ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

One Farmer Parses Organic vs. Local Costs

At a panel I moderated yesterday for Woman Chefs and Restaurateurs, Jim Crawford, an organic vegetable farmer in south-central Pennsylvania, made an interesting point.

He said growing crops organically did not add to cost on the farm -- what added to cost was location, since smaller eastern farmers have four disadvantages compared with produce farmers on the West Coast. 

  • First, economies of scale. Since eastern farmers operate on a smaller scale they cannot match the cost advantages of larger operations.
  • Secondly, labor costs. His costs are higher than on the West Coast, where labor is often outsourced to crews of migrant workers.
  • Third, seasonality. Since the growing season is shorter, he can't get as much productivity out of his land as a California operation producing 10 months or more a year.
  • Fourth, weather. He marveled that one strawberry farmer in California told him it hardly if ever rained during the growing season. A couple of heavy rain storms on Jim's strawberries fields and they might be lost to plant disease.

That said, he noted that Tuscarora Organic Growers -- the farm co-op he helped start 20 years ago and which now has over 30-farm members -- was making strides in extending production into the winter months, especially with greens. It's doing nearly $3 million in sales in the mid-Atlantic region. 

- Samuel Fromartz

USDA National Organic Program Gets New Leadership, Change Coming?

The USDA announced new leadership at the National Organic Program, which probably comes not a moment too soon. The program, which regulates organic agriculture in the US, has been beset by criticism. Now, with renewed focus, it will hopefully push forward. 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that Miles McEvoy has been hired to serve as Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP). McEvoy assumes his position on Oct. 1. Vilsack also announced that the NOP will become an independent program area within AMS because of the increased visibility and emphasis on organic agriculture throughout the farming community, evolving consumer preferences, and the enhanced need for governmental oversight of this widely expanded program. Organically grown and marketed agricultural products are of key interest to the Obama Administration, and the NOP will be receiving increased funding and staffing in the new fiscal year.

"Miles McEvoy has worked in the field of organic agriculture for more than two decades and has a solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the organic community," Vilsack said.

For more than 20 years, McEvoy led the Washington State Department of Agriculture's (WSDA) Organic Food Program, one of the nation's first state organic certification programs. In 2001, he helped establish the WSDA Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program. From 1993 until 1995, McEvoy was the founding Director of The Food Alliance, a program that blends sustainable farming practices and social welfare components into an eco-label program.

Read the rest of the release here.

Organic in France - La Vie Verte

If you want a green view of what's happening in France, check out the blog La Vie Verte by my friend Denise. She covers a wide range of topics, with a recent post on how farmers in the rural southwest of France are faring with the organic label. It seems that for some, the costs and inspections aren't working and a few are letting their AB (Agriculture Biologigue) label lapse in favor of a more local emphasis. In many ways, it mirrors some of the issues faced by small farmers in the U.S.

She also talks about an exquisite French flour milled on site by a local farmer -- the baker in me is pining for it but shipping flour from France doesn't make a lot of sense. Plus, we have great artisanal flour here from places like Anston Mills, which any serious baker should try.

And while you're at La Vie Verte, get a load of that black gascony pig.

- Samuel Fromartz

Organic Study Making Waves Has Shortcomings

A study by British researchers finding no nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods has caught the media's attention. No doubt, detractors of organic food -- a powerful lobby -- are singing the praises of the study. Critics of the study also found it ignored significant nutritional elements.

I think a few things should be kept in mind:

The nutritional quality of any foods is affected by the soil in which its grown, the breed of the particular crop and the time between harvest and consumption. Grow two types of tomatoes in different fields, then test one at harvest and another a day later and the differences in nutrient quality will be dramatic. And not all the studies cited controlled for these variables.

But the biggest drawback in the study was what it failed to consider: the impact of pesticides used in conventional agriculture, which has been the most significant reason that people have chosen organic food, especially for children. As the study stated:

All natural products vary in their composition of nutrients and other nutritional relevant substances for a wide variety of reasons, including production method. Production methods, especially those that regulate the use of chemical fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides may also affect the chemical content of foodstuffs. Certified organic regimens specify the production of foodstuffs with the strictly controlled use of chemicals and medicines. The potential for any benefits to public and environmental health of these actions would certainly warrant further systematic review, but was beyond the scope of the current report.

