Why I Stopped Buying Kerrygold Butter


kerrygold1

I suppose that cliché must always be true, and all good things must come to an end. Sadly, there have been some changes to Kerrygold and their products which means I will be adjusting my grocery list.

Kerrygold butter has been a staple around our house for quite some time. It is known in the corn allergy circles as being safe, and it is known in the real food community as being nutrient dense. Imported from Ireland, this popular butter is well known for being grass fed and all-natural. The grass fed part is particularly important. According to the studies of Dr. Price, cows that are grass fed have higher levels of  vitamin K2 in their milk, along with several other super important nutrients.

So what’s the issue, then? Kerrygold has updated and changed some of the information on their website. If you are budgeting for Kerrygold (like me) in order to avoid food allergies, or to obtain the highest quality real food product, then you may want to pay attention to the changes.

Here’s the scoop:

Are you ready?

It’s not 100% grass fed. It is almost 90% grass fed, and supplemented with feed that includes soy and corn.

Yeah. It’s true. Why is this a deal breaker for me? Well, we just don’t eat soy. Soy shows up in the meats that we eat and becomes a hormone and allergy issue in our body. We also have a severe corn allergy in the home, so we are not too fond of even residual corn. And quite frankly I am not going to use up the food budget for Kerrygold if I can get the equivalent cheaper somewhere else.

I know. I hear you. 90% grass fed is pretty darn good, and buying this butter on the shelf is also pretty convenient. It has some great nutritional value thanks to that almost 90% of Irish grass, and I might be inclined to shrug off some supplemental organic grain. But I won’t be breaking the bank or running around town to buy a butter that comes from a cow fed soy and corn.

It’s actually only 97% GM free.

So that soy and corn feed can be from a genetically modified source. And not to argue with the actual website, but it appears that the 3% GM feed statistic is a guesstimate at best. It’s most likely more than that.

Perhaps, like me, you thought Ireland and the European Union were still standing strong in the battle against Monsanto. Unfortunately things are changing. Spain has been growing the famous Bt Corn for quite some time. The erosion of Ireland has been going on since 2011. GMO has certainly become an issue in Europe.

The argument against GMOs is beyond this little article on butter. But regardless of your stance on GMOs, there is no secret that feeding an animal genetically modified food will provide a less than stellar result. In fact the result could be down right scary. And that is where I draw the line with my valuable food budget and family health.

MAN! Are you as bummed as I am?

O.K. so there is a silver lining to this. First, my extremely corn and soy sensitive daughter has been eating Kerrygold without visible issue. Alright that is a pretty selfish number one. :) But it means some major healing around here, which ranks a number one for me! Second, other butter alternatives can be cheaper! And who doesn’t like that when working to fund a real food diet? And third, it is one more reason to support a local or domestic farmer which is truly better for everyone.

grasscows

That left me with the question: what do I buy now?

Here are some options. The best solution for you is going to depend on personal preference, availability, budget, and location.

1. Source local butter. Use your local WAPF group, Local Harvest, Eat Wild, or farmer’s market to source some high quality, local butter.  This is a great way to know exactly what the cows are fed and how they are treated. You may have a hard time finding butter year round and need to buy in bulk during the spring. Or compromise and buy butter from cows that have been supplemented. If they are primarily grass fed and you can confirm the feed is non-GMO, you get to support a local farm and still do better than Kerrygold.

2. Use on the shelf U.S. organic butter, or purchase from a U.S. farm. This might involve ordering online or having it shipped if you can’t find it locally on the shelf. Options for this include Organic Valley pasture butter, Kalona SuperNatural, Natural By Nature, or Miller Organics. Tropical Traditions and Azure Standard are also great resources to check for quality butter.

3. Go with some Anchor Butter imported from New Zealand. This company claims that their cows are grass fed 365 days out of the year, with no supplemental feed of any kind. 100% grass fed. But not certified organic, and can be hard to find.

4. Cook with grass fed ghee, and supplement your diet with High Vitamin Butter Oil. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, even though ghee is heated it does not lose it’s vitamins, such as the valuable K2. It does lose the Wulzen factor so you might choose to add in a High Vitamin Butter Oil, like those at Green Pasture. As for ghee, I have personally chatted with the owner of Pure Indian Foods. While his ghee is sourced from individual farms, he makes sure that they are all completely grass fed and certified organic. This is some pretty yummy stuff, too.

5. And of course you could always source cream and just make your own butter!

I was initially pretty disappointed in my new information, but it seems that losing Kerrygold won’t be the end of the world. In fact, I look forward to supporting some amazing companies who are standing firm in producing a quality product. And I think I may be saving some money, too!

Hope is contagious. Pass it on!

~ Nichole

What are your thoughts on Kerrygold? Don’t forget to share them below!

Want to read it for yourself? In case you missed the links above, here is the source: Kerrygold USA FAQs (and more on GMO here)

Update:

I finally received an email back from Organic Valley regarding their Pasture Butter. Here it is –

Dear Nichole,

Thank you for contacting Organic Valley.

The supplemental grains that our dairy cows may receive  include corn, barley, soybeans, oats, field peas and flax. These grains are certified organic and GMO-free.

The salt used for Organic Valley products is pure mined salt, produced in the USA.  It is high purity, food grade granulated sodium chloride.  The salt is processed to remove impurities (such as heavy metals) and crystallized with no additives.  Therefore, the salt used does not contain iodine or flowing agents (like aluminum).

