Food & Drink

Dairy farmers adding palm oil to cow feed ?

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  • Feb 28th, 2021 7:05 pm
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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Well, it is a feed. Cows are fed straw most of the year because that's all the feed there is. Palm fruit by-product is an acceptable feed. No worse than corn. And much, much better than animal, or even cow.
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Mar 20, 2009
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It is disappointing that over the last few decades, Canada has loosened the strings for this kind of crap.
We should be aiming to emulate EU food standards and labeling, and not the deceptive practices of the USA.
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Jun 27, 2006
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shikotee wrote: It is disappointing that over the last few decades, Canada has loosened the strings for this kind of crap.
We should be aiming to emulate EU food standards and labeling, and not the deceptive practices of the USA.
Disappointing but not really all that surprising.

I remember a few months ago when there was something about the farmers having to dump milk, there was a PR push with commercials from the Ontario Milk Board or whatever it was telling us about the good that they do. They do good for their members which I guess is there mandate. Not much will change as it is all about money at the end of the day.
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shikotee wrote: It is disappointing that over the last few decades, Canada has loosened the strings for this kind of crap.
We should be aiming to emulate EU food standards and labeling, and not the deceptive practices of the USA.
Europe was apparently the biggest importer in 2013. New Zealand uses it too.
https://www.allaboutfeed.net/animal-fee ... livestock/
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Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
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I recently learned about this as well and am wondering how one can find out which dairies have NOT resorted to this.
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May 1, 2007
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So ti seems like it is an approved feed, used in EU and New Zealand (which arguably has some of the best dairy in the world)...

I'm more concerned about the massive deforestation from Palm Oil plantations. We should be figuring out how to reduce palm oil consumption (to save the forests).

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/topics/palm-oil
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Jan 2, 2009
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thriftshopper wrote: Well, it is a feed. Cows are fed straw most of the year because that's all the feed there is. Palm fruit by-product is an acceptable feed. No worse than corn. And much, much better than animal, or even cow.
Cows are being bed in straw(straw is bedding) Dairy cows are being fed hay, silage, and supplement feed like grain, corn all proper nutrients that is not available in hay and silage (barley or corn Silage).
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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Cows eat grass unless it is winter or the farmer does not have enough acreage, when they eat hay. Haylage/silage is for treats/finishing & grain is for finishing only. Straw is bedding.

In the 1970's, my buddy tells me, the neighbour fed his 100 head of cattle on potato chips & corn snacks in part. All the bags that went through the line & did not seal properly, & all the floor sweepings from local plants like Hostess & Jack's Snacks went to local cattle farmers.

Buddy worked in a flour mill & the floor sweepings there went to Mennonite hog farmers. In Nevada, post-consumer buffet leftovers go to hog farmers too.

I have heard of cattle being fed candy ends to finish them (when they are in a stockyard & fed high-calorie foods so they can develop well-marbled meat). The primary difference between A, AA, AAA, Prime beef is the marbling which means fat content. Wagyu beef is even fattier, but that is in part due to the breed.

For a while Neilson Dairy (which is owned by Weston Group, which also owns Loblaws) was producing DHA/Omega 3 milk by feeding ground herring (which is high in omega 3's) to cattle. Farmers know what goes in affects what comes out, & herring produces a healthy form of milk for humans. People did not bite & it is off the market now.

Palm oil is bad for us whether we ingest it in snack foods or as part of butter because it is highly saturated. That is why people are dealing with extra-hard butter. The end result is more like the old-style, much (rightfully) maligned stick margarine of the past. Palm oil is also used in microwave popcorn because it has a mouthfeel like butter when warm. It creates delightfully crisp snacks (think Bugles, which use is, vs. Doritos 3D, almost the same product but made with vegetable oil & not as light, crisp, buttery & delicate). I bet the palm oil butter would make the best kind of chocolate chip cookies. A lot of people have switched to healthier "spreads" like Becel which turn liquid at summer room temperatures & are about 10% water, so lower in fat too, for use with bread & toast. I am honestly surprised that there are enough people out there using old fashioned butter on bread to notice it has changed like this.

