Canada’s Buttergate: Invasion by a Trojan Cow

I used to wonder why my Irish butter was soft enough to spread almost right after taking it out of the fridge, whereas cheap stick butter is hard as a rock.

The explanation is that in some countries, like the U.S. and Canada, where there is now an uproar quaintly named BUTTERGATE, cows are fed palm oil which is then excreted in their milk, changing its physical properties.

Of course, this is also changing the healthfulness of butter. Palm oil causes heart disease, and when margarines had to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, from their ingredient list, the sneaky makers of non-butter spreads put some palm oil in their products instead.

And now we have it in domestic butter. People think they are buying relatively healthy butter (which raises levels of the good HDL) but it is contaminated: palm oil masquerading as cows milk.

Beef is sometimes labeled as grass fed. And my Irish butter is, too. I’m embarrassed to confess that I never really thought cows were fed fat when they’re so good at excreting it themselves. But palm oil laced feed makes them produce more fat — just not the kind we’ve come to expect.

Another example of how the food industry keeps deceiving us.

Canadian CBC writes, in a piece titled ‘Buttergate’ goes viral, putting palm oil fat supplements in spotlight:

“There are health concerns, there are environmental concerns, all kinds of concerns around the use of palm products, which mostly come from Indonesia and Malaysia,” Van Rosendaal said. “And it’s something that typically you can look for on the label — if you want to avoid palm fats, you can look on the ingredient list. But since it’s in the feed itself, it’s harder to decipher whether it’s part of the process.”

2 Responses to “Canada’s Buttergate: Invasion by a Trojan Cow”

  1. 1 Susan Neely March 8, 2021 at 5:59 am

    I hadn’t really thought about this either….of course, I don’t eat much butter. I am on my way to get beef fat for suet this morning, too….so…am I poisoning birds???

  2. 2 ejmhome2 March 8, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Wow, how would one ever know? It is getting harder to maintain a healthy diet. Good article!

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