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I received the following information directly from The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based watchdog group I highly respect.

[Yesterday] at 7:20 p.m. EST, August 29, the USDA issued an emergency news release announcing that they had sent a Letter of Revocation to the Aurora Organic Dairy. In lieu of revoking Aurora’s organic certification, the Agency has instead entered into a consent agreement requiring the nation’s largest certified organic dairy to make substantial and wide-ranging changes to the livestock management practices at their operations in Texas and Colorado.

In other words, Aurora, which supplies private label milk to stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Trader Joe's, and Safeway, got caught bending and breaking the rules of USDA organic standards. If they don't make the necessary changes they just agreed to with the USDA, their certification will be yanked.

(Note: In addition to Aurora's private label products - you might also want to avoid Aurora's own label, High Meadows.)

UPDATE: Apparently Trader Joe's does NOT get their milk from Aurora. Phew!

Before I go on, I want to make the point that we really owe The Cornucopia Institute our thanks for the work they did in making this happen, and if you want to express your gratitude in the form of a donation, here's a link.

The major points Cornucopia brought up in their complaint against Aurora include:

  • Aurora was not allowing their animals access to pasture
  • Aurora brought in animals from a non-certified contract heifer ranch
  • Aurora converted animals from conventional to organic production when the regulations (because of their initial 80/20 conversion) prohibited that.
  • And Aurora purchased organic feed for their Texas operation from a friend of the dairy manager who had sprayed his crops with herbicides during transition.

According to the USDA, Aurora will now be closely monitored to ensure it meets the terms of the agreement. If they fail to meet those terms, then the USDA threatens to withdraw its agreement and maybe revoke the organic certification for Aurora's Platteville, CO plant. Also, Aurora will not renew its organic certification at its Woodword, CO plant.

Cornucopia commended the fantastic work done by the investigators, but noted that the political appointees at the USDA "have decided to let Aurora off somewhat easy in this matter."

After years of delay Aurora, having expanded to five industrial scale dairies in Colorado and Texas, is still being allowed to remain in business despite being found guilty of multiple violations of organic law.  These were not accidental violations – they were willful and premeditated violations of the law by a multimillion dollar business enterprise, the largest organic dairy producer in the United States.

A few more notes by Cornucopia:

  • While they've been allowed to remain in business, they were able to build market share and screw over "real" organic farmers by driving down prices.
  • Also, Aurora is a (fraudulent) driving force behind a current surplus in the organic dairy market.
  • Note that Aurora isn't paying any fines for their conduct and there is no talk whatsoever of forbidding them to remain in business. (Organic regulations stipulate that companies fraudulently selling products as organic must pay $10k per violation)

If you want more info - check out - they'll keep the updates coming as they learn of them.

Originally posted to OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:07 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Not to mention that if you indulge in ANY (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      object16, ichibon, Leo in NJ

      dairy products, you support the veal industry!

      "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

      by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:33:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What?? eom (0+ / 0-)

        I take the bible seriously, but not literally.

        by Boston to Salem on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All veal calves are born to (7+ / 0-)

          diary farm cows so the mothers make the milk that folks like so much. Since the male calves have no use to the diary farm, they are either given to veal farms or the dairy farm has its own veal production. There ya go. Understand now?

          "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

          by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:52:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ahhh (5+ / 0-)

            I know the farm I get our milk from does not raise veal, so I'll have to ask them about that. But we'll continue to drink milk whatever their answer is.

            Thanks for the info!


            I take the bible seriously, but not literally.

            by Boston to Salem on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:57:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just ask them two questions. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hairspray, Oy the Billybumbler, mhw
              1. How do they impregnate the cows? Do they use what the industry until recently called a "rape rack"?
              1. What do they do with the males that are born?

              In order for the cows to produce milk, they have to be pregnant or give birth. Sick. But, I guess the disgusting process they put these earthlings through has no effect on your choices.

              "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

              by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:01:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hmmm (43+ / 0-)

                Given how insulting your response is, I am guessing you are not actually interested in an actual discussion. And since I am not interested in being lectured-to by you, I won't be responding to any more of your comments.


                I take the bible seriously, but not literally.

                by Boston to Salem on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:07:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You stated that you would not stop drinking (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Oy the Billybumbler, mhw

                  milk no matter how they answered you! I was just trying to help you with questions you may want to ask.

                  "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                  by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:43:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You know if your cause is genuine... (11+ / 0-)

                    then you are close to the worst thing that could happen to it. I've even considered you've been planted by Monsanto, Smithfield, Cargill, et al because your presentation sets people in their ways you claim to want to change and you even get people justifying the way they eat and supporting each other in those choices rather than thinking about making improvements. I mean really, you've made even me crave a burger just to spite you. That's some powerful stuff.

                    Is that really your goal?

                    If so, you are very effective. If not then, how's that working out for you?

                    You are flipp'n your own self off with your game and sabotaging everyone else's efforts with your militancy.

                    PLEASE reconsider your approach. Wouldn't it be better to encourage a few people to make small changes (which often lead to even more) or is it more important to insult and entrench people so they may never change and if they do it won't happen for much longer?

                    Do you really want to be responsible for the continued levels of the practices you are claiming to expose?

                    Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

                    by CSI Bentonville on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:30:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Never insulted unless I was (0+ / 0-)

                      Get what you give ya know? I simply state a fact-like if you eat or drink diary products you support the veal industry. That is a fact. After I state this fact folks such as yourself, this happens a whole bunch so you are not unique, somehow want to eat a burger. I have no idea what the connection between supporting veal farms and eating a burger is but.....


                      1. I state a fact
                      1. I have folks on this site get defensive
                      1. I am told that I am in the wrong
                      1. I shake my head

                      Whatever. I don't have a cause. I tell some inconvenient truths.

                      "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                      by bebacker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:04:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Really no point in responding to you (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        because you very much act as troll does...

                        Even you say:

                        After I state this fact folks such as yourself, this happens a whole bunch so you are not unique, somehow want to eat a burger.

                        Does this not in the least suggest to you that there is a huge flaw (or actually several) in your delivery?

                        Add to that your eye for eye philosophy to then insult those you perceive as insulting you (thereby somehow giving you permission to go into full ass mode?) and you are not only giving a bad name to the cause and are self destructive but you are tearing up the work done by a lot of other people.

                        Holy Cow Crap, just a few days ago you were even full-on living example of a vegangelical in a diary describing how harmful and obnoxious vegangelicals are. If there was any doubt in the validity of what the diarist was describing you took it all away.

                        Just as you cannot, as in a dairy farm come out with an instant full-grown producing cow, neither will you get an instant vegan. Even if you could, you do it by burning hundreds of others to offset by several factors any possible gain. The point is to plant a seed which will germinate and grow into a more sensitive, informed, and conscientious consumer. You are out there tearing up the roots and generally being a vandal.

                        If you are too stubborn and indeed unable to do some self-reflection and soul searching to figure out a more effective and productive way to address people then please resist the urge to hamper the considerable efforts by others... literally for the good of all concerned including, or most especially, the cows.

                        Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

                        by CSI Bentonville on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:37:25 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I do great outreach throughout the northeast (0+ / 0-)

                          and in florida. I have a great time and have amazing discussions with thousands of people on a weekly basis. Dailykos on the other hand....well I have little time for folks who don't like my delivery or whatever. I tell folks the effects of their decisions. It is not my job to be touchy feely on this site. Folks no better about how what they do has a real impact on other earthlings. Period.

                          "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                          by bebacker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

                            You are saying that it's okay to counter whatever else you do in another venue by blowing things up that others have built here?

                            That makes zero sense.

                            Do you want anyone coming in and undoing your outreach work?

                            You have no time but will force others to take even more time to rebuild that which you obnoxiously come in and tear down? Time they could have spent furthering the cause if you hadn't taken any time at all. Apparently you are just as clueless as you read.

                            Make all your excuses but that's not your job either and I am once again pleading with you to STOP.

                            Regardless of how effective you think you are elsewhere, you are not here. And your stated attitude above shows you are aware of it. You are disruptive and are undoing what others have accomplished which pretty much defines you as a troll and is how I will treat you from now on if you refuse to moderate and modify your approach.

                            Truly, no one is good at everything and it would behoove the other earthlings if you would see how you are destructive to their very being by the way you do things.

                            Are you that selfish?

                            Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

                            by CSI Bentonville on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:20:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Veal Parmigiana (10+ / 0-)

                It's one of my favorites. Tasty veal AND cheese. It's a delightful combination. Yum.

                Live and let live, my friend.

                The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

                by Korkenzieher on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:43:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well... (12+ / 0-)

                  bebacker never asked anyone to stop eating either dairy or veal.  He/she just pointed out a simple fact of life about dairy farming.  Half of all calves are males, and most bull dairy calves end up as veal since they will obviously never give milk and are not beef cattle.  Given that dairy farming is here to stay, the real solution should be to promote improved living conditions for bull calves, whether they are raised for veal or dairy beef.


                  •  I like your solution. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dufffbeer, mariva, LibChicAZ

                    Much more realistic and doable. Plus, I'm guessing that farms producing organic milk are far more likely to utilize somewhat better standards in the treatment of veal calves, as well.  If not, well, consumers of organic products are just the folks to apply a little pressure there.

                    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

                    by lgmcp on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:22:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Not true. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    OrangeClouds115, RiaD

                    MOST male calves do NOT end up as veal.  Hence, the cost.

                    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                    by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:55:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                      There are conflicting claims on the web about the relative number of calves raised for veal or dairy beef.  If you have numbers, I would be curious to know.

                      •  I'll do some research. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ortcutt, vassmer, CSI Bentonville

                        But my numbers are based on experience, here in WI.  I am sure it may be different in other states, notably CA, but in this state, family farms far out-number factory farms, at least to date.  And family farms generally do not go the veal route.  Veal is an entirely separate operation.  Not a pretty one.

                        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                        by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:08:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  There are some dairy farmers... (0+ / 0-)

                          raising veal calves on their farms rather than either raising dairy beef or shipping them off to factory veal producers.  There's no reason that veal calves couldn't be raised humanely.  Costs probably require that there be a market for free-range veal at a premium price though.


                •  You need to see a factory farm (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Oy the Billybumbler, mhw

                  up close and personal.

                  Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

                  by hairspray on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:23:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've heard (4+ / 0-)

                    I've heard that they're really unpleasant and that they smell awful. And without them, food production would drop to a level that would create very high prices at the grocery store in a best case scenario, or famine in a worst case scenario.

                    We can't use the same farm methods we used when America had only 100 million mouths to feed. I'm in favor of being humane and environmentally responsible to as great an extent as is possible, but in the end we all need to eat.

                    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

                    by Korkenzieher on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:38:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's a description. (6+ / 0-)

                    Factory farm - 1500 or more cows.  They spend the day eating.  Manure is cleaned up multiple times per day, as cows can be crippled if slipping and falling on wet pavement.  

                    Manure containment is hidden, and disposed of regularly.  Cows are fed based on their personal nutritional needs to ensure the highest milk production.  A cow will produce for an average of three years on a factory farm, up to ten on a family farm.  At the end of their producing lifespan, they are sold as beef.

                    The highest producers and best pedigreed cows are treated differently, and used almost exclusively for breeding, to increase the quality of the species.

                    Are there abuses?  Of course.  And they are prosecuted when discovered.  Just as in any other business.

                    I have made my living with animals, so don't think I'm not a lover, per se.  But I would appreciate if some people would not distort the facts because they object to any consumption of meat or dairy.

                    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                    by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:00:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  miss blue you are doing propoganda (0+ / 0-)

                      You are really just lying all over the place here. STOP IT! The fucking runoff from the waste from factory farms is one of the leading polluters in the country! Really miss blue. Really!

                      "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                      by bebacker on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 06:42:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  It's not about living or dying... (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:

        's about the almost undescribably cruel conditions an animal is forced to endure for its entire life (chained down in a cage barely larger than its body and force-fed a deliberately iron-poor diet) so that assholes that spout Live and let live, my friend can consume something tasty.

              •  You have some misplaced anger there (3+ / 0-)

                Boston is just asking questions.

                Barnett Shale: The newest blood for oil war

              •  Apologies for the non-vegan adage, (14+ / 0-)

                ...but you can catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar.
                I am not a vegetarian, but neither do I alienate future vegetarians by being a high-minded jerk to them about their current diet.
                The whole think strikes me as a twisted and backward version of carbon credits:  first become an ethical vegetarian, then offset your impact on the dairy industry by insulting people with an interest in switching.

                •  LOL, agree - also, SOY alert! (13+ / 0-)

                  I've been a vegetarian and now am not...not enough protein in my diet so I went back, but I stay away from beef (mostly for the right reasons but also I don't really love it so I don't miss it).

                  The biggest objection for me RE beef, dairy, or other meat industries is the way they raise the animals. Not just the way they treat them (though that too) but also where they choose to graze cattle. It's environmentally dangerous, those ranches to the west...desertification is happening as a result of a lot of grazing on marginally arid lands. It'd be better to have all our grazing animals eating where there's plentiful vegetation (say, like Vermont, or Virginia) where you need many less square miles per animal for sustaining the herd.

                  Then there's the environmental impact of big industry chicken and pork, the antibiotics issue, etc. For me, I mostly eat fish (choosing carefully, like Pacific salmon instead of Atlantic, or tilapia) or no meat for most meals, and try to buy local, organic, meats and dairy if I can.

                  Regarding milk? I don't drink it. Turns out my nutritionist (I went to one when I found out I had a condition that I needed to monitor) agreed with my husband's longstanding notion that it's not a great idea for adults to be drinking the baby formula of another species all the time, so I switched to low-sugar almond or rice milk for my cereal, and now my only dairy is cheese, on occasion.

                  By the way, the soy milk we get in the US is NOT a good alternative to milk. It has a plant estrogen that mimics a human one. It's really horrible to give to kids. Because 90% of our soy is GMO and not properly processed, it's not the health food (at least in the US) that everyone thinks it is. Soy should only be frequently consumed after proper fermentation, like miso, tofu, and tempeh, even some soy milks (not the ones commonly sold in the US).

                  Here's some awesome information on soy. I can say with certainty that soy milk caused issues with regards to the hormone mimicking for me (specifically, symptoms of PMS) so I will never return to it. But sooo many people drink soy milk thinking it's a great alternative to cow's milk, and give it to their kids, where it can affect their development. I just hope this info gets out more.

              •  I eat almost no beef and no veal. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                However, I am too lazy to be a full vegan and figure out how to balance all of the incomplete amino acids to make complete ones so as to have the needed protein.  BUT I do mostly fish and turkey. I also called the Pleasanton offices of Safeway and learned that Aurora does not ship milk to California.

                Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

                by hairspray on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:22:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Omg. (8+ / 0-)

                A cow must have a calf every other year to keep producing.  This is also how the majority of farms increase the size of their herd, and replace the old cows.

                You obviously have an agenda here.  Cows are usually artificially inseminated as most farms do not want a Holstein bull on the place.  They are rather cranky.  But there is no "rape" involved.  It is an extremely simple procedure that takes a few minutes and involves no pain or hardship to the cow.  And I know this, as it has been my profession.

                "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:53:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sounds like an excellent diary (4+ / 0-)

                  to me, Miss Blue. Not enough of us are involved with food production, so it's easy for us to be misinformed. I'd read a diary about your professional life in a second!


                  I take the bible seriously, but not literally.

                  by Boston to Salem on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:17:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)

                    I'll work on it.

                    I am so devoted to animals, particularly horses and cows, but on a personal level, also my dog and barn cats.

                    And it really galls me how PETA in particular, and some individuals, completely distort the lives of these animals on most farms and ranches.  Common sense should tell people that our living depends on the well-being of these animals.  We are not going to do things to shorten their lives or production.  I'd love to come back in my second life as a horse in a rodeo, I tell you that.  

                    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                    by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:33:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  two questions (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Da Buddy, KiaRioGrl79

                      First, did you see my last diary, about my trip to an organic farm?

