April 9, 2013 |
Although the recession drove many businesses into bankruptcy, times have been particularly hard for the state's dairy farmers. Almost 400 California dairies have closed in the last five years - 105 in 2012 alone - plagued by soaring prices for feed and an antiquated regulatory system that keeps their prices artificially low, at least in the farmers' view. The right solution for the long term would be to scrap the current approach in favor of a market-based one, but there's little political will to take such a disruptive step.
March 22, 2013 |
Nathanael Johnson was born without a doctor and later toddled around his Northern California yard without diapers, free to ingest whatever germy creatures he got his hands on, but no sugar allowed. With parents like his, it's little wonder he grew up wondering about the miracles of modern science. What's really welcome about his deeply reported book, "All Natural," is that his upbringing makes the investigation of nature versus technology fun as well as thought-provoking. He questions mainstream wisdom, "expert" advice and the all-natural solutions for childbirth, germs, raw milk, sugar, factory farming of animals and more.
June 21, 2012 |
Residues of milk fat on pottery indicate that Africans in what is now the Sahara desert were milking cows and processing the milk into cheese, yogurt and other products 7,000 years ago, European researchers reported Thursday. Ancient rock art throughout the region shows herds of cattle and even people milking them, but dating the art has been a problem. The new evidence provides the first reliable date for how long the practice of dairying has been carried out in the region. The new data were reported in the journal Nature by a team headed by chemist Richard P. Evershed of the University of Bristol in England.
May 18, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- State agriculture officials have lifted a ban on sales of raw milk by Organic Pastures, a Fresno dairy. The California Department of Food and Agriculture imposed the quarantine May 10 after inspections found harmful bacteria in samples of butter, cream and cow manure from the dairy's herd. The prohibition ended Friday morning after the facility was certified as meeting all state food safety and sanitation requirements. Organic Pastures' website immediately announced that it would soon restart distribution to stores and told customers that they could come to the dairy to buy milk immediately.
May 14, 2012 |
Last week was all about breast milk -- specifically, a big kid standing on a stool while being nursed by his young, attractive mom on the cover of Time magazine . In all the media hubbub, a story about raw milk infecting 10 people in California with Campylobacter didn't get the attention it deserved. In a Grub Street post , Krista Simmons points to a series of recent raw milk mishaps across the country. Never mind the raw milk advocates who swear by its many health benefits . Simmons not only argues against consuming raw milk but also against the push to legalize it. “Much as we support personal liberty, small farms, and less processed and commodity-raised goods, this raw milk business seems downright dangerous,” she writes, asking: “Wouldn't states like New Jersey, who are currently aiming to legalize the sale of raw milk, be better off fighting elements of the food system that are plaguing the nation?
February 22, 2012 |
A sour note for the raw-milk fans out there: Unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause a disease outbreak than pasteurized milk, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before it ever shows up in a carton, most milk is pasteurized -- heated to kill any harmful bacteria it contains. But there's a small but thriving market for unpasteurized "raw" milk. Some say they drink it because it has a richer, creamier taste, according to a 2009 article -- but more often the reason given is because, in this organic-conscious age, it's seen as more healthful. Perhaps it depends on how you define "healthful.