Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why Butter Is So Much Better (Than You May Have Thought)

I love butter. I put it on my toast and in almost all of my baked goods. The realization that butter was far superior to margarine or any other spread, came while I was living in Paris. I remember seeing the signs for "Croissant au Beurre" versus "Croissant Ordinaire" ..Why would anyone choose the latter? I knew I didn't want the ordinary one, only the light flaky buttery one.

Yet I grew up living under the misconception that butter was unhealthy and we mostly ate margarine both for health reasons and because it is pareve and could be served with dairy or meat (important to the kosher household). I remember enjoying margarine but now my mouth curls down in disgust at the thought of it.

When it turned out that margarine, the poor butter substitute, contained trans-fats and was clearly unhealthy; I couldn't help but smile smugly to myself for having had the good sense to make the switch, long before the media revelation.

In her book, Real Food, Nina Planck enlightened me to the health benefits of butter. Specifically butter that comes from grass-fed cows. What she writes is fascinating, "Compared to industrial milk, dairy foods from grass-fed cows contain more omega-3 fats, more vitamin A, and more beta-carotene and other antioxidants." She recommends milk from Organic Valley and Natural by Nature. She offers even more compelling reasons to eat butter here. Read her article and you will feel confident that butter is a healthy food.

Naturally, Izzy has been raised on butter and he is a devotee. I am forever removing half-sticks of butter from his clutches as he is likely to sneak off with any butter left out in sight. What kind of butter does he eat? You may wonder. That is the next question. For not all butter is created equal.

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