Postcard from the World Ag Expo

Last week marked the largest proportion of climate change naysayers gathered in one place since Dick Cheney walked into an empty room. Volunteers at the entrance to the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, screened people as they presented their ticket. “Do you believe in global warming?”...

Build your orchard today

We just received the first of the new trees for our orchard: a peach, nectarine, and fig. Some apples are on the way via U.S. Mail. The trees are “bare root,” which means that they look a whole lot like sticks with roots. Their small size makes them good mail-order travelers, a handy option for...

Pollan painting #3: Sequoia National Pork

The latest in a series of interpretive paintings done by 5-year-old Frederick, inspired by his mother's reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and summarizing it for him. (See #1, Children of the corn and #2: Chicken Little at Magic Mountain.) Michael Pollan’s chapter about boar hunting reminded...

Two lawsuits filed against raw-milk dairy Organic Pastures

The Ethicurean has learned that California's leading raw-milk dairy, Organic Pastures, has been named in two personal-injury lawsuits related to a 2006 outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7. Meanwhile, California’s Assembly Agriculture Committee is currently establishing a "blue ribbon commission" to...

Pollan painting #2: Chicken Little at Magic Mountain

On our recent Pollan Painting weekend, my five-year-old son Frederick and I read with interest about the slaughter technique used at Joel Salatin’s natural poultry operation. Frederick  has some personal knowledge of poultry slaughter but was curious about commercial slaughter operations. A...

Pollan paintings 1: Children of the corn

Life is full of compromises, particularly if you have a kindergartener living in the house. On a recent stormy weekend, I made the grand announcement that I was going to read all weekend long and that it was everybody's job to take care of me. That plan lasted about ten minutes. My son Frederick was antsy...

California raw milk update: A new commission, instead of a reversal

The hopes of more than 700 California raw-milk supporters following last week's seeming victory in Sacramento were dashed today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The issue of raw-milk safety and California bacteria standards — instead of being revoked — will now be taken up by a...

More Midwest Battles in Milk Labeling: Indiana

  Indiana joined Pennsylvania and Ohio this week in an effort to ban the use of growth hormone-related labels on milk sold in the state. The Indiana House Committee passed HB 1300, a bill which would ban the use of “compositional” and “production-related” claims about milk. If...

Hey Californians — like your raw milk? Drink fast.

About one year ago, my mom, son, and I attended the rally in which Mark McAfee announced the end of the Organic Pastures recall for E. coli 0157:H7. So many interesting people were there. I met families from the Bay Area and Southern California. I shared mountain-blackberry water kefir out of the trunk of...

Confession of an organic mega-dairy

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession. I have knowingly sold milk from cows suffering from Absencia Grassosis.” “My son, God knows what is in your heart.” “Yes, Father. For two years it has been heavy on our hearts to provide the cows with...

Guest post: Extra! Extra! Absencia Grassosis fells another organic dairy

Bonnie here: Yesterday brought some good news for those who believe that milk labeled "organic" should follow not just the letter, but the spirit of the label: that is, come from cows raised on grass, not grain feedlots. Under pressure from the USDA, Aurora Organic Dairy agreed to reform its...

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