Straus Family Creamery Spring Moosletter

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Keywords: Ethical Production and Consumption | Dairy | GMO | Straus Family Creamery | genetically modified organisms | just label it | organic | right to know | straus creamery

Straus Family Creamery Spring Moosletter

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Summary

What's New at Straus Family Creamery?

  • CA Right to Know Campaign Confident to Get on 2012 Ballot in November
  • New--Organic, Lactose-Free, Cream-Top Milk
  • President Obama Calls on Northern California Sustainability Leaders to Share Their Insights
  • Straus Family Creamery on the Road: Expo West, Earth Day Marin, Earth Day at Google
  • Spring Recipe by Vanessa Barrington – Fresh Ricotta Crêpes with Homemade Crème Fraîche and Vanilla Scented Strawberries
  • Just Label It Campaign Submits More than One Million Consumer Comments to the FDA
Newsletter
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 2:00pm

GMO Labeling Update-1: California Right to Know Campaign Confident to Get on Ballot in November
We have very exciting news! On May 2nd, the 2012 California Right to Know Campaign submitted a total of 971,126 signatures in support of GMO labeling in counties all across California, nearly double the number of signatures necessary to qualify for the November ballot. Rallies were held at City Hall in San Francisco and in three other cities, where boxes full of ballot sheets were ceremonially submitted. Helen Lentze, Denise Shermer and Albert Straus were able to attend the festivities in San Franicsco and Albert spoke to show his support at the press conference. Watch the full speech here.

Pamm Larry, a mother, grandmother and former midwife from Chico, started the campaign last year with her group Label GMOs. She singlehandedly organized hundreds of community leaders who, in turn, engaged thousands of volunteers to collect signatures. In only ten weeks, volunteers collected the nearly one million signatures - a great achievement that is reflective of the high level of support GMO labeling enjoys. A recent study from the Melman Group showed that 92% of Americans polled are in favor of GMO labeling, regardless of their age, gender, political orientation or economic status.

In approximately six weeks, the campaign expects the ballot initiative to be certified. Straus Family Creamery will continue to support this campaign in the months to come and will continue to help with education about GMOs and our food system, as it relates to our mission of supporting small, family farms.

More information at www.carighttoknow.org

 

NEW – Organic, Lactose-Free, Reduced Fat, Cream-Top Milk
The newest member of our product family is our Lactose-Free, Reduced Fat, Organic, Cream-Top Milk. It has the same nutritional benefits, comes from the same cows, is pasteurized (and non-homogenized) and is bottled in reusable glass bottles, like all of our milk.

Lactose intolerance is commonly occurring in the United States. According to the Innovation Center of US Dairy, 24% of US adults (or 53 million) suffer from symptoms of lactose intolerance. The vast majority of those asked like the idea of including more dairy in their diets, if it was more easily digested.

Straus Family Creamery offers a lactose-free option that is certified organic, sustainably made and available in reusable, glass bottles. Like all other Straus Family Creamery milk, it is Non-GMO Project verified, certified kosher and gluten free.

Lactose-free milk naturally tastes a little bit sweeter because the lactose is turned into an easily digested sugar, but other than that you’ll enjoy the rich and full-bodied taste you are used to from our other cream-top milks. The unique taste comes from the sweet grasses our cows graze on, which grow in Northern California’s Marin and Sonoma Counties.

>> Find a store near you

 

President Obama Calls on Northern California Sustainability Leaders to Share Their Insights
In mid-March, Albert Straus was invited to a White House sponsored Energy, Environment and Conservation Roundtable, one of a series of talks initiated by President Obama and organized by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. Assistant Chief of NRCS, James Gore, invited sustainability leaders from Marin, Sonoma and adjacent counties to share their insights, stories and challenges.

Participants included local wineries such as Kendall Jackson and Fetzer, representatives from regional Resource Conservation Districts, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carillo and local dairy and produce farmers.

James Gore grew up in Healdsburg and Windsor and strives to “see his home with different eyes” now that he works for the federal government. Mr. Gore repeatedly emphasized the vibrant leadership role Marin and Sonoma Counties have taken with their extensive sustainability efforts.

The meeting was presented as an opportunity to put valuable knowledge on the record for Gore to bring back to Washington, DC. Albert Straus had several requests, including that the USDA fund efforts to improve metrics to measure the carbon footprint of farms; conduct more research on standards of care for organic livestock; and create additional funding for the implementation of renewable energy systems, such as methane digesters.

 

Straus Family Creamery on the Road: Natural Products Expo West, Earth Day Marin, Earth Day at Google
It has been an exciting few months as we have been able to participate in numerous events this spring. The Natural Foods Expo West is the largest food trade show in the West and is a melting pot of food buyers, retailers, producers and foodies.  We had a great time presenting our products and learning about new trends in the organic foods market.

