Gee, Ghee

Since the subject has come up, and even though I don’t have good photos of making it, and even though I can’t get any right now because I don’t need to make any, we’ll do ghee anyway.

Ghee is clarified butter.

Butter is a type of fat.  Pork fat is another.  Beef fat is another.  So is chicken fat.

But if you take a slab of pork fat and leave it sitting out on your counter for a few days, it will be horrible. It goes bad.  It stinks to high heaven.

It isn’t the fat that goes bad.

It’s the muscle protein that is in the piece of fat. As it comes from the pig, you simply can’t cut it clean.

So, long ago, people figured out that if they “rendered” it, or “clarified” it, they could get rid of that protein that goes bad and the result would be a product that is pretty much shelf stable. It’s pure fat.

Another issue is that if you take a spoonful of butter and put it in a pan and heat it, it will brown.  Keep doing that and it will burn. What if you don’t want that?

What is browning and burning is that same protein (in butter, it’s milk) that is in the butter and there is no way to remove it completely without rendering the butter.

So here’s how I make ghee.

Morningmilking

We store milk in gallon-sized glass jars.  This is the milk from the morning’s milking, what is left after the calves are fed.  That’s quite a bit, and means that at the time that photo was taken, we needed to get a couple of new calves.

That goes in a frig in the basement.  I can put nine gallon jars in there. After a couple of days, the cream rises to the surface.  It’s easy to see the cream line, so I dip out the cream and store it in separate jars.

jarsofcreamSee the cream line near the bottom of those jars?

When I want to churn butter, I take out the jars of cream and let them come to room temperature, or slightly cooler.  Cream right out of the frig won’t churn well, and it also won’t churn well if it’s too warm.  It’s fiddly if you’re using a manual churn; much less so if you’re using a food processor.

And you can do this two different ways, with shades of gray all in between. You can let the cream sit overnight or even 24 hours and sour a bit, which produces a tangier butter. We like it.  Some people do not.  Or you can churn it as soon as the temp is right, and the butter will be sweeter.  Or anything in between.  Most of the time, our butter is whatever I got around to doing.

creaminprocessorThis is cream, in the food processor.  I also have a manual butter churn (glass with a handle), but life is too short if the electricity works.  With the manual churn, it takes ten to fifteen minutes of cranking that handle. With the food processor, it takes about three minutes with no effort on my part.

butterinprocessor

When the cream is churning in the processor, you can hear the change when the butter precipitates out.  Open the food processor and you’ll see the clumps of yellow butter floating about in the skim milk.

butterinstrainerHere’s the butter in the strainer. You can see the skim milk in the jar below. We feed that to the pig and/or chickens.  After letting it strain for a few minutes, I then put it under the cold water tap and wash it well, right in the strainer.

Mark this point.  Here’s where I diverge from making butter to making ghee.

But first let’s finish the butter.  That butter still has a good bit of milk in it. Even washing it won’t get it all out.

washingbutterSo then I dump the butter onto any available flat thing, in this case, an upside down casserole lid.  If you look closely, you can see the skim milk around the edges of the blob of butter.  You’ve gotta get as much of that out as possible.

So I wash it.  I knead it, run it under the cold water tap (gently), and then knead some more.

kneadingbutterSee the milky water?  That gets clearer and clearer as you go.

You never get it all out, but I try to get as much as possible. And then I salt it.

I have a very scientific method of salting butter. I get the salt shaker and shake it. And then I knead it some more to mix it and then I taste it.

butterformedHere is the butter being wrapped for freezing. I shape it that way because that’s what fits in my butter dish.

packagesAnd there we are, all done. That represents around two gallons of cream.

But let’s go back to ghee. That butter, above, cannot be used to make ghee, or rather, cannot be made into ghee that I like.  The divergent point is the salt.

I don’t like ghee made from salted butter. I want to salt food myself. I don’t want the salt in the ghee.

If I’m making ghee, after I wash as much milk off the butter as possible, I dump the butter in a crock pot.  Then I churn some more and repeat until I’ve done all I want/have, or the crock pot is full.

I set the crock pot on low, adding just a little bit of water to keep it from scorching while the butter melts, and put the lid on temporarily.  Once the butter has melted, I tilt the lid so that moisture can escape. You don’t want any water in ghee. Just the fat.

The idea here is to heat the butter, melt it and then cook the hell out of all the protein in the milk.  It will brown and separate from the fat.  And foam will form on the top. You will think that it’s ruined, but all that foam and the browned particles will strain out.

