[Sca-cooks] Butter

Doc edoard at medievalcookery.com
Tue Jun 24 14:11:47 PDT 2008

--- Terry Decker <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net> wrote:

> Butter may or may not lose vitamin D over time.  I
> don't know of any 
> specific tests on that point.  

I've come across a number of web sites that state that
it's very susceptable to oxidization.

> However, irridating
> foods with ultraviolet 
> light to modify the natural sterols in food,
> particularly milk, fish and 
> eggs, to allow the liver to convert the vitamin D in
> them more easily is a 
> fact.  Irridating people directly causes the body to
> produce vitamin D. 

So the UV irradiation doesn't create more vitamin D,
but it does make what's there more usable, correcy? 
Learn something new every day.  I stand

> Vitamin D was isolated by E.V. McCollum in 1922.  If
> there was any 
> relationship between irridating food and rickets
> prior to that it would be 
> on the basis of observed reaction rather than
> understanding of the 
> underlying principlea.  I would expect an
> observation of a correlation 
> between irridated butter and preventing or easing
> rickets would appear in 
> the observer's writings.

However there apparently was no reference in the
original source to rickets.  The two ailments it
specifically mentioned were ulcers and "wild fire"
(which I take to mean a fever of some sort, though it
could also be a rash).  So this isn't a matter of an
medical treatment being arrived at empirically and
then being explained.  The concept of using May Butter
to stave off rickets was added by either Wilson or
Drummond, with no evidence given that it was practiced
in the middle ages at all. 

- Doc


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