WAR on Milk

This morning after sitting down behind my desk and logging into my e-mail account, I was hit with an article titled “The War Over Raw Milk” written by Sarah Gilbert. Midway through the article I took into account the conversation I just had the night before with my father. The foods we buy today in our grocery stores have more miscellaneous ingredients than the actual food itself.

For example, the recipe for chocolate chip cookies is ;
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour :
1 teaspoon baking soda :
1/2 teaspoon salt :
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed :
1 cup granulated sugar :
2 eggs :
2 teaspoons vanilla extract :
1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature :
1 package (12 ounces or 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips.

The above recipe consists of 9 main ingredients to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Now you will see the ingredients listed on the package of a major food company’s chocolate chip cookie mix.

margarine :
baking soda :
vanilla extract.

All the ingredients listed above in lower case are ones used in the original recipe. All the others in all caps are added to make the cookie dough have a longer shelf life. There are over 20 ingredients added to make a simple batch of cookies. My favorite is the last one “SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE” mmm there’s nothing like a little aluminum with your cookie.

The reason for the cookie story is to explain how with time we as a people and country have settled for less quality for more quantity and most importantly convenience. We like the idea of picking up a bag of pre made cookie dough that only requires to be placed in the oven for 10 minutes and voila! Cookies. We don’t realize how much of our food is processed and stripped of its nutrients so that we can have it readily available on a shelf.

In Sarah’s article she shows how the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), claim that “people do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish”. The FDA has long banned interstate sales of raw milk, and many states restrict or prohibit the sale of raw milk entirely. The article goes on to say that Raw milk drinkers and would-be sellers, who had previously purchased raw dairy products through legal loopholes began fighting back in early 2010.

The Raw Milk Debate

Raw milk is milk that has not been heated to at least 145 degrees, a temperature sufficient to kill the living things present in all mammals’ milk. These enzymes and bacteria have been shown to strengthen the immune system, develop healthy bacteria in the intestines and reduce the chances of everything from respiratory disease to obesity. Anything that yogurt manufacturers say about the “good” bacteria in yogurt is also true of raw milk.

Pasteurization, on the other hand, destroys both the good and the bad bacteria (like E. coli); it, along with homogenization (a process in which the fat globules in cream are broken to such a small size that they remain suspended evenly in the milk), allows milk to be transported over great distances and have a much longer shelf life. The widespread use of pasteurization and homogenization meant that dairies no longer needed to deal directly with consumers, as in the days of the milkman delivering glass bottles to your doorstep.

As the FDA sees it, the most important benefit of pasteurization is the virtual elimination of the dangers of bacterial infections. It was a huge concern in the late nineteenth century, as dairies moved closer to cities to provide nourishment for the newly industrial and urban population. But the concentrated quarters of the cows and a change in diet caused disease to start spreading. Pasteurization, say scientists, greatly reduced its spread.

The FDA officially banned interstate sales of raw milk in 1987, but it wasn’t until 2006 that the so-called “crackdown” began. Agricultural departments in several states, with the help of the FDA, started to stage raids of small dairies and buying clubs that were “replete with undercover agents, sting operations, surprise raids, questionable test-lab results, mysterious illnesses, propaganda blitzes, and grand jury investigations,” writes journalist David Gumpert, who has followed the raw milk war and written a book on the topic.

A Movement Takes Shape

As early as the 1970s, proponents of healthy eating and sick people in search of cures began to consume raw milk as a health-giving tonic. At the time, Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz (along with cookbook author Sally Fallon) came to the conclusion that drinking raw milk from cows who are raised on a ruminant’s diet — grass, and clover, and not much else — and treated well could be the basis for the most nutritious possible diet — and a movement was born.

As Dangerous as Romaine, Pistachios and Sushi?

Even Bill Marler, an attorney who has made his name representing victims of food borne illnesses, especially raw milk, has written recently that the FDA’s actions don’t make sense given the comparatively small number of the outbreaks of illness from raw dairy products — less than 1% of foodborne outbreaks. Marler asked on his blog last month, “is raw milk treated unfairly? Have health departments brought the hammer down on raw milk, while giving a free-pass to other dangerous products?” His answer was, “yes.”

On occasion, people do get sick from drinking raw milk. But the number of people sickened by raw milk compared to other foods does not seem to warrant the FDA’s focused, expensive campaign. Marler highlights five cases of spinach and romaine lettuce-linked illnesses in which, despite the sickening of about 200 people, there were no recalls or publicity initiated by the FDA. Yet, while a few pages on the FDA’s web site detail “The Dangers of Raw Milk,” there are none on the “Dangers of Spinach” (or lettuce, or tomatoes, or green onions.)

