Buttergate: Why are Canadians complaining about hard butter?

Something is amiss with Canadian butter, according to local foodies, who have been arguing for weeks that their blocks are harder to spread than usual.

These so-called “buttergate” anecdotes are spreading online, with many Canadians complaining their butter does not soften at room temperature.

Food experts have churned up palm fat in cow feed as a likely culprit. The dairy industry insists the claims are unfounded.

Buttergate began with a question posed on Twitter by Canadian cookbook author Julie Van Rosendaal: “Have you noticed it’s no longer soft at room temperature?”

Hundreds of home cooks responded with similar butter woes. Van Rosendaal suggested that a higher demand for butter in the pandemic led to changes in livestock feed, as farmers sought to increase production.

Adding palm oil-based energy supplements to cow feed is a decades-old practice said to increase the milk output of cows and increase the milk’s fat content.

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