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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 03, 2010

Is All Butter Created Equal?

By Mark Sisson
399 Comments

The embrace (some might say exaltation) of butter is, in some respects, what sets the Primal eating plan apart from strict paleo. It is essentially pure animal fat with only minor traces of dairy proteins and sugars remaining, and for that reason I consider it a worthwhile staple. But, to answer the question posed in the title, not all butter is created equal. Most of us are in agreement that the nutritional content of the animal’s flesh depends on the content of its diet, and the same goes for butter.

We’ve covered similar ground with other foods – olive oil, cheese, chocolate, to name a few – but butter’s special. A quick glance around the forum and other online paleo/Primal/real food communities reveals that people are mad for butter. Perhaps it’s because we’re subject to a steady barrage of anti-butter propaganda from day one on this earth; perhaps it’s due to the fact that the stuff tastes like heaven and goes with nearly everything. Whatever the reason, butter knowledge is important.

Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed

The eternal battle rages on. While the grass-fed camp may be outnumbered, they are plucky, pugnacious fighters with superior armament, training, and tactics. Once they finish off grain-fed butter in Spartans-at-Thermopylae fashion, I expect them to make short work of margarine. Here’s why it’s so lopsided:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Content

CLA is a funny fatty acid. It’s actually a trans-fat, but it’s a good, naturally occurring one. Instead of a group of candle wax makers creating trans-fats in industrial vats by hydrogenating cottonseed oil into disgusting, technically edible faux-butter, the special digestive systems of grass-fed ruminants produce CLA internally. The resulting trans-fat – which has been linked to superior heart health, suppression of tumors, reduced belly fat (although in pigs, I’m not sure that’s what we’re after!), and greater fat loss in the obese and overweight – pops up in the flesh and dairy of the animal. As far as cows go, pasture feeding leads to dairy CLA levels 3-5 times that of grain-fed cattle (PDF).

Winner: Grass-fed Butter

Vitamin Content

We’re drawn to colorful things, especially foods. Bright berries, verdant greens, multicolored fruits and peppers – these are the naturally occurring foods with the most phytonutrients. In fact, the actual dyes responsible for providing color to vegetation, like the blue in blueberry, are also usually antioxidants. Funny how that works out, eh? The same is true for butter. You ever notice how grass-fed butter actually looks like butter? It’s a deep yellow, sometimes bordering on orange, whereas grain-fed butter is white and waxy. It’s yellow because it has more carotene (think carrot, think orange) and Vitamin A. It’s got more carotene because it comes from cows that eat fresh vegetation rich in the stuff. From pasture to ruminant to digestive tract to butterfat to butter to you. Grain-fed? From the study I just linked, even back in 1933 they understood that “the oil cakes and cereals in common use are incapable of bringing about this result” of yellow, vitamin-rich butter.

Vitamin K2, in case you weren’t aware, appears to reduce, prevent, or even counteract arterial plaque, and it helps the body use calcium correctly and effectively. Vitamin K2 is another vital component of grass-fed butter. As Dr. Weston Price observed, only cows subsisting on fresh green grass produced butter imbued with significant levels of the all-important “Activator X,” which most people agree is vitamin K2. Cow stomach fermentation turns K1 (found in leafy greens, like kale, chard, spinach, and, yes, leaves of grass) into K2, which then shows up in the dairy fat. How much Vitamin K1 do you think there is in corn? Not much at all (PDF).

Winner: Grass-fed Butter

Fatty Acid Composition

Whether it’s grass-fed or grain-fed, butter is rich in saturated (about 2/3) and monounsaturated (just under 1/3) fat. The rest is polyunsaturated, but this is where grass-fed and grain-fed really differ. Cows raised on pasture produce milk fat with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 1. Yes, equal amounts. A balance. Grain-fed cows, on the other hand, produce a ratio tilted heavily toward omega 6. It’s true that we’re talking about relatively miniscule amounts of polyunsaturated fats here, but I prefer the balanced ratio. And if you’re putting away as much butter as I can, those insignificant amounts of omega 6 can begin to add up.

Winner: Grass-fed Butter

Flavor

Flavor is usually a subjective determination. What tastes better is entirely a matter of personal opinion, right? Not in the case of butter. Grass-fed butter tastes objectively better using any parameter. Creaminess? Smooth, yellow grass-fed butter can be eaten and enjoyed like candy. Richness? Grain-fed is weak and insipid in comparison. Mouth feel? Grass-fed coats the interior (in a pleasant way), while grain-fed comes off as watery and unnatural.

