Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My 2013 Wish: Word Spreads That All Butters Not Bad for Us

My New Year's resolution? I want to get as many people as possible to stop reflexively believing that all butters are bad and that all strawberries are good.

It'll be a tough battle, though, since this thinking has so pervaded our societal ideas of food and nutrition. I encountered another example of this myopia when following a recipe for a lemon yogurt cake (delicious and straightforward) from one of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

Garten skips the traditional butter, using yogurt and vegetable oil instead. She purports that this substitution makes the cake healthier, without any regard for the genesis of her ingredients:

"Despite my reputation for starting all my recipes with a pound of butter, I really do look for ways to make desserts lighter. When I came across a delicious yogurt cake by cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, I decided to see if I could update my favorite lemon cake with her method of using yogurt and vegetable oil instead of butter. Not only is it good for you, but you don’t even need an electric mixer to make it!"
Hey, Ina, is this lemon yogurt cake really good for me if I use yogurt made from milk from cows administered hormones and antibiotics and fed genetically-engineered and pesticide-laden corn and soy?

Hey, Ina, is this lemon yogurt cake really good for me if I use vegetable oil made from genetically-engineered and pesticide-laden canola and treated with hexane? (For more information on why we should avoid commercial vegetable oils, click here.)

Hey, Ina, is a traditional lemon pound cake really not good for me if I use nutrient-dense butter made from milk from grass-fed cows? Aren't the omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, lutein, conjugated linoleic acid and beta-carotene found in grass-fed meat and dairy products the epitome of health?

Start keeping track of these knee-jerk descriptions of what constitutes "healthy" in this fat-, calorie- and cholesterol-phobic era. Unfortunately, little or no heed is paid to the pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, refined sugars, processed grains, preservatives, emulsifiers, etc. that are the true devils of our time.

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