Norway Is Running Out Of Butter Amidst High-Fat Dieting Fad

Fat-happy Norwegians seem to have eaten themselves into a corner, and that corner is bereft of butter. A popular fat-rich fad diet sweeping the country is turning into a butter shortage that could affect Christmastime baking.

Reuters reports that the butter shortage is due to a “low-carb” diet, wherein dieters take in a higher amount of fat.

“Sales all of a sudden just soared, 20 percent in October then 30 percent in November,” Lars Galtung, the head of communications at TINE, the country’s biggest farmer-owned cooperative told Reuters.

Coupled with ridiculous human tendencies to do what everyone else is doing, Norway’s wet summer has reduced the quality of animal feed, which in turn lessens the milk output and thereby makes it harder to produce as much butter. Norway might even start trading oil for some of the greasy yellow goodness.

With the country’s butter slowly leaking away, auction websites are getting in on the game, with a 250-gram piece going for a starting price of $13, about four times higher than usual. Neighboring Denmark is chock-full of butter, but high import taxes in Norway means no outside butter aid.

Diet craze leaves Norwegians begging for butter [Reuters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. George4478 says:

    Paula Deen is organizing a relief mission as we speak.

  2. dolemite says:

    “Do you have unused, broken butter lying around your home? Bring it down to Cash-4-Butter. We pay top dollar for that butter!”

  3. rawley69 says:

    Can I sell butter on ebay?

  4. Gorbachev says:

    They just arrested a Russian man living in Germany at the border of Sweden and Norway with 90kg of butter in his car. He was trying to smuggle it in the country.

    Apparently the “street price” of butter in Norway is now as high as 65 euros. So he had 11K euros worth of butter in his car.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      The article mentions “high import duties” but just how high can they be?! If butter is selling at several times its normal cost, the duties must be far more than 100%.

      Well, I googled it and THE CRISIS HAS BEEN AVERTED! says the tariff has been temporarily reduced from 25.19 kroner to only 4 kroner per kilo. Which translates to ~1.98/lb down to only 31¢ per pound.

      • dangermike says:

        13.19 per 250 grams is 23.93 per pound. That’s pretty painful, IMO. As best as I can tell, it looks like the median income there is equivalent to about $48000.

  5. Wonderweasel says:

    I smell a get-rich quick opportunity

    *spends life savings on butter, moves to Norway*

  6. CubeRat says:

    I’d take a day and go shopping in Denmark. Is there a penalty for purchasing and importing small amounts of butter?

    (I have images of Border Wars with agents looking for butter instead of Cocaine, MJ, money, or guns.)

  7. Cat says:

    What the hell are they doing in Norway with all that butter?

    There’s butter in the kitchen. Go get the butter.

  8. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    Finally I can do something with that cargo container of butter I left in Florida over the summer. I inherited it from my Polish grandmother. She may or may not have also been left in the cargo container over the summer.

    Should still be good right?

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Probably in response to that diet research from Europe Consumerist linked last week.

    5 days no carb, 2 days carbo-load.

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    There’s a simple solution Рbuy a cow instead!

  11. moosetoga says:

    What kind of low-carb diet advocates eating a ton of butter? I did Atkins for a little while back in the day and as I recall, you were supposed to get most of your fat from healthier sources, especially olive oil.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Butter isn’t unhealthy – fat isn’t unhealthy. Olive oil in large quantities is high in Omega 6 which can cause issues with some people – same thing with chicken (even chicken breast is high in omega 6).

      One might also argue that dairy in general should be avoided but I like butter too much and figure that its high enough in fat and low enough in lactose and other things that it isn’t so bad in moderation.

      Also, you have to consider that people dropping a lot of carbs out of their diet feel very hungry and its difficult to replace that with fat so some people resort to fat like butter, etc, because in general its cheap and you know its fat. It’s a lot easier to just eat more steak and not cut off the fat, in my opinion.

      • Baritonium says:

        You say that “fat isn’t unhealthy.” On what do you base this opinion? One could argue that unsaturated fats (poly- and mono-) aren’t that unhealthy, but butter is over 60% saturated fat. I don’t think anyone could successfully argue that saturated fat isn’t unhealthy, and one stick of butter contains about 58g of saturated fat!

        Hope you have good health insurance…

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          Let’s see. Your brain is made of saturated fat, as are most of your organs, the lining of your arteries, nerves, etc and also cholesterol…

          If you’re eating low carb, you HAVE to replace it with something, and protein only goes so far, especially in those who have renal (kidney) issues.

          Your body can’t absorb the vitamins in vegetables because they’re fat-soluable… unless you consume them with fat.

        • bretlinford says:

          Fat being healthy is not a matter of opinion but scientific fact. You should read Gary Taubes’ ‘Why We Get Fat, and What To Do About It” before making any claim that fat is ‘unhealthy’.

