Organic Pastures milk heads back to shelves - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Word from Mark McAfee -- it will be back on the shelf in four days.

All tests are negative.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#2 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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Even with the E-coli scare?

I also heard they were being investigated because their pastures are not technically "organic" as defined by law, so they may have to change their name....

So, so sad. They have been off the market for a couple of weeks here and there is even a salesman at my farmers' market every week selling the raw dairy products. I have missed it.
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#3 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Where are you located Miriam?

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#4 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by miriam View Post
Even with the E-coli scare?
.
Sorry, yes, that's the issue in the recall: E. coli. All tests are negative.

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#5 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 01:15 AM
 
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Thanks Amanda for the update.

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#6 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 01:47 AM
 
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Where are you located Miriam?
Burbank, CA - Farmers' Market is on Saturday Mornings.

I was told that by Whole Foods where I have been buying Claravale from Watsonville, CA.

Organic Pastures is from Fresno, CA.
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#7 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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Miriam - what do you pay for Claravale Farm milk? We just discovered that Wild Oats carries it (we are in Long Beach), and typically cannot stand shopping at WO, but assuming our local HFS won't get it's shipment of OP in tomorrow, we will probably fork out almost $4.50 per quart of CF so we can have raw milk this week. I also need to talk with the owner of our local HFS to see if she can start carrying CF along with OP.

ETA: I wonder if OP will start selling at our Farmer's Market (Sunday mornings). Hmm ... though I like giving our money to our local HFS - they are super cool and charge the least they can. (For instance, 1/2 gallon of OP milk is $5.99 at our HFS and almost $8.50 at Wild Oats!)

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#8 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also heard they were being investigated because their pastures are not technically "organic" as defined by law, so they may have to change their name....
Interesting. The mountains here in the Sequoia National Forest may not be technically organic either but I eat the cattle that graze here.

Does anyone know about organic regulations?

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#9 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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Miriam - what do you pay for Claravale Farm milk?
I pay $3.49 a quart + $1.00 glass bottle deposit in Sherman Oaks for Claravale Farms.

I pay $7.98 for a half a gallon of Organic Pastures.

<sigh!> I am old enough to recall buying AltaDena raw half gallons from 7-11 at $0.76 when I went to UCLA! I was a great lunch between classes and on the run to work.
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#10 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 01:16 PM
 
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Okay, then I don't feel so bad paying what we pay for our milk. It's even more expensive for you. And wow! Half gallons for $0.67 - how awesome would that have been.

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#11 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 02:13 PM
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Interesting. The mountains here in the Sequoia National Forest may not be technically organic either but I eat the cattle that graze here.

Does anyone know about organic regulations?
I don't know specifically what the organic regs say about pasture being organic, but what I do know is that the government now owns the word "organic", so it can be used as a tool to mess with anyone who doesn't toe the line otherwise (as in, publicly speaking out for raw dairy). Personally, I'm just about ready to ditch the word, its meaning is being drained away as I watch in horror.

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#12 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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I just had a lovely chat with OP. I had not tossed out any of our op stuff and Dh wanted some reassurance. I have no real faith in the states handling of this anyhow. : I am just about out of milk so we'll buy creamtop from tj's for this week.
I pay $5.99 per half gal of OP and $9.95/lb for OP butter, in San Dimas at the greatest HFS in the area.

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#13 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So are you not going to finish the milk or are you just not able to buy more?

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#14 of 58 Old 09-23-2006, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the first news I've seen on the recall possibly ending soon.

I had emailed Mark McAfee about something and heard from him last night that all of the tests were negative and it would be back on the shelf in four days. Apparently there is a process involved here even though there have been no positive tests.

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#15 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 04:19 AM
 
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OMG, my heart about leapt out of my chest when I first read about the recall! I feed my DD OP raw milk and was terrified for a second there. I'm relieved (and less that suprised) to see that it amounts to more of a smear campaign than anything else.

The dumb*ss dairy guy at WF the other day couldn't even tell me why there was no OP milk! : Guess it's a good thing I don't tune in the news much; my panic was for seconds instead of days!

In terms of the term 'organic' - yeah, it's really quite an empty shell now. To say that beef on CAFOs force-fed organic corn and supplements while knee-deep in their own manure is 'organic' whereas OP's totally pastured cows are not organic just boggles the mind.

I'm just finishing up The Omnivore's Dillema and the whole thing has me AND .
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#16 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The dumb*ss dairy guy at WF the other day couldn't even tell me why there was no OP milk! :
I think that's a good thing. They really can't say "it's not true, drink your milk anyway" and even if they tell you but tell you it's unlikely to have E. coli in it, many people would just remember "raw milk and E. coli" not "unlikely." That's the problem with the news coverage.

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#17 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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So can I expect to go get OP milk at wf's today?
or would it be tommorow?

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#18 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So can I expect to go get OP milk at wf's today?
or would it be tommorow?
Definitely not today. When I spoke with an OP person late Friday she said that they would not be distributing this week, but I got an email from Mark McAfee later in the evening that said four days which would put it in the stores tomorrow or Wednesday. The thing is, I am seeing nothing in the news on this issue, one way or another. I have a bunch of milk here so I haven't had to panic yet. We actually over-stocked so that we could take a week or two off the orders. Good thing apparently.

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#19 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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I'm hoping it's sometime this week because then our local HFS will have it in their Saturday shipment. It's too expensive to buy the Claravale Farms quarts at Wild Oats (and my dh and ds#1 prefer the taste of OP). *fingers crossed*

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#20 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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If anyone is interested, here is the email Mark McAfee sent out to WAPF leaders, which my leader then forwarded to me:

To our dear friends and wonderful customers,

On Sept 21st Organic Pastures received word from the California Department of Food and Agriculture of possible bacterial contamination of our milk and milk products. As of 9/22 all pathogen tests by state investigators, outside labs and OPDC have proven negative for the suspected human pathogen Ecoli 0157-H7.