Winner: Grass-fed Butter

All that said, grain-fed butter is still a better option than conventional cooking fats, like vegetable oil or margarine. I still request restaurant food to be cooked in butter, completely aware that it’s probably white as a ghost and totally grain-fed. The saturated fat in regular butter isn’t any less stable.

Grass-fed isn’t as tough to find as you might think, though. And even if it’s more expensive, it’s still cheaper than shelling out the dough for exclusively grass-fed meat. In fact, for those of you who can’t regularly eat pastured meat, eating lean cuts of conventional meat cooked in a quality grass-fed butter is a great compromise.

Watch out for these brands near you:

A favorite, fairly easy-to-find brand is Kerrygold, an Irish dairy whose cows are all pastured and whose butter is incredible. I get mine for $2.69 at Trader Joe’s, but I’ve seen it in basic and specialty grocery stores, too (albeit for slightly higher prices). Look for the silver foil (unsalted) and gold foil (salted) packages.

Anchor butter is another tasty one. It hails from New Zealand, land of reliably grass-fed lamb, and I’ve seen it at Whole Foods for a reasonable price. If you can’t find it there, you could always order online in bulk. Just freeze the extras.

Organic Valley has a seasonal pastured, cultured, salted butter that usually appears in spring, which is when the grass is at its greenest. I’ve had it a few times. It’s good and a bit tangy, and it comes in a green foil package. Skip the regular Organic Valley stuff, which gets some grain.

Check farmers’ markets. If you’ve got a dairy stall, you’ve probably got access to good butter. Talk to the producers about the cows’ diet.

Terminology

Learn the slang that’ll help you blend in with the cool kids at the next Weston A. Price Foundation meet-up.

What is cultured butter?

Cultured butter is traditionally made from fermented, or soured, cream. It’s not actually the butterfat that ferments, but rather the trace amounts of lactose sugars present. Nowadays, though, most commercial cultured butter is “cultured” by the incorporation of bacterial cultures. “European style” butter is cultured butter.

What is “sweet butter”?

Historically, sweet cream butter came from fresh cream, rather than soured or fermented cream. Relative to cultured butter, it’s rather “sweet.” These days, it’s often just another way to describe unsalted butter. Sweet butter is better for cooking, as most recipes assume the use of unsalted butter. Also, since salt is a preservative, sweet butter tends to be fresher (since it has to be, having no preservatives).

What is clarified butter?

Heat butter until it melts, let it cool and settle, then skim off the top layer of whey protein and pour off the butterfat, leaving the casein proteins on the bottom – you’ve got clarified butter.

What about ghee?

Ghee is basically pure butterfat, rendered down and stricken of all lactose and dairy proteins. It’s ultra-clarified butter in that it reaches a temperature high enough to cook off the water and brown the milk solids, which imparts a nutty flavor to the finished product. Properly made, ghee can stay on the counter for about a year without going bad. If you’ve got one, check your local Indian grocer. They’ll have huge tubs of intensely yellow ghee for sale. Is it all grass-fed? I’ve no idea, and the rich color isn’t a reliable indicator since the color could come from the browned milk solids. Anyone know for sure?

There are clear winners and losers in life. Grass-fed butter wins handily and grain-fed loses. There’s not much more to say other than get out there and find yourself a decent source of grass-fed butter!

Thanks for reading, everyone, and Grok on!

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397 Comments on "Is All Butter Created Equal?"

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RP
RP
6 years 1 month ago

First!

I can all but guarantee that Ghee isn’t grassfed

Jenny
6 years 1 month ago

It all depends on your sources. I buy my ghee from two sources that are 100% grass-fed, and make my own from local 100% grass-fed butter.

Tricia
Tricia
2 years 3 months ago

Jenny, where can i buy grass fed butter in canada?