Studies have consistently shown that organic foods have less pesticide residues than conventionally grown foods. Do those levels make a difference? That depends on the degree and length of exposure and the health and age of the subject. While it is known that chemicals have the most dramatic impact on fast-developing organisms (infants and children) the effects potentially develop over decades. 

While conventional producers have, in some cases, reduced chemical pesticide use in favor of more measured applications, other indirect effects are still prominent -- fertilizers poisoning drinking water sources being a prominent one in the Midwest. 

In short, the study will hardly be the last word on this issue. 

- Samuel Fromartz

USDA's Merrigan on Organic Standards: "The honeymoon is over. It’s time to show the world that our standards have teeth"

In an interview with Organic Processing magazine, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made extensive comments on the national organic program, regulations and the state of the industry. Here are some excerpts.

...In terms of enforcement, the integrity of the organic label is fundamental to the growth of this industry. If consumers don’t have confidence in the label, industry growth will stall—it’s just that simple. It’s not a matter of expanding standards, but making sure the standards we have are enforced. I understand that it takes a while for standards to really sink in and for people to fully understand the rules of the game.

But, the honeymoon is over. It’s time to show the world that our standards have teeth; that we mean them and if people are not adhering to the standards, they’re going to be kicked out of the program. It will take staff work and it will take eyes out in the field because the USDA can’t be everywhere all the time. Part of our enforcement program has to be based on whistle blowing within the industry itself.

OP: What other challenges do you see for organic? Do you have suggestions about ways in which the industry will be able to meet these?

Merrigan: I’m going to tell you what I think the biggest challenge is—and I know I’m like a broken record on this, or a broken CD or iPhone—but the point is that the biggest challenge the organic community faces is internal. It is about not letting the “perfect” be the enemy of the “good”; not to self-destruct by pointing accusing fingers at each other.

There’s definitely a need for whistle blowing on enforcement issues, but I think this community sometimes explodes issues unnecessarily on the front pages of the newspapers, which leads to consumer confusion and erosion in belief for the organic label. People need to keep their eyes on the prize and think of this as a long-term haul and to just be really cautious before they throw bombs. (Emphasis added).

OP: How do you think the Obama administration is going to help support organic growth, and what opportunities do you see for organic now that there’s finally support from Washington?

Merrigan: President Obama and the First Lady are deeply interested in healthy food choices and are particularly concerned about the childhood obesity epidemic in this country.

More than ever, they are going to bring visibility to the issues of healthy eating. That presents those of us working at USDA with great opportunities, as well as great opportunities for those in the organic community.

Is Organic in an End Game?

By Samuel Fromartz

Last week, the WaPo ran a story headlined “Purity of Organic Label is Questioned” -- a quasi-investigative story on how the organic “program's lax standards are undermining the federal program and the law itself.” 

I say quasi-investigative because it wasn’t particularly news. The tension discussed in the article, between those who have always sought to expand the industry and those who seek a more purist vision, has been fodder for many articles and was the subject of my book Organic, Inc. -- published 3 years ago. Often those camps are presented as big corporations on the one hand (chipping away at regulations) and small farmers striving to keep things pure on the other, both at one another's throats.

Consistent with that narrative, the article asserted that big corporations were compromising the organic label by lobbying for questionable “synthetic” ingredients in organic food. Small farmers like Arthur Harvey -- a blueberry farmer -- were trying to limit these additives. But before we get into that simplistic framing of the debate a bit of background would be useful.

What are synthetics and why are they important?

Under the USDA rules, a product can carry the “organic” label if 95% of the ingredients are “organic.” Processed organic foods, such as organic yogurt, crackers, cookies, cereal, etc., can carry the word "organic" if they meet this 95% threshold. But they can use approved non-organic ingredients in the remaining 5%. And these may be “synthetics” that must win a specific exception. Among them are baking powder, Vitamin E and C, xanthum gum (a thickening agent), pectin and lecithin. But as the article points out, the list has ballooned to 245. 

