Weston Price used butter oil as part of his diet recommendations, and I've seen a lot of people in the paleo community recommend it as well, so I recently bought a bottle from Green Pastures. The problem is that it's really expensive for the amount you get.
I would prefer to just use pastured butter (probably the Organic Valley brand unless I can find a local source). Does anyone know how much butter I would have to eat to provide similar levels of vitamins (especially K2) as a serving of butter oil? Is there some other reason why I would want to use butter oil instead of just eating a larger amount of pastured butter?
Summarizing most of what's already been written into a single post:
1) There is conventional butter and pasture butter.
For the highest vitamin K2 content, the butter must be from cows fed grass in pasture. Silage and cut hay does not have the high K2 content that fresh, green feed butter has. Conventional butter from corn-fed cows is going to have very little K2 and an overall lipid profile likely higher in O6 and lower in O3 as well.
One can buy pasture butter specifically, or buy butter from a small, local source in season, or make it oneself from cream from a small, local dairy in season. Note, butter will keep well in a freezer.
2) There is butter, clarified butter/ghee, and "high vitamin butter oil".
Butter is fat precipitated from milk.
Further processing can yield clarified butter/ghee, which is butter that has been rendered to remove residual water and milk solids. Clarified butter is purely fat and fat soluble vitamins.
Still more processing can yield high vitamin butter oil (HVBO). HVBO was originally described by Weston Price, and today seems to be a product produced exclusively by Green Pastures. GP uses a patent pending process to produce their HVBO (yes, a patent medicine). The key differentiator between butter oil and clarified butter is separating (by centrifuge or decanting) the vitamin rich lipid layer from the rest of the butter "wax".
3) Obviously clarified butter can be made from any type of butter. Just as there are manufacturers that specifically sell pasture butter, there are manufacturers that sell pasture clarified butter. HVBO is inherently from pasture butter.
4) The last remaining issue is how concentrated is the GP HVBO? GP HVBO is rather expensive, $58 for a 1/2 lb jar. Depending on one's source, 8-12 lbs of unrefined butter could be purchased for the same sum of money. GP on their web site and in their patent application does not report the yield or concentration of butter oil from unrefined butter. Commenters on other threads at PaleoHacks and elsewhere on the internet have mentioned a 1:8 ratio of HVBO from butter. No one has cited a source however. GP may be treating this info as a trade secret.
5) As most Paleo folks are on a low carb, high fat diet anyway, for my money I'd simply eat pasture butter stockpiled from spring production or maybe try one of the pastured ghee products. However, for picky children, folks not on a high fat diet and those struggling with some chronic health conditions, eating 10 times the butter may be impractical.
I hope I've straightened it all out for folks. Feel free to comment if I've made a mistake or missed anything.
Ghee (butter oil) is easy to make. Slowly Heat up all the butter you want (in a pan, the oven works too) and skin off the water soluable goodies that float on the top. Eat this asap and store the ghee for cooking. Its great for frying because it doesn't burn as fast. More detailed recipes and refinements are to be found in almost any Indian cookbook.
I heard that you get a yield of butter oil from butter in a ratio of 12:1, so 12 times as much.
But it is milk produced by cows fed exclusively on fast growing grass, so that ratio might go up in winter.
EDITED TO ADD: I have been using butter oil for a little while now and have noticed a big difference in my skin and teeth. I eat an awful lot of pastured butter too, I was born not an hour from where the Kerrygold cows are pastured! So I have been eating pastured butter all along and I have to say that butter oil is better. It is expensive but is the best way to get extra K2 if you don't eat much offal.
"If you buy USDA certified then you are sure about what you are buying"
The USDA represents the "free market" big food cartels. They are NOT regulators and don't protect consumers but only protect profit. Don't trust one thing they say or certify. Justs go with principled suppliers (as a general rule for anything you buy). Oscar Meyer hot dogs are "USDA certified". So there.
I'd stick with butter or ghee. This idea of a private, for profit centerfuge patent by Green Pasture puts me off. They are way over priced and have a monopoly on their products. But I do buy their FCLO.
I like the taste of butter and since when did traditional cultures use a "centerfuge"? We don't need a technilogical fix for everything do we?
Weston A Price recommends "nutrient rich butters" for places where nutrition was lacking. I don't believe it's regarded as a staple, but fix for deficiencies.
I can agree with this - pastured butter (like Kerrygold) can give you some pretty good vitamins if you're lacking.
But I think it's silly to assume everyone is lacking in Vitamin A, D, and E, which is what you'd get from butter.
tl;dr: Butter is just fine. Butter oil is silly. But I don't think you need either.
Some have estimated that the concentration of vitamin K2 in butter oil is 8 times the concentration in butter, but no one really knows. If it is that high (which I doubt) then the daily dosage of butter oil recommended by Nigel of 3/4 teaspoon will contain 9 mcg of vitamin K2, or 9% of the suggested daily K2 intake of 100 mcg. An ounce of cheese will supply twice that much vitamin K2 (19 mcg), costs less and tastes better. So taking butter oil makes no sense to me.
What is high vitamin butter oil? Green grasses are rich in precursors of vitamin E. Cows grazing on GREEN Pastures consume grasses that are rich in precursors of Vitamins A and E. Vitamin A and E are a fat soluble vitamins and stays with fat portion of the milk. Using milk from cows grazing in lush GREEN pastures gives butter oil that is naturally rich in VITAMINS A and E, anti-oxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids and Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The CLA is a healthy fat. Why is Grass-fed Butter Oil of deep yellow color? Grass-fed Butter Oil is made from the milk of cows which are fed only grass. The green grasses are rich in precursors of Vitamins A . The yellow color is due to the high level of Beta-carotene (a precursor of Vitamin A) present in the Grass-Fed Butter Oil
Grass fed butter and Butter oil both are high in Vitamins. Butter oil is a purified oil form the Butter. There are different ways to purify. The objective is to make it a pure oil. Most of the time it is 99.0% oil weather you use centrifugation or other methods. The phospholipids that some call GUM is only 1% of total fat in butter oil. Phospholipids are essential for human health. The bottom line is find a butter oil that is certified organic and is made from milk of cows grazing on green grasses. If you buy USDA certified then you are sure about what you are buying. It is Vitamins A and D, and antioxidants that are high in Grass fed butter oil. K2 vitamin is is an advertisement. Vitamin K deficiency in humans is rare. For more information please read: link text
Randomized trials of Paleo? 3 Answers