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Discussion Starter #1
This is perhaps not the best thread for those of you who are ethical vegans. But I've been thinking about butter lately, since I recently read The Omnivore's Dilemma (a good book) and it talked a lot about the processing that goes into much of the mainstream food source. I use EarthBalance and typically don't buy butter (I am obviously not vegan). But it does contain soy lecithin and some other soy byproduct. Would it be better, health wise, to just use a very good butter?<br>
Were I to buy said butter, it would cost like $8 a lb which is more than twice as much as my EarthBalance.<br>
What do you think and does it really matter?<br>
(The thread in the main forum, as well as the book, got me thinking)
 

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not an ethical vegan (dietary/health one), so leaving ethics aside, we choose neither margarine nor butter because both are inferior options to us.<br><br>
we use a lot of tahini (freshly home made), guacamole and cold oil mix (olive or walnut, coconut and red palm with some salt) in place of those.<br><br>
I do think it really does matter, the dairy isn't the healthiest and the processed kinds aren't either. there IS a better option, but it takes a little more time and creativity.
 

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We use Earth Balance--also (mostly) vegan for health reasons. We've been using a lot of coconut oil lately, and it is SO yummy on toast with avocado, hemp seeds, and sometimes a little agave nectar. Hemp or flax oils are also good on toast in place of butter. I use coconut oil in place of butter or margerine for baking, and it works really well.<br><br>
I got a large jar of coconut oil, organic and unrefined, at vitacost.com for around 20.00.
 

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I am vegan and use Smart Balance Light, but I am veg for ethical/religious reasons so that's prob not very helpful.
 

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Earth Balance is a processed food, but the butter is going to have a lot of cholesterol...you get that anytime you're using an animal fat. My husband recently found out his cholesterol is insanely high (over 400!), so he quickly jumped on the Earth Balance wagon. Now, if he can only break his Jack in the Box habit...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
Holly
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7888169"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am vegan and use Smart Balance Light, but I am veg for ethical/religious reasons so that's prob not very helpful.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: although I use Earth Balance Organic.<br><br>
I also use olive oil as a spread on bread more than margarine.
 

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I am vegan for ethical/environmental and health reasons. So we don't use butter <i>or</i> any kind of "buttery" spread. Our main fat is from unrefined coconut oil. I use this for all heated cooking, baking, and often as a condiment. I cannot say enough good things about this food! I still occasionally use olive oil, hempseed oil, and tahini, and we eat hempseed and sesame seeds daily, and avocados when we can get them.<br><br>
If coconut oil was not available and I <i>had</i> to choose between Earth Balance or butter I'd try to get some local, grassfed, organic butter. I think a little natural saturated fat is not as bad for you as processed polyunsaturated fats.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does coconut oil have a taste? (i.e. like a coconutty taste) And isn't it high in saturated fat? (I have always thought coconut was "bad" fat) Can you use it to bake?<br><br>
NatureMama-- tell me more about your cold oil spread. Is this also what you use to bake? Does it have a notable taste?<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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it has a taste, coconutty, yes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> it's not bad though!<br><br>
it has saturated fat, but saturated fat is NOT evil in and of itself. there are bad forms of it and good forms of it. coconut oil is a very GOOD form of it. our bodies NEED saturated fat, and especially for vegans it is vital to make a point of eating some saturated fats. we don't get them in the meat/dairy.<br><br>
we don't use the spread to bake, we just use coconut or walnut oil for the most part. I've never noticed an after-taste, but am sure to use coconut for things I wouldn't mind tasting sweeter. for savory things (such as roasted garlic bread) I use walnut oil.<br><br>
the spread is about 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/4 walnut or olive oil (depends on what we have) and 2 TB red palm oil with salt to taste. heat them JUST slightly so the coconut/palm will be liquid, stir well and refrigerate. It spreads just like any other butter/margarine.<br><br>
you can also do just plain olive oil that way, but I like the mix better personally.
 

