Amish Butter: Really?

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I’m at the check out, buying Kerrygold butter. (Our cow is drying up, so I’m back to buying butter.)

Lady at the checkout: “What’s so special about this butter?”

Me: “It comes from grass-fed cows, so it’s rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin D.” (Also E and K2, but I didn’t say that.)

Lady: “Oh, would that be the same as the Amish butter we carry?”

Me: “YOU CARRY AMISH BUTTER????” (I was a wee-bit excited.)

Lady: “Yeah, it’s over there [she described where] and people just love it. It’s SO GOOD! And it’s such a good price, too! You get this big log for about six dollars or something like that.”

Me: “I’ve got to check that out!”

Finding the Amish Butter

I found the refrigerator case with all the hand-rolled logs of Amish butter.

Wait a second. Hold on. What’s “country” supposed to mean? It’s from the same area as Amish farms? It’s rolled into a log like Amish butter?

Is this Amish butter or not?

I open the case and pull out a log, going right for the label.

You see what it says. Don’t read further down this post. Check your gut feeling. Is this Amish butter or not?

(blank space to give you room to think)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Was Thinking

“WI Grade A” — Grade A milk from a regular dairy in Wisconsin? “Alcam Creamery” — could be Amish? Nah, doesn’t sound Amish.

If this is Amish butter, wouldn’t it be labeled as “grass-fed” or “fresh from a Wisconsin Amish dairy farm”?

(For comparison, the Kerrygold butter label says, “In Ireland, cows graze on the green pastures of small family farms. This milk is churned to make Kerrygold butter.”)

What’s with the pale yellow color?

And why are there gobs and gobs of rolls of it? Certainly small Amish family farms don’t produce enough butter for discount markets across the country?

My stomach is now sunk all the way to the floor.

This is no Amish butter, I’m certain of it.

As I put the butter back into the case and turn around to leave, a lady tells me, “That butter is THE BEST. … It’s Amish.” Really? I wasn’t so sure.

Getting the Facts

Back home, I visit the Alcam Creamery website, specifically the Hand-Rolled Butter page.

I notice that nowhere in the text of the page is there any mention of Amish. The only place you see Amish is on the picture of the package.

Check out these words: “A great item for specialty stores, for a chef in an upscale restaurant and farmers’ markets.” So, are they hand-rolling regular (non-Amish) butter to sell as a specialty item and therefore charge a higher price? Hmm… could be.

Then I call Alcam Creamery, using the customer service number listed on the website. A man answers.

Man: “Alcam Creamery. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I live in Oregon and I just picked up a roll of your Amish Country Roll Butter at my grocery store. Is this Amish butter?”

Man: “Yes, that’s the brand name.”

Me: “But is it actually Amish butter?”

Man: “No.”

Me: “So, why is it called Amish?”

Man: pause

Me: “Is it because you hand roll it?”

Man: “Yes, that’s why.”

Me: “Thank you so much.” Then I hang up.

At-Home Comparison

I open a package of Amish Country Roll Butter and Kerrygold and put them side by side to compare color and taste.

The Kerrygold butter is more yellow, no doubt. More yellow means more beta-carotene. It means the cows were probably eating lots of rapidly growing green grass, because that is where they get the beta-carotene that gets into the cream which makes the butter (or cheese). Yellow cheese and yellow butter are awesome all around — taste and health.

Ingredients in each type of butter? The same: pasteurized cream and salt. The kids and I do a taste-test. The Amish Country Roll Butter is overly salty — unmistakeable to all of us. And we like salt, so that says a lot.

The taste and color comparison is neither here nor there in terms of getting the facts. I don’t even know if Amish farms have grass-fed cows any more. Do they? Or have they converted to grain-fed? You tell me.

It was just interesting to compare, for our own curiosity.

By the way, the Amish Country Roll Butter is about half the cost of the Kerrygold.

Deceptive Marketing?

I talked with three people about this Amish Country Roll Butter and two of them thought it was true Amish butter. The checkout lady told me how everyone in town loves this Amish butter, and I speculate many think it really is Amish butter, too. This reminds me of how the labels “natural” and “farm fresh” are used on foods. Most consumers fall for it.

I’m not even sure that the Amish Country Roll Butter is falsely labeled. It is hand-rolled like real Amish butter, after all.

I do think the name on the package is deceptive, though. I’ll go that far. Alcam Creamery must realize that people think their hand-rolled butter is Amish, yet they don’t do much to dispel that myth. Remember that when I called Alcam Creamery and asked whether the butter was Amish, the man’s first answer to me was: “Yes, that’s it’s brand name.” Does that usually satisfy people? Are they told to say that and hope the inquirer won’t try to go deeper?

If Alcam Creamery was really interested in truth in marketing, the employees (or maybe he was the owner, I don’t know) would answer something more truthful, like “Oh, no, it’s not Amish. But we hand-roll it like the Amish do and that’s where the name comes from.”

Instead, his answer confirmed for me that he knew the label was misleading. He couldn’t answer my real question without revealing his insider knowledge.

I don’t know much else about Alcam Creamery, and I’m not trying to slam them or their people. I only know what I’ve shared here about the hand-rolled butter. For all I know, they’re a great small town place to work. In terms of labeling, though, they’re not unique. Many companies use misleading labels.

All around I think it is unfortunate and depressing. Consumers don’t question what they’re buying and assume that labels are truthful. Companies knowingly mislead consumers through less-than-truthful product labels.

What’s the solution? Not government regulation! Consumers should wise up, push back, and stop supporting companies that market like this. There’s nothing more effective than marketplace competition. Ron Paul said of the healthcare industry, “True competition in the delivery of medical care is what is needed, not more government meddling.” That’s true of the food industry as well.


What do you think about the Amish Country Rolled Butter and how it is marketed? Would you have bought it thinking it was really Amish butter or would you have known better? Do you think it is falsely or deceptively labeled? What is the responsibility of consumers, government and food companies in issues of deceptive marketing? Seen any false labels on other foods lately?

I shared this post in Simple Lives Thursday and Fight Back Friday.

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Comments

  1. Julie says

    Gosh, thanks for the heads up! I buy Amish Roll Butter at Whole Foods and I was assuming that it really was Amish. Now looking at the website for Minerva Dairy, I’m pretty sure it’s the process used that makes it “Amish” roll butter. It does say it’s made in small batch churns, but I’m not sure that makes a difference. It has great flavor though!

        • says

          It does have a great flavor! I don’t really care whether it’s Amish-style or real Amish butter. The flavor makes it obvious that the cows are eating something better than the cows that produce the usual grocery store brands of butter. I get mine at Albertson’s. Don’t be a butter-snob, try it :)

    • says

      Here is what we were told by someone who checked out Minerva Cheese for a coop.

      “Unless otherwise noted, these are all made by Minerva Cheese. They have all of their farmers (all local) all sign a contract that stipulates that the cows be on pasture, and no hormones or antibiotics be used. They also use a non-GMO veggie rennet, and all of their butter is made in small batches from real cream, not whey cream :-)

        • Chef Shawn says

          Great article, and I’ve found the same. “Amish” is a word often bandied about to infer superior quality. Buying from local sources, Amish or otherwise, has always been my first choice. Admittedly, sometimes I can’t. Our current town is a bit shy on dairies, organics of any kind, etc.

          I do have to ask, though, why rennet of any kind would be used in butter? Or did I misinterpret that?

      • Emily says

        Marci, I am not trying to dispute what you were told in any way (and I am new to natural, whole food eating) but was just trying to do a bit more research on the Miverva Dairy Amish Gourmet butter that I have sitting in my refrigerator now. I typically buy Kerrygold but had the opportunity to buy this “Amish” butter and after reading this post I looked into it a bit more. Here is a link to the product sheet which says it is cultured with whey cream. That may not mean anything as I said I am new to this lifestyle but it caught my eye since you mentioned it in your post. https://www.minervadairy.com/images/RollButter.pdf

    • AP From PA says

      I agree this is one of those borderline false claim. The intent is clear, they want to draw attention of a buyer with the word Amish on it. If that was not the intent, the label would have said mass produced hand rolled butter. I am with you on this. However, my other comment is slightly off topic: I was searching for Plant#55-358 and came to this page. I found this plant number on a package of butter marketed by Deep Foods, which makes and in some cases markets Ethnic food products that are available at a lot of Indian and Pakistani markets (South-asian Markets). The package reads Desi butter, which literally translates to “Country Butter”, and it basically says something like the taste of this butter is similar to what you used to get in India. I feel I can give an honest opinion here because when I tasted this butter I didn’t know of the markating claims because I simply took a little from the dish it was served in. I thought it was kind of like most other half decent quality butters I buy at any supermarket, until someone at the table mentioned that it tase different. I still do not taste the difference, but now I see that it’s all in the marketing. To me what makes things taste difference is the type of feed that the cows consume. There is no way a “Foreign” style butter can come from an American cow raised on an American farm, and that same is true the other way around. It’s the environment and the feed that gives it that taste (for the most part). Traditionally Indian style butters are cultured cream butter, for obvious reasons, the hot climate is not suitable for long term storage of cream unless you add a known culture to prevent spoilage. Therefore a sweet cream butter like this Deep brand butter, to me is playing with people’s minds. Once you get people of think that this will taste like the one you used to taste, half the battle is won already. I am glad I tasted it blindly, and only difference I noticed was a slightly higher salt content, but that too differes from dairy to dairy… no realy difference in my opinion. Deep Foods thanks for trying, but I will not fall for your marketing claims.

  2. says

    Wardee–To really provide “truth in advertising,” I’d say that it should be called Amish-Style Country Rolled Butter. I do think that many products are called Amish that have nothing to do with them or their values in any way. :-(

    Shirley

  3. says

    Nice job, Wardee. I saw this as well and knew right away it wasn’t Amish because Amish butter is never less than $11/# and made in small batches. Small batch food (aka the responsibly made kind) is never found in grocery stores. But you are right – they are trying to deceive people and they are, in fact, pulling it off. I love that you made a post of this because now if someone happens to type “amish butter” into a search engine they just may find your post and realize they have been duped. Kudos!

    • says

      Thanks, Annette. Good point on the price in addition to the small batches. Definitely a red flag.

      I had a hard time choosing a title for this post, but in the end decided to use the words Amish Butter for search engine clarity. :)

  4. Barbara Torrey Centofante via Facebook says

    It is wise and prudent to listen to your inner wisdom and be a crtical thinker. It will save you a lot of problems. Trust and verify, verify, verify !!!

  5. Robin Ginner via Facebook says

    We get Hutterite butter in rolls like this at some of our more rural stores. But I have no reason to doubt it because we have a large Hutterite population in these parts.

  6. says

    Good grief is what comes to mind. I’d like to think I’d catch that since I read labels all the time because I’m suspicious of things being what they say they are. My brother bought Aloe gel based on the label, on closer look it was 100% gel, not aloe. Good for you catching “country” part of the label! Red flags went up right away.

    • says

      Marg — Good grief is right. Thanks for sharing your experience with the aloe. What was the gel, do you know? I think I might have fallen for that one. Not any more!

    • says

      Some time ago I couldn’t find any reasonable aloe at the store–they either had too many other ingredients or ingredients I don’t care for, so I ended up buying an Aloe plant for the house and that’s been a renewable resource for a few years now!

      Great article, by the way Wardee. When I can’t get local butter or don’t have time to make my own, I get the cultured butter from the Vermont Butter and Cheese Company. (No, I don’t receive any compensation for the endorsement!)

  7. Beverly Jeff Adams via Facebook says

    “Amish” is a great marketing tool, too bad they hadn’t trademarked their name. To be more truthful, it should have said Amish “style” butter, but even that is deceptive.

