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PSA on raw milk warnings:

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  • #41
    I didn't mean sterilized so literally, but if someone grows up being exposed to fewer potential pathogens or regional pathogens, then it can be a wakeup for an immune system, literally to be exposed to foods naturally carrying a higher microbial load.

    The surface of meat certainly isn't sterile. Ideally, the muscle itself is if not contaminated by handling, processing, or the buyer. But, most people are now aware of the risks of raw meat and thoroughly cook most meat or what have you to reduce the microbial load.
    Semi Feral

    Comment


    • #42
      Believe it or not they do irradiate foods to sterilize them. I can't think off hand which ones...eggs now perhaps? Meat can be dangerous particularly ground meat especially if antibiotic resistant super bugs are present.

      Comment


      • #43
        Lol I know re irradiated foods. It's required to be labeled in the US and has a little symbol that looks like a leaf on it. Much more common in Europe. I have not seen any for sale in my Midwest grocery store yet.

        Meat gets a bad rap and really, we as consumers have to create expectations for how we want it handled. Cheapest is not always best. Organic (sorry DB) is not always safer and we should have some common sense that micro flora are out there and we encouraged this mess in the first place.

        I suppose I should get up and go to work this fine Sunday morning. Time to go see how the pcr on the raw ground beef turns out. .
        Semi Feral

        Comment


        • #44
          Hey I have no beef with what you said about organic. My meat is not organic but it is raised by ME and handled by ME or my small custom slaughter plant who does a lovely job and that makes all the difference IMO. I also do not feed antibiotics at all to my poultry and have not had any occasion yet to give them to any other food animal although I will if someone actually gets sick...it's the prophylatic use that creates the antibiotic resistant bugs that I am concerned about. Animals do tend to stay healthy on their own if you keep them uncrowded and outside living in as natural a way as possible.

          I agree that the mess is of our own creation. Have you read the book "Folks This Ain't Normal" by Joel Salatin. I know...he's an activist and anti big establishment but he's got some very interesting points and makes some great suggestions on how to fix the mess we have now. I love this book and his points on how screwed up things really are today from "historical normal" and how so much of that ties back into some of the major problems we face.

          It is not normal nor healthy for people to eat foods with antibiotic resistant superbugs on them nor to have to even have to worry about it. Nor is it normal to have utterly sterile food. There needs to be a balance obviously.

          I still support that this is a free country and people should have the right to consume the foods of their choice. If labeling and education are necessary than so be it. I'm fine with that.

          Comment


          • #45
            Two words: steak tartare
            Discuss.
            <pot stirring here>

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by Chall View Post
              Two words: steak tartare
              Discuss.
              <pot stirring here>
              I lived in WI in the mid-70s, just north of Milwaukee. It was common knowledge that you could judge the quality of a party by the quality of the steak tartare. And the beer.

              We lived in a small town and if you wanted meat for steak tartare our local butcher would do your order first in the day, to ensure no cross contamination from chicken or pork that he might do later in the day. He was a very good butcher. After more than 30 years in the trade he had all his digits.

              90% of Americans live in urban/suburban/exurban areas. The idea that they can get all their food locally is absurd. What grows in NE or NY in Jan. and Feb.? Except maybe in a greenhouse? The reality is that processed foods grown and shipped long distances are what keeps a huge percentage of the U.S. population from starving to death (or maybe just suffering scurvy and other debilitating diseases). There was a time when food was quite unregulated and it was not a happy time in many ways. Now we regulate heavily. Read some history, compare and contrast then and now, and then explain to me why what we do is evil.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #47
                Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                I lived in WI in the mid-70s, just north of Milwaukee. It was common knowledge that you could judge the quality of a party by the quality of the steak tartare. And the beer.

                We lived in a small town and if you wanted meat for steak tartare our local butcher would do your order first in the day, to ensure no cross contamination from chicken or pork that he might do later in the day. He was a very good butcher. After more than 30 years in the trade he had all his digits.

                90% of Americans live in urban/suburban/exurban areas. The idea that they can get all their food locally is absurd. What grows in NE or NY in Jan. and Feb.? Except maybe in a greenhouse? The reality is that processed foods grown and shipped long distances are what keeps a huge percentage of the U.S. population from starving to death (or maybe just suffering scurvy and other debilitating diseases). There was a time when food was quite unregulated and it was not a happy time in many ways. Now we regulate heavily. Read some history, compare and contrast then and now, and then explain to me why what we do is evil.

