Text #6 The Revolution Will Not Be Pastuerized: Inside the Raw-Milk Underground

The requirement for pasteurization—heating milk to at least 161 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen seconds—neutralizes such deadly bacteria as Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and salmonella. Between 1919, when only a third of the milk in Massachusetts was pasteurized, and 1939, when almost all of it was, the number of outbreaks of milk-borne disease fell by nearly 90 percent. Indeed, required pasteurization is part of a much broader security cordon set up in the past century to protect people from germs. Although milk has a special place on the watch list (it's not washable and comes out of apertures that sit just below the orifice of excretion), all foods are subject to scrutiny. The thing that makes our defense against raw milk so interesting, however, is the mounting evidence that these health measures also could be doing us great harm. 

Over the past fifty years, people in developed countries began showing up in doctors' offices with autoimmune disorders in far greater numbers. In many places, the rates of such conditions as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and Crohn's disease have doubled and even tripled. Almost half the people living in First World nations now suffer from allergies. It turns out that people who grow up on farms are much less likely to have these problems. Perhaps, scientists hypothesized, we've become too clean and aren't being exposed to the bacteria we need to prime our immune systems. 

    What we pour over our cereal has become the physical analogue of this larger ideological struggle over microbial security. The very thing that makes raw milk dangerous, its dirtiness, may make people healthier, and pasteurization could be cleansing beneficial bacteria from milk. The recent wave of raw-milk arrests comes at a time when new evidence is invigorating those who threaten to throw open our borders to bacterial incursion. Public-health officials are infuriated by the raw milkers' sheer wrongheadedness and inability to correctly interpret the facts, and the raw milkers feel the same way about them. Milk as it emerges from the teat, it seems, is both panacea and poison.


Statements 1 through 10 (circle + if the statement is true, - if it is false)


1. In order for pasteurization to occur, the temperature of milk must reach a specific degree.

2. The introduction of pasteurization reduced the number of milk-borne diseases in Massachusetts.

3. Nowadays, we try to protect ourselves from germs in all foods, not just milk.

4. Pasteurized milk can cause Crohn’s disease.

5. More than half of the people living in Third World countries suffer from allergies.

6. People who grow up on farms tend to be healthier because they avoid the germs of cities.

7. Because pasteurization is the law, some people have been arrested for selling raw milk.

8. Scientists agree 100% that all milk should be pasteurized.

9. Scientists and individuals cannot agree on whether milk should be pasteurized or not.

10. The main idea of the text is that exposure to bacteria in small amounts may make people healthier.



                                   Text #7 The Immortal Fly is Tired


There is a housefly named Matthias, and he will never die. Most flies live a few days, but Matthias has been granted immortality, and for quite a long time he felt good about this, the fact that he was immortal, but lately he's not quite as enthused. He has, he supposes, seen too many friends die, and his heart is heavy. He had long known of that notion, of having a heavy heart, but he could not relate to it until now, when his heart is just that: heavy. His heart is so heavy that he feels, when he's flying, like he's carrying a piano or an anvil. He's been immortal now for about 16 years, and in that time, he guesses, has known perhaps 1,250 fellow flies, all of them now gone. Francisco, Davia, Gunther, Marco: all gone.

Over the years, to be sure, the pace has slowed. Having lost 600 or so fly friends in the first three or so years, he had to spend more time alone, to spread out his acquaintances a bit - he simply couldn't sustain the death-a-day rate he'd been enduring. Cindy, Jasper, Anna, Khushbu: all gone. But did they, his here-today, gone-tomorrow companions, know that he was immortal? Never. Most flies don't even know they're going to die; they have no such foresight. They spend the day or days of their lives flying, landing on things, exploring whatever glass surfaces they can find-the feeling of antenna on glass is, oh! oh! beyond description!-and finally, they find a good windowsill or glass of orange juice, and they simply turn over and give up. And for 16 years Matthias has watched this 1,000 or so times, passing through shock and revulsion and empathy, and now he finds himself tired. He is tired of life, of death, of seeing and knowing and breathing. This is why he will, at his next opportunity, fly into your mouth or nostril, this being the only way an immortal fly can end his life. Please welcome him, forgive him, help him to the next world. Do not cough or chew.


Circle the correct letter A, B, C, or D:

1. To be immortal means to…

A. have a healthy life.

B. be very strong.

C. have the ability to live forever.

D. be magical.


2. Which answer best describes Matthias’s feelings about his immortality?

A. happy at first, but now becoming more depressed

B. sad, but becoming more enthused lately

C. angry, but resigned and accepting

D. originally excited, but now bored with life


3. How did Matthias cope with losing so many friends?

A. spending time alone

B. replacing his old friends very quickly

C. making new friends

D. hating his friends


4. How did Matthias’s friends feel about his immortality?

A. jealous

B. understanding and sympathetic

C. full of shock and revulsion

D. they didn’t know or understand


5. How might a fly describe the feeling of antenna on glass?

A. horrible

B. indescribable

C. nice

D. normal

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