                      Second, would you be interested in posting a diary about your work as a Vegetables of Mass Destruction diary? If you'd rather not do it that way - you'd prefer to just post it on your own schedule - I'm still interested in reading it. When you post, can you shoot an email with a link to your diary out to the DailyKos food email group? It's (you have to sign up to be able to email the group - but if you don't want extra email, you can opt to get no emails when you join the group)

                      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:45:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  OC (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Will do, the link that is, and I'd be honored to do a VMD diary.  

                        Not sure how to do that though.  If you fill me in on details, and what you'd like to see, I'll cooperate as best I can.

                        If you'd like, feel free to send an email.  Address is in my profile.  Otherwise, here is fine.

                        And no, I missed your diary.  But I'll check it tonight.

                        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                        by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:04:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hi Miss Blue (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Miss Blue, KiaRioGrl79

                          I've only got 3 small requests for VMD diaries -

                          1. Post on Sunday morning, earlier the better (I was asking people to do it at 9-10am EST but that makes me a huge hypocrite since I fail to do that myself all the time)
                          1. Tag it VMD
                          1. Include either VMD or Vegetables of Mass Destruction in the title.

                          Beyond that - you're the boss. I trust anything you write to be fantastic. (Although if you want me to proofread ahead of time, I am willing.)

                          The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                          by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:04:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  oh and can you let me know (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          which Sunday you want to take? I can't remember if someone has this week and other than that my calendar is mostly open - someone's got a date in late September and that's it.

                          The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                          by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:05:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Cool! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I've had a similar experience when I volunteered 1x wkly at Zoo New England. I was really impressed with how much love and devotion the keepers had for the animals. They fretted and fussed over every detail of the animal's diet, environment, etc... while also having enormous respect for their "wildness"


                      I take the bible seriously, but not literally.

                      by Boston to Salem on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 05:37:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Miss blue- again you are lying (0+ / 0-)

                  I never called it rape! Learn to read miss blue and stop lying!

                  "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                  by bebacker on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 06:48:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  While veal calfs are indeed (8+ / 0-)

            dairy produced, not all of the calves go to veal production. At least not locally, where there are many  small dairy farms. A lot of them are raised along with the beef steers for meat purposes in later life. It's quite common to see a herd of mixed Holstien and Angus steers grazing pasture.
            I can't imagine that they are given away. Got to be a profit connection somewhere.

          •  I understand, I think. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            akeitz, PatsBard, superhero fan

            The more milk we drink, the more male calves are born, thereby driving the price of veal down, the economic effect of which might be re-introducing veal to my diet.

          •  That is NOT the across the board practice (7+ / 0-)

            I live in dairy farm country and they most often sell the calves to people who bottle feed them or put them on their own mother cows and raise them.  Of course, many of them end up as hamburger ultimately.

            Barnett Shale: The newest blood for oil war

          •  They all go for meat, but not all veal n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Miss Blue, sidnora

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:22:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not true (7+ / 0-)

            You can't say all male dairy calves are given veal farms. That's just silly. I have family upstate and they keep several head for private consumption/supply to friends. All are male dairy cows (which sell for cheap compare to other cattle.) Lots of farms and families living on non working farms around them do the same thing. I know more than a few places that grass raise small herds of them and sell to specialized markets like kosher areas etc.

            I'm not denying that the veal industry probably gets their stock from the dairy industry. But to make the an ALL statement is overly broad to the extreme.

            In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

            by Windowdog on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:44:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  stopped eating it at age 5! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, Oy the Billybumbler

            mom considered me nuts, later in life she became a vegetarian

          •  Oh boy. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrangeClouds115, vassmer

            Could ya please be accurate here, and tell the whole story?

            In WI, the dairy state, you know, most farms raise up their males calves for a year and sell them as beef.  Where you get the idea that they are sold as veal is beyond me.

            Veal calves are pulled immediately from their mothers, fed nothing but milk and slaughtered at a very, very young age.  In all my years of being associated with dairy farmers, I have not known one who raised his calves that way, unless they were specifically a veal operation.

            "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3730+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

            by Miss Blue on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:50:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  And if you drive a car you support terrorists! (53+ / 0-)

        It occurs to me that if you really believe in a model of ecology that sees the interrelatedness of all things, then the only way you can pretty much make sure your actions are pure is to hang yourself with a hemp rope over a compost pile.

        The only thing we need to do is fully repudiate and bury the conservative movement, reform the media, and give the Democratic party a spine.

        by Malacandra on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:42:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no. hanging yourself is not the "only way." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silent Lurker, mhw

          Make informed decisions in your everyday life. Dairy is just one thing to cut out of your life that makes life on earth better for everyone!

          "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

          by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:53:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aexia, davidinmaine, kyril

            Forgive me if I don't just sit around munching lettuce and carrots.

            •  The earth provides more than (4+ / 0-)

              "lettuce and carrots" for you to enjoy without putting your shit on animals and humans. Take a look at the 2006 U.N. report about raising animals for food and how it is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gasses! More than all vehicles combined. But I guess you don't want to "just sit around munching lettuce and carrots."

              You sound like SUV drivers about 10 years ago. Defensive.

              "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

              by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:04:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  please stop (35+ / 0-)

                we're all on the same side here. Please respect that everyone here is different in their opinions and their ability to change their lifestyles to conform to their progressive values.

                The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:34:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand that. I was responding (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Oy the Billybumbler, mhw

                  to someone who was being condescending. I will of course give back what I get. It seems when someone brings up the inconvenient fact about pollution and meat, folks here have a hard time with it. Just trying to help clear the air if you will.

                  "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                  by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:40:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're not succeeding (19+ / 0-)

                    The tone you're using will not change anyone's mind or behavior. The reactions you get reflect the tone they hear. If everyone you speak to gets angry, then maybe you're the one who is failing to communicate effectively.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:26:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  doubtful. I state some facts (0+ / 0-)

                      and then I am called this or that or accused of being one way or another. Folks can always choose the compassionate way to live their lives with or without me. Don't care if folks don't want ot hear that if they eat dairy they support the veal industry. I understand that it may be hard for them to come to grips with. But, I just put it out there.

                      "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                      by bebacker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:12:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  There's more than one way to raise (7+ / 0-)

                    livestock, and there's more than one way to answer questions. Have you ever thought about the fact that the farm animals whose welfare is your concern would not exist at all if they hadn't been domesticated? Are you aware that some scientists consider domestication a form of symbiosis?

                    I'm not trying to change your mind or your eating habits, and I doubt very much that I could even if I wanted to, but you might want to take a look at The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, with attention to that chapters on Joel Salatin's farm.

                    And having read down the comments this far, I'm afraid I have to agree, if anyone's being condescending around here it's you.

                    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                    by sidnora on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:07:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Paleolithic Diet (8+ / 0-)

                      Not to stir the pot, but so long as we're looking for the cause of our problems, don't forget that if we hadn't invented farming, we'd never have destroyed animal habitats all over the planet, and thousands of endangered and extinct species would never have been adversely affected. So it isn't just animal husbandry that got us into our predicament, but clearing fields around the world to make way for wheat fields, etc.

                      I am a health professional involved with nutrition for decades, and I was vegan for 33 years beginning at age 14, and ended up at age 40 with hypertension, excessive weight gain, insulin resistance, inflamation in my knee creating severe pain (tendinitis), low HDL (the good cholesterol), high LDL (the bad cholesterol), high triglycerides, and hypoglycemia, all considered to be among the "diseases of civilization." I switched to the ancient paleolithic diet (lean meats, seafood, fruit, veggies, a few nuts and seeds, but no dairy, no grains or cereals, no legumes, no potatoes) and every one of those medical problems vanished within two weeks. No freakin' kidding!


                      I am now 52, feeling healthier than I did at 20, with cholesterol at a healthy 139, with high HDL, low LDL, low triglycerides, good energy, never experience low blood sugar anymore, my weight stays off, my sex life is fantastic, my mind is clear and alert, and my muscle tone is better than it was after a few years on the low protein vegan diet.

                      The paleolithic diet is based on evolution. Its built into our genetic code. We've been sold a load of beans about vegetarianism. I know we'll never settle this, and I'm not going to get into a protracted debate, but there are sane, reasoned alternatives to vegetarianism. I became vegan in 1969, switched to paleolithic in 2002, and have been on both sides of the debate. So keep an open mind, and be tolerant of others choices. There is more than one side to the story.

                      •  How is a vegan diet low on protein? (0+ / 0-)

                        How did you become so unhealthy eating vegan? Did you just eat processed soy products? Eating vegan or raw provides more than enough protein. Fruit is the only food that does NOT have protein! I would question your food choices while you were vegan.

                        "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                        by bebacker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:10:31 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Please don't presume... (0+ / 0-)
                          to know what my food choices were to make your "facts" fit your ideology.  

                          For protein, I ate a variety of beans and legumes, such as lentils, split peas, pinto beans, red beans, black beans, and also some fermented soy such as tempeh. In addition, I ate vegetables that were steamed or raw in salads, fresh fruits, whole grains such as unsweetened organic oatmeal, whole wheat and stone ground organic corn tortillas, millet, avocados, very little bread, no sugar or refined sweeteners. My diet was also low sodium. Brown rice and pinto beans were my among the staple foods.  I consumed mainly virgin olive oil for cooking and salad dressing, took a good multi-vitamin, used flax seed for omega 3, etc, etc. I ate very, very few processed, preprepared foods, preferring to eat at home with home cooking.

                          I grew up as a California kid, doing yoga, eating my vegan diet, doing all the supposedly correct things for my health. And I am disciplined enough to follow a diet consistently, which I did.

                          If I may suggest something, don't assume that you have found the only answer to all health problems by following a vegan diet.  Never close your mind to new information. Don't become a dietary fundamentalist .

                          If you want to know more about this subject, read the information at the link I provided. I'm not interested in a lengthy debate. It is too much like arguing over religion with a died in the wool religionist, in that it leads nowhere.

                          •  Never met a young vegan or old vegan (0+ / 0-)

                            that had protein issues. I was curious as to how your protein problem came to be. Sounds like from what you described, you got plenty of protein.

                            "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                            by bebacker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:00:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Another assumption... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            If, in your private discussions, you interact mostly with committed vegans, you'll rarely hear objective criticism of the vegan diet. Those on such diets who encounter health problems will attribute those problems to anything but their diet. Critical thinking goes out the window.

                            Everything I've told you about my experience is factual. I'm an honest person capable of objective reporting of my experience. The problem is it doesn't fit your accepted paradigm. You are attempting to make facts fit the paradigm, rather than make the paradigm fit the facts. I used to do the same thing about vegetarianism.

                            To be fair, I'm not much different than you, frankly. I'm not the enemy. But I had an experience that can't be ignored. Read some of the science on the web site I provided.

                          •  Again, from what you told me yourself (0+ / 0-)

                            about your diet, you got plenty of protein! Perhaps there was something OTHER than your diet as far as your low protein levels. To say because you were vegan and ate plenty of protein and that is why you are no longer vegan because you were somehow low on protein levels......odd reasoning. Most humans do not need more than 5-20g of protein a day. We certainly do not need animal protein.

                            "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                            by bebacker on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 11:12:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I would ask the animals if they wanted to (0+ / 0-)

                      be slaughtered. Humans are the ones that turned livestock into what they are today. They never asked for it. Compassion is always the tough road to go. It is understandable that some folks will want to justify their behavior

                      "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

                      by bebacker on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:14:06 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Mighty sure of yourself, aren't you? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I would humbly submit that there may be more than one way to eat well and be a good steward of the planet.

                        Every individual creature that is born (or sprouted) on this planet dies, and very quickly. The biota, the entire web of life on this planet, lives and evolves continuously, in geological time. Evolution works for the advancement of species, not individuals. Often, the best way for a species to propagate itself is to make itself attractive to eat. That can include flowers, fruits, vegetables, and animals.

                        Plants produce flowers and fruits that taste good and are nourishing to insects, birds and animals. If their flowers and fruits are eaten, their seeds will be spread and more plants will grow. When humans eat those things, and spread the seeds intentionally, that is called farming. The domesticated plants that humans grow for their food would quickly be crowded out by more vigorous and adaptable wild species (called weeds) if not for human intervention.

                        Some animals produce meat that tastes good and is nourishing to some other animals, including humans. If some individual animals are eaten, humans will protect and encourage many more individuals of their species to reproduce. That is called ranching. The domestic animals that humans raise for their food would quickly be decimated to the point of extinction by disease and predators if not for human intervention.

                        Both farming and ranching can be practiced in ethical and environmentally sound ways, or not. I am not here to defend inhumane and environmentally destructive husbandry practices, but there are other, better ways. If you eat anything that was deliberately cultivated, your existence on this planet has had a negative impact on some other sentient individual; how, exactly, do you think farmers keep rabbits, deer, birds and insects from eating the fruits and vegetables you buy from them? What happens to the animals whose habitats are being taken over to grow your food upon?

                        Unless you live entirely as a vegan forager, subsisting only on wild plants, you need to think harder about the other choices you criticize so freely. This may be hard for you, since you seem to have it all figured out.

                        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                        by sidnora on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 08:25:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Low MPG is Bad (0+ / 0-)

                  The current agriculture system is very wasteful and toxic, strongly unbalancing our environent in many unsustainable ways. Driving around town or commuting in trucks that get 12MPG is bad. People who directly support those systems without doing something to compensate for it (like a lot of extra recycling, or at least minimizing their participation) are doing something wrong.

                  I agree that just castigating people who are defensive about what they already know is wrong is usually counterproductive. But how harsh was that comment? Not very. More like "chiding". Seems appropriate.

                  People have leat each other get each other into this mess. We need to help each other out of it. But not telling someone they're doing wrong is enabling them to do it.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:17:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  What about small field animals? (12+ / 0-)

                Preparing a field for planting kills moles, voles, mice, rats, etc.  A vegetarian diet still kills animals, just not the larger ones that are more obvious.

              •  This is bad science (4+ / 0-)

                Yes, animals (and humans) produce methane gas.  And that would be no problem except for the fossil fuels that are burned and jack up the balance.

                You can argue all you want for veganism, which most of us are going to equate with tin hats, but using cows as the cause of the environmental crisis is simply retarded.

                Now, that's not to say that most Americans don't ingest too much dairy.  That's true.  But obesity is also not the cause of our environmental crisis.  

                So ease up on meat-eaters being the cause of all that is evil in the world.  

                You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia. - Vezzini

                by leslietfj on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:29:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bad Argument (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  For one, they didn't say that meat-eaters are the cause of all that is evil in the world. That's your straw man argument, not theirs.

                  For another, there is plenty of documentation that meat production's methane emissions are significant contributions to the Greenhouse effect.

                  Their post cited a UN report to back up its legitimate claims. What have you got to back up your assertions?

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:25:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's about scale (7+ / 0-)

                    and interconnectedness (or the lack thereof). On mixed-use farms of historical scale, the livestock waste went back onto the fields as fertilizer. It's only when livestock production becomes a huge monocultural operation that waste becomes an issue.

                    Also the animals are far more flatulent than they would be if they were being raised appropriately because they are basically sick all the time, from being fed grain (if they're lucky - sometimes they're fed worse) when they've evolved to eat grass, and dosed with antibiotics to keep them alive while eating something they can't digest.

                    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                    by sidnora on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:15:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I Agree (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      We're all interconnected - to varying degrees. I don't shed a tear with every gallon of gas I pump into my car - but I do everything I can to make its impact on my health, my environment, my politics as little as possible.

                      I just responded to a couple of extremely bad arguments. Which didn't recognize a "degree" of anything. Just flat assertions and denial. I notice they haven't returned to offer anything better to support their "side", whatever that is.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:28:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  no, it is not bad science (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sidnora, marina, Topaz7, offgrid

                  You're misunderstanding the scope of this issue. It's not about animals producing methane while they're alive.

                  It's about industrial meat production:

                  (For the short version, scroll to the bottom paragraph of the blockqote, which begins: Once a sustainable, holistic practice, raising animals for food...

                  Factory farming consumes resources at an alarming rate. One calorie of beef expends 33 percent more fossil fuels than one calorie of potatoes...