You can do this in a pot on the stove, but the crock pot is so much easier it’s not even funny.  I typically make ghee in the evening, set the crock pot and go to bed. In the morning, it’s done.  It won’t burn. I cannot mess it up.  I don’t have to watch it.  I’ve tried this both ways and the crock pot wins, hands down.

In the morning, I strain the fat out of the pot into mason jars and immediately put lids on them. The heat will cause them to seal.  This is an extra step I take which might not really be necessary, but it’s easy so I do it.

ghee So, how do you use ghee?

It’s fat.  It’s just like oil, only it’s a solid at room temperature.  I make lard the exact same way.  I cut up the pork fat, put it in the crock pot, let it heat. Identical.  There are more solids to strain out of lard.  Lard is white, not yellow.

lardonshelf

Beef fat?  Identical. The result is called tallow. It is very hard, even at room temperature.  I use it in French fries. (So did McDonald’s until the vegetarians threw a fit and they quit.  That’s why McDonald’s fries used to taste so good.)

tallowonshelf

Chicken fat? You guessed it. Identical. It’s called schmaltz.  I use it to fry chicken.

But ghee is hands down our favorite.  We use it every day.  Dave had no idea what in the world I was making and no idea how to use it, but is a convert now.  He fries eggs with it.  He pops popcorn with it.

Ghee has a slightly buttery taste. It’s not pronounced, like butter. But it’s there.  It does not brown.  It’s fat.  You can get it to a much higher temperature than butter, which means you can fry with it.

You can also bake with both ghee and lard. I have made cakes with both. I use either in biscuits, or pie crusts. Schmaltz is good in baking too, but I typically don’t have a lot of it and I’m sort of stingy with it.

In fact, the only use I have for oil is in mayonnaise and salad dressings.

We typically store these fats in mason jars, just like the jar in the photo. They are on the shelf in the basement.  Our basement stays at about 55 degrees year round. And they are sealed with mason jar lids (although I’m not certain that’s necessary.)

This drove me a little crazy in the beginning. I worried about the lard/ghee/tallow/schmaltz spoiling.  I still generally store schmaltz in the frig just because, well, it’s chicken.  None of it has ever gone rancid or spoiled, and I have stored it for more than two years.

Once the jar is open, we generally keep it in the frig for no reason at all except that is where Dave inevitably hunts for it.

So, now, what do you do if you don’t have a cow?

You wait for butter to go on sale and buy some. Unsalted.  Render it.  That’s certainly what I would do.  I’m sure that’s way cheaper than hunting for and buying commercially made ghee.

Health issues

Inevitably, somebody asks me if this is not a terrible, awful thing to do. You know to use, gasp, animal fats instead of lovely extra-virgin olive oil.

The answer is pretty much no.

Dave is soon going to be 78.  He just recently went off his blood pressure medicine. We’re monitoring his blood pressure now pretty closely so he can report back to his doctor, but we all think (doc included) that he can come off it safely.  He takes cholesterol medication, but even the necessity of that is debatable. At his last checkup, his doctor told him that he’s in a cohort of a very tiny percentage of men his age who take almost no medications.

I am on no medications of any kind and never have been.

Neither of those things means that our very good fortune at having good health up to this point is a result of our lifestyle. It’s much more likely a result of our genes. We both have parents who lived into their nineties.  But my point is that we don’t just drown in these fats. We use them reasonably.

Harvard weighed in on this debate, and takes a sort of middle position.

Remember, we eat very small portions of meat. We eat lots of vegetables and whole grains and beans.  We also raise the pork and the beef and the chicken and we milk the cow.  The sheer work of doing all that makes a difference, I suspect.

It makes no sense at all to me to toss away all these lovely fats that are by-products of animal husbandry and go buy olive oil that is not in any way sustainable.

This is one of my favorite cookbooks in the whole world.  It’s not just that the recipes are good. It’s that it is so beautiful.

So get some butter and try it. If you already have a crock pot, you’re in business.

gheeinstoreJust in case you wondered, this is what ghee was selling for in the last couple of days at a regular large chain grocery store.

I am not going to tell Frances. She’s insufferable as it is, and knowing this would make her worse.

