Friday, April 25, 2014
What are these people thinking? Even the Framingham Study, the "science" that launched the country on the "hate meat/hate fat/eat what Procter and Gamble processes" fad in the 1950's has had results that indicate that people who ate natural foods like eggs, butter, whole milk and meat lived longer with fewer health problems. The head of that study, a doctor, called these long-term scientific results "disappointing" which ought to give you a clue. How can scientific data be disappointing?
The Framingham Study linked the intake of fat with "artery-clogging cholesterol." Science has pretty well discovered the connection is not there--other factors are much more important. The whole idea of eating "diet" and "low-fat" may, in fact, be a factor in causing obesity. As I have written here before, farmers fed hogs skim milk (actually, it was waste after the cream was separated) because they knew it would fatten them.
If they don't watch out, Connecticut is going to replace California as the home of bad ideas. Oh, and by the way, when you are doing "good" for the kids, how about exercise, portion control and fewer processed foods?
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The farmer was accused of shipping livestock to Omaha and returning with a truck full of sugar, the coveted "profitable backhaul." The sugar would be converted into alcohol, shipped back to Omaha with the next load of livestock, the brother would fill bottles with it and serve in his bar and taxes would be avoided.
Maybe it was feasible in the 1940's and 1950's, but right now the economics are not compelling--you would avoid Federal and state taxes of about $17.50 per gallon. The sugar involved would cost $5 or more, you should use distilled water, the yeast is about a dollar per gallon, and, even though the equipment is reusable to a large extent, there is a lot of labor involved. Plus ice. Your "gross margins" are not that great.
The glass fermentation vessels, the stainless steel mash pot and the sealed distillation vessel, the copper coil (without lead solder joints)...pretty soon you have quite a little investment. Just to make about a gallon of 80 proof (40%) liquor with virtually no taste--sort of a version of vodka--and avoid less that $20 of taxes.
Add on the risk of getting caught and the risk of poisoning somebody, and there accumulate a few disincentives. Not that those always deter lawbreakers. Part of the poison issue involves the collection and disposal of the first amounts produced during distillation. These first volatile substances are chemicals that vaporize at a lower temperature than ethanol, such as methanol and acetone. It is probably a good rule for humans to avoid drinking cleaning fluids.
Lead is quite a traditional culprit since some old timers used automobile radiators to condense the ethanol, and those radiators had lead-solder connections. Some plastic is often used today for the fermentation process that takes a while, and alcohol can react unfavorably with some plastics.
Better to go buy a whole bunch of cheap vodka at just over $20 per gallon, taxes included, and fool your patrons with that.
Nuts. I thought I might have a good story to relate, but after all is said and done, it isn't very plausible and good stories always have an element of "it could have happened that way." Maybe next time.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Heavy Water Plant
Moe, sitting in the front row, determined that the Germans were nowhere near their goal, so he complimented Heisenberg on his speech and walked him back to his hotel.
He effectively blocked the Nazi efforts to make the A Bomb