NP
NP
1 year 10 months ago
I have not been able to find grass-fed butter at any grocery store in Ontario so far, but there are individual farms that do sell grass-fed beef (I would assume they also sell butter). I would google grass fed beef in your area and go from there. Also, I found it very hard to find 100% grass fed beef/dairy because of our winters and lack of grass for half of the year. Because of that, butter seems to be very expensive and it is hard to know how much of the butter came from cows actually eating grass. Depending on… Read more »
NP
NP
1 year 10 months ago
I also have a question regarding corn. A local farm I found claims the following regarding their grain-free feed. Is it actually grain free? The following is pasted off of their website: Our feed consists of a hay mixture of legumes (alfalfa and clovers) as well as a number of grasses, which consist of orchard grass, timothy, reed, canary grass and brome grass. The hay is grown and harvested throughout the summer and preserved as dry hay bales or high moisture haylage. Corn for silage is also grown on the farm. The whole plant, leaves, stalk, cobs and kernels are… Read more »
Quebec City
Quebec City
1 year 10 months ago
Regarding this farm that say they use the whole corn plant, this is bad news. Corn contains omega-6 fats and will be found in the milk. This not grass fed with this unless the kernels were removed from the plants. Raising grass fed cows is possible, there is a group of farm that raise cattle for food that is truly grass fed. They are in the Abitibi region of Quebec which awful cold (zone 3 for gardeners). The easiest way to get grass fed butter might be to buy it in the US and freeze it. It will keep for… Read more »
Donna
1 year 7 months ago

Hi Jenny, try our Canadian grass fed butter. You can find us in Ontario and BC. To learn more about Rolling Meadow Dairy visit http://www.rollingmeadowdairy.com.

Jeanne Wallace
4 years 18 days ago

Two brands offer grass-fed ghee: Pure Indian Foods and Purity Farms.

Beefwalker
Beefwalker
2 years 10 months ago

I’ve made my own ghee from grass-fed butter. Easy peasy.
Still, it’s simpler for me to cook with coconut oil most of the time.

JP
6 years 1 month ago

You just need at the yellowish butter that grassfed cows produce to know that it’s better! No wonders other butters and margarine are using chemicals to make they sub-optimal food look like the real thing.

brahnamin
brahnamin
6 years 1 month ago
Smjor from Iceland is hands down one of the best butters for cooking. It has an extremely low measurable water content – moreso than most butters – so you’re getting more bang for your buck. It is made from the milk of grass fed cows and while it isn’t certified organic, Iceland’s policies on sustainable farming make it a superior product nonetheless. The only place I’ve ever seen it in the states is Whole Foods Market (John Mackey’s machine has arranged several exclusive arrangements with the Icelandic government – lamb comes to mind – to be the sole retail purveyor… Read more »
Nan C
Nan C
6 years 1 month ago

Just purchased organic butter [woodstock]. Is that a guarantee that the cows it came from are grass-fed?

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years 1 month ago

No. They’ll do anything to put the “organic” label on stuff but not necessarily humane treatment of the animals or grass-feeding.

I’m surprised they haven’t label foods with “HD”. Oh boy! HighDef Butter!

WordVixen
5 years 9 months ago

Organic definitely doesn’t automatically mean grassfed. However, in this instance, I can say that it is. I contacted Woodstock a few weeks ago, and they assured me that their cows are grassfed. Given the bright yellow color, and the full taste, I’d say that it’s pastured even without their assurance.

beefwalker
beefwalker
3 years 6 months ago

As I understand it, ‘organic’ dairy cows are always fed some organic feed (which is almost always grain and animal product). It wouldn’t be possible to certify them as organic if they were simply eating grass.

Audry
Audry
6 years 1 month ago

Trader Joe’s brand organic butter is also grass-fed, and it’s about a dollar or so less per pound than the Kerrygold.

Johnny
Johnny
3 years 11 months ago

Trader’s Joe Brand organic butter is not 100% grass fed as far as I can tell.

“Pastured and vegetarian diet” most likely means has access to grass sometimes, and fattened up on grain.

I live in California as well, $2.99 per stick isn’t expensive, normal butter is just artificially cheap. Even if you use an entire stick everyday (Which I don’t) $3 won’t kill you. Just do it right.

Marshall Stephenson
Marshall Stephenson
3 years 7 months ago

Trader Joes sells Kerrygold grass fed butter.

JonGrant
JonGrant
7 months 16 days ago

Kerrygold is not 100% grassfed. The cows are on pasture when possible, but they do not guarantee 100% grassfed.