                G.
                The reality, at least around here, is that I would not want to buy my produce at a farmer's market.
                I have occasionally helped them put their "well used" crates full of just picked goods in the back of their very dirty pickup, with their slavering dog running wild all over them, or have helped them unload them at their stands and stack them there, in the midst of fly swarms.

                Give me all the dangers of commercial, inspected and regulated, well pre-packaged produce any day over that of what I have seen produced and handled by many/some local mom and pop farmers.

                Comment


                • #48
                  It's one thing to drink the milk from your own cow, or home butcher your own steer or hog.

                  It's quite another to put that food into the national food supply.

                  Lots of farmers are getting into direct sales of the products grown on their own farm. This is great; they keep the profit instead of turning into serfs on their own land. But for the consumer, these can be risky purchases. Not so much of the fresh produce - but for products that have been altered in any way. A backyard butchered chicken or turkey may be perfectly legal to sell, but it's unlikely that farmer has liability insurance, and it's highly unlikely the fowl has been processed in an inspected facility. Same with beef or pork - if you purchase the meat with a USDA approved label on it - it was processed and packaged under sanitary conditions. A custom exempt facility is also inspected - but the meat cannot enter commerce. If you're purchasing meat processed in someone's back yard - you have absolutely no assurance that the animal was treated humanely or the meat is not contaminated.

                  This is also a problem with home canned goods entering the food supply. The good are probably just fine. You just have no way of knowing what is in it, if the product contains anything you are allergic to, and if it is contaminated. And the person who canned the product in their kitchen most likely does not have liability insurance. The person may think their "farm policy" covers them. Nope. Not in my state. Not unless they're utilizing a USDA inspected facility or were able to obtain an extraordinarily expensive GL rider.

                  This poses a risk to the consumer - if the person has a compromised immune system, is pregnant or breastfeeding, the very old, and the very young.

                  On the other hand- farms conducting direct sales or engaging in value added (agritainment/agritourism) activities can really add a great deal to the rural economy; as well as help provide a stable income to a farming family. So clearly there is a need to address the gaps that appear in food processing/ labeling requirements. A farmer has every right to remain independent and offer his goods to the public - without requiring him sell out to a large corporate label.

                  Until that time - the consumer really should be very careful.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    If only we could have J Swan's faith in the USDA. So far it has not performed to standard.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I guess I'm a hypocrite, I won't touch raw milk, but I still eat cold cuts and no, I don't microwave them first. I also ate 2 hot dogs last night because I desperately needed the baked beans and homemade mac-n-cheese I served with them. I have eaten unmicrowaved cold cuts with every pregnancy so far and had no problems. But I am exposed to way more dirt, bacteria and other assorted ickiness than the average suburban mom.

                      For the record, if an adult wants to make an informed decision about raw milk consumption and purchase it from a reputable source that is on test, great. But some of the farms I have been to that sell raw milk shares freak me out. They are pretty dirty and the cows aren't on test. Two children in Boulder county were hospitalized for months because they had consumed raw milk and were sickened by it, so I don't think that giving raw milk to urban/suburban kids is a great idea, despite the supposed super magic abilities of raw milk to cure allergies and coughs and broken legs, or whatever it is curing these days
                      Originally posted by The Saddle
                      Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                        In most states, you just can't buy raw milk cheese so unknowingly so you must be in a state with some unusual labeling or lack of it. I would LOVE to find it and try it but in Virginia, you have to "own" the cow before partaking of anything made from raw milk.

                        The crazy thing is that anyone can consume meat from the grocery store and consume MRSA or C-Diff...(not making that up...studies have shown a large % of meat in the grocery store is contaminated)...germs are everywhere and some are more dangerous than others. I agree with labeling though and think that is a good idea. I have to follow strict labeling laws for our farm's products before I can sell them to anyone in my state.

                        I am asked all the time if I sell raw milk. I send them to the farm down the road. NO way am I going to be tied down to milking cows...I'm busy enough with what I have going on now. My point is that the demand is really growing for it.

