Human milk bank uses pasteurization

From cream soup to cancer treatment, I discovered many interesting uses for surplus breast milk after learning that PETA requested Ben & Jerry’s use it to replace cow’s milk in ice cream products.

"Whatever floats your boat," I said, "as long as it’s pasteurized for the kiddos."

Probably, the most widely-accepted use for extra breast milk is as a supplement for nursing infants whose mothers are unable to produce enough safe breast milk to sufficiently feed them. Several human milk banks exist in the US for this purpose.

One such bank opened this week at the Portland Adventist Medical Center and has a plan in place to ensure the safety of all donations before use.

"We’ll do a blood screen on the moms who are going to donate," said Angel Pyles, a lactation nurse. "The milk is pasteurized and rescreened before given to babies who are in need of it."

Young children are one group whose health and well-being are most greatly affected by the culture around them. Those babies are lucky this organization recognizes that even a woman’s breast milk has risks that should be controlled.

Almond growers want to keep it raw — with salmonella

I really just wanted an excuse to post this pic.

And the Cornucopia Institute, the defenders of all things raw and contaminated, provinded the excuse by announcing that a group of fifteen American almond growers and wholesale nut handlers filed a lawsuit in the Washington, D.C. federal court on Tuesday, September 9 seeking to repeal a controversial USDA-mandated treatment program for California-grown raw almonds.


What you can and can’t eat when you’re pregnant

At our first prenatal visit, which at 8 weeks seemed very late, we finally got some food safety advice from the medical staff. Along with the typical list of foods to avoid (non-pasteurized cheeses, smoked salmon, etc.), the staff member told us if we do eat cold cuts, it is advisable to get them from the deli counter in the supermarket rather than buying the packaged ones from big companies. We were a bit surprised, as this was … exactly wrong advice. The risk of listeria from the deli section is generally higher because it’s difficult to clean the slicers and we do not know how often they are cleaned.

While Ben and Doug have been going back and forth about which cheeses are safe for me and Dani to eat (is pasteurized brie OK or not? what about blue-veined cheeses?), I realize I cannot eliminate every risk from my diet. I can, however, minimize some of them. I just slice the brie, put it on Doug’s homemade baguettes, and pop it in the toaster. (It’s also delicious with a sliced beet.) The heat serves as a kill-step in case there is a concern. No, I do not use my meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the soft cheese. I supposed you could if you really are worried, but at that point it’s probably easier to not eat brie.

Although I very much miss smoked salmon — a staple food before pregnancy, I will not eat it unless it has been thoroughly cooked. Yesterday Salmolux Inc recalled 6140 packages of their Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon Nova Lox because of a possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Unfortunately, this kind of recall is common in minimally processed ready-to-eat foods. While no one is reported ill from this possible contamination, the risk is one I’m not willing to take.