                  Factory farming also devours and contaminates water. It takes roughly 25,000 liters of water to produce eight ounces of beef, and the meat industry pollutes more groundwater than all other industries combined...

                  ...In just 10 years, an area in the Amazon rainforest twice the size of Portugal has been destroyed to pasture cattle for slaughter.

                  ...Every year, American factory farms generate 600 million tons of nitrogen from manure, which makes its way into the soil, rivers, ocean, and drinking water...

                  Because antibiotics and antimicrobials cause animals to gain weight, these drugs are used consistently in factory farms, generating resistant strains of bacteria...

                  Worldwatch sums it up best: “Factory farming is an inefficient, ecologically disruptive, dangerous, and inhumane way of making meat.” Beginning in 2001, even the World Bank stopped funding large-scale factory farms in developing countries, not because of labor rights or environmental sustainability, but because factory farming methods are too costly.

                  Once a sustainable, holistic practice, raising animals for food has become a monster under the influence of big business — one that devours resources, tortures animals, abuses workers, sickens people, and ransacks the earth...

        •  Ah, but since you can't grow hemp (20+ / 0-)

          without a permit in the United States, and DEA won't issue permits, you would have to use imported hemp rope. That means that fossil fuels would have been used to ship the rope...

          <div style="color: green">"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson</div>

          by tommurphy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:54:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, no! (10+ / 0-)

          Meat in the compost pile attracts rodents.  Rodents lead to disease, and god knows what other horrors would result from your reckless insensitivity.

          Also, your compost would no longer be vegetarian.

        •  Making better personal decisions is important... (6+ / 0-)

          ...but structural change is more important.

          Our federal and state governments currently subsidize agribusiness, including factory farms, in innumerable ways.

          Like so much else in DC, our country's food policy--which is bad for the environment, the economy, and our health--has broad, bipartisan support.

          Congress had a chance to take a new course when it took up the farm bill--really the food bill--earlier this summer.  This only happens twice a decade, so this was a rare opportunity.  The Democratic Congress utterly failed the challenge, producing a bill that largely continues the crazy policies that we've been pursuing since the early 1970s.

          If you're interested in finding out more about these issues and the various ways we eat, I highly recommend Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, which just might be the best book I've read in the last decade (and I read a lot of books).  

          This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

          by GreenSooner on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:33:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the farm bill debate's not over yet! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GayHillbilly, offgrid

            the senate hasn't even started yet. Call your Senators this week! The sooner the better. Things to ask for include:

            • At least $5mil/yr mandatory funding for Community Food Projects
            • Funding for the Conservation Security Program
            • A strong competition title

            The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

            by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:50:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  the only thing any of can do (3+ / 0-)

          is simply use less of what we use.  Every bit helps - I don't use plastic wrap, for example, but I do eat meat periodically.  I'm not buying a composting toilet but I will buy toilet paper made with recycled paper (if it's soft!) I don't own a car but do use a car share program when I need a car.

          It's just balance; no one is 100% ecologically friendly in every aspect of their life.

          Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

          by AMcG826 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:09:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry couldn't breast feed kids at school (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, goodasgold

        We aren't going to destroy the Republic by enforcing the Constitution, we destroy it by inaction, by being fearful of the consequences.

        by ghengismom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:46:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  oh yeah, and pollute the environment. (0+ / 0-)

      "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

      by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:34:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (4+ / 0-)

        Stop breathing! Now!!!

        The only thing we need to do is fully repudiate and bury the conservative movement, reform the media, and give the Democratic party a spine.

        by Malacandra on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:43:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  is it beyond your comprehension that making (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          informed and, just really easy, choices helps all earthlings? It does not take much investigation into factory farming to come to understand just how harmful the process is for all. Dairy included.

          "How far up your ass do these guys dicks need to be before you realize they're fucking you?"- Bill Hicks -8.88, -8.36

          by bebacker on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:57:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  right... FACTORY farming. (13+ / 0-)

            There are other kinds of farms, still, praise god.

            The person you were initially arguing with said:

            I know the farm I get our milk from does not raise veal, so I'll have to ask them about that.

            Does that sound like she's talking about a factory farm to you?

            Just let it go, man.

          •  Then give us information (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, Ed Tracey, BachFan

            and quit lecturing us for being selfish people who don't care about the effects of our actions.

          •  No... not beyond my comprehension (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ed Tracey, ksingh, BachFan, ticket punch

            The point being that we make different choices based on weighing competing values, many of which we may share.  As such, we may be equally well informed and still arrive at different conclusions.

            As such, absolutist statements don't contribute positively towards a deeper understanding of these values, or these choices.

            Choices that are easy for you to make may not be easy for others to make, and there's not one standard, as determined by you, to which we should all be held.

            Some of your assertions come off as extremely simplistic and self-parodying because they don't seem to take into account the fact that we aren't all cut from your cloth.

            The only thing we need to do is fully repudiate and bury the conservative movement, reform the media, and give the Democratic party a spine.

            by Malacandra on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:16:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And more importantly.... (3+ / 0-)

     makes it more difficult to win the hearts and minds of the general public.

                Now, we left-of-center people (such as Malacandra) can get by remarks about how to conduct one's life. We can determine what in our lives is easily achievable, which is not possible, and the unknown in-between (which requires more knowledge, trial-and-error, and ultimately making difficult choices that reflect priorities, one's family situation and community resources). We can, in other words, tune out what isn't realistic.

               But in order to succeed, we need changes in the general public. If we were able to convince them to make some noticeable yet doable changes (such as going to farmer's markets, buying more local foods, seeking organics, using less packaged foods, supporting candidates who favor less destructive land-use regulations, etc.) then our planet will benefit greatly. Some modest changes across-the-board will have a larger impact than a smaller base of citizens making major lifestyle changes.

               Yet if the general public feels their choices are either a spartan lifestyle or a smooth, guilt-free excess of consumption (backed up by the right-wing's propaganda machine) then most are going to choose the other side.

               That's why we need to go for the first down, not the touchdown pass. Once people make a first down, many will subsequently go farther (education tends to do that). Some never will. But we'll all be better off, either way.  

              "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

              by Ed Tracey on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 04:56:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Tips! (204+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, pontificator, Malacandra, Spit, JekyllnHyde, Vince CA, Ed in Montana, MichaelPH, Schmendrick, Night Owl, Irfo, lapin, Cali Scribe, Mountain Don, Powered Grace, sarac, saraswati, Robespierrette, tommurphy, Debby, Shockwave, byteb, VetGrl, GayHillbilly, eeff, elfling, The Maven, ZAPatty, theran, SallyCat, Matilda, givmeliberty, madhaus, shermanesq, bara, concernedamerican, smugbug, sadhu, megs, srkp23, CalNM, Glic, chimpy, roses, Ignacio Magaloni, retLT, Boston to Salem, dcvote, ctsteve, rioduran, splashy, sidnora, aitchdee, cathy b, Dube, Moody Loner, nancelot, emmasnacker, Winnie, Dr Colossus, Tracker, lapolitichick, casperr, exiledfromTN, churchylafemme, Oy the Billybumbler, Catte Nappe, HollywoodOz, RebeccaG, Liberaljentaps, 313to212, lulu57, DMiller, FlyingToaster, Anne Hawley, zerelda, WisVoter, jen, SanDiegoDem, kd texan, Scout Finch, oortdust, rapala, madaprn, Fabian, Leslie H, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, Tinfoil Hat, ghengismom, BluejayRN, el dorado gal, Elise, blogpotato, Chinton, irate, PBen, ejmw, Simplify, KiaRioGrl79, Morrigan, sallyfallschurch, Mr X, GreyHawk, lotlizard, BobOak, simultaneous contrast, PinHole, ikrisarus, Zack from the SFV, wiscmass, Floja Roja, Team Slacker, AmyVVV, Land of Enchantment, melvin, Crisis Corps Volunteer, begone, RiaD, Mother Mags, Prof Dave, ThaliaR, ksingh, occams hatchet, esquimaux, Major Danby, trashablanca, BachFan, Milly Watt, vigilant meerkat, dharmafarmer, emeraldmaiden, Ellicatt, cookseytalbott, martyc35, revliver, KenBee, sailmaker, EthrDemon, Brudaimonia, tecampbell, HairyTrueMan, Lashe, nilocjin, Bush Bites, LibChicAZ, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Dinclusin, Dyana, IL clb, doingbusinessas, Dreaming of Better Days, 1864 House, shaharazade, pkbarbiedoll, Picot verde, Temmoku, UK eye, AllanTBG, Pandoras Box, One Pissed Off Liberal, factbased, FoundingFatherDAR, dov12348, john07801, donnamarie, Cocker Mom, Femlaw, offgrid, maxalb, lynmar, daveygodigaditch, ilex, joyful, Misty Fowler, GeorgeXVIII, willb48, Hens Teeth, bluesweatergirl, crystaljim, MKinTN, seasalt, sima, JeffW, FedUpDan, ShaShaMae, dotster, middle child, Involuntary Exile, Wes Opinion, Residentcynic, auroraborealis, SaMx, ClapClapSnap, Horsefeathers, kyril, Farm Bill Girl, chadmichael, goofygringirl, revelwoodie, protectspice, Faith Gardner, ZhenRen

    I'm still shaking my head at the idea of a 10,000 cow "organic" dairy. Yuck.

    The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

    by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:07:42 AM PDT

    •  I'm a soy milk man myself..... (10+ / 0-)

      ....but if it helps animals get more humane treatment, I'm for it.

      •  Yuck! (9+ / 0-)

        I had some cereal with soy milk the other day because we were out of the "real" stuff. It tasted like plaster. Is there a brand that doesn't taste like it should be used to hang wallpaper?

        The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason. -Benjamin Franklin

        by HairyTrueMan on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:17:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  try almond milk (15+ / 0-)

          I find almond milk much tastier than soy, although you'll maybe want to try a couple of different brands to get one you like.

          An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind.
          -Kyong Ho, Thousand Peaks

          by Leggy Starlitz on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:22:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  my personal preferences (28+ / 0-)

          are Edensoy (best) and Whole Foods otherwise. And Silk, to me, is the worst. It's owned by Dean Foods, which I try to boycott - they make Horizon Organic milk which is bad like the Aurora stuff. Plus Silk has a gross aftertaste.

          But - as the other commenter said below - there's almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk (which I think tastes nasty) - so there are many options out there if you don't want cow milk.

          The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

          by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:25:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  For me, rice milk tastes best (14+ / 0-)

          I use rice milk on oatmeal, and for recipes that call for milk. Cream of broccoli soup, for example.

          Also rice milk is lower in fat than the alternatives.

          "It is time, brothers and sisters, for America to be patriotic about something other than war." John Edwards, 1/14/07.

          by sillia on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:29:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah rice milk here, too (9+ / 0-)

            Rice Dream original.  love it.

            Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

            by zenbowl on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:36:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I like rice dream (4+ / 0-)

              and my kids used to love choc. rice dream boxes in their lunches. It's great for smoothies, too. Don't buy it any more though. Kids grew up! :) Funny how that happens. We're a strickly organic milk household now. So, is Full Circle ro Horizon milk affected?

              •  Horizon = bad nt (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Floja Roja, Picot verde

                The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:14:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Really?? (9+ / 0-)

                  Damn. What the heck good is an organic label if you can't trust that it's organic? Corporate money grubbers just really piss me off so bad. They'd sell tickets to their own damn executions.

                  •  asdf (10+ / 0-)

                    "What the heck good is an organic label if you can't trust that it's organic?"

                    Maybe that's the goal of "corporate money grubbers": make as much money as you can cashing in on the glamour of 'organic', then trash its reputation on the way out.

                    oct 2006: -8.75, -5.79
                    apr 2007: -8.00, -6.00
                    Born too late to live my life

                    by Kara Jade on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:31:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  the strength of the organic label (32+ / 0-)

                    I would like to chime in here.  I am the research director for The Cornucopia Institute and we have been intimately involved with looking at the integrity of the organic label and agricultural production practices.  

                    As this relates to this discussion, it is our opinion that the vast majority of family-scale organic dairy farmers are ethical and following the spirit of organic rules and regulations.  Their farming practices are truly making a difference on the land and soil.  For those engaged in livestock agriculture, organic regulations require that the animals be allowed to exhibit their native behavior.  For cows and other ruminants, this means grazing.  

                    On many family-scale dairies, the cows have names - not numbers.  And they remain in the milk herd for as long as 8-10 years, and, in some cases, even longer.  This stands in marked contrast to the misery found in conventional ag where cows are crammed into feedlots and stuffed with a diet primarily composed of corn and other high energy rations so as to maximize milk output.  A typical dairy cow in this setting is burned out in 18 months and sold off.  

                    Our investigative work has focused on scoff-laws and those that are gaming the system in pursuit of profit while taking advantage of dedicated organic consumers who believe they are supporting a different kind of ethic - one promoting economic justice for family farmers and sustainable, environmental argiculture.  

                    Aurora is one such company that we believe has been gaming the system.  We will continue to dog and spotlight any continuing abuses on their operation and others like it.  Consumers have incredible power to vote with their dollars in the marketplace and punish these offenders.  

                    At the same time, we will also spotlight the family farm heroes who are doing it right.  That is the purpose of our dairy scorecard, to help educate consumers and to focus marketplace pressure.  We have initiated research into other organic commodities and will report back in the future on what we learn.  

                    Please visit our web page at to learn more about these issues.  (I will add that our web page is suffering at the moment from traffic and server issues so please bear with us.)

                    We will continue fighting for the integrity of the organic label, to make sure that organic means organic.

                    • Will Fantle  
                    •  Ha! They used to say "you've been slashdotted". (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Leslie H, Floja Roja, llbear

                      Looks like you've been dailykossed!

                    •  A Handful of Questions (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Leslie H, sap, KiaRioGrl79, Floja Roja, ksingh

                      Has Cornucopia raised complaints with the AMS/NOP in the past against any other entities?  If so, have you been satisfied with the outcome?

                      Do you have any sense as to why it took the better part of two years to get from your complaint to the consent agreement?  Does the extremely limited budget and staff for NOP play a role in this apparent lack of speed?

                      Do you believe that groups like yours, acting as watchdogs, will be able to sufficiently police the organics "industry" as it continues to grow at a rapid pace?

                      Are there likely to be inherent problems with private organizations acting as certifying agents of organic producers?  As we see with other industries, sometimes these forms of self-regulation work, sometimes they don't.

                      Cornucopia did a great job here in flagging Aurora for its violations, but since you can't be everywhere at once, how concerned should we, as often inattentive consumers, be?

                      •  Yes, we have filed other complaints (9+ / 0-)

                        We have filed 6 separate complaints with AMS/NOP.  Three covered Aurora's violations, two relate to factory-farms operated by Horizon Organics (still outstanding and yet to be adjudicated), one concerning Wal-Mart's sale of products falsely signed as organic (a settlement was reached in that case between Wal-Mart, USDA and state of Wisconsin regulators), and a final one on the Case Vander Eyk, Jr. factory dairy  - with 10,000 animals - in California (the dairy had its organic certification revoked for many of the same offenses detailed with Aurora).

                        The legal and investigative process itself is rather lengthy and involves multiple levels at USDA, including field investigators independent of the National Organic Program (NOP), Program Administrators, legal counsel, and others at USDA.  I think it takes too long to work through, but it's the process we have.

                        Add to this equation, the opportunity for the party under investigation to appeal - which means that they can carry on their operations while appealing - and then politics.  

                        In Aurora's case, political might became an issue.  The NOP sought to resolve the case through a settlement, which is what occurred, rather than risk a protracted and drawn out appeal.  The NOP's Notice of Proposed Revocation of Aurora's organic certification itemizes 14 separate (almost all major) violations of organic regulations.  Nearly every one of these is characterized by agency investigators as a "willful violation."  We will shortly post this document on our web site.

                        But the size of Aurora's footprint in the marketplace, as a significant supplier of milk to national grocery chains, undoubtedly helped them avoid the death sentence.  But the USDA also wilted but not fining Aurora.  Federal rules allow for a $10,000 fine for each violation - and in Aurora's case, this could have been interpreted as millions of dollars over the timeframe of the violations.  

