The skinny on using commercial butter or udder nonsense?

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The skinny on using commercial butter or udder nonsense?

Postby chef » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:36 pm

Hey, Bill, what are your thoughts on this article?

Regards,
Vicki

Butter Me Up
Time for another edition of FitFoodie Friday…

Last week we talked about the evils of margarine. This week is devoted to the original that it was modeled after — butter!

But not just any butter. After all, how’d you like to smear a nice pat of pus, injected hormones, chemicals and insecticides onto your toast? Thought not…

But that’s just what you’re getting when you use the run-of-the-mill grocery store butter. Remember your mom or your grandma telling you that you are what you eat? Well, the same holds true for cows.

Did you know that over 50% of the antibiotics produced in the US go into animal feed? Do you wonder why? It’s because the animals are kept in such retched conditions that they need to pump them with antibiotics to keep them alive.

Guess what else many of them are getting pumped with… Bovine Growth Hormone. We’re lucky here in Canada that it has been banned, but in many countries it’s still used. And it increases the rate of udder infection by 50-70%, which means more need for antibiotics.

Image

But it also means pus gets into your dairy products! There’s actually an “allowable limit” of pus in commercial dairy… (yuk!)

Then there’s the actual food that the animals are eating. Conventional farming has no qualms about using feed that’s been sprayed by countless chemicals and insecticides. And just as with humans, all that lovely stuff is secreted through the cow’s milk.

And they aren’t eating their natural diet of grasses either. They’re being stuffed with grains and other things they would never it if they were left to their own devices. This means that the fatty acid profile of both the animals and the milk is terribly skewed towards the inflamatory omega-6s and away from the healthy omega-3s and Conjugated Linoleic Acid.

OK, so all that probably turned you off dairy — including butter — right? That’d be a shame, since what I’ve just described isn’t REAL butter in it’s natural state. It’s something akin to butter that we’ve gone and modified through our treatment of the animals.

The real thing is a wonder of nature full of myriad benefits. Plus, it tastes great. Have you ever tasted conventional butter side-by-side with organic butter from grass-fed cows? You’ll be amazed.

My new favorite book on nutrition, The Fat Burning Kitchen, rattles off almost a full page of benefits derived from butter. Here are a few of the highlights…

Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health, both of which are essential to fat burning and energy
Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage
Is a great source of Vitamins E and K
Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent fat burner, anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium, the immune system and overall well being
(excerpt from The Fat Burning Kitchen)


So I hope I’ve buttered you up sufficiently to put butter back on the menu. But make sure it’s organic and preferably grass fed. (and we’ll talk about pasteurization some other time…)

What are your favorite uses for butter? Do you use butter at all? If not, will you?
"Cry in the dojo, laugh in the battlefield"
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Postby IJ » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:27 pm

Vicki, I always love to investigate health claims... I'm not Bill though :/

The use of antibiotics in animal feed improves their weight gain, so they're widely used, at the cost of increasing antibiotic resistance for the rest of us. I strongly support a ban on antibiotics used in the absence of infection and used in lieu of healthier living conditions. At least according to "Fast Food Nation," the grain diet which cows are unaccustomed to and not designed to eat results in stomach problems and resultant liver abscesses in a substantial fraction of the cows--something like a third if memory serves. I think food poisoning and antibiotic resistance are good examples of the hidden costs of cheap food / beef, which was a big theme in FFN.

I am not worried about BGH. People may want to worry about pesticides and antibiotics, but the real problem with beef is the terrible fat profile. Show me one person harmed by BGH (good luck--there is zero demonstrable difference between BGH and nonBGH products) and I'll show you thousands and thousands who died from cow induced atherosclerosis every year. BGH DOES slightly increase the infection rate, but the 50-70% number in the article is useless, even if verifiable. That's because you want the absolute increase, not the relative increase, because if the primary event is rare, a doubling is irrelevant. For example, a drug that increases the rate of breast cancer by 10% sounds better than one that increases your retinal cancer risk 500%, but your actual cancer risk is higher with the first drug because breast cancer is common and retinal cancer is extremely rare.