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Always vegeterian, sometimes vegan here.<br>
The other thing about butter is that it has lots of hormones in it as well. There are hormones from the milk because like all lactating mammals cows have high levels of estrogen and progersterone. Hormones like fat so they concentrate in the butter. I had a bio teacher at university (who was a self admitted adorer of butter) tell my class that if we ate a tsp of butter every hour it would be an effective form of contraception! Yum.<br>
Not trying to say that margarine is a bastion of healthfulness either but when I'm craving hot "buttered" toast I will reach for the non-hydrogenated margarine before the butter.
 

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We use organic butter when we want butter, olive or safflower oil for cooking. I'm allergic to soy, so margarine is absolutely not allowed in our house.
 

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Is anyone else concerned about the loss of orangutan habitat in places where palm oil is grown? The demand has ballooned since people are avoiding trans fats. (Palm oil is the primary ingredient in most non-hydrogenated marg, including Earth Balance, which I do use.) I feel very conflicted over this, as I have no desire to eat milk from other animals. But I think it's another argument for eating locally.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>richella</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912097"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is anyone else concerned about the loss of orangutan habitat in places where palm oil is grown?</div>
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AFAIK, Spectrum's Organic Shortening is made with sustainably-harvested palm oil from South America.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I feel very conflicted over this, as I have no desire to eat milk from other animals. But I think it's another argument for eating locally.</td>
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I KWYM. However, I don't know of any sources of olive, palm, or coconut oils that are from the U.S., and wouldn't want to cut them out of my diet just because they're not grown here.
 

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Ok so I know very little about the various oils and what not so don't laugh if this is a dumb question. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We rarely get butter since it always seems to be so spendy! When we do get some it's the tiny 4 pack and then we'll get a spread of some sort to use for cooking. We used to get this little tub (I can't remember what's it called) of canola oil based spread. It's green and white and I want to say the word canola is pretty big on it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I know the spreads can be bad due to the fakeness of them but what about this stuff? It has a nice flavor to it which is why we used to get it. I haven't seen it in the stores near by so we haven't had it for awhile.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Chicharronita</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7915120"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">AFAIK, Spectrum's Organic Shortening is made with sustainably-harvested palm oil from South America.</div>
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Hmm . . . maybe I'll drop them an email and check on that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>richella</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7918537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hmm . . . maybe I'll drop them an email and check on that.</div>
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Please let us know when you get a response from Spectrum. I am concerned about palm oil too, and it is in several foods I like. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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we use only red palm oil, which is different than palm kernel. We also use only tropical traditions or jungle products which are sustainable, local-farmer grown (one in philippines, can't remember where the other one is), etc. We try to only buy fair/free trade and sustainable.<br><br>
in regards to the canola oil, we don't use it personally because canola is detrimental to omega-3 in the body and most is genetically modified.<br><br><a href="http://www.junglepi.com/about/enviro.html" target="_blank">http://www.junglepi.com/about/enviro.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/red_palm_oil.htm" target="_blank">http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/red_palm_oil.htm</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kaydee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7918554"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Please let us know when you get a response from Spectrum. I am concerned about palm oil too, and it is in several foods I like. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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didn't email them but found this page about their palm oil supplier.<br><a href="http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=269" target="_blank">http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=269</a><br>
I don't see anywhere that they say 100% of their palm oil comes from this coop, though. If I were a true eco freako I would still email them but it's late and I still have stuff to do before I go to bed . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #19
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NatureMama3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7920500"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">we use only red palm oil, which is different than palm kernel. We also use only tropical traditions or jungle products which are sustainable, local-farmer grown (one in philippines, can't remember where the other one is), etc. We try to only buy fair/free trade and sustainable.<br><br>
in regards to the canola oil, we don't use it personally because canola is detrimental to omega-3 in the body and most is genetically modified.<br><br><a href="http://www.junglepi.com/about/enviro.html" target="_blank">http://www.junglepi.com/about/enviro.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/red_palm_oil.htm" target="_blank">http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/red_palm_oil.htm</a></div>
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I was not aware of this re: canola oil. I use it for baking. So you use your oil mixture for baking? (wait, I asked that, didn't I) If I were to choose one oil for baking/cooking what should it be? I don't use olive because it can impart a flavor.
 
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