                        Politics played a factor in another way, as well.  We first filed a complaint on Aurora in January 2005.  That first complaint was dismissed WITHOUT any investigation what-so-ever because the boss of the NOP instructed investigators to forget about it as the organic regulators were considering a re-write of the definition of the organic pasture rule for dairy cows and other ruminants - supposedly to strengthen it.  It's sort of like being caught driving 100 miles an hour in a 65 mile an hour zone and the District Attorney dismissing the charges because the speed limit might be reduced to 55 and that hasn't taken place yet.  

                        So Aurora's violations continued.  We filed a 2nd legal complaint in late 2005 and a 3rd in 2006.  The investigations of these complaints are what led to yesterday's "consent agreement."  We ask, how many family farmers have been injured by the harm created by this year's organic milk surplus which is partly caused by Aurora's faux organic milk and is driving down the price farmers are receiving around the country?  We ask, how may consumers were defrauded by consumption of milk "sold, labeled and represented as organically produced, when such milk was not produced and handled in accordance with the National Organic Program" regulations. (This quoted text is taken directly from the NOP's April 16, 2007 document sent to Aurora.)  

                        That is all I have time for at the moment to comment on, your other questions are legitimate and I will try to get back to those later.  But I can briefly add that some retailers try to help ensure that the organic products they sell consumers are produced with integrity.  Many natural food cooperatives and some specialty retailers take pride in that.  Consumers - who are able to buy local organic food - can also make that determination by getting to know their farmers.  It remains our contention that the overwhelming majority of domestic organic family-scale farmers have ethics and are growing their food in accordance with the spirit and letter of the law.

                        • Will Fantle
            •  Yeeeeuck... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cathy b, OrangeClouds115, RisingTide

              I tried that junk due to a combination milk and soy allergy.  I'm really hoping the real thing is superior to that, because otherwise I wonder what is wrong with normal people that drink milk every day.

              Then again, I also consider soggy (milk-topped) cereal to be one of the grossest things possible, and my friends wonder how I can stand eating the stuff dry.

              •  My father could never abide milk. (0+ / 0-)

                During his last illness which required a three month hospital stay I had all kinds of trouble convincing the dietician at the hospital to give him two  cartons of juice with his breakfast - he was perfectly happy to have juice on his cereal. If they were really bent out of shape about his lack of dairy he was also happy with yogurt - just not milk or butter.

                I can deal with milk on cereal - but that's it aside from cooking. A glass of milk or any other substitute of the soy/rice variety qualifies as "one of the grossest things possible" in my book.

                "Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence; Conservatism is distrust of the people, tempered by fear" Wm. Gladstone

                by lcbo on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:48:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  try silk very vanilla -- doesn't taste like milk (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indefinitelee, Nulwee

          at all!

        •  Soy Dream Original (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OrangeClouds115, Nulwee

          My whole family loves it, hot or cold or in cereal.

          It's as "real" as cow's milk, BTW.

          This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

          by Mr X on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:59:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Or Rice Dream (4+ / 0-)

          even teenagers like it.

          "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

          by shaharazade on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:02:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not good to get too much soy, (16+ / 0-)

          and "too much" differs depending on who you are. Because soy mimics estrogen, and disrupts endocrine production, different bodies respond to it in different ways.

          Kids before puberty--I wouldn't give them any soy at all.

          Anyone with a thyroid problem should stay FAR away from soy products. (Many kids who had soy formula as babies have allergy problems or thyroid problems as adults.) And thyroid problems have lots of common symptoms--low energy, weight gain or loss, depression, mood swings, fertility problems, dry skin, achy muscles--and for some people can be hard to diagnose (levels can differ throughout a day, so it can be hard to catch with a test.)

          Adult women, especially peri- to post-menopausal, can handle the most soy, unless they have some issue that makes them sensitive to hormones or have a family history of breast cancer.

          Adult men would probably be fine substituting soy for milk in cereal every day, but shouldn't have soy at every meal or more than a serving or two a day.  

          Fermented soy products like miso or tempeh have less of what causes problems than tofu or soy milks.

          I don't mean to jump in and be all full of advice, but my husband and a few friends have all weird, serious health problems that took a long time to diagnose, after they decided to "go healthy" by switching soy milk for dairy.

          •  so... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b, blogpotato, sap

            This is all just anecdotal?

            try citing sources, perhaps?

            •  Random selections from a quick googling (14+ / 0-)





              Look, I eat soy, I like soy, I find few things more satisfying than a good soy chai latte. But all the evidence is pointing toward the isoflavones, etc. in soybeans having effects (some good, some bad, depending on your point of view) on endocrine function.

              Not saying don't eat it -- but taking note of how your body is reacting to your diet is a good thing, and some people really shouldn't eat incredibly large amounts of soy, it seems.

              •  random thoughts (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Spit, cathy b

                first, my migraine doc banned me from soy. I try to minimize my intake but I'm not giving it up cold turkey.

                second, IMO chai lattes were invented for soy milk. I'm no soy milk enthusiast (it tastes good in some things, but not in others) but chai lattes just don't really WORK with cow milk or even rice milk.

                The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:37:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'll try to find some readable ones (6+ / 0-)

              The medical journal type ones can be hard to parse.

              I can't stand's hideous web pages, with all the ads and messy, flashy, boxy layout, but one woman who writes tirelessly on thyroid issues is there, Mary Shomon, and here is her advice on soy:
              There are a lot of pages on there about thyroid issues.

              I think the problem of soy is a matter of how much of it you eat. Sometimes when people become vegetarians or vegans they want to replace the spot on their plate where the meat and dairy went with comparable quantities of something else. Fake meats and fake cheeses and fake dairy. It's better to eat a lot more vegetables, "side" dishes, beans, etc., with small servings of soy and fake meat type stuff.

              There were some articles I read, when we were first having to deal with my husband's problems, that I can't find right now, and I've been searching. There was something about the way soybeans are processed to make milk and tofu--the "milk" is basically the runoff from tofu production--and if the milk wasn't filtered and heated right, a toxic substance could be present in the soy milk. The article in Wikipedia touches on this in the section title "Preparation," but doesn't include sources either:

              Production might be better now, while I wonder if the soy milk my husband had as an infant in the late 50s may have been produced differently, and may have sensitized him.

              As far as kids go, I don't think it is good to give growing children something that mimics adult hormones as long as we can help it. Now with problems with the largest producer of organic milk--this has got to be a nightmare for parents of small kids.

            •  Hey! It's all true! (0+ / 0-)

              Came straight from Dairy Farmer and Cattlemen Today magazines.

          •  did your husband's problems go away when (3+ / 0-)

            he discontinued his intake. I have a lot of the problems you described and I only drink Soy Milk. Are there any medical peer reviewed studies or are these just rumors? I'm always wary of propaganda spread by the dairy and corn lobby.

            Now, people had lost their fear. From that moment I knew we would win. - Oscar Olivera

            by Josh Prophet on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:29:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  try searching pubmed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cathy b, PsychoSavannah, KiaRioGrl79

              that's all peer reviewed.

            •  I know--I worry about the lobby propaganda, too, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but the soy industry also has a lobby, so I don't know who to trust. The information we got was from my husband's endocrinologist, who told him to stay away from soy, and to also avoid raw cabbage-type food (broccoli, etc.,) because those also cause problems for people with thyroid disorders.

              My husband still is hypothyroid, but his levels were severe when he was drinking soy and they are only somewhat hypothyroid now. (Normal TSH is between 5 and 10 or something like that, with hyperthyroid being lower than that scale, and hypo- being higher. My husband's level when he was diagnosed was in the 60s. He was fed soy formula as a kid, and we started buying soy milk the year before he started having problems. He has lactose issues, so he drinks rice milk now.)

              Josh, you might want to get your thyroid tested--Drs. test women more routinely than men, so a guy might have to request the test.

          •  Yeah I have thyroid issues too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b

            I switched back to rice from soy and didn't see any improvement until I took some thyroid medication tho.  I've been drinking silk for about a week but I'll switch off sooner than later.

            We live in the age of the elected dictatorship and liberal states without democracy: write accordingly.

            by Nulwee on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:36:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and I eat soy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b, OrangeClouds115

            every day.  A lot of the symptoms you described are symptoms of my disease.  I don't think that the evidence presented has shown a causative relationship between soy intake and the symptoms you've listed (you only left out sensitivity to temperature changes).  
            I'd also like to mention that my twin sister and I have the breast cancer gene.  She eats meat, I stick to soy.  She is on her second go-round of chemotherapy and I am (knock wood) as of yet cancer free.  Which is not to say that being veggie has definitively kept me cancer free, just to say that my experience contradicts the evidence you have alluded to.  

            •  My comment on (0+ / 0-)

              breast cancer was something I'd heard, so I don't know if it is true or just "truthy."

              The thyroid issue things were real for my husband and two friends, and leaving soy out of their diets has made a big difference, so we are sort of converts on that. I still eat soy every week, and he might have a few pods of edamame with me once in a while, but otherwise he keeps away from it entirely.

              I forgot about the temperature change symptom, because it didn't happen to my guy. I sort of wish it did, because I'm the one who is always too cold and we have "discussions" about heat all the time. He also didn't have many of the other symptoms, but did have a couple other auto-immune diseases in his lifetime.

              Best wishes to your sister with her fight.

          •  I researched the soy - thyroid question... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b

            ...and found that most of the "anti-soy" information on the web is wholly unsubstantiated and/or anecdotal in nature.

            My doctor and my nutritionist said that there is no evidence that soy causes or worsens Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (low thyroid due to auto-immune disease of the thyroid) and to not worry about it.

            I find that people on the web tend to read -- and then pass on -- a lot of unsubstantiated health-related rumor and innuendo.

            No one should base their health decisions on what an anonymous stranger on the internet posts -- including me.

            It doesn't take too much of a stretch of imagination to think up who might be spreading false rumors about soy milk on the 'net (hint: they own lots of animals that go "mooooooooooooooo".)

            If someone cannot point me to peer-reviewed research on a reputable medical website (e.g. PubMed) then I don't buy what they're "selling".

            "You can not destroy one who has dreamed a dream like mine." (from the Anishinabeg: "Gaa wiin daa-aangoshkigaazo ahaw enaabiyaan gaa-inaabid.")

            by seasalt on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:17:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand where you are coming from, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CSI Bentonville

              and agree with you. I too roam around the web and find things I don't trust at all. So many websites seem to have an agenda--something to sell or promote or have some weird, pushy language that makes my "can I trust this?" bells ring. It may be a coincidence that my husband had a host of weird problems and test results that drs thought was leukemia several years ago, but the only thing they really could confirm was hyperthyroid.

              The only thing he changed after that time was going onto thyroid meds and getting soy and cabbage family foods out of his diet; the symptoms that bothered him are gone. The thyroid drugs are now at a very low dosage, even though his TSH was shockingly high when he was diagnosed.

              But on the other hand from mistrusting anecdotal evidence, there have been several health issues that were anecdotal at one time, and have been proven to be true. Hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women is one of those. My grandmother had a hysterectomy in her 40s, and had no hormone replacements ever, but then was admitted to a nursing home in her mid-90s, where the doctors put all the old women should be on it. My Mom, an RN, was mistrustful of hormone replacement, and though she was in menopause herself, she had chosen not to take it even when her doctor argued with her about it. But suddenly, Grandma was on hormones after over 50 years of not having them, because the Drs said they would help her memory improve, help her joint pain and do a bunch of miracles. Six months later, she had a lump in her breast. Three years later, we were being told the "shocking" news that hormone replacements were not what they were believed to be, and were in fact harmful. Mom wishes she had pushed more for what she believed was right for her mother.

              So, we each have to go with our gut feeling when it comes to what we want to believe. And I think if we have health issues, it is good to get rid of some of the more controversial or new foods and supplements--the things that didn't exist years ago (like pesticides, GMO, aspartame, HFCS), the things that were made differently when they were made by another culture than they are made today (like soy milk). Maybe they are not the problem, but maybe they are. I don't have time to wait for a scientist to prove something when my or my family's health is at stake.

              (Grandma did not die of breast cancer. She stopped the hormones right then and the tumor was controlled with radiation and a lumpectomy. She lived several more years and died of heart failure.)

        •  Try hemp (5+ / 0-)

          more and more doctors and naturalpaths are steering away from soy due to the hormone disruptions it can cause, esp. in women. In addition soy is also the driving force behind deforestation, that is what really got me off soy, it's not good for you or the planet!

          Hemp milk is thinner, filled with omegas, and easy on the soil.

        •  Plenty! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          there have been tasty soy milk brands for the better part of a decade, but one of the newer ones, Silk, is phonemonal and organic. Creamy texture/vanilla or chocolate flavor.

          We live in the age of the elected dictatorship and liberal states without democracy: write accordingly.

          by Nulwee on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:26:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Organic Valley! (5+ / 0-)

          makes the best unsweetened soy milk, no aftertaste. I find almond and rice milk too sweet.  

          Plus, they're a cooperative of family farms producing organic soy, dairy and meat products. I went to their yearly Kickapoo Country Fair in LaFarge, WI and saw their headquarters. They do extensive composting and recycling on site, are planting a tall grass prairie , and have garden plots for employees so they can escape their cubicles and get down in the dirt. They're doing an amazing job supporting small farmers.

          Organic Valley Cooperative

          They have different brands nationwide, among them Organic Valley and Organic Prairie (quality organic meats.)

          (BTW, Trader Joe's soy milk is the absolute worst I've ever had. I wonder if that's what HarryTrueMan was drinking.)

        •  Try some fruit juice on cereal. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OrangeClouds115, HairyTrueMan

          It's good. Use the no HFCS kind.

        •  Every brand tastes different (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and has a different nutritional profile.

          They cook quite nicely. I use both; the nice thing about some soy milks is that they are shelf-stable, so it's easy to have a good-sized stock available.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:32:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Soy is even worse. (29+ / 0-)

        Monsanto's soy (the kind that is GM'ed to resist their RoundUp weedkiller, but has zero health benefits as a result) is rampant.

        You wanna do organic food? Do LOCAL organic food.

        If I can't drive down to the dairy in question and see cows in a field, I'm not buying it.

        And to those wondering if they should bother going organic - when I did, all my allergies ceased, my snoring was drastically limited, I started sleeping better, I've gotten sick far less often, I've lost weight, and the food lasts three times as long in my fridge.

        Oh, and it leaves other food for dead in the taste department.

        Now I'm growing my own - tomatoes and strawberries are in season on the Oz deck.

        Fool me once, I'll punch you in the fucking head.

        by HollywoodOz on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:18:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  most soy milk i see is organic (11+ / 0-)

          just for that reason. Organic = no GMO.

          The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

          by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:26:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not to mention the deforestation (4+ / 0-)

          Clark/Dodd/Edwards/Gore/Obama/Richardson 08!

          by pontechango on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:27:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  animal agriculture (12+ / 0-)

            is the leading cause of deforestation globally.  If there is deforestation for soybeans, it occurs because soybeans are a leading animal feed.  If you don't have dairy cows eating up all the soybeans, you don't need to cut down forests.

            Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

            by zenbowl on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:39:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You tell him/her !!! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenbowl, HollywoodOz

              Recommend for you.

