JustinCEO Topic

Yeah :( The only cream cheese I’ve found at my local markets that doesn’t have a bunch of weird stuff is a particular brand of “organic” cream cheese they sell at Whole Foods that’s a relatively expensive brand. Even the Whole Foods store brand “organic” cream cheese has locust bean gum.

It’s actually been kind of hard lately for me to find Greek full fat yogurt period, forget about being picky about grass fed and all that. Also places are just out of heavy cream like half the time. I find it weird.

You can actually make cream cheese at home pretty easily. I haven’t done this myself recently, since I am not eating milk, but it is a pretty simple process: you just need lemon juice or vinegar to sour the milk (separate it into curds and whey), and then you separate out the curds.

Here is one recipe that uses lemon juice, with lots of details and pictures.

And here is another receipt that uses vinegar.

Another thing you could try is homemade kefir. You can get kefir grains and make kefir at home. (You just add them to milk, leave it for a day or 2, then strain them out and add them to new milk. And you keep doing that.) Then you can separate the kefir into the thicker curd part and the whey. Depending on how much you separate it, you can end up with something that has a texture similar to yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese, and you can use it for that stuff. It will have a more pronounced sour taste, since it is a fermented food.

That actually looks easier than I expected. I may have to try this out.

I actually have some store bought kefir that i tried recently. Wasn’t a big fan of it as a beverage, but I like the idea of separating it out and seeing what that’s like.

Store bought kefir is generally going to be a lot different than what you make at home with kefir grains. A lot of it isn’t even real, fermented kefir.

Kefir is pretty strong though. It has a stronger tang/sourness than yogurt, so it can be an acquired taste.

They’re USDA-inspected. Apparently you can generally only sell across state lines if you’re USDA-inspected (that’s based on a brief googling).

  • Notes on this article Curiosity – Mises Institute and Opportunity Cost
    • DISCLAIMER: Below are my paraphrases (unless actual quotation marks are present) and might contain errors.
  • Reisman: Contemporary economics propounds mistaken ideas re: imputed income and opportunity cost.
  • Temple: Mises Institute also puts out mistaken ideas about opportunity cost, ignoring Reisman.
    • Temple: “They call an opportunity cost “money spent”. From a literal-factual perspective, it isn’t.”
      • Justin: Right. They initially talk about opportunity cost as “all of the other possibilities we’re giving up in order to obtain that item.” But then they say “The money spent on the new window is not simply the dollar price of his purchase, but of all the goods and services he could have purchased with that money.” But the money spent is not identical to those possibilities. Money, prior to being spent, is a means of acquiring a range of possibilities, and, after being spent, is the means by which you acquired one particular thing.
        • Justin: It’s weird to equate money spent to opportunity cost, especially since opportunity cost is supposedly about the things you could have gotten but decided not to get, but money actually spent is always spent on the thing you actually got.
    • Temple: “They also seem to suggest summing every foregone alternative.”
      • Justin: Good point. I would not have noticed this had ET not pointed this out. But when they talk about considering “all of the other possibilities we’re giving up in order to obtain that item”, that sure does seem to suggest summing.
        • Justin: I suppose they could also mean considering possibilities separately? Like consider that if you spend $10,000 on a vacation, you can’t also use that $10,000 to buy a car or, separately, a motorcycle, or, separately, put a down payment on a home. Considering each potential possibility or basket of possibilities seems impossible, though (because there are infinitely many). But maybe they mean just consider some top contenders and then figure out the best one, or something.
      • Temple: They probably meant the best alternative, but they said to consider the cost of all alternatives.
    • Temple: “And they put Hazlitt’s name all over their errors.”
      • Justin: Yeah :slightly_frowning_face:
  • Per Bylund (Senior Fellow at Mises Institute): Economic cost is the reason you pay the price for a good.
    • Temple: “This doesn’t make sense. You reason you’re willing to pay a price for a good because of the benefits the good provides, not due to the cost.”
      • Justin: I agree. Bylund just seems to have a weird conception of cost that contradicts ordinary definitions and common sense.
    • Bylund: The economic cost of something is not the $100 you give up to purchase it but the value of some other good you give up when purchasing the good you buy.
      • Temple: No. The cost is the thing you give up in exchange for the goods (the $100).
  • Temple: Mises Institute…
    • Hasn’t given counter-args to Reisman re: opportunity cost
    • Won’t listen to ET’s crit
    • Have no organized debating policy
    • Uses sloppy/imprecise wording
    • Is embracing mainstream economics errors

Reporting typos (I listened to this article with a Chrome extension, so I noticed a few things). I liked the article btw :+1:, and might say something more substantive later. I am assuming I should still post everything (including typos) here and not in e.g. the typos megathread. Suggested edits in [bold within brackets]:

Economists study big picture issues like [how] policies increase or decrease wealth.

The person selling bread might not current[ly] want shoes.

