Vulto Cheese Outbreak Highlights Deafness of Our Health Elites and Media

The tragic Vulto Creamery raw cheese outbreak, being blamed for two deaths and six illnesses from listeriosis, comes at an auspicious time.

It comes at a time when many states are considering expanding access to raw milk. I have been contacted by proponents of one state’s legislative proposals, wondering how to respond to likely concerns raised by legislators who have read about the Vulto outbreak.

It also comes at a time when the media are under a microscope for their reporting on politically-charged issues. Raw dairy certainly qualifies as a politically charged issue, and the media haven’t done much to add value or  provide clarity to this particular situation.

In terms of media reporting on the Vulto outbreak, the best that can be said is that many of the media, like CNN and CBS News, have not been hysterical in their reporting, with some simply noting that a maker of raw milk cheese has recalled its cheese. However, I have yet to find a single media report explaining that the regulation of raw milk cheese is separate from that of fluid raw milk—that raw milk cheese has been sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 1949 via its 60-day aging requirement, while fluid raw milk is regulated at the state level. Thus, raw milk cheese can be transported freely across state lines and sold at retail food outlets. Raw milk can’t be legally shipped around the country to be sold at retail; it can only be sold at retail within the state where it is produced, if explicitly allowed in state laws and regulations.

One of the big reasons the FDA’s permissiveness on raw milk cheese has worked so well is that there have been very few illnesses and deaths associated with raw milk cheese over the last nearly 70 years, to the extent that the FDA last summer concluded a long-term investigation into raw milk cheeses without recommending changes to the 60-day aging requirement.  Aging cheese for 60 days has long been thought to allow any pathogens present in the milk to die off.

The worst example of reporting on the Vulto outbreak came from a pillar of the mainstream media, the NY Times. It assigned a reporter to write about the outbreak, presumably because Vulto is based in NY state. The NY Times article was terribly misleading, apparently confusing raw milk cheese and fluid raw milk by suggesting that safety concerns have been an urgent issue for raw milk cheese, when that hasn’t been the case. It also found someone in the cheese industry to say the FDA’s 60-day aging rule should be re-considered—this after the artisanal cheese industry had fought for several years to finally get the FDA to back off plans to undermine the 60-day aging rule.

Of course, none of the publications, including the NY Times, made mention of the fact that pasteurized soft cheeses have had a number of highly publicized safety problems, such as this one out of California two years ago. Nor did they point out that the listeria contaminating the Vulto Creamery’s cheese likely came from facilities contamination rather than a problem with the raw milk, and thus is probably isolated, requiring strong action by Vulto.

I have to think it was the NY Times article that inspired hysteria elsewhere. For example, an organization called the American Council on Science and Health published an article about the Vulto outbreak: “Like Russian Roulette? Try Raw Milk”. The scientist author clearly had no idea that the FDA has sanctioned raw milk cheese since 1949, with few illnesses. I pointed this out on the site, and was shouted down by ideologues who are similarly ignorant, or willfully blind, to the regulatory facts of the matter.

There was this article on a foodie site: “Should We Avoid Eating Raw Milk Cheese Altogether?” Food hysteria 101.

Back to the auspicious timing, over the last couple weeks I’ve had the privilege of participating in an intensive discussion involving more than 40 classmates of mine from the Columbia Journalism School’s class of 1969 (our class was about 100 students). The spark for the discussion came when one of my classmates who wanted to prod the school to take a public stance protesting President Trump’s  assaults and threats against journalists. Getting a bunch of journalists to agree on anything is a monumental task, akin to herding cats, but my classmates have come together, with just a few dissenters, and petitioned the school. The school’s dean, Stephen Coll, has agreed to examine how the school might take journalists’ concerns public.

We’ve also had a provocative discussion about how the mainstream media could have become such a major political scapegoat. That is, how is it that Trump has been able to make so much political hay from channeling resentment to gain popularity by lambasting the media?

A number of my classmates have expressed confusion about why so many people have accepted so easily Trump’s pokes at the media, in light of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and America’s long tradition of press freedom. Some have pointed to the growing economic disparities that have developed over the last 30 years, and that the media have catered more to the economic “haves” than the “have-nots.”

To me, this particular raw milk cheese outbreak highlights part of the challenge confronting the media. Here, as in many other areas of food and agriculture, the media give precedence to the “official” explanations from government apologists—the CDC and FDA, along with the medical and scientific establishments that back the bureaucrats up. When the government apologists stick with same tired information and guidance and refuse to  help the public understand, for example, that there are important differences between raw milk cheese and fluid raw milk, the media simply parrots the propaganda. Which is a sad commentary on both.

64 comments to Vulto Cheese Outbreak Highlights Deafness of Our Health Elites and Media

  • Nice writing David,

    As you know, I emailed Vulto cheese last week. to inquire as to the vat temps they use to make their cheese. So many of the so called “raw cheeses ” are not really raw at all. They are instead thermalized to temps much higher than 100 F but just under Official FDA sanctioned pasteurization temps of 165 F degrees or so. I even found one raw cheese that was cooked to 175 degrees….but because the facility did not have a state issued pasteurizer permit…..it was not officially pasteurized. And the brand claimed it was “raw”. This is fake, misleading and a food lie. This is at the very heart of food and farming ethics 101.