  8. Tika Weeks via Facebook says

    We saw this at our local Food 4 Less and almost bought it. My husband and I had vacationed in Amish country last year and I flipped it over to see if it was from anywhere we recognized. I had the same hesitation when I saw the wording on the label. Thank you for sharing, what you learned from the company, Wardee!

  9. says

    This is a sad fact, but living awfully near Amish country, I’ve learned the hard way. Not all Amish practice traditional farming techniques any more. Not all Amish livestock is grass fed or free range. Sometimes, their baked goods contain HFCS, and often so does “Amish peanut butter” and homemade jams and jellies. Not to mention refined white sugar.

    Now – there are Amish who still use real ingredients and who traditionally raise their livestock. The lesson I learned is the same I’ve learned with any other farmer – talk to them and ask good questions! Never assume that because it says “Amish” or is sold by the Amish that it is wholesome or traditionally prepared.

    The same day, I learned that the Amish stock up on bags of Lay’s potato chips and Chips Ahoy cookies. It was a sad day.

      • says

        I have a very basic understanding of the culture, living so close to large Amish communities. What I understand is that there are numerous levels of strictness regarding adopting “English” ways. My guess is that the strict and old-order Amish have maintained most of their traditional practices – but they are the ones you aren’t going to buy goods from in a store. If at all, you’ll find them at farmer’s markets or a roadside stand. The more “modern” Amish are the ones who are turning to more conventional farming practices, like the ones Jessie mentions below.

        Thanks for a great reminder to always read those darn labels and ask really good questions!

    • says

      We actually have our cow share with an Amish family farmer. His wife makes cheese and butter, etc. as well, but they only sell cow shares right now because of our state laws. Their cows are grass-fed in the summer with supplemental hay and oats in the winter because in Michigan it is stinking cold and there is no grass in sight. In any case, we went to the farm and met with the family and the animals before making our decision. We’ve not had the experiences that have been shared here, as ours have only been good experiences with the Amish community in our area.

      • Hanna says

        Rachel ~ Can you give me some info about where you can get the Michigan Amish products? I live in downstate Troy. I am wondering if you know about Peacock Poultry Farm products and where their Amish products come from?

        Thanks for any info you can provide me.

    • Christy says

      I live in Amish Country and I never buy their baked goods. It’s Crisco, Crisco and more Crisco! You would think they would know better. I do, however, see lots of grazing cows. It’s hard to say whether those cows get “finished” in a feed lot or if all their milk gets trucked off to big dairy but it’s a nice thing to see while out driving.

    • Sarah says

      I was shocked when I found out our local Amish farms all use pesticides on their strawberries :( I was very disappointed because we never have organic strawberries in our local stores and there is only one you-pick that’s organic and they didn’t have a harvest due to bad weather this year. I thought for sure the Amish would have done it right but no, they spray regularly.

  10. Jessie says

    Couple of thoughts

    1) even if it was Amish – that doesn’t mean grassfed. I travel through Lancaster PA with some frequency & I can tell you that some Amish farmers have confinement operations. I can see them on the roads I drive down.

    2) I have had Amish roll butter from a grassfed farm. It is super-yummy! But I think one reason why I really like it is because it is extra salty. I just love that butter & salt taste together. So possibly this Amish butter is extra salty & that’s why people like it so much.

    • says

      Jessie — On #1, I was afraid of that. On #2, interesting! I had no idea Amish butter was extra salty and the fact that this was stood right out to me. I have had true Amish roll butter from Montana once and it was as amazing as my homemade butter, but I don’t remember it being so salty. It was a long time ago, though.

      • says

        I’d like to think I would’ve caught it, and I probably would have, but there are times when I’m in a hurry and it might have slipped by me. The color would have made me suspicious though…I would have expected much brighter yellow! Sad that they’ve chosen to make the label misleading.

      • Jessie says

        maybe it was just the kind I had that was extra salty – but it was noticeable to me. I’m just trying to figure out in my head why so many people rave about this “amish” butter. So I was postulating salt :)

    • rebecca says

      A big “ditto” to Jessie – I live in Ohio and we have tons of real Amish products (and lots of fake “Amish” products. If you are buying an “Amish’ product from a store (not a local farmers market or direct-from-farmer) you are likely supporting a conventional CAFO type operation. The guys that are selling on a big scale to stores are BUSINESSMEN who happen to be Amish (or more often, they are Mennonite.) The Amish farmers in this area are not organic, not pesticide-free, not cage-free, not grass-fed, not free-range, not rBST-free, etc. It’s not the happy country farm that people have in their head it’s a big business using a cute farm on the logo. You really need to ask lots of questions and do some research.

  11. says

    Thank you for posting this! I did the same thing about a year ago with a food co op I order from. I was excited to see the price was less for some type of Amish butter than the butter I usually bought. Then I asked myself why I made the assumption that Amish butter was better. (Was it grass-fed, etc) After reasoning through all the info, I didn’t buy it. (If I remember correctly, when I traced it down I discovered they were fed grain) If the price is way off, there’s usually a reason. My first thought when I read the name “Amish Country” is that it comes from an area where there are a lot of Amish, but the product itself has nothing to do with the Amish. Well-written article!

  12. says

    Wow, I noticed this same “Amish” butter at my local Sherm’s, too, and passed it up because it seemed too cheap, and not dark-yellow enough! You were very thorough to call the company and ask, though. Good to know my suspicions were correct. It seems kind of wrong to buy butter from Wisconsin when there are so many great pasture-based places here in Oregon, anyway!

  13. says

    The Amish aren’t some sort of magical people and just because a label says Amish doesn’t meant there’s anything special about it. I grew up near an Amish settlement in Michigan. They had a farm stand where they would sell baked goods to tourists. Everyone raved about how good the Amish bread was, but those of us who lived in town would see the Amish women in Kroger buying packages of frozen bread dough.

  14. amy says

    Wardee – I just love you! Your whole approach and attitude is so refreshing. No, we don’t need papa-gov helping us on this one (or many, most!, other issues). I really, really appreciate the way you approached & handled all of this. You were kind to the person on the phone, and in speaking of him & the company here. What a great role model you are for us all!

    My hubbie was just asking me last night why I didn’t buy the store-brand (cheaper) sugar, but instead buy (can I say it here?)…. one that is marketed as pure-cane sugar. Well, I told him why – because it’s not GMO, or made from corn – it’s real sugar, in other words (I can’t recall all the details now, it’s been about a year ago). He wanted to know how I knew that – well, I CALLED and went up the ladder until I found someone who could answer my questions. And there you have it. Yes, it took time & effort, but now I know who I want to support, even if it isn’t as cheap. (I use if for my Kombucha, btw).

    Thanks again, gal!!!

  15. says

    As someone who is friends with amish, and lives in a community surrounded by many, labeling a food as amish….does NOT make it healthy =) Unfortunately, the amish who live near us…sweet, dear, God-fearing people…eat a diet comprised of mainly processed foods. There homemade goods are full of white sugar and white flour, as well as hydrogenated oils. Sad, but true. Each amish community is different of course. But, just because it is labeled as such, would not make it healthy!

    Blessings,

    Joy~

  16. Sherri Coenen Cripe via Facebook says

    Beverly even some of the Amish realize that their name is a great marketing tool. The ones by my parents house buy frozen bread dough at the grocery store and then sell the loaves to the tourists as “home-baked Amish Bread”

  17. Megan says

    Hi Wardee! We get our milk from a wonderful Amish farmer who has awesome practices (absolutely no grain!), and we get our eggs and a lot of our meat from another Amish farmer. However, based on what they have said, it is not safe to assume that just because they are Amish means they are doing things the right way.

    My dairy farmer’s father actually sells his milk to one of the big name dairy companies. He feeds his cows grain, although he has started pasturing them as well because he finds that his cows are healthier, go figure! ;)

    We also get some of our cheese from the Amish general store when our co op does the farm pick up, but it isn’t labeled grassfed so I have cut back on how much we buy. I asked the Amish sales clerk last time I was up there, and he told me that if they don’t claim to be grassfed then they aren’t. However, the butter has a good yellow color which I’m guessing means that the cows are on pasture sometimes… but who knows how much grain they are getting.

    Also, I think it really depends on what the customer demands from the Amish. My dairy farmer who does everything right for his raw milk also raises chickens, but he does it in a barn with no sunlight, and while it is cleaner and better than grocery store chicken with no antibiotics, it’s a far cry from pastured.

    I try to buy most of my chicken especially my whole birds for casseroles and stock from my egg farmer who pastures all of his birds etc. His wife was actually ill, and so they switched to good practices to help her health, and it has helped immesely! :) They are amazing! :)

  18. says

    I’ve seen this “Amish-style” butter turning up everywhere lately, but have come to the same conclusions after a bit of my own sleuth work. All I can say is that simply reading labels isn’t usually sufficient enough anymore.

  19. says

    Robin Ginner, do you know if the Hutterites you purchase from feed their animals grain and, if so, what kind? Being new to North Dakota, I was excited to learn about the Hutterites, but when I looked them up, this is what I found, “Because most Hutterite colonies also have livestock (either poultry, hogs or beef), grain grown is often used for livestock feed.” It also says they grow corn and soy. I would be surprised to learn it is non-GMO, as is the case in almost 100% of those crops grown in the US. I found that info at:
    hutterites.org

  20. Courtney Byron via Facebook says

    as a family that loves Marguerite De Angeli’s depiction of the Amish and their ways… we too have been sadly disappointed by the quality of their goods.. at least the Amish community in our area….

  21. says

    Loved your post. It happens all too often to too many people :(
    I live next to Lancaster County, PA (The most famous Amish Country)
    Technically, anything produced in Amish Country or out of goods from
    Amish Country will be called “Amish Country” It’s where it’s from, not a religious affiliation. Anywhere the Amish are settled there is an Amish Country & WI is full of them, so Alcam is probably in an Amish Country. It’s a term just like “New England”.
    I buy a lot from an Amish farm there that the local Plain people refer to as “THE organic farm” even though it has a farm name “Pleasant Pastures”. The farm owner is a WAPF speaker for several chapters. His products are great. There is not another organic farm for almost 50 miles. The Amish have a devout religious conviction about family-life. not food. When I talk to people about food they say, “Oh, I know my [food] is good, I get it from an Amish farm”. Me:”oh, did you talk to them about their growing practices? what are their beliefs about animal husbandry?” them:”Well. They’re Amish.” It’s so sad. I LOVE the Amish people. I have learned so much about myself & my family thru them. I pray for their souls. But that doesn’t make them good farmers. They have to keep up with costs too. They do commerce in an English world. They use tractors, combines, pesticides, herbacides, & GMOs. Not the image most ppl have when they hear “Amish”. They all have a family garden, but they’re not growing grains for themselves anymore. They buy flour at the store. They shop at regular groceries & eat Jell-o, Kelloggs, packaged bread, processed noodles, etc. They are simpler than average Americans, & HARD-working, but the women are facing unprecedented weight-gain. They need prayer. I guess growing up & living w/ the Amish I just know that the word means nothing to do with quality any more. Not for 50 years at least. I do think it’s horribly sad that their beautiful culture is being exploited so badly. But they know it & are better people than to worry what the English think of them. I wish the corporations weren’t exploiting the general population by using the Amish name–because the average people are unaware :(

  22. says

    I live in Northern Virginia, close enough to Amish country to know that if you’re looking for grassfed, traditional dairy, chances are you won’t find that in a grocery store. Maybe in a local health food store, but I’d be wary even of that, unless it’s located in PA. I’m almost through a very thorough process to join a “private buyers club” to purchase raw milk, raw milk cheeses and other traditionally farmed animal products from an Amish farmer. A gallon of milk is almost $7 if you factor in delivery fees. Cream is much higher, and butter is even more.

