Prions -- the infectious, deformed proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer -- can be taken up by plants such as alfalfa, corn and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison.
My friend Jim, a farmer, jokes about bringing a bowl of manure and a spoon to the farmers' markets where he sells his beef. "My beef has no manure in it, but you can add some," he'd like to tell his customers.
I'm sure you'd pass on manure as a condiment. But unless you're a vegetarian or you slaughter your own meat, you may have eaten it. And if the USDA moves forward with its plan to make a pilot program for meat inspection more widespread, this problem can only get worse.
Across the United States, the majority of states allow legal sales of raw, or unpasteurized, milk in one form or another, whether retail, on the farm, or via "herd share" arrangements. A growing number of Wisconsin citizens would like to add this state to that list once and for all.