 

 

 

 

 

35 thoughts on “Gee, Ghee”

  1. You are an amazing woman. I like the idea of making ghee, just to try my hand at it. And this blog is perfectly timed. Butter will be going on sale soon for Easter and I’m going to pick up some extra unsalted butter and make some ghee. I’m sure my family will think it’s weird but why the heck not. Thanks for the instruction, Sally.

  2. I originally made it because I had so much cream, too much butter, and what the hell do I do with all of it. 🙂 I thought it was a little idiotic until I tried cooking with it.

  3. On the post before this one I was just asking you Sally if used your ghee for bread making. lols
    After reading here all about ghee, both my mother and I think this must have been my Grandmother’s secrete ingredient in her homemade pies, cakes as well as her loaves of bread.

    Great article Sally !!!

  4. Sally, you provide a source for a variety of useful information. I cannot wait to make my own ghee.

    We chose the vegetarian diet in part because of my husband’s very high cholesterol that could not be controlled but also in part because when we ate meat, we usually bought the meat at the store and animals coming from factory farms are never treated humanely. Hell, we are raising hens for eggs, well, we are beginning to raise hens for eggs but we eat eggs that we buy from my grandson until ours produce. He has quail, chicken, and duck eggs that he sells to us. The quail eggs we don’t buy; he sells those to a Vietnamese restaurant.

    Even though I have a shit load of medical problems related to having had polio and now having autoimmune diseases (MS and RA), my doctor is always shocked that I don’t have the medical problems other folks my age have such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Of course, I’m a vegetarian but we do eat butter and eggs. My sisters think my siblings and I are so healthy because my mom only fed us meat once or twice a week and the rest of the time we ate beans, potatoes, and cornbread. I was quick to remind them that the beans always had salt pork in them, the potatoes were fried in lard, and the cornbread always had crackling. In fact, my mother even made her pie crust with lard. I don’t believe she ever cooked with anything but lard. The lard came from the hogs she slaughtered and she rendered it herself and we ate the cracklins and the pork rinds that floated to the top. She also rendered chicken and beef fat and cooked with those as well. We never used fake butter and I still don’t today and none of my siblings nor I have ever suffered with any form of heart disease.

    My daughter raises beef, pork, and chickens for their own use, and when she killed her very first hog, she was going to toss the pork fat. My sister spoke up for it, so my daughter gave her some of it if she would show her how to make lard. Now rendering lard is something that I help her with and she uses quart and gallon jars to store the lard. She does save the beef fat too but she just cannot bring herself to use rendered chicken fat.

    I don’t think using animal products is bad for anyone as long as they are eaten in moderation, and, like I said, I hate the way animals that are factory farmed are treated. Hell, my husband almost died eating walnuts, which are supposed to be the most perfect food, but, then again, there’s the moderation thing. My daughter and her family are not overweight nor do they have any chronic medical conditions; however, they are still young, so it’s a little too early to say that their diet isn’t going to affect them.

    I’ve never made butter in very large quantities but have made small amounts with the grandchildren. I think I may get a load of milk from my cousin and make some butter and then ghee. I buy it so why not make it? Plus, I’m retired. When I was in the Middle East, I found their ghee tasted sour but I did acquire a taste for it, so I may end up letting my cream age a little before making the butter.

    Sally, I must say, another fabulous post.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this and really learned a lot!!! Do you hand milk Frances everyday or do you have a mechanical thing? I took the kids to the local dairy a few months ago on a homeschool field trip and they loved it and learned so much! If we wanted to try making butter at home once just for the experience what would we need to do it? Raw milk? I know you can get raw milk around here but I’m leary of that because I know you can get sick from raw milk . I know it is much different for y’all because it is your cow and you know everything is done safely!

  6. Do you have an opinion on grass fed beef?

    I sort of think it’s marketing crap, right up there with organics. All beef that I know about around here is grass fed, until they go for “finishing,” when they’re fed a lot of corn to put fat on them so the meat is marbled. Marbled beef tastes better. The flavor is in the fat. I do not want that super lean ground beef for hamburgers. I want some fat in there.

    Our Jersey bull calves are raised primarily to be bulls, not beef. But when we steer one (castrate him for beef), we always feed a little grain. Here’s our schedule.

    As bottle babies in the pens, they get all the grain they will eat free choice all the time. They eat little of it and mostly play with it. They really cannot digest it until their stomach matures some.

    Once they graduate from the pens (age three weeks), they are in the barn and a small paddock outside. They have a rack of hay all the time and get fed grain twice a day right after their bottles. They gradually eat more and more grain and hay, and we gradually wean them from the bottle. At that point, they are getting two pounds of grain twice a day each, which is a pretty good amount for a little guy. (Frances eats five pounds twice a day.)

