Every Wise Woman

Real Food, Real Health, Real Birth

Is Your Grass-Fed Butter Really Pastured?

As a butter lover (fiend...pusher), I cannot sing the praises loudly enough of pastured butter.   You know what I'm talking about, fellow fanatics...The golden goodness of the nutrient-rich fat that is born of sunshine, green grasses, and healthy cows.  And we also know how rare real pastured butter is...that free-ranging, grass-fed non-franken milk cows are not a dime a dozen.  I, like many of you, have had a bit of a love affair with Kerrygold butter...second only to New Zealand, I believe, Irish pastures are green nearly year-round (don't quote me on that, though).

How might you respond if you discovered that your pastured butter wasn't?  That the grass-fed milk cows producing your butter were were living in a huge barn, eating delivered grass?  That the pastures weren't receiving the benefit of nature's most natural, nutritious, free fertilizer?  Welcome to the "zero grazing" grass-fed method.  

What defines pastured?  Is a "zero grazing" grass-fed dairy operation producing pastured milk?  Will that milk be sufficiently rich in vitamin D (are barn skylights enough)?  Is this a nourishing and sustainable option?

I'm not making any accusations, any statements about any brands of butter.  I have no knowledge of which companies are purchasing whose milk.  But the following video makes me wary of the grass-fed dairy products I might be purchasing.  I don't think the grass is the only important component in Real Milk products.  I suppose this is another reason that being far from our food production means lack of accountability and real consumer-driven quality control.

Observe the feeding method of this Irish dairy.  Sure, it's clean enough ... the cows aren't knee-deep in feces like typical feedlots or commercial dairy operations.  But is this really pastured dairy?  (And note the breed...the highly manipulated Holstein, bred for unnaturally massive milk production rates, and carriers of the troublesome mutated A1 protein.)

Contrast with this video of my friend's property, where they raise a few Guernseys (an "old world" heritage breed that naturally produces A2 milk, more easily digestible and less problematic for humans).  Are the differences between the "zero grazing" grass-fed model and the genuine pastured model significant?  You decide.

EWWHerbals                                                                              "Every wise woman builds her house..."  Proverbs 14:1

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