Nothing’s real…

I picked up a can of what I thought was evaporated milk at a supermarket here the other day. It was the same size/height but the label was of a different colour and I just assumed that it was some improved version of the usual. Then, at another supermarket, I saw that same brand again alongside some with blue labels so I scrutinised the one that I had bought to check and only then did I see this – in very small print…

SC 1

I had bought a can of sweetened creamer! Now what would I need that for? And no, it is not condensed milk. It is an established fact, one that I had blogged about sometime ago, that these days, what some people still think is condensed milk contains mostly palm oil…

SC 2

…if at all there is any milk in it, whatever pepejal susu may be.

Then I saw on the label of a block of butter this Malay reference –Β lepa susu. As far as I know, butter in the language is mentega. Well, my daughter bought some earlier for her quiche and cake and whatever that she was thinking of making so when I got home, I went to check the label of what was left in the fridge…

Butter 1

Nope! They did not say anywhere that it was mentegaΒ so is it or isn’t it butter? Looking at the ingredients…

Butter 2

…it certainly looks like it is basically palm oil as well.

As it seems, nothing’s real anymore and what we think we’re consuming may not be what we think it actually is but looking at the controversy surrounding the milk we have on the shelves these days, perhaps we would be much better off going for the substitutes instead. According to some newspaper reports, what is supposed to be “pure and straight from the source”…


…may not exactly be as what they claim.Β I do not usually buy milk as drinking it makes me feel sleepy so I may have a glass sometimes for my night cap so that I would be able to sleep better. However, I would not buy our own so-called fresh milk as it is usually quite pricey and in fact, it is reconstituted milk and not really what some people may think it is – fresh milk.

In the current state of affairs though, perhaps it may be better to drink that but wait a minute! Some people are saying that all the companies here get their supply from the same source and they just pack and market them here under their own brand names so whatever it is called, it is basically the same thing…and it is kind of worrying that according to one report, “the contamination occurred in May last year and yet it wasn’t until March of this year that it was “discovered” and August before the contamination was made public,” and some people are of the opinion that this sweeping-under-the-carpet thing is pretty common in developing and Third World countries so we are, in fact, kind of helpless, not knowing what is safe and what isn’t.

Personally, I usually would go for this brand…


…as I find it to be creamier and somehow, I feel it tastes better and at times, it may be cheaper than the ones from that other country and even those local brands that we have here.

Judging from all the reports that I have read, it seems that the main concern is what parents feed their infants – no mention whatsoever has been made as to whether it would cause any harm to adults or not. Whatever it is, perhaps it is best to just stay away…till the storm blows over and the sky is clear again.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

35 thoughts on “Nothing’s real…”

  1. I always buy this brand of butter when baking, hehe~

    Looks like it isn’t actually butter that you have in your cakes, after all… πŸ˜‰

  2. I normally go for Farmhouse fresh milk but I think the one you bought is healthier, not sure about the taste… farmhouse one freaking good especially when using it to make a good cup of coffee

    Not too sure if we have that here? Imported? Oh…I just googled – same company that produces the sweetened creamer I bought… :9

  3. get a COW then… heh heh heh… or a Benggali fren, he can supply u fresh milk…

    No cows here – no fresh beef either, ours all imported – Australian and NZ beef and elsewhere. And no Bengalis either. Lucky you! You have all your friends there and you can be sure of a regular supply of their milk… Hehehehehehe!!!!

  4. I can understand your frustration! Hang in there and “happy label reading” πŸ™‚

    Ya, got to be more careful when shopping for stuff, must check the labels carefully.

    I’m ok with the milk and butter though – we do not drink milk regularly – we only use evaporated milk in our cooking like in curry, for instance, instead of coconut milk…and we hardly ever make cakes – we just use margarine (olive oil) when we have bread.

  5. So sad abt the condensed.milk rite something we took for granted in our growing yrs n cheaper alternate to powdered milk. Used to collect all the nice pics inside the wrapper n dunking cream crackers is so nice in a hot glass of condensed milk.

    Ya, sales gimmick. They gave an album for you to stick the labels…to complete your collection of the pictures.

