Butter is Back

Julia Child, goddess of fat, is beaming somewhere. Butter is back, and when you’re looking for a few chunks of pork for a stew, you can resume searching for the best pieces — the ones with the most fat. Eventually, your friends will stop glaring at you as if you’re trying to kill them.

That the worm is turning became increasingly evident a couple of weeks ago, when a meta-analysis published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. (In fact, there’s some evidence that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.) The researchers looked at 72 different studies and, as usual, said more work — including more clinical studies — is needed. For sure. But the days of skinless chicken breasts and tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! may finally be drawing to a close.

Read the rest of this column here.

Posted in Uncategorized


  1. Lewis Portnoy said...

    I’ll bet schmaltz is better than butter.

  2. M Altheim said...

    Mark, one of the things I’ve learned about milk and bread in the last year (largely from a conversation sitting next to an extremely well-read and scientifically-minded New Zealand farmer on an airplane) is that both products aren’t the same as they used to be, and the changes are what may be causing such reactions such as lactose and gluten intolerance. I.e., the milk we drink has a great deal more lactose in it than it did 50 years ago, and that the wheat hybrids used to make our bread have a great deal more gluten than older wheat varieties.

    Drinking raw, unpasteurised milk from older breeds of cows and perhaps locating older varieties of wheat may be an answer. I don’t know, but eating closer to how we did 100 years ago is an interesting notion, and similar to your comments about pre-industrial foods in “Butter Is Back”. I frankly can’t see the downside, except that corporate profits might fall if we ate more locally-produced, low-tech foods.

  3. Maddy B. Gray said...

    Thank you for this excellent column.
    I have another theory on why we’ve become so hooked on processed foods. They offer reliability and predictability. You know what it will taste like and how your body will feel after you eat it. The power of habit, consciously and subconsciously, is satisfied. Not only does cooking your own food take more effort, it’s less predictable.
    Scary stuff!
    So, I feel more alive when I steer clear of processed food. In more ways than one.

  4. Robin Khan, DDS said...

    The tide is turning away from low fat, to a higher fat content in our diets. As long as it is good fat and not bad fat. Look for more information as research is shared. Not only is butter back but so is coconut oil, avocados and mixed nuts!

  5. Paula said...

    Glad to know butter is back, since I never stopped using it! I have a question for Mark and everyone: Does VB6 work as well to improve cholesterol, blood pressure, weight loss, etc if the V is for vegetarian, not vegan? I like to have feta cheese on a greek salad and occasionally cheese, and of course, butter instead of coconut oil. Does anyone have any experience with this? Today is my first day on VB6!!!

  6. Alisa Wetzel said...

    As a person who has created a website just about butter, I love this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>