    Then they go to the paddock which has a run-in shed and small pasture. No bottle, but they continue to get their grain and of course hay and/or grass.

    And once they are large enough to make us feel secure about putting them in the big pasture (age four or maybe five months), they don’t get that morning feeding anymore. We give each calf two pounds of grain at night only. And the only reason for it is so they come check in with us. We simply want to eyeball them one good time every day.

    When they go to the dairy (age 9 or ten months), they get no grain at all again, ever.

    And naturally, all our grain is GMO. At one point, I grew some field corn (organic since I used no commercial fertilizer), and shelled it. We put it side by side with the GMO corn from the feed store. Our cattle do not care. They like it all equally well. I laughed.

  7. Do you hand milk Frances everyday or do you have a mechanical thing?

    We have a machine. It cost more than Frances.

    To make butter, go to the store and buy heavy cream. Come home and put it in your food processor. You’ll have butter in about three minutes.

    And no, I would never feed raw milk to a child. We pasteurize what we drink and it’s our cow.

  8. if used your ghee for bread making.

    Sometimes. And sometimes lard. I just need some fat in bread, about a good tablespoon. I put half the water in the mixing bowl, hot, and add the fat, let it melt in the hot water, then add the rest of the water, cold (now I have warm water) and then the rest of the ingredients and let the mixer do the rest.

  9. This was marvelous to read…
    I’ve made ghee in the past, but never in a crockpot.
    I’m a butter lover, and now I have to make some ghee…(much better than PAM 😜)

    Sally, you really do need to write a book that discusses life on your homestead, recipes and techniques… like how you learned to milk a cow, canning meat, veggies and fruits. Jelly making… anImal husbandry, cows, chicken raising secrets, how to humanely kill a chicken….
    With your humor, story telling ability and ability to be accurate, you would have a best seller, even if the readers have no intention of killing a chicken, or turning their backyard into a mini farm.
    You have a rare ability to entertain with the written word.
    I loved James Herriot’s books on veterinarian life in the U.K…
    Your stories remind me of his stories.
    Thanks for posting this.

  10. I cook with ghee all the time. I’ve never baked with it. I consider it a much healthier option than cooking with vegetable oil, which is not stable when heated to high temperatures. The heated vegetable oil and oxidizes, which form aldehydes, which are known to cause cancer and heart disease. There’s a huge body of research that supports this online – google it if you like.

    I use veggie oils to make salad dressings – that’s pretty much it. Coconut oil is a really stable fat that’s recommended for frying, but it has a strong taste that doesn’t always go with what you’re making unless you’re doing a Thai stir-fry or something. I also save my chicken fat and beef fat to cook with, but they tend to have more of a flavour than ghee.

  11. I’ve made tons of lard, but never ghee.
    I’ll have to try it.
    I’ll be getting a cow next year. Fell in love with some Swiss girls

  12. Loved this entry, Sally. Thank you. Brought back so many memories.

    My grandparents never wasted anything, especially food. Grandmother was born and raised in the deep south and used to say the only wasted thing from a pig was it’s squeal. LOL She came from nothing and learned how to use every last scrap of anything they had.

    She baked all her bread on Monday and made biscuits and cornbread daily as needed. She saved every scrap of it left over, allowed it to stale, and had scrumptious piles of dressing on Sunday to use it all up. (I did a blog on this which fascinated so many of my friends. Fascinating to me too because for the longest time I just thought Sunday was a special day and dressing was some special food until she told me dressing was nothing more than a way to use up every scrap of stale bread in the house so it wasn’t wasted.)

    Although both of my grandparents came from simple starts in life and had lived through the depression, they were quiet well off by the time I was born, although you would have never known it by looking at them. The most extravagant thing they ever did was to buy a new car every four years.

    My grandmother cooked constantly, gardened, canned, foraged, and butchered. By the time I came along they had stop raising animals but any neighbor or local farmer that wanted rid of their “scraps” or a few old hens, they knew my grandmother would happily take it off their hands. If they couldn’t use it all, they shared with friends neighbors who could. I enjoyed many wonderful pickled pigs feet, cracklins, and rinds; although I would never touch things my grandpa loved like brains and chitlins.