I hope this answers your questions. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
Organic Valley / Organic Prairie
Consumer Relations Associate

 

photo credit: Maciej Lewandowski


124 Comments
  1. I’m so disappointed! We like Kerrygold butter a lot more than the Kalona plus I can get it a bit cheaper. :( None of us react to it either which is great considering my corn allergy. Some butters have citric acid added which is a corn ingredient. Even organic ones. I’m trying to remember now which one that we tried did. I’ve got most of a case of kerrygold in my freezer but when it is gone I’ll have some hard decisions to make (and that won’t take very long).
    Patty recently posted…Real Food Book Bundle ~ GAPS Friendly And a Give Away Worth Over $325!My Profile

    • I’m with you Patty. Disappointing…but yet great that some with corn sensitivity have not shown an issue with it. I’m thinking the amount of feed will only get higher so I am making my switch now. The GMO is where I draw the line.
      Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…A Second Look At Aluminum FoilMy Profile

  2. Hmm. That’s disappointing. We used to buy Smor from Iceland, but I had to switch to OV so that I could afford more fresh produce. Three kids and summer fruit in the desert is killing me.
    Cage Free Family recently posted…Oh Sweet Water!My Profile

    • I had not heard of Smor. I will add that to my list. I can only imagine the difficulty of finding fresh summer fruit in the desert!
      Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…A Second Look At Aluminum FoilMy Profile

      • Smorg butter is definitely WAP friendly, I think I saw it in the buyers guide too. :) Grassfed goodness. We love it.
        Jennifer recently posted…Wildcrafting with KidsMy Profile

        • Awesome. I am going to check it out in my buyers guide! I had a friend just find us some bulk Anchor Butter locally yesterday and it’s cheaper than TJ’s Kerrygold. Score! :)
          Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…S’More Worthy Graham Crackers – Grain Free, GAPS Legal, Allergy FriendlyMy Profile

        • I hate to say it, but it’s highly unlikely that butter from Iceland is 100% grassfed. Think about it. It’s a very cold country. Cows are unable to graze for half the year due to snow cover. Do you think they are really being fed just grass hay during the winter? Grass is not rich enough to get cows through cold winters. Ask any dairy farmer from a place with snowy winters. They are almost certainly fed silage that includes grains and legumes.

          • Katie,

            I live in CT which is pretty cold in winter and our grassfed beef is 100% grassfed. I know there are farms in WI that operate the same way. It *is* possible to get cows through a cold and snowy winter on just hay.

          • I think you should visit Iceland or read more carefully about the country before you make a broad generalization about it. Hay farming is one of the biggest local crops next to potatoes, beets, and carrots. It’s one of the only countries in the world that have actual cold glacier water free flowing from their taps, and all hot water is 100% geothermal and is actually cooled down to be a sustainable hot water source there. I would bet all the money in the world it is 100% grassfed.

          • Google “Iceland Silage” and you’ll see images of huge white plastic wrapped hay bales. They are everywhere in Iceland.

    • Where can you buy Smor? Can’t find it.

  3. Hmmm…. despite the disappointing information, I’ll likely continue to budget for and buy Kerrygold. I agree that organic is better than conventional, but when it comes to butter, I believe grass-fed is better than organic. There are huge benefits to grass-fed butter than I’m not willing to concede and spending $12/lb on the Anchor brand from New Zealand is just not in the cards. I did a side-by-side comparison of Kerrygold and organic butter and Kerrygold was SO much more yellow, showing the higher concentration of essential nutrients. I’ll never go back to conventional after seeing that, and it’s even difficult to want to use organic.

    I haven’t been able to successfully source local butter or cream either, and we’ve eliminated nearly every possible other source of GM corn & soy from our kitchens so at this point, even if the estimate is low at 3% GM, Kerrygold is still the best bang for my buck.

    Thanks for sharing the information Nichole!
    Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs recently posted…{Yummy} Recipe: Insalata Caprese (Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil) – Four WaysMy Profile

    • I think more and more folks are moving to the fresh, local, know your source food. One of the main reasons we started raising our own cattle & sheep. Thinking we may need to start milking one of the cows though.
      For the city dwellers who say they can’t do it, join in with some friends, buy a little land, and share responsibilities. You can do it! :)

      • LOL, oh how I wish we could buy land! That is much easier said than done. We live in coastal CA and the cost of land is astronomically expensive. We’re surrounded by farms for sure, but they’re operated by farmers producing for the mass industry. Believe me, I’m hitting the beat at markets, talking to people to get more inside information. I recently found a source for affordable raw milk ($7/half gal) and just that took several months to discover.

        Until I have my own cow and can make my own, Kerrygold still wins.
        Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs recently posted…{Yummy} Recipe: Crispy AlmondsMy Profile

    • Anchor butter, in the UK, in no longer from from New Zealand. It is made from English Cows, as the EU do not allow them to imports butter any more

  4. I went to the Kerrygold site you linked. In response to the question:

    Your ‘final’ dairy products may be GM free but can you confirm that the grain/supplements fed to your cows are GM free?

    The last sentence in the response is: We can confirm that Kerrygold butter and cheese do not contain GM ingredients.

    I hope this is true! We love Kerrygold here. I buy it at Costco.

