Butter is better

I just can't get over the fact that I now, on a regular basis, make my own butter. Out of the freshest, richest, yellowest cream, to boot! My butter turns the bright yellow that most dairies have to use dye to obtain, and it's all because the happy cows at Milk Thistle Dairy are getting enough carotenoids in their diet.

I started to add butter back to my diet a few summers ago, when I read Nina Planck's Real Food and decided that it was time for me to seriously consider incorporating real (i.e., good quality) animal products into my diet. No to insipid soy milk from a box; no to olive-oil on everything; yes to whole milk, good bacon and beef broth, chicken thighs with skin on them and butter, oh yes, yes to butter.

Why butter? Because butter is better; at least my grandmother always said so. She grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin during the height of the Great Depression, and even when margarine became more fashionable in the post-war years, she refused to have anything other than butter at her table. When margarine was largely discredited as a "healthy" alternative to butter some years back, my grandmother was smug: butter was better. And now I believe the same thing.


Anonymous said...

Just a question--why is dairy considered more real than soymilk? Dairy--extract the milk from the cow (kinds weird since I'm not a baby cow). Soymilk--take cooked beans and blend and strain--voila, milk. Not too different. I'm not a big soy fan but I make nutmilks and oatmilk. I guess blending and straining is technically processing, but I don't suck the milk from the cow either. And beef broth goes through just as much processing--cook and strain. Seems kind of inconsistent, on the author's part.

I don't like box food either--blargh!

Ai Lu said...

Hi, Barb:

Sorry it took me so long to respond to your comment. I don't think that soy milk is worse than dairy, in principle, but often commercial soy milk contains a lot of sweeteners, fillers, and preservatives -- in which case, whole milk from a reputable dairy seems like a much healthier option. Also, soy milk is not really intended to have such a long shelf life -- in Asia, it was (and still is, in many places) traditionally made fresh every day. In fact, I intend to make some tonight myself, and I have the beans soaking this very minute!

What I was responding to, in my criticism of soy milk, was the belief that soy milk is somehow inherently "better" than regular milk. For people who are lactose intolerant, that may very well be the case, but for those of us whose ancestors drank milk and ate dairy products almost every day, real milk can be an important part of our diets.