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Why would butter end up yellow in color when the beginning product of milk is white? The cows eat grass and flowers, which contain the yellow pigment beta-carotene, and then store the pigments in their fat. Therefore, the cream, butter and other diary foods from cows contain the fat containing the beta-carotene as well as the yellow pigment. Whole milk is mostly water and has a little more than 3% fat. Cream will usually contain between 30% and 40% fat, but at least 80% of the butter content is saturated fat.
The butter being made from a sheep, goat or water buffalo will be white, because those animals do not store beta-carotene like the cows do. Their milk is actually converted to vitamin A, which contains no color. When the cows are grazing in spring and summer, it will produce yellow butter, but in off seasons the cows aren’t getting the beta-carotene- rich grass and flower diet. They are fed grain, which doesn’t have a lot of beta-carotene.
Cows don’t digest grains that will radically alter their gut bacteria and promote disease. The raw milk from organic, grass fed cows contains better nutrients and poses a lower risk of contamination from growth hormones, antibiotics and pathogens. Some dairies freeze yellow butter so that it can be sold year-round. Some cows never see grass, flowers, pastures or even the light of day when in an industrialized diary centrated animal feeding operation. That butter isn’t naturally yellow any time of the year.
Butter is not the killer it’s always been made out to be, and the medical community is beginning to backpedal on its stance regarding fat. The plasticized pseudo-butter known as margarine is the culprit that will destroy your heart. While people are avoiding butter and trying to cut fats of every kind, they don’t realize they are putting their health at risk.
Studies now say that there was not a connection between saturated fat and heart disease. The Framingham Heart study has shown unequivocally that the minute people started replacing their butter with margarine, the rate of heart disease and an array of interrelated disorders skyrocketed.
The bottom line is that saturated fats lower cardiovascular disease. The saturated fats actually raise the beneficial HDL cholesterol, and changes the LDL from small and dense, which is very bad to large LDL, making it benign. A prominent study examined the effects of butter and margarine on cardiovascular disease and revealed that margarine does increase your heart attack risk, while butter lowers it. So eating full-fat grass-fed butter might lower your heart attack risk by as much as 69%, in part because of its vitamin K content.
Other positives in regard to butter consumption is butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that is created by bacteria in your colon when in contact with dietary fiber. This may be one of the reasons why fiber is so beneficial and makes up to about 4% in the butter.
The less dairy products as butter, milk, yogurt and cheese are messed with, the better they are for you. Pasteurized milk is not better for you than raw. The assumption that pasteurized milk is safer, is proven untrue. The FDA and CDC maintain that raw milk can carry harmful bacteria, but fail to disclose that those bacteria may be most likely to result from the way industrial dairies raise diseased cattle in CAFOs.
Pasteurization actually destroys many valuable nutrients and enzymes in the milk. You can even go further and make your own butter at home. Haven’t you ever noticed that if you whip your cream too long, you will end up with butter and not whipped cream? So get out there and use that tastier, healthier butter in your baking.
–Dr Fredda Branyon