Pus in your dairy? Again, how much more, and do I care, because it's pasteurized? Nothing is pure, and there are allowed amounts of bug parts in your peanut butter, and we all know, much more importantly, that ground beef and poultry and eggs are shipped every day with salmonella, E coli and other pathogens on them. We should seriously consider radiating our food, or at least giving consumers that option, because you just won't get infections from such products unless they're improperly stored. BUT, we don't want that to be an excuse to allow continued fecal contamination of meat. That's (for most) because its disgusting and (for me) because it is a result of unacceptable living conditions, albeit conditions that breed problems (like drug resistant / dangerous bacterial colonization) that would be limited by the radiation in the first place.

As for the diets of animals, yeah, that matters--see details in "The Omnivore's Dilemma." Salmon is good for you in large part because THEY are what THEY eat and they eat krill etc; getting your salmon off a commericial farm that feeds them corn is not the same. The fatty acids are better than beef by a big margin, but worse than wild, and they're higher in Hg (sadly, wild wish isn't a good option for this eco nut--for more, see "End of the Line.") As for the butter question, I'm not sure it's worth the cost of seeking grass fed butter. You're better off spending the money on good other fats and reducing your butter intake; it's bad for you no matter what the cows are fed.

I couldn't find anything about the fat burning / thyroid effects of vitamin A in Wiki. Not do I remember that from med school nutrition. I think the author is trying to make people forget that butter is freakin' BUTTER by playing up some fat burning aspects that really don't stand up. Butter is also one of the more pro-inflammatory foods we've got, so that stuff about antioxidants is a chuckler. Kind of like a "bullets are a great source of iron." I haven't met any vitamin E or K deficient individuals without severe alcoholism or malabsorption problems, and you don't want extra E; it doesn't help and may be harmful. See "Annus Horribilis for Vitamin E" from Annals of Internal Medicine about the trials that killed the once favored "antioxidant." I'm a fan of vitamin D, but I wouldn't go to butter as my primary source! I've got 2000 unit gelcaps of D with no butter in them for a billionth of a cent from Costco, or, get it from your nonfat dairy!

I do not eat cows. I use butter in recipes (unsalted) as needed but do little baking because I'm on a health kick--I drink only skim and use only skim yogurt. Cow fat is not good for you. It's high in sat fats and it's also one of the few places besides a chemical vat where you get transfat--ruminant stomachs contain bacteria that make transfat, so you get the stuff when you eat cow fat, to the tune of a few percent. It is more inflammatory and atherogenic that even sat fat. I'm trying to get as much of my fat from olive oil and the occasional nut or fish as I can. I suggest fat limitation and fat substitution is far more useful than worrying about the type of butter used.

Throw out anything with transfat, or partially hydrogenated anything, whether the label says no trans fat or not--they can hide less than a gram per serving in that "0g transfat" under our BS labeling laws!
--Ian
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:50 pm

I agree with Ian's assessment. Unless you're a frontier family short on nutrition, desperately in need of calories, and likely to die of something else other than cardiovascular disease or old age, there's no good reason to have butter in your diet. It's largely "bad fat", plain and simple.

If you want flavor in the diet that fats are very good at retaining, use the sources of fat that Ian suggested: olive oil, nut oils, and fish oils. And the less cooked the better. Like a fried fish sandwich? Forgetaboutit. Might as well just get yourself a lean hamburger. Sushi or sashimi? Great stuff, so long as you stay away from fish that are high in heavy metals (like mercury) and certain organic contaminants (like PCBs).

Nonfat dairy means no cream and no butter. That's the dairy you should be getting. In general, stay away from animal fats.

