Turns out deadly dairy fats is another myth

❝ …Difficult as it may be for Millennials to imagine, the average American in the 1970s drank about 30 gallons of milk a year. That’s now down to 18 gallons, according to the Department of Agriculture. And just as it appears that the long arc of American beverage consumption could bend fully away from the udder, new evidence is making it more apparent that the perceived health risks of dairy fats (which are mostly saturated) are less clear than many previously believed.

❝ A new study this week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is relevant to an ongoing vindication process for saturated fats, which turned many people away from dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, and butter in the 1980s and ’90s. An analysis of 2,907 adults found that people with higher and lower levels of dairy fats in their blood had the same rate of death during a 22-year period.

The implication is that it didn’t matter if people drank whole or skim or 2-percent milk, ate butter versus margarine, etc. The researchers concluded that dairy-fat consumption later in life “does not significantly influence total mortality.”

You can develop a sensitivity to dairy fats. Especially as you get to be a geezer. Like some allergic reactions, indigestion can be bothersome. There are intermediating OTC pills available. In my own case, I just stick to low-fat cheese, low and non-fat milk products…mostly…though I seem to have no problems with my new favorite cultured butter from Brittany by way of Trader Joe’s.

I don’t feel especially threatened. You don’t die from burps or farts. And I passed what was my projected end-of-shelf-life when I retired – several years ago.

Making the case for a civilization in decline

❝ For 25 years, photographer Lauren Greenfield has chronicled the ascendance of a global elite: here, a picture of French aristocrats sitting beneath ancient tapestries; there, movie executives flashing $100 bills in St. Barts. Once, she took a portrait of a Chinese businessman in front of the replica of the White House he’d built as his home.

She’s also recorded their fall. Her masterful 2012 documentary, The Queen of Versailles, followed timeshare king David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, as they attempted to build the biggest home in America, a plan that collapsed during the 2008 housing crisis.

❝ A monograph of her highlights, titled Generation Wealth, was published last year. On July 20, Amazon Studios will release a full-length documentary bearing the same name and featuring many of the same people.

❝ Whereas the book was more cautious about passing judgment—the Hermès bags, megamansions, and yachts were photographed carefully, as if at a remove—the film is unequivocal in its distaste for conspicuous consumption…“The pyramids were built at the moment of precipitous Egyptian decline, and that’s what always happens: Societies accrue their greatest wealth at the moment that they face death.”

Looking forward to the film. For all the right reasons. Reasons that would be obvious to anyone who’s spent any time at this blog – or the few others where “eideard” appeared on a regular basis. I’m an old geek, now, according to the calendar. I don’t feel that way. I don’t think that way. But, the foundation of the person I am and have always been – is that I’m a working-class guy from the East End of Bridgeport.

You grow up knowing you’re going to work for GE, Remington Arms or the Bridgeport Brass Company – if you’re lucky. Grades and good writing skills, learning skills and acquired knowledge didn’t guarantee access to a post-high school education. That was bound and chained to class and family income. Some of that has changed. Not because of willing participation by any government in Washington, DC or, for that matter, Hartford, Connecticut. What change there has been has flowed from battles won by ordinary families fighting for education and access.