Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Moonshine Milk: Got Bacteria?
Apr 07, 2014
"Got Bacteria?" If you're drinking unpasteurized milk you do. But a slew of consumers like the stuff, and there's a movement to make unpasteurized milk available to everyone.
That's a head scratcher, because the Centers for Disease Control say pathogens in raw milk produce kidney failure and can cause paralysis. Still, 40 bills have been introduced in 23 state legislatures seeking to legalize unpasteurized milk. Currently, it's illegal to sell and transport unpasteurized milk across state lines, which has led to a black market for so-called moonshine milk. Every day thousands of glass jars filled with raw milk move from state to state, some of it even packed in dry ice and shipped via FedEx. The CDC calls raw milk one of the world's most dangerous food products, yet pasteurization – a simple heating process that was first tested in 1862 – makes the milk safe. We think this raw milk movement is evidence you can't fix stupid.
Chicken's "Stupidity Just Overwhelming"
Werner Herzog has some pretty "fowl" things to say about chickens. He's not a farmer or a consumer activist, but a legendary German film maker who seems to have profited nicely from ridiculing chickens. Their "stupidity is just overwhelming," he says. In a 2012 video he said, "Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world." Wow. So what do you really think, Werner? "With a chicken leg on your plate, a good stein of beer in your fist, the world starts to look better." We're fairly sure Werner is not a PETA donor.
The Food and Drug Administration is charged with protecting our food supply from dangerous practices and unscrupulous producers and marketers. We think that's a good thing, but sometimes the FDA – like most government agencies – gets caught up in their own red tape.
This week the FDA is in the process of untangling itself from the red tape that flew out of control over proposed rules for the use of brewery waste as animal feed, part of a sweeping modernization of the food supply authorized by Congress. The proposal could make the use of brewer's byproducts cost-prohibitive, which would leave brewers no choice but to send the processed grains to landfills. Public outcry was such that the FDA hit the pause button. Watch the video.
Feedyard Disaster Plan
With 2.5 million cattle on feed in the Texas Panhandle, a natural or man-made disaster could cause catastrophic economic losses for the region. To help avoid such a disaster, Panhandle community leaders and businessmen have spent 18 months and $1.4 million to develop emergency plans for the area's livestock operations.