However, to ensure the absolute safety of our customers, OPDC is working in full cooperation with CDFA and has recalled all our products as a “precautionary action” until the state ( CDFA ) has had a chance to double check negative test results on all products. These products include:

Whole Milk
Skim Milk
Cream
Butter
Colostrum
Whey

We fully expect our products to be back on store shelves within four days. In the meantime, we urge all of our customers to follow the State's health departments recommendations. If you have recently purchased Organic Pastures products, you may return them to your retailer for a full refund.

Organic Pastures Dairy has rigorous safety and testing procedures in place to ensure the purity of our milk. We are confident that further investigation will prove Organic Pastures products to be safe. Until that time, we are cooperating to the fullest extent possible with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Thank you for your support and your thousands of emails containing your heart felt encouragement and gratitude. We are blessed to have such wonderful consumers.

I am sorry I can return all your emails…there are thousands. Please keep an eye on the website for updates and details.

Only living milk brings life!!

Mark McAfee
www.organicpastures.com
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#21 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I think that's a good thing. They really can't say "it's not true, drink your milk anyway" and even if they tell you but tell you it's unlikely to have E. coli in it, many people would just remember "raw milk and E. coli" not "unlikely." That's the problem with the news coverage.
Sorry, but while I trust OP and think it's terrible they're being targeted, I expect my grocery store (ESPECIALLY a HFS) to be abreast AND upfront about any and all recalls of their products. It's up to me to make my own decisions about the USDA's recalls, and it's definitely not a 'good thing' to try to cover it up! If it actually had been contaminated, I would have been hopping mad - I gave DD the remaining milk we had in blissful ignorance.

Anyway, I think the guy genuinely had no idea why it wasn't on the shelf. Which is almost as bad.
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#22 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You have a good point, darwinphish. I also think a recall should have a basis. The health department here hasn't provided any information on this issue. As a consumer, you really don't have any information to make a decision. But I guess I shouldn't worry about the OP brand. They'll deal with it in their lawsuit.

I think I may go on a milk diet.

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#23 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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I so totally would love to go on a milk diet! I've been reading about how they used to do that at the turn of the 20th century for "curing" chronic illnesses ... if I weren't nursing, I think I'd do only raw milk until dinner ... just to see how I felt.

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#24 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 10:21 PM
 
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re "organic" regulations--my SIL is a small organic farmer with pastured chickens. she told me that Country Hen eggs had a huge battle with the government (aka, corporate farmers) over the word organic because, since the chickens are free-range and eat bugs (which can't be defined as organic?!?!?), they aren't "certifiably" organic. Country Hen still raises their chickens the "right way" (imo--they are beautiful eggs!), but i think they have to say their chickens are raised in "sunlit barns" so that those bugs don't affect their organic rating. i may be getting some of the details wrong, but that's the general gist.

the term organic is totally getting co-opted.

a little off-topic, but.......
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You have a good point, darwinphish. I also think a recall should have a basis. The health department here hasn't provided any information on this issue. As a consumer, you really don't have any information to make a decision. But I guess I shouldn't worry about the OP brand. They'll deal with it in their lawsuit.

I think I may go on a milk diet.
ooooh, sounds fun.Although, at the curretn price, I'd have to go on a milk diet-diet.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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#26 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 10:37 PM
 
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Whole Foods had no milk today
And sadly, the milk guy wasnt there and noone had a straight answer. They were all trying to edumacate me on the subject


Anyone know if Rainbow co-op up in the city (S.F)has any raw OP?If so, I'll make a trip up there this week.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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#27 of 58 Old 09-25-2006, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Leila,

I should change my headline for the thread because it's not back on the shelves yet.

Amanda

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#28 of 58 Old 09-27-2006, 02:43 AM
 
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Sorry Amanda, you asked a question a few days ago and I have not been here to respond. I have continued to use all of the OP products I have in the house. OP is the only raw availible here. At my hfs today they had OP cheese, cream and butter but no milk or colostrumI am buying the pasturized non homogonized milk at TJ's, though that is hard to get now too (seems others had the same idea) I hope OP is back in the shelves this Sat (my usual hfs shopping day):

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#29 of 58 Old 09-27-2006, 12:51 PM
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Anyone have an update? Have there been "official" test results released? I mean other than the tests OP does on every batch, I presume the state people were swarming all over them collecting samples for further testing. I can't find anything current. I'm impatient because I've been waiting for the all-clear to drink the rest of the milk I have. I can't bear to throw it out, but I also can't seem to make the little "just in case" voice go away!

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#30 of 58 Old 09-27-2006, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The tests at OP were clear and as of Friday night apparently the state tests were clear. I think what happened is that one additional case popped up late Friday or early Saturday and so the state needed to do more investigation. I'm guessing that since the butter, cream, and cheese are back that the commonality in the cases was the milk and colostrum and they are concerned not that the milk was tainted at the source, but in transit at some point.

So in terms of whether milk is all clear, AJP, I doubt they will ever say "go ahead and drink what you have." There would always be the possibility that your milk was part of some batch that got zapped. In fact, OP states on their webpage that we should all comply with the recall and get refunds, so perhaps you should do that because I doubt you'll get the peace of mind you are looking for. Otherwise, I would culture the milk because it could be a few more days before there is much light shed on this issue.

In the meantime, my dad just called to say "I don't need anymore milk in this week's order." : "Um, Dad, I have some news for you..." :

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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