Although "corporate firepower" has lobbied for these exceptions, nearly every company in the processed organic foods business uses them, from independents like Newman’s Own Organics to farmer owned co-ops like Organic Valley and companies like Stonyfield Farm, which has a cameo in the film Food Inc. In short, though some are controversial, you would be hard pressed to find any processed organic food business arguing for a blanket dismissal of all synthetics. (For more background on synthetics, see “How the Media Missed the Organic Story”). 

Who controls those decisions? The National Organic Standards Board -- a citizens advisory panel -- explicitly controls the list of synthetics and makes its decisions at public hearings. But as the article pointed out, the National Organic Program at the USDA has taken a few decisions on its own that have stirred much controversy and tarnished the program's reputation.

The article states that the organic law enacted in 1990 prohibited synthetic ingredients in processed foods. This was true, if only because there were very few processed foods at the time. It should also be noted that synthetics were and are used in organic farming (chemical pheromones to disrupt mating cycles of insects, plastic mulch to prevent weeds, copper fungicides with limitations) but these were exempted because they were viewed as more benign than toxic chemical pesticides and herbicides. Plus, organic farmers had used them for years.

Harvey, the Maine blueberry farmer, sued to disallow all synthetics in processed organic foods and he won his case in 2005, causing a world of worry in the organic industry. But, as the article states, the Organic Trade Association lobbied for a rider to be inserted into an appropriations bill that changed the underlying organic law a year later and allowed synthetics to be used after all. This was not, however, just at the behest of big business. Smaller and independent companies that depended on these substances wanted a change as well, though many NGOs and some companies opposed it. The issue caused a lot of conflict in the organic world.

As for corporations, they haven't always lobbied for looser regulations. Earthbound - the organic produce giant - had misgivings about changes to the organic law and lobbied against it. Mars Inc.'s organic seed company, Seeds of Change, has fought to require farmers to use organic seed (a stricture too-often ignored by even small farmers) and Dean Foods, the owner of the Horizon Organic label, lobbied for a tougher pasture regulation, even though the company had previously benefited from loose regulations on its giant dairy farms. 

Why would a "corporate giant" lobby for a tougher law or regulation? Once they produce an organic product  it is in their interest to keep the regs tight so that it makes it harder for newcomers to enter. If they are loosened, it lets new players in who don't have to face the expenses and trials of doing organic right. (That's why a lot of transitioning farmers complain or avoid organics altogether -- it does take a different skill and knowledge set to farm organically and many won't bother or don't want to take the risk). 

In the WaPo article, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont -- the father of the organic law -- says, "If we don't protect the brand, the organic label, the program is finished. It could disappear overnight." He is right. But when a lot of these conflicts were going down -- in the pitched battles over synthetics, in the fights over the rider -- Leahy was publicly silent. My sense is he knew this was a factional battle and was unwilling to take sides; his larger concern was at the USDA itself, whose bureaucratic fumbling on a number of matters now is front page news.

In trying to notch up the volume on this age-old fight, the article veered into histrionics and inaccuracy:

...the USDA program's shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect: foods without pesticides and other chemicals, produced in a way that is gentle to the environment.

The article never supports that particular assertion. How have these compromises allowed pesticides into organic food? How have they eroded the environmental claims of organic farming? 

Although pesticide testing is not mandated for the organic label, studies could not find any signs of pesticides when children ate an organic food diet. (In contrast, when they ate conventional foods the pesticide residues showed up). These studies are more conclusive than testing for residues on the food because researchers actually looked at what children were eating and what came out in their urine. The pesticides weren’t there. In my reading that shows consumers are getting what they pay for: foods without chemical pesticide residues. 

As for synthetics in processed food, there will always be two camps on this -- and both present risks. If synthetics are taken out, even over a sunset period, as Harvey had sought, organic processed foods would fade off the shelves. Maybe that's not a bad thing, but the organic industry would be a lot smaller. If, on the other hand, too many synthetics are let in, and we start getting more organic junk food with a long list of  unpronounceable ingredients, that will spell the end of organics too. (A memorable petition at one NOSB meeting I attended came from an English muffin manufacturer who claimed they needed a synthetic ingredient to extend the muffin's  shelf life. My feeling was -- don’t make a fucking shelf-stable organic English muffin!).