  23. Jill Sommitz via Facebook says

    I love the way you want to get through all the economic and possibly deceptive layers of food and get to the bottom of things, Wardee. You are an example to me to keep asking questions, keep researching.

  24. says

    We used to sell Amish Butter from Troyer when we had the bakery. It is made and sold by an Amish business. It was labeled Amish Rolled Butter. It wasn’t bright yellow but not pure white either. Their dairy cows are pastured and supplemented with hay ( and I assume some grain) in the winter. You might want to check it out and see if you can buy it where you live. I used it in the bakery and at home. It was more expensive that it would have been to make it but the convenience of having it there was worth it to me during those busy days.

  25. says

    Oh, and I wanted to add, it is a good idea to call the producers. the butter we had didn’t say anything about pastured cows or made by the Amish either, but it was both.

  26. Mona says

    Wardee,

    Good for you, I am so glad you wrote this article, I had just noticed the rolled butter at the co-op yesterday and said to Bruce..Oh look Amish butter, thanks for the heads up! I can always count on you to keep it real Wardee and I just love you for that! warm loving hugs from Vermont, Mona

  27. says

    I’m with you on this. I think it is deceptive marketing. I actually like hand-rolled butter and would buy it without the Amish label. I wish companies would realize that integrity is worth much more than a brand name.

  28. says

    great post! i too often see deceptive labeling like this and i always second guess (or contact the company like you).

    i hate that we have to do so much research to know whats in our food. but its worth it.

    and i 100% agree… government regulation isnt the answer! its up to us consumers, even though it takes work.

    ron paul 2012! (he also supports raw milk freedom)

  29. says

    Wardee, definitely we need truth and labeling laws that cover things like this. While I believe we need a LOT less government, the Bible has something big to say about honesty in the market place… “Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.” ~ Proverbs 20:10. I believe this situation would certainly fall in that category! One of the FEW things our government should be doing is protecting us from lies in the market place.

    Another tip for your readers. On the label just below the approximate weight is “PLT#55-358″. Since when did the Amish have a bunch of manufacturing plants that they needed to code them? Another big clue that this is a marketing trick to make people “feel good” about the food they are eating.

    GREAT CALL, Wardee! This was an excellent shopping primer that we need to learn! Practice makes perfect!

  30. says

    I too, live in Amish Country (Ohio) and I see them buying their food at Aldi or Walmart – they are NOT eating traditional food, grown at home anymore either. The gardens are almost always chemical laden. I don’t buy Amish food (milk, produce, baked goods) because it is NOT traditional food. Read the labels (if it’s labeled). That is why we grow our own or only buy from certified organic producers.

  31. says

    I would tell you that anytime you see “Amish” on anything check closely. We live smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest Amish areas in the USA. MANY MANY people use that name to bring in business. We have friends that come once a year from another state to go to the Amish flea market and the Amish town. However, no Amish sell anything at the stores they go to. They are just called Amish or Amish Country.

    Also, I agree with Laurie. Most of the Amish I know are white flour, white sugar kind of people.

  32. says

    Around here, there’s “Amish Roll Butter,” but the producer is a local dairy, and I know for a fact that their cows are grass-fed. I could go visit the dairy if I was so inclined. Because I know details about the producer, I do buy their butter sometimes.

    My MIL grew up in Amish country (she’s not Amish). They are heavily into fake foods. She says this is largely because they are unable to be “fancy” in so many areas of their lives, they can’t dress up, so they celebrate with food. They love sprinkles and sweets and things like that. Any sort of mainstream Amish store will have mostly processed foods in it. It is possible to find things like sucanat, real salt, wheat berries, and even real lard (in the refrigerator case). Raw cheese is available too but rare. I have been generally disappointed with the selection, but still go a few times a year for the dry goods I can buy. Sucanat’s $6/lb. at my health food stores here, but $1.75/lb. in Amish stores. You have to know what you’re looking for and not get carried away “Because it’s Amish!!” It is deceptive and I see so many fall for it, as I used to. Now I know better.

    On a related note, I was at Walmart the other week. I noticed a bottle of Log Cabin brand “natural” maple syrup. It was shaped like the little jugs that real maple syrup comes in, had green stripes and the word ‘natural’ in green. They were trying to make it look as much as possible like real maple syrup. It’s not. It’s brown rice syrup and a few other additives with artificial maple flavoring. No actual real syrup in it. I found this disgusting because it is clearly marketed at those who want real, natural syrup — and that is not what it is. Premium price, of course.

    I’m so tired of this junk.

  33. missbrett says

    Our Costco has started carrying ground beef with labels showing cows grazing in green pasture. When I first saw it, I got a little bit excited, but a moment later I wised up. I looked more carefully, and nothing, NOTHING on the label claimed it was grass fed beef. I was so annoyed by the obvious attempt to dupe the unsuspecting shopper by leading them to believe it is grass fed beef by showing cows in a pasture. Who wouldn’t believe it? Few people would actually look to see if it is really grass fed beef.

    • says

      Supposing it had said ‘grass-fed’ anywhere on it, you would still have no guarantee it was ONLY grass-fed or grass-finished. A lot of store-bought grass-fed beef is finished on grain anyway.

  34. rebecca says

    I live in Ohio and we have tons of real Amish products (and lots of fake “Amish” products. If you are buying an “Amish’ product from a store (not a local farmers market or direct-from-farmer) you are likely supporting a conventional CAFO type operation. The guys that are selling on a big scale to stores are BUSINESSMEN who happen to be Amish (or more often, they are Mennonite.) The Amish farmers in this area are not organic, not pesticide-free, not cage-free, not grass-fed, not free-range, not rBST-free, etc. It’s not the happy country farm that people have in their head it’s a big business using a cute farm on the logo. You really need to ask lots of questions and do some research.

  35. says

    I am so glad you posted this. I had a lady ask me a while back if I knew where to get Amish butter. I responded that we get fresh butter from our Amish farmers that we get our milk from as well. She said no it says Amish butter on it.

    I guess now when I am asked I will just send them this link so that way they too can see the difference of REAL butter and processed butter. Thanks for the post.

  36. Valerie Watkins says

    I just wanted to speculate that the Alcam Creamery Company might call their butter ‘Amish Country’ because where the city in Wisconsin where they are located is known as Amish Country as the area has a high population of Amish.

  37. Jess K says

    Just a few comments.

    1. There is real Amish butter out there. You can find it in Galax County VA. Made by Amish. Tasty stuff.

    2. Recently read somewhere on a Paleo site that Kerrygold was now adding things like vegetable oil or coloring to their butter. Buyer beware.

  38. says

    You really have to be careful. Marketers grab on to whatever buzz words are trending and try to use that on product packaging. That fact that people are mislead by it means nothing to these corporate tools. There is even a type of highly processed vegan imitation meat stick in the stores with the name PRIMAL in it. An obvious attempt to cash in on the paleo food movement.

  39. says

    This was a great post!

    I took a photo recently to show “just” the color difference between Organic Valley butter and some generic “real” butter. Both were the butter pats I’d picked up when I was out and it was all I had in the house. I love Kerrygold, too, and am so glad to have discovered them, and your site!

    Thank you!

  40. says

    How wonderful for you to do this bit of research ~ I am sure many would think that Amish butter was from Amish farmers! I have noticed the light yellow color of the butter before and thought it was very pale in comparison to our butter that I make. Our butter is so dark yellow, almost like mustard — a good testimony to what a real grass-fed Jersey produces! :)

    Thanks for this post.

    • T.A.Greene says

      the color of real buter may vary a great deal based on the season with the change of diet of the cow. Lush green grass will generally produce a much more yellow butter than hay fed cows produce in the winter. Also the yellow butter may be the result of butter coloring mixed into the butter prior to packaging…………know your farmer, know your dairyman, know the cows and the processes used. Just because a cow is “grass fed” does not mean that she is not fed supplemental grain to maintain production. Keep in mind also that some breeds of cows will generally produce a difference in the yellow color of your butter, a holstein generally will not produce the degree of yellow in butter that a Jersey will. Don’t judge your butter totally on color, Know you cows, know the farmer…………….

  41. Jamie says

    “Buyer, beware!” This is what comes to mind.
    Read the labels and use your common sense. “Amish Country Rolled Style Butter” would be more to the point perhaps. On the one hand I appreciate laws that guide products. Quacks can’t go around poisoning people as one example. On the other is the idea of too much of a good thing.
    “All things in moderation” we are commanded. ALL things. Including government regulations. Including eating real Amish butter. Including smoking two packs of cigarettes a day instead of enjoying one good cigar. I don’t need the government telling me what’s healthy but I would like to know what’s in the sausage I am about to buy. We don’t live as close to our store bought food as we once did so we don’t know our farmers, and ranchers, and dairymen. We knew their ways and could make choices as to whom we bought what from.
    I could keep rambling but I’ll stop because I think You All are smart enough to get my point!
    Hello, Wardee : )
    Jamie

    • says

      Kathryn — Sherm’s in Roseburg just started carrying it. My friend asked them repeatedly for over a year before they did. Also, Trader Joe’s in Eugene carries it. That’s all I know.

      • says

        not sure where independence is… but i’m about 1/2 hour outside of eugene… i just discovered that the kiva (health food store) in eugene carries it… never been to the trader joe’s here, so i don’t know if there’s a price difference…

    • Heather says

      And always ask your regular grocer to carry it! I used to have to drive an hour to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but now our local chain grocer carries it, thanks to customers requesting it.

    • Elizabeth says

      Kathryn,
      I’ve found Kerrygold at all Market of Choice locations, as well as our Safeway in Cottage Grove. I agree with Heather — ask and your grocer may start carrying it :)

  42. Dan Myshrall says

    Given enough time… and marketing slang, ‘Amish’ will have as much meaning as ‘Kosher’… not that there’s anything ‘wrong’ with that!

  43. Jami says

    Yes, I saw this too and bought some for comparison and research at home. I wish I had waiting for this blog post now – lol

    I never thought it was Amish, but I did want to see if it was any better than regular butter. Nope the color is the same – sigh.

    It’s good to learn these things as I’m sure more and more businesses will try going the way of deception in order to capitalize on those seeking healthful alternatives.

    Jami

  44. says

    I suspected as much. It’s so hard to chase down all this info. Shame on that company. I hope a bunch of folks who have this in their markets call and complain….where do we report this for false advertising?

  45. Irena Dunkley says

    Thank you for the post! I buy Amish Roll Butter here in VA. Up until now I thought I was buying butter from real Amish farms meaning from pastured cows. Went online to check the info on the diary and guess what? The name on the butter is “Amish Roll Butter” but the name of the same product online is “Amish-Style Rolled Butter”. How can it be, right? I tried calling them but the only option was to leave a voice mail. So I will try again. But I think I know the answer to my question already:( So so sad that there is so much deception and it is confusing to people who want to eat healthy. I am thankful to have also a membership in buying club which supplies with real Amish products from real Amish farms.

  46. says

    Ah, truth in packaging! Reminds me when I bought a nut-free oil for my massage practice only to read in the small print later that the oil was manufactured in a facility that processes nut oils! Goes to show we really need to read ALL of the label and re-read it frequently since manufacturers like to “improve” their product.

