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Old 01-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
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Grass Fed Butter: Worth the Cost?

I've been looking into grass fed butter, and here's what I've found.

I tried a few varieties that I could find at the local health food stores. It tasted a little better, but it was only noticeable if I ate it without anything else. I've heard that the Kalona Super Natural butter tastes much better, but I am going to wait until summer to buy some.

In the winter, the cows don't eat only grass.
Hi Al,

Thank you for reaching out to us! We love hearing from our customers.

As most of our farms are in the Midwest, it is difficult for our cattle to be pasture-fed year round due to winter.

Your best bet for as much pasture-fed butter as possible from us is in the summertime.

Thanks again!
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A Member of the Kalona Organics Team
But here's the main thing that makes me think it isn't worth the much higher cost: One serving of GF butter contains 120 mg of Omega 3, and 219 mg of Omega 6. A 4 oz serving of salmon contains 1,700 mg of Omega 3 and 30 mg of Omega 6. So, it seems that it would be a lot better to just eat more salmon (and/or tuna).
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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In my opinion, yes, but if it comes from cattle that are not 100%grass;fed, then my answer is no.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:02 PM   #3
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I love it - I buy organic valley pasure butter, it's yumalish!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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I think there are benefits you get from grassfed butter that you don't get from salmon. I want to say... vitamin K, but not sure (vit K might be some kind of mythological vitamin, not sure where I got that from). But I do think that grassfed butter has something in it that's good for your teeth (maybe helps you absorb calcium/vita D?) and is hard to get anywhere else and is not in normal butter at all, and not as far as I know in salmon.

Anyway, I love kerrygold (though I do find it hard to incorporate in my diet because I don't eat toast anymore!) and I feel great about putting it on my kids' toast (though I don't feel so good about their toast) and it's not all that expensive at costco. I use it to replace non-grassfed butter, not salmon. Now that I think about it though, maybe on top of salmon would be a good way to get some into my diet.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:51 PM   #5
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Butter from grass fed cows is supposed to have a better ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids, and more vitamin A than butter from grain fed cows.

I use grass fed ghee for most of my cooking. The milk solids have been removed, so it can withstand higher cooking temperatures without burning. The only other fat I use for cooking or baking is virgin coconut oil.

Last edited by lisamt; 01-10-2013 at 09:52 PM.. Reason: edit: typo
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:48 AM   #6
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I love Kerrygold. Not just because of the grassfed part, but also because it's grassfed it does not get as hard in the fridge, and is therefore easier to use. Flavour is superior as well to other butter, apart from butter directly bought from a farm. I use my grassfed butter where I would normally use butter, as we have stopped buying other butter in our household.

Other fats I use are coconut oil (virgin and expeller pressed), olive oil, lard and rice bran oil.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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I love Kerrygold. Not just because of the grassfed part, but also because it's grassfed it does not get as hard in the fridge, and is therefore easier to use. Flavour is superior as well to other butter, apart from butter directly bought from a farm. I use my grassfed butter where I would normally use butter, as we have stopped buying other butter in our household.

Other fats I use are coconut oil (virgin and expeller pressed), olive oil, lard and rice bran oil.
I use Kerrygold... get it at Trader Joes but I was not aware it was from Grassfed only... it does not say that on the label but it is good to know if it is.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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I love, love, love Kerrygold. Best tasting butter I've tried. And at Trader Joe's, it's pretty cheap (comparatively).
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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I can get both Kerrygold and Organic Valley at my local supermarket--and they're well worth the price!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
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I can get both Kerrygold and Organic Valley at my local supermarket--and they're well worth the price--which is about double what the 'regular' butter costs.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:04 AM   #11
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I was skeptical about Kerrygold grassfed butter tasting any different/better, but it really does. It's noticeable.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #12
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I agree - we buy Kerrygold by the cartload it seems at Costco and I can tell a difference in taste.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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I think the taste of grassfed butter is much better, so I'm willing to pay more for it. But I can give myself a pretty generous allowance for groceries; if I were on a tight budget, I'd probably decide differently.

I also feel that it helps me stay on plan, psychologically, if I am treat myself to especially good on-plan food. I work within a lot of food constraints: I don't eat much on JUDDD down days; I don't eat sweets; I eat very clean/primal food; I limit calories, carbs, and protein; so I eat the tastiest, healthiest food that satisfies those limitations, and that means that my butter is grassfed and organic. But YMMV, especially if you are feeding a family and/or are coping with a quite limited income.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #14
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Frankly, I don't see enough difference in taste to buy it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #15
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There are several reasons I try to only use grass fed butter: More Omega 3's, More vitamin K2 (very important in calcium regulation, heart health), more vitamin A, less toxic, no "second hand" grain, tastes great.

We did an informal taste test between Kerry Gold and Trader Joe's Organic, which is made by Organic Valley. Organic Valley, to my surprise, won, perhaps because it's fresher. It's cheaper than Kerry Gold at TJ's.

