The good kind of butter: A personal experiment takes a look at how to make healthy butter and eat it (butter is real! It’s just that bad!)

“The butter we eat nowadays isn’t as fatty as we used to know it to be,” Carrie announced in the Ultimate Grilled Cheese commercial when she visited America’s No. 1 Grilled Cheese Kitchen in New York City. It was her favorite thing about the meal, and we were all laughing with her.

I took her advice when I got back to Detroit last weekend. I fried some scrambled eggs, made salsa verde, seasoned slaws and a simple salsa with tomatoes and peppers— everything that the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Kitchen was known for. But as our family joined the Major League Eating Top 10 ranking of the world’s highest-paid eating competitions, we sat down to eat both the sandwich as well as the homemade food. At least the messy sausage was gone.

Eventually I realized that many aspects of everyday life were showing me a picture of what is wrong. I wasn’t feeling like the culinary experience that I enjoyed at the restaurant, which I understand is a standard, because so many so-called “healthy” foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower have become more and more desirable for Americans.

Here’s why that’s a problem. The American food industry creates more “healthy” versions of brown bread, milk and vegetable chips, but it is increasingly using junk ingredients that are not actually healthy. That’s what’s gotten us here in the first place. Who knows? When these same “health” foods are used to make pastry, latkes, pizza and doughnuts, they will somehow become “healthy” too. That’s what’s actually happened.

So while the health industry has embraced junk ingredients, the food I eat is now piling up in my freezer. Knowing that our healthy food industry has failed to do something, I determined that I had to do something— and that’s what led me to start The Great American Butter Fight. I’m a longtime “foodie” and a physical trainer, so the reason I decided to speak out was clear: I wanted to become more engaged in the public health discussion that is increasingly affecting how I eat, and what people eat, in our country.

That includes public school food. I think about the millions of kids who need better choices, not what the politicians will pay for. I’m a believer in the Boy Scouts of America. But there is one motto I just can’t stomach, the one with #10: “Be Prepared.” Prepared for what?

Founded in 1873, The Boy Scouts began with a message of adventure and learning, something that has inspired generations. By 2002, however, the organization came under the control of a for-profit for-profit real estate investment trust, the Boy Scouts of America, Inc. Boy Scouts of America isn’t for-profit anymore. BSA is a for-profit association, not a scouting organization.

My hope is that my challenge will encourage the public health community to step up to the plate and challenge the for-profit food industry to do better. Right now, because of the laws we have in place, nutrition in our school systems is restricted to low-calorie foods that are available for sale during specific times during the school day, like at break times or during lunch periods.

But our government agencies have not understood the role that food plays in creating our health— a lesson that everyone will remember this year as we kick off our National Diabetes Month activities.

When we are all eating healthier, but the food in our system is not sustainable, we all get unhealthy. It’s time to rethink butter. Here’s a few basic tips to make healthy butter from scientific research to give you some hints on where to start.

Try this line from my audiobook:

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