Many people in the organic world recognize these tensions. They usually aren’t the ones quoted in media stories because they don’t have prominent web sites with action campaigns. But they are out there. Many had a hand in writing the laws and regulations. They attend every NOSB meeting. And they are still active today. Many sat on the NOSB. Few if any work for corporations.

There have been many stories about the corporate sell out of organic food, and people often say to me, "organic doesn't mean anything any longer." In other words, why buy it? That's the conclusion people come to because they read more about big brands compromising organics than about organophosphate pesticide residues in kid's urine. 

Companies like Dean Foods aren't helping their own cause by launching a line of non-organic milk under the Horizon label, just as they did with Silk soy milk. Their rationale probably was, well nearly everyone has a non-organic natural label, even Stonyfield, so why not us? Meanwhile, prices are being cut for organic dairy farmers and they are being told to reduce production. 

Writing in 2005, I concluded Organic Inc. by saying I didn't think organic food would be more than a niche in the overall food market and that the factions within it might well blow it apart. Sadly, in the midst of a deep recession, both assertions seem to be playing out.

Doctors Rx at AMA: Eat Local and Organic

A couple of weeks ago, the New Yorker had a fascinating article on McAllen, Texas, a  county that ranks among the highest in the nation in health-care costs. Funny thing is, the outcomes of the patients in the system weren't any better than places that spent far less. The moral of the story, by physician and writer Atul Gawande, was that you must control the culture of spending (and earning) to contain out-of-control health care costs.

What he spent less time on was the make-up of the county, which ranks high in alcohol consumption, diabetes and heart disease. The per capita income, he noted, was $12,000 a year and the Tex-Mex diet contributed to a 38% obesity rate (the national average is 34%). While acknowledging these social causes of illness, Gawande didn't take the next step and consider diet as a cost-efficient way to rein in health costs. Obviously, costs have to be contained in the system, especially one that rewards doctors for every test, procedure and visit. But why not include or integrate factors outside the health-care system that breed disease in the first place? Why not change the playing field so there are, in effect, fewer patients for doctors to over treat?

If Gawande didn't consider this argument, I was surprised that the American Medical Association did this week. In a fairly remarkable development, the AMA voted at its convention to support "practices and policies within health care systems that promote and model a healthy and ecologically sustainable food system."

"Preventing disease is paramount in the provision of health care.Hospitals, physicians and nurses are ideal leaders and advocates for creating food environments that promote health. This policy is an important contribution to a prevention-based health-care delivery system," said Jamie Harvie, director of the Health Care Without Harm Sustainable Food Work Group.

This statement wasn't just your usual "eat your fruits and vegetables, cut down on fatty food and exercise" type of recommendation. It was a blanket endorsement of organic and local foods, recognizing that the way food is produced effects health, the environment, even the conditions of workers. The resolution, in turn, was based on a report by its Council on Science and Public Health, which presents an informed view of the current nutritionally deficient food system. The report (pdf) states:

The current US food system is highly industrialized, focusing on the production of animal products and federally subsidized commodity crops, such as corn and soybeans. This has resulted in a highly processed, calorie-dense food supply, instead of one rich in a variety of fruits vegetables, and whole grains ... The poor quality diets supported by this system contributes to four of the six leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.

The report then describes the way industrialized food production has actually threatened health. "These methods have contributed to the development of antibiotic resistance; air and water pollution; contamination of food and water with animal waste, pesticides, hormones and other toxins; increased dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuels (including fertilizers)," the doctors' report says.

It also adds the clincher that I wish Gawande had considered: "Clinical approaches to addressing diet-related health concerns are costly and not sustainable."

The resolution passed this week states:

  • That our AMA support practices and policies in medical schools, hospitals, and other health care facilities that support and model a healthy and ecologically sustainable food system, which provides food and beverages of naturally high nutritional quality.
  • That our AMA encourage the development of a healthier food system through the US Farm Bill and other federal legislation.
  • That our AMA consider working with other health care and public health organizations to educate the health care community and the public about the importance of healthy and ecologically sustainable food systems.

Industrial food producers are already in a tizzy over the documentary Food Inc., but I bet they didn't expect to be facing the nation's doctors.

