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dmun 01-18-2008 07:25 PM

Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
The Naples garbage crisis strikes home. Thank G-d that Molino Caputo gets it's wheat from Canada.


The Italian region of Campania, still stuck in a multimillion-tonne rubbish crisis, is having to confront another menace: a diktat requiring buffalo farmers to slaughter half of their herds.

For more than a decade, the region has been ineffectually battling an epidemic of brucellosis, an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans via unpasteurised milk. But faced with the threat of fines and slashed subsidies from the EU, the government has now appointed a commissar with emergency powers and a budget of 66m (49m) to end the epidemic.

Mozzarella cheese made from buffalo milk is the most cherished delicacy of the Campania region, but sales have plunged 40 per cent recently due to fears that the milk may have been contaminated by toxins leaching from illegal landfills run by crime gangs.

Brucellosis is also known as Neapolitan fever and Italy's failure to eliminate what is now largely a Third World problem - like its failure to solve the rubbish crisis - is intimately related to the strength of organised crime. Corrupt vets in the pay of crime gangs have been failing to report infected animals and on some farms the only way to enforce the law has been to send in the Carabinieri.

But the problem does not end there...

gjbingham 01-18-2008 08:44 PM

Re: Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
Southern Italy is a bitter-sweet experience in my experience. High taxes and lack of services cause generalized dumping of garbage in the most beautiful places. Everybody seems to expect that they should have garbage and other services for all they taxes they pay, but often, none is available. South of Rome, the poitical system becomes a bit suspect. I'm sad to see your report.

After awhile, you just look past Southern Italy and enjoy the view for what it is, but newcomers are often aghast at the garbage on the beaches and along the roads. As for the loss of customers for the mozzarella, I've no doubt that much of it is based on hearsay and hysteria. They have incredible scientific methodology in the North, sometimes less so in the South.

I talked to numerous numbers of Italians while living there about the superstition of not swimming for an hour after eating ( I loved their answers). They looked at me like I was crazy - a complete lunatic. This legend has been passed down for ages, yet I've never known anyone to get a cramp for breaking the rule. Once a few believe something is true, it is gospel.

Regardless, I spent the best years of my life there, up till now. I love 'em!

Inishta 01-18-2008 11:52 PM

Re: Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
The Brucellosis issue is a minor inconvenience compared to the lack off land fill and incinerator sites. There will only be a cull of 32,000 animals, something that could have been avoided with government controls 10 years ago. In 2001 the UK slaughtered 4 million animals to stamp out foot and mouth and again last year. The knock-on effect will be a temporary increase in the cost for your mozzarella so a bit of stockpiling may be the answer.


Frances 01-19-2008 10:01 AM

Re: Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
When I was on holiday as a child I once jumped right into the sea after lunch and promptly brought all my lunch right up again - because when you're hot and you jump into colder water all your blood rushes to your skin in order to deal with the temperature difference, and there isn't enough left in your tummy to deal with the digesting.

...or at least that's what I was told. Seemed to make sense at the time :)

The garbage problem in Italy is very depressing, the news here is full of it. Still, maybe they'll manage to do something about it now that it IS making headlines.

james 01-23-2008 04:55 PM

Re: Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
This is such as sad story. Institutional corruption is a bad, bad thing. Sigh.

Alfredo 03-23-2008 07:56 AM

Re: Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
More trouble in Paradise:
Italys Mozzarella Makers Fight Dioxin Scare - The Lede - Breaking News - New York Times Blog

Inishta 03-28-2008 10:25 PM

83 farms closed
Latest developement

Buffalo mozzarella crisis


gjbingham 03-28-2008 10:47 PM

Re: Would you like some garbage with your bufala?
Geeze Inishta,
You got the story before I did. My wife mentioned that it was in the paper yesterday - my hometown newspaper. Probably 150,00 readers. Yup! The worst newspaper printed on a daily basis in the US, at least as far as I've seen. I told her it was old news - that I'd seen it on this forum before. Scary sometimes how effiicent search engines are, huh?

Once again, sad news, but a glimpse into Italian life and culture, at least in Southern Italy. The Mafia and corrupt ways are interwoven into the basic fabric of life. I'm sure they will work it out over time, but what period of time? God only knows.

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