Fevernova
Fevernova
6 years 1 month ago

I buy Purity Farms Ghee which is grass fed and organic.

http://www.purityfarms.com/

Pashmina
5 years 2 months ago

Another vote for Purity. Awesome stuff!

RS
RS
4 years 4 months ago

Are you sure it’s grass fed? I use it as well. It says pastured and vegetarian diet, so possibly fed grains some or most of the time?

Barbara
Barbara
1 year 3 months ago

I just bought Purity Farms Ghee. The label says it now is Organic Valley!!!! It says the owners have retired and that they made their ghee from Organic Valley butter for years! It now says pasture-raised not pastured. I don’t trust Organic Valley!

NL
NL
1 year 1 month ago

on their web site it states “To ensure they get the complete nutrition they need, our cows may also be fed supplemental organic grains, both during the grazing season and into winter months. ”

I don’t trust organic valley either and haven’t for a long time….sad – scamming people and jeopardizing our health.

Charles J. Walker
Charles J. Walker
6 years 1 month ago

What about salted vs. unsalted butter? Is the sodium content of salted butter significant?

cyndiann
cyndiann
2 years 2 months ago

It isn’t significant if your diet is not full of processed foods which are full of salt. Matter of fact, if you make most of your food from scratch you probably need to add salt so you aren’t deficient. I make my own butter and add Himalayan sea salt to it. Anyone can buy some cream and make your own butter so you know what is in it. I get raw cream right from a dairy and make mine.

Kat
6 years 1 month ago

I just made some ghee last week from grass-fed cultured butter. It was soo good! If anyone has not tried ghee it is so worth it.

I find ghee to be good for frying eggs and sauteeing vegetables. It doesn’t burn like butter does and the flavour is just so good.

mm
mm
6 years 1 month ago

Ohh! did you use bay leaves?

Alan M
Alan M
6 years 1 month ago

Lately, I’ve been eating the Organic Valley pastured butter side by side with the Kerrygold. The flavor of the Kerrygold is, IMHO, significantly superior. The Organic Valley tastes rather bland.

Great article, thanks.

Carlos
Carlos
6 years 1 month ago

I used to think this, now I alternate between the two. For some reason after finishing a bar of one, then the other will taste better to me. Also Kerrygold makes a very good Reserve Cheddar (aged 2-years) that I sometimes eat in combination with butter (oink oink) but funny enough, it goes better with the OV butter than their own. IMO of course.

Alan M
Alan M
6 years 1 month ago

If I run across that cheese, I’ll have to give it a try.

Casey P
Casey P
6 years 1 month ago

Costco here in the PNW carries it in the 2lb “loaf” for about $8…not bad considering the price of a 2lb block of Tillamook cheddar at the regular grocery store.

Kris
Kris
6 years 1 month ago

Also, Kerrygold Irish Dubliner cheese is possibly the best cheese ever made. Seriously.

richard
richard
6 years 1 month ago

I’m going to look for that…

Audry
Audry
6 years 1 month ago

I agree 100% Kerrygold Dubliner is amazing

Aneiya
Aneiya
4 years 2 months ago

Kerrygold Dubliner is my favorite eating cheese — now I know why it tastes so good! No more feeling guilty for eating the good stuff. 🙂

Eric M
Eric M
3 years 5 months ago

Dubliner is the BEST cheese EVER!!

Islander
2 years 5 months ago

For the record, you should be aware that Irish products are high in fluoride. Dubliner’s cheese had levels up to 29 ppm, Irish Oats are 3 ppm, Kerry Gold Butter 5 ppm and Bulmers cider (Magners) 9 ppm. The safety limit set by the HSE ( Ireland’s health service) is 1 ppm.

NotSoFast
NotSoFast
6 years 1 month ago

I did this also and agree with you. I also noted that O.V butter doesn’t melt as fast as Kerrygold. Wonder what that means?

Carlos
Carlos
6 years 1 month ago

The fat is less saturated.

Danny
Danny
3 years 9 months ago

Organic Valley PASTURED butter is grain finished, only about 65% grass-fed if I remember correctly. I exchanged emails with them in 2011 digging deep into this and they eventually told me. Ask them yourselves… organic@organicvalley.coop

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 1 month ago

I once worked in a Swiss restaurant and there was a sticker on the cooler door that read “A meal without butter is like love without kisses”.