No government regulations of interstate commerce in peanuts, kale, or cantaloupes have been suggested, despite the much greater number of people sickened by consuming these foods. Sushi, a raw food that provides a greater opportunity for illness than raw milk, is legal in all 50 states, too. French restaurants everywhere serve steak tartare, a chopped raw beef dish.

My question is whether the FDA is doing this for our protection, or for the protection of the over $12 billion dollar a year milk industry.

To read more of Sarah Gilbert’s article visit|main|dl3|link2|

Felo, Miami FL

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Check it out if you are a Young Social Entrepreneur and have a good idea!

Contributed By : Vijeta Pai

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What is a Happy Good item you ask?

Happy Goods are products that contribute 100% of your dollars to the Planeta Feliz projects.

Order yummy Coffee, Spicy Sauce or Honey for you and help Planeta Feliz to put a future into the hands of children across the world.

Buy from Happy Goods and create change!

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Need an Alternative Summer Vacation?

Get inspired to take off this summer! And take off this summer to get inspired! Check out how the Global Peacemakers are changing the world one mission at a time, or multiple!

Travel to the Dominican Republic, West Africa, Honduras, or Guatemala and become a part of the movement for change, for peace and for others.

For more information or to apply contact Janna Gullery @
Visit SFP online at:

Mention that Latingipsy sent you and Help to Make a Difference this summer with SFP!

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SFP Needs Volunteers for Haiti

Service for Peace is now seeking volunteer staff to run a Youth Enrichment Camp through United Initiatives for Peace.

You can still become involved in rebuilding this country devastated by the January earthquake.

In this unique experience you can help to rebuild the youth by offering a caring, positive, and fun program environment for 200 children ages 8-18 from the Greater Port-au-Prince area .

Specifically needed are volunteers with experience or skills in French or Creole language, sports instruction, education, arts or crafts, team-building, youth work, music, dance, social work, life skills, theater, recreation, etc.,

But all are welcome to apply!

Please contact Janna Gullery to apply @

The camp runs August 15-29, 2010

The camp will be located on the property of the Haitian Academy immediately outside of Port-au-Prince and is equipped with a full-functioning health clinic, where volunteers can choose to work as well as seek necessary medical attention. All US volunteers will also be provided with volunteer travel medical insurance for the duration of their volunteer experience.

The basic logistics are as follows:

Two-week overnight youth enrichment camp offering sports, arts, music, dance, field trips, life skills, and personal growth & team-building activities.

200 Boys & Girls ages 8 – 18 from the Greater Port-au-Prince area affected by the January 12th earthquake, who are currently living in tent villages & other compromised conditions.

Sunday, August 15 to Sunday, August 29, 2010

*The Haitian Academy (L’Academie Haitienne)
Route Nationale #1, Km 25
Cache Cache Douge, Haiti

*The Haitian Academy is equipped with a full-service medical clinic on-site.
We plan to assist in its expansion to serve the general public by building temporary housing, donating medical supplies & equipment, and through recruitment of additional volunteer medical personnel who will offer their professional services during the camp.

To offer Haiti’s youth a positive, educational, healthy, and fun environment where confidence, creativity, and hope can be unleashed.

The youth camp will be organized and financed through United Initiatives for Peace, a 501©(3) tax exempt international public charity (registered in New Jersey, USA).
30 qualified international (USA & Caribbean) and local (Haitian) volunteers will be screened and selected to run talent specific camp sessions for the duration of the two-week program (1 to 7 staff to camper ratio). Additional staff will be onsite to assist with cooking, site maintenance, security, and transportation.
Creating partnerships with other relief organizations to assist with in-kind donations (food, tents, sleeping bags, hygiene products, clothing, etc.) will be a critical component for the success of the program.

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Do you Read Things that you Don’t Like?

Do you read things that you don’t like?

“What I will also suggest is that there are serious dangers in a system in which individuals bypass general interest intermediaries and restrict themselves to opinions and topics of their own choosing.” Cass Sunstein

In today’s world, the ability to obtain information and engage in avid dialogue through the Internet is something that has become part of our daily life. I used to be absolutely convinced that having all sorts of information readily available and at the tip of our fingers was a great thing. I still believe that it is a great thing, only that the problems and dangers that I used to see as consequences of the constant use of Internet did not include the possibility of self-alienation.