I was worried because the main company for Organic Valley is in the midwest, and as someone pointed out above, there's no grass to feed in midwinter. But I'm 95% sure the OV I get at our local TJ's comes from California dairies, a few of the suppliers to OV are right here in the county were I live. Note that if you live in the midwest or eastern US, your OV probably does NOT come from California, so it may be grain fed in the winter.

BTW, I eat a LOT of butter and I've been tracking my lipids. They are improving dramatically. So I don't fear the butter at all.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:24 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
There are several reasons I try to only use grass fed butter: More Omega 3's, More vitamin K2 (very important in calcium regulation, heart health), more vitamin A, less toxic, no "second hand" grain, tastes great.

We did an informal taste test between Kerry Gold and Trader Joe's Organic, which is made by Organic Valley. Organic Valley, to my surprise, won, perhaps because it's fresher. It's cheaper than Kerry Gold at TJ's.

I was worried because the main company for Organic Valley is in the midwest, and as someone pointed out above, there's no grass to feed in midwinter. But I'm 95% sure the OV I get at our local TJ's comes from California dairies, a few of the suppliers to OV are right here in the county were I live. Note that if you live in the midwest or eastern US, your OV probably does NOT come from California, so it may be grain fed in the winter.

BTW, I eat a LOT of butter and I've been tracking my lipids. They are improving dramatically. So I don't fear the butter at all.
I didn't know that OV was grass fed. Good to know! I'll have to figure out how the price compares to costco for Kerrygold.

I always feel like the color of the butter is indicative of whether or not it's grassfed. I haven't noticed Kerrygold ever being as light as normal butter, seems to always be yellow, so I would think that means I'm getting all grass fed?
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #17
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Grass fed dairy can be fed hay through the winter months (in northern climates) but the only way to know that is to ask specifically.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:15 PM   #18
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Some Organic Valley is grass-fed, some is not. You have to get the packages that say "pastured". At the store I shop, it's the equivalent of two sticks in a single green foil brick.

I usually get Kerrygold and is a nice bright yellow color - I honestly can't say if the taste makes that big a difference, but I try to buy according to the farming practices I best support - grass fed beef, grass-fed butter, free range chickens, local produce.

Can I always taste the difference - perhaps not. But, my overall cash outlay for groceries each week is probably very comparable since I buy very few processed foods and rely heavily on meat, eggs, cheese. I also only shop once a week and very few impulse purchases.

Quote:
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I didn't know that OV was grass fed. Good to know! I'll have to figure out how the price compares to costco for Kerrygold.

I always feel like the color of the butter is indicative of whether or not it's grassfed. I haven't noticed Kerrygold ever being as light as normal butter, seems to always be yellow, so I would think that means I'm getting all grass fed?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:55 PM   #19
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Some Organic Valley is grass-fed, some is not. You have to get the packages that say "pastured". At the store I shop, it's the equivalent of two sticks in a single green foil brick.

I usually get Kerrygold and is a nice bright yellow color - I honestly can't say if the taste makes that big a difference, but I try to buy according to the farming practices I best support - grass fed beef, grass-fed butter, free range chickens, local produce.

Can I always taste the difference - perhaps not. But, my overall cash outlay for groceries each week is probably very comparable since I buy very few processed foods and rely heavily on meat, eggs, cheese. I also only shop once a week and very few impulse purchases.
This is what I think too. I don't necessarily notice the taste difference but it's the nutritional difference I care about. Because we eat a LOT of butter and mayo, I am willing to put my money into good butter and time into homemade mayo. We buy very few processed anything, seldom eat out, so I feel like it's a wash...may be cheaper in the long run even.

If you don't consume a lot of butter, I don't know that it would be as big of a deal. But if you do, definitely an investment in your health.

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:00 PM   #20
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Forgot to say that I get my pasture fed Organic Valley European style pastuered butter through a food coop. It does have a note occasionally that says "summer pastured" or "winter pastured" but I've never checked to see what the difference is. Same company, same packaging.

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #21
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I use Kerrygold... get it at Trader Joes but I was not aware it was from Grassfed only... it does not say that on the label but it is good to know if it is.

