Monthly Archives: July 2018

Leading Canadian Raw Milk Advocate stands his ground with “Agri-Culture”

Convicted farmer Michael Schmidt announces 2018 festival and plans for new arts centre hub

(Durham, ON): Farmer, advocate and conductor Michael Schmidt has been at the forefront of the national battle for the legal sale of raw milk in Canada for over twenty-four years.

In Schmidt’s recent November 2017 court case he was sentenced to fifteen weekends in maximum security at the Penetanguishene Prison for obstructing a peace officer during a raid on his farm. Currently out on appeal, his sentencing was swiftly followed by a permanent injunction issued by Justice P.W. Sutherland in a January 2018 court hearing in Newmarket, Ontario, which restrains any further raw milk production without licenses.

While the battle is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada, Schmidt continues to find new means to stand his ground, this time with his new Centre for Performance and AgriCulture. Continue reading

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Ten Years After the Melamine Milk Scandal in China, Parents Still Don’t Trust Local Baby Formula

From qz.com:

“The fear is so deep-rooted that it goes beyond milk powder—food rumors about things such as plastic seaweed and seedless grapes cultivated with birth control medicines frequently send consumers into a tailspin.

There are at least three reasons for the failure to restore people’s confidence in domestic food, notes Huang Yanzhong, a senior fellow for global health at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York.

 “It’s very hard to have a strong sense of optimism.” 

One is the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers in the 1980s (pdf, p.3), which has contaminated farmland, and could be transferred to cows that eat that grass. The government has only just started to tackle the problem, Huang said in an interview with Quartz. China also has a top-down regulatory method, which makes it hard for the public to engage with the process, particularly given the lack of press freedom, he says. There is also a general perception of a “moral decline” in China, where people try to make money by whatever means it takes, Huang adds, noting that sometimes even farmers themselves don’t eat what they grow (link in Chinese) for the market….”

Get the full story on Quartz (qz.com).

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Organic Milk is Front-Page News in the Star | Symphony in the Barn 2018 at Glencolton Farms August 3rd to 5th

On Saturday July 7th, 2018, the Toronto Star published a front page story slamming organic milk, claiming that scientific test show it to be no different from regular milk and implying that those who buy it are fools for paying more money for a nutritionally equivalent product. From that story, by investigative reporter Michele Henry:

“While Canada’s organic dairy farmers do some things differently than their conventional colleagues – like sending their cows to pasture and using only chemicals that are considered natural – it’s not reflected in the end product.

“The milks are the same – they are identical with respect to the testing and quality standards. There’s no added hormones. No antibiotics,” says Graham Lloyd, of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the quasi-governmental organization that controls the organic and regular milk supply….”

Yesterday, on July 14th, the Star published a collection of letters to the editor responding to last week’s story on organic milk vs regular milk. Here are excerpts from a couple of them:

Nancy Moysiuk, from Etobicoke writes: “Your comments that organic milk is no different than conventional milk is the same argument the agricultural industry states to deride organic produce. Maybe the tests being used are not the right ones to detect subtle differences…”

Mathilde Andres of Harmony Organic Dairy writes: “Our heifers are older when they calve, our cows do not have a calf every year… and most importantly we do not feed for high milk production. Our objective is healthy, long-living cows. The higher price for organic milk is due to a well-deserved premium to the farmer to help with higher production costs, for example organic feed (which means GMO-free and grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides and is three times more expensive to buy….”

Symphony in the Barn 2018

Meanwhile Glencolton Farms is planning another Symphony in the Barn musical event on August 3 to 5, 2018.

Glencolton Farms is now selling organic meat, bread and baking on Saturday mornings along the rainbow wall, at the (year-round) Village Market, located in the Toronto Waldorf School at 9100 Bathurst St. While bridge construction is underway over the summer, you can access the Market from Bathurst Glen Drive, just a little west of Bathurst.

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