I normally use 1% milk in my tea & am pondering giving it up for unsweetened cashew milk. I am looking at 110 kcal per cup of 1% milk with 12 g of sugars, or 25 kcal per cup with 0 g of sugars for cashew milk. Lactose milk is not sugar-free, the lactose is simply broken down into glucose & galactose for those whose bodies cannot do that themselves. I am wondering if I really need to have a meal of milk in my drinks & so much sugar. Has anyone tried this product?
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
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booblehead wrote: I would have never thought our diary farmers will do this

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.theglob ... ract-with/
Hmm. One argument our dairy farmers made for supply management is that they provide a superior product without growth hormones. Palm oil is not a hormone but it is not a normal food for northern dairy cows either, and the demand for palm oil has been one of the reasons for increased deforestation in tropical countries.

If farmers want supply management and the enforcement of dairy labelling laws, they should provide a pure, traditional product without such additives. They should be required to label dairy products accordingly when they have been produced with palm oil in the cow feed, and let the consumer decide if they want to support these practices.
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Dec 1, 2020
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At least we have not had our farmers put Melamine into the milk product to fake the protein levels.
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lecale wrote: Buddy worked in a flour mill & the floor sweepings there went to Mennonite hog farmers. In Nevada, post-consumer buffet leftovers go to hog farmers too.
I worked a couple of summers as a student at the Pepsi plant. All returned product would be crushed, with liquids collected in massive vats that would be sent to the Pig farms. The stench of rotting syrup is nasty.
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I wonder if organic milk products would come from cows fed palm oil. Does anyone know?
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choclover wrote: I wonder if organic milk products would come from cows fed palm oil. Does anyone know?
As long as the feed is organic. I guess organic cows can be fed other animals, as long as those animals in turn are organic.
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Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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"Organic" in Canada only means "95%+ organic."

If the cows are on 95% grass, 5% "whatever" by weight, I think there must be some assumptions about what proportion of their diet is grass. Feed is tastier than grass so they will seek it out over grass. (They have radio ear tags that allow them access to computer-rationed feed at intervals through the day).

Palm oil feed is calorie-intense because it is fatty & may reduce what they take in as grass, which is lean. How much palm oil feed is required to change the nature of the fat in their milk? As compared to grass, it may not be much.
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Oct 23, 2017
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If we are going full tilt industrial to produce the most butterfat possible with no regulation on what we feed cows, let's just open the market to the US product and at least get our prices down.
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Jun 20, 2020
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The hard truth about Canadian butter from CBC's The National
Canada's dairy producers are under fire after foodies claimed butter has become harder and put the blame on palm oil. Dairy farmers say adding palm products to cattle feed has become common, but critics say it violates a ‘moral contract’ about the purity of Canadian butter.

Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
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Dairy farmers have created a very negative public reaction to palm oil by their own well-funded lobbying and PR campaigns to shut down competition. They have ensured that nothing else can masquerade as butter and at one time margarine producers were not even allowed to colour it to resemble the appearance of butter. Then they went on to brag about not using hormones or antibiotics. They have those ads showing cows grazing on grass in idyllic pastures, and how they use high supply management income to be prosperous and raise their families. So they have set themselves up on a fragile pedestal of values, and created this image of a pure traditional product.

In an age where we have become very cautious and concerned about additives and labelling, and with a lot of recent history of problems with animal feed (among them remember mad cow disease when they fed brains?) they should have been more careful. All these years they have been sneering at edible oil products and telling us to eat butter, but now they are feeding it to their cows!

The demand for palm oil is driving deforestation (e.g. loss of orangutan habitat) and resulting in labour exploitation in the third world and many people try to avoid products made with palm oil. So it would have been consistent with the dairy farmers' own values to label their products accordingly. Healthy farm families are one thing, but let's be aware of healthy families in the third world too! And if they are saying palm oil is good for us, why not just buy the margarine that they make from it, instead of paying dairy farmers to put it through the cow first LOL.

I think there can be a big market for small-scale artisanal dairy products made from cows raised with traditional grass/sileage feed. Proper labelling would allow the consumer to decide what they want to put in their bodies. I am sure that most of the market will still go for a cheaper industrial product.
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Oct 7, 2007
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thriftshopper wrote: As long as the feed is organic. I guess organic cows can be fed other animals, as long as those animals in turn are organic.
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