Butter Becoming Fashionable Again
Is there any ingredient that conjures up as much love — and guilt — this time of year as butter? According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, about 25% of all U.S. butter sales take place in November and December, when home chefs are preparing Christmas cookies. The Calorie Control Council says that when you sat down for that big Yuletide meal, you could have downed the equivalent of 3 1/2 sticks by the end of the night.
But new studies have shown that consuming butter — within reason — is not only not bad for you, but beneficial, full of vitamins and healthy fatty acids that help prevent tooth decay, cancer and even obesity. Americans seem to be responding to this news. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2015 alone the average person consumed 23 sticks of butter, the highest amount since World War II.
And the Holiday Season puts a good dent in butter stocks, which were reported at 160.9 million pounds in November. That’s 29.5% lower than October, but still about 21% higher than in November last year.
Elaine Khosrova, author of the new book “Butter: A Rich History”, says science has proven theories wrong that equate butter and fat with heart disease and poor health. She says now the attitude toward butter is radically changing, especially among younger people.
And it’s become trendy, too. Restaurants offer their own house-made butter for a pretty penny. Small-batch creameries sell irregularly-shaped lumps of butter packaged in precious, individual wrappers. There are even butter-making kits and small glass churns people can buy to produce their own cream.
There are, however, still some stubborn holdouts clinging to their margarine. Khosrova says many baby boomers still can’t bring themselves to enjoy it for fear of it clogging their arteries.