Resurgent
Resurgent
6 years 1 month ago
Unless it says unequivocally, commercial Ghee is NOT from grass fed animals. My family has been using ghee regularly for over 2 generations – The “grandmothers formula” to check ghee quality would be: 1. Ghee from Buffalo milk is light colored, while from cows milk is deeper yellow and has a stronger aroma. 2.Rub some solidified ghee between your fingers and their will be a slight grainy feeling. This, apparently, indicates purity – but I am no expert. 3. If looking for grass fed ghee – the best way is to get grass fed unsalted butter and make your own,… Read more »
maba
maba
6 years 1 month ago

I make ghee at home with KerryGold butter and the texture is always grainy.

Bob Garon
5 years 8 months ago

What are your exact steps in your method? I haven’t ever made it and would like to.

Thanks!
Bob Garon

sonnie gladd
sonnie gladd
5 years 8 months ago

Me too.

Primal Toad
6 years 1 month ago

I personally use coconut oil for all of my cooking. But, I have used butter a few times recently. I do love the taste of it, even grain-fed. I have never tried ghee but really want to. I will have to give kerry gold butter a shot since grass-fed is a billion times better than grain-fed.

Coconut oil still wins in my book. It is 100% saturated fat – the best for ya!

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years 1 month ago

I can cut a slice of Kerry Gold off and eat it plain. Man it’s good!

Rhonda
Rhonda
6 years 1 month ago

Coconut oil is NOT 100% saturated fat.

Primal Toad
6 years 1 month ago

Alright… 92% is it? 100% fat and just about 100% saturated fat.

Gil Butler
6 years 1 month ago

Whole foods sells ghee that specifically says on the side “pasture raised.”

Dusty
6 years 1 month ago

I purchase mine online and it is soooooooooooooo good!!

Lewis
Lewis
6 years 1 month ago
Apropos ghee and animal feedstuffs – the following may be relevant. Katherine Czapp over at the WAPF says that “fresh cow dung as an antiseptic, sanitary and healing agent has been [used] for centuries in India and Nepal” but adds the following: “Modern Indian practitioners today caution that the medicinal and antiseptic qualities of cow dung have been deteriorating in recent years due largely to [I]unnatural foodstuffs fed to the animals[/I]. These include everything from invading leguminous weed species in pastures to fishmeal fed on farms. The resulting dung from these animals will not prevent infection, they warn, but can… Read more »
Holly
6 years 1 month ago

that Diet of Mongolia page is good reading.

I should show that to my Chinese teacher when he insists that milk will make you fat. Obviously there’s more to the story…

Peter
Peter
4 years 6 months ago

Milk does make you fat. It can raise insulin levels very high.

Jenny
6 years 1 month ago

We mostly use grass-fed ghee in cooking and we get about 1 pound of raw grass-fed butter each week from a local farm. It’s phenomenal, but the cultured raw butter has a strong taste that takes some getting used to.

Hannah
6 years 1 month ago
I love Kerrygold! It really isn’t that much more expensive than “regular” butter, and it tastes wonderful. For anyone else in the SW Ohio Valley region, we can get grass-fed, lightly pasteurized heavy cream from Snowville Creamery in many many places (I can get it from Whole Foods or a local farmer’s market). The cream itself is AMAZING, and if you want local/grass-fed butter for an awesome price ($8 for a half gallon of cream, which will make about 6 cups of butter), just pour the cream into the food processor and let it go for a few minutes! I… Read more »
Louise
Louise
6 years 1 month ago

Yeah! I am using the right butter! Kerrygold – and I found it all by myself! I use butter and coconut oil for sauteing and olive oil for salads and tossing veggies with garlic in the oven.

