Butter Consumption Jumps to 40-year High Thanks to Trans-fat Backlash

Considered a health hazard that was “bad for you,” butter has been subject to a lot of criticism over the years with many turning their backs on it in search of "healthier" alternatives such as margarine. 

But, according to the latest statistics, it seems butter has made a big comeback in the lives of American consumers, with consumption in the United States at a 40-year high in 2012, the LA Times reported.

Americans now eat 5.6 pounds of butter per capita up from 4.1 pounds in 1997 representing a 25 percent growth.

So what is responsible for the increase? Health experts say the shift toward natural ingredients and the backlash against trans-fats has pushed butter back into the limelight.

Indeed, David Riemersma, president of the American Butter Institute and head of Butterball Farms says butter makes everything taste better.

"Consumers want real, natural wholesome products. They want to understand all the things on an ingredient list. Butter fits perfectly. It's either just cream or cream and salt,” he said.

Moreover, the popularity of butter comes amidst more of an understanding about health hazards of processed counterparts like margarine which is no longer viewed as a healthier alternative,

Trans-fats have come under the microscope in recent times after research showed that consumption impaired levels of HDL “good cholesterol.”

In fact, the FDA proposed rules in November to effectively ban all artery-clogging processed fats.

But before you start bringing on the butter, it’s important to remember that butter is not a health food and is high in saturated fats.  The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to less than 7 percent of a daily calorie intake, LA Times reported.

Read more

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.