Butter is one of my favorite foods. Hands down. It makes everything taste better, it’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s awesome. I literally drench my food in butter. To the point that Scott asks, “You want some ________ with that butter?” You can fill in the blank yourself, because anything would fit. Sometimes I even eat itraw, right out of the tub I get it in from my farmer. Unfortunately, butter takes and has taken a lot of abuse over the years. It clogs arteries, makes you gain weight, will give you heart disease, etc. None of which is true of course. In fact, everyone should eat more butter. Butter used to be largely consumed until it fell out of favor and was replaced with oxidized, high omega 6 margarine. What a bummer for the American public, their health, and their taste buds.
Margarine is made of cheap, industrialized vegetable oils. Mainly soy, corn, and/or canola. These are also the most genetically modified crops. But for right now, let’s just focus on how it’s made. First it starts with one of these genetically modified crops that’s been doused in fertilizer. Think about how oily a soybean or piece of corn is – it isn’t. So they are heated at extremely high temperatures to extract the oil. Manufacturers will often use hexane to extract the last bit of oil. Hexane is a neurotoxin that OSHA readily admits is a dangerous substance, pay their website a visit to brush up on your toxic chemicals.
Hexane has been listed as one of the 188 hazardous and dangerous air pollutants by the EPA which can cause cancer, and other serious health illnesses including reproductive and birth defects.
The soy, corn or canola seeds are subjected to such high temperatures that any vitamins and minerals are absolutely destroyed. Then the oil is mixed with nickel, a toxic substance to prepare for the coming chemical reaction: the dreaded hydrogenation. Or rather, the oil is subjected to high temperature and pressure to achieve partial hydrogenation. What is left is a lump of grey grease, which is steam cleaned again, and then bleached. Finally, synthetic vitamins are added to it, all so you can be sold a cheap product touted as a health food. It’s genius, really. By the way, can you guess what the leftover soy is
used for once all of the oil has been extracted? The soy goes into making all those “healthy” fake meats, as well as starring in nearly every junk food imaginable. It’s all about marketing.
Can you guess what my beloved butter is made out of? Raw, grass-fed cream. That’s it. No GMOs, no crazy processing, no neurotoxins. And while margarine is a completely modern food, butter has been used for approximately 10,000 years. The ancient Egyptians even used it as a topical ointment to fight infections. Here’s what makes butter so beneficial:
Vitamin A is vital for vision, adrenal and thyroid health. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, true vitamin A is found in animal foods, while the precursor, beta carotene is found in plant foods. It protects skin and mucous membranes by keep them moist. This is important for our skin, adequate levels of vitamin A protect against wrinkles and acne. Some studies have even shown that vitamin A inhibits the growth of cancer. Vitamin A is essential for proper growth, bone development and the reproductive system.
Vitamin K2 plays an important role in preventing arthritis, osteoporosis, tooth decay, and has also been shown to lower the risk of heart attack (source). Vitamin K2 determines the appropriate place to deposit calcium in our bodies (our bones!). It also protects against arterial calcification and reduces oxidative stress.
It is rich in conjugated linoleic acid which is known to prevent cancer. According to good ol’ Dr. Mercola,
Animal studies show that as little as 0.5 percent CLA in your diet could reduce tumors by over 50 percent, including breast, colorectal, lung, skin and stomach.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It protects against free radical damage, and has been shown to be a critical component to arterial health. And according to the National Institute of Health,
In addition to its activities as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function and, as shown primarily by in vitro studies of cells, cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes.
Low levels of D have been linked to cancer. It also promotes fertility and contains Arachidonic Acid, which is crucial to brain development (great for kiddos) as well as lauric acid, which treats fungal infections. D also regulates proper gene expression and plays a role in immune response, as it activates the t-cells, which protect against bacteria and infections. And one of its most important roles is reducing the dreaded inflammation, the basis of all disease.
Go out and get yourself some high quality butter. If you can’t get it from a farm, most supermarkets sell Kerrygold, it’s pasteurized but it is still grass-fed and a great source of nutrients. So go eat your butter. You’re welcome, America!