Want to know where to find grass-fed butter? I’ve said before that butter is a health food, but grass-fed butter is even better — a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins A, D, & K-2, heart-disease preventing CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and so much more.
Yet finding grass-fed butter can be hard for those newly committed to doing so. Is buying certified organic butter enough? Do you absolutely need to find a local pasture-based dairy? What if there are no pasture-based dairies near you?
Consider this your guide for where to find grass fed butter.
Find Grass-Fed Butter Locally: Best Choice
Optimally, you’ll be able to find a pasture-based dairy near you and buy directly from the farmer. There are several ways of doing this:
1. Use the Real Milk Finder at RealMilk.com.
Note that not every dairy local to you will be listed. Since raw milk sales are controversial, many farmers may opt to protect their privacy by NOT being listed in the directory. Also, many dairies only produce milk and do not process it into options like butter or cheese. In those cases, you’ll simply have to know how to make butter from cream.
2. Contact your local Weston A Price chapter leader.
Because the Weston A Price Foundation is a strong advocate for raw milk from grass-fed cows, your local chapter leader will probably know of just about every available local source. Don’t be afraid to give them a call. They don’t bite!
3. Visit your local farmer’s market.
Even in states that don’t allow off-farm sales of raw, grass-fed milk, you will often find those dairies represented at your local farmer’s markets. They won’t be selling their raw milk at the market, but they may sell everything else, including lightly pasteurized milk, butter, cheese, cheese spreads, sour cream, cream, and more — all from grass-fed cows.
Don’t know where your local farmer’s markets are? This is a good place to see what’s near you.
4. Buy from Whole Foods or other Natural Food stores.
In some states, retail sales of raw, grass-fed dairy is perfectly legal. In other states, your natural food stores may not carry raw grass-fed butter, but they’ll still carry grass-fed butter from a local creamery or two.
Find Grass-Fed Butter in Grocery Stores: Good Choice
This butter may not be local to you, but it is from grass-fed cows. Many of these are imported from other countries, so you may not find them on your butter aisle. Instead, they’ll be in the deli section along side specialty imported cheeses and spreads.
Here are a few popular brands of grass-fed butter available nationally.
1. Organic Valley Pasture Butter.
This butter comes in a distinctive green package and is produced from May to September when pastures are green and lush and account for 99% of the cow’s feed. Like all Organic Valley products, it is produced without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, or pesticides.
I am almost always able to find this year round at my local grocery store, although it’s also available for purchase online.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your local grocery store will still carry it in the winter, you can do what I did the first year I discovered it: stock up! Just buy a whole bunch of it all summer long and line your freezer shelves with it.
2. Kerrygold Butter.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received many emails from readers who are worried about Kerrygold. I know some folks are freaking out that Kerrygold cows (during the WINTER) are fed Grains of Unknown Origin. Kerrygold has responded to consumer questions and admitted that probably about 3% of the grains they feed during the winter may contain GMOs.
But, guys! This is IRELAND. In the WINTER. What do you expect? There is no rapidly growing green grass like you’d find during the spring and fall. Yes, there are options for green-feeding cows in the winter, and if you buy fresh butter from a local dairy or creamery, you can ask those farmers and find out what they do and support them if you want to.
But if you live in an area where local grass-fed dairy is hard to come by, Kerrygold is still one of the few semi-decent options for you to buy pre-made butter as many grocery stores (including giants like Costco and Trader Joe’s) carry it.
If you don’t want to support Kerrygold, despite the fact that 10 months out of the year they keep their cows on pasture and that they’re committed to humanely raising dairy cows, then there are other options for store-bought grass-fed butter.
3. Anchor Butter.
New Zealand has very strict regulations for its cows, so this butter is happily hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and additive-free.
I’ve seen Anchor butter in the deli section of my local grocery store (not the butter aisle), and I’ve also seen it at Whole Foods. You can also buy it online.
4. Allgau German Butter.
Unlike Kerrygold, Allgau cows do not receive grains during the winter months, instead getting 100% hay.
This grass-fed butter is also antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and additive-free. I’ve never seen Allgau in my local grocery store, but I have seen it in Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Natural Grocers.
5. Smjor Butter.
This grass-fed butter is imported from Iceland. Their cows are raised with identical standards to the Allgau butter above — out on pasture most of the year, no grains during the winter but hay instead, antibiotic & hormone-free.
I’ve found it in one local natural food store, but then they stopped carrying it. I have not found it online. But, if you see it in your grocery store, you can trust it’s a great brand.
6. Humboldt Creamery Butter & Kalona Supernatural Butter.
These two grass-fed butters are produced here in the USA, but their cows receive a diet of 20% grains during the winter months. Because these brands are certified organic, however, you can trust that the grains do not contain GMOs.
I’ve found both butters at a nearby Sprouts market, and I wasn’t impressed with either. They were very white and a little flavorless. That said, I may have simply bought their winter butters (which, for all intents and purposes are no different than buying regular organic butter).
What about certified organic butter?
All butter is fabulous, and organic butter at least comes from cows raised without growth hormones or antibiotics. You also know their feed is GMO-free and pesticide-free. YAY.
Yet, organic dairy standards in the U.S. only require cows have “year round access to the outdoors except under specific conditions (inclement weather),” not necessarily that their outdoor lots be full of lush, green grasses and happy meadows and pastures.
So, while some organic dairies may raise their cows out on pasture for the vast majority of the year, others simply may not. Therefore, organic certification is completely irrelevant to determining if the butter is from grass-fed cows.
(top photo of homemade butter by devaburger)