Thank you Jeanmarie, one of my faithful readers, for allowing me to share this letter you recently sent to Nora Ephron about the movie, Julie & Julia:
Dear Ms. Ephron,
I saw “Julie & Julia” yesterday, after finishing the book a week ago. I laughed and cried through the whole thing. What a delightful movie. I look forward to seeing it again on DVD; I hope you pack it full of special features!
The reason I’m writing is that I heard you being interviewed on NPR a couple of days ago, and you and the host were talking about all the butter. You said something about, who knows, maybe someday there’ll be a big headline telling us that butter isn’t so bad for us after all.
Those headlines are out there! Perhaps you missed Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, by Gary Taubes, a science writer for the New York Times Magazine. The book is an expansion of Taubes’ previous magazine pieces “What If It’s All Been a Big, Fat Lie?” and “The Soft Science of Dietary Fat.”
Human beings evolved eating animal fat, and until the early part of the last century, that was what everyone in the U.S. ate and cooked with, and we weren’t dying of heart disease or diabetes. Bad science and worse journalism scared many people away from saturated fat and cholesterol, whereas they are not only not harmful, they are essential to human health. Most of what you find in the popular press—or the doctor’s office—is way behind the scientific curve.
If you are inclined to read about nutrition, please take a look at the Weston A. Price Foundation website, at http://www.westonaprice.org/, where you’re guaranteed to find the most up-to-date nutrition information untainted by corporate money. You should meet WAPF President Sally Fallon. She’ll make you feel great about eating butter! If you’re concerned about weight gain, she would ask, “What are you putting the butter on?”
Enclosed please find a sample article by Sally Fallon and her collaborator, Mary Enig, PhD, one of the world’s foremost lipid biochemists. They are the co-authors of Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat, Lose Fat.
I wish you continued good health and happy eating, with lots of butter!
An end-note from Jeanmarie: “I printed out “Why Butter Is Better” from the WAPF site and included that. What are the chances she'll actually see it? Probably some assistants will laugh and toss it… oh well, it's worth a try.”
- Also read Jeanmarie’s amazing movie review of the Food, Inc.
Jeanmarie Todd is a former health-care industry and science editor for Bloomberg News. She currently lives on a farm in Mendocino County, California, with three dogs, two cats (the third went feral) and billions of friendly microorganisms in the kombucha, kefir and lacto-fermented vegetable cultures that share her home.
Jeanmarie with her cookbook collection.