Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Canadian #ButterGate is a #pseudoCrisis instigated by #MemeTerrorists

The #pseudoCrisis started innocently enough... A woman "Julie Van Rosendaal" (cookbook author?) on Twitter asked... why is the butter no longer soft at room temperature? 

Link to Tweet

She also coined an article at The Globe and Mail, but it's behind a paywall, where she opined that farmers are adding supplements to the feed to boost production (according to a BBC article), the implication that inferior milk produced inferior butter is pretty clear. 

Interesting question, but this is not a data point. It's is anecdotal, at best. However, what we *do* know is... unpasteurized butter is perfectly shelf-stable even when stored at room temperature for MONTHS. That means it doesn't melt UNLESS heated. 

However, Wikipedia also pointed out that butter softens to a spreadable consistency at about 15 C or 60 F. But was a stick of butter REALLY supposed to be melting at room temperature? 

Turns out, there are a LOT of different types of fats in butter, and by "tuning" the different percentages of fat types, you can make the butter more or less spreadable.  

But generally speaking, butter REMAINS a solid at room temperature of 70 F. It's merely spreadable. 


Merely spreadable. 

Then entered a critic... who latched onto the question and managed to pivot it into a different direction.  

According to BBC "food experts" claimed "palm fat" in cow feed is a likely culprit... that butter made from milk from cows fed with palm oil has a higher melting point, and therefore harder to spread. 

Turns out, the critic was Dr. Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University, and he has his own opinion piece on ctvnews of Canada, and may have been a long-time critic of Canadian agriculture. 

But does this even make sense? As it turns out, not really. 

FACT: You cannot feed a cow straight palm oil. It upsets the bacteria in cow's stomachs

What you do instead is make palmitic (fatty) acid out of palm oil (sometimes, it comes naturally as a by-product), which passes through the stomaches undisturbed, and entered the intestines to be extracted and turned into cow's milk. 

FACT: Feeding palm-oil derivative or not has a negligible effect on palmitic acid content in milk.

I don't read French, but Google Translate worked well enough... in 2018 Canadian statistics as quoted by La Presse from CEO of Lactanet, Daniel Lefebvre, showed that palm-oil derivatives supplemented cows made milk with 33.45% palmitic acid. And the cows that were NOT fed such derivatives? 33.06% palmitic acid. 

FACT: Palmitic (fatty) acid is in cow's milk whether OR NOT you feed it palm-oil-based derivative. 

See above. 

So it's pretty clear that what Julie observed was NOT a new phenomenon at all, and was NOT caused by "increased use" of palm-based derivative feed supplements. 

This sort of astroturf pseudo-outrage is pseudo-science, spread by meme terrorists out to spread their own agenda at the expense of truth and the dairy farmers. 

Similar tactical had been done by so-called food experts such as "The Food Babe" before who managed to link Subway bread to yoga mats, because the chemical, a bubbling agent, can be used in both baking and making yoga mat foam!