Aaron Blaisdell
Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 1 month ago
“While the grass-fed camp may be outnumbered, they are plucky, pugnacious fighters with superior armament, training, and tactics” Aw, shucks. Trying to butter us up, Mark? I’ve used Kerry Gold and Anchor butters many times. Both are delicious (I tend to favor the Anchor butter). I love to cook eggs in Purity Farms Ghee which says on the label that it’s from grass-fed cows (I buy it at WF for a hefty price but it’s worth it IMO). I’ve also been using cultured raw butter from pastured cows made by Organic Pastures (I also drink their raw whole milk and… Read more »
Nick C
Nick C
6 years 1 month ago

We are spoilt for choice down here in New Zealand with a wide range of great quality grass feed butters. If people want to try find some Anchor butter. Try http://www.fonterra.com they do a great Anchor Unsalted Butter. Mainland is a great brand too.
Nick, New Zealand

Chops
Chops
6 years 1 month ago

Just wanted to put this up an article about low fat vs. low carb on cnn’s health tab. some of the comments below are pretty interesting.

http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/02/low-fat-or-low-carb-that-is-the-question/?hpt=Sbin

Guy_From_Amelie
6 years 1 month ago

Vitamin A question here. All the butter nutrition facts I look up have Vitamin A at 7% or 8% of the RDA, whether grass-fed or conventional. The ingredients don’t list added Vitamin A. What’s the dealio?

I suspect that you can’t have colorless beta-carotene, so maybe the online label is missing something? (Although this has been corroborated by peeking at butter in the fridge)

John H
John H
5 years 7 months ago

I’m not sure the nutrition label for butter has much to do with the package you are looking at; I’d expect there to be a standard label for butter.

That said, some breeds of cattle just convert less of the carotene into retinol. Fed the same, they will have the same total amount of Vitamin A as other breeds, but more carotene, and less retinol. Jersey cows are known for their very yellow milk, for example.

“On Food and Cooking” is great for these questions.

Anne
Anne
6 years 1 month ago

Love Kerrygold.

The usual line up of butters in the store taste rancid to me.

Chops
Chops
6 years 1 month ago

Did anybody see the CNN article about low fat vs. low carb? it’s on the home page under the health tab. Interesting comments below too.

Sebastien
6 years 1 month ago

Yes and it saddens me to see so many people simply not getting it when I read the comments.

When you hangout in the primal/paleo circles for long enough you tend to think the everybody is getting it, but of course this is not the reality.

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[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Jim
6 years 1 month ago

Hi Mark,

This post came at a perfect time because I’m working my way through Weston Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” right now. Yesterday I finished the chapter where he talks about mixing equal parts grassfed butter and cod liver oil as a supplement to activate fat soluable vitamins. Could you do a post about that? Is that something worth trying? I’d hate to think the vitamins in all those vegetables I eat are going to waste!

Thanks,

Jim

Jonathan
6 years 1 month ago

Been loving using butter over the last few months after using vegetable oils and canola spray oils for so many years.

Did’nt expect to see my homeland Anchor brand listed here. Ive got some Mainland butter in the fridge at the moment (another traditional dairy brand over here). Will have to get some Anchor and do a comparison with some of the categories you’ve listed here.

Keep up the good work.

Arlo
Arlo
6 years 1 month ago

Sigh… once again my location (the mountains of BC, Canada) preclude my ability to get grass-fed anything.

Would anybody else move just to be able to have access to real foods?

Aaron Blaisdell
Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 1 month ago

How about lichen-fed butter from big horned sheep or mountain goats?

StephieLiz
StephieLiz
6 years 1 month ago

Move to Colorado… we’ve got mountains and grass-fed everything! 🙂

Sue
Sue
6 years 1 month ago

We moved from Arizona to the Portland, OR area for just that reason. So nice to be able to grow stuff without major irrigation! So, yes, someone else would and did. 🙂

ArcticBear
ArcticBear
6 years 1 month ago

I sure hear you about the availability of healthy food. From living in the High Arctic, I’ve learned that you do the best with what you can get. Lack of access to the best foods is not an excuse to eat the processed carbs! Of course, if you add wild foods to the sub-standard foods available, they might balance out the whole.

Darrin
6 years 1 month ago

Ditto the Kerrygold love going on here. I’m a bit strapped for cash, but I do like to splurge on it occasionally.

Amber
Amber
6 years 1 month ago

Yay for Anchor butter all the way from ‘little ol’ New Zealand. I sometimes snack on butter whilst cooking dinner. I’ve noticed a variance in the tastes of different butters in NZ – and blamed the difference on my taste buds & now I’m wondering if some herds are getting supplementary grain feeds.

Johnnyv
Johnnyv
6 years 1 month ago

I doubt it, as it would be more costly to produce grain feed butter in New Zealand.

Sebastien
6 years 1 month ago

It wasn’t mentioned yet, but Pure Indian Foods (http://www.pureindianfoods.com/) produces an excellent organic pastured and grass-fed Ghee. It doesn’t get better than this.