    • You have to be careful with the wording here. The Butter, of course, doesn’t contain GM ingredietns, it contains only ‘cream’ (or cream and salt) as ingredients. It’s the source of the INGREDIENTS at question here. Butter doesn’t contain soy or corn as ingredients, but the cows that produced the cream are consuming corn and soy.

      • Hi Sarah! You are correct the direct ingredients are not GMO.You may be interested in knowing that what animals are fed actually shows up in their meat, in their milk, etc. That’s why for us we don’t do GM in any form, even animals fed it. You can read about it in the article I wrote linked below.
        Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…A Hidden Cause for Meat AllergiesMy Profile

    • Oh, I see Cheryl already made this point:

      From the same website:
      “Your ‘final’ dairy products may be GM free but can you confirm that the grain/supplements fed to your cows are GM free?
      “The Irish Dairy Board and Kerrygold work closely with farmers to ensure the highest standards for our ingredients. GM is a relatively new issue in an Irish context. We are taking an active role in exploring the potential and challenges around using GM free grain in the Irish dairy industry. Supplementary feeds are important for the health of the animals. Some of these will contain soy and corn. At present, the Irish Dairy Board cannot guarantee that grain supplements used by farmers will all be GM free.”

  5. Dairy cows eat 40-50 pounds of dry matter a day….so 3% could be Non-GMO corn….even if they ate 10% of that as their daily diet, it’s 4-5# a day….a lot of fuss to me over not much….

    • I’ve seen anywhere from 50-100 pounds per day of feed. And these guys are saying that 90% of the feed is grass, so that’s 90 pounds of grass, 10 pounds of grain per day (on the upper end. So out of that ten pounds of daily grain, 3% is GMO, so that is ONE THIRD of a pound of GMO grain per day. One third times 365 is 109.5. One hundred nine and a half pound of GMO grain per year. LAAA TEE DAH! I don’t see the big deal either. Somebody correct me if my math is wrong. I’m not a mathematician, but I sure don’t see the problem here. Irish butter is the best.

      • OK, this may be TMI, however, as a nursing mother, if there was ANY milk in anything I ate, my son would start screaming after nursing. If the 6th ingredient listed on the cookie bag, in just one cookie, was non-fat milk powder, BAM! So what the cow eats does come thru in high enough concentrations, no matter how much the cow weighs or what percentage of the total diet the “GMO is.

  6. Thanks for the heads up! I’ve been buying pasture butter from Azure Standard (it’s a LOT cheaper than Kerrygolg), but had been thinking about switching because everyone talked so highly of it. I will stick to what I’m doing :)

    I have noticed that the recent block of Kerrygold I bought wasn’t nearly as yellow as the pasture butter I bought from Azure. I found it interesting.

    • Amanda,
      Is there a specific brand on the Azure website that you are buying? I just saw all the bigger name brands on their website, except Rumiano, which there isn’t a ton of info about except that it says”pasture butter” in the description. Is this the one you are using? Do you have anymore info on it?

    • I’d also like to know what kind of butter you’re buying from Azure. I order from there and would love to find a cheaper pastured butter!

    • Color has to do with season. Grass/hay based dairy will always be white in winter.

      • I’m surprised to read this. I’m thinking that the yellow color is due to the carotinoids (of which beta-carotene is one). I’m surprised that hay would not have the same effect on the butter as grass in terms of giving it color because if hay has been cured properly it’s still quite green.

    • Azure’s good butter is from Lifeline Dairy in Montana–local for me. Lifeline is very into putting out top quality meat and dairy products…and, even though they sell vat pasteurized milk, they are staunch supporters of legalizing raw milk here. And their butter is second to none. I can go to the creamery when I get down that way and get butter ends and pieces for $4/pound!

  7. The majority of our cows’ supplementary feed is locally grown crops such as wheat and barley, not corn and soy????? See your link: http://kerrygoldusa.com/faq/#qa2

    • Hi Robin. That’s right. The information says that at this time the majority is wheat and barley. Here is the link to the GM section of their faqs for more info: http://kerrygoldusa.com/faq/#qa39
      Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…A Second Look At Aluminum FoilMy Profile

    • From the same website:

      “Your ‘final’ dairy products may be GM free but can you confirm that the grain/supplements fed to your cows are GM free?

      “The Irish Dairy Board and Kerrygold work closely with farmers to ensure the highest standards for our ingredients. GM is a relatively new issue in an Irish context. We are taking an active role in exploring the potential and challenges around using GM free grain in the Irish dairy industry. Supplementary feeds are important for the health of the animals. Some of these will contain soy and corn. At present, the Irish Dairy Board cannot guarantee that grain supplements used by farmers will all be GM free.”

  8. BUMMER :( We recently started buying Ruminao (spelling?) from Azure Standard. The package says its from grassfed cows in California. Its just as yellow if not more yellow than kerrygold. Best Part is that it is about $3.50 for a whole pound!

  9. Well, from your update now I don’t know if I want to be buying Organic Valley, either! I want 100% grassfed butter. Isn’t that perhaps false advertising to call it ‘Pasture Butter’?! If it’s not ALL pasture??
    Christina recently posted…Toddler HikeMy Profile

    • I asked both companies. It seems Organic Valley feeds more grain, less grass than Kerrygold, so I’d go with Kerrygold over OV.