    This is a huge thing…..raw milk looses so much of its listeria resistance when it is heated. Study after study tell us this story!!

    I have yet to hear back from Vulto. I would suggest that Vulto is using very poor form in its handling of consumers. During an outbreak it is critical to be open and honest with consumers. If not….the brand will pay the long term price.

    As far as Trump is concerned, I can not get over how he treated the German Prime Minister during the resent meeting, he refused to shake her hand even though journalists yelled at him to shake her hand….Merkel even asked him to shake hands….all he did was look around the room like an autistic dumb ass making weird expressions on his face. .

    I am so embarrassed for America. As far as I am concerned….those that voted for him are just as blindly stupid as he is. You are known by whom you surround yourself and who you vote for…

  • Gordon S Watson

    with repetition, a propensity becomes a bad habit, then a vice. Example gratia = Mister McAffee’s tradeMark : the non-sequitor lurch from hard science, to soft-headed claptrap … apparently crypto-communism pre-disposes to early onset Alzheimer’s

    After Watergate, it was nigh impossible to find anyone who’d admit to having voted for Richard Nixon, even though he won by a landslide. When the Grand Jury comes down with its indictment of H. Clinton, it’ll be most amusing to see who’s NOT embarrassed to say they voted for her!

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    David,

    You stated, “A number of my classmates have expressed confusion about why so many people have accepted so easily Trump’s pokes at the media, in light of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and America’s long tradition of press freedom.”

    This negative attitude towards the media has been brewing for a long time. Many prominent individuals, who have long since left this world, have expressed discontent and frustration with the media… Indeed, long before Donald Trump ever came onto the scene. It’s an ongoing phenomenon related to established institutions (religious, political, medical) that become too powerful for their own good.

    Much of that confusion expressed by your classmates could easily be cleared up if they were to consider and answer this observation and pointed question by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn… “Such as it is, the press has become the greatest power within the Western World, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and judiciary. One would like to ask; by whom has it been elected and to whom is it responsible?” Indeed and based on what moral and philosophical persuasion???

    Malcolm X parallels Solzhenitsyn statement with this sobering and frightful thought, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses”. Is this not what they are attempting to do with Vulto cheese and raw milk in general?

    As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”. And, with respect to the media all one needs to do is, “follow the money” and determine “who butters its bread on both sides” in order to determine where it’s responsibilities lie.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Wish it were so, Ken, about the media’s power and riches. The reality is that Solzhenitsyn and Malcolm X were referring to media influence in another age. Today, the so-called mainstream media–newspapers and television broadcasters–are shells of their former selves. They’ve all had to undergo huge layoffs and other cutbacks in response to competition from social media and huge technology companies (like google, apple, etc.). Yes, just follow the money:

      For newspapers, “print ad revenues have fallen from $44.9 billion in 2003 to just $16.4 billion in 2014, while digital ad revenues—$3.5 billion in 2014—have barely budged since 2006.”

      http://news.wgbh.org/2016/01/26/local-news/print-dying-digital-no-savior-long-ugly-decline-newspaper-business-continues

      Here’s another article from a few years ago chronicling the same trend:

      https://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/aug/14/robert-levine-digital-free-ride

      Part of my point is that one reason the media has experienced declines in readership and advertising has to do with the its coziness with government apologists, its inclination not to take seriously the experiences of ordinary people.

      As for Trump, he is going after media in decline. He’s not being critical for its failure to root out the truth. As with many things he criticizes, reality isn’t really the point. It’s about votes and popularity, and so long as pummeling the media keeps the troops pumped and distracted from the mounting evidence of incompetence and corruption, he’ll keep doing it.

  • Bora Petski

    Also, look up the difference between recent and resent. And stick with milk, not politics.

  • Bora Petski

    “an autistic dumb ass making weird expressions” sounds a lot like you these days. Sorry but that’s my overall perception, change it.

  • Bora Petski

    Just to make it clear, my comment was to Mark not David.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Bora,

    Which state do you live in? My suspicion is that is someplace in the Midwest. Your attitude is so much like the others that I know that live there.

    On the east and west coasts there is a different attitude about Trump and the direction he is attempting to take our country. Trust me….I am not leaving politics anytime soon.

    • Bora Petski

      Mark, I think I’ve told you this before but there’s so much noise around here it’s hard to remember what you heard. I live in the hardest to crack state of mind of Massachusetts, just a couple of miles from our local raw milk provider. The truth is somewhere in the middle but you have recently become an extremist mental manipulator. Attitude is what I’d call bias, as you so obviously have it in for Sir Donald. Back off, and look around – having Hillary in the cozy white office would just mean more of the same sameness we’ve all grown tired of to despise, and now overwhelmingly chose to dump discarded. Let’s see what happens next. Don’t assume, you know what they say.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Autistic dumb ass is a compliment. He is so much lower than that. When you lose your medical care and your house from bankruptcy you will regret your vote. Medical care is the highest ranked reason for American Bankruptcy.

