Well I am very happy to report that our Canadian Dairy industry is not as broken as i thought it was going to be and after many hours of deep searches for the evils, I found very little to report.
The worst is that it is not an industry for new comers as the start up costs are extremely prohibitive. The industry is regulated by a federal Milk Council to limit production to be in line with our demands and avoids overages but this also limits the ability to add any new producers. Our Milk Council promotes the growth of existing local farms in each province and protects them from foreign producers with high tariffs on dairy products produced outside of our boarders.
I found the best source for a good general view of the industry was a YouTube video called The Truth About Canadian Milk.
I went on to read a lot of science papers on chemicals, hormones and our packaging of in our dairy industry and over and over again I found good news. I confirmed that not only is all chemicals and hormones are banned from our dairy but if found in any batch, the farmer is fined to repair the entire contamination.
I strongly recommend that you save your money and stop buying "organic" milk in Canada. All the milk is produced locally the same way and with the same high standards, just make sure that it is produced in Canada.
These are just some of best sources:
As for our packaging....well that seems to be a bit of a debate as to which one should be continued in Canada. The producers are in an almost constant and slightly comical debate over the continued use of our iconic milk bags vs cartons and jugs. The articles i read all took one side or the other exaulting each carton's virtues such as their ability to be recycled and ease of use verses costs. In general, I love our bags. They are unique, less plastic than jugs, cost less to produce and are fully recyclable in most provinces. The official debate is not over and a hearing has not even been set so enjoy our bags for now.
The International Dairy Foods Association defines Pasteurization is a process, named after scientist Louis Pasteur, that applies heat to destroy pathogens in foods. For the dairy industry, the terms "pasteurization," "pasteurized" and similar terms mean the process of heating every particle of milk or milk product, in properly designed and operated equipment to a regulated temperature for a regulated period of time.
We have been preparing our milk for consumption in this manor since 1938 but it took many years of fighting for public health regulations and inspections before a safe milk supply was secured in Canada and pasteurization was made mandatory in 1991. I found the articles arguing for its discontinuation interesting even though pasteurization has almost eliminated the food poisoning, typhoid and tuberculosis that was being caused by raw milk. The dairy farmers of Ontario and our federal government state its necessity to kill pathogens such as well as e.coli and salmonella and that our milk still maintains its ability to be a source of required vitamins and minerals.
Today, pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption, among other benefits. Lower fat milk is also fortified with vitamin A. The processing of milk now takes less than one day from beginning to end. At the dairy farm, cows are milked two or three times a day by machine and the milk goes directly into a large refrigerated holding tank. Approximately every other day, a special refrigerated truck arrives at the farm to collect the milk and the milk is tested for quality before being taken directly to the dairy, where it is processed into milk, cream and other milk products.
The story of milk is fundamental to Canada’s safer and healthier foods—a great public health achievement.
The arguement for Raw milk is based upon raw cow's milk has all 8 essential amino acids in varying amounts, depending on stage of lactation (8). About 80% of the proteins in milk are caseins- reasonably heat stable and, for most, easy to digest. The remaining 20% or so are classed as whey proteins, many of which have important physiological effects (bioactivity) (9). Also easy to digest, but very heat-sensitive (10), these include key enzymes (11) (specialized proteins) and enzyme inhibitors, immunoglobulins (antibodies) (12), metal-binding proteins, vitamin binding proteins and several growth factors.
It is the "heat-sensitive" proteins that are lost in the pasteurization process but i maintain that we can gain these elsewhere and the chance of allowing past epidemics of typhoid and tuberculosis to return is too great.
NEW FROM CANADA.CA
Raw or unpasteurized milk cheese is made from raw or unpasteurized milk. But unlike raw milk, cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk is sold in Canada. These cheeses are manufactured and produced in a way that helps eliminate harmful bacteria that may be present in raw or unpasteurized milk.
Health risks :While it is generally considered safe to consume cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk, it can cause serious health effects for:
- Children, older adults, and people with a weakened immune system should avoid eating cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk, especially soft and semi-soft varieties (like Brie, Camembert, and blue-veined cheeses). Eat pasteurized milk cheeses instead.
- Pregnant women should avoid eating cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk, as well as pasteurized soft and semi-soft cheese such as Brie, Camembert, and blue-veined cheeses. Eat hard cheeses such as Colby, Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan made from pasteurized milk.
- Ensure it is a pasteurized product by reading the product's label or asking the seller.
As Canadian Yogurt is made with our good Canadian milk and regulated by our dairy industry it is a great food product. Please enjoy. Fat levels and sugars are on each label and i encourage you to read the label to find one that suits your dietary needs.
It is very important to not eat yogurt when taking antibiotics but please make a great effort to consume yogurt directly after completing the your prescription. Yogurt is high in probiotics which you will need to replace after taking antibiotics.
The following is a list of yogurts made in Canada:
Danone - made in Quebec
Yoplait - made in Quebec and also produces under Agropur and Agrifood
Paramalat - made in Ontario and Calgary also produces Astro and Beatrice.
In a nut shell, BUY CANADIAN when it comes to dairy.
Next week I am looking at our Egg industry and hoping to find it healthy as well but that might be just wishful thinking as we have all heard horror stories about the production farms. Enjoy your weekend.