I would note a last bit of irony to this resolution. For years -- back in the 1950s and 1960s -- the AMA did battle with one of the earliest proponents of organic farming, J.I. Rodale. They investigated him, and brought complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (over Rodale's over-zealous promotion of vitamins). It took a few more years -- OK decades -- for the AMA to change its position and at least endorse one point that Rodale got right: That the way food is produced effects health. He realized this in the 1940s. The AMA acknowledges it today.
- Samuel Fromartz


The New Green Revolution - Organic?

NPR has been running a series of remarkable reports by reporter Daniel Zwerdling on the course of the green revolution in India. His latest is on farmers who have gone organic, because they were exhausting their soils with fertilizers. He profiles one in the breadbasket of India, Punjab.

Green Revolution advocates have argued for decades that chemicals and intensive irrigation along with new seeds were needed to lift yields. But critics say that approach has meant more chemicals to keep yields up, the loss of biodiversity with concentrated seed supplies and dangerous depletion of water tables. Then there are troubling associations with higher cancer rates in areas where chemical use is rampant.

The approach by the organic farmer in Punjab is instructive. Following the Green Revolution dogma, he found he was depleting his soils and having to buy more and more chemicals. Since going organic, yields have been mixed; he is doing well with rice, less so with wheat. But he's only four years into it and it it often takes years to replenish depleted soils. Even more remarkable, 300,000 Indian farmers are with him, growing organically.

But the mantra of the green revolution is far from over -- indeed, it's as loud as ever  as evidenced by the Monsanto rep quoted in the piece. Fertilizers, seed breeding and intensive production are also being applied to Africa, where soil fertility is especially low. But what we haven't been hearing about are alternatives -- which is why this NPR report was welcome.

Here are links to the previous NPR reports in the series:

- Samuel Fromartz

Image: Amarjit Sharma, a farmer in India's Punjab region, from NPR

Organic Dairying: Gauging Pain in a Tough Market

The New York Times caught up with the plight of organic dairy farmers today, which was welcome, but the piece also missed some subtleties. Fairly quickly, my email was buzzing with organic dairy farmers taking issue with the story.

No one argues that times are tough, that organic feed prices have risen and pay prices have fallen -- that supply is swamping demand. No one argues that HP Hood has taken the draconian step of cutting farmers off.

What they did take issue with is the overall impression that organic farmers are getting hammered and leaving the industry in droves. As the article states, "farmers nationwide have been told to cut milk production by as much as 20 percent, and many are talking of shutting down." (Added emphasis).

What also raised eyebrows up in Vermont was this graf:

Here in New England, where dairy farms are as much a part of thelandscape as whitewashed churches and rocky beaches, organic dairy farmers are bearing the brunt of the nationwide slowdown, in part because of the cost of transporting feed from the Midwest. The contracts of 10 of Maine’s 65 organic dairies will not be renewed by HP Hood, one of the region’s three large processors. In Vermont, 32 dairy farms have closed since Dec. 1, significantly altering the face of New England’s dairy industry.

In the context of that paragraph, it sounds like 32 Vermont organic dairies have shut down. To check that out, I spoke with Lisa McCrory, a farmer and well-known organic dairy consultant in Vermont. She said she knew of two organic farmers in Vermont who had left the business since December '08. One sold their herd and is renting the farm to another organic dairy farmer, so technically only one shut down. The remainder were conventional dairies.

That also changes the impressions of this paragraph:

While most conventional farmers are accustomed to withstanding price volatility, “organic hasn’t weathered this kind of storm,” said Mr. Allbee, the state’s agriculture secretary.

What it doesn't mention is that most farmers transitioned to organic precisely because they couldn't deal with the economics -- that "price volatility" -- in the conventional business. And until recently, organic has provided a modicum of livelihood for the farmer.

The article mentions one organic farmer who borrowed $500,000 to transition to organic. McCrory, who helps farms transition, said this is significantly higher than most other farmers, though she did note that costs have risen in the past two years because of more stringent organic feed regulations. (Previously farmers could transition using a portion of conventional feed -- now they must use all organic).

In a recent survey of 20% of Vermont's organic dairy farmers, she only found a couple who were "dissatisfied" with the business. She noted, though, that this NOFA-VT survey was done before farmers were asked to cut back production 7-15 percent.

"I don't want to sound like this situation is not serious," she said. "Good producers are having a tough time right now. This is not a great time for a young farmer/new farmer to invest in organic dairying if they are coming in with little or no equity."