  • Mark mcafee Mark mcafee

    Total BS. Hilary would not have taken us into this mess with the Russians!!!

    You Republicans have a real problem of your own making. I hope you listened carefully to the congressional hearings today.

    In 2016 we were attacked by the Russians. That attack is continuing today. A criminal investigation is ongoing to dig up the truth of the Trump connections. There are so many. So deep and so pervasive. $500 million dollar contract with Tillerson and Russia??? Payoffs being sent to the Cayman Islands?? Need I go on.

    This is the end for Trump…. The end is near. Yet, he defends his tweets about Obama wire taps during his campaign, even though there is not one shred of meager evidence. Just in his little conspiracy making sicko narcissistic mind.

    Trump is the biggest pile of stinky crap this country has ever seen.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      From today’s NYTimes, after FBI director’s testimony:

      “Mr. Comey placed a criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House and said agents would pursue it ‘no matter how long that takes.’ ”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/us/politics/fbi-investigation-trump-russia-comey.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

      • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

        I’ll take this article with a huge grain of salt David,

        The establishment in Washington wields a great deal of power. If they can’t control you they’ll destroy you. History does not speak kindly of FBI, CIA and NSA methods and exploits!

        To be perfectly blunt, I don’t know who in the hell to believe. What I can say with certainty, despite all the oaths of office that these people in authority take, is that I wouldn’t trust any of them any further then I could through them.

        If Trump colluded with the Russians then shame on him… However, until that is a proven fact, this ongoing “guilty until proven innocent” narrative on the topic by the media is demoralizing and destructive.

        The establishment in the US has a great deal to be ashamed of for actively attempting to destabilize governments in other countries. Indeed, what comes around goes around and at the moment your country is in the latter stage of biting itself in the ass.

        What’s happening in your country and other countries around the world is much bigger then Donald Trump. Trump is merely a tool that the people in your country used to revolt against the corrupt oppressive status quo.

        You Americans had better seriously consider these words by John F Kennedy; “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”.

  • Bora Petski

    For the record I am not a Republican or a Democrat call me independent unaffiliated. And again I’d suggest Mark to get off his high horse and stop being negative about people he doesn’t like. Try honey instead of vinegar and see the proof in the pudding, no way to know how many of your customers read this site but I’d guess you are likely losing more customers than you gain with your political slant comments

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    Bora,

    You may be right about staying neutral-vanilla-grey when selling a brand. However…I will not sell my soul or my country in the trade. When it is time to stand…I stand or you stand for nothing. Now is the time to take a stand and mean it. Trump is a traitor, a cheat, a liar and worse. When our president pisses off our closest allies ( Australia, UK, Sweden and Germany and all of NATO and UN ) our media and our intelligence agencies and says he knows more than our generals!!! and never has anything but praise for the Russians. There is a rat and I can smell it. He is done and the sooner we get rid of him the better. This is not a political thing, this is a humanity thing.

    From our last sales numbers…does not appear that my humanity based politics are hurting the brand much. Just hit all time sales high record. I love all and serve all. Trump loves nothing but money and himself. He is incapable of love or true charity. His heart is cold and his soul is rotten. He would stand by and let millions starve in a heartbeat. He said so much in his press release last week by defunding foreign aide. If you want a stable world at peace….you export care, food, concern, assistance and humanity. If you want a world that hates your guts….starve everyone but yourself and “take their oil for free”.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      “To take a stand and mean it” Mark is admirable, demonstrating ill-mannered contempt for Donald Trump and his supporters/your President and fellow citizens will do little more then nurture animosity and undermine your humanitarian objective… It’s disheartening to see this other side of you.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    Idaho Senate Bill 1182 = top down government and medical tyranny at its best…

    http://healthfreedomidaho.org/sb-1182-passed-the-peoples-voice-shut-down

  • John Dutcher

    Here we go again, could we please,please,please stick to raw milk issues on THIS site. I am so flipping sick and tired of political crap, if you want to talk politics please take it to a political blog, please. Much more of this and I am done with this website.
    John Dutcher

  • John Dutcher

    Also, David, just so you know I have been following your website for several years, not sure how many years now, old age setting in. And most of the time i find this website educational,inspiring and just plain fun seeing so many people drinking raw milk as I have for a good portion of my life( I will be 63 in a couple months)and discussing raw milk cheeses, etc. I just want you to know David this is getting to be exasperating!!
    John Dutcher

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    The following article states, “Among the questions around US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, one stands out: What is the future of US relations with Russia? So far, Trump and members of his national security team have provided vague and at times contradictory replies. What the new administration needs to do first is decide how to clearly describe Russia. The administration of Barack Obama never made up its mind in that regard. On occasions, such as the circus around the Iran nuclear dossier and the dodgeball Obama played on Syria, Russia was described as “our partner” by both Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry”.
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1048346

    Since when is there clarity in politics???

    Perhaps you Americans should consider the possibility that Putin is toying with your ego, in order to purposely nurture division in your country…

    The above article makes reference to the Monroe Doctrine, “a U.S. policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823, which stated, “that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.” Yeah right… and that really happened!!!

