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Chelsea Green Blog

The Raw Milk Battle: Shouldn’t Consumers Have a Choice?!

Isn’t it time to ditch the hysterics about raw milk, and give people a choice to what food they want to eat? Yes, says David Gumpert in his new book The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights. It’s time to find out: what is the battle over raw milk? From AlterNet:
Mention raw milk to some people, and you’ll have to wait for them to stop yelling before you can have a conversation about it. Few foods provoke such strong reactions (for and against it) as raw milk. Some people credit it with beneficial health effects, but others believe it’s so risky it ought to be banned. The issue of raw milk — milk that has not been pasteurized — also raises a number of questions about our government’s role in regulating foods when that is in conflict with individuals’ freedom to choose foods that they consider important to their diets. Those who drink raw milk go to great lengths to obtain it — paying $5 to $10 per gallon for it — sometimes even buying a share of a cow or regularly driving several hours to pick it up from a dairy. They don’t do this just because it tastes good. For some, it is a desire for natural, unprocessed foods. For others, it is part of a larger interest in sustainable agriculture and supporting farmers who use methods that help the environment. For many, it is about the health benefits derived from probiotics, enzymes and nutrients that are destroyed during pasteurization. Few studies have been done in the U.S. on the health benefits of raw milk, either to prove or disprove them. However, the health benefits of breast milk are well known, as Scientific American reported, and breast milk is raw milk. Recently, European studies have shown that raw milk provides a protective effect against children developing asthma or allergies. Aside from scientific evidence, raw-milk drinkers point to numerous anecdotal benefits. In a survey of milk drinkers in the state of Michigan, over 80 percent of those advised by a health care professional that they were lactose intolerant were able to consume raw milk without problem. Individuals have written testimonials crediting raw milk with alleviating their allergies, asthma, Crohn’s disease, other digestive problems, osteopenia, failure to thrive in infants and boosting their immune systems so that they do not suffer from colds and the flu as they did before consuming raw milk. There are even reports of improvement in autistic children, such as one mother who attributes to raw milk her son’s ability to attend regular school instead of special education. The boy lived in his own world up until the age of 7, when his mother changed his diet, including the addition of raw milk. A high-schooler today, he can drive, and he plans to attend college. Ultimately, the scientific evidence is not conclusive, and the anecdotal stories are just that — individual reports that may be attributed to other factors. The benefits of raw milk have not been scientifically proved or disproved. In order to understand all of the facts, scientific studies should be conducted to verify which of the reported health benefits of raw milk are accurate. If raw milk might be an overlooked superfood, then why is there such controversy? […]
Read the entire article here.

A Thanksgiving Hit: Apple Pie with Cider Jelly

The Thanksgiving season means a barrage of holiday recipes that overflow your inbox and social media feeds. Some of these are new and innovative, meant to impress guests and sure to fade away from the culinary canon. However, there’s a reason that certain other recipes stand the test of time: they just work. We’ve had […] Read More..

Release Your Inner Viking With New Book on Mead

Unlock the mead brewing secrets of the ancient Norse with homesteader and fermentation enthusiast Jereme Zimmerman’s new book Make Mead Like a Viking. Whether you’re new to homebrewing or looking to expand your current brewing and fermentation practices, Zimmerman’s welcoming style and spirit will usher you into an exciting new territory of wildcrafted experimentations, including more than 20 recipes to try.The fermentation […] Read More..

For a Very Viking Thanksgiving, Try Homemade Mead

The people who lived the Viking lifestyle a thousand years ago enjoyed myriad foods and beverages and throwing feasts that lasted several days to show off what they had stockpiled throughout the harvest season. Bring the Viking spirit of celebration to your Thanksgiving table this year with a traditional batch of spiced orange mead. Brew up the following recipe […] Read More..

Brew Outside the Box: Making Mushroom-Infused Beer

When thinking about drinking a nice cold beer, the flavor of mushrooms doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But for the adventurous brewer – and drinker – infusing mushrooms into brews is a great way to combine the medicinal benefits of fungi with one of the world’s most consumed beverages.The best part? You can grow mushrooms […] Read More..

Recipe: How To Make Your Own Chèvre Using Natural Ingredients

Making cheese at home may seem like a time and labor-intensive process, but what if you could make a delicious, high-quality cheese that practically “sits and takes care of itself”? According to David Asher, author of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, you can.Asher is an organic farmer and goatherd, so his recipe for chèvre, or goat […] Read More..
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