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7666Re: [SCA-Herbalist] Re: Ghee

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  • Jennifer Heise
    Nov 8, 2009

      This is what causes people to become fat and to get Diabetes. (the article is kinda screwed about saying IR is caused by Syndrome X, but it is actually right on the dot on the rest). Yes, its the Margarines.. crisco.. deep fat fried foods... most mayo's... that cause these problems. If you were to use Ghee instead of those for these, you may save your child from a lifetime of heart disease obesity, and diabetes.

      While we're discussing modern medicine, it's important to note that humans need to have a good sense of their family health background. Both Type I and Type II diabetes have been consistently shown to be genetic in origin, though the expression of Type II diabetes can be avoided or controlled by controlling diet. That means that it's especially important to talk to your relatives and KNOW if you have a first or second order relative (first would be parents, children, brothers & sisters) who have diabetes.

      Having just suffered through Gestational Diabetes (pancreatic insufficiency specific to pregnancy, a condition that can cause stillbirths and which was first clinically described in 1964), I've heard a lot about diabetes lately.

        However, the diabetic-overweight connection seems to be very strongly marked in terms of foods that have a high glycemic index, which fats don't have. Diabetes, after all, is a disease related to blood-sugar, not blood fat! As I understand it, the trans-fats are now fingered in cholesterol, where they were once recommended as a lower-impact alternative to animal fats.

      Dragging the topic back to historical antecedents, though, it's clear that our medieval predecessors did not consume trans-fats, but relied extensively on animal fats-- some of which are now considered to be very fattening, such as bacon-fat, lard, suet and the middle-eastern 'fat from a sheep's tail'! (I'm not sure what the modern take on chicken schmaltz is, though I have come across a few period recipes that call for it.)

      Clarified butter (along the lines of ghee) keeps longer and can be heated to higher temperatures than plain butter, which seems to be why you sometimes see recipes in the European body of recipes for clarifying butter. Olive oil, the panacea of modern 'healthy' cooking shows as a cooking fat in some recipes, but not as much as you would expect.

      From what I've been able to tell, olive oil, poppyseed or nut oils, can be used in making a vegetarian version of period vegetable dishes that call for animal fats in order to make a 'lenten' version that is relatively consistent with period practice. Butter or clarified butter could be used for the same purpose on meatless days during the medieval year, including Friday, when milk and eggs were allowed but not meat. (The rules for Lent were stricter than those for general meatless days.)

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