Food safety is of the utmost importance to [us] and the craftspeople from who we get our goods. Too, food safety is a real life challenge for all producers. Instead of punishing local artisans for their trials, we choose to support them in developing stronger controls. The Estrellas feed their children their cheese; they are real people, real farmers, who would never risk eaters’ health to turn a buck.
Patrons of the market can contribute any amount they wish at the cash registers in the store. If you live outside of the Seattle area, you can send a check to the store payable to Central Co-op (address and other info here) with "Estrella Family Creamery" in the subject line.
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You may already be familiar with the recall of raw milk cheeses at Morningland Dairy in Missouri. This saga has achieved a high profile in part because Morningland Dairy products were among those seized during the infamous raid at Rawsome Foods in Venice, CA in June of this year. Footage of the raid, taken by a security camera (see here) shows that authorities arrived at the market with guns drawn. The incident was later parodied by Stephen Colbert.
In addition to the past recall, Morningland Dairy faces the seizure and destruction of 50,000 lbs of their cheese (cheese Morningland says is not tainted) by the state of Missouri. A fund has been set up to benefit them in their legal battle against Missouri state authorities and the FDA. For more info or to contribute to this cause via Paypal, click here.