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Butter! Yeah...you heard me!


“Because of Acid, I now know that butter is way better than margarine.”

-Mitch Hedberg


Here at Med Heds, it may seem strange to talk about Butter in a "daily digest of great design," but we like to bend the rules a bit. I mean the most important aspect about this blog is writing about great things that we love...and Butter...I adore you.

It seems that almost everyone in America hates you Butter. They say you hate us and you want to kill us. They tell us that loving you Butter, will only lead to a dismal and unsatisfying end.


Well we know that isn't true. How can something be wrong when it feels so right? Our love, although considered taboo by many, is a true love. And true love, as they say, conquers all.

This post is a sort of homage to butter, but it is intended to dispel this myth that butter...a food that has been around for thousands of years...is bad for you. Then we'll get into some interesting buttery facts, and finally some recipes.


In the 1940's we were told that increased fat meant you were likely to get cancer, and so America's decline in butter consumption (along with other fats) began.

In my childhood I clearly remember a giant egg/butter cholesterol hysteria of the 80's and 90's. Companies came up with this idea that they could convince the American public that eating natural and healthy products, like butter and eggs, were bad for you. They pointed out that butter, for example, consisted of mostly saturated fat and was a significant source of cholesterol. Since it is shown that cholesterol is a contributor to heart disease, the big Margarine Lobby rolled out all this crap about how butter was bad for you.

And in our typical American way, we went all insane, struck it from our diets, and started consuming HUGE amounts of hydrogenated oils for about twenty years.


Flash forward to today. Now we learn that butter isn't that bad for you. In fact it is trans fats that raise bad cholesterol...which are what most margarin products and most of the fats we consume in chain restaurants are made from.

What we now know through the discovery of "good" and "bad" cholesterol is that just because something has cholesterol in it...doesn't necessarily make it bad for you.

But I'm not done quite yet.

Did you know that France's annual consumption of butter, per capita is about 19.4 pounds, while here in the "health conscious" United States, we only consume about 4.1 pounds? Not only that, the French also consume almost 29 pounds of cheese to our 11 pounds. And, btw...we consume roughly the same amount of eggs each year as the French.


Now what really is interesting is that France has a population of only about 60,000,000 people compared to our 300,000,000...and yet...their instances of heart attack and stroke each year (per thousand) is about half of ours.

Now I have my theories why this is and I share that in the Med Heds Only blog (become a member to read), but suffice to say, I think we can basically put to rest the idea that butter is bad for you, while a processed spread made from oils in a factory is good for you.

In fact a Medical Research Council survey showed that men who eat butter ran half the risk of getting heart disease as those who ate margarine.

Here are some interesting tidbits about butter from an article by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD (an expert in lipid biochemistry) on why butter is better (read it for more good stuff).


Heart disease was rare in America at the turn of the century. Between 1920 and 1960, the incidence of heart disease rose precipitously to become America's number one killer. During the same period butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four.


Butter contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.


Vitamin A and the anti-oxidants in butter--vitamin E, selenium and cholesterol--protect against cancer as well as heart disease.


The notion that butter causes weight gain is a sad misconception. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the adipose tissue, but are used for quick energy. Fat tissue in humans is composed mainly of longer chain fatty acids. These come from olive oil and polyunsaturated oils as well as from refined carbohydrates.


Alan's Favorite Butter Recipes

Sage & Brown Butter Sauce

Introduced to me by the significant other, this is by far my favorite use for butter. If you aren't familiar with this Italian sauce, you are seriously missing out. No recipe could be simpler, and even the most inexperienced cooks can knock it out of the park with this one.

Before you cook the sage, you might want to start cooking your pasta. One of my favorites is a cheese and spinach ravioli.

To make the sauce you'll need a number of fresh sage leaves. I like to use about 10 or so. Take a stick of salted butter and melt it in a sauté pan over medium heat until it foams. Place the sage leaves in the pan and cook until the butter turns a golden color. BE CAREFUL not to burn the butter. The sage leaves should be nice and crispy, like potato chips.

Plate the pasta and pour the butter over it. Add parmesan and fresh pepper if you like. Put the sage leaves around the top of the pasta.


Alan's Stupendous Carrot Puree

1 Star of Anise

2 Whole Cloves

1 Bay Leaf

1/4 Pound of butter

1/8 teaspoon of Turmeric

1/2 cup of chicken stock

3 cups of peeled carrots

1/2 onion or 1 leek - minced

Dash of salt

First thing you want to do is start boiling your carrots. You want them soft enough to put a fork through them.

While those are boiling, take a sauté pan and heat the butter until it melts. Then add the onions, anise, cloves, and bay leaf. After about 3 minutes add the turmeric and salt...stir.

When the onions are soft, remove from heat. Take out the bay leaf, cloves, and anise. Add the onion and butter sauce to a food processor and puree. When the carrots are done, drain them and add them to the food processor. While the blades are in full swing, slowly start to add the chicken stock. You may not need all of the chicken stock as you should process the mixture until it reaches your preferred consistency.


Alan's Remarkable Mushroom Soup

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