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Sinister Goings-on Down Under

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  • Sinister Goings-on Down Under

    Apparently, the New Zealanders have been importing tons of waste palm fruits that the oil's been extracted from and feeding them to cows. So far so good ... or perhaps not.

    It seems the cows have a bit of trouble digesting the waste fruits, but they do. However, this slightly unusual diet results in trans-fats in the milk, and hence butter:

    “In New Zealand the palmitelaidic acid comes from our dairy foods which means what our cows are being fed is coming up through the food chain,” she says. “The ruminant bacteria in the cows’ stomachs are making it into trans fat and that’s the trans fat we get.”

    Perhaps it's a problem, and perhaps not. No one really knows. It's certainly an interesting illustration of how in the modern world your food can be altered in unexpected ways by trans-national economic deals in short order. If you thought New Zealand butter was from cows that were purely grass-fed, think again ...

  • #2
    Why do we have to fuck about with EVERYTHING??? Nature is the way it is for a reason


    • #3
      Originally posted by chronyx View Post
      Why do we have to fuck about with EVERYTHING??? Nature is the way it is for a reason's always about profit.


      • #4
        The "Sinister Goings-on Down Under" title made me assume this was another thread about poop!

        And... wow, yeah, that's a very odd thing to become a major dietary component for a cow! No surprise it changes the milk.
        "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."


        • #5
          Originally posted by thanatos View Post
's always about profit.
          So short-sighted though. All these problems always cost more to sort out than they made in the first place. It's almost like borrowing in a way. Everything has to come fom something, and balance in the end.


          • #6
            [QUOTE=chronyx;247860]... All these problems always cost more to sort out than they made in the first place...QUOTE]

            Yes, but they cost SOMEBODY ELSE to sort out. (Sorry, had a little sarcasm burp there...)


            • #7
              Lewis - I'm going to pass on this article to the family I purchase my raw milk from for their info. Mind you with all the rain we've had in palmy I don't think they'll be needing any supplementing feeding for a while for their cows.


              • #8
                The sooner the petroleum to extract the palm oil, ship it to Europe or China or America, ship the refuse to New Zealand, and distribute it to the dairy farms becomes prohibitively expensive, the better. That palm oil is grown on land which used to be used for feeding the local people.


                • #9
                  Just heard back from my raw milk suppliers and they only feed their cows grass as they believe it produces a truly nutrient dense food. They are also heavily into Weston A Price principles.
                  I feel sorry for the native animals suffering from the loss of their natural habitat, it's horrible and sad and I'm sure palm kernal oil is in so much food we consume now, although I try to avoid it as much as possible.
                  And +1 to piano-doctor-lady.


                  • #10
                    Does this mean Anchor butter is now no-go?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by breadsauce View Post
                      Does this mean Anchor butter is now no-go?
                      It's anyone's guess perhaps.

                      I wouldn't like to suggest anyone shouldn't buy it. The most consistently yellow butter I see in the UK is the Irish Kerrygold. That colour's on account the cows have been eating rich grass. I've heard people say Kerrygold will keep longer than most other brands, too. It's not wildly expensive either. You'd pay more for Normandy butter. So Kerrygold is probably a good bet. I have used also Yeo Valley organic butter from Somerset and Rachel's Dairy butter from Wales (but U.S. rather than Welsh-owned). Those both seem good to me.

                      There's more in the linked PDF:


                      The tentative conclusion seems to be that amounts of trans fats New Zealanders are getting in their diet - around 0.5% of total energy intake on average - are probably not a problem ... but they might be for someone in a high-risk group.

                      I thought it an interesting story in several respects, at any rate. First off, it's interesting to learn that New Zealanders on the whole have very low intakes of trans fats. Presumably, franken-foods have less economic leverage when you have plenty of locally produced (and therefore presumably relatively cheap) high-quality dairy produce. Or is it cultural? Or both?

                      And yet trans-fats can still get into the food chain via people buggering with the cows' feed.

                      Then there's the trans-national facet to the story. What someone's eating and drinking in one country even when locally produced and bought can, because of modern communications, be affected by deals done across national boundaries.

                      Then there's the issue of reputation. As the writer says:

                      New Zealand has a reputation ... [for] high quality ... grass fed meat and dairy.
                      I'd guess that in-the-past well-deserved reputation has been worth quite a bit of money to the country ... and now that reputation's put at risk, owing to what some importers and farmers have done. Look at the question that immediately came into your mind. If the story does run a bit across the English-speaking world, it's rough on the farmers in New Zealand that aren't doing this.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by breadsauce View Post
                        Does this mean Anchor butter is now no-go?
                        How much supplemental PKE given to cows depends on the need. Right now in New Zealand it is spring, there has been a lot of rain, and there is a lot of grass. It is unlikely that any supplemental feed is needed. I'd say NZ anchor butter is fairly safe right now.

                        The take home message is that what you feed your animals can end up affecting what we eat. E.g. US cows are fed on grains - high in omega 6 and a completely unnatural foodstuff for grazing animals. Subsequently as we know the fatty acid n-3 to n-6 ratio in the meat is imbalanced. What we don't know is what if any of the other anti-nutrients from grains end up in the beef, and then in us.