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Open Forum on Food Politics

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3 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

FWIW, here are a couple of the most recent FDA cheese import alerts:

 

Import Alert 12-03, Published Date: 11/30/2016, "Detention Without Physical Examination of Imported Soft Cheese and Soft Ripened Cheese from France"

 

Import Alert 12-10, Published Date: 08/22/2016, ""Detention Without Physical Examination of Cheese Due to Microbiological Contamination"

 

 

Thanks for the info, DiggingDog.  It would be interesting to see the French materials on these same producers (talking only of France, of course).  Will need to read these to understand better what's going on.  Are these particular producers and/or cooperatives all just cited because they have historically exceeded a certain threshold of these pathogens?  Had no idea of any of this till seeing your material on tomme/st. nectaire, etc. 

 

 

 

 


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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12 minutes ago, paul o' vendange said:

Will need to read these to understand better what's going on. 

 

You are correct but to me its simple. Government bureaucrats deciding what is best for me.

I won't mind education or warning labels but banning cheeses that have been produced for hundreds of years is ridiculous.

I suppose next it will be prosciutto or serrano hams.

Soon we all be eating Kraft processed cheese.

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theoretically, we elected the people who appoint those government officials.

theoretically, YOU are therefore represented in those choices, and they are supposed to be acting in the interest of the public good.

 

working for the government doesn't make them the enemy, and calling them "bureaucrats" is just a way to dismiss their authority.

 

I want the FDA to be acting in the interest of public health.

If we all think they're not, we need to vote differently.

the one thing I KNOW I don't want, is an FDA acting in the interest of business (or even considering that  impact)  instead of public health.

 

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11 minutes ago, Paul Fink said:

 

You are correct but to me its simple. Government bureaucrats deciding what is best for me.

I won't mind education or warning labels but banning cheeses that have been produced for hundreds of years is ridiculous.

I suppose next it will be prosciutto or serrano hams.

Soon we all be eating Kraft processed cheese.

 

Absolutely agree, Paul.  I feel the same way.  My experience as a maker is in Abondance, which if folks don't know is more or less a smaller cousin of the alpine giant Beaufort.  The process is virtually the same.  I do love this family of cheeses, but I'm also drawn to them by the simple fact they've been around since at least roman times.  (I think it was Pliny the Younger who first chronicled Beaufort).

 

Millennia of production history, millennia of insanely good, healthful cheese, all on raw milk. 

 

Don't touch it.

 

With you, Paul - that's how I feel.


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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2 minutes ago, weedy said:

I want the FDA to be acting in the interest of public health.

If we all think they're not, we need to vote differently.

the one thing I KNOW I don't want, is an FDA acting in the interest of business (or even considering that  impact)  instead of public health.

 

I agree with you here, Weedy.  Unfortunately, I think that's the problem.  A good many regulators from the USDA are actually drawn directly from the upper management of agribusiness companies. 

 

Here in Wisconsin, heavily oriented towards dairy agribusiness.

 

The rules - cumbersome as they are, and becoming even more so - are therefore being designed by the former heads of large agribusiness companies.  Those rules - such as the boards I mentioned above, costing upwards of $100,000 for some - actually put smaller, artisanal producers out of business.  I can tell you truthfully, the primary reason I begged off continuing the process of putting the first  Abondance production in Wisconsin, is because it's ridiculous to try and be an artisanal maker in this state. 

 

Hard not to see a connection between how outlandish and ill-founded the rules, and who stands to benefit by their imposition.  It ain't the craftspeople, doing traditional work.

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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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Nothing should be banned. All you need is warning labels.

If cigarettes arent banned why is cheese?

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Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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12 hours ago, weedy said:

 

------------- pasteurization of milk HAS saved lives.

 

Not to disagree. Just to have a total picture:

 

Pasteurization and spending $3,350,000,000,000 annually in healthcare here in the USA have saved lives.

In the old old days, healthcare spending = a little more than $0.00 annually.

 

dcarch

 

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21 minutes ago, GlorifiedRice said:

Nothing should be banned.

 

So plutonium? Lead in baby formula? Farmed human meat? I think there has to be a middle ground somewhere...

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1 minute ago, Yiannos said:

 

So plutonium? Lead in baby formula? Farmed human meat? I think there has to be a middle ground somewhere...

 

Yiannos thats being silly.

Im talking about FOOD...like cheeses, konnyaku jelly cups, haggis etc.

Raw milk should have warning labels.


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Just now, GlorifiedRice said:

 

Yiannos thats being silly.

Im talking about FOOD...

 

Like cigarettes?

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I mean hell if MALTITOL containing foods have warning labels, why not French Cheeses or Raw Milk?


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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2 minutes ago, GlorifiedRice said:

I mean hell if MALTITOL containing foods have warning labels, why not French Cheeses or Raw Milk?

