The Harvard Food Law Society raw milk debate: Sally Fallon Morell (President, Weston A. Price Foundation) and David Gumpert (Author, The Raw Milk Revolution) representing the "pro-raw milk" side, vs. Fred Pritzker (Pritzker & Olson Law Firm) and Dr. Heidi Kassenborg
(Director, Dairy & Food Inspection Division, Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture) on the "anti-raw milk" team.
How safe is raw milk, compared to other foods like cantaloupe, spinach, ground beef, etc.? Should we have the right to choose what we eat based on what we believe?
The pace of the debate may be a little slow for folks new to the issues, but it is an interesting point of contact between the two sides, to be sure.
We can buy tobacco without having to drive to a farm, we can buy alcohol without driving to a distillery, and we can buy both without having to sign waivers. Surely these are more dangerous than raw milk--and yet raw milk is more difficult to buy in most of the US, and not available nearly as widely as cigarettes and alcohol.
How many deaths can truly be ascribed to raw milk, vs. alcohol and tobacco? Is it possible that raw milk regulations, and prohibitions in general, are motivated by something other than concern for public safety?
Fred Pritzker even said it--the regulatory status of raw milk is ultimately a matter of politics, not of science. The more we demand access to raw milk, the more we tell our politicians and regulators that it's important to us, and the more willing we are to defy ridiculous ordinances, the better our prospects for reasonable food laws.
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by Weston A. Price: Rather that theorizing abstractly about human nutrition, the author sought out isolated groups of healthy people around the world (this was in the 1930s, when there were still isolated groups of people), and documented their foodways. Price's book is jaw-dropping (literally). He describes group after group of people who are healthy in isolation, and become sick, miserable, and toothless when they adopt a "modern" diet. Aren't you curious what they were eating when they were healthy? Full write-up coming soon.
Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji and Yoshiki Tsuji: A masterwork on the subject of Japanese cuisine, and by extension, Japanese culture.
Winning Bicycle Racing, by Jack Simes: A short, fascinating book on the subject of bicycling, published in 1976, when the majority of men still wore moustaches. And as with any bicycling publication, there are some great facial expressions.
The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down by the Secret Societies, by Mark Booth: A truly fascinating, meticulously documented look at the evolution of human consciousness and religion. What are some of the connections among different religions' creation myths and pantheons? Why are there astrological and other "pagan" symbols in Christian rites? Did you know that "elohim", the Hebrew word in Genesis typically translated as "God", is actually a plural noun? And so on. N.B.: the book describes an almost exclusively male experience. I think Booth could have done more in the front material to explain this, or at least to notify the reader of the orientation.
The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy, by Sasha Issenberg: The history of sushi and the sushi supply chain, detailing the journey that your fish takes from the cold ocean to your neighborhood sushi bar, often by way of Tokyo. Sasha Issenberg focuses on the lives of the people involved in the sushi trade. Fascinating and well-written.
The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice, by Trevor Corson: The story of some students at a sushi academy—and more generally, the story of sushi itself. A wonderful book, entertaining, thorougly and carefully researched, and instructive. It makes me want to eat sushi. Or write about it. Similar, but only a bit, to The Making of a Chef, by Michael Ruhlman.
Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.
I have marketing connections to some of the brands, topics or products herein. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made.