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    http://www.dairyreporter.com/Manufacturers/Vinamilk-farm-first-to-achieve-EU-organic-standard-in-Vietnam

    So much for the “domino theory and communism taking over the world”. It seems pretty stupid now looking back over the last 60 years. We spent billions of tax payers dollars to kill millions of Vietnamese in an effort to stop north Vietnam…but now they are one of our most favored trading partners. Money stupidly spent!!!!

    Today, they are introducing organic milk ( with EU and USDA standards applied ) to their citizens. They just spent $8.7 million to build a gorgeous organic dairy and creamery facility with bottling plant.

  • Gordon S Watson

    the report on The Bovine, about the latest round of the govt. of Ontari-ario versus Michael Schmidt, makes for interesting reading.
    https://thebovine.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/farmer-michael-schmidt-reports-on-the-obstruction-trial-of-the-five-accused-in-walkerton/#more-38155

    one factoid substantiating the pattern of him being persecuted by the Province de Ontari-ari-o, is ; the part about detective Ken McPherson ‘having deleted emails internal to the police, in order to frustrate a Freedom of Information demand’. If that’s true, then someone may have to go back there and lay a Private Information charging him with “obstruction of Justice”.

    as so often happens ; the coverup becomes the story

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      “It must be fun working for the Government: you get paid and it doesn’t matter if you doing something wrong or not.”

      It may be fun for some to get paid to lord it over others, an ego-inflating, conscience numbing scenario that tends to undermine a person’s ability to exercise prudent and rational thought/behavior and that in turn nurtures an inability to distinguish right from wrong… In essence, they themselves are entrapped and little more then slaves, similar to religious clerics.

  • My son Aaron just returned from spending a few days in LA riding along with our delivery drivers and visiting stores that sell OPDC raw dairy products. The stories he reported are really amazing. My favorite was when he was at Sprouts in Valencia CA. Our top selling Sprouts store. He was at the dairy case filling up product when he saw a lady with a piece of paper in her hand. She seemed to be searching the dairy case for something so he asked her if he could help. She said” my doctor sent me to fill this prescription ….here it is. She then showed him the prescription….it said, ” Drink OPDC raw organic Kefir, get it at Sprouts”. The diagnosis was irritable bowel problems. He then asked her all about her gut challenges and she went on to report that her doctor said that only organic raw Kefir works to quickly heal IBS.

    I am so happy that finally….food is becoming medicine. This is a passion and a life’s dream of mine and it is real and happening. She bought a whole grocery cart of RAW Kefir. Her parting words….I am so glad to be off drugs and into good foods and I am so glad to also meet my farmer!! What a treat!!

    There is hope because this patient will have a great outcome and she and her doctor will share this story with others and good news will continue to spread. Kefir sure beats Remicade or a colostomy bag with the horrible side effects including death and cancer!!!

    • Bora Petski

      Mark, just curious:

      When your son goes in the field to gather realism is it more similar to undercover boss or, in your face I AM YOUR BOSS and I own the company? Not that it matters much to those of us in MA.

  • Gordon S Watson

    and the really good news, is : taking responsibility for her own health / paying for the stuff herself, was the first step in de=programming herself of the ‘learned helplessness’ with which she’d been brainwashed by the priests of social-ized medicine. She’s started thinking for herself, then acted upon the realization that the the American taxpayer does not have a duty to pay for her medicine. Self- reliance. What a concept!!! … part of returning to the Core values of What Made America Great.

    Human beings go crazy in mobs. They come to their senses one at a time. The watershed moment in America’s return to sanity was – November 8 2017

    • Gordon S Watson

      correction : I should have put = November 8th 2016 = the day America voiced its conscience in the privacy of polling booths

    • Gordon S Watson

      The Bovine WordPress has an excellent report concerning what went on in the trial of Michael Schmidt & friends. MOST interesting that the investigating officer folded-in the slander that Michael Schmidt was somehow associated with the Freemen on the Land desperadoes. Best of all, that officer was forced to recant that part, under cross-examination. But that didn’t end the presence of 4 large cops sitting in the courtroom through the whole charade.

      the commentator on the Bovine.Wordpress says : “Very early on, we realized that this long drawn-out process has nothing to do with milk, health or safety.” They’re starting to get it >>>> As my old man said to me when I was 12 years old = “it’s all there in The Protocols” ( of the learned elders of Zion). Meaning ; control of the national milk supply under the Quota racket was set out by the Fabian Society in its Progressive Economic Plan ~1930. Until Canadians have the measure of the enemy, the Campaign for REAL MILK in this sorry Dominion, is just going to go ’round in circles with one foot nailed to the floor.

      this thing is not about ‘public health’ … it’s about PROPERTY RIGHTS … for crying out loud! No mere co-incidence that the First Plank of the Communist Manifesto is ‘elimination of private property’. Socialists are only communists without guns. And that goes double for socialized medicine, under which , which the body of the citizen, is assumed to be property of the state. As it is in Red China tonight

      • Gordon S Watson

        another report on the trial of the Glencolton Farm desperadoes >>>> http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/373664441/trial-of-the-century-to-be-continued-in-june

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        I agree the Canadian campaign against raw milk isn’t about public health, any more than the ongoing campaign against raw milk in the U.S. is about public health. But property rights? No, it’s about protecting the dairy industry. In Canada, it seems to be more about protecting the cushy price rigging deal the dairy farmers have. In the U.S., it’s about protecting the multibillion dollar processing industry (since there is little to protect for the farmers). In both cases, though, it’s about protecting an existing industry from the threat of competition. That’s not socialism, it’s about preserving oligarchies. In both places, it’s anti-capitalist.

