Adulteration of Milk Lies at the Root of Dairy Price Crisis

Icing Sugar

Creative Commons License photo credit: masochismtango

Milk Industry Addiction to White Powder May Cause Dairymen to Lose the Farm

Lancaster Farming Reports that state lawmakers are wrestling with the milk price drop that threatens to put 25-30% of conventional dairies out of business. An interesting quote in the article says that the increasing trend of adding milk protein concentrates (MPC) to processed milk is to blame for the plummeting prices paid to farmers. Here is the link to their article… State Legislators Take on the Dairy Crisis.

Here is a good article on MPC  from The Ethicurean blog in March, which details the milk protein issue, and the fact that this highly processed product is usually imported, has not been tested for safety or granted GRAS status, yet it is found in many foods.

Here is a blogger bemoaning the fact that MPC’s may soon be plentiful in the yogurt cup. Yogurt is often considered a health food, yet, may be the next victim:  Yogurt in Danger.

As Health officials in the U.S. and Canada “crack down” on the raw milk market, they are largely ignoring the large dairy concerns that may be tainting our milk with MPC. This is Michael Schmidt Month on Hartke is Online! My goal is to draw the attention to small farmers like Michael, who are producing a wholesome, unadulterated product for the local marketplace, and yet, are being treated like criminals.  Our governments, both U.S. and Canada are basing raw milk policy on 50 year old science, while new and untested ingredients are sneaking into our milk supply unchallenged.

What You Can Do

Check labels–avoid products with additives like MPC.

Start buying milk from local dairies. In Northern Virginia, Shenandoah’s Pride is available at CVS Pharmacy & Dollar Store, and their provide milk to Bloom, Giant, Food Lion, Costco and B.J.’s Warehouse where it is sold under each store’s own label. I checked with the head of their lab, and they do not adulterate the milk in any way. They source milk from Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and pasteurize, homogenize and bottle it.

Find a source of safe, unprocessed milk. For those of you who want to drink raw or un-homogenized milk, you must look for a dairy that feeds the cows their natural diet of grass and hay. Grain feeding of cows produces raw milk that is not safe to drink (and that is why it requires heat processing). This grass-fed milk can often be found at farmers markets, or through farm buying clubs or through cowshares. In Virginia, where sales of raw milk are banned, my husband and I own a cowshare, at a nearby farm and the fresh raw milk is delivered weekly to our front door. Maybe that will be an option for you if you prefer farm fresh milk.  Check the realmilk.com website for a list of dairies that supply raw milk in your state.

If you are a writer, consider penning an article about the raw milk issue or the Michael Schmidt case for my blog this month.  The more awareness we can generate of the plight of the dairy farmers, the sooner the bureaucrats and regulators will change their focus. See my about page for where to send your article.

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