A Fresh and Low-Fat Cow's Milk on Supermarket Shelf

Near the supermarket’s chill section lies a group of fresh cow’s milk. I am betting they are all fresh milks since they are in group and with the same packaging type, the tetra pack. The product is packed this way as seen on TV.

a lot of tetra pack fresh milk on supermarket shelves

I also assume that getting one 250 ml tetra pack is fine. It is like getting a sip of every brand available. I am going to buy different brands at bigger volumes later to find if my assumptions are correct.

The milk on my hand is Magnolia Purefresh low fat cow’s milk. It is claimed as excellent calcium source and with less than 2% fat. UHT processed for long life.

magnolia pure fresh

It is guaranteed pure and fresh from New Zealand. New Zealand has more than 6,000 acres of lush, green, and productive pastures grazed by dairy cows that produce fresh milk. That’s where Magnolia Purefresh low fat cow’s milk comes from. Enjoy its taste from the premium grown dairy cows.

No ingredients declaration required since the label says it all, milk and only fresh milk.

It is manufactured in New Zealand for Magnolia Inc. It traveled all the way from … to Philippines already processed and packed. Has a shelf life of until September 15, 2013. Five months shelf life is pretty long for a fresh milk, assuming it was manufactured just weeks ago.

The 250 ml pack has 4 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 100 mg total sodium, 12 g carbohydrates (12 sugar) and 9 g protein.

According to raw-milk-facts.com, raw milk has 3.9% fat. For UK terminology: whole milk = 4% fat, semi skimmed milk = 1.7% fat and the skimmed milk has 0.1 to 0.3%. For USA: whole milk has 3.25% fat, reduced-fat milk has 2%, lowfat or light milk has 1%, fat-free has 0%.

Reducing the original fat content is done by the process called skimming or simply cream removal. The process can either be gravitational or centrifugal. Both are physical processes that won’t cause any nutrient loss.

UHT or ultra hight temperature processing is done by heating the milk at 135 °C for one to two seconds, enough to kill bacterial spores and lengthen the milk life for several months.

It taste like milk. A milk with slightly diluted taste and without the disagreable cow smell (maango or ango in Tagalog). I had tasted fresh cow’s milk before, the thing that came straight from the dairy cow. It had an  unpleasant cow smell, it had even after short boiling.

Remembering Food Eaten Eight Years Ago

There are several sources of protein for animal feed. The meat meal, fish meal,  poultry by-product meal, blood meal and feather meal. Bone is included as source of calcium. A cow might be eating an organ of his own kind unknowingly. Perhaps he would not eat such if he knew.

Protein sources are by-products of slaughtering and further processing. Parts that are not suitable for human consumption  but still safe for animal to eat.

Converting of bones, feathers and other trimmings to  animal feed is good idea. The supposed waste materials turned to worthy and converted to cash.

However, animal feed should be as clean as human food. Why? Livestock are raised for food. In short, we are also eating what they consume. Nutrient supplements, medicines, hormones and antibiotic and even diseases. Animal protein sources should come from healthy animals. Some manufacturers might intentionally include parts from double dead pigs, cows and chicken.

Mad cow disease is one the diseases that passes through food chain. A meat from infected cow  eaten by human. Meat, bone or blood that are included in feed formulation – eaten by animals. Mad cow disease occurs in brain and spinal column. Consumption of these parts is prohibited. But eating other parts might also transfer infection.

The disease incubation period is approximately 30 months to eight years. Once the symptoms manifest, the source would be very hard to trace. Foods eaten eight years ago are almost impossible to remember. The more impossible when loosing insanity.

Is It Safe To Eat Cow's Brain And Eye?

Animal brains are considered delicacy for some individuals. While others can’t even have a taste, including me. I still remember the featured stories on television. A popular restaurant is using animal brains as ingredients for their lugaw. This brain rice porridge is their best seller.

Another is the brain recipe developed by Irene Abay, the tuslob bua or sauteed pig brains and liver. She has a small karinderya in front of her house. Lots of customers want to eat her self invented recipe.

There is no health issues about eating pig brains but eating cow’s brains have a documented risks. Not just brains. Eating other cow’s meat part might be hazardous.

Some cattle parts are considered,”specified risk materials”. Those parts are known to contain prion causing Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, the mad cow disease). The illness is transferable to humans in form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease through consumption of contaminated meat. The disease is irreversible and always fatal. Still no cure as of date.

Scared? Please do not eat these parts to avoid the scary disease!

1) Tonsils
2) A part of small intestine, the distal liteum. Perhaps the whole small intestine should be discarded.
3) Brain
4) Eyes
5) Skull and the trigreminal ganglia within
6) Spinal cord
7) Vertebral column. Vertebrae of tail, transverse process of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae and the wings of sacrum are exempted.
8) Dorsal root within the vertebral column. It might be better to discard the whole vertebral column

Items 3 to 8 are from cattle 30 months of age and older.

specified risks materials

Is it still safe to eat cow’s meat?

image courtesy of jmkim dot com, wikepedia