  • Bora Petski

    Watershed, is that more like a waterfall, a lake, or rapids in human terms? Self reliance is all you’ll have in the long term until you give up but good to hear that awareness is constantly rising about the raw milk.

  • Bora,

    We built our team and brand based on a culture of bottom up support for one another. It is my role to listen, communicate, educate, facilitate and provide the environment, culture, set of conditions and tools…. so that all employees can thrive. In addition, our team receives continuous praise from our consumers….this continuous reinforcement truly reassures us all that we are on the right track. OPDC is a good karma company. The next generation does this even better than I. There is no authoritarian top down dictatorship here. As founder and CEO, my role is “to support and serve all,..as best I can”.

  • Mark Mcafee

    http://www.organicauthority.com/usda-drops-plan-to-test-for-glyphosate-herbicide-residue-in-food/

    For all of you that love Trump….here is what he thinks about health and food safety.

    After the FDA and EPA found very alarming levels of Roundup in American food supply last year, these two agencies had planned to test food in the food chain this year.

    That plan was scrapped by the Trump…

    He could care less about health. He cares about Monsanto and money and his hairdoo…

    • Lynn_M Lynn_M

      I conjecture that a lot of folks, myself included, voted for a candidate not because they liked him or her but because they thought he or she was the least evil of the two. What a choice our system of governance gave us.

      It’s easy to assail Trump, because he’s in the hot seat now. But Hillary was touted be in the pockets of Monsanto too, and someone all too eager to have the government get its hands deeper into everyone’s lives. If she was president, you’d be squawking about something you thought she had done. I think it’s really tiresome to be blaming Trump for everything the government does or doesn’t do.

      Last week I heard Dr. Stephanie Seneff voice some reservations about the accuracy of glyphosate testing. It would be interesting to know more of the behind-the-scenes action of exactly why glyphosate testing has been suspended.

  • Gordon S Watson

    we don’t have to “love Trump” to agree with what he’s doing in any particular area. PRESIDENT Trump is acting according to his understanding that both the FDA and the EPA were created by Executive diktat rather than by authentic constitutional procedure. Cutting off the life-line of the alphabet agencies … deriving them of a syphon directly into the pockets of American taxpayers … is a step in the right direction, back to sanity.

    How droll that you – of all people ! – now clamber up on the ramparts to defend the FDA. If so, get ready to defend the ALL the rest of the asinine overbearing meddling it does into private lives, too.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      It’s been sad to watch the Trump foodie apologists dance and squirm as they watch the fantasy Trump dissolve into the ether. If you’ll remember, there was that great story last summer about Trump being a secret raw milk aficionado. Then it evolved into Trump being an organic food lover. Then he was going to reduce food regulation. Then he was going to re-do Obamacare.
      http://www.davidgumpert.com/can-trump-unleash-americas-inner-nazi

      It’s sad because there’s such devotion and hope for a guy who clearly cares not a whit about good food and health, but cares a great deal about helping coal and oil executives increase their profits. I have to give the Trump devotees credit–they get an A for loyalty.

  • That A for loyalty, is rather….an A for marching in lock step like lemmings off a cliff.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    David,

    I think it’s a little too early to start pointing a finger at broken promises…

    That being said, many of those foodies who voted for Obama in the two previous elections and then watched in frustration as the promises he made dissolve into the ether, a.k.a. the dark act… Then it’s a double disappointment for them, especially for those who felt caught between a rock and a hard place, knowing full well that Clinton intended to continue the status quo and as such pensively voted for Trump.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaaB6NE1TI

    Rather, it seems like an ongoing disappointment with respect to politicians and the promises they make to get elected and their ability to fulfill on those promises in light of the established bureaucratic stranglehold in Washington.

    As far as getting a government run healthcare system up and running is concerned, and I think Obama will agree… it has proven to be an ongoing cause of distress and annoyance for many Presidents.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Ken, I never said Trump had broken promises about food. He essentially said almost nothing about his likely policies about food. His appointees to head FDA and USDA have never said anything about the relevant food issues, like organics and regulation. (This article from Mark Kastel at Cornucopia tries to figure out how new USDA secretary might treat organics, given his affinity with Big Ag. https://www.cornucopia.org/2017/01/uncharted-waters-will-trumpperdue-usda-defend-kill-organics/)

      My point is that foodies came up with all kinds of amazing fantasies about Trump being a fan of raw milk and organics and such, and it was all based on absolutely nothing. With Hillary Clinton, we knew what we would be getting. We could continue to fight via the courts and Congress. With this outfit now in power, there seems to be endless desire to dispense with tough Qs, and simply continue the fantasies.

