Monday, August 13, 2012

Writing a letter

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that impelled me to write a letter to the editor

As published, it reads:

  Retired agriculture and economics professor Ed Jesse says that organic dairy cows produce less milk because they can't be given antibiotics ("Got Milk? Spinoff Shows Lure of Organic," Marketplace, Aug. 9).

  Your readers, however, shouldn't take this to mean that antibiotics are found in traditional milk. On a traditional farm, sick cows on antibiotics are milked into a separate container, and the milk is dumped until the antibiotics are out of the cow's system.

  If a trace of antibiotics is found in a tank delivered to a processing plant, the entire load is dumped—yours and whatever other farms' milk is in the tank. You don't get paid and you are fined. The tainted milk never reaches the processing plant's tank.

  Consumers can be assured that all milk, traditional and organic, is antibiotic-free.

Carla Wardin
Evergreen Dairy Inc.

As the reporter also stated in the article, "Consumers are willing to pay much higher prices for products they perceive to be more healthy."  Perception is king, but when consumers know the facts, they can make a more informed choice.

Enjoy your milk today - and every day!  For me, opening the paper and seeing my letter made it one of the best breakfasts ever. 


Jon Kidwell said...

What a great letter to the editor!

Ugh...perceived health. It's crazy that we are lead to believe that if a product is organic or gluten-free it is automatically "healthy".

Anonymous said...


I think there can still be antibiotics in milk.

Although milk is tested there are "legal limits" meaning some milk can have antibiotics it would just test below the acceptable amount. On an organic farm no antibiotics are used AT ALL therefore there can not be any antibiotics that test under the allowed limits.

Traditional farms dry treat their cows with antibiotics to help them prepare for calving. When they are milked after calving the milk is withheld from the milk tank for a period of milkings. Say 4. Well at milking 5 there still could be antibiotics present just not at a level that would be detected.

Also, not all antibiotics are tested - there are new antibiotics that are not being tested by traditional tests (see link below).

Most traditional milk is pooled with other producers milk, therefore one can never be sure of what other antibiotics other farmers are using.

Carla said...

Hello! Thank you for your comment.

If antibiotics are detected at all, the milk is not accepted.

As for the other tests, let me assure you - farmers aren't trying to sneak antibiotics into milk. No farmer wants to provide anything less than the best quality, cleanest, and healthiest product. It's not just a monetary reason - it's a moral one.

Carla said...

And Jon - thanks a lot! Enjoy your organic fries today. : )