            •  sustainable dairy (18+ / 0-)

              animal agriculture that is dependent on factory-farm industrial conditions IS very bad and a major factor in global warming. it is the one thing Al Gore did not really address in his otherwise splendid documentary. WE really need to get Al on our food-revolution bandwagon!

              sustainable dairy production, as has historically occurred for thousands of years, where farmers grew and harvested their own feed to their cows, and milked them by hand, helps the environment, produced better milk, and helps preserve rural landscapes and heritage.  

              but what has happened in the last 20 years has been a shift from this model to industrial factory farms with 1,000 or more cows, gigantic manure lagoons (instead of using manure as valuable fertilizer), mechanized milking machines (so cows now only last 2-3 years as opposed to 10-12 w/ sustainable farming practices), and also fueling illegal immigration as you need cheap labor to milk all those cows, instead of relying on family members for the milking. not to mentin the injection of rGBH hormones to make the cows more "efficient."

              now why did this shift occur? because as a consumer, i would much prefer the former system to the latter. it's because due to the deregulated price of corn, soybeans, commodities, we've driven the price for corn so low that it's much easier to purchase cheap feed for your cows than to raise it yourself. and this gives a HUGE advantage then to the factory farms over the diversified family farmer. this is how the factory farms were able to expand so much in recent years, esp. after the 1996 Freedom to Farm Bill that was supposed to wean farmers off subsidies and let "the market" work its magic. commodity prices then collapsed in the late 1990s and the factory farms started taking over. then in the early 2000s, milk prices also crashed with it, so we have lost thousands of dairy farmers in those years.

              so who are the REAL beneficiaries of our subsidy system? is it corn/soybean farmers? or is it factory farm dairies who get the cheap feed?? thus why Ken Cook and his database anger me so--the real beneficiaries are not "millionaire farmers." it's industrial factory farms. you think a so-called environmental group would understand this.

              meanwhile, industrial commodity production is leading to deforestation as countries like China/India demand more meat for its rising middle class. i think the message needs to be that we need sustainable practices, and that may probably mean meat and dairy needs to cost MORE.

              i respect the vegans who reject all animal foods. for me, i believe in supporting dairy farmers who take care of the land and their animals and i believe it is very important to support what they do.

              •  Way to go FBG (9+ / 0-)

                While I believe that factory farming animal science is unhealthy not only for those who consume it but for the enviroment as well. There is nothing inherently wrong with sustainable animal husbandry. In fact it can actually be very beneficial for both people and nature.

                "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." -- Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

                by Wes Opinion on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:58:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "animal activists" (10+ / 0-)

                  the reason why Humane Society and esp. PETA have a VERY bad reputation among farmers is because some of them really ARE extreme in wanting people to not eat ANY meat, period. i don't think this is most of the Humane Society, but some elements within them. so then they sort of demonize all ranchers/farmers who raise animals. the WI dairy farmer i know did a presentation to some urban types on how he raises his animals on his farm and many afterwards said they appreciated it and that it made them realize that there were some farmers who cared about animal welfare and that they would consider eating products from farmers such as his.

                  because of these extremist elements, the stupid Farm Bureau and Natl Cattlemen and Meat Institute and other corporate farm groups then scare farmers with their propaganda that the greatest threat to farmers is "radical animal and enviro activists" who want all Americans to just be vegan. the REAL threats to farmers are corporate consolidation by the likes of Tyson/Smithfield/Swift. and more of them are starting to realize that and to also make common cause with animal rights groups who are fighting factory farming. but the cultural divide i think hinders our movement and prevents farmers and enviros/animal rights folks from working more closely together to tackle the common and REAL enemy.

                  •  OK, give me a break here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    When did it become extreme to advocate for a vegetarian diet?  I'm not talking full-out veganism, I'm just talking no meat?  It's not extreme at all.

                    Look, I grew up working on farms, and I know plenty of farmers who don't give a rat's ass about PETA or anyone else.  They only care about their product prices.  People are getting out of hogs, chickens, cows, etc. because of factory farms, not because of PETA, and certainly not because of vegetarians.

                    I can't believe this comment got four recommends.

                    ome of them really ARE extreme in wanting people to not eat ANY meat, period.

                    Ganhdi?  Einstein?  You're comparing them to PETA?  I don't think you mean what you think you mean, here.

                    No one here is telling everyone that they have to give up their steaks, or whatever floats your boat.  But to believe, even for a moment, that the advocacy of vegetarianism is "extremism" is extremist itself.

                    A vegetarian diet is the most environmentally responsible diet, period.  Bar none.  The family farmers who have their knickers in a bunch about vegans should be more concerned about Monsanto.  I mean, Jesus H. Christ.  You make it sound like vegetarians aren't concerned about factory farms, whereas it's actually vegetarians who are more aware of the issues facing American agriculture than anyone else.

                    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

                    by zenbowl on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:48:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  vegetarianism is fine (7+ / 0-)

                      the "extremists" i refer to are those who demonize all farmers who raise animals and who think eating ANY meat product makes you an accomplice to murder and think that all Americans need to be vegan/vegetarian. this is a charicature of animal welfare activists, but one that has (unfortunately) taken hold among some farmers because of the Farm Bureau propaganda. PETA is an extremist group that doesn't play well in farm country, even though their beliefs are way more in line with family farmers than Monsanto, as you rightly noted.

                      there is no disagreement here. i don't think you read my post right. i said that in fighting factory farms, you should have a natural coalition among family farmers and animal rights groups. but because of some cultural issues between the two groups, and stereotypes, they are oftentimes prevented from working closer together.

                      •  Um (0+ / 0-)

                        I hate to tell you, but any consumption of meat does require you to kill an animal.  If you want to call that murder, that's fine, but it definitely requires slaughter.

                        If there are any stereotypes, it's your assumption that people who recognize that, in fact, eating meat requires the death of a thinking, feeling animal demonize the people who participate in animal agriculture, whereas, in fact, most of them are quite happy to work with most farmers to work on organic standards, vegetable farming and getting away from monocropping.  

                        But we're not going to facilitate animal agriculture because we believe it to be morally wrong.

                        Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

                        by zenbowl on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:14:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      There are now something like 140,000 registered users.

                      Any user can recommend a comment, and a recommend does not always equate to agreement (for instance, many users recommend all responses in their diaries).

                      A bit of a pet peeve of mine when people read into the # of recommends, or a lack of TRs, etc. on a comment.

                  •  You're generalizing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    PETA and the Humane Society both do a lot of work--and have hammered out agreements with people like McDonalds and Pepsico--to improve the conditions of animals in captivity but destined for slaughter.

                    Look it up if you don't believe me.

                    Yes, PETA would prefer everybody go vegan, but they do a lot of animal welfare work that falls short of that goal but still improves the lives of animals.

                •  I'm with you there (6+ / 0-)

                  Not sure if you saw my last diary, the one about my trip to the farm. I saw it myself there - they had a bunch of Swiss chard totally wrecked by pests, and fed it to the cow. That cow doesn't make milk, so he could only turn it into beef - but a dairy cow could turn that wasted Swiss chard into milk + manure (used for fertilizer). Of course, this would also involve reducing animal product consumption since it takes a lot of food leftovers to feed 1 animal, but it wouldn't mean eliminating animal products entirely the way some people advocate.

                  The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                  by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:40:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Enviro blindness (4+ / 0-)

                    this is the type of messaging i'm talking about, enviros and PETA launching a major campaign targeted at Americans telling them to convert to vegetarianism so they don't contribute to global warming.

                    Eat Less Meat!

                    No attempt whatsoever to distinguish between Sustainable good practices and the importance of saving family farmers vs. bad bad polluting industrial factory farming.

                    so can you blame farmers who raise livestock then for not thinking highly of enviro/animal groups?

                    i buy grassfed beef and free range chicken at my farmers market. i get cheese from a local dairy coop. these farmers are the ones HELPING us battle global warming, because if they were to sell their land, it'd be used for more subdivisions and suburban sprawl and thus the need for MORE cars and pollution and energy usage to power more houses, development, etc. I wish these anti-meat groups could target their msg a little better.

                    •  The whole thing about PETA, though (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Farm Bill Girl

                      is not whether you believe all they say or not, it is the way that they have moved the Overton window when it comes to animal welfare and vegetarian diets. I first became aware of PETA in the late '70s, when I was in high school. I was dabbling in being vegetarian at the time, and it was something that a LOT of people considered "weird." There were few vegetarian options on menus in most restaurants, nor quick food options in stores. There weren't as many fresh veggie or fruit options then, either--nowhere near what there is now, in just about every grocery store. Back then, PETA was throwing red paint on people's fur coats, running anti-meat ads, etc., and getting lots of publicity.

                      Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, interviewed a few years ago in a New Yorker article, said (I'm paraphrasing) that if groups such as hers push their agenda as far to an extreme as possible, that the general public will move their opinions in that direction. People would say "Those nutty PETA types! They want to shut down the circuses and stop us from killing cockroaches!" But, subconsciously, they would also be hearing the "meat is murder" message and internalizing it. Some might be more likely to quit meat, or eat less, or try more non-meat options, or at least find their voice about talking to the cops about that neighbor who beats his dog.

                      I think PETA is due a bit of credit for the number of people who have never set foot on a farm, yet are interested in farm issues and practices. PETA does serve a purpose in our society: they can be the wacky crazies on the far left end of the animal dial, with giant factory farms on the far right, and family and sustainable agriculture right in the middle where most of the general public feels most comfortable.

                      •  admire PETA (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        cathy b, Bush Bites

                        i am glad they are around and that they have a great sense of PR. i think their targeting of KFC and others for bad animal welfare practices is a good thing.

                        but by having a msg that says "Go vegetarian" and saying by extension all livestock farmers are evil, is really misleading and may even set the cause backwards by alienating your natural allies.

                        btw, PETA wrote a letter to Jim Webb when he went fishing with his son who was back from iraq and castigated him for killing animals. this type of lunacy hurts them too...


                        "There's nothing 'peaceful' or 'relaxing' about torturing sensitive, intelligent beings. There are plenty of opportunities for fathers and sons to bond that don't involve killing animals."

                      •  I can't agree (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        pHunbalanced, flumptytail

                        PETA has done an enormous amount of damage by causing people to circle their wagons. They advocate against pet ownership. They siphon off money that could be used to actually help animals.

                        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                        by elfling on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:05:29 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And they want all animal experiments stopped, (0+ / 0-)

                          which would be the death knell to advances in medicine.

                          •  animal experiments (0+ / 0-)

                            haven't led to much of anything in terms of meaningful medical science in the past years.  Have they cured cancer yet?  Cured AIDS?  Right...

                            Meanwhile, drugs like Vioxx test safe in animals and they put them on the markets for people, and, guess what?  Not so safe.

                            The pharmaceutical industry tells you that animal testing is necessary for good science.  You trust these guys?  They're using an outdated and unreliable method from the early 20th century.  No thanks.

                            Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

                            by zenbowl on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:20:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I trust biomedical researchers. How do you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cathy b

                            think stem cell research is done? Do you think it can advance without the use of animals in the research?

                          •  I kind of straddle the fence on this one: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I wouldn't want to make all animal experiments illegal, but there was so much testing done that was completely unneccessary and hideous over the years--testing shampoo and mascara in bunny eyes, shooting live dogs and pigs tied to stakes to see how different bullets reacted in flesh for crime scene purposes, etc. Outrage by groups like PETA have helped to end a lot of this type of "testing," and made consumers more aware when choosing brands.

                            If a research team has something that absolutely has to be tested on living subjects, where no other possible non-animal test could be devised, for a purpose that is not trivial (no cosmetics, etc), I would want that testing to be able to happen, as long as it was done in a humane, respectful way.  

                            My understanding is that there are very few things that can't be tested in labs now with non-animal studies. There are cultured human eye, skin, and organ tissues that can be grown in labs that chemicals can be tested on. There is a company that makes a synthetic skin, flesh and bone-like substance that those bullet tests can be done on.

                        •  But that's how pushing the overton window (0+ / 0-)

                          WORKS. If you have an extremist group saying extreme, over-the-top things, everyone can look at them and say, "Wow, those people are totally NUTS!" while at the same time, the spot that is now the middle ground is a spot that would have been the extreme without the new group pushing the edges farther outward. Without PETA and the AFL, the most extreme animal rights people would be the ASPCA, veterinarians, vegetarians, organic farmers, and little old cat ladies. Because something like PETA exists, these are the middle ground positions.

                          The contributions PETA gets pales in comparison to the money people who love their own pets will send to Humane Societies or spend on organic meats or use to join CSAs. Money PETA gets doesn't take away from other organizations, it enhances it. As long as they are out there having a dialog with the media, allowing everyone to scoff at them, the middle ground animal welfare groups get a whole lot of positive media attention deflected onto them.

                          We need extremism at the far edges. I think liberal ideals have suffered in the years since the 60s, as people thought being more centrist would include everybody. Softening our stance just allowed conservatives to move the political window farther to the right, to the scary place where we are today. I want there to be as many extremist feminists, extremist atheists, extremist senior citizens, extremist socialized medicine people, extremist animal rights people, extremist unions, extremist teachers, etc, that we can have.

                          This doesn't mean that you need to believe in their extremist agendas: I think most of the things PETA says are nuts, too. I wouldn't want to lose animal research. (Plus, my dog pretty owns me, so I don't know who would have to be emancipated if pet "ownership" was outlawed.)

                          I just think liberals don't need to bad mouth PETA--I'll let the conservatives do that while while I stand back, smile and reap the benefits.

                    •  cows are among the worst contributors to global (0+ / 0-)


                      Simply put, they fart significant amounts of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

                      You can try to feel good about buying grassfed beef and freerange chickens, but they're significant contributors to global warming.

                      There are alternatives for these farmers other than animal agriculture which would allow them to keep farming and not lead to so many greenhouse gases.

                      Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

                      by zenbowl on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:17:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  by your same argument... (0+ / 0-)

              Okay, let's say that people switch from cow's milk to soy en masse.

              The decrease in the amount of cow milk consumed would result in a decrease in land used for that purpose, but there would be a corresponding increase of land use to cultivate soy.

              Put another way, wouldn't you be stealing from Peter to pay Paul?

              •  no (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HollywoodOz, KiaRioGrl79, jay w

                because the soy that's already grown to feed cattle is more than enough to make soy milk.

                It takes 10 pounds of grain to make a pound of meat, and it takes even more to make milk.  The natural production of cow's milk requires the presence of bull cows (who don't give any milk but get the females pregnant), plus calves, who also don't give milk.

                Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

                by zenbowl on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:37:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good info, have a rec.. But.. (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you have any cites for this?

                •  Sorry, one more thing (0+ / 0-)

                  When you say

                  the soy that's already grown to feed cattle is more than enough to make soy milk.

                  Do you mean the amount required to feed dairy cows, or all cattle in general?

                  A cite would also be nice :)

                  •  Here are some figures for you (0+ / 0-)

                    Here are some figures:

                    In 1900 just over 10% of the total grain grown worldwide was fed to animals; by 1950 this figure had risen to over 20%; by the late 1990s it stood at around 45%. Over 60% of US grain is fed to livestock...

                    [A] vegan diet can meet calorie and protein needs from just 300 square metres [of cultivated land] using mainly potatoes. A more varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, grains and legumes would take about 700 square metres. Replacing a third of the calories in this diet with calories from milk and eggs would double the land requirements and a typical European omnivorous diet would require five times the amount of land required for a varied vegan diet.

                    Adding milk and eggs to your diet (and soy is the preferred feed for both cows and chickens) doubles the amount of arable land you need to support yourself.

                    According to the WWF, soybean cultivation in the third world (where most deforestation occurs) is done primarily for animal feed and to produce vegetable oil.

                    Vegetable oil demands are going up, of course, because Americans have exported the deep-fry culture to the world.

                    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

                    by zenbowl on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:09:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Interesting info (0+ / 0-)

                      Though I'm a little leary of trusting "vegansociety" for non-biased information :)

                      Not that I think they are out to deliberately deceive (and they do have plenty of references), I just tend to  be skeptical of relying on information provided by a source that has a vested interest.

                      Thanks for the information though!

              •  I don't think the land use requirements are equal (0+ / 0-)
        •  Can't drink "real" milk--organic or otherwise. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nepstein, HollywoodOz, KenBee

          I don't like supporting the exploition or killing of animals.

          So I'll stick with some form of faux milk.

          (I actually like the taste, anyway.)

        •  There's a piece of kitchen hardware (5+ / 0-)

          that allows you to make your own soy-milk; a friend of mine swears by it. He's vegetarian for religious reasons and vegan by family tradition, but he has a taste for soy milk.

          You can buy dried soybeans from wherever and soak them (or alternately, use fresh soybeans), pour them into the machine with a bit of water, and in about ten hours you have soy-milk. A pound of dry beans makes a liter and a half of soy-milk with a week of shelf-life, I think he said.