  • Gordon S Watson

    the irrationality of those who are so desperate to disparage PRESIDENT Trump … a few weeks into his mandate … is illustrated by the answer given by Ho Chi Minh when asked for his opinion about the implications of the French Revolution. He replied “it’s too soon to tell”. There you have the Oriental mind …. thinking in terms of centuries. Versus the pack of mutts yapping at Trump’s heels, to generate fodder for their 24/7 news cycle.

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    We will talk about disparagement when Trump gets impeached or maybe jailed for treason. When you join forces with the Russians to finance and or hijack the American political process to gain control of America….that is an Act of War ( quote from Dick Cheney ).

  • Gordon S Watson

    any day you have hard evidence such as would persuade a Grand Jury to indict Mr Trump on your allegation, feel free to provide it to the American Public, as well as the Attorney General. Hasn’t happened so far.

    Every time it seems you reached the lowest point in your derangement, turns out = you haven’t. The remedy would be to just quit letting-in the daily dosage of propaganda from the lame=stream media ’til a semblance of sanity returns

    how ironic that you use Dick Cheney’s quote about financing war … your time would be better spent, following the $$ trail from AIPACs et cetera to the Clinton Foundation. PRESIDENT Trump will preside over the White House for 2 terms, guiding America through its darkest hour in a century. Meanwhile Hilary Clinton will die in gaol.

  • Back to raw milk,

    A NetFlix film crew spent 14 hours filming at OPDC yesterday. Great story being told about raw milk as an emerging food on the national seen. They digged deeply into all aspects of raw milk including: safety, politics, economics, generational issues with dairies, organics, nutrition, studies, very well done.

    The hour long special will come out this fall.

    • Shana Milkie

      This sounds wonderful! How generous of you to open up your farm to the filmmakers. It should be a fascinating film and great visibility for the raw milk movement.

  • John Dutcher

    People are always spouting during presidential elections “the choice of two evils”. I am 63 years old and I have never,ever understood that mindset. As long as everyone votes with their mindset that way, never will there ever be change. Mark M., please do not lump all people that live in the midwest into one category, I admit we do have our fair share of “dolts” here( esp. in Michigan politics, cause Farm Bureau rules here).Back to milk. When we bought our farm in Chippewa County ( 1981) there were over 200 dairy farms here in this county, we had a wonderful cheese plant that utilized grade “B” milk, had many farmers milking 30 head or less,then someone in the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture had the oh so wonderful idea of shutting down grade “B” dairies, the state had a ‘buyout” for farmers that did not want to or could not afford to upgrade to a grade “A” dairy. Inevitably, it was the death mantra for the cheese plant( very sad day here in this county for many people, there is still a lot of nostalgic talk about the memories of the cheese plant). Now we have less than 20 dairies left here in Chippewa County and the only milk buyer any of them ever had was the Michigan Milk Producers Association( no monopoly there!), so the MMPA decided that the smaller producers should have to pay an extra ” haul fee” due to lower volumes of miilk, the largest dairy here is not a very good steward of the land and he would not be happy with me saying that, but it is the truth, he is a chemical, GMO farmer, at least he gave up using BGH due to so many medical issues with his cows, he was having to get rid of 3 year old cattle, packing feet with antibiotics due to hairy heel warts and more, I think you get the drift. The MDA here puppets every move from the FDA and the USDA, our bureaucrats are very imbedded here. Our state also just sold 5,000 acres of state land in the beautiful upper pensinsula( neighboring Mackinac County) to be cleared for a commercial potato farm. What is so sad is that there are over a million acres of arable farm land just in Chippewa county, of which, very few acres are actually being utilized and could be leased or outright bought. And also the state land being sold is a traditional food gathering area for our local Native Americans, mostly hardwood forest, now it will be soaked in many chemicals. Our state also sold a large parcel of land to a foreign interest t obuild a huge Dolomite( a type of limestone used in steel processing and I am sure other needs)quarry, another huge tract of hardwood forest and another area the Native Americans have traditionally harvested food disappearing, all this under the auspice of the Republican party using “progress” as the initiative, I thought Republicans were not “progressives” :>) The whole story of our area here, as of late, is just indescribable to many folks here that cherish the “being in the bush” living experience we enjoy here.

  • John Dutcher

    FYI, the Republicans control our state house, state senate,Attorney general and our governor is also a Republican, they also made our state a “right to work state. Michigan has been a “right to strike state” for generations previously, a very terrible thing for working people that would like to make living wage instead of minimum wage. I’ done!

  • John thank you for sharing some of your personal experience and the reality where you live. It sounds to me like the republicans have done little to preserve your local environment and culture. Loss of dairies, loss of environment, loss of things that matter.

