Opinion/Editorial Archive

Let’s Move Past Complaining About Raw Milk Misinformation, and Do Something About It

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

by David Gumpert

RawMilkAnswerBookI know I’m not the only supporter of food choice who is frustrated because much of the news in the mainstream media about raw milk seems to be negative and often inaccurate. I know I’m not the only one who is tired of complaining, and wants to do something about it.

But do what? Is it even possible to counter the huge resources of the government and dairy processing industry, which together with the mainstream media, seem intent on spreading as much misinformation as possible.? For example, Time Magazine in December seemed to take joy in reporting on a CDC study that said outbreaks involving raw milk had quadrupled over the most recent six years, from an earlier period. “This Is One Health Trend You Don’t Want to Try” headlined the Time article.

The Time report conveniently avoided explaining that outbreaks aren’t the same as illnesses, and that the CDC’s report had inexplicably neglected to include the number of annual illnesses in the data it disclosed. And rather than note that the CDC’s own report indicated that more than 80% of illnesses were of the mild variety, from campylobacter, Time instead pointed readers to a CDC web site where they could find “a raw milk horror story from a mother who fed it to her son, then saw him go into kidney failure and be placed on a ventilator.”   Read Full Article »

Chicken Industry Acts More Like Ostriches

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Food Safety News
by Leah Garces

Source: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project

Last month, something unprecedented happened that rocked the chicken industry’s world.

Perdue contract farmer Craig Watts decided he’d had enough. Together with my organization, Compassion in World Farming, he released a video that gave the public a unique view into the secretive world of the chicken industry.

He revealed what the National Chicken Council (NCC), USDA, and Perdue mean by “humanely raised” and “cage-free”: 30,000 chickens stuffed into a windowless warehouse, on feces-ridden litter, made to grow so big so quickly that they can hardly stand on their own two legs. Read Full Article »

How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

by John W. Roulac

John W. Roulac

[Editor’s note: This article is part two of a two-part series. Read part one.]

We now know that 20-30 percent of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere comes from industrial agriculture. Petrochemicals are for cars, not for the soil. By dumping ag chemicals onto our soils, we disrupt nature’s delicate balance of water, soil and air.

Carbon sequestration land practices include agriculture, forestry, wetland and range management systems that improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and/or organic matter in the soil. Today excess carbon is falling into our oceans and creating acidic conditions that threaten plant and animal species. If we remove carbon from the atmosphere and oceans by way of regenerative organic agriculture practices, we will sequester carbon into the soil and expand the soil’s water-holding capacity. Building organic matter into the soil’s humus layer is essential for growing the healthful foods humanity needs. Read Full Article »

Industrial Poultry and Dairy Operations Slide Under Organic Regulations

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Center for Rural Affairs
by John Crabtree

Aurora Dairy in Dublin, TX

Federal organic regulations require that organic poultry and livestock be provided regular access to the outdoors. Dairy cattle and other ruminants must also be provided access to pasture.

Increasingly, massive industrial poultry and dairy facilities are obtaining organic certification. And there’s the rub. It strains all sense of credibility that these industrial confinement operations claim they meet the outdoor and pasture requirements embedded in the nation’s organic laws.

Recently, the Cornucopia Institute published photographs and other evidence that many of these operations are out of compliance. Cornucopia’s evidence is extremely damning. It shows massive dairy operations with no evidence of pasture access and poultry houses with a couple hundred square feet of outdoor access for hundreds of thousands of birds. Read Full Article »

U.S Organic Dairy Politics: Animals, Pasture, People and Agribusiness

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan– a division of St. Martin’s Press (in the US)

A review by James Goodman

DairyBookGraphicBruce Scholten’s in-depth and thoughtful analysis of U.S. organic dairy politics begins with his own memories of growing up on a Washington State dairy farm. From what was common in his childhood, small dairy farms operated by multi-generational family labor, pasturing their cattle, building the soil and supporting local communities, Scholten shows the reader how things have changed over the past five decades.

Scholten exposes the system that has come to control and victimize the farmer (both conventional and organic), the animals, the environment and the consumer. Noting that “Get big or get out” — the exhortation of Earl Butz — set the stage for the shift of agriculture from small family dairy farms to “mega-dairies,” Scholten clearly explains how this shift was made using government policy, driven by corporations that have taken control of markets, of seeds and even of the simple ethical principles that had been a safeguard for the environment and the animals with whom we are so interdependent. Read Full Article »