Thursday, May 31, 2007

My thoughts on the “Low Fat Cow, Marge” and ViaLacta’s attempts to capitalize on it.

Jimmy Moore blogged about a cow that naturally produces 1% milk. Check it out at Livin La Vida Low Carb . Boy that got me to thinking. Maybe some researchers or scientists, or more likely marketing geek thinks this is a great thing, but looking at it from an agriculturalist's viewpoint, somebody is a moron.

I raise dairy goats, not cows. However, one of the things we do in the goatie world is measure the butterfat content of our milk. Each breed of goat has a specific amount of butterfat that traditionally is present in the milk. Some have more, others, less. (of course there are sometimes huge variations between individuals) In general, dairy goat breeders like to see more. The milk has a sweeter, richer flavor with more butterfat in it, duuuuhhh. (so does cows milk, and I’d be willing to bet dairy cow breeders strive to raise the butterfat percentages in their animal’s milk, too!) The Nubian breed (and pretty much all goats that originated in Africa, not just dairy goats) have the highest percentage of butterfat in their milk, and their milk tastes just luscious, in my opinion. I raise Alpine goats and they produce milk with slightly less fat than their Nubian relatives. My choice of goats is based more on their personality than their milk makeup. (I would love to get Nubian milk from a goat with Alpine disposition.) The breed that is usually used in commercial goat dairies is the Sannaan breed. There are two reasons for this, 1) generally speaking, they give the highest quantity of milk per goat, and 2) the milk is usually sold by the dairies to an outside cheese making facility. With less butterfat in the milk, your cheese yield is lower per gallon, thus the facility must buy a greater quantity of lower-fat milk to produce the same amount of cheese that could be produced by fewer gallons of the higher-fat milk. Makes sense that the dairies would want the creameries to buy more milk, so they just raise the goats that produce the most milk, but with the lowest butterfat! BUT, and this is important, goat milk processors generally do not market the cream products on their own like cow milk processors do. It's quite difficult to remove the cream from the milk, so it really wouldn't make a whole lot of economic sense. It's done now and then, but only for the novelty more than the money.

The NZ researcher only paid $218 for this cow. You can see how much the breeder valued this animal (they are usually sold for $1000 to $2000 each). He probably couldn’t wait to see it leave his farm! I can’t see any dairy breeder wanting an animal that barely had any fat in her milk. You see, all the skimmed milk out there in the stores had the fat extracted for butter and cream production. One gallon of milk yields more than just milk. It also yields some amount of cream. That is an additional product. The cream is churned into butter. (You have noticed that butter is now, and has always been more expensive than margarine, and cream more expensive than its diluted companion product, Half & Half.) Farmers, and milk processors, would be completely stupid to give up that extra source of income by breeding it out of their dairy herds.

Bottom line when it comes to dairy animals, regardless of the desire to sell low-fat milk, removing fat from the milk at the cow eliminates so much of the milk’s potential value only a moron would consider actually trying to keep doing it. Now, finding out why her milk contains more Omega-3 oils might be worthwhile to someone (not me). But I don’t see any value to soft cold butter... they’d probably hydrogenate it to make it hard! No, Marge is the next best thing to useless and I would have had her ground into hamburger, myself.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Action!

Memorial Day, a day to commemorate those who gave their lives in defense of our way of living. I guess we mainly see it as the first real holiday of the summer.

I just wanted to spend the day relaxing, but someone decided to ruin my day by hijacking my Internet Explorer. Luckily it is just on one computer. Why would someone do something so meaningless as that??? They can't possibly get anything out of it. The computer gets redirected to a page that doesn't even work, so if they were looking for hits, it just didn't do a thing for them.

I saw Emeril do a recipe the other night that I adapted for "LOWER CARB" ... I can't call it exactly low carb, but it sure looked good. The recipe is Ginger and Guava glazed ribs. I couldn't find low-carb guava jelly, so mine is Ginger and Apricot glazed ribs, but it's still true to the original Emeril idea. Mainly, it is ribs with a terrific dry rub baked at low heat, tightly covered in a pool of tequila! Once they are done, you cover them with this awesome lime, tequila, and Guava [ or Apricot] glaze and broil them for a few minutes. YUM! Emeril's original recipe is on the food channel site. I substituted Sugar Free Smucker's Apricot Jam for the Guava Jelly and Splenda for the sugar. I also used a single slab of full sized ribs instead of the baby back's because they were 4 times as expensive as the regular ones (and I'm nothing if not cheap!) I also used totally el-cheapo tequila for cooking. Emeril used Cabo Wabo, but then Sammy Hagar sent him a whole case to use for free. I'd use Cabo, too, if someone were sending me cases for free. LOL.

I also made a great pasta salad to go along using Dreamfields pasta, of course. It has thin slices of summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes, and a whole pound of my homemade goatmilk cheese in it, with oil and red wine vinegar, and a bunch of my fresh herbs.

Sammy, if you ever read this, I have a proposition: I'll send you homemade goatmilk cheese, soap, and lotion for a year, if you'll send me a case of your Tequila!