Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere:
Kiwi cows are changing color for the butter … er, better
How’s this for a sign that sanity about fats is finally prevailing? As you’ll recall, a recent study concluded that dairy fat doesn’t cause heart disease and may even protect against strokes. According to an article in NewsHub, the public in New Zealand already knows as much:
The colour of New Zealand’s cattle herds is changing, and it’s all because of fat.
Fawn-coloured Jersey cows produce more fat in their milk than black and white Holstein Friesians, and farmers are getting paid more for fat because consumers no longer believe it’s so bad.
What have I been saying for nine years? Change won’t happen because governments change their dietary advice; it will happen because people no longer believe that advice.
“All cows produce fat in their milk, but Jerseys do produce more – that’s what they’re renowned for,” says Alison Gibb, the president of Jersey NZ.
Ms Gibb been farming Jerseys since they were last in vogue, roughly 40 years ago.
Let’s see, that would be around 1978. And of course, we all remember what a problem we had with childhood obesity and diabetes before then.
Then came the 1950s and 1960s, when saturated fat was established as an enemy of public health. Consumers didn’t want fat in their milk and farmers were paid more for protein.
Actually, they were paid for less fat.
Now consumers want fat again, on the back of recent trends such as the paleo diet – and dairy companies are responding.
Uh … strict paleo dieters don’t consume dairy products, but we’ll let that one slide.
Professor Keith Woodford says there’ll be a gradual transition of farmers choosing to introduce more Jersey into their bloodlines.
This trend is all down to the consumer.
“Consumers have said rightly or wrongly that butter’s back in favour, so the price of butter is at an all-time record,” Professor Woodford says.
And now let’s hear from one of the usual idiots … uh, I mean experts.
But health experts say consumers are wrong, and not all fat is good.
“Butter is pure, unadulterated saturated fat – and saturated fat is the main cause of heart disease,” Rodney Jackson says.
Hey professor, did you happen to hear about the latest study concluding that saturated dairy fat has nothing to do with heart disease?
This one of the many ways media reports annoy the hell out of me. They’ll write experts say this, or scientists say that. Ladies and gentlemen, we will now set the record straight by quoting THE EXPERTS AND THE SCIENTISTS. As if they all agree — which they almost never do. The accurate statement would be some experts say this, or some scientists say that. Anyway …
The University of Auckland health science professor believes the fat fad won’t last.
No, it will last. Humans ate saturated fat without harm or guilt for hundreds of thousands of years. What won’t last is the true fad diet – the one that requires people to remove perfectly healthy fats from foods.
Keto dieters are a menace to diabetics?
Boy, doncha just hate it when demand for your product shoots up? I know if we saw a sudden spike in sales for the Fat Head DVD, I’d be all in a panic. I mean, how do we know we’ll have enough copies for the people who really need it?
That’s the apparent logic behind an article from ABC in Australia:
Diabetics across Australia are struggling to source an essential piece of equipment used to monitor their health, as urine-testing strips that measure the level of ketones in the body are being purchased in bulk by followers of the ketogenic diet.
Dang, if only there were an economic system that allowed production to rise when demand rises.
They measure their ketones by using urine or blood-testing strips available in most pharmacies.
However the testing strips are also used by diabetics like Craig Johnson who can slip into a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis when their ketone levels are too high.
Mr Johnson was recently hospitalised with ketoacidosis, which he believes he could have detected earlier with keto strips.
However, there were no strips available at his local pharmacist in the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay.
South Grafton pharmacist, Michael Troy, who is also a member of the Pharmaceutical Society and Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said the shortage of ketone-testing strips had become widespread since the keto diet returned to popularity.
Mr Troy said he had been unable to buy keto strips in bulk for almost six months.
“It’s a supply issue. We just cannot physically get our hands on the stock from any of our wholesalers, so we’ve not been able to get the products to keep them in stock on the shelves,” Mr Troy said.
He is urging other pharmacists to follow his lead and keep keto strips aside only for diabetics.
I certainly don’t want diabetics to run short of keto strips. But blaming other people for buying them seems a bit odd. Normally, selling more of a product is considered a positive development. So someone from Down Under tell me: are these things regulated? Are they purchased and distributed by a branch of government? Because when supply and demand get all out of whack and stay out of whack for months, it’s a good bet government regulators are involved somewhere.
Kellogg’s exposed for cereal bribery
You ever wonder why “experts” recommend cereal as a healthy breakfast? Other than pure ignorance, I mean? Turns out being paid helps, as recounted in a Daily Mail article:
Breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s paid ‘independent experts’ to praise the nutritional value and taste of the company’s products on social media, it has emerged.
On its website, Kellogg’s touted a distinguished-sounding ‘Breakfast Council’ of ‘independent experts’ who helped guide its nutritional efforts.