    I don’t drink milk anymore – makes me sleepy. Psycho, I guess…as when small…always had Milo or whatever with milk before going to sleep. So whenever there’s milk in my coffee, I would feel sleepy after that… 😦

  6. ……..and NOTHING’S SAFE either. Big glamourous marketed names…..McD, KFried etc. Just don’t forget daun timun, sayur paku, minyak engkabang, santan, gula apong, sago flour and the kampong food ‘gang’. Ya baru nya. For real! Reading labels in supermarket these days is like reading sci-fi thrillers . ‘Kin Tiow’.

    Hi, Tom! Nice of you to drop by! Ya…old man like me – when I read labels, I don’t actually know half…or some, at least, of the things mentioned. Just eat…and let us pray! πŸ˜€

  7. Really? Drinking milk makes you sleepy. It doesn’t apply to me. Like my cup of coffee with milk.

    That’s why I only drink kopi-o, none of those pricey high class lattes or what you call them…for me.

  8. I actually replaced my coffee with milk cereal coz coffee make me
    a bit acidic but anyway, i never really care about the ingreadients
    bu then i think that i should also do now haha

    Acidic? Does it make you jittery? Palpitations? Tea would be worse, no? And Coke and all those drinks…

  9. Never like to drink milk so I know next to nothing about them…. Even my kids have stopped drinking except for yogurt… Dont know why i feel nausea each time i drink milk…

    Lactose intolerance perhaps? But ice cream perfectly ok? That’s milk too! πŸ˜‰

  10. Wow! Now I know what the contents are. For me, they are all fats!!

    Indeed, they are…but there are some that people claim are the lesser of those sins.

  11. Punya la misleading the products. Dunno la.

    Ya it’s better to lay low from the milk scene, right. Hehee. Personally, I’ll just stick to Milo and coffee.

    Ok for me, I don’t usually drink milk, anyway – just need to use evaporated milk for cooking = healthier than coconut milk, they say. Must not consume too much of that.

  12. A scary thought indeed on what we feed the kids and ourselves these days!

    Milk makes you sleep? Lemme try that…hopefully it helps with my insomnia.

    For me, warm milk with honey will have me sleeping like a log…

  13. Sir,

    From what I observe I think condensed milk already ‘extinct’ (or almost extinct if not totally) from the shelf in Malaysia. I heard there are baking aficionados who always ‘tumpang’ people they know who head back from our neighbouring country down south for a few cans of condensed milk. I understood Malaysia manufacturers do manufacture condensed milk… but I guess for export purposes. As to why hardly being found on home soil… my guess is as good as yours. The ones on the shelves now are filled milk, evaporated milk or sweetened creamer (at least in the places I have been over here in the West Malaysia). Definitely no luck to spot the once familiar ‘Susu cap Junjung’. πŸ™‚

    As for the butter or the ‘pseudo’ butter, there is a way to go about it. You can still find the real deal ie: butter with the main ingredients of milk, milk solid and/ or cream. Take a closer look on the phrase used on the wrapper. The real deal will be labelled as ‘Butter’ while the ‘pseudo’ butter with the main ingredients of palm oil products… ‘bread spread’ is the phrase being used. If one is worried his/ her eyes play tricks on them, another short cut is look at the price. The real deal would be close to or over RM10 a block while the ‘pirated’ version… half of that price, or lower.

    There is condensed milk being sold in my town – just that those places are few and far between and they include those from the island republic down south as well. I don’t take it so I have never bothered to look for them and buy – would eat pulut panggang dipped in it but even then, I would prefer kaya. Yup…the prices would be a dead giveaway and actually, I’m fine with any – my missus would not settle for less though when she makes her cakes and biscuits – it has to be real butter and it has to be Golden Churn.

  14. ya, sometimes i realize i’ll probably never live to a ripe old age (unlike my granddad, who lived till his mid-90s) partly cos i’ve been eating factory-made stuff since i was a kid (luncheon meat, maggi mee, etc), and all the toxins etc over the decades would make their impact known after i’m middle-aged. but i guess it’s good that you take the effort to avoid risk-tainted food as far as possible πŸ˜€

    Yup…since there is this thing going on about the milk from that country, I guess it is best to avoid consuming it. So far, it seems that the danger is towards infants only though…and in one report that I read, somebody there had the audacity to say, “No one has fallen sick. Nobody has died, so what’s the big deal?” What a thing to say! Tsk! Tsk! 😦

  15. I have not drink milk for a long time, dunno why, drink already, it makes me bloated…

    I don’t usually drink it either…nor do I take butter – usually olive oil margarine. Come Chinese New Year, my missus will buy butter for her biscuits and cakes, Golden Churn no less.