Put another way, the government’s job is to make sure that producing a lot of wealth is the only way to become wealthy (or receiving it as a gift).

This one above is more of a structure criticism than a typo report. I think that the parenthetical should come before the second “is”. So it should read:

Put another way, the government’s job is to make sure that producing a lot of wealth (or receiving it as a gift) is the only way to become wealthy.

If an expert is mistaken, but he has no power over me, then I can ignore [him].

(This one above is just a pronoun agreement thing).

I have found several examples of vegans talking about protecting prey animals from predators.

This is the most organized example I found: https://www.herbivorizepredators.org

It’s honestly hard to tell how serious that is, but the idea seems to be to genetically modify carnivores to turn them into herbivores. They also have a facebook, instagram, twitter, and youtube with content (and low views/followers).

I found a reddit thread of ex vegans talking about why they quit veganism. It was mainly about the health issues they got. Some of these people were very committed vegans with “good” vegan diets.

1 Like

That seems like an ambitious program!

I think one could come up with many objections to this idea (including basic feasibility, at least anytime soon). One I was thinking about was this: wouldn’t you need a lot more land for e.g. lions to graze on if they’re just gonna eat grass? And what happens if the lions and zebras want to eat the same grass? Even if the lions aren’t meat-eaters, they still might kill the zebras just to eliminate the competition for food, unless you’re also gonna make the lions docile or something (which would seem to be a change that goes beyond just making them eat plants). It’s plausible that the total number of dead zebras might go up if lions have to kill all their potential grass-competitors instead of just eating the meat of some zebras (I’m thinking back to your full-context analysis of different food options earlier in the thread in making this point since it seems similar; the option that involves eating meat might actually result in fewer deaths.)

I checked their FAQ and they mention overpopulation but I don’t see anything about my specific concern.

Yeah, that makes sense. They also might just kill them for no reason. Even well-fed house cats kill mice. Not all house cats do kill mice, but the ones that do will often just kill them and play with them or leave them for owners to find. They aren’t just killing them to eat.

1 Like

I was looking at some more stuff about Ancel Keys, and there is a lot of stuff written on both sides about his work. The main defence of him seems to be that he didn’t intentionally cherry-pick the countries, and that France wasn’t intentionally excluded: they were invited to participate in the studies, and the French researchers chose not to participate.

This paper has a response to some of the claims. It is very long and only deals with four specific claims though.

This blog post also defends Ancel Key’s work.

I haven’t done a thorough investigation of both sides. I just knew that some notable countries like France – which were later considered “paradoxes” – were left out, and that there was data from before the seven countries study even started showing countries that didn’t have the same strong correlation that Ancel Keys ended up showing, and that for some reason most of those countries didn’t end up in the study.

The main defence against that seems to just be that they weren’t purposely cherry-picked, and they could have participated if they wanted to. Which isn’t really a great defence of the study and the data.

1 Like

Came across this on reddit:

The top comment says:

Would have been good to add an extra column depicting their nutritional values

I thought that was a good point and would go further than that. Lots of the almond milk that people drink is pretty watery nutritionally. I think on average the calories in 200ml of typical almond milk would be lower than the calories in 200ml of typical dairy milk. If you made the chart comparison based on environmental impact in a 200ml serving adjusted for calories, I think that the comparison between say dairy and almond would not be as unflattering to dairy (unflattering from an environmentalist perspective anyways).

Tangentially, I tried a couple of soymilks somewhat recently, and they made me queasy for a while. Can’t do soy, apparently. I’ve only tried oatmilk in the context of a Starbucks drink (pre-keto heh) and it seemed fine.

I’ve been getting a bunch of urgent hunger pangs lately and gained back a bit of weight (overall weight has been pretty stable within a 5 pound range since starting keto). I think it may have been triggered by insufficient sleep, since that seems to cause a bunch of problems for me.

Brazil nuts are recommended as a keto-friendly low carb nut. They can be fine in moderation. Apparently, though, they have a ton of selenium, and it’s possible to overdose on them, see e.g.:

I didn’t see disclaimers regarding selenium in the lists of keto/low-carb nuts that I initially found a while ago. That seems irresponsible to me. It’s not hard to find this information, but it seems like a point that people should include as standard when introducing the nut as a suggestion to low carb newbies. Plenty of people will eat a ton of peanuts or whatever in a sitting. If they bring the same habits to eating brazil nuts, it could be dangerous.

Wtf. It says you are only supposed to eat 2 Brazil nuts per day. That is really low. You said Brazil nuts “can be fine in moderation”, but I would normally consider eating 3 nuts well below “moderation”.

The article says that 1 oz of nuts is over the upper tolerable level of selenium for adults. But according to my package of Brazil nuts, 1 serving is 9 nuts, or 30g, which is just over 1 oz. (I believe that is just the standard serving size for nuts that the FDA requires on nutrition labels.)