    She rendered her own lard, tallow, and of course we got fresh cream from a local farmer for butter. She always clarified the butter, which is how I suppose she was able to keep it without refrigeration for so long at a time without it going rancid, and why she could fry with it. I never heard her call it Ghee; it was just clarified butter. (My aunt kept hers on the stove, over the pilot light, with a brush in it. That way it stayed liquefied and you didn’t tear up your toast when you buttered it. 🙂 )

    I can’t tell you how many hours I sat churning cream into butter, or how often my grandmother had to get my mother out of her cream with her spoon. I’d like to think she’d have done well with a food processor, but then again, she might never had used it if there would have been such a thing back then. (We bought her a dishwasher once and she ended up using it to store things in, LOL. She said by the time she scraped and rinsed and fooled with the dishes all that much she was just as well off to go ahead and wash them by hand. My grandfather said that dishwasher was the most expensive storage box he’d ever purchased.)

    We made soap from tallow, and a few times lard, although most of that soap she used for laundry and cleaning. She liked the pretty smelling store bought stuff for bathing. (How pleased she would be to see the soaps I now make from oils that smell better than anything store bought and leave your skin feeling as soft as a baby’s butt- and know that the inspiration had come from her teaching me the process to begin with. )

    Doing things the good old fashioned way not only saves money, you know the finished product will almost always be better quality that you can buy.

    Again, thanks for sharing. I look forward to more blogs like this one. They bring back wonderful memories and fill in the little gaps I have been missing. (Like why exactly clarified butter can be keep without refrigeration!)

  13. @ MIM

    What a great idea, a Sally Cookbook or the Sally Cooking Show, maybe even both.
    I would buy it, or watch it.
    I believe this lady could dance circles around Paula Deen and that Pioneer Woman in the kitchen.

  14. Thanks Sally! I think I’m going to give ghee a go following your directions. We use a lot of olive oil and with the cost of good olive oil, ghee might be a good alternative at times. How much ghee do you suppose you would get out of 5 lbs of butter?

    I’ve got nothing against lard. I’ve found my pie crust are flakery using lard as opposed to vegetable shortening. Biscuits are better, fried foods taste better and crisp up better than with vegetable oils. Fat is flavor. We don’t buy meat from the grocery store. When the boys were young and living at home, we’d raise our own steer. They were all involved in 4-H and raised their own animals, but now we just buy a side from a local farmer. Store bought meat has become so lean over the years as many people bought into the fat is bad trend and lean meat is better. It’s not! A store bought sirloin steak is tough, dry most of the time no matter how you cook it and has less flavor. The flavor is in the marbling. Even a home grown round steak is much better than a sirloin you get from the grocery. People don’t know what they’re missing out on.

    Thanks again Sally. I do so enjoy your blog and I’ve learned a lot from reading it. I hope you never tire writing for us.

  15. I really enjoyed this blog, and want to try making my own ghee soon. I am diabetic and eat low carb, high fat to keep my blood glucose in goid control. That’s when I first heard about ghee, and now I put a spoonful in my morning coffee. Yummy. I use it to saute vegetables. Thanks for sharing how to make it yourself!

  16. Please don’t “move” again.

    Sorry about that. I’m working out the details. It’s a bit like cleaning out all your closets, and having everything in a big pile on the floor and all over the bed and then having to sort through and put it all back. Only add in all the kitchen cabinets too, and you get the idea.

  17. How much ghee do you suppose you would get out of 5 lbs of butter?

    You’ll get almost that much ghee. You don’t lose much. There’s only a small amount of milk solids in butter and a little moisture.

  18. I’m lucky enough to have an Asian food store a few blocks away. I suspect it’s cheaper to buy the ghee than good butter (though I haven’t priced it out and I have no idea what quality butter they used in India). But thank you for the clear explanation and great photos!

    (Strip the _once from my email and it’s real. $!@&$ gravatar…)

  19. Thank you, Sally!!! I looked it up, but I learned more from this post than I did on google. So I knew it was clarified butter used for cooking, but you actually explained how clarified butter was different from regular butter and how exactly it is used in cooking and why people use it. One of the reasons I love your blogs is because you use real life experiences in your writing and explanations. Very interesting!!!

  20. Sally, would you be interested in doing a blog on a single payer plan, the pro’s and con’s?

    Plus, in your opinion, if it should or shouldn’t be implemented and the best way you see to implement the plan (if you feel it should be implemented).

  21. I refuse to make a pie crust with shortening. I did find a recipe that I liked using butter and sour cream, but lard is still my favorite.

