Two good posts on food today at megnut. First, Michael Ruhlman writes on a proposed bill in New Jersey banning the production of foie gras, Foie Inanity Reaches New York. Second, Meg writes on raw milk consumption, Raw milk and E. coli. Both posts were quite interesting, and I agree with Michael and Meg wholeheartedly.
With respect to Michael’s post, factory farming practices are much crueller and dangerous than U.S. foie gras production. Any politician who decides that foie gras production is evil while turning a blind eye towards the majority of chicken and pork production is naive at best.
Meg is spot on the money with respect to raw milk. Milk is pasteurized for a reason. While there are good reasons to enjoy raw milk cheeses, it is important to understand the risks. If you don’t like typical milk, I encourage you to seek out milk that is not ultra-pasteurized and homogenized, like the milk at Ronnybrook Farm Dairy. Of course, everything has costs; Ronnybrook milk is more expensive than large-scale factory farming produced milk.
Michael Ruhlman’s post and comments has references to a book by another Michael, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I read this book while I was on jury duty last month and meant to write about it earlier. This is a very well written book that documents how food gets to our table from the start of the process. He visits a variety of farms and finishes the book with a description of a meal he made with vegetables and meat he gathered and hunted. Michael also researches how our farm system is heavily linked to corn. Several parts of the book were published in various forms in the New York Times Magazine. You can read these items and others on his web site; they give you a good idea of the style of his book. One good sample to read is The Modern Hunter-Gatherer. I recommend picking up the book–it is an important work on the food we eat.