Marty
Marty
6 years 1 month ago

I agree!! That is the ONLY ghee I buy these days. The taste is incredible! They only use the milk from cows that are out on organic pastures (so they don’t use the milk that’s produced in the winter when the cows eat hay).

Anne
Anne
6 years 1 month ago

I see the Organic Valley grassfed butter around, and maybe Kerrygold if I hunted, but my local dairy (the cows live literally about seven miles away from my house) sells delicious butter at their outlet. Now, I know it’s not grassfed much if at all, but the local food, small-business aspect is really powerful to me — and correspondingly the idea of importing butter from Irish cows bothers me a bit, when you think of the fossil fuels involved.

Katie
Katie
6 years 1 month ago

Thank you for saying that. I refuse to buy kerrygold no matter how good it is because I don’t need my butter imported from Ireland. We make lots of good local butter here. I would like grassfed butter but I find local, organic stuff so it’s a toss up and local wins imo.

John H
John H
5 years 7 months ago

Methinks you overestimate the impact of bulk transportation, and underestimate the impact of corn feed.

Butter is a perfect long distance food; it lasts for a long time, so it can be transported on a boat, it is resource intensive (a lot of feed goes into a gallon of milk, a lot of milk goes into a pound of butter), and the variation in environmental impact depending on where it is produced is huge (rain irrigated pasture over artificially irrigated grain).

kishore
kishore
6 years 1 month ago

‘pureindianfoods’ sells organic grass fed ghee. I personally use it and they are way better than what you find in your local Indian grocery stores.

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[…] sure I eat grass-fed butter (I do eat organic butter, but I think I could be eating better butter, and I’m not much of a […]

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[…] post by Mark Sisson […]

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6 years 1 month ago

[…] Is all butter created equal – Marks’ Daily Apple […]

Mo
Mo
6 years 1 month ago

apart from cooking how do you guys consume the butter?

Clint @ Crude Fitness
6 years 1 month ago

Anyone know of some Australian brands that would equal the quality of Kerrygold?

Beefwalker
Beefwalker
2 years 10 months ago

We don’t raise cattle or dairy cows in the same horrific ways they do in the USA, so you can be ‘fairly’ sure most of our dairy cows are grass-fed, but if you want to be SURE, then what I use is Westgold (from NZ). Cheap, delicious and is available at most Coles and Woolies. 🙂

Rhonda
Rhonda
1 year 16 days ago

Westgold sold at Woolworth’s is from New Zealand. Grass fed and reasonably priced!

Clint White
Clint White
6 years 1 month ago

Go here for 100% grass fed Ghee. It is so tasty!!
http://www.pureindianfoods.com/order.shtml

Tyler
Tyler
6 years 1 month ago

@Kishore .. I definitely agree with the pure indian foods grassfed ghee. I just ordered some off their website and it comes with a cool little pamphlet all about their grassfed ghee and methods used. They even go as far as making it only on a full moon or waxing moon, I have no idea what effect that may have but it sounds awesome. Just do a search for pure indian foods on google. Btw it’s also absolutely delicious.

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 1 month ago

I think they make their ghee from milk produced only from spring through fall.

garymar
garymar
6 years 1 month ago

“While the grass-fed camp may be outnumbered, they are plucky, pugnacious fighters with superior armament, training, and tactics. Once they finish off grain-fed butter in Spartans-at-Thermopylae fashion, I expect them to make short work of margarine. ”

Actually it was the outnumbered _Spartans_ who got slaughtered at Thermopylae, in spite of superior armament (doubtful), training (yes), and tactics (no — just fight to the death!). Of course the Greeks did eventually win that war.

NourishedMom
NourishedMom
6 years 1 month ago
nice post. I do like the kerrygold. I am BOYCOTTING Organic Valley even though I love their pasture butter. (Because they recently forbid their dairy suppliers to sell raw milk on the side- forcing them to either lose most of their OV income or cut off the local communities of their precious raw milk supply). I just ran out of my supply of amish roll butter I bought from my old co-op in KY and the store conventional butter is so bland. Time for a trip to Jungle Jim’s to see what butters he brings in. Too bad he doesn’t… Read more »
JenCat
JenCat
6 years 1 month ago

Another Jungle Jim fan. My kids love to spend the afternoon there.