  22. Sally, would you be interested in doing a blog on a single payer plan, the pro’s and con’s?

    Okay, and I have very definite opinions about it, but I am not an insurance expert by any means. And that might take me a day or two (not to become an expert – contrary to what some folks think, you can’t just learn anything you need to know in a short while on YouTube – but to put together such a post. I’ll do what I can and you guys can discuss and rip me to shreds. 🙂

  23. Sally, what is your aim here?? Are you trying to make me fat? Kill me with all the treats?

    Ugh- and I’m learning things? What the hell, woman?! 😉

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to teach us something useful. I really do look forward to reading what you’ve written.

  24. Tekla,
    Of course I am not blaming the patient for being sick; however, the medical community has asserted rather aggressively that diets high in fat do predispose people to certain conditions related to heart disease and some cancers. Of course, I don’t think I mentioned cancer because cutting meat out of our diet wasn’t done because of either one of us having been diagnosed with cancer. In fact, I don’t think I mentioned cancer in any part of my post.

    However, since you brought it up, I clicked on your link and the information offered doesn’t rule out environmental conditions causing cancer. In fact, the researchers who support the notion that 66% of cancer is due to random DNA error was based upon mathematical formulas. In other words, the researcher took a look a some cancer patients and from the data from those patients that they gathered through participating doctors, patients, and hospitals, they create a regression model as a way to predict future occurrences of the same instances. If they only research stomach cancers or breast cancers and they send a questionnaire to the participants that ask have you ever smoked, do you eat a high fat diet, have you ever lived near a nuclear power plant, etc., and the person answers no or yes based upon his present situation or lies the data is flawed. The interesting thing about this kind of research is that it isn’t really scientific in the same way that scientists who use control groups or those who watch cancer cells develop. The research is based upon probability and prediction. In fact, in the same article, McGinley reported that “Yusuf Hannun, director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, agreed, arguing that the 66 percent contribution of random DNA errors to mutation was “way exaggerated.” In late 2015, a team he led reported that the vast proportion of lifetime cancer risk is due to environmental factors.” Environmental conditions are those conditions that expose a person to carcinogenic substances such as tar and nicotine, asbestos, certain food additives, radiation, pollution, certain foods, etc. Additionally, I think one would be hard pressed to get the American Cancer Association or the American Medical Association to publish this information as significant enough to create a change in the information they put out about, for instance, how to prevent lung cancer or cervical cancer or bladder cancer. They know that people who smoke have a higher rate of cancer than those who don’t smoke; likewise, women who are exposed to a certain virus are more likely to develop cervical cancer. My husband’s urologists said that all it takes is smoking one cigarette to increase a man’s risk of getting bladder cancer. I did not know that one cigarette could cause bladder cancer but I looked it up and it is true. I also know that some people smoke their entire life and never develop cancer and some people eat pork three meals a day and never have high cholesterol but not everyone is as lucky.

    My brother died from cancer because one summer he worked around asbestos and he also smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for probably fifty or more years. He had two kinds of cancer: one was caused by the asbestos and the other the cigarettes. He lived two years sitting in a chair using oxygen and finally, when they wanted to put a tube into his lungs through his neck and hook him to a ventilator, he said it’s time to rest and he refused and died that night. I don’t blame him for his cancers; even though, he made the choice to smoke and he worked in asbestos without wearing a mask. I do, however, blame the tobacco company and I do blame his boss who could have required all the men to wear masks instead of just telling them they could wear it or not.

    I think, as logical beings, we cannot overlook the idea that every action has a consequence that affects not only our own health but also the health of the planet. While I consider factory meat farming immoral, I cannot overlook the damage to our environment caused by factory produce farming. So I pick my action and hope that the consequence does as little damage as possible. I hate there are some things I must buy at the store and their production does damage the planet so, like Sally, I try to choose wisely. If I were to eat meat, I would certainly never eat meat that comes from a factory farm. Not that I will eat meat because to be sure, my husband’s health has improved so much since we changed the way we eat. Yep, I do blame both of us for our choices that elevated his bad cholesterol but we fixed that by eliminating the cause of high cholesterol…and we still eat butter! Yeah!

  25. “However, since you brought it up, I clicked on your link and the information offered doesn’t rule out environmental conditions causing cancer.”

    Of course it doesn’t. Nor does it state that everyone who develops cancer does so because of “lifestyle choices”.