                        starrunner...you have a good point about people who are not used to "normal" food. If you've had irradiated or sterilized food all your life, you might be in for a surprise eating something that hasn't been treated like that.
                        The difference with pathogens in meat is that if you cook them properly, it's not a problem. Cheese and deli meats are made to be eaten uncooked, for the most part.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                          If only we could have J Swan's faith in the USDA. So far it has not performed to standard.
                          But milk is the most tested, regulated food source in the US. Nowhere in the process from cow to table is it touched by human hands, which eliminates most of the possibilities for contamination
                          Originally posted by The Saddle
                          Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                            Lots of farmers are getting into direct sales of the products grown on their own farm. This is great; they keep the profit instead of turning into serfs on their own land. But for the consumer, these can be risky purchases. Not so much of the fresh produce - but for products that have been altered in any way. A backyard butchered chicken or turkey may be perfectly legal to sell, but it's unlikely that farmer has liability insurance, and it's highly unlikely the fowl has been processed in an inspected facility. Same with beef or pork - if you purchase the meat with a USDA approved label on it - it was processed and packaged under sanitary conditions. A custom exempt facility is also inspected - but the meat cannot enter commerce. If you're purchasing meat processed in someone's back yard - you have absolutely no assurance that the animal was treated humanely or the meat is not contaminated.
                            Just an FYI, all the farmers markets I know of require vendors to carry product liability insurance. Farm Bureau in VA has a nice 2 million policy I carry that is affordable also. IMO, you are taking stupid risks selling anything directly to anyone in this sue happy world without it. Granted this is not a law for private direct sales in our state but if you sell meat from a beef or pig by "piece"...ie a lb of hamburger versus a share (half or quarter) than you MUST have the USDA seal on the meat. Since you can't sue the USDA it still leaves you the farmer possibly liable if someone does get sick from something you sold...so it's still a very good idea to have the insurance.

                            Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                            is also a problem with home canned goods entering the food supply. The good are probably just fine. You just have no way of knowing what is in it, if the product contains anything you are allergic to, and if it is contaminated. And the person who canned the product in their kitchen most likely does not have liability insurance. The person may think their "farm policy" covers them. Nope. Not in my state. Not unless they're utilizing a USDA inspected facility or were able to obtain an extraordinarily expensive GL rider.
                            I'm pretty sure that you cannot legally sell anything cooked or processed food wise without an inspected kitchen and an approved label of ingredients. That is what is required at the markets and we are subject to VDACS inspection at any time. I have been inspected and I have always passed but I have seen the inspector send people packing.

                            Originally posted by JSwan;6813315O
                            on the other hand- farms conducting direct sales or engaging in value added (agritainment/agritourism) activities can really add a great deal to the rural economy; as well as help provide a stable income to a farming family. So clearly there is a need to address the gaps that appear in food processing/ labeling requirements. A farmer has every right to remain independent and offer his goods to the public - without requiring him sell out to a large corporate label.
                            I completely agree!

                            To Guilherme...actually you can grow a lot in the north with unheated cold frames or high tunnels. There is a guy in Maine, Eliot Coleman author of "Four Seasons Gardening" and he's raising veggies...cool season greens mostly...in unheated greenhouses with no more than a layer or two of plastic all winter long as well as overwinter veggies like carrots, potatoes, etc...for early harvest. It's the length of the day that matters..not so much the actual temperature. Some regions like my own we can grow stuff all year round as long as it's somewhat cold hardy.

                            Part of what is required to support local farming is to be willing to eat seasonally. In other words if you want strawberries or tomatoes in the dead of winter, you should eat ones you canned, dried or froze when they were in season rather than have them shipped in from Mexico or California. Now, while energy is still relatively cheap, we can afford to ship foods from other parts of the world to eat out of season but the question is if we should depend on this system exclusively.

                            I've seen the numbers that the average item of food in the grocery store travels 1500 miles to get there and one calorie of food requires 15 calories of petroleum to be grown, processed and transported to the grocery store. When you consider those numbers, it makes a strong argument to try and develop regional food production and quit being so wasteful of valuable fossil fuels in it's transport at least. While I don't think we are going to "run out" of petroleum anytime soon it is undoubtedly going to get way more expensive as it gets harder and more expensive to get out of the ground and particularly if we are going to have to suffer carbon taxes and whatnot also to use it.

