Butter Users Spreading Satisfaction - NBC 7 San Diego

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Butter Users Spreading Satisfaction

People turning away from margarine and turning to butter as their main spread



    U.S. butter consumption has reached its highest level in 40 years -- but why? NBC 7's Consumer Bob spreads the word, and speaks with locals about why they prefer butter over margarine. (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    Sindee Molnar says her love affair with margarine was a short one.

    "I tried the margarine but I didn't like the taste," said Molnar. She's not alone.

    According to the American Butter Institute, U.S. butter consumption has reached its highest level in 40 years.

    Alan Cole says he stopped eating butter 30 years ago when he was told it was bad for his health but now he's not so sure.

    "When you go to the margarine and find out what chemicals are in it, it's basically just an oil," said Cole.

    Alan's wife Marie agrees.

    "I think there are less chemicals in the butter and the margarine is a lot of chemicals," she added.

    Now that's not to say margarine is the only alternative to butter. Tanya Lott says she switched to healthier oils and rarely uses butter.

    "So I'm using a lot more olive oil to cook with and trying to cut down on all of that," Lott explained.

    But sometimes people just want butter.

    Jeana Church is the owner of Janet's Cafe in El Cajon. She says customers will order toast and eggs with no butter but turn to the good stuff when ordering other breakfast staples.

    "Pancakes or french toast or anything like that, people usually want butter," she said.

    Anuja Miner with the American Butter Institute says consumers are moving away from highly processed foods and that works to the advantage of butter.

    Miner says margarine and other spreads are no longer viewed as healthier alternatives.

    Still, despite the current rise in butter consumption, we are eating less butter than our ancestors.

    While people today are eating over 5 pounds of butter a year, in the 1930's an average American ate 18 pounds of butter a year.