 

No I hear you, and I'm not saying I disagree. I'm sure there are loads of great things we are unable to get because of bureaucracy/ignorance/unfounded science, but I think that some, like pasteurization discussed above, are probably the right thing to do in the long run.

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1 minute ago, Yiannos said:

 

Like cigarettes?

 

Cigarettes cause cancer, but are still sold in the USA. Raw Milk can cause stomach illnesses if not from a good supplier, but yet isnt sold!


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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22 minutes ago, GlorifiedRice said:

 

Cigarettes cause cancer, but are still sold in the USA. Raw Milk can cause stomach illnesses if not from a good supplier, but yet isnt sold!

 

The feds prohibit shipping of raw milk across state lines but raw milk sales are regulated by the states.   I can buy raw milk at the grocery store.

Raw milk laws state by state

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24 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

The feds prohibit shipping of raw milk across state lines but raw milk sales are regulated by the states.   I can buy raw milk at the grocery store.

Raw milk laws state by state

 

Okay then why are people complaining then? I know that Whole Foods did sell Raw Milk at one time and I went to get some  for cheesemaking and told me they cant carry it any more. So I thought it was banned.

 

ETA: Im sorry Im loopy today I should have read the link...just ignore me today


Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)
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Hope it's not too off-topic, and it certainly is arguable, the group's aim, but if interested in more information on raw milk, you can go to the Weston A. Price Foundation, or RealMilk (I think RealMilk is associated).


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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1 minute ago, GlorifiedRice said:

 

Okay then why are people complaining then? I know that Whole Foods did sell Raw Milk at one time and I went to get some  for cheesemaking and told me they cant carry it any more. So I thought it was banned.

 

I can tell you it's a war here in Wisconsin, and I believe that is squarely explained by the huge corporate dairy interests that inform our state's policies.  The definition of "farm consumed," "club" etc., get to the silly.  Testament to the fact that those who want it, like Paul said, should be able to consume it.


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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Isn't it true you can buy raw milk in most places, as long as the raw milk is labeled for pet's only?

 

dcarch

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33 minutes ago, dcarch said:

Isn't it true you can buy raw milk in most places, as long as the raw milk is labeled for pet's only?

 

dcarch

Can't speak for all states, but in Wisconsin, things like that were originally successful, then the state argued before the courts these were all just end runs around the prohibition against raw milk (Ha....truthfully, wasn't thinking Prohibition when I wrote that .... same brilliant conception, right?) and the state was initially successful.  Now, we have "for farm consumption."  Just what that means is the whole ball of wax.

 

Most states that are on the fence play like this - the state hates it, the lobby hates it, and they'll do what they can to shut any producer down.  But there are vocal supporters of an individual's right to choose what they consume, and so we have our middling, cumbersome, silly laws (feel like owning part of a cow?  You're golden in many states!).


Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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52 minutes ago, paul o' vendange said:

 

I can tell you it's a war here in Wisconsin, and I believe that is squarely explained by the huge corporate dairy interests that inform our state's policies.

 

I find myself becoming increasingly cynical about corporate influence in state lawmaking.  So I wondered if the nation's largest dairy states would have the most prohibitive laws against raw milk.  Looking at the results on this basis, I don't think it's proven (although I probably would've been ecstatic if it proved otherwise).

 

Below is the result of combining two web pages:

 

http://stuffaboutstates.com/agriculture/livestock/dairy.htm

 

http://milk.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005192

 

I don't claim any degree of accuracy by either of the sites, and even less to the accuracy with which I've quickly combined them.  But it doesn't appear that there is a correlation between big dairy states and prohibiting raw milk.  I wonder if there may be other state rankings which might correlate.

 

(And, BTW, dcarch, the second link does indicate states where raw milk as animal feed is legal.  It doesn't seem like very many - but it could be it was only included if it was readily apparent from the statutes)

 