  47. Charzie says

    I think that government regulations about accuracy of labeling are completely appropriate. I agree we should be able to decide what we choose to feed our families, but in order to make those choices, we need labels to accurately represent what is being sold in the marketplace. Personally, if this butter had been my discovery, I’m pretty sure I would have contacted at least the state agencies assigned to regulate food labeling, and reported them. IMO, the creamery is representing their product in a deliberately deceptive fashion, and that is not OK, and likely not legal, and does financial damage to dairies that are actually doing things right, and deceives people who think they are consuming a more healthful product.

    • Teryl McClung says

      I would agree if our government wasn’t also part of the problem. They are as criminal about allowing deceptive labeling as the worst of the profits motivated companies, because they are heavily influenced and in many ways controlled by lobbiests & lawyers “owned” by these same companies. Unfortuantely, our only hope is to look to ourselves for honest reporting.

  48. says

    Love that you took the time to research for us all. I always thought it was Amish, but that is because I but it in Amish stores. I’m going to check their label and see if it is different. It does taste okay, but now I’m really going to be on the lookout.

    As for Amish and grass-fed cows. Our neighbours (Amish) are grass-fed. They may give them some corn but I don’t think they do. I will ask them next time. We always have great talks.

    Thanks

  49. says

    Great post and so true! It’s amazing that so many people take whatever it says as the truth, without doing any research. The same is true for vitamins, minerals and supplements. the FDA only requires a product to contain 10% of natural food in order to be labeled 100% natural. Most all suppelments that you buy in the box or convienient stores that say 100% natural only contain a small % of natural food with no or very little testing.
    People don’t see outstanding results because they are not taking a 100% all natural whole food supplement! I am not a health fanatic, but there is a major difference.
    here’s a blog post I recently wrote on the subject: http://srkindredspirits.blogspot.com/2012/02/are-all-vitamins-same.html
    ps. i found you through a prairie homestead on fb!

  50. Heather says

    I live in Ohio near the Amish, and I don’t even trust the Amish to sell Amish. I’ve bought Amish made furniture from an Amish furniture store, only to come home and find a “made in China” label underneath. I only buy Kerrygold. :D. Thanks for a great reminder to read labels and trust your instincts.

    • Suzanne says

      Heather,
      I know what you mean. I’m in Annapolis and we have an Amish Market that’s open Thurs/Fri/Sat year-round. Not only are they selling re-packaged fruit loops to appear as though they are some kind of homemade treat (among many other items), but when I asked them where the butter and cheese came from, the Amish women behind the counter could not tell me anything about the products they were selling. I think this is a real shame. I also questioned the produce counter about the VERY LARGE ripe strawberries they had in the mid-winter months- again, I could not get a straight answer, and a lot of “I’m not sure” responses. My intincts told me that these could not be truely organic products.

      I do not purchase ANYTHING from the Amish market anymore.

  51. Amy says

    This is the exact same “Amish” butter that I’ve been buying. We live in Florida, but have driving to a small country town in Alabama for our – not really Amish butter. I’m so glad that you brought this to my attention. I’ve been paying $8.95 for a 2 lb. roll.

      • Amy says

        I love Ocheessee Milk!! We usually drive to the creamery in B’town. I tried their butter once and it didn’t seem to last that long in the refrigerator. I’ll give them another try. The people at the Ocheessee Creamery are always so nice. We’ve been buying from them for over a year.

  52. Cheryl says

    Do you mean to say that Kerrygold butter is pasteurized? I had no idea. Now my only option will really be to make my own from cream I get at my local dairy. :-(

  53. Jersey Lady says

    We know better but many people do not. I think it is sad that the dairy can get away making money off the Amish name. I don’t think we can assume that Amish cows are all grass fed. The ones I know grow corn and hay. We boarded some of our show cows with an Amish farmer. He and his neighbors all fed grain.

    • says

      We spend alot of time with the Amish in Lancaster County, PA, and the cows there do NOT graze; they live in sheds and are fed. The Amish farms are about 85 acres max because that’s all you can manage with a horse and plow, without modern equipment. They have to make their entire living off that small acreage and are not necessarily sympathetic with organic methods. Amish is NOT synonymous with “natural, organic, healthy”.

  54. Gabrielle says

    This has been at Sherms for a few month’s now. I also read the label, noted the color, and concluded that the price meant it was surely not feasible to send REAL butter all the way to Oregon for 3.50/ pound! But when I see it I still have that memento of ‘ah, it looks tempting in that large uneven roll!’ Thanks for sharing your info about it Wardee. It won’t tempt me any more :)

  55. JodyL says

    I’m of the buyer beware camp. I think it’s unethical for companies to use deceptive naming, but I certainly don’t want the government doing anymore policing than it already does.

  56. Jennifer Burns says

    As someone who lives in the middle of many Amish families I assure you that anything that you can buy in a grocery store is not going to be made by Amish. The only way that it would be is if they owned their own company. One example are Amish Fry Pies. Amish people own the factory that produces these..but they are massed produced.

  57. Brenda says

    A couple of years ago I would have been naive enough to buy”Amish” butter. That is no longer the case! I have done much reading and research about foods, labels, farmers, etc., and am disgusted by what I have found! Currently following a Paleo diet; no starches, grains, sugars, processed foods. I am selective when I shop. Kerrygold is in my fridge, as well as fresh lard rendered down myself from a local butcher (locally raised pigs). Packaging is deceptive…you HAVE to educate yourself! I believe there is too much government trying to control everything, but with GMO foods, seeds, the Monsanto push by the government….this needs to be controlled! We should know what is going into our foods AND have a choice. Write to your Congress!

  58. Dani says

    I love reading the comments! Ah, to live near Amish country, and perchance obtain something authentically Amish :-)
    I have some friends that live in Amish country in Wisconsin, and we went to visit them a few years back. It’s interesting; my friend said that they use SO MUCH fertilizer that it’s seeping excess nitrogen into the aquifers, and people can’t even dig water wells anymore–in fact, in was causing some of the Amish children to be born with birth defects and varying (to severe) retardation because the Amish community was a bit behind the curve in recognizing that the well water was causing the problem.
    Anyway, it was really an eye opener to me that the Amish used so much fertilizer that they were stockpiling it to the point of getting the attention of Homeland Security (it is an ingredient in bomb making). I did see lots of cows from Amish dairies in pastures munching on green grass, but I don’t know that I would trust that they understand “organic” from a sustainable farming and ranching standpoint like most of us “real foodies” and people that subscribe to the styles of Joel Salatin (I’m not speaking about “all” Amish, but those that we saw using a horse to draw the wagon that had the bucket of fertilizer across the field, and others that farm that way). Purchasing Amish food, unfortunately, is no different than any other: know your farmer.
    But, back to your blog post: it’s disappointing that a creamery would be intentionally misleading.

  59. says

    Nice post. They are claiming its from “Amish Country” in the label. I think that is very deceptive because most people would not read through those lines. But sadly this is where being an informed educated consumer comes in. Stick with Kerry Gold. You will be much happier.

  60. says

    AMISH – it’s funny to me that people think that their stuff is any different. I live by a huge Amish community and they grow conventionally with pesticides/chemicals just like everyone else. When I drive by their fields I”ll see them out spraying their fields with chemicals behind their horse. ACK

    This is the main reason I don’t step foot in a grocery store any more. I buy from small local producers – luckily I get raw milk from a local farm & make my own butter and we have a small organic pastured dairy nearby as well that sells butter. I know their cows are pastured because their butter changes colors throughout the seasons.

    Cheers to you for hopefully opening some eyes!

  61. marci357 says

    The package says Amish Country…. That is all that I would expect from it – that it came from an area where there were Amish folks – but not that it was necessarily Amish itself…
    Personally, I buy Tillamook Butter. when it’s on sale, and freeze it for later use.

  62. says

    I live here in Oregon too and havent seen either butter. Ive been looking to see if there are any Amish living in Oregon…….and havent found any. Do they live here and if so where? I would have been so excited to see that label tho at first because I am seeking fresh Amish foods. When I lived in NJ I was able to shop at an Amish market and loved everything including the butter from there. So since then I seek. But Im very glad you posted this. Ill be sure to avoid it. If it was a good butter I would still have bought it but its sounding to me like marketing hype to push inferior butter.

  63. Kathryn says

    I found this in one of our Olympia, WA stores and wondered if it was true or not. thought I’d wait and see if someone else picked it up and did some research. :) thanks for doing my work.

  64. says

    Wow, such an interesting post. I’d have fallen for the Amish claim hook, line, and sinker, and I’d have fallen for the guy on the phone’s first answer, too. Good for you. I will have to be more careful.

  65. Gayle says

    We only eat Kerrygold these days, and I only buy it at Trader Joe’s because it’s waaaaay cheaper there than anywhere else that I’ve seen it. TJ’s is a little bit of a drive for me, so I always buy a whole pile of packages of butter. The cashier always comments about the amount of butter I have in my cart. Usually something like, “Wow, you sure must love butter!” To which I reply, “Yes! Yes I do!”

  66. Cindy says

    Great site. We just got a jersey cow and I’ve been looking for ideas for all the milk. What a coincidence to see you mention Kerrygold butter, as I live in Kerry, Ireland! A tip for those in the US, look for it on sale after St. Patricks day in your supermarket. Stores often stock it just for the holiday and will discount it afterwards.

  67. says

    No doubt the check-out girl thought the butter was so great DUE to the excess salt. Quite a few people these days are inclined to think something tastes great if it’s doused in salt or sugar.

  68. says

    My husband and I spent our honeymoon in a cottage in Amish country in Illinois. We visited an Amish restaurant, thinking we would get healthy food. They had this peanut butter jar on the tables, and we read the labels – sugar was added! And the peanut butter was labelled Amish peanut butter! We no longer think Amish = healthy. Maybe 100 years ago, but not today.

    • Michelle says

      Last night I was talking to a woman who was Amish and her teeth were rotted. I thought that was odd. This may explain it.

    • JessicaD says

      “Amish Peanut Butter” is a tradition all it’s own. It is sugar and honey and peanut butter and maybe more whipped together. Oooey-goooey goodness **if** you don’t care about consuming sugar.

  69. Teryl McClung says

    Thank you Wardee for bringing this to our attention and for all your efforts on all our behalf. As more and more people are wanting to turn to a more natural and healthy lifestyle, the profits motivated companies will do more and more to deceptively cash in on this cultural shift, but not to necessarily accommodate. If it is discovered that a company is just a slick mountebank selling snake oil, then their actions speak volumes about that company’s ethics and it is entirely appropriate to identify them and thier products for what they really are. Shame on them!

  70. says

    Unless I’m specifically getting it from a local, small farm, I stick with either Clover, California Gold, or Tillamook dairy products. I don’t pay much attention to the beta-carotene, but I know the cows are treated reasonably well, and they’re reasonably local. (Tillamook’s far, but on the same coast.)

  71. says

    Great post, Wardee. Good job on the legwork to show the truth about the butter’s misleading labeling. Buyer beware, for sure! I wonder if the creamery is calling the butter “Amish Country” because they are located in a place that is considered by locals to be amish country. In PA, that’s the term we used to refer to Lancaster and other areas where the amish population was high.

    Clearly, the Alcam butter is not the “real deal” and I hope people will begin to question labels…it’s high time the public stopped trusting the food industry!

    We also enjoy Kerrygold; I just wish it were raw! Great Ron Paul quote, by the way. Cheers! Gabi

  72. says

    I just noticed the link above regarding Kerrygold…thanks for sharing that, JW. The fact is that if we aren’t making our own raw butter from grass-fed cows, we’re compromising… But since that’s a part of reality more often than not, I guess we must do our homework and find the most reasonable compromise available….