Glenn
Glenn
6 years 1 month ago

Are we talking about cows that live and eat on pastures *12 months* per year, or do they eat silage about 6 months per year (late Fall, Winter, and early Spring)?

Silage (from Wikipedia):
Includes corn (maize) or sorghum or other cereals, using the entire green plant (not just the grain). Silage can be made from many field crops, and special terms may be used depending on type (oatlage for oats, haylage for alfalfa – but see below for different UK use of the term haylage).

John R
John R
6 years 1 month ago

For those in New England, Kate’s Butter — a Maine product with fairly wide distribution — is mostly grassfed from about April through about November, when the cows get put on silage. (You can tell by the color, which they do not alter.) It’s quite good, considerably cheaper than Kerrygold, and available in many supermarkets.

Katie
Katie
6 years 1 month ago

I LOVE Kate’s!. Super creamy and tasty, and semi-local for me.

Dory
Dory
10 months 10 days ago

So good to know! I made myself buy the Organic Valley pastured butter and it’s no where near as good as Kate’s. It tastes greasy w no other depth. I’m switching back.

Family Grokumentarian
6 years 1 month ago
Ooooo this is getting me really excited to try the stash of Kerrygold butter in my fridge that I asked my mom to bring from Trader Joe’s the last time she visited. I had been saving it for special garnishing purposes but now that I see all of the health benefits I’m tempted to make it my staple butter (instead of my local grocery store’s $4.39/lb. organic, but grain fed, butter). I seem to remember large tubs of organic ghee available at Whole Foods for about $14 – but not sure if it’s grass fed. Is there such a thing… Read more »
Family Grokumentarian
6 years 1 month ago

Oooo I just saw the “pureindianfoods” comments. I will definitely be ordering up some grass fed organic ghee. (Maybe even be a little devious and order some for Christmas gifts for my saturated-fat-avoiding parents and inlaws? 🙂 )

anonymous
anonymous
6 years 1 month ago

This is a little off-topic but I wanted to ask all you low-carbers: aren’t you worried about overworking your adrenals while your body is running on fat for fuel? I’m concerned that in a year or two you all will have lowered metabolisms, illnesses, and damaged thyroids.

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
6 years 1 month ago

My own experience is 3 years + without any issues.

anand srivastava
anand srivastava
6 years 1 month ago

That does not happen to everybody, only those with not so good adrenals. I have a bad one unfortunately.

piper
piper
6 years 20 days ago

Actually, I damaged my thyroid and my adrenals on a high-grain diet. I’ve been primal going on two years and I’m actually getting better.

melody
melody
5 years 2 months ago

coconut oil used daily also helps repair the thyroid..as well as avoiding ALL soy products. Iodine rich foods like chlorella keeps the thyroid functioning well. I had hyothyroid for 6 years till I repaired it myself (with blood tests to prove it)..
Ive been well for 6 years now.

Elizabeth
6 years 1 month ago

I definitely say if you can get your hands on some raw grass fed cream, make your own cultured butter at home! Just leave the cream on the counter for a few hours in a glass jar and then shake it up for about 10 minutes. Viola! Butter.

Of course, you can make it easily in your blender or food processor, too. But shaking the jar is way more primal. 😉

ATA member
ATA member
6 years 1 month ago

Ghee – prefect choice for the lactose or casein intolerant!

Pure Indian Foods ghee – grass fed

Ancient Organics – grass fed – very rich color – from Straus Creamery butter – priced accordingly

detailed review of various brands:
freeradicalfederation.com/Ghee_Comparison_Table

Susan the home workouts chick
I’m a HUGE advocate for grass fed anything over grain fed crap. Grass fed butter and other animal products not only have superior nutrition to it’s grain fed counterpart, but the taste is absolutely outstanding. Think of it this way: if the animal eats a diet high in grasses which all contain the energy from the sun then when we eat that animal we will get the plentiful benefits of the grasses, which we can’t actually digest ourselves. One thing I still would like to mention is that “good fat” is still fat in that it has the same number… Read more »
Ren
6 years 1 month ago

With a 400-degree smoke point, the sattvic, organic, pastured, grass-fed ghee from Pure Indian Foods is at once a versatile, precious and densely nutritious food.

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