My parents, once upon a time, never knew anything but real butter. However, my generation grew up with the usual 70s propaganda: fat bad, industrial-chemical substitutes good. The twisted, power-mongering politics of food have long had a stranglehold on fat, especially in terms of demonizing saturated fat in favor of its plasticized, industrial substitutes. One of the most notable traditional foods that ended up on government’s death row is butter.
Thus our parents and families were stripped of cooking traditions and free markets in food in favor of adherence to government’s junk science fueled by lies and Big Government-Big Business profiteering that served to benefit the government-subsidized, mega-industrial manufacturers at the expense of the artisanal makers and small competitors. Since then, diseases of modern diet have skyrocketed, with some – such as diabetes – approaching epidemic distribution within the American populace.
Fifteen+ years ago, I turned the anti-butter mythology on its ear in my household, and margarine was informally and unofficially and voluntarily banned to the deepest recesses of hell. Since ditching the last vestiges of an industrial diet such as processed foods, pop, and industrial oils while returning to a full-blown traditional, real-food diet, I was able to ward off a rare autoimmune disorder (that I was told was “forever”); maintain my high school waist size into my 50s; and generally, just discover an overall fountain of youth and endless energy. The holistic view of full-body wellness recognizes that food is a powerful “medicine,” especially in terms of avoiding or healing chronic disease. Still, most of our traditional “medicine” has been jettisoned in favor of large-scale food politics because the participating entities are politically empowered.
In spite of the imbalance of political power, butter has recently developed a new block of devotees from the mainstream media machine who are repenting for the decades of butter bashing. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a headline on June 25th, “Butter Makes Comeback as Margarine Loses Favor.” Today recently ran a piece that seemed to gently concede to losing the war on butter, although giving the usual, woolly advice to practice “moderation.” Quartz magazine recently published a piece, “The War Against Butter is Over. Butter Won.” This story conveys the facts that sales of margarine are at a 70-year low. Hooray! Sales of plasticized butter have dropped 30% in less than fifteen years. Meanwhile, butter consumption is the highest it has been in forty years.
Even food giant Unilever is backpedaling on its anti-butter marketing and product placement while touting its “half butter” products. But most amazing of all is the recent Time magazine cover that declared, “Eat Butter.” In fact, Time goes so far as to attempt to undo the years of vilification of fat. A heroic advancement, on the part of the mainstream, in truth and facts. However, as The Guardian recently noted, don’t expect a collective apology from the purveyors of low-fat lies who have perpetuated the anti-fat orthodoxy for decades.
Here’s a related post of mine from April 2014 where I point to a favorable piece on butter from Mother Jones while I also take on the anti-butter rantings of James McWilliams, a professional, paid, one-man propaganda vehicle for the rent-seeking Industrial Food Complex. And here’s the kind of butter I use – a raw (unpasteurized and not homogenized) product that would not make it past the FDA’s lookout tower that stands proudly within the bowels of D.C. The label is clear and simple: made in a home kitchen, meaning without approval from our political slavemasters and special interest oppressors.3:58 pm on July 7, 2014 Email Karen De Coster