  73. Heather says

    In point of fact “Amish Country”, while obviously a labeling gimmick, is true in this case. The creamery is located on the edge of WI’s most heavily Amish area (I lived in WI’s Amish Country for a few years), so some of the milk used to make the butter may even be from Amish farms…BUT raw milk sales are illegal in WI, with even herdshares attracting unpleasant gov’t attention, so Amish dairy farmers are probably mostly selling their milk to the same creameries/cheese companies everyone else is.

  74. Lee says

    I am very impressed that you were able to contact the company. I have emailed several people at Alcam Creamery and have NEVER received a response. My question was simple: Do your dairy farmers that produce your “Amish Country Butter” use bovine growth hormones with their cows? (I was certain from the beginning they were not actually Amish, I’d already had this same battle with Amish Cheese Shop last year and they DO use growth hormones.) I’m still waiting to hear from Alcam as to where they source their milk. I quit buying their butter as soon as I realized I was never going to hear from their “customer service” department. You are right, it is overly salty in addition to being misleadingly labeled.

  75. Nicole says

    Good sleuthing, the perception of the Amish is based on marketing, and peoples ideals. Using horsepower does not mean you’re organic. Unfortunately, the Amish farm like many other farmers in the US, some are organic, and most are not.

    I often wonder too, really does Ireland have enough land base and cows to provide grassfed butter to export? I doubt it. But the marketing works good there too. People lap it up, with no care in the world about shipping perishable food around the world. Working with local farmers to produce a truly nutrient dense product would be better for everyone and the environment. I freeze my nutrient dense butter and make ghee to weather the my cow’s dry period.

    • says

      I agree with your point about shipping food around the world…I keep thinking about that as I buy the Kerrygold…it’s one of the irksome issues I have with doing so. It’s certainly out of step with being a local-vore, and hardly seems a sustainable practice. And there is no transparency with any food producer that you cannot inspect locally…so much is just “trust,” and that’s not a great place to be. Hmmmm…so many dilemmas!! :)

    • says

      I agree. I live in/near Amish families. Amish does NOT equal natural or organic or grass fed or high quality….or even no technology (but that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax.) Yes, there are still “natural” Amish farmers out there, but not more so than any other religion or group.

      Yellow doesn’t mean better either. My 100% grass fed cows (we manage our pastures to allow for year round grazing) only give slightly darker yellow cream in the heat of summer when the PUFA level in the grass are higher. The best butter is actually harvested from early spring grasses….pre “yellow.”

      -Jenn

  76. Brie Hoffman says

    I LOVE KERIGOLD! And I wont stop using until I get my own cow and use my own milk and churn my own butter! That stuff is the BOMB!

  77. Julie K. says

    Surely it wouldn’t be easier to simply by cream and make your own butter? Then you know where the milk is coming from and don’t have to worry.

  78. says

    Excellent article! It is so true that buyers need to beware. Labels can be most deceiving. I recently read (wish I could remember where!) that Kerrygold is now cutting their butter. It sure would be so sad if it is true. We would be in the same dilemma we are in with olive oil. Bottom line: with all farm foods, unless you know the farmer and really trust the farmer, you could be getting inferior foods.

  79. ajv says

    without gov’t reguluation you would not have had the little bit of information you did to even contact the company. EVERY BIT of information on the package is only there because it is mandated by the big bad gov’t. you should be more thankful for consumer protection and give credit where credit is due.

  80. Olivia says

    I could make a coffee table book about all the deceptive products at our local Whole Foods. They seem to be worse than conventional grocery stores in this regard. Trying to keep up the falsely self labeled facade of “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” while making a buck, by selling crap and making it appear healthy.

  81. Bernadette says

    I’ve been purchasing this butter. I have purchased it from two different farmer’s markets in my area and I posed the question. “Amish butter? I didn’t even realize there is an Amish community in Florida?” They both replied no, it is Amish ‘style’ meaning it is made the same way that Amish people would produce their butter. It is not factory butter.

    So I guess the question now is, “How do the Amish produce their butter? Are they grass fed cows? Is it pastuerized?”

  82. says

    I live very close to Amish country in Indiana, and when I first moved here I believed that Amish meant more natural or organic, but that is certainly NOT the case. A friend who grew up here recently told me that there are no regulations for the term Amish – so basically anyone can stick it on any package of any kind of food they want. So, it really means nothing at all.

    The Amish are the same as any other farmers, you have to check on the individually family farm. I have found a local farm that sells grass-fed, organic (not certified) raw milk and other dairy products, but it was not easy to find and definitely not the norm. There is also an Amish farmer at our Farmer’s Market who sells grass fed beef, but just one. You’d think it’d be easier to find pastured and organic produce, meat and dairy when you live near Amish country, but that certainly has not been my experience!

    • Rebecca says

      Can you give the location or name? I’ve just moved to southern IN and I’m not finding the items you are talking about! I too thought it would be easier to find grass fed products here…

    • Christne says

      It’s unfortunate that you did not understand that many of us choose to feed ourselves and loved ones nourishing food as God intended and has provided for mankind. As a traditional farmer (an organic farmer that honors Mother Nature by use of farming bio-sustainably without the use of “cides”, antibiotics, chemical amendments to the lifeblood of the human race ~ healthy soil) once told me .. “The human body is designed to process nutrients, not chemicals.” In Latin “bio” means life. “Cides” mean to kill/death.

      As agribusiness took over food sovereignty in this country and displaced the traditional farming family; the quality of food declined as their profits increased via US tax subsidies and the use of chemicals, food additives, etc. to increase their profits/bottom line. Agribusiness falsely markets their products as being nutritionally equivalent to those produced by the American family farmer using sustainable, earth-friendly methods before the industrial age and WW II. I refer to their products as “chemicals masquerading as food” which lack the necessary trace elements and nutrients for human health because it just isn’t available to the plant(s) from the soil. Chemical fertilizers do not contain these trace elements and nutrients. The mass application of herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides kill off beneficial organisms in the soil. Mineral and nutrient content just isn’t available to the plants in our produce section and in feed that we give our animals (a whole different topic of discussion). Like The Bible says, “I set before you life (biodiversity) and death (the ‘cides’). Choose life (life-giving foods) so that you and your descendants may live!”. I pray that clears things up for you. Everyone have a blessed day!

      • Kimberly says

        If we’re quoting Scripture… Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

        • Chris V says

          Kimberly, I apologize for any spirit of offense my comment brought to you or anyone else. It was not my heart’s intent to add to His words. My point was that in studying this Scripture and others that refer to how abundantly God provides for all of our needs (including Mother Nature and agriculture), we should also keep in mind that this verse in so vast in it’s meaning as stewards of the earth. Have a blessed day!

          • says

            Just the fact that you say “Mother Nature” leads me to believe that you don’t have a problem with taking Scripture out of context. Nature is not our mother.

          • Brittany says

            Stacey, how do you mean that Nature is not our mother? Without nature, we would not have procreation. That is not to say that Nature has nothing to do with God…Nature has EVERYTHING to do with God! After all, didn’t God create Nature?

          • Violet says

            The Lord says to love one another. Let’s try this instead of going bananas about someones use of the term “mother nature”.

      • roma young says

        The bible scripture is Deuteronomy 30:17-19. Moses there is telling the nation of Israel that to get life, they must worship the true God, Jehovah & not turn to worship of other Gods. He gave them the option, choose whom they would serve, he put before them life & death based on sticking to Jehovah, not turning to the gods of the people around them.

    • says

      Martisco – I am not a yuppie but an almost 60 year old woman that tries to eat food as pure as possible to what God intended for food to be. I am sorry that you don’t understand the value of wholesome food, unadulterated with “improvements”, to what God already deemed as GOOD in the form that He made it.
      Blessings,
      Laurie

      • Peggy says

        Martisco is a troll, whose only purpose is to stir up trouble and make rude remarks. You may ignore him/her/it.

    • says

      I don’t remember what “yuppie” means (the ’80′s were 30 years ago) but if it means that I value honesty in marketing and real food, then yes, I appreciate a whole post on whether or not my butter is good enough for my yuppie tastes. :)

    • Randal B says

      I JUST WANTED TO MENTION THAT SOMETIMES THE EXTRA YELLOW IN BUTTER COULD BE ADDED DURING PROCESSING TO GIVE MORE COLOR THAN RAW BUTTER. WHAT I DO KNOW IS THAT MY WIFE JUST BOUGHT SOME TROYER FARMS ROLL BUTTER AND WE CAN’T BELIEVE THE FLAVOR. IT’S CLEAN AND PURE AND JUST GREAT. REGULAR BUTTER HAS AN AFTERTASTE WHEN IT MELTS BUT THIS HAS NONE OF THAT. SO I HOPE YOU ENJOY SOME OF THE BUTTER AND THAT IT DOES PASS THE TASTE TEST. LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR FURTHER ADVENTURES ON THIS SUBJECT. WE DEFINITELY HOPE WE HAVE FOUND A REGULAR SUPPLIER FOR OUR BUTTER. SOMETIMES GOOD THINGS DON’T LAST BUT FOR NOW WE EAT BUTTER.
      THANKS FOR YOUR BLOG.

    • Marlene says

      This comment wasn’t necessary at all. If you in fact don’t care one or the other whether your butter comes from grass fed cows that’s fine. It is also fine that some us do care about what we consume, what’s in it, where it comes from, etc…..It hasn’t anything to do with being a “yuppy”. It was a very informative article about a label claiming to be “Amish”. A warning for all of us who do care about what we consume, to read labels with great care. There are many misleading packaging claiming to be “all natural” “natural flavoring ” etc which means literally nothing. Healthy food buyers beware.

  83. pat says

    I realize the benefits of Kerrygold, grassfed butter… but what really is the benefits of “amish butter”? I see it in a local store, and don’t really know it’s benefits and was just wondering…

    • Andrea B says

      Well, one would assume that Amish butter is from grass-fed cows raised without antibiotics, chemicals, or hormones and is higher in nutrients like Kerrygold is.

  84. Myra Horst says

    I live in Lancaster, PA. I shop at an Amish health food store, and I belong to an Amish farm co-op. The products I buy are not mass-produced.

  85. Carissa says

    Living in Oregon, I would definitely be suspicious. If I had seen the same thing for sale in Pennsylvania I may have fallen for it.

    I agree it’s deceptive. Not only the name but the simple homespun looking packaging that makes it look like it was made in a country kitchen. For shame

  86. Miriam says

    Great post! I just read Joel Salatin’s new book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”. It is very good and speaks to this and many other related issues. I agree with the idea that consumer choice needs to rule industry. Hey, if you want to buy butter with low nutritional value and added color to make it look like butter (as the industry is allowed to do here in Canada) just because everyone else is, or the government approves it or because you could care less, that is your choice and you should have a right to it. Every person should be free to choose what they eat AND should be responsible for the consequences – good or bad. Consumers should therefore also be able to access information about food content and processing in order to make informed choices.

  87. Sally L says

    OMGosh! Are you serious?! That is the brand of butter we ORDER ONLINE because it was recommended by a real food blog awhile back! Please tell me this has to at least be better then the regular stuff on the grocery shelves?! :( What about all this supposed Amish cheese? We get cheese sometimes and all our butter from here.. http://www.simplycheese.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=38

    Seriously I am devastated. There are no other good butters around here and we don’t have enough money to buy another share to get raw butter and can only afford to get our milk. :(

    • says

      Maybe you can barter somehow. My friend does milk shares, but I can’t afford it. I trade her straight across for kombucha, and I can honestly say I’m not sure who gets the better deal. Do you sew, bake, babysit, clean house, etc? Hopefully you can find a way.

    • Andrea B says

      If you get grass-fed whole milk, you can make your own butter from the cream. Very easy. Freeze what you won’t use quickly. Or buy some cream.