Lately I’ve been reading Cass Sunstein’s book The and it was this book what made me realize how selective I’ve become regarding the news and information I read online.
Sunstein’s argument is one that is convincing and somewhat terrifying. I use the word terrifying because I personally identified with being selective with the topics and sources I read online. I was absolutely convinced that this way of receiving information on what is happening in the world is an efficient and good method for me. Consequently, I did not realize that this highly selective method reception of information was dragging me down a path of growing biases and single-sided knowledge of events and opinions in the world. I have become comfortable with reading news that either caught my attention or that I agreed with, nothing else!

And so I would like to recognize that it is important to learn to read and look for topics and news online that we usually don’t like or know about, maybe if we make an effort to expand our web-surfing horizons we will avoid falling into the habit of seeing only one side of the story.

Tell me… Do you think that we should read things that we don’t like?

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F.L.I.P Success? Yes!

The FIU Leaders In Practice (a.k.a FLIP Members) executed their first community outreach project last Friday, March 19th, at the F.I.U Main Campus – College of Business. The F.L.I.P Members got together and held a Career Day for 50 High School students from 3 schools: Miami Edison Senior, South Ridge Senior, and Coral Gables Senior High. The event included an Alumni Speaker Panel, a “Life After High School” Workshop, a tour of the F.I.U Main Campus and lunch with Motivational Speaker, Frank Kelly. Students, members, teachers and guests – pretty much everyone who participated in this inspirational day, walked out feeling motivated and empowered.

The day began with a great introduction to who and what F.L.I.P is, narrated by Oscar Grau, FLIP Member and Moderator for the day. He then led an amazing Panel of Alumni. All alums of F.I.U, leaders within their industries and committed to civic engagement, each of these Panel Speakers and the 50 students were able to engage in an open conversation about what inspired them to succeed. Students were not only entertained by the panelists’ light-hearted introductions, they were also inquisitive and open about what they needed to know in order to move forward in life. At the panel’s end it was obvious that the panelists, students, members and guests all felt the similar sense of empowerment to look within themselves for the strength and motivation to accomplish anything. The Panel included: Basit Hasan, American Airlines Arena Group Sales Manager, Michelle Massanet, Producer & President of Garnet Productions, Yannira DelRosario, Business Analyst, Juan Carlos Morales, FLIP Member and VP of Finance for Hoodiny Entertainment, Nancy Levros, FLIP Member and Realty Agent, Miguel Lopez, FLIP Member and Entrepreneur.

After the open conversation students were then introduced to Jairo Ledesma, Assistant Director for F.I.U’s Career Development & Management Office. Jairo shared his expertise by providing a brief workshop with tips on how and where to apply to college, job interviewing skills and where they can go to find support and mentorship throughout the process. Then once they were handed the tools, they were taken on a walk through the halls of Higher Education and given the opportunity to witness college life in action. The Campus Tour allowed FLIP Members and students to interact and engage in a one-on-one conversation that would have, in any other circumstance, never taken place.

A long walk required a good lunch so along with the great food, the day was wrapped up with music and dance. A fun-filled performance by Motivational Speaker, Frank Kelly, pumped up the energy in the entire room. Frank Kelly shocked the students with dance moves and Hip-Hop grooves that made them think twice about first impressions. It was a great opportunity for students to learn how to make a Lasting Impression in everything they do and, of course, for everyone in the room to bust a move.

After all the dancing came to end, each student received a gift bag of donations put together by the FLIP Members, that included things like FIU Notebooks, school supplies, water bottles, bracelets, college applications, F.L.I.P T-shirts and more. And one lucky young lady, looked under her seat and found a pair of Miami Heat tickets sponsored by Alumni Speaker, Basit Hasan.

The day was truly filled with heart-centered, enlightened and committed individuals sharing their motivation with receptive and knowledge-thirsty students looking towards a better future. F.I.U. Staff, FLIP Members, Aceneth Ambassadors and all other FLIP Volunteers were extremely pleased and fulfilled with what they had finally made happen. Their mission came to fruition and it only inspired the members to think about what more they could do for the next time.

Stay tuned for more on Friday’s Career Day Success and the future of FIU Leaders In Practice!

Also check out the pics of the Newsletter and F.L.I.P Career Day Program for more details on the event!

For some behind the scenes videos, pictures and more check out:

Aceneth TV – You Tube
FIU Leaders In Practice Facebook Fan Page
FIU Leaders In Practice Blog

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Fish Friday sounds HOKI!!!

For many Catholics, Lent means 4 weeks of fish Fridays. Most of the time that means picking up a fish sandwich from our favorite fast food drive-thru. While there’s plenty of fast-food spots ready to fill that need, it’s not clear what kind of fish, more particularly whitefish is in your sandwiches. These fish sandwiches are made from swimmers like pollock, hake or, as Wendy’s claims, North Pacific cod. But tons of fish sandwiches, fish sticks and other fish products are made with a fish you probably have never heard of Blue Grenadier aka Hoki.

