Digest: Raw-milk row redux, state of the oceans, biotech crops up, what would Mao order?

Rah rah for raw milk: Ignore those people claiming raw milk has cured their asthma — all unpasteurized milk is dirty and dangerous, say FDA and state health officials. But as this article makes clear, the regulators are overlooking a crucial point: how raw milk from industrial, feedlot dairies destined for pasteurization differs from raw milk from pastured cows, raised by small, spotlessly clean dairies that must meet much higher standards precisely because the milk won't be pasteurized. Covers what pasteurization is good for, and what it's not. Fun lacto-fact: For its Horizon brand organic milk, Dean Foods apparently uses ultra-pasteurization (UP) and ultra-high temperature (UHT) — the latter effectively sterilizes milk so completely it doesn't even require refrigeration. Salon

Mooove along, you rebel: The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) has slapped a "cease and desist order" on a small farmer's plan to provide raw milk through a cow share, but "I'm not going to allow them to intimidate me and my family as they have done with other people," says dairywoman Jacqueline Fennell. Brockville Recorder & Times (Canada)

For the Earth to live, the oceans must live: Environmental author Mark Hertsgaard writes on the current state of the oceans, indicating that there is hope to be had from efforts by scientists, fishing industries, conservationists, and even governments to reverse the damage. Poignantly tying together human pollution with the problems affecting the oceans, he writes: "Dead zones cannot recover until agriculture systems abandon massive dependence on chemical fertilizers." People who object to organic methods — both at homes and on farms — and trash reduction should consider the long-term effects of industrial agriculture on the seas, without which we cannot live. The Nation

But you said it would feed the world: A biotechnology advocacy group says a record number of biotech crops were planted worldwide last year, none of it nutritionally enhanced and mostly going to feed livestock. Associated Press

Clogging Chinese arteries: MacDonald's plans to open 100 new restaurants in China next year, half of them drive-throughs, in order to compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken in serving all the new car owners. Chicago Tribune

Ethicurean stock picking: The Fool's Alyce Lomax stops widens her investment lens from Whole Foods for a minute to write about the dietgeist's effects on several other stocks that offer ethical foods of some sort, like Chipotle and even McDonald's, which has been surprisingly active in some animal-compassionate areas. Motley Fool

Grass kissing: Another convert to the idea "you are what you eat, eats" expounds on the virtues of eating meat from pastured animals. Cherry Creek News and Central Denver Dispatch

Dept. of You've Got To Be Kidding Us: Teachers in Washington State schools who want to screen "An Inconvenient Truth" for students are now required to also present a "credible opposing view." Why? "Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," complained Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. Seattle P-I

I'll drink to that: The 2006 Oregon wine harvest is being called one of the best in the past decade, leaving expectation that all varietals will shine. Oregon Wine Press

Iowineries: Iowa's fledgling wine industry is debating what should be called native Iowa wine. Current rules allow grapes from other states as long as the wine is fermented in Iowa. Des Moines Register

Meat and murder: Should human beings be the "supercops" of the carnivorous world? Yet another review of the new book "The Bloodless Revolution," this one taking it to task for ignoring today's ethical meat-eating trend. The Nation

Meatlifting: Why shoppers like to purloin sirloin. Slate

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