Vicki
I take it back... I just checked and it does say Grassfed on the label..... Good.... all the better!!!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:02 PM   #22
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hm I bet that drought years have a huge difference on the quality of the cow products, as well, for example, hay was costing upwards of $12/square bale, which is huge (we sell square bales of alfalfa mix hay for $3-4/ square bale, can't remember the price per round bale bc we trade that for services, in upstate NY), so I wonder if some of these places are relying more heavily on silage these days since they don't have good pasture for the cows and it's difficult to get hay? I mean, there was a farm I worked for that ran out of hay and they literally could not get more because the delivery guy's truck broke down and no one else had any. I wonder what the FDA requirements are for calling it "grass fed?"
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:01 PM   #23
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Grass fed is seasonal. A cow that is being milked has very high nutritional requirements and pasture (grass) alone can only meet those needs for part of the season. In the winter our dairy cows need alfalfa hay and sometimes grain to stay in weight and keep milking. We are able to select which grain/feed to supplement them with to keep it organic/non-GMO but our Montana dairy cows could never make it on grass hay alone in the winter; there just isn't enough protein in it. You could do pure grass hay to feed in the winter but most dairy cows want a little more protein and fat than straight grass can provide. That's my experience, with two dairy cows in Montana's cold winter. Butter, of course, can keep year round though so if they put up enough butter in the summer they would have enough to supply their customers through the winter. I prefer the grass fed for beef and dairy but as I say, for us, it's seasonal... I hate the taste of any aspect of a corn-fed cow but I don't mind grass/alfalfa and barley fed. It can be difficult/impossible to find non-GMO alfalfa but our supplier has some old fields that were pre-GMO. Clock is ticking on them.

And yes, hay costs were crayzee this past year for everyone. Not easy to keep feeding cows.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:44 AM   #24
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Yes! I think it's absolutely worth the extra cost.

Conventional dairy products tend to come from animals raised in confinement in large facilities called CAFOs or “Confined Animal Feeding Operations.” CAFOs create a host of problems including:
• Animal stress and abuse
• Air, land, and water pollution
• The unnecessary use of hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs
• Low-paid, stressful farm work
• The loss of small family farms
• Food with less nutritional value.

Cattle are ruminants, which means they evolved to eat grasses and other fiber-rich plants--not grain. Grains are no better for them than for us. Cattle fed grain often develop “subacute acidosis,” and to prevent this, the cattle are given constant, low-level antibiotics. When these are overused in livestock feeding, bacteria become resistant to them.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #25
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I didn't know that OV was grass fed. Good to know! I'll have to figure out how the price compares to costco for Kerrygold.
OV from California dairies is grassfed year round, but it may not be if you live in colder climes. I live in California, so I presume the OV I buy here is from California, too.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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Love the Kerrygold! I can definitely tell a difference in taste.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PianoAl View Post
I've been looking into grass fed butter, and here's what I've found.

I tried a few varieties that I could find at the local health food stores. It tasted a little better, but it was only noticeable if I ate it without anything else. I've heard that the Kalona Super Natural butter tastes much better, but I am going to wait until summer to buy some.

In the winter, the cows don't eat only grass.
Hi Al,

Thank you for reaching out to us! We love hearing from our customers.

As most of our farms are in the Midwest, it is difficult for our cattle to be pasture-fed year round due to winter.

Your best bet for as much pasture-fed butter as possible from us is in the summertime.

Thanks again!
Mindy
A Member of the Kalona Organics Team
But here's the main thing that makes me think it isn't worth the much higher cost: One serving of GF butter contains 120 mg of Omega 3, and 219 mg of Omega 6. A 4 oz serving of salmon contains 1,700 mg of Omega 3 and 30 mg of Omega 6. So, it seems that it would be a lot better to just eat more salmon (and/or tuna).
For my family it's just not worth the extra cost. I have to feed a family of five on a $90 a week grocery budget so I shop mostly at Aldi. They're slowly starting to carry some organic items but it's hit or miss. I have switched from margarine to butter though-it's a start I do eat a lot of wild caught salmon though, so it's all good
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:40 AM   #28
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Frankly, I don't see enough difference in taste to buy it.
I don't either, but my daughter does. So we have Kerrygold in the butter dish at room temperature, for things where the butter goes on top and you can taste it. And we have regular Giant or Land O'Lakes butter in the fridge for cooking, when it's going to be more incorporated into the food.

Best of both worlds!
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:56 AM   #29
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Kerrygold tastes so much better to me, they could put a stick in it and call it a butter-cicle.
I use it for cooking eggs and steaks mostly, and a pat on mashed cauliflower
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:27 AM   #30
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Yes! I think it's absolutely worth the extra cost.

Conventional dairy products tend to come from animals raised in confinement in large facilities called CAFOs or “Confined Animal Feeding Operations.” CAFOs create a host of problems including:
• Animal stress and abuse
• Air, land, and water pollution
• The unnecessary use of hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs
• Low-paid, stressful farm work
• The loss of small family farms
• Food with less nutritional value.

Cattle are ruminants, which means they evolved to eat grasses and other fiber-rich plants--not grain. Grains are no better for them than for us. Cattle fed grain often develop “subacute acidosis,” and to prevent this, the cattle are given constant, low-level antibiotics. When these are overused in livestock feeding, bacteria become resistant to them.

Excellent points!

I absolutely love the taste of KerryGold!
To me it is so much better than anything else I have tasted.

I get it at Trader Joe's and I also get it at Costco.
At Costco it is $6.79 for a 4 pack of salted KerryGold.
If I need unsalted I have to get it from Trader Joe's.
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