Kerrygold Butter: To Buy or Not - Live Simply (2022)

NOTE: This post was one of the first posts shared on Live Simply, making this blogpost over 5 years-old. I still love and purchase Kerrygold butter for my family. That said, I still stand behind the words shared in this post. I welcome comments on this post; however, comments that are rude (a direct insult to me, name calling, or written in a nasty way) will not be approved. Differing opinions are always welcome, rude and insulting comments are not welcome.

I guess I have developed a reputation.

A reputation for loving good high-quality, pastured butter.

Rich, yellow, creamy, delicious butter.

Last week several of my friends sent me, with great concern, a post titled, Why I Stopped Buying Kerrygold Butter” by hopecentric It is a very well-written post and worth a read. Her two main reasons for no longer buying Kerrygold are:

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

It’s actually only 97% GM free.

After reading the post, my first reaction was “What?”

“What am I going to do with the pounds of Kerrygold Butter in my freezer? Not 100% grass-fed?”

The writer also suggests several alternatives, such Organic Valley and Natural by Nature as well as a few other brands I haven’t found to be locally available.

I decided to do some investigating!

I was curious!

I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight before calling it quits with my Kerrygold obsession.

(Video) Banned Irish butter back in Wisconsin stores

If I were to make the switch to a different butter, as the writer suggests, I would be spending double even triple per pound vs. what I am paying for Kerrygold at Costco. I wanted to make sure the higher price of these butters really meant I was getting a better, grass-fed product, free of as many GMO’s as possible.

I realize buying straight from a local farm is always best! For some this may not be an option. For me it is.

I am able to purchase 1/2lb tubs of butter through my raw milk farmer. I make it a priority in our family’s food budget to purchase raw milk, raw cream, raw sour cream, and raw cottage cheese from this farm. I love supporting a local farm and feel good about how the farm cares for the cows and their pastured lifestyle. There are many times the machine which the farm uses to churn butter simply isn’t working which means no butter. I know, people will write and say,

“Buy the cream and make your own!”

I have done this many times and often when cream is available I purchase it for this reason. But there are times when I just need the convenience of pre-made butter. At $5 for a 1/2lb of butter I can’t afford to purchase lots of this butter.

It’s a special treat!

That’s where Kerrygold comes to the rescue.

At $6.50 for 3 sticks of butter atCostco, I can feed my family pastured butter without Dustin needing an extra job just to support our butter habit.

I’ll admit, I’ve lost some sleep over the issue of butter this week.

It’s probably not too healthy to loose sleep over butter!

Let’s consider a few things:

1. 90% Grass-Fed: According to Kerrgold,

Approximately 2/3 of the land in Ireland is used for farming and agriculture and 80% of this land is used to grow grass. This grass gives the Irish countryside its green color and is the basis for the description of Ireland as the Emerald Isle. This abundant supply of natural fresh grass is also what makes the Irish dairy industry and Irish dairy products unique.

Irish dairy cows graze on fresh grass in pastures all day long for up to 312 days a year. In fact, Irish cows graze outdoors on grass for longer than almost every country in the world.

(Video) The Real Difference Between Irish Butter And Regular Butter

I’m not a math wiz, but from my simple calculations this means the cows are supplemented (not consuming grass) only 44 days a year.

I’d say that’s pretty awesome!

I know 365 days of pure pasture grazing would be pretty darn awesome, but let’s think about something…winter!

I’m a Floridian, however, I know enough about winter to know when snow falls grass is going to be scarce which means cows aren’t going to be grazing on grass. Hungry cows need to eat!

Regarding this issue Kerrygold states,

…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.

After talking to several farmers here in the States, I am beginning to realize 100% grass-fed with zero supplementation is a nice idea, however, not realistic.

I’m not surprised or disappointed to learn Kerrygold cows are only 90% grass-fed. I am pleased to find affordable, good quality butter that is pastured for 312 days a year on fresh grass!

That’s a lot of grass eating!

2. Supplementing: When the cows are not grazing on fresh grass supplementation is needed. Kerrygold explains what this supplementation is comprised of,

Supplementary feed makes up about 10% of a cow’s diet. The supplementary feed is used to give the cows a healthy and balanced blend of nutrients, providing them with protein, energy and fiber. The majority of the cow’s supplementary feed is from locally grown Irish crops, such as wheat and barley. The balance of this feed can be composed of distillers grain (rapeseed, soy and citrus pulp – a blend of dried peel, pulp and seeds of oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruit).

3. The GMO Issue: The biggest alarm from the post is the issue of GMO’s. I went straight to Kerrygold:

Our ongoing discussions with the grain and dairy industry have established that of this approximately 10% grain/supplements, approximately 20 to 25% may be from GM sources. This means that approximately 3% of a cow’s total typical annual diet may be from GM sources

At present, the Irish Dairy Board cannot guarantee that grain supplements used by farmers will all be GM free…

We can confirm that Kerrygold butter and cheese do not contain GM ingredients.

(Video) Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter Review

Some have raised concern that even though Kerrygold’s butter may not contain GMO ingredients, the feed may.

I feel comfortable with Kerrygold disclosing that 3% of the annualfeed their cows eat may contain GMO’s. Considering the fact that GMO’s are fairly new to Europe and most of the supplementation is coming from local sources of wheat and barely along with possibly corn and soy, I feel confident in this very small percentage.

Our family just recently adopted two laying hens, because of this I also have a great appreciation for how difficult it is to find guaranteed GMO-free feed and the great cost involved in using such feed is amazingly high.

I congratulate Kerrygold for being able to keep this percentage so low.

Bravo!

4. Kerrygold butter comes from fresh Spring cream/milk:

Cows in Ireland calve in the spring and are therefore outdoors, grazing on green grass when they are producing milk.

The cream/milk produced to make butter comes from cows that are grazing on pasture. Cream is not produced and churned into butter during the winter when the cows are being supplemented.

5. Consider the Alternatives: I personally choose not to purchase butter (or meat) based on the organic label alone.

Organic does not equal grass-fed.

Many organic brands of butter, cheese, milk, and meats are nothing more than glorified corn-fed cows, simply free of antibiotics and hormones. Although these products may be GMO-free (organic), the diets of such animals are far from normal or healthy.

I decided to look into a couple other sources for butter.

Pastured, grass-fed sources.

The first, Organic Valley. I spoke to Organic Valley over the phone. I was told the milk/cream used for their line of Pastured Butter is not 100% grass-fed. Just like Kerrygold, Organic Valley supplements with grains including corn and soy. Although they didn’t disclose how much supplementation occurs, they do use GMO-free corn and soy. The representative also confirmed that 100% grass-fed was far from reality for the majority of farmers.

(Video) Kerrygold Butter vs Land O Lakes Butter Blind Taste Test

The second source was my local raw dairy farm. Again, I found supplementation to be a small part of the cows diet when needed. The farm also recently switched over to a new organic and GMO-free feed which also drove the cost of the dairy much higher.

Dustin may need to start looking for that extra job now.

To Buy or Not:

After a week of pondering and researching (and loosing sleep) I have decided I will continue to buy Kerrygold.

I feel it’s important to continue to support a company that strives to feed their cows grass, a practice which is not widely practiced today.

While I will pick up a 1/2lb tub of butter from my local farm and stock up on Organic Valley Pastured Butter when on sale, I will continue to confidently buy pounds of the creamy, yellow grass-fed Irish Butter I love so much.

Kerrygold.

I warmly invite you to join our Facebook community, be inspired on Pinterest, and subscribe to the blog.

Sources:
http://hopecentric.com/why-i-stopped-buying-kerrygold-butter/
http://kerrygoldusa.com/faq/

Kerrygold Butter: To Buy or Not - Live Simply (6)

Kristin Marr

Kristin is the creator and editor-in-chief of Live Simply. Kristin is married to her high school sweetheart, Dustin, and is the mom to two kids and two free-roam (litterbox-trained) bunnies, Leo and Estela. Kristin started Live Simply in 2013 to share her passion for real food and natural living.

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(Video) Fresh Stories: Kerrygold Cheese and Butter

FAQs

What's the big deal about Irish butter? ›

Even though the butters can be used interchangeably, Irish butter has a higher fat and lower water count than American butter, so it has a better taste and makes it a better choice for baking.

Is Irish Gold butter good for you? ›

According to Everyday Health, there could be more omega-3 fatty acids in your pat of Irish butter when compared to regular butter. Also, a study from 2015 found that this type of butter could have less saturated fat, and more polyunsaturated fat, than your old standby.

Which Irish butter is best? ›

This blind taste test proved to our Test Kitchen that Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is worth all the hype. With higher butterfat content than most mass-market butter brands, Kerrygold delivered big time on flavor and texture.

Which is the best butter in the world? ›

1. Rodolphe Le Meunier. One of many on this list that have been thought of as the best butter in the world, Rodolphe Le Meunier is one of the most highly regarded brands out there and is adored by the one-and-only Nancy Silverton (via Saveur).

What is the healthiest butter to use? ›

If you're looking for the healthiest butter brands, these are six healthy butter brands we recommend.
  • Smart Balance Original Buttery Spread.
  • Earth Balance Pressed Avocado Oil Spread.
  • Carrington Farms Organic Ghee.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Original Spray.
  • Benecol Buttery Spread (includes plant stanols)
14 Jun 2022

Does Irish butter have to be refrigerated? ›

Keeping butter in an airtight container like a crock makes butter last at room temperature longer (about 2 weeks), but when room temperature rises above 70° F, all butter should be refrigerated.