Rank State Value ($1,000) % of Total U.S. Status
1 California 5365992 19.61% Allowed
2 Wisconsin 3687749 13.47% On-farm
3 New York 1950144 7.13% On-farm
4 Pennsylvania 1768976 6.46% Allowed
5 Idaho 1358400 4.96% Allowed
6 Minnesota 1336334 4.88% On-farm
7 Michigan 1020380 3.73% Cow-share
8 New Mexico 1000224 3.65% Allowed
9 Texas 975718 3.57% On-farm
10 Washington 857010 3.13% Allowed
11 Ohio 751980 2.75% Cow-share
12 Iowa 620052 2.27% Prohibited
13 Arizona 570381 2.08% Allowed
14 Indiana 490646 1.79% Prohibited
15 Vermont 433823 1.59% On-farm
16 Florida 431616 1.58% Prohibited
17 Oregon 359520 1.31% On-farm
18 Colorado 343281 1.25% Cow-share
19 Kansas 339570 1.24% On-farm
20 Illinois 308819 1.13% On-farm
21 Virginia 308417 1.13% Cow-share
22 Missouri 298808 1.09% On-farm
23 Utah 250415 0.91% On-farm
24 Kentucky 236640 0.86% Prohibited
25 Georgia 235536 0.86% Prohibited (Raw Milk Cheese okay)
26 South Dakota 220440 0.81% On-farm
27 Oklahoma 218575 0.80% On-farm
28 Maryland 196010 0.72% Prohibited
29 Tennessee 193368 0.71% Cow-share
30 North Carolina 170796 0.62% Prohibited
31 Nebraska 168480 0.62% On-farm
32 Maine 109260 0.40% Allowed
33 North Dakota 83945 0.31% Cow-share
34 Louisiana 77220 0.28% Prohibited
35 Nevada 74947 0.27% Allowed
36 Connecticut 67124 0.25% Allowed
37 Mississippi 63336 0.23% Prohibited
38 Montana 53165 0.19% Prohibited
39 New Hampshire 52923 0.19% Allowed
40 Arkansas 52080 0.19% On-farm
41 Massachusetts 51275 0.19% On-farm
42 South Carolina 49416 0.18% Allowed
43 Alabama 43497 0.16% Prohibited
44 New Jersey 32308 0.12% Prohibited
45 West Virginia 31515 0.12% Cow-share
46 Delaware 21488 0.08% Prohibited
47 Hawai`i 20175 0.07% Prohibited
48 Wyoming 9828 0.04% On-farm
49 Rhode Island 3434 0.01% Prohibited*
50 Alaska 2822 0.01% Cow-share

 

* Interesting note:  Apparently, in Rhode Island you can buy raw goats milk directly from the producer if you have a doctor's prescription.

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Hi Rob, I'm sorry, I'm not following the stat. I think you'd probably need to do something else, like total dairy, per capita, and so forth - right?  We own 13% of the nation's total dairy, but we're a ghost town compared to some places.  The concentration of farm capital is large, and expanding hotly.  And that concentration exerts its influence on laws in my state. 

 

One example only - again, anecdotal though it's easy to look up.  We, for example, are the only state in the union requiring cheesemakers to undergo state licensing.  To the tune of 240 hours of official apprenticeship, and required courses from one sanctioned place only, UW.  The sum cost to the would-be cheesemaker is about $3,000.

 

I can tell you from what little beginnings I did, the curriculum is heavily slanted to large production.  Raw milk cheeses are the devil - a point on which I didn't make any friends among the speakers on a given day, actually.  They literally refused to countenance studies - FROM UW itself - showing, for instance, the beneficial effects of flora on wood cheese shelving.  And much more.  As jaded as I've become, I was stunned.  But I felt I knew the environment I was throwing myself in to.  I abandoned the plan, like many other cheesemakers, actually (abandoned, or moved out of state).

 

Is the cheesemaker's licensing requirement reasonable?  Not in my books.  How about chefs?

 

I believe it, like many other laws on the books (trust me - the "on farm" law was scratched from the state, only with the state kicking and screaming.  I know a small, Amish farmer, who had his farm shut down on multiple occasions.  And he fought).   


Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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Out of control, control-freaks gone wild.

Too much regulation, taxation, meddling, etc.

It's why I got out of farming.

 

 

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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41 minutes ago, paul o' vendange said:

Hi Rob, I'm sorry, I'm not following the stat. I think you'd probably need to do something else, like total dairy, per capita, and so forth - right?  We own 13% of the nation's total dairy, but we're a ghost town compared to some places.  The concentration of farm capital is large, and expanding hotly.  And that concentration exerts its influence on laws in my state. 

 

One example only - again, anecdotal though it's easy to look up.  We, for example, are the only state in the union requiring cheesemakers to undergo state licensing.  To the tune of 240 hours of official apprenticeship, and required courses from one sanctioned place only, UW.  The sum cost to the would-be cheesemaker is about $3,000.

 

 

I didn't mean to suggest that I had eliminated the possibility of corporate influence from cheese making regulation - just that raw milk sale-ability doesn't seem to correlate with the presence of Big Dairy.

 

An interesting outlier seems to be Georgia where you can buy raw milk cheese, but not raw milk.

 

Random thought:  I've read that traditional French cheeses are also under assault by French mass market corporations.  Yet, like Italy, they have these..what's it called?.. Protected Designations of Origin?

These are also very rigid bureaucratic standards, no?  The old ones are good?

 

I don't mean to take a side.  Just to get everything on the table to be sorted.

 

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I have a hard time figuring out how big corporations would benefit from banding French cheeses.

Oh I can't get morbier  I guess I'll buy kraft.???

 

This just over regulation.

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