Issues surrounding fish and sustainability, are often complicated. Environmental groups like the Blue Ocean Institute and Greenpeace give New Zealand hoki a poor rating. Research scientist for the Blue Ocean Institute, Alan Duckworth says, “We’re in the process of updating our hoki report now, but the biggest concern with hoki is very low abundance compared to what it used to be.”

Other complaints include the bottom trawling methods used to catch the fish, which can damage seafloor habitat, and high by-catch rates that include the snaring of threatened seabirds or mammals like fur seals and sea lions. “They take over 100,000 tons of it a year. That’s huge. It’s one of the biggest fisheries in the world. But hoki is a mess.” says Casson Trenor, Senior Markets Campaigner for Greenpeace U.S.A., which gives the fish a red listing. “Hoki is one of the most valuable fisheries in New Zealand.”

Hoki was red-listed (red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries) by Greenpeace New Zealand in 2008, which is the year they launched their Fish Guide. According to Trenor, one of Greenpeace’s major objections is that hoki migrate from New Zealand to a deep-water trench when they move from feeding to spawning, and says fishermen catch them at this vulnerable time. But the Marine Stewardship Counsil (MSC), a certification and ecolabeling program for sustainable seafood, has given the okay to the New Zealand fishery since 2001. Why the difference? “We are each measuring fisheries to different standards,” says Brad Ack, the director of special projects at the MSC’s office of the CEO.

Conditions for reducing by-catch rates, plans for rebuilding stock levels and more were set as part of the MSC certification process. This past October, the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries announced the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) of the country’s two hoki fisheries had increased by more than 20 percent over the previous year. According to the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, it was a validation that the stocks had been managed sustainably after a period of decline. Karli Thomas of Greenpeace New Zealand says the hoki catch is now less than half its 2001 level when it received MSC certification.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to need to find a source of cheap whitefish protein that’s not from a wild fishery, because the largest fisheries in the world, like hoki and pollock, are collapsing,” says Trenor. “We’re going to be looking to aquaculture, but we have to do it right. If we could create strong environmental standards to grow it, we could make it work.

Blue Grenadier
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The blue grenadier, hoki, blue hake, New Zealand whiptail, whiptail or whiptail hake, Macruronus novaezelandiae, is a merluccid hake of the family Merlucciidae found around southern Australia and New Zealand at depths of between 10 and 1,000 m (33 and 3,300 ft). Its length is between 60 and 120 cm (24 and 47 in). The meat of the fish is white.

Commercial use: The hoki is one of the species used in McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish and McFish sandwiches.It was previously served at Long John Silver’s and Denny’s restaurants in the United States, and continues to be served in Denny’s in New Zealand.

Sustainable consumption: The blue grenadier is the subject of a large commercial fishery industry in New Zealand, which has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as well-managed and sustainable in March 2001. New Zealand has established a fishing quota of about 100,000 tons. The first MSC certification ended in April 2007. Reassessment of the certification commenced in early 2005 and finished in October 2007. A 2009 New York Times article raised questions over the sustainability of blue grenadier fishing practices around New Zealand, though its conclusions were disputed by New Zealand representatives.

In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the blue grenadier (Hoki) to its seafood red list. “The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.”

By: Felo from Miami
Information gathered from Wikipedia and SlashFood Articles

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Alternative Vacations: The Brazil Experience

These days the youth of America are not as interested in Spring Break or heading to the beach when they have time off from school. This past December, Service for Peace and its members achieved yet another extraordinary thing by spending the holiday break in Brazil and rebuilding a community center with their own hands.

This group of young Global Peacemakers spent 2 weeks in Alagado da Suzana, Brazil and visited the surrounding areas learning about the culture, the needs, the desires and the ways that locals can live in happier and healthier conditions, with assistance from the government and organizations like Service for Peace.

After speaking with a group of the members, all in their early-mid 20’s, the most common responses were “The trip changed my life” and “I want to spend my next vacation doing this”. There was fun to be found amongst planting trees, painting walls, digging canals and barbecues with local government officials. There was fulfillment to be found in bringing opportunity to a community and smiles to the faces of the families and children.

Some of the members were kind enough to share their personal reflections, private moments taken at the end of each day to write down whatever they wanted. I was moved to see how each one of these young members relished in the experience. It was refreshing to see new perspectives on what can bring fulfillment. I was inspired to share their story in hopes of inspiring more of today’s youth into taking Alternative Vacations. Become the change you want to see in the world and let new experiences be your way of doing it.

