Are all bugs bad?


I’m thinking about the inevitability of bugs. Specifically, the ones that populate us humans. And about how people seem determined to paint all bugs with one brush – the “bad bug” brush.

I got thinking about this again after reading one of a number of articles about the possibility of a man in Massachusetts having been infected with brucellosis from drinking raw milk from a local farm. Brucellosis is a disease that has not been seen pretty much anywhere for decades, so it was exceedingly odd to have a possible case show up out of nowhere. But there were several stories about it, along with the usual reminders of “you see what can happen if you drink unpasteurized milk!” (This morning the news quietly came out that it wasn’t brucellosis after all, and that the milk was clean. I say “quietly” because there was only one brief article about it in Food Poison Journal – no mention from all the other sources.)

What I thought particularly revealing about the original article, and why it inspired this post, was its title: “I’ll Take Some Bacteria With my Raw Milk.” Continue reading

Culturing buttermilk and other yummy things (including a handy tip)

Buttermilk culture

When I was at the Weston A. Price conference last November in Dallas, I got a few of Cultures for Health‘s outstanding – and beautifully packaged – cultures. I’d gotten a couple of their sourdough cultures last year, and they were terrific. So I sprang for a buttermilk culture. I love buttermilk. I can never find it made from raw milk, so the idea of culturing my own yummy buttermilk from some good Organic Pastures or Clavarale Dairy milk – well, how could I possibly resist?

(By the way, nobody ever mentions the fact that one takes on a certain amount of responsibility when starting to play with renewable cultures.  Continue reading