Why is the butter in the fridge?

As you know, we like to get back to the past and look at how things used to be done in the time of our grandparents and great grandparents.  Part of that, is reading (listening to audiobooks) of biographies from the 1900 era.  I like to pick up on how things were done and figure out why we are doing it differently.

For example, eggs.  Why are the eggs in the fridge?  There was a significant study done by Mother Earth News about the methods of storing eggs.

But what about butter?  Before everyone had refrigerators, they still had butter and managed to keep it fresh?  That is because, butter doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  Butter has salt in it that keeps it fresh. It’s true, if you want to buy some butter and use it 2 or 3 months from now, the fridge is a better choice.  However, if you use a couple of sticks a week, then it is fine on the counter.  As with many items, refrigeration simply extends the time that an item can be stored prior to going rancid.  For the manufacturers, this is important.  But for our family, the butter sits in a dish on the counter.  And because the butter stays soft, we don’t need to buy “soft butter” at the store with olive oil or other things added to keep it soft at 40F.

And in our house, you will only find butter, not margarine, because we have looked beyond the label in the store and made an educated decision.  That doesn’t mean anyone using margarine isn’t educated, simply, it’s not what we choose after learning more about the subject.


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