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Omnivore - Sushi, the taste of wine, the safety of raw milk

NPR examines three current food issues

NPR's "Salt Blog" has featured three stories in recent days that are worth investigating. The first concerns a viral video that describes the pretty shocking methods of harvesting fish for sushi. It was produced by a Portland restaurant, Bamboo Sushi, that claims to be "the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world."

NPR says that's an erroneous claim and profiles the difficulty of defining sustainability. That doesn't negate the video's facts:



This morning, the blog recounts an on-air piece entitled, "Most Of Us Just Can't Taste The Nuances In High-Priced Wines."

The issue is whether biology or experience — yes, another nurture or nature debate — accounts for sensitivity to the variegated bouquet of adjectives applied to wine. A new study argues biology plays a preeminent role, but critics and high-priced vendors aren't buying it. That's no surprise. If they did, that would render their work useless to all but a minority of wine buyers....

A small study has demonstrated that only 7 percent of raw milk consumers trust government claims that "raw milk caused most of the serious illnesses and deaths from milk-related disease outbreaks in the United States." Moreover, "scientists say there's no proof of nutritional benefits in raw milk, and that any benefits that might exist are outweighed by the safety risks."

The issue is becoming more contentious:

Tensions are escalating between federal health agencies and proponents of raw milk. Two weeks ago, a federal court backed the FDA's effort to keep a Pennsylvania farmer from selling raw milk across state lines.