But those who were not overextended and who have enough land to grow their own feed will weather the storm. They are staying put until the oversupply of organic milk begins to get in line with demand.

Needless to say, purchases of organic milk will help, especially from those processors associated with family farmers.

- Samuel Fromartz

Notes from the Sustainable Foods Institute - A Shifting Food Suppy

Blue Fin Tuna

For several years now, the Sustainable Foods Institute at the Monterey Bay Aquarium has held a stimulating conference for journalists and food writers in an attractive location -- the aquarium itself.

So while scientists, food industry reps, academics and journalists talk about the future of food,outside the conference room, sea horses bop, sea otters munch and mystical pink jellyfish swirl in their tanks.

There's always a moment when I leave the talk about dwindling fish and the warming global climate and visit a quiet room to watch the giant blue fin tuna. Somehow the discussions about the rapid disappearance of bluefin are all the more meaningful when you actually can marvel at these wondrous creatures swimming about. 

That's really the point of the aquarium -- to communicate what goes on in the invisible oceans so that we understand them a little better. The conference takes this a step further by connecting the impact of farming and fishing, and yes, cooking, on our food supply and natural world.

What struck me about this year's conference was a slight glimmer of hope amid a usually gloomy subject. This note was struck in the opening remarks by Aquarium director Julie Packard, who noted that 37% of all retailers were now avoiding unsustainable fish supplies, up from just 20% a few years ago. This is due, in part, to the aquarium's Seafood Watch program, one of several by reputable organizations.

She also revealed a few tantalizing figures from an upcoming survey of 22,000 consumers which showed that a third - a figure I found surprising - had heard about sustainable seafood. And among those consumers, most “strongly agreed” with the statement “I worry about the future availability of healthy seafood.”

There were other positive tidbits throughout the two-day conference. Earthbound Farm - the largest organic produce company - revealed that 44% of the spring mix salad segment (which includes spring mix, baby spinach, mache, and arugula) was now organic. And that segment is the largest of the salad business itself.

For those fretting about the 3% share of the market held by organic food, and the less than 1% of farmland in organic production, this figure was stunning. Nearly one of every two salad purchases is organic. We always hear that organic is more expensive, less efficient, a luxury, etc., etc., but these arguments miss the cutting edge of the market.

Now in its 25th year, Earthbound and its partners farm 33,000 acres, a part of it in the Salinas Valley near the Monterey Bay. By farming organically, they avoid applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of pesticides and millions of pounds of fertilizers, much of which ends up in streams and the sea. The fish are clearly better off. So are the people who work in these fields. Locavores might frown, but for the supermarket shopper the company is bringing an organic choice to the table.

Finally, in a discussion about humane animal production, Tim Amway of the American Humane Association said he expected 35% of all livestock operations to be certified humane in the foreseeable future, based on business in the pipeline. Now only 3% are certified. Now we can quibble about which certification regime makes the most sense, but nonetheless this figure was startling. More than a third!

What these figures show is that markets can change. But consumers and companies -- both pushing and pulling -- have to make the right choices. And if they do, we're all better off.

- Samuel Fromartz

Organic Demand Falling?

In the UK, the Telegraph reports that demand for organic food is falling by nearly a third, from a year ago, as consumers economize. Are they right?

Several supermarkets have confirmed a decline in organic sales during the economic slowdown but the Soil Association, the country's leading organic organisation, says this is because of the growth of independent stores selling boxes of locally-sourced organic produce for home delivery.

In other words, the Soil Association is seeing a boom in local -- underscored by the enormous growth in farmers markets and CSAs in the U.K. 

I haven't seen any recent comparable figures for the U.S., though a headline in the newsletter from the Northeast Organic Dairy Farmers Alliance read: "Organic pay price declines as processors panic over spring flush of milk and declining growth in sales." The article quotes figures saying that demand for organic milk grew 24% in 2008 but is projected to grow in the single-digits in 2009. Prices farmers get for organic milk have already fallen. The spring flush, by the way, is the time of year when cows produce a lot of milk.

If any market research types want to chime in with the latest data, I'd be interested to see if the U.S. is seeing anything like the reported fall in the U.K.
- Samuel Fromartz