  16. I read labels and this is what I have gathered about milk products in Malaysia:

    “Fresh milk” is raw milk that has been homogenised and pasteurised. The milk fat is removed during processing and much of it is used to make butter, cream etc. Some milk fat is added back to the processed milk at amounts that make the final product full cream, low fat, or skimmed milk. Apart from raw milk (unpasteurised and unhomogenised), “fresh milk” is as close to the real deal as you can get in Malaysia.

    “Full cream milk” and “low fat milk” in the UHT packaging are reconstituted milk, rehydrated from powdered milk. The fat in it is real milk fat. Contrast this with “filled milk,” which contains vegetable oil instead of milk fat (palm oil in the case of Malaysia because it is plentiful, cheap, and the government allows this substitution).

    You find this difference in powdered, condensed, and evaporated milk as well. The ones that contain real milk fat are more expensive. Just read the labels to see if they contain milk fat or palm oil.

    Yup, Gerald…there’s a world of difference in the prices and I think so too – it’s mainly to support our local palm oil industries – all the estates in the country and even next door – and they blame the poor locals for the red spots and the horrendous haze! 😦

    1. I agree that locals should shoulder some blame as well. I have seen open burning right off the kesas highway near kelang, blatantly set when the air was already choking.

      Protectionism hap

      Oops! Pressed ENTER too quickly or by accident. You must be using your ipad – happens all the time. πŸ˜€

    2. I agree that locals should shoulder some blame as well. I have seen open burning right off the kesas highway near kelang, blatantly set when the air was already choking.

      Protectionism happens in lots of places, it seems. In the US, sugar cane is subject to heavy tariffs to protect the local corn industry, and most food products are sweetened with corn syrup, including coca cola. Some people prefer coca cola imported from Mexico because they use real sugar.

      Yup, and their peanut oil too…so they aggressively condemn palm oil left, right and centre. They say the companies in the country next door are Malaysians’, the ones guilty of the open burning…but true, it’s not just there, it’s all over here as well.

  17. i prefer Desa Milk but very expensive nowadays.. couldn’t afford to drink it as frequent as I used to and i don’t really like other brands O.o

    Never tried that. I thought they only supply to the schools? For primary school pupils only?

  18. ooohhhh from Australia…. banyak kaya tu, sweeten creamer…. 337 cals for every 100gms…. *faints*

    I’m not drinking that or using it for anything, no worries. You want? I keep it for you… πŸ˜€ Kaya in richness of the milk or in monetary terms? If it’s the latter, then don’t be surprised…it’s cheaper here than our Malaysian-made reconstituted milk…and if it’s the former, that’s skimmed, not full cream…and anyway, I don’t usually drink milk…though people tell me it’s good for my old bones.

  19. If I’m not mistaken, STP, that’s the brand of New Zealand milk that I used to buy, although it’s the skim milk that I’d go for. The Australian Devondale’s quite a good brand, too. Nowadays, it’s the raw milk that I drink. Cheaper and safer, maybe?

    It’s quite hard to distinguish evaporated milk from condensed milk as the packaging of both products are similar.

    Evaporated is generally blue, never mind what brand and they come in the taller tins. Condensed milk tins would be about two-thirds the height only.

  20. Milk is bad for health. Period. And margarine is actually one molecule away from plastic. That is why when you put it on the ground, no ant will even bother to go near it according to a test conducted.

    Thanks for the headsup, STP. Most informative.

    It is? For one thing, milk’s not at the top of the Food Pyramid and for another, I do believe that everything should be taken in moderation. It’s a good source of calcium, needed by older folks to prevent osteoporosis…especially women. You’re not female, right? I think I heard that somewhere… Anyway, I don’t drink milk – only that bit used when cooking curry…so I will have to depend on other sources – fish, eggs…

    What margarine are you talking about? They say olive oil margarine’s good? Come to my daughter’s jungle school. The ants will attack anything in sight! Anyway, I don’t take margarine much either as I’m not really a fan of bread – just once in a long while. Watch out when you go for your kopitiam roti kahwin – it’s margarine, not butter these days…no way!

