Glad to see it. Butter is good for you again .This year you can slather huge quantities of the creamy yellow cow- stuff over your toast and snaffle it all down without regret.Butter has been bad for you for over  thirty years in Norneverland .It was decreed , I think  shortly  after it had made an unassuming appearance in that Marlon Brando film “Last Tango in Paris”  of 1972 when he used it s lubricious qualities to gain greater ease with  the comely  Maria Schneider …  Since those faraway days  of erotic regret ,until now,  in the season of “Fifty Shades of Tat”, where everything under the sun is sexually acceptable, and DIY shops are  being raided daily for cable ties and various items of bedroom restraint ,it has been pulled back out of the shadows  to resume its place of preference on the breakfast table.

Back then , the sales of butter probably dropped like a heart -stopped  gannet when we were told that butter was “bad” and  margarine was “good”.Even my  dear mother took note for a while and the very frying- pan lost its place of pre-eminence  and the then prominent  fry-ups were restricted to only a few days per week. Margarine was the new healthy thing ,then. Never mind the quality , look how easy you can spread this new stuff made from vegetable oil and a bit of this and that.  It was full of  healthy polywhatcimacallits too….After that  came adverts following  on  with a  variety of one thing and another …. “You Better Believe It’s Butter With Knobs On  Spread”  or “You’ll Never Guess What We Made This New Sandwich Spread Out Of This Time, Spread”….and yes , that’s right “We’ve Discovered A New Use for Car Waste Oil, Spread”…….and so on …..

So butter is back on the radar as “healthy” again. I have to say, I’ve long since drifted back into its mellow , unctuous   clutches years ago and use it copiously, in and on everything ,from creamed spuds to frying a nice rib-eye  steak.I’m afraid ,I’m a bit of a butter fiend already, so the original propaganda did not stick too well and this latest news would be falling on already butter-clogged ears.It simply joined olive oil as more of that good greasy stuff that I could consume .Margarine would never be a substitute on that fat, toasted  “heel” of a loaf. There really was no replacement for the real thing. Sure, you could dip your bread in olive oil and some lovely balsamic  vinegar, but you wouldn’t dip your toast in it.For that there was no proxy.It had to be butter or you might as well not be alive at all.

I was just wondering, had “the Powers- That -Be” decided that butter had been in purdah long enough and now needed a commercial boost again , so they put the “fix” in with some scientist to give it the green card …a clean bill of health again, if you like. Had the farmers cried out that they’d go under if butter sales did not rise again sometime soon?We’ve been down this road too many times before , of course .We’re going through the era of “Five a Day” at the moment . For anyone out of the loop that ‘s five pieces of fruit to be consumed  every day …and those two bottles of fruity  Malbec , or Rioja ,in the evening ,don’t count. Potatoes have also felt the cold wind of propaganda  in the past. Someone out there enjoys telling us all what we should eat and what we should not.

This kind of social propaganda is not really new.At one time eating fish was seen as a “Popish plot”…I know ….the conspiracy theorists are out again …but there is a nugget of truth there too. Some of the foundations of this were laid down at the time of Henry the Eight and the Reformation, when Henry divorced himself from the church so that he could marry as many women as he wanted to.Fish were on dodgy ground and were seen as “popish flesh”, strongly associated with the enemy, Roman Church and it’s many days of fasting. Without all those fish -only fasting days there were’t as many of the wee slippery ,silver  darlings consumed .The fall-off of fish consumption began to have an adverse effect on fishermen so that when Henry’s young son, Edward VI, took over in 1547, fast days were reinstated by law to give the fishermen a bit of a boost…

It was decreed  “for worldly and civil policy, to spare flesh, and use fish, for the benefit of the commonwealth, where many be fishers, and use the trade of living.”

Right up until the 20th century fish and the “fast days” associated with the Roman Catholic Church  had a social  effect on the fishing trade and on the economics of many countries. It makes sense when you think about it.When Pope Paul the Sixth freed up the rules of fasting for Catholics in the 1960’s, fish prices dropped .During the forty days of Lent , true believing Catholics are still expected to avoid eating meat.Fish, you see was always okay to eat because it was seen as a cold -blooded creature , unlike a warm-blooded animal which was in a different sort of “spiritual” league . The warm-blooded creature was seen as a sort of sacrificial  meal whose warm flesh was somehow “holier” than a  cold-blooded fish or a snake.

Anything is possible now .Cigarettes could yet get a reprieve. Back in the 1950s, I can remember  they were really  very good for you. They were really glamorous too and  could literally fight some diseases.  That was before the likes of John Wayne collapsed from cancer with a fag between his quivering lips.

Now they , like butter have felt the chill wind on their collar .Could we all be hectored and advised to get back to the roll-ups for the benefit of our health,  some time in the middle of the century? Remember , you read it here first …way …way back in 2015!!


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