The expo draws many people who are interested in food-related issues. For us, it was a great opportunity to meet with people involved in GMO Labeling activities, including Pamm Larry from Label GMOs, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH) and Ziggy Marley, who recently performed in Colorado in support of GMO labeling.

Thank you to everyone who visited us at the Whole Foods Markets’ Tribal Bazaar on April 17th and 18th, a 2-day event at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Every year, Whole Foods invites 200 of their favorite vendors to this event to do a little sampling, but mostly to education their 2,000 team members from various WFM locations throughout the area. 

At the Google Earth Day event a few days later at the Google campus in Mountain View, we served Root Beer Floats to a young and very educated crowd.  A large number of Google’s employees are originally from other countries, so for many, this was their first time trying a Root Beer Float!

Finally, we gave away 23 gallons of our Caramel Toffee Crunch Ice Cream at Earth Day Marin, under the scorching sun and 96 degrees in the shade. Many people came back for seconds and thirds. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to give out free ice cream and to see so many happy faces. Thank you to everyone who came by. 

 

Spring Recipe: Fresh Ricotta Crêpes with Homemade Crème Fraîche and Vanilla Scented Strawberries
This is a perfect spring dessert or brunch dish using Straus Family Creamery organic butter, milk, cream, and yogurt. Start the crème fraîche three days ahead and the vanilla sugar 24 hours ahead, but the actual preparation time for both of these components is easy and takes only minutes.

Crêpe recipe and crème fraîche reprinted from DIY Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food From Scratch (2010) by Vanessa Barrington, http://vanessabarrington.com/blog, courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Fresh Ricotta Crêpes
Yield 8 or 9 crêpes

  • 1 cup Straus Family Creamery whole milk
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Straus Family Creamery unsalted butter melted, plus more for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined, about 2 minutes. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid thoroughly. Heat a crêpe pan or an 8-inch nonstick pan with low, sloped sides over medium-high heat. Add about 1/2teaspoon butter. When the butter melts, use a spatula to distribute it evenly. Pour 1/3cup batter into the pan and swirl quickly with a few flicks of the wrist before the batter fully sets, so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan entirely. Return to the heat and cook until the edges become brown and lacy, about 2 minutes. Flip, using a small spatula and your fingers, very carefully to avoid tearing, and cook until set on the second side, 15 to 20 seconds more. Stack the crêpes between sheets of waxed paper while you finish cooking the remainder of the batter.

Serve the crêpes warm with homemade crème fraîche and vanilla scented strawberries (both recipes below)

If making ahead, you can reheat them in a 250-degree-F oven wrapped in foil. Or wrap them well and store for 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Homemade Crème Fraîche
Yield 2 cups

  • 2 cups Straus Family Creamery heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Straus Family Creamery whole milk plain yogurt

Pour the cream into a saucepan and turn the heat to low. Heat until slightly warmer than lukewarm (95 to 100 degrees F). Stir in the yogurt and pour the mixture into a glass jar, such as a mason jar. Fasten the lid and shake to blend. Leave it out in a warm area of your kitchen, such as near a pilot light or on top of the stove, for 12 to 24 hours. Check every 4 hours after the initial 8 hours to see if it has thickened. If your house is exceptionally cold and the crème fraîche isn’t thickening, try wrapping the jar with a heating pad set on its lowest for a couple of hours. Remember that it will become even thicker after refrigeration. Taste it. It should taste tangy but not sour and it should smell clean, not funky. Once it is about the thickness of pancake batter, refrigerate it and use within 5 to 7 days.

Vanilla Scented Strawberries

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (see note)

In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar and let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours at room temperature

Note: To make vanilla sugar, you’ll need sugar and a half of a vanilla bean. Put two cups of sugar in a jar. Split the vanilla bean down its side and open it up. Scrape the seeds into the sugar, add the empty pod and shake. Let sit for at least 24 hours before using to let the vanilla perfume the sugar. As you use the sugar you can replenish it and let the same vanilla bean pod continue to perfume multiple batches of sugar. Add the sugar to biscuits, drinks, sprinkle it on top of fruit tarts just before baking, or simply use it to marinate any cut fruit to serve with ice cream.

 

GMO Labeling Update – 2: Just Label It Submits 1.1 Million Comments to the FDA
One million seems to be the magic number this spring! On March 27, the national Just Label It Campaign and their 525 partners (Straus Family Creamery is one of them) submitted 1.1 million consumer comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in favor of labeling genetically engineered foods.

In early April, the FDA responded to Just Label It: “We have not been able to reach a decision on your petition…. We hope to be able to complete the review of your petition and respond to your request in the near future.”

Around the same time Just Label It published the results of a new consumer research study conducted by the Melman Group, on GMOs. It revealed that nine out of ten Americans across the political spectrum support labeling of food that has been genetically engineered. The new infographic is a visual that shares the results of the survey data.

We will keep you informed on any new information on the Just Label It Campaign on our Facebook page. Click here to see the full-size infographic.