Canadian higher ed weighs in on “buttergate” controversy

March 5, 2021
Researchers and faculty across Canada are weighing in on a butter-focused controversy that has been dubbed “Buttergate.” NPR reports that the controversy began with anecdotal discussions around whether Canadian butter was harder at room temperature than in previous years, which some suggested could be linked to palm oil supplements in dairy cows. Dalhousie University Professor Sylvain Charlebois, who was part of the original anecdotal discussion on Twitter, noted in an article for Canadian Grocer that the “most plausible” reason that butter is harder to spread is due to palm oil, as organic or grass-fed better does not seem to have been affected. University of Saskatchewan professor emeritus of animal and poultry science David Christensen has noted that there are other factors beyond palm oil that could impact butter hardness. University of Guelph Professor Alejandro Marangoni has remained sceptical about the discussion, questioning why the dairy industry is investigating “a sensationalist statement that is completely based on zero data, just some feelings.” NPR | CTV News (CP)(UoGuelph, USask) | Canadian Grocer (Dalhousie) | The Conversation (UoGuelph) (International)