          Socialism: Aspirin for your social-welfare headaches. (Use in moderation.)

          by Shaviv on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:15:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have Crohn's disease (8+ / 0-)

          and while I can't afford to eat organic as much as I'd like (all the time). I keep my own garden to provide at least some organic produce so that helps at least. But I can definitely tell the difference when I'm able to eat organic foods. I digest it easier and I don't get as sick when I have a flare up.

          "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." -- Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

          by Wes Opinion on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:50:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Careful!! See my post above about soy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cathy b

        I used to drink soy milk too...I found out it's not a good alternative. I wrote about it here.

    •  Don't usually buy organic (7+ / 0-)

      but when I have the opportunity I buy Clover milk products -- all their dairy is certified rbgH (did I get that right?) free. Can be tough to find down here, but two stores that carry it are Whole Foods and Piazza's.

      (Speaking of Whole Foods, I want to check out their new store in Cupertino; supposedly it's the largest in the Bay Area...)

      "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -- teacherken

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:41:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  distributed cow (5+ / 0-)

      oh man, 10,000 cows concentrated is a hell of a lot of cow poop.   There are some new inventive ways to recycle cow poop, including methane but that sounds odious on multiple levels.

      That's something that has bothered me about our society ever since I was a small child, we have a "in" culture and try to repress and ignore the "out"...we do not think in terms of cycles and cow poop not being managed and recycled well is one of those.

      by BobOak on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:57:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I buy Stonyfield Farms (5+ / 0-)

      But when it's out of stock I'll sometimes buy the "Harris Teeter Naturals" store brand.  How do we find out if a smaller store brand like that has connections to Aurora?

    •  Alright to be for the cows and all... (4+ / 0-)

      but please don't lump Costco in with all those other guys.  It is believe it or not a pretty upright company.  It shouldn't even be in the same breath as Wal-Mart except with a "much greater than" sign involved.

      •  I agree that Costcos better than Walmart (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pHunbalanced, goodasgold

        So is Trader Joe's for that matter... but in this particular case, I didn't make that list up in order to pick on companies.

        The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

        by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:43:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I know, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but the title to me implies that the resellers are in on some kind of fake organic scheme.

          I know WalMart has hurried to slap "organic" on some rather questionable items.  Ironically enough, I think this was about the time that upper management saw Costco doing well without going race to the bottom and started to get funny ideas.

    •  thanks OC115 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrangeClouds115, KiaRioGrl79

      I always read your stuff even if its days (or sometimes weeks) later. I'm happy to be here in time to leave you a rec, tip & comment!
      Thank you so much for all you do keeping us informed as to whats really on our grocery shelves. I overheard someone quoting you third or fourth hand at Whole Foods the other day! (I live in SC)  I believe you to be quite the instigator, instrumental in changing how people see the food on their plate.
      Great Dairy Diary!

      OT- Did you get that job??

      The hippies had it right all along and it's about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

      by RiaD on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:07:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you so much (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KiaRioGrl79, RiaD

        I'm not the only one doing this work - I'm just fortunate that so many people actually READ my diaries. Natasha, Elfling, and Farm Bill Girl are just a few of the others that are very committed to food issues and I learn a lot from them.

        Re: job, no :(
        I've got 2 opportunities in the "pipeline" so hopefully one of those will work out. Too bad I got impatient and bought a nice new laptop while waiting to find out if I got that other job or not.

        The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

        by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:57:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Back to Square 1, I guess. (6+ / 0-)

    I do buy the Traders' brand organic milk when I shop there.  Or I guess I should say I "did" buy it.

    I also buy CloverStornetta milk and dairy products, which I like since I know for sure it is locally-produced and seems to be pretty good on sustainability and humane practices.  But clearly we need to be even more informed consumers and labels are not enough.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Who can we complain to about their not being fined?  Is it the FTC or FDA or some other entity?

    If we want hope to survive in this world today, then every day we've got to teach on, teach on. - Ysaye Maria Barnwell

    by Femlaw on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:15:45 AM PDT

  •  Horizon Organic (23+ / 0-)

    is owned by Dean Foods and has many of the same bad practices. i would stay away from them too.

    the subject of dairy is enormously complicated. by far the most complicated sector of ag, but extremely important. i think most of us would hold up the dairy farmer as the idyllic version of what we'd like farming to be, and these folks work the hardest of them all. however, we are in a dairy crisis. since 1980, we've lost most of our dairy farmers, down from over 200,000 to barely over 60,000 and rapidly decreasing, esp. in new england, as the mega-dairy and factory farms with their rGBH-injected cows taking over. though the higher milk prices are a welcome relief to many, they are still too little, too late for many dairy farmers in state after state who have had to sell out or shut down, thus tearing down their precious barns, and often selling the land for development and sprawl...if we start losing more of our dairy farmers, we'll just have to rely on China and INdia for milk someday!

    the amount of corruption and outrageous corporate consolidation is at the root of the problem. trust me, it makes Enron look good in comparison!

  •  I simply don't buy groceries from Wal-Mart. (21+ / 0-)

    My assumption is that they are always looking for ways to bend the rules when it comes to food safety and labeling, so I'd just rather get a couple of membership cards from other grocery stores and shop whichever one happens to be giving that month's discount on Breyer's and Eight O'Clock.

  •  BGH (5+ / 0-)

    Aurora Organic Dairy represents a vast accumulation of organic dairy expertise. Joined by a strong financial partner, Charlesbank Capital Partners, the founders and management team are building a dynamic company structured for significant growth.

    The original partners may well have meant well but once you have return on investment as a driver, you can often kiss good practice goodbye. At least they appear to have removed BGH from their product, and that's a good thing.

    The Hague is a great retirement place.

    by ohcanada on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:18:02 AM PDT

  •  Note That the Revocation (12+ / 0-)

    was for violations of National Organic Program (NOP) regulations.  The NOP is the woefully underfunded program that we were discussing a week or two ago, based on a New York Times article.

    I'm also please to say that the Aurora story seems to be getting some major play in the traditional media, including in the aforementioned New York Times, which has a sizable article on the revocation consent agreement on the front page of today's business section.

    If I have a chance, I'll see if I can quickly locate a copy of the complaint(s) and the actual consent decree itself, if anyone's interested.

    •  oh f-ing SWEET (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Maven, SallyCat, kyril

      I didn't see the article. I'm not much of an NYT girl... I tend to get my info from several listservs I'm on - and I got this directly from "the source" :) Glad the NYT is devoting a prominent article to trashing Aurora!

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:21:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the USDA to You (6+ / 0-)

        No reason for you to be combing through the NYT for stuff like this.  For that matter, it's not like I'd seen the story there, either.  I only noticed it when I went to see how much -- if any -- media coverage this was getting and was pleasantly surprised by the article.

        As to the official documents, the USDA has the following materials available on its website:

        Some things that jumped out at me, mostly from the Q&A:

        First, the original violations by Aurora were identified in November 2005, and the NOP investigation took until April 2007.  Seventeen months isn't exactly what I would call a particularly prompt response.  And I only have to wonder whether the NOP's tiny budget of $2 million per year played a role in not allowing the investigation to move faster.

        Second, even in the face of these violations, Aurora not only gets to remain in business, but it hasn't even had its certification formally revoked.  All Aurora has to deal with is a one-year probationary review period, which "was considered an appropriate period of time to observe compliance with the terms of the agreement, to address all of the alleged violations, and to ensure compliance with the NOP regulations and OFPA [Organic Foods Production Act].

        Third, the USDA's claim that their priority is to ensure compliance with NOP standards seems a rather lame excuse for not also seeking some form of civil penalty from Aurora.  I have followed enough consent agreements over the years involving various companies for all types of legal infractions to know that fines are frequently imposed as part of the agreement ("We don't admit to having done anything wrong, but here's $25 million anyway").  There's no need to wade through years of litigation first.

        Finally, we should all make a calendar note to see what happens a year from now, when the probationary period comes to a close.  Does the USDA pursue any further action at that time, including perhaps reinstatement of the Cornucopia complaint and/or formal revocation of Aurora's certification, or do they quietly close the books on the matter, assuming that practically no one will notice?

        Let's see how it all plays out.

        (P.S.:  I'm trying to put together a diary on some current issues relating to imported food safety, but somehow got totally sidetracked yesterday by children's health insurance matters.  I hope to have the food safety diary done within the next few days.)

  •  as organic becomes more popular... (25+ / 0-)

    ...we're going to face more and more cases of corporate, mass-market industrial farming trying to get the organic "brand" without actually doing the things that make organic valuable.

    Be vigilant, and buy from small, local farmers whenever possible.

    An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind.
    -Kyong Ho, Thousand Peaks

    by Leggy Starlitz on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:20:55 AM PDT

    •  very true (11+ / 0-)

      And the work Cornucopia does here is WONDERFUL - they actually go to all of the dairies and check out what exactly is going on, then rate them on their website in their Dairy Scorecard - plus they complained to the govt several times about Aurora and finally they got some results here.

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:23:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Buy fresh, buy local... (0+ / 0-)

      That's the key to sustainable agriculture and sound ecological practices.  What does it matter is your gallon of soy milk is organic if it took 100 pounds of coal (to generate the electricity) to produce it and 75 gallons of imported oil to transport it?  Just exactly how are you helping the environment?  (I pulled those numbers out of my ear, but I'll bet someone's got the real numbers and I'd be really surprised if they were much lower.)  The point is, it takes a lot of electricity to make soy milk, much more than it does to milk a herd of cows, and it takes a lot petroleum to ship soy beans from the farm to the soy milk factory, then ship the soy milk from factory to distributor to market.  If for no other reason than the burning of fossil fuels involved, soy milk is bad for you, but there are many other reasons not to drink soy milk as has been noted by others.

  •  Not all Costcos get organic milk from that (11+ / 0-)

    dairy.  The Costco near me (and presumably others in the area) carries

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:25:34 AM PDT

  •  It is a cost we must bear... (8+ / 0-)

    Fortunately we are starting to see organic beef from a local closed can even go at visit our farmer's market.

    Yes, it is expensive and the veges are more expensive there and at the local health food store...but we must bear the cost.

    Because we want them to BE there...

    I do get irritated with the people that don't support local food producers because it is 'too expensive'.  It's like being willing to pay more taxes to support the is a cost we must bear.

  •  We have our milk delivered (10+ / 0-)

    by a locally owned/operated dairy, that purchases it's milk from local farms.  Not certified organic but, more important to me, with no bovine growth hormone.  Plus the milk is much fresher than anything we can buy at the grocery store.

    Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? - Ian Frazier, Lamentations of the Father

    by Frankenoid on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:29:38 AM PDT

  •  If it's sold at Safeway or similar chains (8+ / 0-)

    we simply don't buy 'Organic'. I'm even skeptical at Trader Joes. As for buying at one of the big chains like Target or Wal-Mart(been years since I've there!) simply won't happen.

    At our house if we want organic we go to our local market (neighborhood style Whole Foods) or to Whole Foods.

    Thanks for the heads up OC! Great work as usual.

    OT: how's the job thingy coming along?

    Never forget: Mother Nature bats last...and she is pissed.

    by SallyCat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:34:37 AM PDT

  •  There are hormones in all dairy milk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Milk is full of hormones.  It's designed to help baby cows grow.  If you think your milk is hormone-free, you're wrong.  Organic milk is a nice idea, but that's about it.

    Try switching to soy or rice milk.  Give it a week or so.  You grow to love the taste (like when you switched from 2% to skim milk) and find the old stuff to be too thick and creamy.  Plus, it's animal friendly and, really, hormone free.

    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by zenbowl on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:36:08 AM PDT

  •  Nice find, OC. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, OrangeClouds115, kyril

    I haven't yet bought organic milk, but I'm looking into it.  We did buy an enormous amount of non-fat dry milk in 1998-99 and drank that for many years afterwards.   Although we got it for Y2K reasons, it was a great experience.   If you store the boxes properly (cool, dry, dark) you can drink it for maybe a couple of years or more after the expiration date.  And you can make it more nutrient-rich by mixing more in (which I did -- gives it a richer, sweeter taste) without having to worry about any fat.

    Anyway, also in 1998-1999 (again for Y2K reasons) I joined a local (Ann Arbor) co-op that bought food in large quantities from various regional suppliers.

    One of the suppliers was Heartland Mill.   Great, wholesome stuff.  Highly recommended.

    I'm still eating 8-9-year-old wheat berries and oats we bought then...and they taste practically as good as fresh-bought.  (We'd learned how to vacuum-pack them in food-grade buckets.)  And those consist of 95% of the cereal I eat.   Problem is, it's too costly if you do it yourself, shipping-wise.  You need to find a group or a local mill who'll sell direct to you.

  •  Organic standards (14+ / 0-)

    There's irony in all this.  Because for most all of history, "organic" was the only kind of agriculture there was.  It's been less than a century, really, that these newfangled ways involving a lot of petroleum and other chemicals came on the scene.

    I looked into getting organic cert for myself.  The conclusion?  Maybe someday, but not yet.  The trees are young, and don't make a lot of fruit.  And there's a lot of paperwork and a big fee to get that certification.

    In fact, our local farmer's market is getting some controversy going about this.  There's a new guy hired to run it from the next county, and is wanting to bar people from selling who aren't CERTIFIED organic.  But these are traditional people, mostly (or New Agers) who live on little or no money as it is.  Their methods are chemical free, even if they don't have the paperwork to prove it.

    Sometimes folks from the Pueblo come in - one who comes occasionally is a man about 70 years old.  Some years he has more than enough corn for his ceremonial purposes, and comes to the farmer's market a couple of weeks to sell his "extra" corn.  Maybe makes a coupla hundred bucks at it.  So now, he's supposed to get an annual certification that costs more than the money he'll make selling the corn?


    OC115, I know this isn't really related to the story you're telling in the diary.  But it's been bugging me, this officious little twit messing with our perfectly good farmer's market!!

    "Every single Democratic candidate is immeasurably better than what we have in the White House now." - Sen. Joe Biden paraphrased

    by Land of Enchantment on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:45:30 AM PDT

    •  I buy "organic" coffee... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrangeClouds115, kyril

      From Yemen.

      No certification.

      And that's the way I like it.  

      Nobody over there has money for the certification or for the pesticides.

      Support the farmers!

      And know what you're buying.

      Assume ORGANIC coffee involves burning down the rainforest, unless you can verify that the farm in question has been in business more than two years.  Buying from Whole Foods?  Burn baby burn!

    •  I just ask the vendors at our farmer's mkt about (7+ / 0-)

      their practices if they aren't certified.  Usually they are doing just what I would hope they are doing.

      The certification issue is definitely a problem for small producers.

      BUT, for consumers it can be hard to sort out what's what, and certification makes it easier to make good choices.  It's not all good or all bad.

      If we want hope to survive in this world today, then every day we've got to teach on, teach on. - Ysaye Maria Barnwell

      by Femlaw on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:49:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And when you're buying from the same people... (8+ / 0-)

        ...every week, and keeping up on their kids and their health and the weather and whatever else, it's really not an issue.  Or shouldn't be.

        Years ago, in a different context, I had a college friend who said:  "If you don't know you're chemist personally, you don't know what you're taking."  In a similar vein, knowing your grower the THE BEST way to know what you're getting food-wise, too.

        "Every single Democratic candidate is immeasurably better than what we have in the White House now." - Sen. Joe Biden paraphrased

        by Land of Enchantment on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:01:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I just read a great article (11+ / 0-)

      that I want to diary about organics. They compare "organic" to a designer brand, asking if you'd buy Prada carrots or Armani tomatoes. They say the right questions to ask at farmers' markets are about pesticides, fertilizer, etc, not "are you organic?"

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:04:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hallelujah! (3+ / 0-)

        I want smart farmers, not ones who tie one hand behind their back and let produce rot or get diseased (and god forbid, maybe try to sell it anyway).

        So you figure out whether they coat everything, or wait until there's sign of trouble, and then make the most cost effective decision (you'd be surprised how often teh "organic" way is the most cost effective... ladybugs rock!)

