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I Heart Butter

June 16, 2015

Let’s take science and just put it on the sidelines for a moment. It’s not that I don’t like science (I effin’ love science). It’s just that I’d really like to live in my little bubble undisturbed by what may be the reality of the situation for a little while longer.

What’s interesting about science is that it always changes. That’s the point. Scientists continue to question what they know, to challenge assumptions, and that is how they move knowledge forward. The opposite of science is just accepting something as established fact and sticking by that position, not allowing yourself to be moved by any evidence to the contrary.

Occasionally, long held scientific principles get challenged. However it may take a long time for the scientific community to accept new findings. And how the general public feels on a matter may have more to do with base emotions than any kind of logical or rational thought process.

Luckily we’re not trying to tackle the issues of nuclear energy and its resulting waste, which can be toxic to human life longer than any civilization ever known to walk the earth.

Although the issues surrounding butter may be just as complicated.

Here are the headlines that I’ve been hearing. One, full fat dairy from grass fed cows is totally healthy. And two, all the talk about dietary cholesterol and heart disease has been totally wrong.

This sounds like a cause for much rejoicing. But I can’t help to think that it just doesn’t sound right. Those who speak out in support of grass fed dairy suggest that heart disease is caused by “inflammation.” And that may very well be true, but the supporters of that position have the same glint in their eyes as those who are working to rid their bodies of “toxins.”

More than anything else, it sounds fishy. But perhaps that’s just my reluctance to embrace change, even in the light of new evidence. I suppose the problem is that I have a hard time trusting anyone these days, because lately everyone seems to be pursuing their own economic or political self interest.

But you know what? I don’t care.

Because if I choose to believe the anti-inflammatory crowd, it means I get to eat butter with a clean conscience. Just so long as it comes from the milk of grass-fed cows.

Well guess what, Kerrygold qualifies and you can get that at Trader Joe’s for a song. TJs also occasionally has the Kriemhild butter which is even more amazing, but a bit more expensive. That’s my special occasion butter these days.

It also means that I don’t have to feel guilty about drinking whole milk as long as it comes from grassfed cows. And Honest Weight in Albany has Cowbella whole milk from its local herd of Jersey cows. Incidentally, those cows are more likely to produce milk with the A2 protein (versus conventionally raised milk which is dominated by the A1 protein). There are some people who think this makes a meaningful difference in fluid dairy consumption and human health.

But that kind of sounds like bs too.

The problem with all of these things is that regardless of their truth or validity, suggesting that certain foodstuffs will produce desirable health outcomes is trouble. There is some kind of human drive to see the world in black and white. And demonizing some foods while lauding others translates into “completely avoid these evil things” and “eat as much of these virtuous things as possible.”

And that’s probably counterintuitive to any healthful eating strategy. I know, because it makes me feel sick. Like when last week I made myself two grassfed butter sandwiches. One at least had freshly sliced radishes on it. But too much butter, even if it’s the grassfed kind, still isn’t going to be good for your health.

We may no longer be demonizing fats at the moment, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are calorie dense foods, which can fill you up faster than your body can process.

Fortunately for me, I just met with The Sassy Dietitian who is one half of Team Nutrition Genius. And she suggested that perhaps readers of the FLB may be treated to some actual professional insight down the road. Regrettably, I’m pretty sure she’s not going to say that I can eat all the grassfed butter with reckless abandon.

So I’m going to excuse myself now to eat as much of it as I can while I’m still living in the bliss of my bubble. Because one of life’s great joys is crusty bread slathered with good butter and a few grains of coarse salt.

Here’s to your health.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Trusted Commenter permalink
    June 16, 2015 10:02 am

    “I get to eat butter with a clean conscience” is an ill considered way of stating your thought, which is really “I get to eat butter without concern for self-inflicted harm, regardless of its contribution to animal cruelty and climatic catastrophe.” Thus stated, I agree.

  2. June 16, 2015 10:17 am

    So much wasted thought concerning all of this… “Eat little, excercise much” is probably all you really need to know concerning diet and general health. I excercise much-ish and if I worked on eating a bit littler I would be a paragon of health, of this I am convinced.

  3. EPT permalink
    June 16, 2015 12:38 pm

    If you can find it President’s Butter from France is excellent, just two ingredients, cream and salt. Walmart used to carry it for a while but no longer.

  4. June 16, 2015 4:12 pm

    It’s a shame how we have to demonize and glorify food…we just need to eat real food, in amounts that nourish us not harm us! Well I’m glad you are eating butter and not margarine, so that’s a win…as far as eating as much as you like…we’ll have to touch on that later :)

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