Sunday, July 13, 2008

Grass-Fed Cows = Real Butter = Anchor Butter

A specific example of a grass-fed product that I use during in-home cooking lessons in New York and in my own kitchen is Anchor Butter.

Anchor is made in New Zealand, where cows are grass-fed and law prohibits the use of hormones in dairy, sheep and beef farming.

When I hold Anchor Butter next to a stick of commercial butter for my students, they are amazed at the difference in color. Anchor is yellow (because of the grass the cows are eating), compared to the white butter derived from the milk of corn-fed cows. Even organic butters shade toward white since the cows are still eating corn (albeit without pesticides).

The myth (yes, MYTH) which states that butter is bad for you is based on unsound assumptions and studies, the same ones that classify all fatty foods as dangerous. (Gary Taubes, in his book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” does a masterful job of showing how many supposed nutritional and dietary truths are merely unproven statements that have morphed into accepted gospel.)

A story-starved media and clever marketers have so inculcated us with these myths that we have blindly accepted the false preaching and are left eating incomplete, flavorless and nutritionally-unsound foods like egg white omelets, lite mayonnaise and skinless chicken breasts. Whoever your god is, don’t you think it would have made eggs without the yolks if we were supposed to eat egg white omelets? The egg--with the yolk--is as close to the perfect, most complete food that exists.

Back to Anchor Butter. Yes, butter is terrible for you . . . if you are eating butter made from milk from cows eating a corn-based diet and shot up with hormones and antibiotics. If you are eating butter from grass-fed cows, you are providing yourself with a wealth of vitamins (especially A), minerals (selenium, an antioxidant), healthy fatty acids (CLA and omega-3’s) and cholesterol (essential for the composition of our cell membranes).

Did I mention how much better Anchor tastes than conventional butters? The flavor is much deeper and the texture is much creamier.

Anchor butter is available at the Fairway stores in New York. Other butters made in Europe--where cows grazing on grass is the norm--include President, Kerrygold, and Lescure. These can be found in progressive food stores and local supermarkets.


Selwa said...

Hello! I'm not sure if this is a silly question, but if I were to use Anchor butter in baking recipes, would I use the same amount? Thanks!

Chef Rob said...


There's no such thing as a silly question, especially when it seems like the big food companies are doing everything in their power to trick us.

Yes, use the same amount of Anchor (or any butter) in baking recipes.

Let us know how whatever you are making turns out.


Eve said...

Yes! Use Anchor butter as if it were any other butter (same amount) or substitute 1 227g Anchor butter for 1 cup oil.

This is since Anchor butter is in fact butter, just made from milk from better fed cows. :D

Anonymous said...

Is Anchor butter antibiotic free? I don't see that it states that on their website, just hormone free.

Chef Rob said...

Anchor butter is not antibiotic free. However, the use of antibiotics in animals is handled differently in New Zealand than in the United States. For more information, see the New Zealand Food Safety Authority website.


Hope that helps.


Becky said...

How would Kerrygold, Anchor, and President rank in a taste comparison?

Chef Rob said...


In my opinion, Kerrygold is by far the best of those three. Even better than Kerrygold, though, is Smjor, an Icelandic butter available at some Whole Foods. Read more here:

NK Tr said...

Thank you so much for your blog on butter. I'm obsess with butter and been craving for some real butter with French bagget in the past 2 weeks, but don't know which one to buy or where to buy them until I run into your blog while searching for Plugra butter, which was one of the best butter I had here in the US at a restaurant last week and it come in a small individual wrap instead of in a plate like most higher end restaurant have, which is delicious in taste, but I don't know what brand they use? I should have check with the whole foods store, never really thought of that before. I was so happy to find Kerrygold butter at my local grocery store today and didn't hesitate to get French bagget right away, so that really satisfied my craving today. I can't wait to go to the whole foods store to try different brand that mention in this blog :) again thank you so much, I've learn a little bit about butter today.

Leza Frazee said...

Do you know how I could get this in the Denver area? Whole Foods?

Chef Rob said...


Anchor is tough to find, but I've since switched to Smjor butter (from Iceland) which Whole Foods carries. More info:

Rinka Romero-Sycip said...

Hello there! Would you know if Elle and Vire butter is grass-fed as well?

Vicky Chai said...

Hi Chef Rob, What about Golden Churned, Ballantyne, SCS butter from Australia? Lurpark? Is cultured butter being more nutritious? And does cultured butter should be more pale than yellow?

melulater said...

Cows treated with antibiotics do not have their milk go into the main vat with the rest. It has to be separated. Once the cow has finished the course and their milk has been withheld for the required time, then they can again contribute into the main vat. Any farmer caught contributing antibiotic milk risks a fine and then that milk can not be used for certain products.

Shankary Mohanasundram said...

How about tatura?