Butter Consumption Jumps To 40-Year High

The average American eats 5.6 pounds of butter — a 25 percent increase over the past decade. Its jump in popularity is due to an overall trend towards natural foods, and a "smear" campaign against processed butter alternatives.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Spread the butter.

Maybe some of you are slathering butter on a piece of toast right now or dropping a pat of butter into your oatmeal. You're not alone. Butter consumption is at a 40-year high - and here's an image I almost hesitate to offer - the average American - according to some estimates - eats 5.6 pounds of butter every year.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That's a 25 percent increase over the past decade. Its jump in popularity is due to an overall trend towards natural foods, and a rejection of processed ones.

And the FDA recently banned trans fats, the hydrogenated oils found in many imitation butter products.

GREENE: But even with the rise of foodies and state fair butter sculptures, we're not even close to the per-capita consumption of the 1930s, which was over 18 pounds of butter a year per person. Why did it make me...

MONTAGNE: That's a lot toast.

GREENE: I don't want to have any butter now for days.

MONTAGNE: Mashed potatoes.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: I don't know, it sounds good to me, David.

GREENE: OK. OK.

MONTAGNE: Butter...

GREENE: More power to you. That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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