For more on upcoming Global Peacemakers: Service for Peace projects visit

For more videos from this Brazil experience, visit Aceneth TV on You Tube.

Final reflection: Ryan Vogel
From New York, living in Miami, goes to FIU, age 22
GPM Brazil was his third GPM
Active member of SFP club at FIU for over 3 years

Some people come to leave long-lasting effects on a community, but I just come for the fun. When I’m at home in the U.S. I do a lot of service. Whether it be bringing a Thanksgiving celebration and dinner to a poor family, or helping an elderly person cross the street safely, I like to serve for one reason and one reason only—because it is fun! For, if I enjoy helping someone and they enjoy spending that time with me as well, then why wouldn’t I continue serving? This, to me, is where the magic happens. When there is a handful of children each within a meter of me, all of them struggling to catch their breath because they are laughing so hard—that’s fun! When me and the guys are laying awake in our sleeping bags, laughing all night—that’s fun! When me and a neighbor are covered from head to toe in mud, working together to build something that neither could do alone—that’s fun! Moments like these bring tears to my eyes, tears for good memories, and for memories yet to come.

Final Reflection: Dimmy Herard
From Miami, PhD student at FIU, age 26
GPM Brazil was 3rd or 4th GPM project
Active member of Miami SFP chapter for over 3 years

For me, this Global Peacemakers project in Brazil was the planting of seeds that will one day bear the fruits of a growing relationship. Brazil is a beautiful country with warm and inviting people. Laughs and smiles come quite readily. But more importantly, what I see in Brazil is progress. This is one of the first Global Peacemakers projects that I have been involved in where you can feel the presence of the government and the vibrancy of a growing civil society. I get the sense that the two are feeding off of one another to produce the type of rapid changes that are evident in Brazilians’ everyday lives. While the community of Alagado da Suzana seems worlds away, within a lifetime the gap will be closed. This is because of the variety of groups that Service for Peace has been able to partner with here in Brazil, and their active roles in seeking positive change. I believe that the sheer will to work for change is the foundation for progressive change. I think that this will to work for change was what we brought to the community of Alagado da Suzana. By showing people in a small forgotten village on the outskirts of our relatively comfortable lives in whichever part of the U.S. we were from to get our hands dirty to do the work necessary to help them realize their full potential, we awakened their will to take the smallest, yet biggest, step that there is: to believe that they can change their lives if they simply believed they could.

Final Reflection: Samir Patel
From Kentucky (or Tennessee?), lives in Miami and goes to FIU
GPM Brazil was his first GPM

I had an amazing time. I went through many obstacles and one life-changing experience. My life-changing experience came from a game that we played during the educational reflection session. In this particular game, I was put on a team that had many useful people. My drive to always be the center of attention was what led my team to failure. We all made excuses, but I knew I had failed everyone by being myself. Had I just taken a moment to think and stood back to let others do what needed to be done, we would have had a better chance at winning. Now, I plan on changing this part of me by concentrating on this weakness. The next time I am in that kind of situation, I’ll handle it right, use all of my resources, and let others take the credit. I’m sure this will change my life for the better. It will be hard to accomplish, but it will be worth it. Brazil was so amazing.

Final Reflection: Michael Bustamente
From New York, undergraduate at St. John’s College
GPM Brazil was his first GPM

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The work we did and the meetings we had had an impact on me, but the biggest factor was the interactions I had with the people in Alagado da Suzana and within our group of volunteers. I have never felt sooo comfortable with a group of people (besides my family) than this one. I honestly feel that I’ve made friends and forms relationships that will last me a lifetime. At first I thought I was crazy for giving up half of my vacation to this, but now I feel that I’d be crazy if I didn’t give up the entire month during my next vacation for another Global Peacemakers project.

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Miami’s F.I.U Leaders In Practice in action…

Check out the F.L.I.P Members, all Alumni from Florida International University in Miami, doing their part within their community.

Here is a great article on what these changemakers are doing, plus Rodrigo Arboleda from One-Latpop Per Child and Inspirational Speaker Frank Kelly.

Below is the link to F.L.I.P’s new video, produced by the F.L.I.P members, about their mission and an inside look on the needs and goals of our youth today.!/video/video.php?v=1354702707149&ref=mf

And for more go to Aceneth TV – You Tube where you can see some of the behind-the-scenes footage from this production and really great, inspirational moments from the students themselves.

The F.L.I.P Program is creating change within the community of South Florida. This is just one avenue for changemakers in this area. Get involved today and create the change for tomorrow, wherever you are.

To help this cause please visit


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