Law For Food: The law affects what you eat. What you buy to eat affects the law.


The tide is turning…
31 July 2008, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Food Safety, Raw Milk

See here.

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Lawyer or Person?
30 July 2008, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Apparently, Law School

Sorry, I’m in the middle of some interviews and other career-minded stuff and haven’t had time to write up about the PA raw milk statutes. I hope to have those done next week.

Meantime, I thought this essay on the problems with U.S. legal education was strikingly good. I have often said that law schools should better focus on narrative, rather than the stilted dialectic of the Socratic method. Unfortunately, the Socratic method scales a lot better than hiring good professors.



Turf War
22 July 2008, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Energy Costs, Food and Energy, Regulation, Uncategorized

More on Raw Milk in Pennsylvania tomorrow. Today I found very interesting the Turf Wars article in this weeks’ New Yorker. It’s been my intuition that as energy and food costs rise, particularly if the economy begins to really slip, we’re going to see a great deal of suburban and urban yard converted into “victory garden” use, but my fear is that these will go the way of the original victory gardens: that is, they will exist until economic conditions enable our return to irresponsibility. Of course, the the emergency may wind up being rather longer than we think.

Tangential to this, Matt Yglesias has a good bit of writing about offshore drilling (which is intended to increase the supply of energy) as compared to high-density mixed-use zoning (which is intended to decrease the demand for energy).



Raw Milk Pennsylvania
18 July 2008, 7:56 am
Filed under: Food and Health, Food Policy, Food Safety, Raw Milk

Keystone Staters may have reason to rejoice: identical legislation has been introduced in the state house and senate to make the sale of young raw milk cheeses legal. Stay tuned; Law for Food will be following this story as it develops in the next legislative session.



Cork Forests Threatened
9 July 2008, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Economics of Eating, Food and Ecology

Audubon Magazine has an article on the ecology of cork forests, now threatened as wine manufacturers move to more economical screw-top bottles. I don’t really have anything to add to the article, but I thought you might find it interesting.



Our Long National Nightmare…
6 July 2008, 7:53 pm
Filed under: food politics, Raw Milk, Regulation

Having already solved all of the other food safety problems that place thousands, of U.S. citizens at risk, Federal, State, County, and Local officials today dedicated their remaining resources to fighting vendors in small, open-air food markets in rural Riverside and San Bernadino Counties, California.

There’s not a proliferation of these cases,” said Stephanie Weissman, an assistant district attorney in Riverside County, who is part of the team. “We’re just catching them” [emphasis added]

So, this must be a serious problem, then, if, even though there are only a few cases, the district attorney’s office is taking them on. I guess the crime rate in Riverside County is so low that the ADAs were just sitting around hoping to catch a jaywalker in the act, before all this raw milk cheese business caught their eye. I wonder how many people were at risk of eating raw milk cheese?

Chandler said the task force’s aggressive approach is paying off. At most sites, fiesta attendance has plummeted from 300 to 30, evidence that that the word is getting out.

Wow. I bet those 30 people are glad that los federales came in and saved them from themselves, and that the good people of California were willing to dedicate their hard-earned tax dollars to this endeavor, especially in this time of economic decline.

He doesn’t know how many Inland residents have been sickened, because food-borne illness often manifests itself with flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or fever.

“They may not realize that they might have gotten sick drinking raw milk taken from an infected goat’s teat,” Chandler said.

But they might realize it and avoid the particular vendor that sells bad cheese. They might also not be getting sick. This meddling nabob just admitted that he spent who knows how much of other people’s tax money saving 30 people from a danger that could very well never materialize. Anyone want to do a quick cost-benefit analysis on that?

Even better is Chandler’s attack on parajetes, a drink made from raw milk, “coffee, cocoa, cinnamon, chocolate sugar, and 100[%?] pure cane alcohol.” Chandler says two things about it:

“Parajetes is very close to wood alcohol,” Chandler said, citing its high alcohol content. “I’ve seen people drinking it destroyed by 8 o’clock in the morning.”

Uh, Mister, first of all, wood alcohol is not poisonous because it has a lot of alcohol in it. Wood alcohol is poisonous because it’s a special kind of alcohol called methanol, which is a poison. And second, if I lived in a place where ignorant puritans like this guy could compel the police to go break up a farmer’s market just because he doesn’t know how many people might get sick from eating there, I’d probably have to tie one on early in the morning too.

I can’t believe we’re losing to these people.