  10. I stopped buying Kerrygold in the UK some time ago because they had changed it. I don’t quite know what they did to it but they made it softer and advertised it as ‘spreadable’. The new softer, spreadable Kerrygold doesn’t taste as good IMO and I am suspicious about what they did to it to make it softer. Now I buy a locally sourced organic butter.

    • I actually wrote to Kerrygold and complained when they went to this “spreadable” tub butter — horrible off’ taste! They answered that it was still entirely unadulterated — but I found it tasted disgusting!

      I begged my local grocery to quit with the horrid tubs and go back to carrying Kerrygold stick butter, which they finally did!

  11. Complete bummer! I made a switch to Organic Valley Cultured Butter and it’s delicious but much firmer than Kerrygold… Maybe they will turn back?
    Lauren recently posted…Butter Roasted Whole ChickenMy Profile

  12. Why do you need added fat? I eat paleo but lots of paleo carbs. My fat is from grassfed beef, lots of whole fish and eggs. You don’t need to add fat to your food.

    • I can’t begin to understand why you think you don’t need to add fat to your food. It’s critical to have plenty of healthful natural fat in the diet, fat from whole, healthy sources. High protein without sufficient fat in the diet will deplete vitamin A. There’s a fatal disease known as “rabbit starvation” if I remember correctly that results if too much lean protein is consumed. Natural animal fats are sources of the most critical vitamins, A, D3, K2. Not everyone likes or tolerates butter, but saturated fats are definitely needed and can also be supplied with coconut oil, in addition to the fats naturally in meats, eggs, etc. Carbohydrates also have their place, as of course does protein, but that’s something that can easily be overdone. Fats? No, not really, as long as you get sufficient protein and a bit of carbs (individual carb needs will vary).

  13. I think we all have to do the best we can do in this imperfect world. Not everything works for everybody and some substances are not completely avoidable! And a lot of us are on a budget out of necessity.

    But if you aren’t concerned about shipping costs, Windy Acres Farm out of Prineville, OR has RAW, GRASSFED milk and butter. It is to live for (as opposed to “to die for”)! I used their products for almost seven years with total satisfaction and I personally know the dairy owner, Billie, whose heart of gold is the same color as her butter (she is 110% careful and conscientious too, in handling her products, as they and her cows are under her daily direct supervision. The big dairies can’t lay claim to such sterling qualifications, including the organic ones.)

    You can find her by googling the farm name. She ships butter and cream. I have moved out of her delivery area, alas, and had to cancel my herdshare membership. But I still dream about her wonderful products!

    FYI…she uses just enough grain to get her cows to look forward to being in the parlor. You will need to ask her what’s in her feed if that concerns you.

  14. Darn, I love the taste of butter. Fortunately, I have an abundance of another fat, lard, from a pig we slaughtered. I am on the fence about Kerrygold now. I can sometimes obtain butter from the Amish, mostly pasture, but supplemented at milking time. No GMO free guarantee there, though.

  15. I am looking at their FAQ page and I don’t see this information. Can you point me in the right direction?

    This is what I found:

    “Like so much of what we do, our feeding pattern follows the cycle of nature. During the winter, when grasses stop growing, Irish cows are fed dried grass (known as silage). This grass is grown throughout the year, cut fresh and stored to be used when the winter comes. Cows in Ireland calve in the spring and are therefore outdoors, grazing on green grass when they are producing milk. After calving, cows are provided with supplementary feed to help restore protein and nurture them through this period.

    The majority of our cows’ supplementary feed is locally grown crops such as wheat and barley. As a small island, Ireland does not have enough land available to grow certain crops locally; therefore a number of crops are imported. These imported crops comply fully with strict European and Irish legislative requirements on labeling and traceability.”

  16. Just an FYI for those who might be interested. Both of the Walmarts near me carry Anchor butter. It costs $3 for half a pound. I try to avoid shopping at Walmart, but sometimes I need butter and can’t get to the health food store, and I usually can’t afford to buy butter online. I actually prefer the taste of Anchor over Kerrygold.

  17. I am sure that someone will find something wrong with this brand too, but when we lived in northern California – which we did until May – I would buy Humboldt Creamery’s butter at Sprouts whenever it was on sale and stock up. I realize that they are owned by Foster Farms since 2009, but the butter was so yellow and delicious – organic and pasture fed. We now live in east Texas and the closest Sprouts market is about 90 miles away. I’ve checked during our last couple of visits and haven’t seen Humboldt there, so it might only be offered regionally. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.humboldtcreamery.com/sustainability_1.html

  18. Ireland banned the cultivation of GMO crops back in 2009… it would be surprising that farmers would even have much access, if any, to GMO grains for their animals in Ireland.

  19. Thanks for researching this. I had a feeling that this was too good to be true. I kept telling my son that it seems that they do the right things (I don’t say anything with absolute certainty unless I know the facts personally).

    Unfortunately, local is probably not going to be cheaper, unless your local milk is cheaper. It takes a quart of cream to make about a pound of butter. It takes about 2 gallons of milk to make a quart of cream (give or take on the season). I pay 7.50 for a gallon of milk, 13.25 for a quart of cream and 14 for a pound of butter. KerryGold was the savings for me. Guess I’ll be going to ghee, coconut oil and the occassional homemade butter. Bummer!

  20. Thank you so much for this information. I have shared it with the Nourishing Our Children and Nourishing Ourselves communities!
    Sandrine Love recently posted…Pregnant, at last.My Profile

  21. I just posted a comment on the Kerrygold Web site. I figure if enough of their customers complain then they might reconsider. Here is the link if you’re interested:
    http://kerrygoldusa.com/contact-us/

  22. FYI: I found the anchor butter at Walmart.

  23. 1) The cows are on pasture 312/365 days. That’s a LONG TIME for grass-fed cows, and longer than they do it in Iceland (smjor), Switzerland and Holland and other traditional dairying cultures. Further, those 2 months they’re not on pasture would be winter, a time when it’s traditional and normal to keep them inside. Also, it’s likely the cows are pregnant and not lactating at that time, so you wouldn’t really be getting the milk from when they’re inside anyway.

    2) It’s pretty typical to feed dairying animals a small supplement of feed (my local dairy is 100% grass-fed, but that’s rare). Most grass-fed dairying animals get supplemental feed either in winter or at milking. Kerrygold feeds silage/hay in winter and a small supplementary feed of MOSTLY barley/wheat at milking. Again, totally normal and totally traditional.

    3) It is also REALLY difficult, if not impossible, in some areas to find supplementary feed that is 100% GMO-free. And, again, the majority of the limited supplementary feed the cows get *locally grown* wheat and barley.

    When you abandon companies like Kerrygold who are promoting and providing what we stand for, but aren’t 100% perfect, you fail to support the very people we need to make the movement viable.

    In the end, there’s no GMO ingredients in the butter or cheese. The cows are on pasture except in winter (when they wouldn’t be giving milk anyway), and it’s an ACCESSIBLE food for many people since you can find it in most grocery stores.
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    • Thank you for your comment, Jenny. You are right; it is pretty normal to supplement feed a dairy cow. Yet there is nothing normal or traditional about feeding a cow soy or GM feed. I appreciate Kerrygold’s transparency with this and attempt to maintain a quality product. But that is not a reason to not share information with those who are extremely sensitive or chronically ill, many *because* of soy, corn, and GM feed. This could be the reason some think they or their children are not able to tolerate butter. I don’t believe their choice to avoid a product so that their child will not land in the ER is abandonment.
      Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…Why I Stopped Buying Kerrygold ButterMy Profile

    • I agree! Holding good companies to impossibly high standards is kind of self-defeating. I will continue to buy Kerrygold as it’s by far the best option that I know of in my area, but I will also now look for Humboldt Creamery (the next county over, so I’m sure it must be somewhere around here), Rumiano and Anchor. Thanks for the information.

  24. I just emailed KG thru their website also and left them the URL of this blog. I hope they will read all the comments and realize they need to get back on the straight and narrow.

  25. While I can understand why it would be a big deal to some, (particularly those with allergies to corn or soy), I don’t personally feel that 10% feed is worth worrying over. Here in Montana, we have summer for about three months. I buy milk from grass-fed cows, but it’s obvious that they aren’t actually eating grass all year round – that would be impossible! I personally don’t worry about the feed they’re being supplemented with because if they weren’t being supplemented, they would starve before winter even hit. We all have to make the best decisions we can with what we can afford, so thank you for providing this information. However, 90% grassfed is pretty darn great if you ask me, and far better than anything any of us in the north are going to get locally. So for those that want or need to avoid Kerrygold, go for it, but for many of us without soy or corn allergies, I doubt there is anything to stress over. If you look hard enough, you can find a reason to avoid pretty much everything, and the truth is we don’t need that kind of stress in our lives. Plus, companies like Kerrygold need our support :)

    • If the cows were being supplemented with non GM feed I would agree with you that it is not so much to worry about but it is actually GM feed that is being used. No-one knows what possible harmful effects there can be from consuming products from animals fed GM feed.

      I’m afraid that what has happened with Kerrygold is part of a bigger picture of what is happening in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

      For a long time in the UK and Europe food manufacturers were not using GM feed for their animals because there was so much opposition to it. Things have changed recently, most likely due to pressure by Monsanto on European Governments and farmers and we are now seeing animals being fed GM feeds more and more. All our supermarkets here in the UK are now selling meat from GM corn and soy fed animals. I knew it would come and I feel very angry and upset about it. I have seen the huge battles going on in the US between the people and Monsanto but here in the UK we are unprepared for what is to come. Our corrupt Prime Minister David Cameron is doing his best to urge and encourage Europe to embrace GM technology as the best way forward. Backed up by the equally corrupt BBC who report that GM technology can only bring us benefits and will cause no harm. Very sad days. :(

    • Everyone is assuming it’s 10%. We should see the legal definition of almost 90%. Bet you it means 85% or maybe even less, grassfed.

  26. I will continue to buy Kerry gold because the next possibly best thing is out of my budget. I don’t grill the staff about GMO ingredients when I go out to eat; i accept that there is likely a small percentage at least in there. We do three best we can and I’m glad that kerrygold is available in my area for a very reasonable price. Until i can have my own cow and make my own butter, I won’t be able to afford better.

  27. There’s a saying out there… Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Kerrygold is delicious, readily available, a great price and full of nutrition. It’s not “perfect”, but it is really, really good I’m going to keep on buying it and their delicious cheeses too.

  28. Anchor butter is now unfortunately produced in the UK, not New Zealand. Read the comments and they seem to indicate the quality has suffered.

    Please link to the Kalona Supernatural site in your blog post. I love their cottage cheese and look forward to trying their butter!

  29. I am completely in agreement with you. 100% grass-fed organic is best, but in the absence of 100% grass-fed, I will always choose GMO-free / certified organic. It’s not just for health reasons but I believe GMOs are harmful to the planet (bee-killing pesticides are used to treat GMO corn seeds), harmful to our democracy, and harmful to our basic human dignity by the patenting and corporate control involved. Thanks so much for sharing this very important information in this post!!
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  30. It all started with eggs,,I asked all the farmers of my area,do they get any feed?? all answered yes,we must(not true) ! in the winter and the end of day..what is in it? grain!!!!So if I am to pay 4 or 5 dollars for free range chicken eggs,I want the enf product to be free of GMO,s right?
    Now I get farm fresh end of day grain fed eggs for 3.00 dollars..why pay for GMO,S??

  31. 3% percent may not seem like much, that’s true. But let’s consider the fact that Kerrygold sold 350 million packs of butter in 2012, ( http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/iconic-butter-a-bestseller-abroad-227918.html ) That equates to 10.5 million packs of butter that are contaminated with GMO soy and corn. Given the research by the Institute for Responsible Technolgy, who is one of the most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information on the web, “these unlabeled genetically modified (GM) foods carry a risk of triggering life-threatening allergic reactions, and evidence collected over the past decade now suggests that they are contributing to higher allergy rates”. http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/health-risks/articles-about-risks-by-jeffrey-smith/Genetically-Engineered-Foods-May-Cause-Rising-Food-Allergies-Genetically-Engineered-Soybeans-May-2007
    So that 3% isn’t just putting those soy and corn allergic people at risk, it is putting us ALL at risk.

  32. I can be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time), but when I went to the Kerrygold site, I didn’t see mention of corn as one of the supplementary feeds. Also, just after calving, when most of that feed is given, cows are usually not milked for people (I’m guessing this is the same for Kerrygold-as implied in the FAQ page). Finally, while they may contain some GM soy in the 3%, they also mention (definitely worth noting, as it shows their good intentions) that navigating around GM feeds is a new thing to them. It sounds like they are working to have 0% GM possibility. I think that still deserves support and not boycott. Also, posters here have mentioned that those with severe corn and soy sensitivies have not had any reactions- isn’t that worthy of note? Finally, I can tell that Kerrygold is better than Kalona natural (have had both) and others. That’s just personal, anecdotal. I will stick with my biofeedfack on this one, and not damn the company because they aren’t able (yet) to be 100% GM free.

  33. I have been writing to UK supermarkets and asking them why they are no allowing meat from GM fed animals to be sold in their stores and the answer I git from one of them is that their suppliers are finding it harder and harder to find non GM soy and corn to feed the animals and therefore can no longer guarantee that their produce is completely GM free. This could be seen as a cop out or as GM being allowed in through the back door. However, one thing I think it does show is that our fight must be against the GM manufacturers and growers if we want change.

  34. I always wonder on Organic Valley if they are talking in particular about their advertised PASTURED butter or their other organic butter? Because I buy their “grass milk” too and wanted to make sure it was 100% grass-fed. I am assuming it’s the same dairy in their pastured butter. But I buy Kalona Super Natural butter. I need a comparison report on the grass-fed dairy choices!!

  35. Honestly, the amount of time wasted in this thread is ridiculous. Read the FAQs again. Nothing about corn or GMO.

  36. This is what I feared was to be happening since this corporation is not small. I had been trying to look for Kerrygold butter in Canada, and near the border in the US to no avail. Now I won’t look for it anymore.
    As for the need to give cows grain fiddlesticks! there is a nice dairy in BC Canada who do not feed grain at all, and is 100% grass fed, they produce cheese, but no butter (http://www.gortsgoudacheese.bc.ca unfortunately they do not ship to the US). Their Gouda cheese is simply fabulous!
    The winter in BC is a bit harsher than in Ireland, so there no grain needed.

    • I think it’s incorrect to make such a sweeping statement. I have heard from both the owners of Claravale Raw Milk Dairy, and Organic Pastures Dairy, both here in California, that few dairy operations in the world are able to have cows on grass only year-round. New Zealand may be an exception. It also depends on the breed, the quality of grass available, etc. Lactation is very demanding on a cow’s body and she needs all the nutrition she can get. Most dairies supplement with at least a little grain. I’m all for encouraging demand for non-GMO, but we can’t let the good guys go out of business while supply chains are sorted out. Grass-fed is booming, as is demand for non-GMO grains and seeds, so it takes time for the supply to rise to meet increased demand.

  37. AARGGGH! I just do not understand this. Why would they ruin the number one reason for buying their product?!

  38. I will continue to proudly support Kerrygold! I did a lot of fact digging on them and other pastured butter choices and I feel confident feeding it to my family. We also don’t have an allergies to corn or soy (which *may* be feed as a small, small supplement in the winter when the cows aren’t producing).
    Kristin recently posted…Kerrygold Butter: To Buy or NotMy Profile

  39. I use Trader Joe’s organic butter, which states grass fed. I’m not sure if it is 100% grass fed though. Have you looked into that kind yet?

    • Our TJ’s organic butter does not say grass fed! interesting.
      Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…Getting Started with Allergy Safe Chickens (Soy, Corn, Grain Free!)My Profile

      • This is what my Trader Joe’s Organic Butter says on the back:
        Trader Joe’s Organic Butter is made with 100% organic milk from cows raised in fresh, green organic pastures, free to roam and graze at will – weather permitting of course! The family farmers that supply the milk for our Organic Butter feel a strong sense of stewardship toward both their land and their animals – they’re connected to the rural communities in which they live and committed to helping reconnect people to the food they consume. And since this butter is 100% organic, you can be sure it’s produced without the use of added hormones, antibiotics or chemicals. Just pure, fresh, delicious Trader Joe’s Organic Butter.
        Also says:
        Ingredients: Organic Pasteurized Sweet Cream (Milk), Salt.
        Dist. and sold exclusively by trader Joe’s , Monrovia, CA 91016
        TJ’s Organic Butter is made with a touch of pure salt without colorings, flavorings or flowing agents. This minimally processed natural food can be use in baking, cooking or anywhere you wish to enjoy the unique taste of pure butter.

        I prefer organic, so I know I’m not getting GMO’s and pesticides. I wish I could find a raw organic butter, but no luck so far. I can get raw milk and make my own, but don’t want to take the time to make my own just yet. I imagine removing the cream will be messy. Lol. One day…
        Sorry this is so long, but wanted to let you all know about it. Oh, this is available in unsalted as well. HTGH! :)

  40. *Kerrygold Butter is made ONLY during the grass pasturing season when the cows are eating grass. It doesn’t bother me that they are fed silage during the winter because no butter is made from it.

    I spoke with a Kerrygold rep at the 2010 Fancy Food Show in New York. I asked her what the cows eat during the winter. She said they are fed silage BUT NO BUTTER IS MADE IN THE WINTER. and that

    the Kerrygold Grass fed butter sold in the winter is FROZEN butter from when it was made when the cows are grass fed during the warmer months.

    Trader Joe in Manhattan just started carrying a local Grass Fed Butter from Kriemhild Dairy Farms called MEADOW BUTTER from upstate Hamilton,NY. It’s $3.99 for 8 oz. in a plastic tub, made with salt. ( I haven’t opened it yet but will do a side-by-side taste test)

    If it’s better than Kerrygold then I’ll switch. I make my own Ghee by clarifying the Kerrygold butter which is still the best deal.

    *The Rumiano butter looks great and cheap but Azure only sells by truck delivery and they DO NOT deliver to New York or the East Coast.

    *Butter Oil sounds great but at $60 + shipping for an 8.1 oz. bottle which also has “natural flavor” added — I don’t think it’s worth it. Also I find it suspect that all their butter oils have flavor added like Raspberry, Pecan -which means the butter oil by itself must not taste or smell very good, perhaps due to the centrifuging.

    *** Are YOU paying $60 + shipping for this 8 oz. Butter Oil product and eating it everyday ?

    *Pure Indian Ghee grass fed Ghee is a good product. However it cost $11.95 + shipping for a 7.8 oz. jar.

    *That comes out to $24.51 per lb.

    Let’s say it’s $10 shipping for 2 jars, that would make this Ghee cost $34.51 for 1 lb. of grass fed Ghee.

    * 1 lb. of KerryGold Butter = $ 5.98

    • Hi Jo Jo
      Interesting information from the rep., considering Kerrygold’s website does state that they supplement after calving in the spring. Their website information is very misleading, and I refuse to support GMO feed which is currently the Monsanto push in Europe. As for price we have found Anchor Butter cheaper than Kerrygold, but I am in CA. Some of the above comments say that Anchor Butter can be found at Walmart. Good luck with deciding what is best for your family!
      Nichole Sawatzky recently posted…Getting Started with Allergy Safe Chickens (Soy, Corn, Grain Free!)My Profile

  41. Why does Ghee lose the Wulzen factor? I thought Ghee was supposed to be the best butter out there.

  42. Sorry I don’t have time to read all the comments, but Anchor is now made from milk in the UK NOT the NZ grass-fed version – I;ve linked to this from the “website” field on this comment form which should turn my name into a hyperlink, the site is The Grocer .co.uk.

  43. We use Smjor Icelandic butter which as far as I have found is 100% grass fed. Delicious, and nice and yellow. I do well with it, plus love the taste. Available at Whole Foods in the US, about $3.50 per block. Sale at times too.

  44. The whole thing is laughable. They said UP TO 3% of the feed they eat UP TO 25% of the time (the three months they cannot graze on pasture)….. so really, 0.75% of their food MIGHT be GMO, because they are in a part of the world with no choice. Three fourths of one percent. Or Less. Show me one company that guarantees better.

    And by your math, they only use feed 10% of the time, not the 25% another article claimed. So .10 multiplied by .25 equals. .025, or 2.5%, MAXIMUM that is GMO. I get the desire to be 100% GMO free. I would love that as well. But unless you know the cow you are getting your raw cream from (I do), you have no guarantee anything else is that close to perfect. Even pastured cattle are often pastured near neighboring ranches. And those neighboring ranches using GMO products affect your “perfect” cow. Ireland doesn’t have much choice in the matter, currently. It’s definitely good to be aware of, and push for change, find other resources, etc. But there seems to be a general backlash against an honest company, with a good product, for admitting they are not perfect. 99.75% is pretty great.

    I DO understand that for allergies, even that miniscule amount might be serious enough to avoid. And perhaps the rest of us can buy it from batches when they are NOT on supplemental feed (if we can figure out when that is). And ABSOLUTELY, consumers should be aware, and purchase according to their needs/wants/issues/etc.

    But vilifying a company based on flawed math is ridiculous. ANd unless the REST of your diet is 100% perfect 100% of the time, this is hypocritical as well.

    According to Smjor’s website (to the posters that feel better, because they use that instead), “During the bright summer days the cows are kept in the pastures, but are housed during 7-8 months per year. ” No where does it say they only eat perfect, non-gmo feed during those 7-8 months of confinement, but they are definitely not eating fresh grass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland#Climate).

    Not attacking, just putting it in perspective. At least KerryGold is up-front and honest. A rare thing in business…… Look at Odwalla, Nakedjuice, and so many others that are not who they’ve claimed to be all these years…..

  45. I bought Kerrygold and OV Pasture butter and compared them side-by-side. Couldn’t see any difference in the yellowness, so now I’ll be sticking to OV. So glad I stocked up when I found them on sale for $2.50/half lb this weekend!

  46. I make clarified butter from Kerrygold, is there any reason to believe that the toxins from corn and soy will turn up in the fat fraction of the butter (Ghee) ?

  47. False

  48. I can only ask that all of you go to their website and tell them that you will no longer be purchasing their product and why. Of course as other commenters have pointed out that the amount of GMO feed is actually very, very minimal, however we need to pressure these companies to do something about the laws in their area, this is how we can fight giants like Monsanto.

    If a company is losing enough money because their customers are dissatisfied, the companies will push for a change, and they will have much more power to do so than we as individuals.

    It only takes a few minutes to write them an e-mail. And it could make all the difference in the world.

  49. Also, you may want to change the link for anchor butter to http://www.buyanchorbutter.com/ because there is no information on how to purchase on their main website which you linked.

  50. From the website in the previous comment: “cows are feed [sic] on grass only, 365 days of the year. Therefore no grain, artificial feed or meat & bone meal is fed to cows on New Zealand’s farms.”
    I sincerely doubt that this claim can be substantiated as it pertains to Anchor butter. With regard to “New Zealand’s farms” it is totally and utterly false. “Supplementary” feeding is becoming more common than not. Grains of some type are common, so is palm kernel extract. I’m not sure how Fontera would seperate the milk from farms with and without supplementary feeding, and I’m not aware of this happening. Unless this claim is made by Fontera/Anchor itself, and not some reseller, I would seriously doubt it. If you’re concerned about this – personally I’m not, I’m ok with a little supplementary feed – than I would contact Fontera in NZ, or failing that Keith Woodford at Lincoln University as he would probably know.

  51. We use Smjor butter from Iceland. Whole Foods sells it.

  52. Kalona is not 100% grass-fed,their cows receive a diet of 20% grains during the winter months. Because they are certified organic, however, you can trust that the grains do not contain GMOs.
    Anchor butter is imported from New Zealand — land of reliably grass-fed lamb. It is not certified organic by the USDA, but the cows are out on pasture year round.
    New Zealand has very strict regulations for its cows, so this butter is happily hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and additive-free.

  53. In California, you can buy organic, raw butter from grass-fed cows from Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno. Sprouts and select smaller grocers carry it. It’s not cheap: around $13 per pound as I recall, which is why I buy Kerrygold at Costco. I use butter mostly to cook with, so I can’t see any particular advantage to buying raw because I heat it in the cooking process. The OPDC butter also starts to “sour” (it develops a distinctly cheesy smell and flavor) before I can use it all up. I do, however, buy OPDC raw whole milk and their kefir!

  54. I just read on kerrygold’s website that their products are gm free

  55. Anchor butter in the UK no longer comes from New Zealand cows.

  56. You can get true NZ butter on Amazon for $6.85 a pound to your door by FedEx….if that helps anyone.

    DO NOT settle for GMO’s at any level. They are not acceptable.

  57. We just started using Cabot Butter from Vermont…$2.59/lb

    Amazon sells KerryGold at $76 for ten lbs. PLUS $30 shipping ($10/lb)

    Cabot tastes great, but I have an email to them about their product, grass-fed, GMO’s etc.

    http://www.cabotcheese.coop/unsalted-butter

  58. One benefit to Irish butter is that their cows could eat natural grass that is growing during our American winter; so, their is a skewed, seasonal benefit.

  59. Apparently there is actually no added flavor to Rumiano’s unsalted buter! Yay! Here is what it says on Azure’s website for Rumiano unsalted butter: rBST Free. Pasture Butter

    The Unsalted Butter Wrapper does have the Natural Flavoring listed under its ingredients. The Rumiano Unsalted Butter ingredients are actually: Ingredients: Pasteurized Cream (Milk).

  60. Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for the information. Just returned a case of kerrygold to whole foods and registered a complaint about their selling gmo products.

    I am in california and am not able to find anchor butter here. Could you share your source please?

    Aargi

  61. I am so disappointed as well!! Thank you so much for posting this. We were buying Kerrygold at Costco, but they only carry the salted version, so I started wondering what kind of salt they are using because it doesn’t say sea salt on the package. During my search I came across your site and couldn’t believe what I was reading when I got to the 3% GM’s in the butter! Again, thank you very much!

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