First, let’s start with why I use organic grass-fed butter, which I believe is the best choice if you can have dairy. The biggest reason is vitamin K2, what Weston A. Price called the X-Factor in good health (read more on the link). Also, the CLA and beta-carotene alone is worth the use of grass-fed butter over regular butter (or any other type of oil). CLA is an anti-cancer fat which fights cancer, infections, and builds lean muscle. Also, of course, grass-fed butter is a source of healthy saturated fat. Our American diet is often way too high in Omega 6 and too low in Omega 3’s. The proper balance is 2:1 (Omega 3: Omega 6) but unfortunately the American Diet is often more like 1:20. I’ve provided some reading at the end of this article.
Most of my friend’s buy Kerrygold. I used to buy Smjör butter, which was incredible, but they aren’t always able to keep up with demand. I’ve actually talked to them, via email, about their 1000 year old line of cows brought to Iceland. And, how GMOs are absolutely illegal there. I switched to Kerrygold, but then I started to wonder why it was so available everywhere. How many cows do they have? How could they make so much butter? And, I read reports of it not being fully pastured and of GMO feed. I started to wonder about the quality. So, I started googling.. because that’s the kind of thing I get into, lol. I stumbled across this thread on paleohacks.com :
If you scroll down to the comment by “The Quilt” (if you are The Quilt, please email me!), and open the comments, you will see something very interesting. She writes that her clinic personally tested many batches of pastured butter, and often KerryGold contained ZERO vitamin K2. But the Organic Valley Pastured Butter tested better. Here’s one of her comments:
Kerry Gold had some batches with zero…..infact quite a few. Organic valley goes avgs close to 7mgs per half a lb.
So, I switched, and the color and taste of this butter are really much better than Kerrygold. So, what do you think? Have any of you found any other info on better butters? I wish I could say I knew of a GMO-free 100% grass fed organic farm close to me who sold butter and cream (HOW I WISH), but I sadly don’t. So, commercial butter is what I turn to. Let me know what you think! This is not a sponsored article, these are just my thoughts.
A little more reading on butter benefits:
From Weston Price’s website:
In 1945, Dr. Weston Price described “a new vitamin-like activator” that played an influential role in the utilization of minerals, protection from tooth decay, growth and development, reproduction, protection against heart disease and the function of the brain. Using a chemical test, he determined that this compound—which he called Activator X—occurred in the butterfat, organs and fat of animals consuming rapidly growing green grass, and also in certain sea foods such as fish eggs. Dr. Price died before research by Russian scientists became known in the West. These scientists used the same chemical test to measure a compound similar to vitamin K. Vitamin K2 is produced by animal tissues, including the mammary glands, from vitamin K1, which occurs in rapidly growing green plants. A growing body of published research confirms Dr. Price’s discoveries, namely that vitamin K2 is important for the utilization of minerals, protects against tooth decay, supports growth and development, is involved in normal reproduction, protects against calcification of the arteries leading to heart disease, and is a major component of the brain. Vitamin K2 works synergistically with the two other “fat-soluble activators” that Price studied, vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D signal to the cells to produce certain proteins and vitamin K then activates these proteins. Vitamin K2 plays a crucial role in the development of the facial bones, and its presence in the diets of non-industrialized peoples explains the wide facial structure and freedom from dental deformities that Weston Price observed.
Here’s a good little tidbit about that from Dr Merkin that I agree with:
Eating too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 causes clots and constricts arteries to increase risk for heart attacks, increases swelling to worsen arthritis, and aggravates a skin disease called psoriasis. It may block a person’s ability to respond to insulin, causing high insulin and blood sugar levels and obesity. It increases hormone levels of insulin like growth factor-1 that causes certain cancers.
And here are some reasons to eat grass-fed butter from Tropical Traditions:
Butter is a traditional fat that has been consumed for thousands of years in cultures all over the world. When the anti-saturated fat campaign started in the US, many people stopped using butter and switched to margarines made from hydrogenated vegetable oils, high in trans-fatty acids. Trans-fatty acids are now banned in some European countries, and food manufactures in the U.S. must list all trans-fats used in their products as people seek to avoid them.
Butter is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, including even small amounts of lauric acid. It is rich in antioxidants as well, in the form of beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. It is one of the best sources of vitamin A. Because living grass is richer in vitamins E, A, and beta-carotene than stored hay or standard dairy diets, butter from dairy cows grazing on fresh pasture is also richer in these important nutrients. The naturally golden color of grass-fed butter is a clear indication of its superior nutritional value. (Searles, SK et al, “Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Carotene Contents of Alberta Butter.” Journal of Diary Science, 53(2) 150–154.)
By nature, cows are grazing (grass-eating) animals. 85–95% of dairy cows today are raised in confinement on a diet of grain, particularly corn, because it is far more cost-efficient for agribusiness. This grain-based diet can cause changes in the ph in cows, creating many abnormal physiological conditions in the cow which can increase the need for the use antibiotics. Many of these dairy cows are fed a variety of growth hormones to increase milk production. Most grocery store shelves offer the dairy products from these types of cows. Butter from grain-fed cows is very high in the omega-6 fatty acids, of which most people are consuming too much due to the high amounts of omega 6 vegetable oils and foods in the US diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in most conventional dairy products today are very low, and most people are dangerously deficient in them. Milk from grass-fed cows has a much higher content of omega-3 fatty acids.
The CLA Advantage
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring free fatty acid found mainly in meat and dairy products in small amounts. CLA was discovered by accident in 1978 by Michael W. Pariza at the University of Wisconsin while looking for mutagen formations in meat during cooking. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3–5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grain-fed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA. (Dhiman, T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). “Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets.” J Dairy Sci 82(10): 2146–56.)