        • FigNinja says:

          Ancel Keys cooked the books but he got the ear of the right people. There is no link between saturated fat consumption and coronary heart disease. Why would our bodies store our own surplus energy in a form that is bad for us? Ever wonder why we are sicker and fatter as a society since we’ve demonized these fats and switched to highly processed industrial oils from the natural fats we’ve been eating for millennia? We are eating less fat than ever and it hasn’t helped one bit.

          By the way, if butter comes from grass-fed cows, it actually has a nice bit of omega 3 in it, too.

  12. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    There are few things worse that I can imagine than a butter shortage.

    A birth control shortage maybe? Or a beer shortage? Or both?

  13. Gravitational Eddy says:

    Pssst…hey friend…I got the best butter in town right here.
    You want a taste? Here.
    Allriiiiight, hell yeah. How much you want? I got 1/4’s halves and full pounds…
    Best swiss butter they make, fresh from virgin cows in the high mountain passes.

  14. geargutz says:

    Captain Murphy: “We’ve got more important things to worry about than a butter shortage! …. Put that on the list of things I thought I’d never say.”

    -Sealab 2021

  15. galm666 says:

    What? Take in more fat? I don’t even…

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Fat ingested does not magically add itself to the fat that makes up your body.

      You need a certain amount of fat in a healthy diet.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        That’s true, unfortunately butter is not one of those “good” fats. I really wish it was.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          It isn’t a “bad fat” either.

          Saturated fat is not bad.

        • ashmelev says:

          Butter is awesome.
          Don’t be afraid of the saturated fat. It is not the evil. It does not clog your arteries. The uncontrolled consumption of carbs does (eventually).

  16. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    When my son got back from Germany he went on the ketogenic diet and has stayed on it. In the first couple of months he lost about 45 pounds and is now really thin but stable. I’m considering it as well. You really have to love bacon ;^)

  17. azmountaintroll says:

    Norway has a butter shortage because they ate it all? That’s GOT to be the ultimate in First World Problems.

  18. bikeoid says:

    I make my own butter at home

  19. scoosdad says:

    That’s OK, the shortage will ease up once the Norwegians start dropping dead in the streets from all those heart attacks:

    “Deaths all of a sudden just soared, 20 percent in February then 30 percent in March,” Ulrug Maktung, the head of communications at CLOG, the country’s biggest funeral director-owned cooperative told Reuters.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      No, not really. If they’ve cut carbs and are eating healthy protein and lots of veggies, they’ll all lose weight and live a lot longer.

  20. FrugalFreak says:

    iI make my own butter at home.

  21. StutiCebriones says:

    In fairness, their butter is much better than ours.

  22. crispyduck13 says:

    Cue TLC/History Channel/Nat Geo’s latest smash hit:

    Butter Wars: One Stick is Never Enough

  23. maxhobbs says:

    Where’s Fabio when you need him?

  24. Jules Noctambule says:

    Their butter is pretty damn good, in all fairness. I guess we’ll find out soon if it’s rioting-in-the-streets good or not.

  25. Not Given says:

    Luckily, you can make your own butter at home with cream and a dash of salt.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I believe they are experiencing a dairy milk shortage period because of the poor weather, therefore the reduced amount of butter for sale would be on par with a reduced amount of cream and milk.

  26. bretlinford says:

    Fat being healthy is not a matter of opinion but scientific fact. You should read Gary Taubes’ ‘Why We Get Fat, and What To Do About It” before making any claim that fat is ‘unhealthy’.

  27. noahproblem1 says:

    I thought butter was supposed to give you a heart attack after you ate it, not when you looked at it’s price…

  28. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    So… try using “I can’t believe it’s not butter?”

  29. Piddles says:

    It’s no fad. I am up to 46 lbs lost because I went low carb. Butter is preferred because it’s a natura fat.

  30. Tallanvor says:

    As someone who is living in Norway, I can tell you that virtually nobody thinks low-carb diets have had a measurable impact on the supply on butter.

    The problem is that virtually all butter is produced by Tine, and they ignored lower milk production that affects how much butter they can make. Tine used to have a virtual monopoly over all dairy products, but a couple of other companies have managed to gain some milk and cheese market share, but Tine still has 90% of the butter market. Add high import tariffs into this, and basically nobody else can afford to sell butter in significant quantities.

    Hopefully this shortage will help convince the government to stop letting a single company maintain control over products in the future.

  31. jenesaisrien says:

    Norwegians must not be dumb….personally working w/the obesity and type2 diabetes epidemic….cutting edge science says Yup, you gotta restrict carbs(the good, the bad and the ugly) May be hard to do and against the tide but it has its up sides- like less hunger/cravings and moreover, it works.