Americans Eating More Butter Than They Have in the Past 40 Years


There was a funny tumblr post I read recently that goes a little something like this:

“My doctor just told me to eat more Taco Bell. Well, actually he said ‘less McDonald’s,’ but I’m pretty sure I know what he meant.”

Healthy-eating loopholes make the world go-round, and according to the Los Angeles Times, it seems our fuddy-duddy little American heads have managed to logic out a “healthy” reason to eat more butter than we have in the past 40 years. Namely, because butter, unlike margarine, is “all natural.”

“Consumers are changing their perception of food and looking for healthier alternatives,” the executive director of the American Butter Institute Anuja Miner told the LAT, which reports that per-capita butter consumption rose to 5.6 pounds in 2012, up from 4.1 pounds in 1997.

Americans have come to understand that products like margarine tend to be higher in trans fats, which are known to raise bad cholesterol — as opposed to the saturated fats found in butter, which are said to be heart-healthy and raise good cholesterol. Thus, the national increase in creamy butter lovin’.

Check back in 40 years when someone inevitably runs the inverse of the story, because that’s just how the world works.



FDA Trans Fat Ban Spells Death to Margarine & Your Favorite Processed Foods


The FDA dropped heavy news Thursday, announcing their move to eliminate artificial trans fats from processed food. This could mean a major change to many standard foods, from frozen pizzas to those gas station coffee creamers you hoard.

Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the FDA’s commissioner, said the ban could prevent 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks from heart disease a year. Although many brands removed trans fats from their products, such as McDonald’s and Top Ramen, when the agency first required manufacturers to provide clear labeling seven years ago, it’s still present in many quick-and-cheap foods.

The proposal is now up for 60 days of public comment, after which the FDA will declare partially hydrogenated oils — the root of trans fats — as no longer “generally recognized as safe.” If the proposal is able to eliminate trans fats altogether, even trace amounts will be banned. At the moment, products containing less than .5 grams of the oils are not required to be listed.

While companies have the chance to prove scientifically that trans fats are safe for consumption, given the overwhelming amount of evidence showing the contrary, that would be a difficult feat to accomplish. As NYT points out, the Institute of Medicine concluded that there is “no safe level for consumption of artificial trans fats.”

H/T NY Times