Food soviereignty

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Joined Jan 25, 2013
will be a good thing until there is an outbreak of food poisoning linked to one of the new producers(I pray that does not happen) then all the naysayers will be proven right
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
 
will be a good thing until there is an outbreak of food poisoning linked to one of the new producers(I pray that does not happen) then all the naysayers will be proven right
Meh, I dunno. Most cases of foodborne illness is associated with CAFO's, contamination from workers (i.e. unwashed hands after using the bathroom either in restaurants or on farms/fields and other processing plants) and from the processing facilities themselves.  

I mean, we have an already imperfect system with seemingly weekly mass recalls of e.coli contaminated greens, beef etc/all. I'm more likely to trust the farmer down the road whose name I know than freaking Monsanto. 

Your point about the naysayers is kind of moot, IMO, since we already regulate the food industry with only partial success. Is our current system broken because of the amount of contamination we already have? Will the "new" system in Maine be broken if a small outbreak occurs? 
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
I'm more likely to trust the farmer down the road whose name I know than freaking Monsanto. 
Amen to that. It's ridiculous that we've grown these agro-businesses and huge food corporation producing food en masse, therefore requiring strict regulations, and now force small farmers to follow those regulations – which for the most part make no sense to their format of production. It is killing small farmers and small producers. I know the cost of compliance alone has discouraged many of the smaller farmers in Europe.

This seems like a move in the right direction to me.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
 
Amen to that. It's ridiculous that we've grown these agro-businesses and huge food corporation producing food en masse, therefore requiring strict regulations, and now force small farmers to follow those regulations – which for the most part make no sense to their format of production. It is killing small farmers and small producers. I know the cost of compliance alone has discouraged many of the smaller farmers in Europe.

This seems like a move in the right direction to me.
In some respects it's worse than you're stating.

Two strong examples: salmonella in poultry and TB in milk. When I first heard about people wanting "raw milk," I was shocked, because universal pasteurization has been one of the few great public health successes of the USDA. But it turns out that's not precisely true: actually, roughly 100 years ago, there were two major proposals to deal with TB in milk. One proposal insisted on hygienic practices, and the other on pasteurization. The hygienic practices proposal was shelved, for the simple reason that it would be relatively expensive for large-scale dairy farmers to abide by decent practices, and of course here in the USA, large-scale companies always win.

The same thing happened with salmonella in poultry products. Faced with the reality that the only way to prevent the spread of salmonella in such products was a quantum improvement in hygiene at poultry battery farms, the USDA ruled that salmonella just happens automatically in chickens and there's nothing you can do about it. They know that this is not in fact true, but the choices are simple: either require battery farms to have decent practices, or lie.

Of course, these hygienic practices are a great deal easier when you don't have that many chickens or cows, and you don't raise them in boxes of their own excretions. So if you brought in serious hygiene requirements, this would be a boon for the small farmers and a blow to the big ones.

As to this ruling: it really depends how the first outbreaks get reported, by the media and the government. (Not to say that either is monolithic.) If the public is given the impression that the outbreaks are (a) unusual, and (b) the result of allowing small farms to raise animals decently, then this will be yet another move toward the destruction of our food supply. Of course, to report otherwise, you'd have to contextualize: you'd have to report that, yes, there's been an outbreak, but in fact this is statistically a lot less bad than underreported outbreaks at large container farms. That's not an easy story to soundbite, so the media types won't like it, and it's better for small businesses than large ones, so the government outlets won't like it.

Result? I hope these small farms are really, really scrupulous about hygienic practices, or this is going to be just another blow to the US food stream.
 
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Joined Mar 21, 2008
I buy beef from a small producer(under 400 head a year), butchered by a small local butcher. I visited the butcher shop before I signed on to buy beef from them and asked if he would eat a rare hamburger from the beef he grinds. He grabbed a bit from the meat grinder and ate it raw. That is called being certain of your sanitation and butcher practices. He refuses to butcher chickens unless they have been inoculated against salmonella or come from certified salmonella free flocks, something ANY producer can do for a very minor cost. Many raise chickens from certified salmonella free flocks and don't have to inoculate against it. My eggs come from a flock that is certified, I have no fear making mayo or eating an over easy egg.
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
I guess is, what I don't get, is if we currently live under and accept a system that is only MOSTLY effective at stamping out food borne contamination, why would we not apply those same standards to small farms? Like, if they hit the same or better % of contaminated food what is the problem? (I mean, it is obviously a problem when food is contaminated, but hopefully you all get my point). 
 
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