Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Margarine deception

"Discover the simple goodness of Land O'Lakes. Fresh, wholesome and real, Land O'Lakes provides pure, fresh taste for people who strive to keep life uncomplicated and appreciate life's simple pleasures."

I laughed out loud when I first read this phony baloney description in my in-laws' fridge. It still shocks me how food companies can get away with writing complete BS on their packages. I haven't yet figured out what people think they're gaining by eating margarine (or similar products) instead of butter. This margarine actually has the same number of calories, the same total grams of fat, and only four grams less of saturated fat than regular butter (which is actually a very bad thing, not good the way we have been taught). Not to mention NO NUTRIENTS (the added vitamin A is synthetic and completely useless to our bodies if not actually harmful). All you have to do to realize what's really in this sorry excuse for a buttery spread is to look at the list of ingredients: soybean oil processed in three different evil ways makes up the first FOUR ingredients, along with water. By now we know that the words "hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" are a big clue that this is not a health food, yet they appear THREE times on this one small package. (To add insult to injury, the oil is extracted through a less-than-natural process from genetically modified beans. These are beans that even animals know not to touch.)

If you're wondering what really goes into the stuff you are putting on your toast every morning and on your mashed potatoes every night, read on (and keep in mind that pretty much the same holds true for all the fake "butter-y" spreads out there):

This excerpt is from the article, Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry.

"Manufacturers cannot use liquid oils in baked goods or frying, and they are not spreadable. So to harden the liquid vegetable oils to make margarine and shortening, they put the oils through a process called partial hydrogenation. To make margarine or shortening, first the oil is extracted under high temperature and pressure, and the remaining fraction of oil is removed with hexane solvents. Then the oils are steam cleaned, a process that removes all the vitamins and anti-oxidants, but of course, the solvents and the pesticides remain. These oils are then mixed with a nickel catalyst and put into a huge high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. What goes into the reactor is a liquid, but what comes out of that reactor is a semi-solid that looks like grey cottage cheese and smells terrible. Emulsifiers are mixed in to smooth out the lumps. The product is then steam cleaned a second time to get rid of the horrible smell. Then it is bleached to get rid of the grey color. At this point, the product can be used as vegetable shortening. To make margarine, they add artificial flavors and synthetic vitamins. You may be comforted to know that manufacturers are not allowed to add a synthetic color to margarine. So they add annatto or some other natural coloring. It is then packaged in blocks and tubs. Advertising promotes this garbage as a health food."

And yet, they're calling the results of this extremely complicated, unnatural process "simple goodness" and claiming that it's "pure and fresh"! In my opinion, using the words FRESH, WHOLESOME and REAL within 10 miles of this product is an absolute outrage. Of course it isn't only advertisers promoting this "garbage" as a health food -- doctors push it all the time. That's why my in-laws stopped using butter and started using margarine about 30 years ago when they moved to the U.S. from Mexico. And it wasn't long before they switched from lard to corn oil. Maybe next time we'll talk about how corn oil is made -- it will have you looking for a pig in no time.

In the meantime, let's take a look at all the fabulous health-supporting stuff found in old-fashioned raw or cultured butter from grass-fed cows:

Nutrients in Grass-Fed Butter

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: These include true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors needed to obtain maximum effect. Vitamin A is more easily absorbed from butter than from any other source, and provides a wonderful bright color without the use of dyes. Fortunately, these vitamins survive pasteurization. They are needed for:
⁃ proper growth
⁃ healthy bones
⁃ brain/nervous system
⁃ reproduction
The Wulzen factor ("anti-stiffness" factor) - Ever wonder how people used to continue working on their farms, cooking, knitting, and stoking the fire until they died in their 80s or 90s? By eating butter!
⁃ found in raw butter, cream, whole milk (and raw animal fats)
⁃ protects us from degenerative arthritis
⁃ protects against hardening of arteries
⁃ protects us from cataracts
Activator X
⁃ powerful catalyst that helps the body absorb and utilize minerals
⁃ found in organ meats from grazing animals and some sea food
⁃ especially good source is butter from cows eating green grass
⁃ disappears from the butter when cows are fed cottonseed meal or soy
Fatty acids
⁃ perfect balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
⁃ antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and immune-system-supporting properties
⁃ lauric acid is highly protective (found also in breastmilk)
⁃ butyric acid unique to butter - anti-fungal properties
⁃ these saturated fats are absorbed directly from the small intestine to
the liver and provide quick energy for the body (NOT STORED AS FAT!)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
⁃ strong anti-cancer properties
⁃ encourages buildup of muscle
⁃ prevents weight gain
⁃ disappears when cows are fed dry hay or processed feed
⁃ natural component of butter
⁃ helps our bodies absorb and metabolize cholesterol and other fats from
⁃ cholesterol is needed for our bodies to produce a variety of steroids
that protect against cancer, heart disease, and mental illness
⁃ our bodies manufacture hormones from cholesterol using vitamin A
⁃ breastmilk is also naturally high in cholesterol because it's
essential for growth & development
⁃ protects against gastrointestinal infections, especially in babies &
the elderly
Trace minerals
⁃ many trace minerals from the earth, such as manganese, zinc, chromium,
iodine (butter is a wonderful thyroid-supporting food for people
without access to seafood!)
⁃ extremely rich in selenium (a trace mineral with antioxidant
properties), containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ!

MARGARINE -- Ingredients: liquid soybean oil, water, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, buttermilk, salt, contains less than 2% of: hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate (preservative), vegetable mono & diglycerides, artifical flavors, beta carotene (color), vitamin A palmitate.
Price tag: $6.29/lb.
Externalized costs: nearly-irreversible damage to the earth from growing huge monocultures of genetically modified soybeans (loss of topsoil, soil depletion, poisoning of the air, land & water supply by chemical pesticides and fertilizers, destruction of wildlife and ecosystems); irreversible genetic pollution from GM seeds spreading and inter-mixing with regular crops as well as getting into the water supply; potential allergic reactions (possibly fatal) from eating GM soy; pollution from farming machines, refining, processing, and shipping the product; heavy use of fossil fuels; poor health; tax dollars used to support huge soy agribusinesses and monoculture-raising farmers.
Benefits: food corporations get richer & contribute more money to the campaigns of people who will perpetuate this system.

Price tag: $10/lb. & 16% delivery charge.
Externalized costs: pollution caused by driving a small truck for two hours to deliver to the consumers.
Benefits: land that is well-protected, fertilized naturally, and properly used & cared for; happy cattle; small, thriving family farms; healthy, delighted customers!

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