What does adding butter to your coffee do? ›

Butter coffee is believed to provide steady, long-lasting energy without a blood sugar crash. In theory, since fat slows digestion, the caffeine in the coffee is absorbed slower and provides longer-lasting energy.

How much grass-fed butter can I eat a day? ›

If not, and you don't want to give up butter, consider switching from regular to grass-fed, and enjoy in moderation (1 tbsp daily). “Grass-fed butter has the nutritional edge in that it offers more heart-healthy nutrients than regular butter in a less-processed product than margarine,” Malkani says.

What butter do chefs use? ›

Among the favorites are Kerrygold, Trader Joe's Cultured Salted Butter, Land O'Lakes, and Goat Butter. One chef also loved a flavored butter that's called Everything Bagel Butter. Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

How long can Irish butter sit out? ›

According to the USDA, butter is safe at room temperature. But if it's left out for several days at room temperature, it can turn rancid causing off flavors. The USDA does not recommend leaving it out more than one to two days.

Why does Mexican butter taste different? ›

Apparently in Mexico, they add lactic acid which I assume gives more of a cultured butter flavour sadly to me it just tastes rancid and sour.

What butter does Gordon Ramsay use? ›

There, chefs baste the meat with Devonshire Butter, like you would a turkey on Thanksgiving day. You don't have to babysit the meat on the grill like that to take the technique to the next level, though.

Why is Kerry butter so yellow? ›

Grass-fed cows: The cows that provide the milk for Kerrygold are grass-fed. And, according to Kerrygold, the Irish climate produces terrific grass for those cows to eat. Also, the grass the cows graze upon is rich in beta-carotene which gives the butter its golden hue.

Which butter is real butter? ›

1. Unsalted Butter or “Sweet Cream Butter” (Real) It's probably your go-to, and for good reason. Containing around 80% milkfat, this butter is the most versatile in cooking from baking to sautéing.

Is I can't believe it's not butter healthier than butter? ›

It contains no fat and sodium, and its low-fat content makes it an excellent alternative to Butter. In addition to this, I Can't Believe It's Not-Butter is also low in Omega-3, a nutrient that's essential for your health.

What butter is best for high cholesterol? ›

You can help reduce your risk of high cholesterol by substituting foods for regular butter that are lower in saturated fat or have been shown to have less impact on heart disease risk, such as: grass-fed butter. Earth Balance spread, a vegan, soy-free, non-hydrogenated option.

What is the best butter for diabetics? ›

Unsalted butter or grass-fed (organic) butter is good for diabetic patients. Unsalted butter has no sodium, which is good for diabetic patients as well. What Can Diabetics Use Instead of Butter? Ideally, olive oil, nut butter, or clarified butter can be used by diabetes patients.

What makes Irish butter different? ›

Irish butter is a European-style butter and has a higher butterfat content than the average American butter. This translates into a richer, creamier texture for the butter. Kerrygold's is a little different from other European butters because it has a lot more flavor.

What kind of butter does not need to be refrigerated? ›

Salted butter does not need to be stored in the fridge since the risk of bacterial growth is so low. Studies have shown that butter has a shelf life of many months, even when stored at room temperature ( 6 , 10 ).

Do eggs have to refrigerated? ›

In the United States, fresh, commercially produced eggs need to be refrigerated to minimize your risk of food poisoning. However, in many countries in Europe and around the world, it's fine to keep eggs at room temperature for a few weeks.

What is coffee with butter called? ›

While people have been adding butter to their coffee for hundreds of years, today's “butter coffee” refers to bulletproof coffee, which is also known as keto coffee. Dave Asprey published his recipe for butter coffee in 2011, promoting it as a breakfast replacement.

What country puts butter in coffee? ›

Countries including North India, Vietnam, and Singapore still drink traditional variations of butter coffee and tea to this day. Perhaps most famously, in Tibet, farmers drink po cha, a beverage made with fermented black tea and yak butter.

What butter is best for coffee? ›

Kerrygold unsalted butter is the gold standard in the butter coffee community, both because of the grass-fed cows that produce it, and for its high butterfat content.

Is grass-fed butter anti-inflammatory? ›

It makes sense that grass-fed butter contains more nutrients than standard butter, since the cow's healthier, grass-centric diet is more natural and vitamin-rich than grain feed. Grass-fed butter is high in butyric acid which is considered anti-inflammatory.