  • John Dutcher

    Mark,
    You are correct, since republicans have gained control of the political arena here, it seems anything to do with helping other people just went out the window, think Flint. As far as loss of dairies, that is the resonsibility of the failed policies of both parties here in this beautiful state surrounded by 20% of the world’s fresh water that no one seems to care about protecting!! The Michigan Department of Agriculture has historically followed Earl Butz’s philosophy of corn and soybeans from fencerow to fencerow, with years of Farm Bureau’s very strong influence in our state ag. dept.( Farm Bureau also beleives in Earl Butz’s philososhpy of NOT growing food). Michigan has some of the most fertile soils in the country and could be the bread basket of the midwest, but corn is king here and soybeans are the queen and the chemicals they use are the princes. With the loss of dairy farms here in the upper peninsula, you see a lot of land reverting back to brush and trees, the old timers would turn over in their graves if they knew all that work they did was for nil and the attitude of most people here now has become a very urban perspective, very few people left here that see the importance of farms, after all they only have to go to WalMart for their food. It is such a shame that in three generations here most all connections to the land has disappeared. I really,really miss the cheese plant :>(

  • Another famous quote from Richard Nixon’s Sec of Ag, Earl Butz, ” when you hear the word Organic, Think Starvation”

    By ignoring new energy sources and promoting coal, America is re-enslaving itself to ” black lung disease” and even more global warming. New jobs , better paying jobs come from new progress and higher education. When cars replaced horses, and the demand for horse whips dried up, did America make more horse whips….no it did not. When type writers were replaced by the computer and the automatic printer, did America force itself to make more type writers??? No we did not.

    Going back in time to make America Great Again, is like embracing type writers and horse whips. It is an ignorant, head in the sand failure to attend school and get educated to produce products of a responsible future!

    I saw this over and over as a delegate at the NFU. It was the Midwest that demanded more cash from Washington DC as farm subsidies, GMO crops, more pesticides, while the east and western states fought in the opposite directions with demands for good policy for climate change ( that include pasturing of cows etc ),, GMO labeling, Country of Origin Labeling ( consumer friendly COOL policies ). Across the board, east and west states were supporters of consumer friendly policy while the Midwest demanded criminal procesution of consumer video taping of cows and showing farmers doing farming and denial of farm transparency.

    In my world, I love consumers, invite them to tour and visit. I am proud of cows on grass and clean good things.

    Making America Great Again….not so much. Dragging America back to into its regrettable robber barren soil raping dark ages….that’s more like it.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      We’re presently living in a “robber barren soil raping dark ages” Mark!!!

      It’s never been worse then it is today with highly specialized monoculture practices and CAFOs being the order of the day. Indeed, methods that rely heavily on pesticides, herbicides chemical fertilizers, GMOs drugs and energy hungry equipment that in turn destroys soil structure, the integrity and quality of food, human and animal health and the environment.

      I think it’s about time we take a step back and take a hard look at current methods used to produce food today. The only way America can become great again is from the bottom up not from the top down. Trump may not be the solution; Hilary Clinton and her cronies on the other hand were/are definitely not, as demonstrated by her/their historical top down governing approach. Indeed methods she/they clearly indicated during the election campaign that they would continue to use.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    john,
    Your description of the direction with which the agriculture industry is heading in Michigan parallels that of the agriculture industry east of the great lakes in Ontario Canada. All political ideologies… left or right, Democrat or Republican, and in Canada, New Democrat, Liberal or Progressive Conservative share the blame for kowtowing to the consumers desire for cheap food…hence the ongoing cheap food policies used to manipulate agriculture. What they fail to realize is that their shortsighted agricultural policies will cost them dearly in the end.

    Gord hit the nail on the head in stating that the powers that be care little about “public health”… “it’s about PROPERTY RIGHTS … for crying out loud!” Indeed, and the further one drifts to the left in terms of political ideology the greater the contempt for property rights. The line between the political left and right is becoming increasingly obscured in this regard.

    These two statements by John Adams sums up our current situation well, “The moment that idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the Laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist.”

    “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”