    •  organic = norm (8+ / 0-)

      you're so right. i was talking to an old school farmer who said only in the past 50 years has our production NOT been organic, thanks to the military-industrial complex needing someplace to dump all their new chemical toys after WWII, so they put it into pesticides, fertilizers, and now GMO seeds. we need to go back to what worked for thousands of years and not mess with Mother Nature so much.

    •  lately I have been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      buying 'transitional' from local growers, they can't afford the certification  As long as you trust and know the source it is better environmentally as the shipping  uses so much gas. Plus the money stays in your local economy.

      "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

      by shaharazade on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:29:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NAFTA (8+ / 0-)

    And, don't forget that we'll have truck drivers soon in Mexican trucks despite not meeting minimum standards transporting the milk and other products to markets.

    I blogged about this yesterday.  

    Shipping poor quality products on trucks with truck drivers who don't have to meet minimum standards (environment, rest, drug testing, etc...), sounds about right, doesn't it?

  •  I buy the non-organic milk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with all the chemicals and processing that come along with it, then I distill it /snrk

    "You don't need a weather man to tell which way the wind blows" - BD

    by demotarian on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:48:00 AM PDT

  •  I don't generally want organic. (0+ / 0-)

    I want things that are "nutri-farmed"
    -- smart agriculturists who don't pesticide the hell out of everything, but take action only when necessary, and take the action that is most cost efficient.

    Eating organic foods is a good way to eat bad food, if the farmers don't know what they're doing (yes, this only involves certain crops. some are perfectly hardy and fine.  others aren't).

    Diseased food is often more carcinogenic than the pesticides.  Buyer beware.

  •  It was bound to happen (6+ / 0-)

    I'm glad to see this diary, and also that it's in the NY Times!  Mega-organic is going to lead to more stories like this.  I still believe we need to focus on sustainable agriculture, of which organic is only a part.

    I myself mostly buy milk from Hillcrest Dairy in Central NY - they don't treat the cows with BGH/BST and they graze them on pasture.  And when I can, I get a friend who has a share in a dairy CSA to bring me some raw milk (for $4.50 a gallon).  But I live in an unusually good area for sustainable food.

    "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

    by sarac on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:54:28 AM PDT

  •  Update on flood damage to WI organic producers (15+ / 0-)

    Last week's flooding in SW Wisconsin was especially hard on the are'a many organic growers, most of whom work rich bottomland. While eligible for federal crop insurance, this pays based on the wholesale price of chem-fueled crops, not reflecting the higher labor investment in organics.

    Also hit, the Kickapoo Exchange Natural Foods Co-op in Gays Mills, where loss of electtric power caused loss of frozen and refrigerated stock.

    Area co-ops have created a relief project, SowTheSeedsFund

    Milwaukee Journal/SentinalCo-ops join in recovery efforts

    Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

    by ben masel on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:55:56 AM PDT

  •  Ohioans should be able to purchase local (3+ / 0-)

    milk CHEAP!  (for organic, that is).

    I've not seen in the standard chains, but Sunflower carries it(and Whole Foods doesn't).

    Ohio Organic Family Farms

    What is Organic Milk? Pure natural milk from Ohio cows that are free of hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. Their food is all natural, free of chemicals, chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and artificial enhancers. Ohio Organic Family Farms guarantee their milk to be chemical free, pure, and natural because all of their farms and cows, as well as their processing plant, are inspected and certified by OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association), the Organic Certification in Ohio. To certify the farm, the farmer has to keep the land free of chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and chemicals for at least the last three years. To certify the cow, she must be free of hormones, antibiotics, and steroids for at least the last full year. She also needs to be fed certified organic feed. Also, the milk is pasteurized using HTST (low temperature) pasteurization. Low temperature is preferred over Ultra, because we know that each degree of pasteurization decreases the nutritional value of the milk.

    No more lies - IMPEACH!

    by Fabian on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:56:07 AM PDT

  •  Do you know what Trader Joe's products are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, kyril

    effected?  For instance, I buy the organic tomato soup (in a box).  I think that has milk product ingredients in it.  

    "We are young despite the years--We are concern--We are hope despite the times" REM, These Days.

    by robokos on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:57:16 AM PDT

  •  I buy only organic milk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, kyril

    but no more store brands. Is Horizon ok? Do I need to go back to the glass bottles I get up at Whole Foods?

  •  Trader Joe's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, kyril

    I buy their regular hormone-free (not organic) milk because I like the taste so much better than most of the other milk I find in grocery stores.  

    For some reason, a lot of the organic brands in my area do not taste that fresh -- maybe because they are being shipped from far away.   I love Clover-Stornetta organic milk, produced in northern California, but when I get it at my southern Cal Whole Foods it is always on the verge of spoiling.

    My main problem with Trader Joe's is their labeling -- I have no idea where their products come from.  

  •  I'm a soy only guy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, kyril

    "real" milk just tastes icky to me.

    But thanks for the heads up!
    BTW, does this dairy produce cheese or other dairy products as well?

    "Equal rights for all, special privileges for none." ~~Thomas Jefferson~~

    by SaMx on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:00:53 AM PDT

  •  Long history of tension btw legitimate interests (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When federal Organic standards were first proposed, established producers and some consumer groups wanted strict rules and long transition periods before crops grown on previously chemed land could be certified. Anti-pesticide groups, and other conbsumer interests wanted east transition, to reduce overall pestuicide use and bring down the cost of organics.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

    by ben masel on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:03:26 AM PDT

  •  Fill in the blank: (9+ / 0-)

    Buying organic food at Wal-Mart is like _________________.

  •  my son refuses to drink organic milk from (4+ / 0-)

    safeway: both horizon and the O brand.

    we couldn't figure it out.
    now I know why.

    he only likes the clover organic brand.

  •  Oberweiss "Organic" milk (5+ / 0-)

    The owner is a staunch right winger. And as we all know, the only thing Republicans are really good at is lying and pretending.

    I wonder if Cornucopia could verify Oberweiss  products.

    Stay the Course will be their epitaph

    by lawnorder on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:10:06 AM PDT

    •  OH YEAH (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lawnorder, KiaRioGrl79, kyril

      I just learned of this, after listening to Jon Elliott butcher the pronunciation of Oberweis on his show. I recognized it immediately - I have memories of being VERY little (younger than 5) and going to Oberweis for a treat. No idea he was a rightie and potentially taking Hastert's seat BUT I know that area well so I'm also not shocked. When I heard Jon Elliott say it, I called the show to correct his pronunciation (although I didn't go on the air... they offered, I declined).

      No more Oberweis for me.

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:13:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No. (6+ / 0-)

    I buy the milk at Safeway or Save-Mart that I can afford.

    And no, grossing me out about it won't help me afford anything else.

    Still, rec & etc. for truth in labelling.

    •  The nice thing in our area is Clover (5+ / 0-)

      it may not all be organic but they've done a good job of not adding stuff.

      In all the talk about organic and other - yeah cost is a big factor. Maybe with time we'll get farmers a fair price, food to the consumer at a fair price, AND healthy products as well!

      OT - looking forward to seeing you, the wife and kidlet at the bbq!

      Never forget: Mother Nature bats last...and she is pissed.

      by SallyCat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:48:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Looking forward too :) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SallyCat, KiaRioGrl79

        Little Loner has gotten sooo big!

        I hear - I don't know if it's propaganda or not - that "traditional" farming is actually more cost-effective than "factory farms" - but subsidies from the government keep the factory farms competitive.

        If this is true, we need to kill agricultural subsidies with an axe.

        •  it's complex (4+ / 0-)

          I don't think the answer is just eliminating the subsidies. Farm Bill Girl likes to say that the subsidies are a symptom of the problem, not the problem.

          Also check this out if you feel like it:

          The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

          by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:46:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  correct diagnosis, wrong solution (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OrangeClouds115, KiaRioGrl79

          you might want to check out my diary series on subsidies Moody Loner.

          Factory farms ARE kept competitive because of subsidies, but not in the way you think. as i posted above in my comment on sustainable dairy practices, because we let the "free market" set the price for commodities (corn, soybeans, etc), prices are driven too low. the govt gives subsidies to corn/soybean farmers to make up for some of that lost income. but who are the REAL beneficiaries of our subsidy schemes? industrial food processors (ADM/Cargill) who use it for high fructose corn syrup AND factory farms, who buy cheap feed, thus giving them the advantage over the diversified family farmer who raises his own feed to give to his animals. A Tufts study found that Tyson and co saved like $9 billion dollars over the years as a result of below-cost feed.

          Whose Subsidy is it Anyway?

          What you hear in the media is that it's the evil commodity farmers getting millions in subsidies, and thus, we need to cut them. the real beneficiaries of our subsidies is corporate agribusiness like Tyson, ADM, etc, who indirectly benefit because the price of commodities is so low (thus why agribiz/factory farms are bitching now so  much because corn is finally a fair price).

          So what we need to do is set a price floor for commodities, which is akin to a min wage for farmers, which is what we had during the New Deal. this means farmers get their income from the marketplace by making factory farms pay a fair price for their commodity. this would thus end the need for subsidies. but just cutting subsidies w/o putting in place a price floor would be totally disastrous and just lead to MORE factory farming when the price of commodities collapses and makes Smithfield and Tyson ecstatic.

    •  Clover Stronetta regular (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Moody Loner, OrangeClouds115

      Their regular milk products are BST-free and only 20-40 cents more than the store brand at our stores. They are all over northern California.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:08:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, me too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Moody Loner, OrangeClouds115

      Although I've developed some sensitivity to dairy, and so don't drink milk as a beverage any more. My eldest has a similar sensitivity, and while I make sure he gets a minimal amount every day (generally on cereal in the morning) otherwise he drinks water, by his own choice. The younger, like his father, can eat anything that won't eat him first without any difficulty.

      Every now and then for ethical reasons I consider changing my diet, but if soy is linked to thyroid problems, I won't bother. My eyebrows only just started growing back, and my metabolism is only now returned to something approaching normal. I don't need to much with it further.

  •  What about wholefoods private label? (5+ / 0-)

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:13:49 AM PDT

  •  Grats for honesty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, RiaD

    I don't buy organic milk, generally. I don't think it can be considered organic if you have bacterial-made enzymes added to it. But I'd rather have enzymes than get sick every time I try to have milk in my coffee.

    Still, exposing dishonesty is important, so a toast to that is in order.

    ...I like mine lightly browned.

    Socialism: Aspirin for your social-welfare headaches. (Use in moderation.)

    by Shaviv on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:17:46 AM PDT

  •  Web site (4+ / 0-)

    One of the big players in this has been Walmart which has done much to push "organic" producers that it does business with into questionable practices.

    There is no way that a supplier to Walmart can keep up their standards and meet Walmarts price demands and volume requirements.

    This has all been detailed over the last year or so on the group blog The Writing on the Wal

    [I'm one of the small group.]

    If you are interested in this topic on a continuing basis stop by and add your comments or just track further developments.

  •  I wouldn't buy organic (6+ / 0-)

    anything from Wally world because I don't trust them. actually I don't buy anything from wally world, i haven't set foot in one in at least 5 years.

    Remember, all odors are particulate in nature.

    by ckerst on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:23:57 AM PDT

  •  Who buys anything from Walmart? (11+ / 0-)

    I would rather starve then give those assholes any money.

  •  We don't buy organic milk (7+ / 0-)

    We buy our milk (cream and ice cream, too) from a dairy farm that's been owned by the same family since before the American Revolution: Richardson's Dairy in Middleton MA - they're just 5 miles or so from our home.
    We can visit the cows anytime you're there, and they do tours of the whole place on the weekends. They raise their own feed and I figure if they've been able to sustain crops and animals for almost 300 yrs on the same land they are likely taking very good care of them. No hormones, either, and the very best ice cream I - a very fussy New Englander - have ever eaten :)

    We used to buy organic from Whole Foods, but are now trying to rely more on well made, locally grown and "small business" groceries.


    I take the bible seriously, but not literally.

    by Boston to Salem on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:32:41 AM PDT

  •  I drink more 3 gallons of organic milk... (4+ / 0-)

    ...every month, myself.

    I only drink Horizon 2% Organic.  It is the only one I really like.

    I get upset when Ralph's runs out.

    OrangeClouds115, please tell me that I am not being fooled.; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23 IMPEACH!!!!

    by Shockwave on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:35:16 AM PDT

  •  As a consumer (4+ / 0-)

    it's one the few places left that you actually do have power. The co-opting of organic by centralized Big Ag is not something you have to put up with. Put your money where your mouth is and go elsewhere. In most place you can find locally owned stores, we in Oregon have a chain which is local (they won't go public) called New Seasons, they do carry national brands but local also. The money stays in your community, you support local growers and they provide decent employment. Shorter version: Think global, buy local.

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:49:14 AM PDT

  •  How about in Cali? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just looked on my Trader Joe's organic jug and it doesn't say who the maker is.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    •  you might want to just call your TJs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, dj angst, RiaD

      and ask them. That's what I plan to do at my local Whole Foods.

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:48:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just got off the phone with my local TJ's (4+ / 0-)

        The guy, whom I think is in management, was very helpful.

        They aren't allowed to disclose the names of companies who supply thier milk (we need some serious consumer protection and sunshine laws in this country). Nor would he give me the number of their office which had the information, but he was able to call that number for me and call me back to confirm that both Aurora AND Horizon ARE NOT suppliers for Trader Joe's, anywhere in the country.

        Now while he had never heard of DK, he did reference Cornucopia and report to me what you wrote, that those Dairies are at the bottom of the list.

        Can you double check the facts and tell me if this guy's on the level?

  •  Only a fool trusts store-brand Organics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, OrangeClouds115

    There are a few reputable Organic dairies in the US that are nation-wide.

    From what I understand as having worked in a food-co op for a few years, is that organic regulations are sketchy at best and there are quite a few chemicals that are considered organic.
    Its not only the dairy products that are in question

    Not only that, but some store brand organic supplements contain herbs from China (not to mention a few African nations) where the organic means absoultely nothing and well, we know how that story goes.

    If you can, buy local and avoid the big-box in-house brands that are labeled 'organic'

  •  Huge kudos to Cornucopia (3+ / 0-)

    for pursuing this relentlessly.

    If I recall, one of the dairies in question is just east of me -- and having driven by what I think is it, what's there doesn't look like much more than a feedlot at first glance.

    There are no links in my sig. line until the worm problem blows over.

    by by foot on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:08:21 PM PDT

  •  Costco organic milk was nasty! now I know why! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1864 House

    I bought a 3-pack of "organic" milk from Costco last year and it tasted nasty. I bought it because it was a great bargain, esp. for organic, but it tasted so bad it went to waste, which made it a total waste of money. I thought it tasted bad the first sip I had, but my son and a roommate thought it was fine and drank it all until they opened carton #3 of 3. That's when their tastebuds caught up to mine...or else was when the fake organic milk turned...not sure which....

    I tend to stick to Organic Valley if I can find it. Horizon is available everywhere, though, and I've noticed the price of Horizon has gone down, at least in this area. But I've only bought it once since I read a diary or comment by you telling us that Dean Foods had bought Horizon.

    Okay, so to sum up, the "store brand" organic milk from places like Target is bad? Because I think that's what my sister has been buying almost exclusively these days...I need to give her this news....

    "You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." --George W. Bush

    by rioduran on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:08:42 PM PDT

  •  only a matter of time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    until the agribiz corps got caught messing with the organic standards.

    i like strauss creamery milk, their milk tastes sweeter to me. as for soy milk/doujiang, i love having a hot sweet cup for breakfast with my baozi when i'm in china or taiwan, but cannot stand the watery american stuff. there's one company in sacramento that makes decent doujiang, but even then it's too light.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:09:34 PM PDT

    •  Have you tried (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      going to the Asian side of the Sacto farmer's market ever (5th & roughly Broadway, Sunday mornings)? There are several local soy milk (doujiang?) companies that sell it fresh there, but I've no idea whether they'd be companies you've already tried.

