The Center for Disease Control estimates that each year roughly 76 million people are infected with some form of foodborne illness. At a yearly cost of between five and six billion dollars, this means that every second, at least two people are in a bathroom somewhere in the United States, painfully experiencing the power of tiny but very nasty microbes that have wormed, grown, and pushed their way into the food supply. The most frightening part is that approximately 5,000 of these food poisoning cases end fatally.
The need for safety within the national food chain has been a growing concern for those in both the private and public sectors. As debate shifts from increased regulation to private sector incentives, there is a steady, reliable, and often overlooked business model that produces results that everyone can agree on: safety!
The aforementioned business model is none other than family-run small businesses. Statistically, small companies have far fewer instances of foodborne illness because they keep a tighter rein over products, processing steps, and handling techniques. Small companies such as Mt. Capra are able to oversee production and distribution far more securely, as well as carefully monitor each of their “Critical Control Points” in a manner that ensures the safety of their many clients.
Raw material suppliers are an element of food safety that often leaves companies at the mercy of their provider. A company’s food handling techniques are only as good as the raw materials that are supplied to them. Take the recent outbreak of salmonella amongst tomatoes spanning coast to coast and the issue steps into the light. Certain food chains that passed this bug to many of its customers may have had great food safety protocol, but because the raw materials that they were provided were contaminated, their safe handling procedures were negated and the salmonella spread.
Therefore, the fact that Mt. Capra supplies its own raw materials becomes very pertinent to this discussion. Mt. Capra’s goats lead a life that is free range with a food supply that is blessedly lacking of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and antibiotics. This is crucial to keeping the food supply free of contamination. The goats provide Mt. Capra with its principal raw material: Goat milk, from which many of their fine products are created. Having their own milk supply gives Mt. Capra and ultimately the consumer the assurance that all of the products manufactured from goats milk are the freshest and of the highest quality possible.
Joe Stout B.Sc., M.S.
Joe Stout received his Bachelors of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science from Washington State University. He recently finished a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Human Nutrition graduating with top honors. He has written for various magazines and is the editor of The High Road to Health.