What happens if you eat butter everyday? ›

"Overconsumption of butter can result in excess visceral fat being stored deep in your abdomen due to its high levels of saturated fat," notes Malorie Thompson, PN1 nutritionist. "Visceral fat is linked to an increase in several negative health conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer's, and type 1 diabetes."

Can you eat too much grass-fed butter? ›

People with high cholesterol levels may find that consuming grass-fed butter makes their cholesterol worse, not better. Avoid consuming large amounts of any form of butter if you're at risk of heart disease. Grass-fed butter contains saturated fats, although it does contain less of these fats than standard butter.

Does Irish butter have to be refrigerated? ›

Keeping butter in an airtight container like a crock makes butter last at room temperature longer (about 2 weeks), but when room temperature rises above 70° F, all butter should be refrigerated.

Is Aldi Irish butter grass-fed? ›

Imported from Ireland, this butter is made with milk from grass-fed cows, was voted the Best New Butter by Consumers, and won the 2020 Product of the Year in the Spreads category.

Why does European butter taste better? ›

You actually probably can. European butter is often fermented, given it a tangy, slightly sour taste. These butters are often richer (more butterfat), making it ideal for baking since it melts quicker.

Why is Irish butter softer? ›

Our Naturally Softer Butter is unlike anything else in the world. The milk that grass-fed Kerrygold cows produce in the summer months is highest in naturally softer milkfat.
...
Naturally Softer Pure Irish Butter.
AMOUNT PER 1/2 OZ% Daily Value*
Total Fat (g) 1117
Trans Fat (g) 00
Saturated Fat (g) 735
Cholesterol (mg) 3013
10 more rows

What makes Irish butter different? ›

Irish butter is a European-style butter and has a higher butterfat content than the average American butter. This translates into a richer, creamier texture for the butter. Kerrygold's is a little different from other European butters because it has a lot more flavor.

What kind of butter does not need to be refrigerated? ›

Salted butter does not need to be stored in the fridge since the risk of bacterial growth is so low. Studies have shown that butter has a shelf life of many months, even when stored at room temperature ( 6 , 10 ).

Do eggs have to refrigerated? ›

In the United States, fresh, commercially produced eggs need to be refrigerated to minimize your risk of food poisoning. However, in many countries in Europe and around the world, it's fine to keep eggs at room temperature for a few weeks.

How long can Irish butter sit out? ›

According to the USDA, butter is safe at room temperature. But if it's left out for several days at room temperature, it can turn rancid causing off flavors. The USDA does not recommend leaving it out more than one to two days.

Is Aldi's butter any good? ›

Aldi butter is a less tasty substitute for the real thing

Although it does, indeed, originate in Ireland, it's worth noting the product only contains 80 percent butterfat, putting it below the magic Kerrygold amount. It's reasonably priced, but the taste is nothing compared to the real stuff.

Are Aldi products from China? ›

Aldi gets a number of its items from China, so it's not a stretch to wonder if they get their meat from China, too. Many of the “Aldi Finds” items, like hiking boots, exercise equipment, kitchen mats, and toys, come from China. They also run a couple of grocery stores in China.

What brand of butter do chefs use? ›

Among the favorites are Kerrygold, Trader Joe's Cultured Salted Butter, Land O'Lakes, and Goat Butter. One chef also loved a flavored butter that's called Everything Bagel Butter. Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

What country has the best butter? ›

The Best Butter Comes from Ireland.

Which butters are real butter? ›

Unsalted Butter or “Sweet Cream Butter” (Real)

It's probably your go-to, and for good reason. Containing around 80% milkfat, this butter is the most versatile in cooking from baking to sautéing.

What is the best grade of butter? ›

In the United States, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) assigns quality grades to butter based on its score on a standard quality point scale. Grade AA is the highest possible grade; Grade AA butter must achieve a numerical score of 93 out of 100 points based on its aroma, flavour, and texture.

What's the difference between American butter and Irish butter? ›

What's the Difference Between American Butter and Irish Butter? American butter (e.g., Cabot, Land O'Lakes, and store brands) is predominately sweet cream butter with a higher water content than Irish butter, meaning that it is not as flavorful or spreadable as Irish butter.

Can I bake with Irish butter? ›

Many chefs and bakers prefer this Irish butter to spruce up baking and cooking.

Videos

1. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter
(kerrygoldgrassfed)
2. Kerrygold Butter Makes Bulletproof® Coffee
(Kerrygold UK)
3. 6 Benefits of Kerry Gold Butter
(TheJDocRealMinute)
4. Kerrygold Irish Butter -Story of the Sweetest Richest Butter in the World
(kathy Ottersen)
5. How to make perfect Ghee/clarified butter from Butter #kerrygold #butter #ghee
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6. The Great Butter Showdown | Should you use KerryGold butter | Best butter on Keto
(2krazyketos)

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