                            As for buying foods from grocery stores or markets, both come with risks. Plenty of folks have been sickened by grocery store foods and many have even died from some of these superbugs we now have created. I think all veggies and fruits need to be handled properly and washed before consumption. As I said there are inspectors out there watching the markets these days and they are inspecting everyone with food of any kind from the bakery folks to the people like me with eggs and meat. I'll even be checked that I have thermometers in my coolers or freezers to be sure the goods are being held at the proper temperature.

                            I personally feel a lot better about buying veggies from my neighbors I know versus some unknown corporate monster farm in Mexico or China using God Knows What on them for fertilizer or pesticides. Just my opinion...we each have one.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #54
                              Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                              If only we could have J Swan's faith in the USDA. So far it has not performed to standard.
                              I think it has, look how many millions of people out there are not keeling over.

                              No one is perfect, there is much to be improved, there is improvement all along, in all places.
                              We are light years ahead of what produce was when you went to your local corner grocery store and butcher for your cut of meat or your in season vegetables, we really are.

                              I do realize that those that grew up with supermarkets don't know about it and a road side stand looks quaint and pretty to them.

                              There is a reason we can produce and feed as many as we do with minimal sickness and aboundant produce beyond anyone's imagination that grew up in any other than the last few decades in the good, old USA.

                              Yes, we have come a long way, baby, as the phrase states.

                              As far as the rights of anyone to sell to anyone else they choose, of course we have that right, even if you have to get a license to do so first, just as you have a right to drive down any highway in any also licensed vehicle, but you don't if you or the vehicle are not licensed.

                              That is for the protection of all, not to impede commerce or transportation.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                                Animals do tend to stay healthy on their own if you keep them uncrowded and outside living in as natural a way as possible.

                                Have you read the book "Folks This Ain't Normal" by Joel Salatin. I know...he's an activist and anti big establishment but he's got some very interesting points and makes some great suggestions on how to fix the mess we have now. I love this book and his points on how screwed up things really are today from "historical normal" and how so much of that ties back into some of the major problems we face.

                                I still support that this is a free country and people should have the right to consume the foods of their choice.
                                Love that book (don't agree with 100% of what he says). But I love the chapter, "I Release You From Being Responsible for Me." Common sense!
                                http://www.facebook.com/pages/Easy-K...22998204542511
                                http://www.easykeeperfarm.com

                                I can ride my horses without a sharps container.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post









                                  Part of what is required to support local farming is to be willing to eat seasonally. In other words if you want strawberries or tomatoes in the dead of winter, you should eat ones you canned, dried or froze when they were in season rather than have them shipped in from Mexico or California.
                                  I am a huge supporter of home preserving and the locavore movement as a more sustainable way to eat. I feel sorry for the people that due to space constraints don't have a store of canned, dried or frozen foods that they put up. As a child growing up, our favorite winter treat was when mom would go down to the basement and bring up a can of peaches she had put up and serve them over ice cream. This whole food on demand has eliminated simple pleasures, like the joy of seasonal fruit, or veggies from our life. I know my children's eyes get huge when I pull a bag of frozen June strawberries out for dessert
                                  Originally posted by The Saddle
                                  Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post

                                    Part of what is required to support local farming is to be willing to eat seasonally. In other words if you want strawberries or tomatoes in the dead of winter, you should eat ones you canned, dried or froze when they were in season rather than have them shipped in from Mexico or California. Now, while energy is still relatively cheap, we can afford to ship foods from other parts of the world to eat out of season but the question is if we should depend on this system exclusively.

                                    I've seen the numbers that the average item of food in the grocery store travels 1500 miles to get there and one calorie of food requires 15 calories of petroleum to be grown, processed and transported to the grocery store. When you consider those numbers, it makes a strong argument to try and develop regional food production and quit being so wasteful of valuable fossil fuels in it's transport at least. While I don't think we are going to "run out" of petroleum anytime soon it is undoubtedly going to get way more expensive as it gets harder and more expensive to get out of the ground and particularly if we are going to have to suffer carbon taxes and whatnot also to use it.

                                    As for buying foods from grocery stores or markets, both come with risks. Plenty of folks have been sickened by grocery store foods and many have even died from some of these superbugs we now have created. I think all veggies and fruits need to be handled properly and washed before consumption. As I said there are inspectors out there watching the markets these days and they are inspecting everyone with food of any kind from the bakery folks to the people like me with eggs and meat. I'll even be checked that I have thermometers in my coolers or freezers to be sure the goods are being held at the proper temperature.

