Back to Butter

makingitsweet_butter

I’ll be the first to admit that I had an anti-butter phase. I grew up on margarine and occasionally had butter (although I still think it was margarine in stick-form). It’s no wonder why my baking didn’t turn out right until I left my parents’ house and started buying my own ingredients.

Even though I bought butter for baking I still had a tub of “fake butter” in the fridge. I’d use it on my toast or to fry up some pancakes and **gasp** even in sauces. I always thought that butter was bad for you. But lo and behold, when I turned 26, I was told that I was on the brink of having high cholesterol. I didn’t consider myself an unhealthy eater and I was fairly active, going to the gym at least once or twice a week. But what I remember most is that I always chose the low-fat option when eating.  I’d take the yolks out of the eggs, use low-fat mayo, eat low-fat yogurt, take “light” dressing, and use a butter substitute. 

It hasn’t been until recently where I ditched the fake butter tub and swapped it for the real stuff. Why the change of heart? I’m trying not eat over-processed foods. I can say that my food tastes much better using real butter. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go full-on Paula Deen on y’alls. I find that whenever I use butter, I don’t go overboard. I add as much as it takes to get the flavor right — and sometimes it doesn’t take much…except when making mashed potatoes for some reason…and gooey butter. (It’s in the name, you have to expect it!) But even consuming butter-enriched foods leads to different eating habits. Your body knows when you’ve had enough (well, at least mine does).

Butter has been around for thousands of years. In different cultures it’s a staple for cooking— and those people don’t have the same cholesterol-related diseases as Americans do. Plus there are a lot of vitamins in butter that you wouldn’t get in margarine. There has not been solid research that link saturated fats like the ones found in butter to high cholesterol. 

I was intrigued to find out that from the 1920s-1960s more people were moving to margarine because it was touted for it’s “health benefits” yet the incidence of heart disease increased. Let’s take into account that during this time there was a shortage in “animal fat” supply (the Great Depression, World War II food rationing). At the same time there were advances in the hydrogenation of plant materials. Margarine soon became the butter replacement. What’s even more peculiar is that margarine in it’s pure form is stark white. Yellow dye had to be added to the mixture in order for people to accept it as a replacement for butter. 

I think by now we’re educated enough to realize that the food manufacturers are quite powerful and can easily sway opinions by hiring “experts” to prove their product is superior. Not to mention the money they feed into the government can affect legislation that would advance their product. 

**Stepping off my soapbox**

I’m sticking to the original now. And yes, I even eat whole eggs. I haven’t felt better in my life (and my cholesterol is much better, too)! Keeping it real is the reason why I’m going back to butter.

Ingredient: Cream (milk).