And of course, those independent experts would let Kellogg’s know if they did some research and found that starting the morning with a big bowl of refined carbohydrates is a lousy idea.
However a contract and emails obtained by the Associated Press show that the maker of Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies paid the experts to engage in ‘nutrition influencer outreach’ and avoid offering their services to products that were ‘competitive or negative to cereal.’
Hmmm, not so independent after all. Wonder how much it costs to buy praise from “experts” on nutrition.
The company paid the experts an average of $13,000 a year to claim that Kellogg’s was their favorite brand on social media, or so they would tout the cereal during TV or other public appearances.
Goodness. What kind of “expert” would sell out like that?
‘I’m still feeling great from my bowl of cereal & milk this morning! Mini-Wheats are my fave,’ said Sylvia Klinger, a dietitian and council member who shared a photo of the cereal during a Twitter chat with Kellogg about the benefits of its product. Kellogg introduced the dietitian as a ‘Breakfast Council Member.’
Without noting her relationship with the company, another council member and dietitian chimed in to say Mini-Wheats were her favorite, too. She included a photo of Frosted Mini-Wheats.
The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast, and try to influence the government’s dietary guidelines.
The Kellogg’s Breakfast Council included a professor of nutrition, a pediatrician and dietitians.
Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I think of dietitians – most of them, anyway.
Are you threatened by vegetarianism?
You know how it is … you’re sitting at a restaurant, enjoying a steak, and then you hear some guy at the next table order the vegetarian special. Your mouth goes dry. Your heart begins to pound. The hand holding your fork begins to quiver. Why? Because you feel threatened by vegetarianism. That’s why meat-eaters are constantly picketing in front of vegetarian restaurants and occasionally invade grocery stores to trash the vegetable counter.
Fortunately, someone is studying the reasons behind this pervasive fear of vegetarianism, as reported by the University of Kent:
Researchers from the University’s School of Psychology and Brock University in Canada studied the impact of human supremacy beliefs and vegetarianism on whether people feel moral concern for animals, ranging from those normally considered to be pets, such as cats and dogs, through to those reared for eating, such as pigs and cows, and wild animals.
The study, involving participants in the US, found that both human supremacy beliefs and a perceived vegetarianism threat are important in explaining why some people morally exclude animals.
The results demonstrated that stronger human supremacy beliefs and vegetarianism threat predicted the inclusion of fewer animals in individuals’ moral circles over a reasonably large time interval.
Boy, it’s like they were studying me personally. I include few animals in my individual moral circle over a reasonably large time interval. Now I know it’s because I’m threatened by vegetarianism.
However, the effects of vegetarianism threat were more specific and only emerged for certain animal categories. Stronger vegetarianism threat predicted lesser moral inclusion of food animals, but not of companion animals and unappealing animals.
I take that to mean that even if I’m really threatened by vegetarianism, I won’t eat dogs even if they’re not attractive. Yeah, I guess that makes sense. But I’m glad my Rottweilers are adorable, just in case.
Why people really feel ‘threatened’ by vegetarianism
Meat-eaters don’t give a rat’s ass if some people choose not to eat meat. That leaves more for us. We only feel “threatened” when they decide we shouldn’t eat meat either. Take the doofuses running this company – please.
Co-working giant WeWork Cos. thinks it can save the environment quicker than Elon Musk.
The startup has told its 6,000 global staff that they will no longer be able to expense meals including meat, and that it won’t pay for any red meat, poultry or pork at WeWork events. In an email to employees this week outlining the new policy, co-founder Miguel McKelvey said the firm’s upcoming internal “Summer Camp” retreat would offer no meat options for attendees.
WeWork is a private company, and if the bigwigs choose to adopt that policy, that’s their business. But the policy ranks high on the dumbassery scale. No expensing meals that include meat? What if you’re taking a potential client out to dinner and client happens to order chicken?
“Uh, no, sorry. If you order that, I’ll have to pay for this meal out of my own pocket. Boy, doesn’t that spinach pie look delicious?”
“New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact,” said McKelvey in the memo, “even more than switching to a hybrid car.”
Yeah, because raising corn, wheat and soybeans in the same fields year after year by pumping the soil full of fossil-fuel fertilizers and then spraying the crops with Monstanto’s herbicides is so good for the planet.
Individuals requiring “medical or religious” allowances are being referred to the company’s policy team to discuss options.
And then they’re never heard from again.
Although the anti-meat stance is significant for the New York-based company, it’s far from the first startup to promote alternatives to animals. Juicero, a failed maker of high-priced juice machines, had instituted a similar ban on reimbursing employee expenses for meals at non-vegan restaurants.
Well, sure, when I’m searching for policies to emulate, I always look to failed companies for inspiration.
I guess if the employees don’t want to give up meat, WeWork can always bribe some dietitians to come in and discuss the health benefits of eating Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats.