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.
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!
What are your thoughts on Kerrygold? Don’t forget to share them below!
I finally received an email back from Organic Valley regarding their Pasture Butter. Here it is -
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.
Organic Valley / Organic Prairie
Consumer Relations Associate
photo credit: Maciej Lewandowski