    • Christy says

      I realize this is an old post, but wanted to clarify on the Simply Cheese issue. I, too, order cheese and butter from them. My understanding is that the cheeses made by Middlefield (traditional, curds, organic, grass-fed, and goat) are indeed made by the Amish in Middlefield. The cheeses in the “Other” category as well as the “Swiss” are imported and not guaranteed to be hormone free and non-gmo. The butter does come from Alcam creamery and here is what is stated on the site regarding that:

      *According to Alcam Creamery, about 85% of the milk that goes into this butter is from Amish farms, as Alcam is in fact in Amish country. We have found it to be the most flavorful butter we have tried, and so we make it available to you, but we want you to know that this is not a 100% Amish product.

      Hope this helps in some way.

  88. Cassandra says

    I think it is the consumers responsibility to read labels. Part of advertising is deception and exaggeration. Companies want you and are competing for your business. I don’t feel that mislabeling will ever change. As customers we must seek out what we are purchasing, do a little investigating.
    Along the same lines of color of cheese does anyone know if goats milk/cheese turn the yellow color because of their diet? What does it mean if the milk/ cream of goats milk is pure white?

    • says

      The yellow in butter is simply beta carotene, a polyunsaturated fat. Goats convert ALL the beta carotene in their diet to vitamin A, hence the white milk and cream. Some cows convert most of it, some cows are poor converters and tend to have very yellow butter….especially in summer.

      Sorry, but the color of butter could be the breed, not the access to pasture.

    • says

      I know this is an older post but most butter makers add some coloring like annetto whether the butter is made from goats or cows.

      I have bought the Amish butter and I have noticed in the last year the consistency has changed. It used to creamy but now it is slate-like. The melting point is lower and it looks “funny” after melting. Something is different and with the “no requirement for truth in labeling” there is vast opportunity for corruption.

      The man the author spoke to said it was a brand name, not really Amish. We can brand anything to “look good”.

      As for me I will be back to making goat butter once our does freshen and milk is abundant.

  89. Caroline says

    Wow, that is just stunningly misleading! And an excellent investigation on your part. I do think it is false labeling.

    Is it even legal to call it “Amish butter” if it’s not made by the Amish?!

  90. says

    Yeah, I’ve learned to read labels much more closely, though I bet I still have a few things to learn. For example, I can’t figure out why Organic Valley pastured butter is not nearly as yellow as Kerrygold, nor as yummy. They must be supplementing with feed, but it says “pastured” so it makes you think the cows are only eating grass all day.

    • Jo says

      Organic valley farmers can feed their cows grains. It isn’t some little farm, it is a bunch of farms, each farmer raises their cows differently. my father is an ov farmer and while his cows are in the pasture most of the time, he does give them some organic corn and other grains. But I have never tried or seen the pastured butter, not sure if that milk has to come from certain farms??

      • Chris V says

        Just wanted to throw this out there for educational purposes as I understand it (and please feel free to correct my perception … anyone). Currently, I have access to an abundance of OG pastured cream. The heritage breed cows are NOT fed any grain, but feeding on OG grown hay that was grown in the spring/summer months and now fed to the cows during the winter months. They are not fed grains. I understand that “butter making season” is in the late spring as the grass becomes green. Wardee has mentioned in her posts about the chlorophyll content in the green grass resulting in a more “yellow” and nutritionally-dense, hence,flavorful butter. I just mastered making butter and cultured butter thanks to Wardee’s on-line e-course. The first batches that I made while they were able to still feed on some grass was more yellow. Now that they are being fed hay it is a lighter yellow, but still very yummy. Suffice to say it’s wonderful and the resulting buttermilk is a bonus. I cannot wait until my “happy cows” are grazing on green grass again and can make more butter then. Thank You Wardee and sending every blessing your way for all that you do!

        • Christine says

          PS … Also, there are other OG farmers like Jo’s Dad that do feed corn and other grains. This is a common and necessary practice based on the availability of what the OG farmer has access to and according to the acreage they own or can afford to lease land to grow their own hay for the off-season. There is so much that the organic family farmer has to endure to just survive. It is a humbling experience to witness. An staggering preponderance of US taxpayer dollars goes to supporting Agribusiness instead of organic family farmers while the organic farming family must to maintain sustainable farm practices that benefit their communities, the environment and honor Mother Nature. They face so many obstacles (financial and regulatory) from their state and the federal government. It’s really shameful that it can that this is happening in this country. We vote with our dollars and our choices. I’ll leave my rant at that.

    • Nancy says

      I too wondered if it was really made by the Amish (thinking it would be more natural.) My gut feeling told me not to believe it, just because it said Amish Country. But the packaging pulled me in and I asked the cashier at the “cash and carry: where I bought it and she said people come in and buy several rolls at a time. I bought a roll. I told myself I would research it later. Looked at the website and found the same information as you. Thanks for putting it out there. It’s not about expensive taste, but more about healthy results from what we eat. Look at the way things are going. If we just eat anything in the store because “big business” says it’s good for us, I would still be eating shortening (which I quit 35 years ago) and would no doubt be going in for by-pass surgery, or worse. People may dis us for wanting to check out what we are eating, but in the end, what we decide to do has effects, and we ourselves have to deal with the repercussions! If you do a little surfing, there is tons of information out there on how much better natural saturated fats are for you that the ones big biz has messed with. Whether you are a hippie, retiree, yuppie, …how ever anyone describes you, be sure not to eat just anything in the “super’ market…you may pay less financially, but a lot more in other ways!

  91. says

    The label actually reads “Amish Country” instead of just “Amish.” That implies that it’s only made in an area where there are also Amish people. I live near Shipshewana, IN, so my entire surrounding community is “Amish Country.” My next-door neighbors drive a horse and buggy. I totally understand the concept of deceptive marketing, but, it’s important to look at the whole picture/label. There are LOTS of people who live and work and produce in “Amish Country” without actually BEING Amish.

    • says

      I think the key is the phrase “Amish Country.” I live about 30 minutes from Alcam Creamery. I think that their butter is so named due to the fact that it is made and hand rolled in the middle of Amish Country… Amish traffic jams are not a sight unseen in this area. :)

  92. Claudia Vasquez says

    Great post Wardee, and please keep up with the wonderful and very inspiring work you do. Don’t let anything or anybody stop you. Best regards from he state of New Jersey.

  93. Emily says

    Oh my goodness! This is so discouraging. I just looked to see where our local cheese co-op butter orders are processed and it’s this very place. I couldn’t find it when I first started ordering but after some digging found it. I guess we’re using not-so-Amish roll butter.

    On a happier note, I just contacted our raw milk farm to ask if they offer bartering to see if I can work occasionally for our butter. I can siphon the cream off the top but it’s SO good in the milk and I don’t have a current working appliance that could handle butter making. I tried it by hand a few weeks ago and it was just not happening.

    Thanks for your informative posts! You’ve made me a better traditional foodie and inspire me to continue working toward healthier products and farms for my family!

    • Christine says

      FYI Emily ~~ I tried for almost a year to make butter surfing suggestions on the NetL you tube, other websites and even attending a local workshop about food preservation that covered making butter before finding this website. I mastered Butter Making 101 (cultured and not) via Wardee’s method using just a food processor. Check it out on her e-course. Most e-z, p-z method I’ve come across. So rewarding!

    • Heather says

      To make butter from raw milk: We always loved the butter from older milk the best–the gallon that’s been in the fridge about 2 weeks makes glorious butter. Skim the cream. Make ricotta cheese from the rest of the milk. Put the cream in a quart mason jar with a good tight lid (the plastic ones work great for this) Take your jar to your computer and sit down. While you are playing around online–checking email, reading blogs, whatever, shake, shake, shake your jar with the other hand. In about 10 minutes, it will become butter. Follow whatever directions for washing and salting make you happy. It’s really, truly, not that tough–try it!

  94. says

    Great post Wardee!! We have to be ever more diligent in these last days. Maybe a sign of the times. Unfortunately, there are no Amish anywhere near me but I just now thought of the Amish store we have about 25 miles away. I will have to check there for butter next time we go that way.I live in WV and I believe I remember them telling me that most of their food came from PA so Amish butter maybe for me?I hope so!! Thank you and God bless you!!:)

  95. Charzie says

    As someone who has milked many a cow and goat over the years (not commercially), I’m wondering about the no-grain whatsoever thing. Since they are crazy for grains (like candy to them),we always offered a treat of a bit of grain as an enticement to get those gals to come willingly into the milking stand/stanchion. Wondering how no-grain dairy farmers are managing this.

    • Janine says

      You could offer the animal you’re milking some mineral or kelp or other tasty things other than grains. They do look forward to coming into the stanchion for those things as long as they aren’t available free choice otherwise.

      • says

        Feeding the cows food-grade diatomaceous earth regularly increases their milk output while also killing parasites and helps to repel the flies. You’ll also have fewer illnesses and discomfort in theirs stomachs and bones.

  96. says

    Thank you for sharing! I clicked on this post from a friends Twitter account (@Mom4LifeCom) and I’m so glad I did. Growing up in “amish country” I always loved going to the local farm to get the jams, pies, and meats. Now that I live outside of Pittsburgh, PA I find it more than difficult to find REAL food. Lately we’ve been using “real butter” but it’s by no means the best nor homemade and we bought some of that I Can’t Believe Spray crap (on sale and thought it would be easier for the kids to put on their potatoes) and we could taste the difference.

    We love making our own whipped cream and anything else that we can and love the way it tastes and smells. With more and more companies finding the cheapest way out of making real foods it’s a nice change of pace to do it yourself or to get REAL food locally!

  97. JessicaD says

    I have serious ongoing frustration at the ill-conceived notion that “Amish” equates all things good clean and pure. You must! know your source. End of story.

    Anyway, I came by to see if you or any of your readers have checked out Troyer Cheese Butter? It is typically available in small mid-western bulk food stores, cheese shops or similar. It is also available in Albany OR at Grocery Depot. It is rBST free and made from first cream. There is no note on the package about pasteurized but I would guess it is. It is a 2 lb roll for $8.95 in Albany. I’m just wondering how it compares to Tillamook, Kerrygold, etc.

    • says

      For what it is worth, I called Troyer Country Market when I first discovered their butter locally and was told that yes, it was pasteurized, “because they had to or they couldn’t sell it retail” and he sounded very sad to have to do it.

  98. Kathryn says

    After reading this article and attending comments, I wanted to let you know my local store no longer carries this butter. Interesting. :-)

    • says

      Kathryn — That is interesting! Are you saying someone from the store read this article and comments, or you did the reading and passed on the information?

  99. says

    Just so you know, yes, the carotene content does color the butter to an extent, but the butter I make from scratch is actually white. Yellow dye has long been used to color the butter. So nowadays I never judge a dairy product because of it’s color. Since you do your own butter, perhaps you can tell me, does it usually end up being yellow like the Irish butter?

    I was happy though to see that someone is willing to do their homework on the products they purchase. Way to go!

  100. says

    My cow is a black jersey with a red tuff of hair on the top of her head. She gives BRIGHT yellow butter in the spring, summer and fall but it is pale yellow in the winter. She gets nice hay in the winter but it is still not as nice as fresh green grass apparently.

