Recent Comments

  • 6 years 35 weeks ago by: Kris in reply to: Creating the Perfect Local Cheese Plate

    Amy - Golden Fig does usually have at least a couple of Love Tree cheeses. I'd give them a call to see what they might have on hand. 651-602-0144

  • 6 years 35 weeks ago by: Canada Guy in reply to: The Best Fish for the Environment? Frozen

    Fish is definitely good for you, at least when it doesn't have mercury in it. However, it might not be available that much longer, at least for anyone other than the rich. Overfishing is a real problem.

  • 6 years 35 weeks ago by: Amy M Boland in reply to: Creating the Perfect Local Cheese Plate

    Mmmm! Cheese!

    The Wedge also does a very nice job with their cheese selection. They have great variety and a ton of it is local. I've often found better prices there than at Lunds.

    What's more, they have a little basket filled with what I call "cheese blips" - little tiny slices of different cheeses. These are enough for a bite or two, cost a buck or less apiece, and are a great way to try a mysterious new cheese without committing. You can also use them to create a small cheese plate for one or two people.

    I just wish I could find Love Tree cheeses somewhere besides farmers' markets. Either that, or I wish I could make it be Saturday again before Christmas comes.

  • 6 years 35 weeks ago by: El Dragon in reply to: Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA - Continued

    Here's my question. A couple days ago, Bill Marler and I happened to swap tweets (ew -- sounds vaguely dirty...), and I was surprised to hear him say that he supported on-farm sales of raw milk.

    In Shari's interview, though, Marler draws a hard line against raw milk. I imagine he's speaking for himself and personal choice, here, and not about policy in general. If he's still listening in, I wonder if Bill would clarify.

    If you pop by, Bill, I'd also like to know what the quantified risk of drinking raw milk is, to put the risk of drinking it in perspective. Does anyone know?

  • 6 years 36 weeks ago by: Shari D. in reply to: Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA - Continued

    Annalisa, thank you for your kind comments. You're right, this is a complex topic and I appreciate you taking the time to explore it with me.

    Bill, thank you for reminding us that good food is fundamental to good health, and that the debate about healthcare reform needs to include a serious discussion about not only food safety, but food quality.

    To answer your questions, Rashmi...

    1. Raw milk is whole milk that is not pasteurized or homogenized. It is milk in its natural, unadulterated state, right out of the (hopefully) clean, happy, grass-fed cow.

    2. "Progressive inflammatory neuropathy" -- I think this is what you are referring to:

  • 6 years 36 weeks ago by: lee in reply to: January Local Food Event Announced! Family Style Meal at Brasa St. Paul for $30!

    Faith, vegetarian options will be the rest of the food, without the meat (no special bean dish or anything, sorry!).

    Amy, thanks for the tip, your site and book look great. Here's the link:

  • 6 years 36 weeks ago by: Rashmi in reply to: Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA - Continued

    I have a question. Is "Raw milk" the milk that is drunk without heating?In Nepal it is quite prevelant that most people buy raw milk from local farmers but they heat/boil it well before consuming. It is not highly pasteurized. If you could please clarify, I'd appreciate it. Thank you for the intriguing pieces.

    A couple of years ago there was news on TV that a particular meat plant employees in mn got some kind of disease that even the doctors were not able to figure out what caused them. Then later it was discovered that what actually caused the disease was this particular SMELL from the meat (I believe it was Pork) that these employees were constantly exposed to. Any idea what became of this issue?

  • 6 years 36 weeks ago by: Bill Marler in reply to: Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA - Continued

    This was from a blog post over at after the President's Health Care Speech:

    The only thing the President missed tonight in the Health Care Speech - Real Health Care Reform Requires Safe Food

    President Obama once said:

    "There are certain things only a government can do. And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat are safe and do not cause us harm.”

    A few days ago I penned this Op-ed (declined by the Washington post) - it seems a bit more on point tonight after our President's speech:

    Linda Rivera’s excruciating case of food poisoning (Severe Case Gives Context to Issue of Food Safety Washington Post 9/1/09) should shine some light on a crucial reality that is missing from most health care reform plans: you can’t fix America’s health care unless you provide Americans with a safe food supply.

    The mother of six lies comatose in her Las Vegas hospital room as a consequence of eating cookie dough contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 - a vicious microbe previously associated with hamburger, spinach, lettuce, and raw milk as well as other products. But she is not an isolated case. According to federal health authorities, she is just one of the 76 million Americans sickened each year by tainted food, adding billions in costs to individuals, to food-producers and to our beleaguered medical system.

    Yet food safety is rarely mentioned in the scream fest that has been national health care debate in and around Congress. In fact, our national squabble threatens to scuttle any hope for the much-needed food safety legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House this summer. The Food Safety Enhancement Act would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority it needs to inspect food-processing plants and stop the distribution of food tainted with E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria or any of the other usual suspects. It would increase the agency’s ability to use emerging technologies to trace contaminated foods and additives back to their source, while imposing new safety standards on both domestic and imported food products.

    The potential benefits - to our children, our parents, and our neighbors and to the U.S. economy - are enormous. While the food industry insists that we have the world’s safest food supply, the authoritative Centers for Disease Control suggest otherwise: 76 million sick people per year, 208,000 per day, 8,675 per hour. Most of those cases are relatively mild, but the CDC says 325,000 people will be hospitalized, and at least 5,000 of them will die of food poisoning.

    Consider the costs to the health care system, such as it is. The Department of Agriculture estimates the combined medical costs, productivity losses, and the costs of premature death at a minimum of $6.9 billion per year. But that estimate excludes costs such as lost business opportunities, public costs, pain and suffering and much more. The Food and Drug Administration assigns a cost of $5 million per death, reaching a total cost of $17 billion per year. But using a more complex FDA formula that factors in the full societal cost, the savings reach an astronomical $357 billion.

    There may be argument over the calculations, but these are not paper costs; they are real. In the 17 years I have been representing the victims of food-borne illness, we have collected more than $500 million in settlements and verdicts against food manufacturers. Most of that goes to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages and the pain and suffering incurred by people whose only crime was to believe processors` claims that their products were safe. So what if we passed meaningful food safety legislation? What if we saved billions of dollars in medical care and treatment by avoiding poisoning in the first place? What if Linda Rivera and thousands of Americans like her never became infected with E. coli or Salmonella or Listeria?

    It’s time to tone down the rhetoric on health care and do something positive: pass meaningful food safety legislation that will put lawyers like me out of business, while saving money and the lives and well being of innocent Americans.

  • 6 years 36 weeks ago by: Annalisa in reply to: Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA - Continued

    Very, very good posts- thank you for sharing these conversations. There are many sides to most issues- thanks for bringing light to this complex topic.

  • 6 years 36 weeks ago by: Bill Marler in reply to: A Conversation with Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA

    Guys, sorry to be spaming your comments, but I think this is a great post that I did (less the post, than the comments) that point to the whole of the issues we are facing as we move forward trying to make decisions about food policy: