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Milk from palm oil: a detective story about “the farm” products

Everywhere we now farm products everywhere you look. Departments, farmers, supermarkets, specialty intimate shops, kiosks and shops on every corner.

Their number is growing so rapidly that Willy-nilly wonder: are farmers so much that their performance is enough for all the stores and shops? After a couple of years ago no such specialty farm products on the shelves were not observed. And now — the sea.

Farm shops, nice and cozy. I want to believe in their wicker baskets, linen napkins and honest reputation. But in the background still looms the question: what are these products anyway? Where are they? Is it worth paying for them two or three times more expensive than the usual brands?


photo: Alex geldings

Larisa apartment in the village, but seven years ago she bought an old house-wreck in the village on highway Yegoryevsk. House no, but the plot borders on the back of the field, it is important for Larissa, where grazing her cows.

I sometimes stop near Laricina wreck buy milk, cheese, sour cream, butter. The entire production cycle in her one room and pans, and a separator, and a fridge, and pots with cheese, so no secrets.

Now she has nine cows, a bull, seven calves were born in winter. Previously to 18 goals reached, but the neighbors complained about the dirt, and the administration has demanded to reduce the population.

Larisa LPH — private farming. She’s a farmer, but so small that she doesn’t even have to register and pay taxes. Respectable farmers are peasant, and peasant farms. They are registered without formation of the legal entity and taxes have benefits.

This KFKH we have on the other side of the field where the cows walk. There is a farm built in Soviet times. It was privatized, sold-resold, and now finally began to use as directed. Last summer, at the entrance there is also opened a farm shop. Country style — a fence and baskets. Sell jelly.

Sometimes I buy, sometimes from Larisa.

The prices are lower than in the pathos of the Moscow stores, but higher than in the economical supermarket chains.

On the farm milk — 50 rubles. per liter, yogurt — 100 RUB., sour cream — 270, curd — 310, oil — 1000 RUB Larisa milk — 60 RUB, but she emphasized that the neighbors sell for 80-90, sour cream — 350, cottage cheese — 300, cheese — 450, oil — 800.

Cottage cheese and sour cream with every purchase different — in taste and in consistency. This is Larissa, and in the farm shop. It is thinner, thicker. Apparently, due to the fact that they are made by hand — not in a commercial way.

Kept two or three days, not longer. Then sour.

Oil unlike store different colors. Summer yellow, in winter white. Larissa said, due to the fact that in the winter there is no grass and the sun.

In the winter she feeds the cows hay and feed, a day out 1000 RUB One cow gives 18-20 litres milk per day. Part drink the calves, but many still remain.

Buy from her the products the neighbors and those who go by. In winter, on the highway the stream is small, the milk is not dismantled. But it makes dairy products, you take them. And in the summer come vacationers and the milk is nearly all sold.

Feed for the cows of money is spent so much that revenue in the winter is miserable. Because of this, Larisa three winter months were not paid the mortgage for the apartment — 50 thousand per month. In the summer it is not necessary to spend money to feed, cows graze for free, so over the summer, hoped to pay.

Larisa employees — a married couple from Uzbekistan. They sometimes overlap with the Uzbeks that they are working on the farm. Uzbeks say the farm, the cows there are few. The milk is made partly from milk powder mixed with palm oil in a blender. Understand that this is the wrong milk, or foam. He won’t settle foam and a strange taste.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

I such milk on the farm did not sell, so can’t confirm. But the taste Larisa better foods. But also not Ah. Not like what we are accustomed to.

More from Larisa coop — three hundred chickens. She cuts them on sale when you order. Store in the freezer. They look nothing like the smooth, yellow chickens from the farm to the shelves of Moscow stores. Laricina bruised, jagged, legged.

“Twice in the coming year the veterinary inspection that takes tests. Antibiotics — says Larisa — we do not give any cows or chickens. We are also your eating, and eat children, and grandchildren. Why should we poison?”

Grandchildren to eat, I once saw when I went in. And antibiotics have not seen. But that means nothing, of course.

* * *

What farm products does not differ from the farmer? The fact that they have no chemistry. The buyer believes that for this reason they are two to three times more expensive than the supermarket. Farm small, family-run, it runs not for quantity but for quality, so the products of his home, environmental, natural feed and fertilizers, no GMOs and all that terrible. That’s why we pay.

According to all-Russian agricultural census 2016, we have 18.8 million household plots, personal subsidiary farms, like Larisa and 174.8 thousand of KFKH — farm households farms neighboring farms with which it competes. Farm products produced in these two types of households.

But “produced” and “sold” is not the same thing. Between them a long way.

Because smallholders do not pay taxes, they can’t sell their products through retailers. They sell on the market or, like Larissa, on the road or give to dealers. Larissa, however, does not give. Explains that unprofitable and “toad strangling”. “Milk dealers have taken for 20 RUB per liter, is given in shops for 50, and there sell it for 80-100 rubles.”.

KFKH, OOO, SP and other agricultural organizations can work with networks directly. But they usually have to do the same through intermediaries.

According to the National Union of milk producers, the structure of the retail price of one liter of milk, about 42% is formed by agricultural producers, and another 38% — processing plants and about 20% — the sphere of circulation, of which about 6% adds intermediary link and 14% retailers. On average, the promotion of milk as raw material for the chain “producer — processor — retailer” adds to its value more than 100 percent.

Growing like mushrooms after the rain farm shops seem to be talking about the positive dynamics of the agricultural complex — in any case, the meat and dairy industry. Sanctions anti-sanctions because of the Crimea in 2014 has led to the fact that in 2015, the government took the policy of import substitution, were created favorable conditions to farmers, more of them, they began to give more products and here is the result: blossomed farm shops.

However, statistics show the reverse process. Rosstat data on the number of cows suggest a steady trend to their reduction. And most strongly reduced the number of cows to smallholders — the main basis of farming.

The total number of cows on July 1, 2016 — 8429,6 thousand head decreased to the same period in 2015 178,8 thousand heads. And most of all, it is reduced by smallholders. Farms of cows was reduced by 4.3%.

Whence, then, the dominance of “ecological” milk and meat at farm shops?

Immersed in the theme experts say that very much there, of course, not farmers. Products are produced by large farmers who, five years ago it was made, and ten. But it is packaged differently — as if by hand, not on the line — either in appearance disguised as a home.


photo: Mikhail Kovalev

You can for example buy in the supermarket conventional eggs, soda solution to wash off the stamp, Katnut on the ground from the pot, stick a feather, folded in a shoebox — and the buyer will never suspect that they are not farmers and they are not sick only in the morning from under chickens.

Home also has a reception. As everyone probably noticed, farm chickens who peck grains on the grass at the counter of a different color from “cell” of chickens from the poultry farm. Carcasses of farm chickens in yellow, and cellular — white.

The reason is not in the grass, and that their different pluck. On the farm it makes industrial machine with rubber tips. A farmer such a machine is not needed, it chickens little. He browses manually, but to achieve a perfect result we must then also singe the carcass over the burner. As a result, the skin becomes yellow.

But a singe on the burner chicken cage? No. It will also become yellowish, and the price of it will rise from 120 to 450 rubles per kilogram.

As I explained to the seller our village butcher shop, the farmers themselves with such matters and engaged. Buy factory-farm eggs and chickens, put the grandmother for work. She and the eggs will decorate and ennoble the chickens. In the morning I get middleman — take. Will pay for them cheaper than he will sell, but more expensive than the farmers bought them. And all is well.

We do not claim that all farmers chicken prepared this way. But the rapid growth of farm shops in the conditions, when the farmers themselves conditions for growth is not particularly observed, must have an explanation. Rigging products in the stores is one possible explanation. And the makeup and camouflage — one of the possible ways of tampering.

Another fashionable way of fraud — the adulteration of foreign substances, primarily palm oil. To judge whether this is true, it is possible according to the accounting chamber: the import of palm oil in 2015 amounted to 889 thousand tons (+25.8 per cent in 2014). In the I half of 2016, the palm oil imports were 12.4% higher in comparison with 2015. By 2017 data yet, but the trend speaks for itself.

Why in our country imported more and more palm oil? Probably not in order for the door hinges to lubricate.

“The results of laboratory research institution, subordinated to the Rosselkhoznadzor, for the period from 1 January to 5 August 2016 was sampled 7879 the party of dairy products in 84 regions Rossiiskoi Federatsii, of which 1973 (25%) deemed ineligible in terms of quality and availability of fraud — says the chamber. Analysis shows that in the territories of the regions with a high degree of production of counterfeit products is also high as its trade”.

Simply put, the more we buy dairy products — including farming, — the more manufacturers rasstegivat their palm oil, in response to the increasing demand offer. Accelerated breeding farm shops in this sense is a warning signal.


photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

* * *

Apart from the fact that products in farm shops can be falsified, they can still be corny poorly. Based on high price expectations of buyers — they have no chemistry, all my healthy, clean — in fact, nothing is guaranteed.

Monitoring of nitrate and pesticides in vegetables and fruits provides the CPS, but theoretically. In fact his power is only enough for spot checks of imported products. To local producers hands almost reach. Who is there, what fertilizes cucumbers-tomatoes? What chemicals are pouring, in what quantity? The government does not know and is not going to know. And no one is going. Suppliers-dealers do not have to care. The owners of the stores too. The law does not oblige them to take the products to a lab and pay for the tests out of pocket. And the system of compulsory state monitoring of the content of nitrates and pesticides in vegetables and fruits we have.

The sellers say to the buyer: “This is the cucumbers from the hothouse of the store owner. Good, we eat.” The magic words “eat” bribe. The buyer unconditionally believe. Although it is not the fact that cucumbers from their greenhouses, and not the fact that the sellers they eat themselves. And even if you eat — not the fact that they know WHAT to eat: cucumbers or nitrates.

The jelly situation is about the same as vegetables fruits. Drink a glass of milk and I don’t know that you joined in with him.

“Currently — says the chamber, missing the normative embodied in the form of instructions methods to control the content of most stabilizers, thickeners, fillers, emulsifiers in milk and dairy products. No methods to control the content of ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, soda in cream, lactic acid in dairy products, citric acid in milk, many dyes and polyhydric alcohols in dairy products.”

The sanitary condition of milk is all very bad. Only July 1, 2017, we start to act the requirements of Technical regulations of the Customs Union, which establish the normal bacterial content in milk. But this rule at times (!) above normal in Western countries.

Under our new rules the number of bacteria in 1 CC of milk of the first grade can not exceed 500 thousand. In Norway and England, the maximum allowable number of bacteria in 1 CC of milk — 20 thousand, in Denmark — 30 thousand, in the EU — from 50 to 100 thousand.

A large number of bacteria in milk is because cows are poorly maintained. Wet bedding, drafts, dirt, and cows to the same wrong milk. From all this they have start of the disease, most often mastitis udder. Struggling with mastitis with antibiotics — they prick and give food to all the flock prophylactically. Antibiotics get into milk and meat, and in the human body. Gradually the person becomes resistant to these antibiotics and when he gets sick with pneumonia, it can not be cured — antibiotics do not work.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, in 2015, the number of positive tests for the presence in milk of antibiotics only tetracycline and penicillin groups compared with 2013 year increased by one percentage point.

On farm milk separate studies of state structures was not carried out, but we have information “civilian” research which was ordered and paid for young mothers in Moscow. Held its public organization “the Truth about food” — and only that, in may 2017, that is, the data is very fresh.

Farmers in the most fashionable shops of Moscow was bought ten bottles of milk from different manufacturers. Analyzed them in the testing laboratory of “Milk” at the INSTITUTION “all-Russian research Institute of dairy industry”.


photo: Mikhail Kovalev

In the production of four brands found bacteria of group of intestinal sticks in four samples exceeded standards total microbial count, single sample contained antibiotics of the tetracycline group.

And in only five of the ten bottles of milk corresponded to sanitary norms, which, as said above, we have in fact very low.

* * *

In addition to bacteria and antibiotics, the milk can be another danger. It can be obtained from cows infected with leukemia virus of cattle (cattle).

In Russia, the bovine leukemia spread to the extreme.

Federal centre for animal health fgbi “ARRIAH” in 2015 explored 23 thousand field samples of biological material and blood of large and small cattle in 183 Khozyaistvo 43 regions. 33,2% of them contained the genome of the causative agent of licosa.

According to the Ministry of rural agribusiness and food of the Moscow region, in the region of 43.6% in hozaistva entities that contain dairy cattle, are currently affected by viral leikoze. In these Khozyaistvo contains 110.7 thousand heads, including 51,1 thousand cows, which on average are given in the year 310 thousand tons of milk. It is more than 50% of the gross milk production in the region.

With viral leukemia, the rules are: diseased animals are sent to slaughter, and those that are not sick but are infected, are isolated. To sell their milk impossible, but you can recycle them, since it is believed that leukemia virus dies after pasteurization.

Technical regulations of the Customs Union to the treatment of allowed raw milk and raw cream obtained only from healthy animals from farms, officially free from leucosis during the past 12 months.

The chamber, however, notes that the country does not keep a single register of agricultural organizations and disadvantaged free of leukemia for the last 12 months. And aggregate information about the number of infected farms in the population either.

That is, no one knows whether in fact the above rules in relation to bovine leukemia.

For example, I buy milk at the farm and from Larisa, and there, maybe the cow was sick with leukemia in the last 12 months. If a half of milk in the region of the infected cow, the probability is very high. And they pasteurized milk? Larisa definitely not, she sells raw. On a farm like pasteurized. But how? Thoroughly enough to kill the virus? Or anyhow- heated to 70 degrees for five minutes and turned off? It is impossible to know the details.

* * *

About farm products in our country nothing is impossible to know reliably.

Perhaps they are high quality, and perhaps — with the overabundance of chemicals. Maybe from healthy animals, and from patients. It is not excluded that produced on the family small farm. But maybe on the large specialized agricultural enterprises.

All that relates to farm products, is doubtful.

Reliably all we know is that trading them is a very lucrative business. Otherwise, farm shops didn’t open it every morning on every corner.

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