It seems that the nuts themselves should come with a warning, if literally eating one single serving is enough to put you over the upper tolerable level of something. Eating one serving of a food in a day would definitely be considered “moderate” by any reasonable definition.

I just found the same information from the NIH. According to them:

Brazil nuts, for example, contain very high amounts of selenium (68–91 mcg per nut) and can cause you to go over the upper limit if you eat too many.

It seems grossly negligent to say this, but not mention that eating one serving per day is “too many” for anyone, and over double the limit for children.

It also seems grossly negligent that the FDA literally mandates that companies use a serving size on the label which is above the upper tolerable limit for adults.

And then there is this article from WebMD, which touts the health benefits of Brazil nuts. It mentions near the bottom that “Eating too many Brazil nuts may also lead to selenium toxicity.”, but doesn’t say that “too many” is literally one serving. They DO say earlier in the article that “A 1-ounce serving of Brazil nuts has nearly 1,000% of your recommended daily allowance of selenium.”, but they don’t mention that is actually a problematic amount. There are lots of nutrients (e.g. Vitamin C) where it is fine to get 1000% of your RDA.

The WebMD article also mentions that Brazil nuts are becoming more popular because of keto & vegans.

If you look at the US government’s My Plate Protein Foods recommendations, they recommend that you can eat nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and peas as vegan protein foods, and people should be eating a minimum amount of those every day. They don’t say anything about Brazil nuts specifically, but their info does say that 1 oz of nuts would meet 1/3 of your protein food requirement for the day. So that seems like a reasonable amount someone might eat, if trying to replace meat with legumes and nuts.

I guess this hasn’t been much of an issue because most people don’t eat very many Brazil nuts anyway, so it doesn’t come up a lot. But as people add more nuts to their diet – which is something that the government and many other people are literally recommending right now (they keep recommending people eat more non-meat alternatives) – this could end up being a major issue with a bunch of people accidentally giving themselves selenium poisoning.

I don’t see why anyone would assume that it would be problematic to eat just 1-2 servings of a food every day. That seems totally within reasonable & moderate amounts.

There are issues with some foods, like fish & mercury, but the government puts out a lot of warnings about not eating, e.g., too much tuna. They don’t seem to be putting out the same kind of information about Brazil nuts.

Yes, you’re right. I think my intuitions about a serving of nuts being okay were clashing with my explicit knowledge about this case.

I agree. This says that selenium causes toxicity above 900mcg. So 2 servings would put you well into that range? Sounds very dangerous. Also, if someone is trying them out as part of a diet where they might reasonably expect to feel different in various ways as a consequence of a diet, they might write off some of the effects of the toxicity, so that’s even more dangerous.

A brand of green goddess dressing that I bought (and liked) from Whole Foods uses canola oil (in the mayo that constitutes one of the dressing’s primary ingredients). This is a brand with a healthy/local/sustainable kind of image. I looked at some other brands of green goddess dressing but they all had some issue (though it varied – one had sunflower oil, for instance). I wound up making my own dressing in my food processor using avocado oil mayo, grass fed greek yogurt, and herbs. I am happy with the result, though I’m somewhat disappointed that I can’t rely on companies to make dressing to my current standards.

That graph seems really bad.

I assumed that they were using information for grain fed cows, instead of pastured, which is immediately a biased way to do it. If they want to push for more “environmentally friendly” options, they could compare grain fed to grass-fed cattle, and then push for grass-fed milk.

That makes a big difference in what the “land use” even is. Cows that are grass fed and regeneratively farmed are “using” land in a much different way than mono crops are “using” land. It is ridiculous to count both those land uses as if they were the same.

Also, they tend to assign large parts of soy & grain crop use to cows directly, even if the parts the cows are eating is just a byproduct. There is also some disagreement about what part of the feed is a byproduct vs the main product, but there is a lot of stuff that is at least mixed use. I do consider the cows eating all that soy to be a problem either way though. Soy is added to way too many foods, and imo it should not be. They shouldn’t be feeding so much of it to either humans or cows.

The other thing they tend to do wrong in those comparisons is that they count the rain water that falls on the grass that the cows eat as water “used” by the cows. Even though the cows pee most of that out back onto the grass, and it goes back into the environment, as part of the natural water cycle.

They count this rain water, which is recycled back into the ground, as the same as the irrigation water that farmers are using in drought areas to grow almonds. Which is ridiculous.

I tried looking up where the information is from a bit.

The original chart seems to be from here. They note that the data is from worldwide averages, so a lot of it isn’t even going to be applicable to anyone’s individual situation, since which crops are best depends a lot on climate!!! They also say the study takes into account deforestation caused by livestock feed. So, they are not using grass fed dairy for their data.

This is the actual study. I haven’t read through it, but I think it’s bad from what I’ve seen already.

This blog post gives some problems with the study.

1 Like