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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.

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

Redefining Regional Cuisine: Black Trumpet Chef & Author Evan Mallett

Whether at home or in a restaurant, chefs must rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients to fuel their creativity in the kitchen.At the renowned Black Trumpet restaurant, located in the historic seacoast city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chef Evan Mallett and his staff reflect the constantly changing seasons of New England, celebrating the unique flavors and […] Read More

Recipe: Apple Kimchi

Looking for a new way to feast on the premiere fruit of the Fall? Try Apple Kimchi.At the renowned Black Trumpet restaurant, located in the historic seacoast city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chef Evan Mallett and his staff reflect the constantly changing seasons of New England, celebrating the unique flavors and traditions of fished, farmed, […] Read More

Sandor Katz on Reviving His Cult Classic Wild Fermentation

Why would you update what is arguably, a classic book on fermentation?That’s the first question put to author Sandor Ellix Katz by Senior Editor Ben Watson, and rightly so. Sandor’s Wild Fermentation has long been viewed as the starter kit for thousands of fermentation experiments around the country, if not the world.This August, however, Sandor […] Read More
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