Tag Archives | Dairy

New Robotic Milkers Allow Cows to Choose When to Be Milked

Keith Weller/USDA

Keith Weller/USDA

New robotic milkers allow cows to choose when they want to be milked.

via The New York Times:

Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves.

Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand.

The cows seem to like it, too.

Robots allow the cows to set their own hours, lining up for automated milking five or six times a day — turning the predawn and late-afternoon sessions around which dairy farmers long built their lives into a thing of the past.

With transponders around their necks, the cows get individualized service. Lasers scan and map their underbellies, and a computer charts each animal’s “milking speed,” a critical factor in a 24-hour-a-day operation.

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Some European Nations Installing Raw Milk Vending Machines

Pic: Lesyeuxpourvoir (CC)

Pic: Lesyeuxpourvoir (CC)

Don’t expect this in America any time soon. The feds aren’t very keen on raw milk, which they consider a health hazard. Me? I don’t drink milk at all. Lactose intolerant and all that. Miss ice cream, though.

Via EcoLiving:

Compared with pasteurized and homogenized dairy, the news source argues that raw milk offers a wealth of nutrition—all without the drawbacks of oxidized fats, denatured proteins, antibiotics or growth hormones typically found in pasteurized and processed milk products.

Given the purported benefits of raw milk, multiple European nations have installed self-service vending machines that provide 24-hour access. Michel Cantaloube, who helped introduce the machines in France, the UK and Spain, hopes to expand the venture into a similar vending machine for raw yogurt.

Other countries like Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands have begun to install their own raw milk vending machines as well.

However, the U.S.

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Dairy Associations Lobby The FDA To Alter The Definition Of “Milk” To Include Aspartame

definition of "milk"It’s not quite as bad as some have reported – cancer-causing artificial sweetening additives such as as aspartame likely would still need to be listed in tiny letters as ingredients. But the milk could otherwise be packaged, marketed, and sold as just “milk.” The stated goal is to reverse the trend of lagging dairy consumption by children, particularly in school. From the U.S. government’s Federal Register:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the Agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient.

IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame.

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Is Your Favorite Ice Cream Made with Monsanto’s Artificial Hormones?

Ice Cream dessert 02Monsanto has been in the news again, with a U.S. District Court ruling that the USDA has to at least go through the motions of regulating the company’s genetically engineered sugar beets. Monsanto, you may know, is not likely to win any contests for the most popular company. In fact, it has been called the most hated corporation in the world—which is saying something, given the competition from the likes of BP, Halliburton, and Goldman Sachs.

This has gotten me thinking about, of all things, ice cream, and of how Monsanto’s clammy paws can be found in some of the most widely sold ice cream brands in the country. These brands could break free from Monsanto’s clutches. So far they haven’t, but maybe this is about to change.

Ben & Jerry’s gets all their milk from dairies that have pledged not to inject their cows with genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH).… Read the rest

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