  101. says

    First off, thanks for the post about Alcam. I saw their butter at a the state farmers market and had been meaning to call them about their sourcing practices. I think you saved me the legwork. I coordinate the kitchen in an experiential junior high in the North Carolina mountains and the first thing I did when I took over the ordering was check on my dairy products. I’m on a budget so raw, local products are out (and the NC milk regualtions are archaic, you actually have to label raw mili as not for human consumption in order to sell it). I found a different “Amish” roll from Minerva dairy. It is also made from WI milk but ended up being my cheapest, good enough, option (wholesale I get it for 8.62/2 lb roll, I’ve seen it retailing online for 11.00/roll. I talked to reps at Minerva and they assured me that all of their suppliers sign affidavits saying they don’t use hormones/antibiotics on their cows. I expect their fed the typical corn/soy vegetarian diet. I realize this is nutritionally deficient when compared to grass fed, pastured cows but I feel like, for the $ (which is the most that my budget allows).
    I would really love to hear some thoughts on my rationale (I really do care about what I’m feeding these kids and I’m more and more concerned about the estrogen found in the non-organic soy feed) and if anyone has any ideas about dairies that could give me a healthier butter for under $4.50/lb wholesale, please let me know.

  102. Katiemckinna says

    Thanks for your post. Too bad I didn’t see it BEFORE I bought the butter. Like everyone else, I saw it in the store and stood the a few minutes trying to decide between it and the organic. I didn’t check the babel too carefully, I guess because I ended up getting it. It was about the same price as the other butter, si I thought ” why not?”. I feel duped and won’t buy it again.

  103. dar says

    Troyer butter is the best butter we have eaten over organic from Whole Foods. It is better than any local dairy products in our area. Their cheese is great, too. We have over time made raw milk butter than was good as we can buy raw dairy on the farm in Oklahoma and it is from an Amish farm, although we have bought from individual farms that have one or two cows they milk. Milk in the spring is very rich and butter will be very deep yellow..
    There are several Amish stores in southern Oklahoma and we have tried many products but butter and cheese is a constant.
    Interesting comments. Quality is quality. Try some conventional tomatoes labeled “vine-ripened”. Products labeled “home made flavor” etc etc.

    • Amy G. says

      dar -

      Where are the Amish stores in southern OK? I really want some Amish roll butter, and my son lives in Norman and will be traveling home to Plano, TX soon and could stop by a store for me.

      Thanks!

      • dar says

        There is an Amish store in Atoka, Okla which is on highway 75. Small town you can’t miss it. There is another Amish store seven or so miles north of Wapanucka, Okla on highway 48. (near Clarita, Okla turn off) That store also carries some salvage type food plus all types of canned Amish food, cheese . There is even a smaller Amish store off highway 48 in the same area called Country Store, I believe. All have the two lb rolls of butter. We buy the butter by the case and freeze it. The Country Store which is a half mile or so off highway 48 stores their butter in a freezer and would be more convenient for travel. Other stores butter is just refrigerated. Butter was $8.95 a 2 lb roll last time we were there. Do not try their Troyer cheese; IT IS ADDICTIVE.

        Second Saturday in Sept is the annual Amish auction/craft/goods, furniture, food etc) in Clarita, Okla so be advised it is a heavy, heavy traffic day on a two lane state highway.. Tens of thousands show up and stores get stripped bare out there.

        • Amy G. says

          Dar – thanks for the info. I have been to one on Hwy 69/75 somewhere near Wagoner??, I believe called Amish Cheese Shop. I’ll check the map to see if any of these other stores are near Norman or on the way to Dallas.

          I usually order my roll butter online from Minerva’s, but right now they are charging $75 for overnight shipping since the butter is perishable, so I’m looking for an alternative.

          Thanks again!

          Amy G.

  104. Brianna says

    Geez what a pain you are! Cant you just buy it and be content that it’s Amish butter? lol Of course not!!! I only say that because I’m like that too. Everyone keeps telling about this Amish butter and about how great it is and it must be grass fed because after all they are Amish. All I can think is, does it really come from Amish people or is it just cleaver marketing? And I get looks like, really do you have to be a pain in the butt? So I admit Im a pain but not easily fooled. I am certainly glad to see that Im not the only pain out there. As for the taste, I thought it had a weird taste, very different, my husband thought it was because it’s grass fed so its going to taste different but I think your right, it’s just overly salted. And probably not with the good type of salt I use at home. Thanks for posting this and saving me a phone call :) And good luck finding some decent butter out there…..

    • says

      Well, I have to say, I live not too far from a MS Amish community and NOT all Amish folk grow their stuff grass fed/organic/chem free, etc. You have to pick and choose. I have some good friends among the people and I know what I’m getting with them. They feed only a handful of their home grown oats when they milk and the rest of the time their animals are grass fed. But not all the farmers are not that way. I buy butter from my friend when my cow isn’t giving enough milk for butter. Amish Country roll butter is sold in our area (not 10 miles from the Amish community) and it is so NOT real Amish butter. But you’d be surprised how many folks think it is.

  105. lindsay says

    I’m so glad I found this. I bought this butter only to be utterly disappointed by the deceptive label. I did some research on the company afterwards, but like you stated, their website isn’t very helpful. I’ve learned my lesson.

  106. Lori says

    I truly appreciate your post as I was looking at the Amish butter just this evening and decided to not buy it because of the salt content, which with having Lupus Nephritis I found to be quite high. I’ve been making my own butter with a local farm’s cool pasteurized cream, and when I saw the butter I thought it must be grass fed because of it’s name. I find it sad that there are people who feel they have to be critical of other people’s efforts to be healthy. There are many of us out here that have been critically harmed due to all of the poisons that our govenment and food industry are trying to push on us…trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, artificial this and that’s, food colorings, enrichments, fortifieds, and words you can’t pronounce. It’s sickening, and many of us have to get really sick and find out the hard way…and then if you go to the doctors they either want to cut you open, and/or give you drugs that make you even sicker still. By changing my diet, I’ve been able to keep myself functioning as a healthy person, even though I have Lupus, which has caused heart disease, kidney disease, severe and daily migraines. It’s going to take a long time to get healthy, but without healthy food options I wouldn’t stand a chance. Then you get companies like this who try to deceive people. Shame on them! It’s hard enough without this kind of deception.

  107. Mya says

    Thanks for doing the research. Our local specialty store just started selling this butter. My first thought was ” that’s awesome”, but after closer inspection it appeared too pale to be grass fed butter. Something told me it was too good to be true so thank you for confirming my suspicions! Sticking with Kerrygold!

  108. Cole says

    Wow thank you so much for exposing these people. I have been regularly consuming this butter for months now thinking it was grass-fed. I really should have looked into this sooner. That is a very deceptive title they are using and I’m certain they are taking advantage of people. I’m throwing it away and finding some real butter as soon as possible.

  109. says

    So…I bought this “Amish butter” and became suspicious of it once I got it home…shoppers remorse. I called the store that sells local and natural products that I purchased this from and they began by telling me it was local because they drop it off every week at their store (I live in TN). I explained that there was no nutritional label nor manufacturer on the label I bought that was identified merely as “Amish butter”. They said that they take it from the original paper package, split it up and wrap it in plastic wrap with their own label. She went in the back and identified that it was from Alcam Creamery in WI….hmmm, not so local after all! So I looked up the creamery and called. I spoke with a Jim who informed me that he was the supervisor. I asked him where the dairy used to make the butter came from; he stated that it “comes from all over.” I asked him if the cows used to produce the dairy were treated with artificial hormones and/or antibiotics, he said he didn’t know the answer to my question. I asked him the cows were feed grass or GMO grain, again, he didn’t know. I then asked him if the butter was actually Amish butter and he said no, it’s an Amish style of butter. Interesting. He did not sound like a happy camper. I then called the local store I got the product from and spoke with the manager and informed him of what I learned. Indeed he was shocked, and sounded genuine. He stated that the distributor that he got it from told him that it was actually butter made in the Amish community (indicative of wholesome, non industrial) made with no chemicals and non-GMO, non-antibiotic, non-hormone dairy products. He apologized profusely and stated that he was NEVER going to label the product “Amish Butter” again, but instead label it “Amish style” butter. A small success on a local level due to this website I stumbled across! Thank you for what you do!

    • Heather says

      The “Amish community” part is reasonably true. I used to live in that area, and there are a lot of Amish folks around–enough that the towns provide hitching posts behind Main Street. But “Amish” does not necessarily mean “no chemicals”, and there is no shortage of non-Amish farmers, either.

  110. John D says

    “[Late 19th Century] While most Wisconsin farms
    produced at least some butter,
    counting on it for cash income,
    much of this butter was of
    abysmal quality. Most butter
    was produced in summer from
    the scanty milk production of a
    few mixed-breed cows. Butter
    making was usually the farm
    wife’s job, and variations in her
    equipment, skill, and cleanli-
    ness resulted in butter of
    uneven quality. Even well-made butter, taken in trade by the local store, could deteriorate while waiting shipment to the city wholesaler. So bad was the overall quality of Wisconsin butter that in the Chicago markets it was known as “western grease” and was sold as a lubricant, not for human consumption.”

    And even during WW II, Creamery butter cost 8 red coupons, while Farm Butter took only 4 coupons.

  111. says

    Hi! Thanks for the blog on this butter. I purchased some today, with hopes of it being at least a little better than mainstream butter. I too looked at the packaging, and studies it, wondering….grass fed? Hmm. Well, I will but some, and hope for the best. It is in my fridge now, and I hopped on Google to find out more about the farm, and found your blog! Thanks for the break down. I completely agree with you-misleading information that follows trends without changing their actual processes or ingredients are bogus. NO THANKS! I want honesty in marketing, and if you have the goods, provide them. If you don’t, sell to people who don’t care. I will eat it this time, but I couldn’t find much info, so in the future, I will pass. Usually, Kerrygold is our go to :) Trader Joes sells it for $2.99! Yippee!

    Anyone who judges anyone who CARES about what they are eating has not spent much time learning about our destructive food industry, and the nutrient depleting practices that goes into making our food, not to mention the way the animals are fed and treated.

  112. Michael M says

    If you really want “real” butter, I suggest making it yourself. it is very easy to do and you will be surprised how pale it is. Most of the yellow in store-bought butter is added. I am sure the feed the cow eats makes some difference not as much as there is if you churn it yourself. If you really want the good stuff, go find someone who sells raw goat or cow milk from home. Skim the cream off and make butter from it. Once you flop your lip over that, you will turn your nose up to everything else.

  113. Hans Karlsson says

    Having visited the farms that provide some of the milk to the Irish Dairy Board and the producers of Kerrygold products I can tell you for sure that their cows are NOT only “grassfed”. Are they grassfed… yes but so are all cows. The thought that Irish cows are out roaming the hills of Ireland eating only fresh lush grasses all day, all year is about as false advertising as Alcam saying it is Amish Butter. But I can tell you that Alcam is one of only a very few creameries in WI that does use milk and cream from Amish farms. Not sure that is what they use to make the so called Amish butter.

  114. says

    I also noticed that the rolled butter was grade A and the Kerry Gold is probably AA which should taste better. Not sure about butter but some yellow cheeses are dyed.

  115. Anais says

    You had me until “Ron Paul…” lol
    Seriously, though, great post… That’s something I would have done and I didn’t know Kerrygold was such high quality butter, good to know!

  116. jessica says

    Wardee, I’m so glad you wrote this blog post. I went through the exact same process of discovering that our farmer’s market “Amish” butter was also from Alcam Creamery – a conventional farm in WI. I was very disappointed. I was duped at least once by this product and my suspicion led me to this discovery. Googled and found their site, then your blog post. :-) Thanks for keepin’ it real.