There are issues - as Ian suggested - with our food supply that slowly is coming more and more from high volume farming techniques. The farm-raised salmon I love so much unfortunately has a lot more PCBs (not so much Hg, Ian) than the wild stuff from cold northern waters. And wild fish are getting scarcer with the overfishing going on. Pretty soon the only available/affordable fish at the grocery store will be farm-raised stuff. At some point, we're going to have to learn how to feed fish cleaner food, and something that's more likely to produce the fat profile that's most beneficial to us.

So... what's a good Greek woman like you asking about this butter stuff? Stick with a Mediterranean Diet; it's much better for you.

- Bill
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Postby chef » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:52 pm

I like butter...one of my vices.

:-(
Vicki

PS Icook with olive oil more than anything else. It's a great substitute if you make muffins or you can use applesauce...but being Greek, give me the olive oil.
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Postby IJ » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:19 pm

Without trying to add to your butter vice, Vicki, let me present the reason butter will always have a place in my diet: America's Test Kitchens Choc Chip Cookies.

http://www.recipezaar.com/Thick-and-Che ... ies-201955
--Ian
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:25 pm

IJ wrote:
Without trying to add to your butter vice, Vicki, let me present the reason butter will always have a place in my diet: America's Test Kitchens Choc Chip Cookies.

http://www.recipezaar.com/Thick-and-Che ... ies-201955


In it, we find the following

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup)


Hmmm...

If you were a good chemist, Ian, you would work on finding a more healthy substitute for that 3/4 cup of pure butter.

Just a thought... ;)

Me? I like other sweet things...

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- Bill
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Postby IJ » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:05 pm

Sometimes, Bill, it's ok to focus on your health and exercise to promote longevity for the PURPOSE of occasionally eating one of these delicious cookies for many years to come. But by all means, let me know how that olive oil version turns out!
--Ian
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Postby chef » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:46 pm

Better use Extra-Virgin olive oil...not sure if Bill has that in his house though.

Vicki
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:04 pm

IJ wrote:
Sometimes, Bill, it's ok to focus on your health and exercise to promote longevity for the PURPOSE of occasionally eating one of these delicious cookies...

That's what she said!

- Bill
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:06 pm

chef wrote:
Better use Extra-Virgin olive oil...not sure if Bill has that in his house though.

Vicki

Two bottles of it as I type. (Strong and mild tasting.)

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Postby chef » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:20 pm

Well, I am using my olive oil as we speak. I am cooking a huge pot of Ratouille with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers, garlic, onion, diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, parsley, and some red wine. I love that stuff and needed to use up some late garden veggies given to me...and going to make a loaf of Parmesan Bread and slather it with good ole butter.

When I am angry or mad, I need a distraction...like now.

Later,
Vicki

...and mushrooms, too.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:50 pm

If there's any left over, I'll trade you for a taste of that (after workout).

"It" is secure and with me in the van.

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Postby chef » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:22 pm

Do you actually read the text messages people send you in their entirety, and respond, Sensei?

Vicki
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:41 pm

I check messages in half a dozen formats - when I get to them. Doesn't work well for long dialogues. Plus I am nursing 2 sick boys at home. And working...

Got my 2nd fall fertilizer down - in the rain. Life is good. 8)

So you're coming to work out? :P

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Postby chef » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:53 pm

I left you a message on your Facebook email and instant messaged you on Facebook as well, remember? I was planning on going to Ray Berry's class tonight. Two days ago I texted you that I would not be in Tuesday but would be in Thursday. You must have missed that one.

It appears that I may not make Ray's class either. I just slipped outside on a patch of wet leaves while emptying compost from my Ratouille. I did a half split, landing on one knee, and my right hand, which I sliced and bruised. Icing them both now.

It would really be great if you could check your text messages and make sure you have read the entire messages, Sensei...and respond so I know you are getting my messages.

If you have a better way to get in touch, just let me know and I will try that. I don't send many messages, unless I am trying to follow-up to see if you got something important I sent.

:roll:
Vicki
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