                                    I personally feel a lot better about buying veggies from my neighbors I know versus some unknown corporate monster farm in Mexico or China using God Knows What on them for fertilizer or pesticides. Just my opinion...we each have one.
                                    Not so fast, the latests studies have shown that producing and transporting a few items of food locally is not efficient, it costs more in fuel use and carbon footprint than commercially produced, marketed and transported produce.

                                    There is efficiency in volume.

                                    Now, if someone prefers local produce for the qualities they perceive are better, like certain taste or other concerns, that is to them, as some say, "priceless".

                                    Just don't try to make niche producing food sound like a more efficient process, because, well, that is not.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                      Not so fast, the latests studies have shown that producing and transporting a few items of food locally is not efficient, it costs more in fuel use and carbon footprint than commercially produced, marketed and transported produce.

                                      There is efficiency in volume.

                                      Now, if someone prefers local produce for the qualities they perceive are better, like certain taste or other concerns, that is to them, as some say, "priceless".

                                      Just don't try to make niche producing food sound like a more efficient process, because, well, that is not.
                                      Assuming everything DB says is true can the methods cited feed 40-50 million people on a regular and consistent basis? It's a real question deserving a real answer.

                                      One fellow I correspond with has observed that all civilization is three or four meals away from collapse.

                                      The hard truth is that our present population is highly concentrated and dependent upon a massive system of food transport from production areas to consumption areas. The "locavor" movement ignores this reality and holds out a chimera ("local production") as a model. It won't work; it can't work. But that doesn't stop the "daydreamers" from imagining otherwise.

                                      This does not mean that some folks can't make good money supplying "niche" markets. It does mean that we tinker with our present system at our peril.

                                      G.
                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                        Assuming everything DB says is true can the methods cited feed 40-50 million people on a regular and consistent basis? It's a real question deserving a real answer.

                                        One fellow I correspond with has observed that all civilization is three or four meals away from collapse.

                                        The hard truth is that our present population is highly concentrated and dependent upon a massive system of food transport from production areas to consumption areas. The "locavor" movement ignores this reality and holds out a chimera ("local production") as a model. It won't work; it can't work. But that doesn't stop the "daydreamers" from imagining otherwise.

                                        This does not mean that some folks can't make good money supplying "niche" markets. It does mean that we tinker with our present system at our peril.

                                        G.
                                        Right.
                                        It really takes all to feed this world, from the largest to the smallest in their own backyard for their own table.

                                        It is foolish to bash the larger producers, that provide most of our good, abundant and varied food, to try to make the smaller ones look better.
                                        Totally unnecessary and self serving when someone is that small producer.
                                        Absurd when, especially in the midst of plenty and plenty of choices, you are not a producer at all.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                          If only we could have J Swan's faith in the USDA. So far it has not performed to standard.

                                          But I don't have faith in the USDA. However, uninspected food cannot enter the food supply. That's a fact. Unless a farmer has a legal, insured method of engaging in direct sales, he will be at the mercy of the large corporate giants. That is also a fact. He'll also be at the total mercy of fuel prices, and a spoiled consumer who insists on having fresh strawberries in January. That's also a fact. This means that the small niche farmer can never really grow or expand his business - opportunities will pass him by.

                                          If a farmers ONLY option is to direct sale products from an uninspected onsite facility, he will always be forcibly limited in how much and how he can sell it. Because such food does pose a risk to the public.

                                          An alternative is to develop a local food system; which includes re-establishing the infrastructure that used to exist. This includes aggregation facilities, recreating distribution channels, and more slaughterhouses - either USDA, T/A, or custom exempt. The products from within that system CAN legally enter the food supply; which gives farmers a much wider range of options, while still keeping the profits of their labor instead of becoming or remaining serfs. The farmer can still sell the products under his farm label - he is still 100% independent. But wholesale buyers, school systems, and restaurants will conduct business with that person - because the products are inspected and safely packaged. Local products. Some of that is happening now - but more needs to.

                                          Before anyone claims that is a pie in the sky statement - this is already happening across the US, in rural areas near urban centers. I'm part of such an effort where I live - and the biggest impediment is the NIMBY's. Folks who talk a good game about "local food" but when it means a small slaughterhouse will be built in their region they freakin' flip out.
                                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                          -Rudyard Kipling

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