The Art of Natural Cheesemaking class, Feb 2016

DATE: Thursday, February 11, 2016 to Friday, February 12, 2016
TIME: 9AM-5PM Daily
LOCATION: Shelburne, VT
FEE: $225 (Includes lunch both days; Optional accommodations available at $65/night-double occupancy- tax included)

David Asher approaches farmstead cheesemaking from a traditional viewpoint, avoiding the use of unnatural additives and laboratory raised cultures; instead he uses only natural ingredients, keeping his own starters, growing his own fungi, and working with the indigenous microorganisms of raw milk to help cheeses evolve their best possible flavor. This is a rare opportunity to learn with David, who will be visiting from the west coast of Canada.

For more information, and to register, click here.

News About Raw Milk Oversight at Federal Level

In March 2012 the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) released the results of a study titled “Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006” which is now posted on their web site.

In response to this report, the American Cheese Society issued a “Statement on the Safety of Raw Milk Cheese” which put some of the findings of the CDC study into context, as well as made corrections to some of its statements (such as that it is illegal to sell raw milk cheese in the US). Among the assertions in the ACS statement are: “Raw milk cheese, when produced and sold under current FDA guidelines, can be consumed without unnecessary risk” when that cheese is produced under the following circumstances:

  • producing cheese in licensed facilities that are routinely inspected on the local, regional, and
    federal level
  • producing cheese under the oversight of licensed dairy handlers
  • aging cheese for a minimum of 60 days before it is sold

According to the ACS’s latest newsletter: “In light of continued scrutiny, and with the goal of helping cheesemakers adhere to the highest standards of cheesemaking, ACS’s Regulatory & Academic Committee is at work compiling Best Practices for Cheesemakers. This document, as well as a related Best Practices for Retailers document, will serve as a resource for the industry to ensure awareness of current regulations and requirements, and to provide tools that can be implemented to meet those requirements.”

Raw Milk Myths

There has been a lot of talk recently about how the State of Maine is against raw milk sales. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Maine is one of only 10 states that allow the retail sale of raw milk from licensed producers.

Because of this, a great quantity of high-quality raw milk is available to Maine’s cheese makers, who have taken advantage of this source to produce more and more artisanal style cheeses that are making a positive impression around the country, and consistently winning national awards.

Mainers’ access to raw milk at the retail level is threatened by the sale of unregulated raw milk. Advocates for unregulated sales of raw milk undermine the longstanding — and rare — spirit of cooperation between Maine state regulators and its licensed raw milk producers, and thus threaten the livelihood of many family farms and cheese makers across the states who depend on these raw milk sales or on access to this legal source of raw milk.

If you have any questions about this issue, please read the Maine Cheese Guild’s Quality Statement, or contact the Maine Cheese Guild directly.