermentation is the process through which bacteria and fungi take ingredients like regular tea (kombucha), boring barley (beer), or plain ol’ milk (c’mon we don’t need to explain this one) and biochemically transform them into more flavorful foods. Although it’s becoming part of haute cuisine, it’s nothing new. For thousands of years, fermentation has been a key way of preserving raw food.

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TVO raw milk documentary to air today, Easter Monday, March 28, 8 pm, 11 pm

TV Ontario producer Liane Kotler’s raw milk documentary airs tonight, Monday, March 28th at 8 pm and again at 11 pm, on Steve Paikin’s show, The Agenda.


TVO camera crew filming health policy researcher Nadine Ijaz, as she engages in a dialog in the course of the Guelph Raw Milk Symposium which was held this past January 2016

Hopefully at some future time it may be available for viewing online as well. The doc includes footage from the recent Guelph Raw Milk Symposium (January 2016) as well as interviews with farmshare members and academic experts.


Interviewing a farmshare family at the “Blue Bus”.

Liane’s TVO doc on raw milk is the latest in what’s become a long series of documentaries that have focused on the vortex of controversy around raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt and his farm share members.


Professor Art Hill, speaking at the Guelph Symposium.


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First they came for the anti-vaxxers…

Actor Robert DeNiro changed his mind about showing the film “Vaxxed” at his New York Tribeca Film Festival, which begs the question as to what kind of pressure he was responding to. From Jon Rappoport’s blog:


Robert De Niro, who has a child with autism, was going to personally introduce the film, Vaxxed, to the audience at his Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

He thought the film was important. It makes a case for a connection between vaccines and autism.

Then, an uproar ensued, pressure was brought to bear, and De Niro decided to cancel the screening at his festival.

Hello, goodbye.

One of the angles used to pressure him? People might agree with the film’s content and decide not vaccinate their children, or they might decide to space the vaccines out over a longer period of time. This horrible act might endanger lives. It might kill children. Continue reading


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Learnings from the “War on Drugs”

From Dan Baum, in Harper’s Magazine:

“In 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Watergate co-conspirator, unlocked for me one of the great mysteries of modern American history: How did the United States entangle itself in a policy of drug prohibition that has yielded so much misery and so few good results? Americans have been criminalizing psychoactive substances since San Francisco’s anti-opium law of 1875, but it was Ehrlichman’s boss, Richard Nixon, who declared the first “war on drugs” and set the country on the wildly punitive and counterproductive path it still pursues. I’d tracked Ehrlichman, who had been Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser, to an engineering firm in Atlanta, where he was working on minority recruitment. I barely recognized him. He was much heavier than he’d been at the time of the Watergate scandal two decades earlier, and he wore a mountain-man beard that extended to the middle of his chest.

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RESCHEDULED –TVO Raw Milk Doc will now air on Monday March 28th


TVO producer Liane Kotler interviews Professor Art Hill following his talk at the 2016 Raw Milk Symposium in Guelph in January. Airing of the doc has now been rescheduled to March 28th.

Latest word from TVO producer Liane Kotler is that the documentary she produced based on interviews with Glencolton farmshare members and with speakers and participants at the Guelph Raw Milk Symposium in January will now air on Easter Monday, March 28th, instead of on Monday March 21st as earlier announced.

The scheduling change is due to a time sensitive news item that is being aired instead this Monday on TV Ontario.

As far as we know, the broadcast times should be the same as announced earlier for this Monday, 8 pm and 11 pm, and we look forward to the documentary being available online not too long after that.

As they say, “To air is human”!


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Proposed Injunction Files for Study

Nowhere have copies of the files of the proposed injunction been publicly posted until now. A while back there was a request to see them on the part of someone who commented on a post.

So here is a link to those proposed injunction documents, in pdf form.

You’ll need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to read them, which you can get free from Adobe. Download it from their website and then install what you downloaded.

The proposed injunctions file is about 2.9 Mb in size.

Get the Proposed Injunctions document file by clicking here.

These documents were originally received back in January of 2016.


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More Raw Milk in Massachussets

From The Tenth Amendment Centre blog:

BOSTON, Mass. (March 15, 2016) – An agriculture bill that would expand raw milk sales in the state passed an important joint committee last week. Passage of the bill into law would facilitate the process of nullifying the federal prohibition scheme in practice.

The joint committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture created Senate Bill 2171 (S.2171) to incorporate several measures relating to agriculture. The legislation would allow people in Massachusetts to enter into agreements to share milk-producing animals and drink raw milk. Another provision in the bill would also allow farms to deliver raw milk to consumers through contractual arrangements. Continue reading


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March 16th Food Rights Rally Coverage on Global TV News (Toronto) and in the Owen Sound Sun Times Newspaper

From the Owen Sound Sun Times:

“Close to 300 people attended a rally outside a Newmarket courthouse on Wednesday in support of the right to produce and distribute raw.
The rally held at the Ontario Court of Justice, included a cow being milked, which was followed by a milk and cookies protest, said Durham-area farmer Michael Schmidt who has for decades been fighting for the right to produce and distribute raw milk.
“There was a cow right in front of the courthouse, which got milked,” said Schmidt. “There were friends from the U.S. there who have been important in the changing of legislation in the U.S.”
The rally was held in advance of a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on the distribution of raw milk in Ontario.
In Ontario it is illegal to sell, deliver or distribute unpasteurized milk and the provincial government has stepped up efforts to shut down the farm that was once operated by Schmidt….” Continue reading

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Massive Raw Milk Rally in Newmarket

These two raw milk fans are not easily cowed.

Today’s court proceedings in Newmarket were merely the opening round in what promises to be a protracted legal process, the end result of which could be the effective criminalization of anyone in Ontario distributing, sharing or giving away raw milk to another person. Advocating raw milk would likewise become a criminal act under the injunctions being proposed by York Region Public Health, and by the Crown.

The record turnout of raw milk consumers and supporters at today’s rally — an estimated 250-300 men, women and children — underlines just how unpopular such a move would be with the constituency that would be most affected by the proposed injunctions. The courthouse security police, who know Michael Schmidt from the many times he’s come to this courthouse before, told him that “every time you come here, there are more people”. Continue reading


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Rally March 16, 8:30 am in Newmarket to Support Michael Schmidt, Raw Milk

From a recent news release from Kimberly Hartke:

Recent swat-style raids and arrest warrants on small farmers have inspired mothers and other activists to take their message, and a cow, to the courthouse where they plan to gather for a peaceful milk and cookies picnic. The rally will be at 8:30 am on March 16, 2016 Ontario Court of Justice 50 Eagle Street West in Newmarket Ontario.

The gathering will be followed by a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on distribution of raw milk in Ontario. Explicitly targeted by the application is anyone–mothers, farmers, fathers, health practitioners–who are engaged in distribution of raw milk or even ‘counseling others to….distribute unpasteurized milk.”              Continue reading


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