Eliza Barclay at NPR has the story on the escalating tension between raw milk advocates and the FDA, which was spurred on by the recent injunction against a Pennsylvania farmer for selling raw milk across state lines to private buying clubs. Another blow came with the results of a health study:
On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also threw a heavy dollop of concern into the mix with a study showing that most disease outbreaks linked to dairy products are caused by raw milk.
The study, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, looked at 121 disease outbreaks caused by dairy products between 1993 and 2006. It found that raw milk products caused 60 percent of the outbreaks, 84 percent of the hospitalizations, and 2 out of 3 deaths. The rest came from pasteurized milk.
Farmer Faces Possible 3-year Prison Term for Feeding Community Customers and Other Supporters Stand with Farmer
Farmer Vernon Hershberger is facing serious punishment for selling raw milk to a private buying club:
Food sovereignty activists from around North America will meet at this tiny town on March 2, 2012 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, who has a court hearing that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land him in prison for three years with fines of over $10,000. The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.
The Boston Globe reports on last Thursday's debate between raw milk proponents and skeptics, with food safety attorney Fred Pritzker and Minnesota dairy inspection director Dr. Heidi Kassenborg squaring off against Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and David Gumpert, author of The Raw Milk Revolution.
Contentious? You bet. But there were moments of levity, too:
Minnesota dairy inspector Kassenborg disarmed the audience with cartoons that depicted the messy and unsterile nature of milking a cow. “The udder,’’ she said, “is right next to the anus. And cows poop a lot.’’
Next time Bean will think twice before he eats the pointy thing. A word of advice, Bean, try a nice fig jam instead. Msnbc has the story:
The dog, named Bean, swallowed a three-inch knife and a wedge of cheese.
"She ate a whole wheel of cheese. The plastic that it was wrapped in, she ate everything. It was about a pound of cheese," said, Sean Berte, Bean's owner. "I looked for [the knife] in the couch and underneath the couch, and underneath the rugs, but I knew she had eaten it."
Get your sustainability on with these green cheese suggestions from cheese experts across the country. Here's the first in the lineup put together by Avital Binshtock:
"Long before sustainability was celebrated, LAZY LADY FARM in northern Vermont utilized green practices. The farm operates completely on solar and wind power, while the hillside aging caves take advantage of ambient temperature and humidity to make a diverse array of seasonal and organic goat's and cow's milk cheeses. La Petite Tomme, a bloomy-rind disk from goat's milk, is a signature product. The soft surface yields to a moist interior with hints of mushroom, milk, and nuts." $11 for 6 ounces, available seasonally at gourmetlibrary.com
Here's a rave review of Abbaye de Belloc from It's not you, it's brie. Caution, you may be compelled to run out and buy some after reading this:
The first sheep’s milk cheese that I fell in love with (this was back when sheep’s milk dairies numbered under 1 or 2 in Cali) was Abbaye de Belloc. It’s rich, creamy, tastes of brown butter and caramel, and is as comforting as being swaddled in a towel fresh from the dryer. It’s also good for sheep’s cheese novices because underneath all that butter and sweetness, it has a little of that sheep meatiness that sometimes people need a little time to learn to love. Abbaye helps edge them in.
What does the sweetness come from, you ask?
Among other things, the high quality milk, and the washing and cooking of the curds. After cheesemakers have seperated the curds from the whey, they can do a number of things.
We never get sick of grilled cheese recipes, and Food & Style has stepped-it-up with this garlic confit and arugula grilled cheese.:
When garlic is gently poached in olive oil, it becomes sweet, with a subtle flavor. The cloves become so soft that you can spread them on your toast – or in this case, in your grilled cheese sandwich.
Pair the mellow garlic confit with zingy baby arugula and a nutty, pungent aged cheddar, gruyère or fontina, and every luscious bite is mouthwatering.
Active time: 25 min
8 thin slices rye country bread
1/4 cup olive oil from Garlic Confit
1/2 cup Garlic Confit cloves
2 large handfuls baby arugula (4 oz) (115g)
8 oz (230g) aged Cheddar, Gruyère, Fontina or Manchego – coarsely grated
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Max McCalman tackles the pregnancy and cheese question in his most recent blog at Artisanal:
We do not advise you to ignore your obstetrician of course, yet as I mentioned in a recent post: cheese is not taught in medical school. Obstetricians should certainly know a lot about nutrition, and I am certain that most of them do. My fear is that some of the diet guidelines recommended may be based on incomplete or imprecise science.
One of the pitfalls I encounter with the assumption that pregnant women should only eat pasteurized cheeses is that this gives a false sense of security, as though pasteurization is an absolute, that the cheese is squeaky clean so there should be no concern whatsoever.
I have been asked these questions hundreds of times so I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I also happen to be a parent.