    “The interesting thing about this kind of research is that it isn’t really scientific in the same way that scientists who use control groups or those who watch cancer cells develop.”

    So all those meta-analysis papers aren’t research conducted by real scientists? The journal Nature disagrees with you.

    http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v46/n10/full/ng.3094.html

    You’ve emphasized your belief in diet being the cause of illnesses and it may play a part in many – but not all.

    It’s also apparent that you have the economic means to afford a diet that you regard as morally superior. Not everyone has the ability to be so choosy about what they eat.

  26. Oh, I posted another section of Mother Necessity’s Homeschooling Kit on my LJ (same username, with a hyphen).

  27. You’ve emphasized your belief in diet being the cause of illnesses and it may play a part in many – but not all.

    Stay classy, folks.

    While I would agree with you, Tekla, about diet and illnesses like cancer, I know everyone doesn’t see it that way. That does not mean that just because Jeannie believes diet or environmental exposure is a major factor that she is right. Right is right regardless of whether or not I, or you, or Jeannie accept it.

    But I didn’t read what she wrote as coming off “morally superior.” She says she considers factory farming “immoral.” Lots of people do. It’s a very common statement for vegans and vegetarians to make. But then, I’ve seen these same sorts of people (vegans) totally bash dairy farming, and they are simply full of bullshit. I also live in an area where beef cattle are raised in large numbers. I don’t see the lives of those steers as horrible at all. I know they go to feed lots to “finish” and PETA goes in and takes videos of the supposed horrible conditions, but I also know that if you treat animals terribly and stress them out, you get a poor product in the end.

    Even our Amish/Mennonite neighbors, who are notoriously uncaring about livestock as a general rule, go out of their way to make conditions as easy as possible for livestock at the slaughterhouse. It’s not because they are trying to be kind. It’s because stressed out animals don’t produce the best meat.

    I actually believe that most farming is done by people who are at least not terribly cruel to their livestock, if for no other reason than economics. Obviously, all livestock is not pampered like Frances, but mostly they are not kicked or beaten. [I have been known to smack a calf, though. It’s imperative to establish dominance over them, and smacking them in the snout is the only way to do it. I watched Frances butt them and then I imitate her as best I can, but not with my head because ouch.]

    My husband’s urologists said that all it takes is smoking one cigarette to increase a man’s risk of getting bladder cancer

    And I couldn’t find anything that to support that statement. “Increase” is a very nebulous term, and might mean an extremely tiny increase, or a really big increase. While cigarette smoking does, in fact, raise the risk of bladder cancer rather significantly (alarmingly so), and that elevated risk can persist for years (although at a reduced level the further out you go), I think that statement is a real stretch. I’m not even sure it would be possible to establish that scientifically.

  28. This weekend I turned my young grandson on to your blog. He loves learning, especially anything practical, including how to cook and how the process actually works. His mother, other grandmother, and me, all garden, forage, and process our a good bit of our own foods so he gets first hand experience and always has a gazillion questions about why something works the way it does. (Example- the difference between cold packing and pressure canning and why you process different foods different ways. Or things like bakers math when increasing recipe sizes.) He has concluded that since he loves to eat he’ll need to know how, and I support his reasoning. He is fascinated by my making soap and enjoys the relief it gives him when he is covered in poison ivy.

    This post was great to share with him. He was enthralled by it.

    He lives on a farm himself, his uncle raises cattle, and the neighbor has milk cows- “where we can get all the fresh milk we want” he tells me. So guess what we are doing during his next visit? I have no doubt he’ll be calling the neighbor this week to arrange for a fresh gallon of milk for his next visit with me. And next time uncle butchers, “we’ll be getting some of that fat that uncle throws away.”…. he’s just dying to make some french fries in “that tallow stuff”. He just can’t imagine a McDonald’s french fry tasting any better than they already do, so “we’re going to make it happen”. LOL

    With this post he got to read and question the process of milk to butter, the difference between milk and cream, and what cream really is; how to keep it from spoiling over a period of time, and why it can, and will, if not processed properly.

    He was amazed and I was really tickled with his interest. So we’re doin’ it, he says. I am happy to oblige.

  29. he’s just dying to make some french fries in “that tallow stuff”.

    Tell him not to use pure tallow. Mix in some vegetable oil (it will make the resultant fat easier to deal with – you can use it over and over again, just refrigerate after use, especially for potatoes). I use maybe 1/2 and 1/2 or something like that.

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