Butter. Just hearing the word kicks in my salivary glands. Few things taste better than a steaming hot whole grain waffle with those crispy little pockets filled with melted butter and some real maple syrup. Am I right? Pair it with some bacon that’s taken a swim in the waffle runoff, and you’ve just created my favorite special occasion breakfast fare. Mmm, mmm—scratches me right where I itch.
Why are so many people afraid to turn in their tubs of mystery butter substitute for this mouthwatering real food? When I was growing up on the farm, it would have been a disgrace to put anything but butter on the dinner table. Egads! We would have been the talk of the countryside. But we weren’t. Because we didn’t. And neither should you.
The two biggest misconceptions about butter—and the truth:
- Isn’t butter high in fat, and isn’t fat bad for you? Well, folks, butter is high in fat, but fat—the right kind of fat—is far from bad for you. As I mentioned recently, our brains are 70 percent fat. So what do you think your brain needs plenty of to stay happy? Fat, of course. Don’t you want a happy brain? Eat fat.
- Doesn’t butter clog your arteries and cause heart attacks? Nope. If you’ve been fooled by the popular notion that animal fats are instigators of cardiovascular disease, you absolutely must read “How to Prevent Heart Attacks” by Benjamin P. Sandler, MD, which you’ll find in the SRP Historical Archives. In summary, they don’t.
Butter is, by far, one of the most delicious of the supposed nutrition scoundrels out there, and it’s high time more people started indulging in it more often. Not only are the substitutes inferior in taste, they lack the important nutrients that butter offers. This fact was pointed out by Dr. Royal Lee in his 1942 article “Butter, Vitamin E, and the ‘X’ Factor of Dr. Price.”
Here are some of the valuable nutrients you’ll find in butter—not butter substitutes:
- Vitamin A – Butter is the best source of vitamin A out there, even better than fish oils.
- Vitamin D – In butter, the natural form of this important nutrient is 100 times more effective than in commercial substitutes.
- Vitamin E – Consuming butter is a delicious way to eliminate the worry of being deficient in this crucial vitamin.
But remember, when it comes to butter, the quality of the milk makes all the difference. Cows fed on pasture grass and allowed to live a healthy life will produce milk with higher nutrient levels. Look to your local raw milk dairies for the best source, if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the states with “enlightened” citizens and lawmakers.
And in honor of Dairy Month, why not try your hand at making butter in your own kitchen? It’s easier than you ever imagined.
- Show your kids how simple it is to make homemade butter with just heavy cream and a glass jar. If you’ve never done this as an adult, you’ll be just as tickled as your little ones.
- Want to try something a bit more high tech? Check out “Chef’s Tips for Making Butter from Raw Cream” by Chef Phyllis Quinn for all kinds of tips and recipes. Chef Phyllis can even help you move beyond butter to other cultured dairy products—including kefir, yogurt, and cheese—with the simple, step-by-step recipes in her ebook Udderly Cultured: The Art of Milk Fermentation, also available as a Publisher’s Printout Edition.
CC photo by Ruby’s Feast.