      •  i haven't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        i'm terribly lazy, and rarely cross the causeway if i can manage it. every once in a while i do the stockton ave. asian grocery run for stuff like chinese vinegar or frozen stuff, but not all that often. i've heard it's a much cheaper farmer's market, though, and i know people that drive in just to get the asian veggies there.

        the soy milk is by the sacramento tofu company, i get it at the co-op FWIW.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:26:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  An corporate organic farm in Texas..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, OrangeClouds115

    Pretty much sez it all

  •  'Diet for a New America' Jeremy Robbins (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, tallmom

    If you haven't read it yet get it now. read it and you will be buying copies for your friends and family.

    Add to that a copy of 'The People's History of the United States and you will have, IMOnotsoHO 2 of the most indispensable books for any library, and you dont have to have a Degree to be able to read them

  •  I'm only happy to spend my precious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, Goodbye Kitty

    and few extra dollars I have to enrich yet another thieving company so it appears that I'm doing what's good for myself and my family.  After all, appearance is important. (need I say snark?)

    What I'd like to know is what's the difference between an identity theft crime that results in the loss of millions to the public and Aurora's "willful and premeditated" shirking of federal law that resulted in millions stolen from the public?  The only difference I can see is a bit of paperwork and a business license.    

    •  I thinks its funny that everyone is so afraid of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrangeClouds115, goodasgold

      identity theft and yet in many retail outlets(major chains) you no longer asked to sign for your purchases of under $25 or so  nor do they even ask for ID.

      And no one bats an eye!

      •  Don't sign your debit/credit cards... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CSI Bentonville

        ...write "See ID" in the signature line instead.  Makes it a little harder for anyone else to try using your card unless they look like you.  And in the time it takes to get a driver's license with your name and their picture, you can shut your cards down.

        However, this is minimally effective now since very few cashiers (or even bank tellers) will check the signature line or ask to see photo ID.

        And FCOL, don't carry your Social Security Card with you.  I've seen people do this when I was working as a retail cashier, seems to be common, and it's just asking for trouble.

        "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

        by The Peanut Gallery on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:26:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Aurora must be another generous repub donor. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, RiaD
  •  Buy local... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wordene, OrangeClouds115

    We do.

    -6.5, -7.59. I want to know who the men in the shadows are... ~Jackson Browne

    by DrWolfy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:24:44 PM PDT

  •  Whenever I go by a 'Whole Foods" mega-store, I am (4+ / 0-)

    reminded of the South Park episode about hybrid cars. Everyone so smug that they enjoy the smell of their own farts. It was hillarious!

    •  I've gotta say about WFM (7+ / 0-)

      I worked there for 5 mos to see what was up w/ them (after reading Michael Pollan's book). There's good and bad about them - definitely not boycott-worthy if you ask me. It might change for the worse if the CEO ever steps down, but while he's in charge it's gonna stay how it is.

      I'd be happy to chat about it sometime if you want.

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:51:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re WFM Changes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tryptamine, wordene, OrangeClouds115

        For the most part, I'm sure you're right about the overall tone of Whole Foods so long as Mackey's there, but they're definitely tweaking things somewhat in light of their completed acquisition of Wild Oats.

        Perhaps the most intriguing change is their rollout of "entirely new experimental concept for Whole Foods Market entitled 'Whole Foods Market Express.' This new convenience-focused concept for the company will offer a value-oriented product mix [and] grab-and-go offerings".

        This move into a less-affluent sphere could become the cornerstone for a more aggressive expansion strategy nationwide, which is the market's (stock, not super-) expectation for how WFM will deal with the large debt they've incurred from the acquisition.  Yes, it seems sort of counterintuitive to spend a lot more capital in the face of a large debt load, but it's a typical strategy.  This in turn, could make the company's financial position far more precarious, so that if there's a downturn, they could either go under or become a prime target to be acquired themselves.

        So one can ony hope that WFM doesn't become beholden to the dictates of their new financial masters.

        •  honestly, I don't like everything they do (4+ / 0-)

          for one thing, I want to start a campaign to get WFM to stop selling bottled water. I hate that they sell it. They aren't perfect - I'm just glad that in many ways, they try. And they allow a lot of control on the local level so (to an extent) local managers can bring in local products.

          The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

          by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:08:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Don't Want To Sound Like I'm Bashing Them (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            'cause that's not my intent.  As you say, while they're not perfect (no publicly-traded corporate entity possibly can be, given the nature of their responsibilities to shareholders), WFM seems better than any other major food retailer that I'm aware of.

            The bottled water issue is troubling, I'd admit, since it's so inherently wasteful, and in most locations, utterly unnecessary (aside from the consumerist cachet value).  I'm trying to figure out a way that the company could benefit from eliminating (or at least significantly reducing) the product, but aside from a customer-education program combined with some variant of a bring-your-bottles/containers-back-and-we'll-refill-them-with-springwater-for-free concept, I'm drawing a blank for now.

            •  WFM DOES have a bring your own bottles concept (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Maven

              although it's not free. But think of this - WFM has no artificial sweeteners, even though customers complain on a large scale. So my point to them is since they are willing to do things that are right but not popular, why not do that with the water?

              The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

              by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:36:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I Really Need to Stop by a Store (0+ / 0-)

                of theirs before I go spouting off on stuff like this.

                So, since they're clearly willing to buck consumer preference/demand on sweeteners -- and please pardon me if I'm stating the obvious -- have you formally tried to contact corporate management about the bottled water issue?  Given the company's stated commitment to Green Action and their generally progressive values, it would seem a natural fit for them.  And as someone who worked there for a while, I'm sure you already have a fairly good sense of what the company is like beyond the single-store level.

                If you can achieve the goal even without having to resort to a public campaign, so much the better.

                BTW, I was very impressed with Will Fantle's responses to some of the questions I'd raised on the NOP and the consent agreement here.  He seems like an excellent resource for "boots on the ground" information.

                •  Cornucopia's great (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Maven

                  they really know what they are talking about and they are great at doing their homework. I was thrilled he jumped in here.

                  I haven't contacted anyone above a store mgmt level about bottled water. If you've got questions about WFM, I can answer some things about them. Maybe visit one first and then send questions my way?

                  The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

                  by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:59:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  GREAT IDEA! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            When I see all the bottled water, including many imported brands, it annoys me no end!

            My new mantra: "Don't buy shit from China."

            by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 07:57:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Whole Foods (4+ / 0-)

      may be mega, but I shop there for a reason. It's also way less mega than spots that have gone "organic" like Safeway and Walmart. I can get staple products there that I know are nonGMO.  I try to stick with local products as much as possible, but WFM lets me fill in the gaps.  I get a "SMUG ALERT" from many other places/people/thing way more than from WFM.

  •  Thanks orangeclouds115 (6+ / 0-)

    You're the best!

    I never buy food from any of the places you mentioned. I won't spend a penny at Wal Mart.

    I don't patronize Dean Foods which bought Horizon.

    I quit buying milk and butter and use rice milk and organic extra virgin olive oil instead. I

    Rice milk can have the same calcium content as milk.

    I will occasionally buy dairy products from Organic Valley and yogurt from Stoneyfield Farms.

    I like to patronize family farms not factory farms and Dean Foods et al are all about hitching a ride on the "organic" movement to fatten their stockholder profits  instead of stating with a commitment to the principles of sustainable humane food production.

    Wes Clark, an enlightened choice for 2008

    by eve on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:33:44 PM PDT

  •  The "Beneficial" Label for Dairy Products (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spit, sockpuppet, OrangeClouds115

    "Organic certification" is being pushed by agribusiness toward such costs that only large scale corporate farms (Like Aurora in this story) can afford it.   In response, smaller producers are looking at a new label, "beneficial," that will cover milk products from traditionally-operated farms.  Our local agriculture group families raise goats because the milk is more digestible for many and goats are very productive relative to the space and feed required.  Our two alpine milkers supply the milk and cheese needs of our family plus milk for two families with persons who cannot digest cow's milk, and plenty of cheese for our friends.

    Yes, we eat the wethers (castrated male goats)except for the stud billy or ones we might raise for "goat packing" (back country camping with goats as pack animals).    

  •  Sheeder Farms (4+ / 0-)

    in Guthrie Center, IA has wonderful, organic dairy products. We buy them at our local grocery. Sheeder's share of the dairy shelf keeps growing.

  •  Costco has changed (5+ / 0-)

    its organic products to Wilcox in the Oregon (at least Salem).  Cornucopia is in the process of updating their information to include this organic company.

  •  Thanks because if we pay the extra $$$$ (7+ / 0-)

    for organic, it sure as heck better be ORGANIC.

    We must protect this new multi-billion dollar earth sustainable industry from greedy hucksters.

    #: )

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Organic Valley all the way (6+ / 0-)

    Other than them I really don't trust the rest of the organic labels really. Though that's more a product of laziness on my part. The Horizons organic claim is just a joke.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by Windowdog on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:40:06 PM PDT

  •  Mass produced organics-a contridiction in terms (5+ / 0-)

    Mass produced organics defeat the purpose of organic farming. The 7 core principals of organic farming can not be met when Big Ag takes over, most importantly.  These principals are:

    Soil Organic Matter
    Soil Organisms
    Bacteria and Fungi
    Organic Fertilizers
    Natural Predators

    It is also impossible to farm sustainably on an industrial level.  Aroura's bending and breaking the rules is nothing new.  Horizon Organics, which controls 55% of the organic dairy biz was busted out last year for maintaining an "organic feedlot operation" with cows never seeing pasture in their entire lifetimes, stock coming from non-organically raised parents, environmental destruction,etc.

    Thankcongress and the USDA for another fine mess of deregulation.

    Check out the book Diet for a Dead Planet.  It's an eye opener.

  •  ...and the real breaking News here: (5+ / 0-)

    A Bush Administration Agency Does Its Job

    If they don't make the necessary changes they just agreed to with the USDA, their certification will be yanked.

  •  Buy small & local whenever possible (6+ / 0-)

    I have bought Safeway's new organic products when I found myself shopping at Safeway, but I never really trusted them to be truly "organic."  Instead, I try to get food as locally as possible - local dairies, farmer's market, etc.  

    Thanks for the tip, I had a feeling something was fishy with Safeway's organics.  

    Surge NOLA, not Iraq!

    by AmyVVV on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:36:27 PM PDT

  •  grazing and greenhouse gases (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sorry if someone has already mentioned this, but for those who don't really see cattle grazing as a major environmental problem, see this recent report:
    The full FAO report is also available online.
    "Livestock now use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock, the report notes."

    "When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 percent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure."

  •  I prefer soy milk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to real milk, but I probably eat too many other dairy products regardless, and I'm definitely not a vegetarian or 100% 'organic.' (my undergrad research work was mostly creating GM plants for better human nutrition.) I think about going veg (but still not organic) from time to time.. maybe someday. :)

  •  COSTCO is selling a different brand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, RiaD

    at least in the Northwest, where is is available, they are selling Wilcox Organic dairy products.  In fact they have moved in the direction of increased USDA Organic products for many items that were not organic in the past, and also are sourcing locally whenever they can--at least in the Seattle Area.

    I don't know what they are doing other places. Wilcox is a small (1700 acres) family farm, and certainly couldn't supply all of Costco.

    "A country that hides something is a country that is afraid of getting caught. . . ."--GW Bush April 13, 2004

    by Earwicker23 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:57:50 PM PDT

  •  Organic soy milk (0+ / 0-)

    much better than cows milk. Let the cows drink cows milk.

    Lets keep Virginia Blue in 2008 - - get involved!

    by okamichan13 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:15:07 PM PDT

  •  Every. effing. time. (7+ / 0-)

    I really freakin' hate how every one of these great diaries turns into a huge vegetarian/non-vegetarian bitchfest. Give it a rest, kids.

  •  Farm Bill Fight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, CSI Bentonville

    as seen by Free Range Studios

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:48:58 PM PDT

  •  Phew, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thanks for letting us know that Trader Joe's does NOT purchase from Aurora!  Trader Joe's seems like one of the last dependable stores we can get good food from (well, their produce is not that fresh).  Let's all hope that they won't allow themselves to be swirled into our massive corporate greedy food swindle.  Should we write to them to commend their current practices, and discourage them from surrendering into the international cheap/bad food fold that seems to be the international NAFTA food plague spreading the globe (i.e. questionable ingredients from abroad being used for US food production without proper testing/supervision).

    WHO can we trust anymore to deliver us foods that are safe and nutritious.

    The answer, of course is:  our local farmer's markets.  But Trader Joe's to me was/is another source of dependable clean nutritious and environmentally conscious food production.

    Let's watch them, and try to keep them aboard with us.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." Chief Joseph - Nez Perce

    by Gabriele Droz on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 07:43:29 PM PDT

    •  well, you won't love me for this (0+ / 0-)

      here's the latest from Cornucopia:

      Update on Aurora/Trader Joe's:

      We have verified that although some of the milk that Trader Joe's is buying does indeed come from a factory-farm, milking thousands of cows, that particular farm is not under Aurora’s ownership.  All the other brands that The Cornucopia Institute referenced (Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Safeway, and many others) get all or some of their milk from the five industrial-scale farms that are owned by Aurora dairy.  In addition to being the nation's largest producer of private-label organic milk (anonymous, private-label products and organics should possibly be considered an oxymoron) Aurora also markets milk under their own label, High Meadows.

      The solutions to so many food-related problems are all on the progressive side of the plate - CJnyc

      by OrangeClouds115 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:20:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sheesh. I nursed my kids and m. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, crose

    bagged milk after that.  

    They are all healthy kids w/o standard dairy products.  Plus, they're too expensive.

    We eat lots of berries and veggies that we grow in our suburban backyard.  The raspberry bushes provide an added security feature, they have thorns.  We circled our property with them.

    The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the peanut butter.

    by sylvien on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:03:45 PM PDT

  •  I Love Butter and Cream (0+ / 0-)

    But I don't eat veal. Or much lamb or pork. What is with me? Geesh.

    George W. Bush is just like Forrest Gump. Except that Forrest Gump is honest and cares about other people.

    by easong on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:44:19 PM PDT

  •  What does " organic" (0+ / 0-)

    and for that matter "natural" really mean? For most, labeling in the US is simply marketing, (think "Herbal Essence, a totally organic experience" a product line so full of man-made crap...) Let's face it, where on the FDA or USDA list of priorities do you think policing truth in labeling lies? Consumers are too lazy to do their homework about what true "certified organic" or "natural" means.

    There's a lot of pressure to loosen the standards in organic farming, some are even suggesting "levels" of organic-ness. Very scary, it's either the true certified organic standard or it's not.

    In Europe there is an independant certification agency for products that want to call themselves natural and/or organic, it is BDIH and man are they strict!. They have a standard that we should demand from our natural products industry.

    The USDA should also be forced to maintain and enforce  the real, true, certified organic criteria. Stores like WalMart are just trying to jump on the organic bandwagon without having to pay for true certified organic products, big surprise there.

    We must do better!

  •  Why buy food from a national chain? (0+ / 0-)

    Look around, I'll bet there are local grocers in your community, or dare I say a co-op. Many of them even buy from local farmers. It doesn't matter how "blue" these conglomerates are, they will cut every corner possible.  They take advantage of the good intentions of those who would buy organic and/or local products, if they knew where to find them.  But for most it is as Lou Reed presciently sang, "I'm trying to be as progressive as I can possibly be.  As long as I don't have to try too much."

  •  No, I don't buy milk. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What a wierd idea.

    Why would anyone do that?

    (Folks if you think this is off the wall, you haven't thought your eating choices through very far. There are a TON of reasons not to consume today's milk.)

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:59:57 PM PDT

  •  This reminds me of Olive oil problems in Italy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeClouds115, CSI Bentonville

    The latest issue of the New Yorker has an article about the problems with olive oil fraud in Italy and elsewhere.  It turns out that a lot of olive oil labeled extra virgin is not and may even be diluted with other oils such as sunflower oil.  Cold pressed is not always cold pressed and extr virgin is not always extra virgin It is estimated that about 30% is contaminated.

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