  117. Margaret says

    My understanding is that Alcam Creamery is a family owned creamery. My understanding is that most (about 80%) of the milk they use comes from Amish farms, while the remainder is not from an Amish farm. So, what do you think is so special about “Amish?” I buy my beef from a local New York State farmer, and they are 3 year old grass fed cows. She doesn’t label them “grass fed.” They are finished the last 2 weeks on corn. They are not completely grass fed, but OMG it’s the most delicious meat – the ground beef is actually sweet. I cannot taste any difference between Kerry Gold and regular butter. I have even made my own home churned butter and cannot taste any difference. I make my own cheddar cheese from raw milk which I buy from Kline Farms, Forks PA (a Dairy of Distinction!), and let me assure you that until my cheese is more than 6 months old, it tastes like crap. Before 6 months, I might as well buy Cabot, because theirs are certainly better than mine. Once my raw cheese hits 1 year, it’s more like Romano than Cheddar. So all this is very relative. I’d worry more about BST in my milk than beta carotene. If it tastes good to you, and you are relatively assured it’s clean, then eat it!

  118. says

    was just wondering if this is something we could bring into our Realfoods market since I have always loved this butter but hadn’t really looked into it’s sourcing. It tastes soo good, that I thought maybe it really is grassfed as my body craves it and maybe it IS in fact nutrient dense. Perhaps it is just the extra SALT they are using that makes it taste so yummy since I often buy non-salted, since most Salt has been tampered with, and not even all Sea Salt is the same. I wonder if there is any grassfed butter out there(truly grassfed) that uses RealSalt in it. The best bet is to just get crass fed raw milk and make your own butter. Trading convenience for true nutrition, true Real food, will bee a good trade for our health, since nothing is convenient about a body that can’t move the way it used to.

  119. Katie says

    “*According to Alcam Creamery, about 85% of the milk that goes into this butter is from Amish farms, as Alcam is in fact in Amish country. We have found it to be the most flavorful butter we have tried, and so we make it available to you, but we want you to know that this is not a 100% Amish product.”
    This is what the Simply Cheese website states.
    I just called Alcam Creamery, and the rep told me that the small farms they get their cream from will feed their cows differently year round. Because “this is Wisconsin, so we have winter here.” :) But the cows apparently aren’t strictly grassfed even in the summer.
    While I don’t particularly like the taste of Amish Country Roll Butter, it does remind me of the organic grassfed milk I get. So to me that’s an indication that it might be healthier than, say, Albertsons brand butter…

  120. Jeannie says

    I was interested as well when I saw this in my supermarket, but the lack of labeling told me it was a scam as well. It floors me how many people have no ability to look at the things in their grocery stores with a critical eye! I wanted to believe it was the real deal too, but something told me it just wasn’t it so I put it down and never went back. I live in south-eastern Washington and the “Amish” butter they sell there is this exact same type.

  121. Sharon Simon says

    I wish I had checked this out before I bought some at a local dairy. I assumed they made the butter with the cream from their own milk. After I brought it home, I noticed it was made in Wisconson. This dairy has a small store and says some of their products are Amish. Well, it is my fault for not reading the label and researching myself before buying. I will next time. Thanks for the information on the Kerrygold which is what I usually buy. I wondered why it was a golden color, good to know. I just hope my store gets some soon. They have been out for 2 weeks.

  122. says

    Gah! Thank you for this post! I just got off the phone with the company after asking if their butter was hormone free. I was immediately placed on hold, then a rep came one- I asked my question again.. and she gave me a good 5 minute explanation. I asked again “so yes or no? is the butter hormone free” She finally said “no… But….” and went on again.
    Im actually REALLY disappointed in the company. I have a large following on youtube & have promoted them several times. Shame on me for not knowing better… I preach that people should do their research ahead of time.. yet I got sucked in. Its easy to do. I will be doing another video retracting my original video promoting them. Thanks again!

  123. Rob W. says

    Dear Wardee:

    I worked for Alcam Creamery for 26 years as a truck driver, I picked up cream at cheese factories in the Amish communities in, IN,OH, and PA. Most of the cheese factories where I picked up cream were run by both English and Amish cheese makers. A lot of the milk that these factories operated on, was from Amish farms however, there are not enough Amish farms to keep these factories operating, so they do receive milk from modern dairy farms as well.
    The name Amish Country Roll Butter comes from the Amish community where the cream is picked up from, no place on the label does it say Amish made. It was called that to promote the Amish communities, and never an attempt to deceive anyone, as you imply in your blog. Alcam Creamery is a family run business, for over 2 generations.

  124. Patti says

    I buy butter at our Dutch store…they have this Amish rolled as well as small squares. The small squares are just wrapped in plastic wrap without a food label so when I compared I went with the square. as I think it is locally made. I do buy raw cow milk, skim the cream and make my own, but alas it is from Holsteins so not a lot of bulk butter that way. However, my homemade butter IS pale, like that in the store. I’m not familiar with the Kerry Gold and have not researched it, but couldn’t their label be just a mis-leading? Anymore I am leary of just about anything that’s “over the counter” and purchased, no matter what it says or where it comes from! But thanks for the article and I am passing it along as I have many friends who think the rolled is “real”!!

  125. Dashleea says

    There is a real Amish dairy In Hamptonville, NC that grass feds their cows. They sale raw milk and butter there.

  126. Shaina says

    Very interesting. I’ve been buying “Amish” butter from our local supermarket for my husband for the last few months. I assumed it was real because there are a lot of Amish people north of us so I assumed it was coming from them. But, like the Amish roll you picked up, it’s very pale yellow. We’re out right now, but next time I go I will be doing some investigating.

  127. chanel says

    I bake cakes alot. I use only butter in them so when I was at my local Albertsons last week and saw this large roll of ‘Amish’ labeled roll butter, I looked purchased it at $7.99.

    I don’t know a lot about butters i.e Plugra etc. only that they (in most instances) are a definite choice when it comes to my baking. I am glad I came upon this because I do want what I am ASSUMING and they are ‘leading me to think’–I am buying.

  128. Michelle says

    I recently found this in our local store. I never would have thought it was made by Amish any more than I expect other brand names to be completely honest and descriptive of their products. I don’t think Land O Lakes butter is made next to a lake nor do I think Lucky Charms is made by a leprechaun that makes it ‘magically delicious’. I think people need to use their head and read labels. I find it funny how many jump on the indignation band wagon. Quite entertaining.
    I have purchased this butter and LOVE it. That says something since I usually make our own butter from our raw goat milk.
    To each their own…

  129. Kaylee says

    I bought this Alcam Creamery butter roll because im making ghee. So far Kerrygold is the only brand Ive seen that has unsalted good ol 100% cream ( no lactic acid) butter, right? I cant really afford it. But i was dissapointed when i saw “country” after “amish”. I looked for amish butter online and its more like double the price of the misleading brand, so with shipping cost, i might as well find a good deal for kerrygold.

  130. Cherilynne says

    I have made my own butter for years, from cows we raised and milked, and from the Old order River Brethren that live just a few miles away. Real butter is PALE! The yellow color is artificial, even in the Kerrygold. You really should do some more research on Kerrygold. NO COW can be 100% grass fed as they would starve in the winter when there is no grass. Yes they can be fed hay, but during the winter it is not enough if you want them to survive and produce at the same time. The Yellow color is NOT and indication of beta keratin. MYTH, MYTH, MYTH! I get so amused at city born and raised folk who see a few comments or re-pasted articles on the web and suddenly think they know it all about farming and food. On a side note, I detest the fact that putting the word Amish on anything automatically makes it cost more, even if it’s an Amish person doing it. It’s wrong! There is nothing magical or special about them. They are no better than any other person selling a ware or skill. And they will use the same ingredients from the store that you can buy. Nothing secret about their recipe’s either. A single Amish farm can mass produce a very large amount butter. It takes only 5 or 6 cows to make over 500 lbs of butter a month. This silly notion that each family has only one cow they are getting milk from is just that. Silly. These people have grouped together in large communities. One of their “farms” can produce 1000′s of lbs of butter and they will own their own “plant” to make, package, and market it from. Business owners like any one else. Getting your milk from a farm, and making your own butter is best. Not always possible, but best. Making butter is EASY! As for Bullet Proof Coffee… try coconut oil. It works too. Any Butter will work. Any natural FAT will work.

    • Breda says

      You may want to read more about Kerrygold butter

      http://kerrygoldusa.com

      And educate yourself regarding beta-carotene which is not a myth. I think you may be confusing keratin with carotene here?

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotene

      I happen to live in Ireland and cows eat mainly grass for most of the year. In the winter they eat fermented grass silage which is cut grass piled into a pit and covered. The farmers are all cutting silage at the moment in fact.

      Cows do eat grain in the winter but that is during their dry off period. They are mostly eating grass while they are milking although they might be eating a mixture of both for a few weeks after calving.

      If you’ve ever seen cream from a Jersey cow, you know how butter can naturally have a pale yellow colour without additives. Many Irish farmers milk Fresians for milk production volume with a number of Jerseys in the herd to boost butterfat content .

      When I had my own Jersey cow, my homemade butter was delicious and the same pale yellow as the store-bought Irish brand.

      For people who cannot keep their own cow or have no access to raw milk, Kerrygold is probably the best quality butter comnercially available. The Irish farms are small and these family farms rely on the reputation of their products. You are hurting the small farmer when you spread opinions as facts.

    • Janine says

      I don’t know much about Kerrygold, but I do live in the Pacific Northwest, where we have a climate full of moisture like Ireland, even drier actually, and I know a lot of farms around us, including one where we participate in a milking co-op so I see first hand what happens, that grass feed pretty much all year. There are only a few months that need to be supplemented. And even then there are lots of resources for grass “hay” such as alpha that provides a great full diet for producing and even pregnant cows.
      I would bet that in Ireland, where its even greener than here and farmers have not lost their way, individual farms could even put up their own grass surplus as Brenda said and still have plenty to feed their herd. Grain just isn’t necessary.

  131. Albert says

    I just saw a thread on Minerva Dairy’s Facebook page…..it looks like it’s a “yes and no” answer, depending on the time of year. As long as the grass can grow (spring/summer), then that is what the cows are fed; Since it’s in Ohio, their diet is supplemented during the cold months. I hope this helps!

  132. Maria Reaser says

    The whole catch phrase marketing is crazy. Just because something is Amish doesn’t make it better anyway. I love Famish peanut butter and it is peanutbutter whipped with marshmallow cream lol. I saw an add for a gluten -free grill and bbq cookbook the other day. Had a picture of ribs on the front. I’m like really?? There is no wheat in my meat

  133. Jen says

    Thanks for posting this. I saw this for the first time at Albertson’s here and got excited but I couldn’t see anything about an actual community on there. I’m glad I didn’t buy it. We would have been very disappointed having been exposed to delicious Amish foods growing up near a community. It’s basically an overpriced log hoping people will buy because of the Amish mention.

  134. John D says

    If you read the label, it is GRADE A

    Virtually all butter sold to the public in supermarkets is Grade AA.

    All the generic brands I have seen are AA.

    There is nothing inherently WRONG with Grade A — with modern processing, there is no reason to sell anything other than AA to the public.

  135. John D says

    I have changed my mind.

    http://www.zingermanscommunity.com/2013/02/butter-thats-whey-cool/

    If you buy it in a store, it virtually MUST come from some sort of creamery.

    The color of butter isn’t an indication of quality or flavor. It is legal (and common) to artificially color butter without labeling it as such.

    “3) When a coloring has been added to butter, cheese, or ice cream, it need not be declared in the ingredient list ” Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004470

    If you want real farm butter, you have to go to a farm.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Wardeh’s recent post on Amish butter brings that point home.  I’ve known for awhile now and am very careful when I make semi-annual trips to Amish country (my next one’s in just a couple weeks).  But most people are still in the same position I was four years ago — excited by the idea that something’s Amish, believing it’s superior. [...]

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