Butter is a great example of a nourishing food that has been demonized by our society as one of the roots that cause heart disease and obesity. Butter instead has been replaced by spreads and toxic oils that not only taste worse, but they are one of the main ingredients of modern disease.
The source of most commercial butter is the (rather than the traditional) Holstein, bred to produce large quantities of milk- three times as much as the old-fashioned cow- and to survive a grain based diet rather than grass. Her average lifespan is forty-two months, compared to about twelve years for a grass-fed cow. She must be milked a few times per day and is susceptible to mastitis. Her milk contains high levels of growth hormone, even when spared the genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone to push high quantities of milk.
Ideally, cows should be eating their natural diet of green grass in the spring, summer and fall with only small amounts of grain; stored dry hay, silage and root vegetables in the winter. It is not composed of soy meal, cottonseed meal, commercial feeds, chicken manure, or other swill laced with pesticides. Vitamins A, D, E and K are the greatest in cows eating green grass. These vitamins are greatly diminished when cows consume grain, soy or other commercial feeds. Soy meal has the wrong protein profile for dairy cows, resulting in high milk production followed by premature death. Most milk comes from dairy cows that are kept in confinement their entire lives and never roam and consume green grass. Even organic labeled milk.
Average butterfat at the turn of the century was over 4 percent (or more than 50 percent of calories). Today butterfat compromises less than 3 percent (or less than 35 percent of calories). Consumers have been duped into believing that low-fat and skim milk products are good for them. Only by marketing low-fat and skim milk as health foods can be the modern dairy industry get rid of its excess poor-quality, reduced fat milk from modern high-production herds. Butterfat contains vitamins A and D needed for assimilation of calcium and protein. Without them protein and calcium are more difficult to utilize. Butterfat is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, which protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. It also prevents intestinal distress and have anticancer properties.
Powdered milk is a source of dangerous oxidized cholesterol added to 1% and 2% milk, low-fat yogurt and sour creams. Pale butter from grain fed/ hay fed cows contains colorings to imitate vitamin rich butter from grass-fed cows. Mass produced cheese contains additives and colorings along with vegetable oils.
Grass-fed butter has many health benefits such as:
Margarine, shortenings and spreads are created during the process of partial hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into a solid fat. Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance, and skin diseases. Infertility issues can arise such as difficulties in pregnancy, problems with lactation, low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities. Free radicals are also the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils which can contribute to cancer and heart disease. Synthetic vitamins are added to spreads which can have an opposite effect compared to the natural vitamins found in butter. Emulsifiers and preservatives are added to stabilize the agent. Hexane and other solvents used in the extraction process can have harmful effects. Bleach is also used because the natural color of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is grey so manufactures bleach it to make it white. Synthetic yellow coloring is added to margarine and spreads. Artificial flavors are then added to mask the terrible taste and odor to provide a fake butter taste. Adding in soy protein isolate to give the spread some body and substance, but this has been linked to thyroid dysfunction and digestive disorders. And finally, sterols are added to give them cholesterol-lowering qualities, these estrogen compounds can cause endocrine problems.
Guide to purchasing butter:
Best: raw butter from grass-fed cows. Know a dairy farmer that lets their cows roam on green fields of grass that doesn’t use any antibiotics? Scrape the cream off the top of the whole milk and whip it in a blender. The deep yellow, golden butter is truly mother nature’s gift.
Good: Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter found in almost any grocery store. Salted or unsalted, the demand for grass-fed has been heard.
Still good: Better than margarine or spreads, pasteurized butter.