March 18, 2014

Fat Tuesday: Eat the Yolks Preview

“Margarine is the greatest culinary and dietary atrocity ever to be inflicted upon our society.”

You’ve got to love a book with a line like that!

I’m almost done with Eat the Yolks, a brand-spankin’ new book by Liz Wolfe, the non-Diane half of the Balanced Bites podcast and the gal behind the RealFoodLiz site (formerly CaveGirlEats). I’ll post a full review of the book soon, but in the meantime, I couldn’t help wanting to share some of the great quotes about fat. It is Tuesday, after all, and you know what that means...

Here are a few zingers—and believe me, when it comes to nutritional myth-busting, Liz is great at dishing out the zingers. (All emphasis—bold, italics, etc.—is mine.)

Let’s stick with margarine for now. (Pun intended, hehheh.)

“There isn’t a half-decent chef on this planet who will use margarine instead of butter, Crisco instead of lard.” (p.190)

Right on! (I’m told this guy, one of my favorte “celebrichefs,” uses lard in the fryers at all his restaurants. If I ever find myself in Cleveland, I’ll be happy to indulge.) Like I tell my clients, fried foods aren’t bad for us because they’re fried; it’s the type of oil they’re fried in. If I knew a restaurant was frying in lard or tallow, I’d be mighty tempted to order some French fries or deep-fried whooziwhatsits. The reason I generally steer clear of fried foods in restaurants is because most likely their fryers are filled with various permutations of hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed, corn, or canola oil. Ick. (By the way, I’m pretty sure I just coined the term “celebrichef.” If I hear it bounced around the interwebs anytime soon, I’m going to call an intellectual property lawyer, hehheh.)

“We avoid foods rich in natural saturated fat and cholesterol. We avoid a nice, rare steak. We throw away egg yolks. We test our blood cholesterol to make sure that our strategy is working. But it’s not working. Despite all the fat-lowering and cholesterol-obsessing, people are still sick with the same diseases those changes were supposed to prevent.” (p.31)

You tell ‘em, Liz!

“The most common dietary plant-based oils, like soybean oil, corn oil, and canola oil, are certainly politically correct. They’re free of the baggage surrounding saturated fat and animal products. They’re the fats from which margarine is usually made. They’re highly profitable. They’re also highly processed and totally unfit for human consumption.” (p.32)
Warning: do not ingest!

I have to agree. For more on why you really want to stay away from regularly cooking with and consuming these oils, which are high in polyunsaturated fats, check out this post. (This one is also pretty informative. It’ll give you your daily dose of human physiology lesson, too.) You don’t have to drive yourself crazy and avoid them entirely (although that’s not a bad idea), but you don’t want to be getting multiple doses of them every day for years, via your salad dressings, mayonnaise, non-dairy coffee creamer, store-bought marinades, peanut butter, etc.

“These crop oils are sometimes called seed oils, but they are most often referred to as, and labeled, vegetable oils. Although the association with vegetables certainly makes these oils sound healthy, the truth is quite the opposite. They’re not at all healthy, and they’re not made from vegetables. Corn is a grain, not a vegetable. Soybeans are legumes, not vegetables. Canola oil is derived from a seed, not a vegetable. Cottonseed oil is derived from cotton, not a vegetable.” (p.32)

Yep! She’s spot-on. Check out this post for more on the wackiness that is “vegetable oil.” And remember what I'm fond of saying: Cotton is for wearing, not for eating.

Near the end of the latter post,there’s a link to this video, which explains that what is essentially the “waste product” of oil extraction (the remaining protein fraction from the grains, legumes, and seeds, pressed into “cakes”) is sold as animal feed. Nice. So livestock in factory farming operations get to eat soy and cottonseed protein, and crushed rapeseeds (canola). (Note: it's also sold as human feed. Where do you think all the soy protein powders and isolates come from? After they extract the oil from soybeans, they are left with tons [literally] of soy protein, and they've got to get rid of it somehow.) Here’s Liz’s take on this particular use of these vegetable grain, legume, and commodity crop oils:

“As agricultural oil production grew around the world beginning around 1900, creating the beginnings of the global oil-trade economy, we suddenly had a new conundrum: what to do with all the protein-rich meal left over from the crops (including soybean and cottonseed) that were used for margarine oil? Great Scott! We’ll feed it to the animals! Yes, the ever-growing margarine market played a direct role in the development of the factory-farming industry from approximately 1920 to today. Agricultural oil production is, and always has been, about industry. It was never about health.” (p.77)

Like I’ve said in the past: where do you want your fats coming from? Farms, or factories?

That Liz is one smart gluten-free cookie. Stay tuned for a review of the rest of the book, coming soon.

Until next time, live long and prosper eat butter! (Which will help you prosper.)

Remember: Amy Berger, M.S., NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition.

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