Friday, October 31, 2008

Another Great Post by LocalHarvest

So each month I just love the newsletters posted by LocalHarvest ( I always find them insightful, timely and interesting. This month they talk about many things, the Food Declaration initiative and then dairies, and organic dairies to be specific. Seems there are many loopholes that allow dairies to say they are organic, but not what you might expect. I am not expert- so see her reference to the Cornucopia Institute report.

Note that in our effort to all be healthier and eat local food, we all can't find a local dairy that uses sustainable methods, so organic is/could be the next best option. Unfortanately not all Organic milk was created equal so WE ALL MUST BE VIGILANT in making good decisions. So here is a resource to help you make that decision! Here is the article and link to the milk report

LocalHarvest Newsletter, October 30, 2008
Welcome back to the LocalHarvest

Last night as my husband was going through the mail, he held up a dozen political mailers from both parties and asked, "What if they just weren't allowed to out and out lie? It would be so much better if what they said was at least true." Indeed. In these final days before the election, we at LocalHarvest have ears for only two kinds of words: those that give shape to the hope we carry for the future, and those that shine a bright light on dark corners.

In this issue of the LocalHarvest newsletter, we offer you one example of each. First, the hope. Good, honest food is making a comeback. Hallelujah. Beyond the table, we are seeing that food is central to many social ills. Pesticide abuse, food safety, obesity, immigration issues, climate change, gene patents, water quality – these issues and more are rooted in part in our collective approach to food. We know we can do better. The time has come to give voice to what a healthy food system would look like. Some of the finest minds in modern agriculture have carefully crafted a manifesto declaring just this. They call it the Food Declaration. It's meant to be used as a foundation for future agricultural policy, and a point of common agreement among food activists across the nation. The authors are looking to get a million individuals and organizations to endorse it. We think it's an excellent effort and well worth signing.
Now for the bright light on dark shadows. I have been wanting to write about dairy for a while now, but it keeps getting bumped down the list. Truth be told, one of the reasons for this desire was my discovery of Dexter dairy cows. They're miniature cows. Aren't they adorable? I want one for Christmas.

Anyway, back to the bright light. We know that all organic food is not the same, right? If it's grown on a vast scale, it carries many of the same problems as mega-scale conventional food. This goes double for dairy products. You've heard that despite organic rules, a few organic dairies milk thousands of cows held in confinement. So how are you supposed to know if the organic milk you're buying is really something you want to support? Thankfully, the Cornucopia Institute has made it easy. Their recently updated Organic Dairy Scorecard lists all the organic dairies in the country and gives each a rating, from one to five stars. The ratings criteria is described in their milk integrity report. Check it out, and stick to the good stuff if you can. Read on for an update on our pricing survey, health info about the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and their cousins) and a recipe. As always, take good care, eat well and remember to vote!

Erin BarnettDirector,