  21. Yes lah. Wahahaha. YOU is betul betul confirm plus chop my english teacher!!! Wahahahah. I bloody misssh yew sia!!!!

    Welcome, glad you dropped by and it sure is nice to have you around. Do keep coming, ya! πŸ˜‰

  22. Fresh milk is cheap here, $1 per litre. Heard that its value will jump 9 times when shipped to China.

    Everybody wants to stick their fingers into the Chinese fortune?

  23. I think condensed milk has been extinct for quiet a long time already. During my younger days there was the susu cap junjung. And then it just disappeared. I don’t drink milk ever since the bottle was taken away from me πŸ™‚ A few years ago I discovered that I am lactose intolerant. If I drink milk, 5 minutes later guarantee I will run to the loo.

    Oh? So milk is out for you. What if used to cook eg. in curries?… I quite like that, frankly.

  24. I only use Kerrygold Irish Butter and Goodday fresh milk. Never use Margarine. Very serious about my dairy products. All cheeses will be either Irish, Australian or American, and yoghurt will be Australian Greek yoghurt. I have been taught by experience not to trust any local dairy products.

    I don’t think we have those brands here. Not really particular as we do not buy often except for evaporated milk for our curries.

  25. Buying fresh milk regularly recently, either GoodDay or Fresh Farm, whichever is cheaper, not for my own consumption but as my kefir food … hehhehe

    As for butter/ margarine, a lot of brands out there that I thought is butter turn out is not butter at all. No wonder there is a big difference in price between the so called butter with the real butter. I didn’t realize it until I came across a recipe where the author specifically stated using the real butter for better outcome

    Many bakeries use the substitutes too – cheaper…and when they tell you they use butter, it may not be exactly true. Maybe it’s just not margarine…and when it’s margarine, it’s usually Planta. Has a not-very-nice smell, don’t like.

    I don’t know if we have those brands of milk here – never bothered to take note as I hardly ever buy or drink milk.

  26. Hah! hah! It sounded like I was the one who said that milk powders come from the same supplier in NZ and repacked in our country. It is true and that is only applicable for Milk Powder which is locally packed. It is too costly to import the weight of whole tins from overseas! You can still find the imported ones on our shelves but only kiasu people and expatriates would purchase them.

    I love to drink fresh milk but I have developed some intolerance issues with mucous clogged up in my ENT. I still drink but lesser now. Our imported milk costs a bomb so I prefer to buy Good Day brand which is the best local brand to me.
    I was advised many times that we adults should stay away from milk after 30 years old as it can trigger cancer. So we should look for Calcium in supplement tablets. Do you agree?

    I do not believe in taking those supplements. If I can’t take milk, and anyway, I don’t usually…I’d get my calcium from fish and eggs and elsewhere. We do not need that much actually…and they say if you take too much calcium, you may end up with kidney stones.

  27. Dear, oh dear….so many food seem to be not safe anymore. Even if we read the labels, I bet many of us don’t know or recognize half the ingredients listed! Scary, huh. To buy or not to buy….

    Ya, dunno many of the things stated – stabilisers, emulsifiers…what on earth are those?

  28. yeah, it’s all these terms of advertising that let us assume that the product we buy is what it is… like Buttercup, they never claim they are pure butter but they use the name and naturally we assume it. Same with juices, they can use ‘pure’ but if they have the word ‘drink’, then it’s not real 100% ‘juice’. Gotta know how to read these nowadays…. one better trick is to see ingredient list… cannot go wrong from there… πŸ™‚

    *I studied adviertising and they have a class subject on all these… lol

    …and they have similar products, not as good…some not good even, but they use the same colours and designs in their packaging. Going all out to deceive people and tricking them into picking up and buying their products…and by the time they realise their mistake, it would be too late…and the ones laughing all the way to the bank would be the unscrupulous manufacturers. Tsk! Tsk! 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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