  • John Dutcher

    Mark,
    A very large portion of my family is in “coal country”, the poor fools mostly voted for Trump, on the grounds of returning jobs to coal mines. These people think that coal mining is going to go back to “drift mining”(underground tunnels), coal companies now employ mountaintop removal. First they come in and clear cut the forest and they do not even utilize the trees, pile them up and burn them, for any of you that have never been in that part of the country,it is about as close to Eden as you can get. Many nut trees of different types, along with a lot of other hardwood trees and other plants that are very unique to that environment, along with many types of fruits that grow wild, and the soils are good and you can grow just about everything except citrus. Then they bull doze all the soil off, then comes the huge electric shovels, seems I read once each scoop is around 100 tons, they bury the many fresh water springs that dot the area along with the many beautiful streams, gone!! After the coal is extracted they replace the top soil and you no longer have a mountain( Mr. Peabody’s coal train hauled it away), a lot of golf courses being built there now, since the land is now flat. My point about employment is one person now does the work of around what previously took 50 men to do, maybe even more. As far as black lung, it will certainly not exist in the numbers as before, there will not be that many jobs coming back, for one, and there will no longer be underground work.Robotics will replace a lot of men, as during the great depression, when there were a lot of people that worked on farms, hoed and dug by hand, then farmers started buying more tractors, there were a lot of men looking for work, carrying signs that said”need work,tractored out!” So all these jobs promised, is just that , a false promise.
    Ken,
    I live right across the St. Mary’s river from Ontario, northeast from us is Echo Bay, due north is Sault Ste. Marie and due east is Manitoulin Island. I totally agree with you about the political ideologies and ( unbelievably) ,I agree too with Gordy about lack of empathy concerning public health, speaking of which, how many Canadiens run the risk of losing their home, their savings and all they own over a medical bill? Happens a lot on this side of the river!! I have read several times that we are the only country in the world where this can happen, amazing to me also is within the top 17 industrial nations, the USA ranks 17th. There is a saying in Appalachia that I heard many times growing up, The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!! I have always been a sort of a liberal mainly because Christianity has always taught me to “care and help” others that are not as fortunate as I am( I vehemently disagree with you Ken about the more left you go the more contempt you have for property rights, that is sooo wrong on sooo many levels),I have a lot of friends( yes, even though we differ in political views, unlike most of America, we are still good friends) that are what I call “hardcore” right wingers and the one thing that I notice quite often is their lack of empathy and a lot of them seem very narcissstic( I made sure I spelled it right Gordy) , you cannot really put a name on me because I do not fit into any one category, I am myself and have a fierce sense of individuality. Love guns( our family has always had “shoots” after church and dinner on Sundays),love helping others,love my farm and farming,believe that only women have a right to do decide what they want with their own bodies( do not really agree with abortion, but that is between the mother, the father and their God, no one else’s business, period!!) I strongly believe in labor unions, having originaly come from coal country, unions have historically been very well supported there and I come from a family that has been unionized for several generations. It does not matter if it is democracy or not, not one single “empire” has lasted much more than 200 years….. I’m not really sure about your reference to property being as sacred as the laws of God, I do find that a bit scarilegious,I have never read anywhere in Jesus’ teachings where ownership of property was put on the same level as the laws of God,goodness gracious, even the Native Americans had an aversion to “owning” something, in fact that was a very foreign concept to them, I know Gordy they are not white and therefore infidels!!

  • John Dutcher

    One more thing, does anyone rememberthat Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not exactly a bastion of Anglo-Saxons at that time or any other, for all you God fearing white supremists out there, Jesus was NOT a white man, even though he is depicted in lily white biblical paintings as darn near blonde haired and blue eyed, some folks should go back and study geography and a bit of anthropology. For those of you that do not agree, Does not matter to me.

  • Gordon S Watson

    since – for some unknown reason? – you brought it up Mister Dutcher = you’re obliged to do your own homework as to the Messiah’s nationality. Having studied the topic for half a century, I assure you : the case for Caucasians having issued from ancient Israel, is overwhelming … for anyone who honestly examines the evidence. The Bible was given to us = white people = by our God, as our handbook for government. Interest, lately, of its agricultural and food laws are a sign that Israelite-ish people are remembering our heritage.

  • blesse'd are the cheese makers

    I always wondered about McAfee and whether he was a white supremacist. The evidence seems to be piling up. Now I know why he is in the dairy business. See the article below.

    https://heatst.com/culture-wars/peta-says-milk-is-a-symbol-of-white-supremacy/

    I’ll bet he’s got some Russian cows, too.

  • John Dutcher

    Cheesemaker, you are mistaken,Mark is not the white supremist on this site.

  • John Dutcher

    Sir Gordy,
    I just won $50.00 from my wife on a bet that you would not be able to restrain yourself from replying to my comment, you have become predictable, Thank You!! You and our Cheeto-in chief have one thing in common( I’ll bet you even like him!!)you are both as racist as one can get!! I know you think the “whites” are the chosen people, but about a century from now God won’t have any of “your” chosen people left, have you not heard the news? Where will you find a lily white racist? Races are intermarrying, at never before rates, soon we will all be gray :>) I think, if I were you, I would ask for a refund on that education of yours. I was raised in the southern part of the US, and Gordy you sound just like the KKK people that lived there, back then, you are a blast from the past. I was raised in the Methodist church and we were taught as children that there is a “SPECIAL” place in Hell for folks that have so much hatred in their hearts, the Methodists sure did NOT have the same GOD as yours!!!, methinks maybe yuor obsession with the Bible must have something to do with the guilt you are holding inside yourself.
    Cheesemaker,
    You always come across as a bit of a right winger, and now you quote PETA, the ultra liberal group that thinks animals should have the same rights as humans??? Are you kidding????

    • blesse'd are the cheese makers

      Sir John —

      With all due respect, please reach back into your psyche and try to find your sense of humor. It must be in there somewhere.

  • John Dutcher

    Cheesemaker,
    I did express my sense of humour, hence the $50.00 win and knowing Gordy would not resist, my humour,sir, is on a different plane than yours!! But, I DO NOT find Any humour in racism, with all due respect!!
    Back to milk, I really,REALLY miss our old cheese plant!! Mooving on :>)

    • blesse'd are the cheese makers

      Always. Always. Always, play the racist card, eh John? All whilst standing on your holier-than-thou pedestal. You might rethink your approach to attacking conservative folks out here. Your playbook is old, outdated and worn out. I harken you back to the story of the little boy who cried, “Wolf!”

  • John Dutcher

    Nice try cheesemaker :>)

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    Sprouts loves OPDC truly raw cheddar cheese…

    Today, Sprouts has announced that OPDC truly raw cheddar cheese will now be sold in all 260 stores nationally. wow!!!

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