Friday, April 12, 2013

Things I like to order on Azure Standard - Part 2

(For part 1, please click here)

One of the most critical staples that I order from Azure Standard every month is butter. To be more specific, the Rumiano brand butter

I love how the butter comes in randomly shaped blocks, just like good cheese. 

Rumiano is an artisan cheese company in Northern California. I highly recommend all their products.

Their butter is my favorite item, hands down. Though not labeled as organic, this butter is pasture-fed (as the rich yellow color also proves), free of growth hormones and antibiotics, and GMO free since the cows are never fed genetically engineered corn. The butter used to be labeled as such, but no longer is, simply because it is against the law for products to be labeled as non-GMO, unless they pay for organic certification. 

Forget about demanding labeling - it is actually illegal to do so of your own choosing! Insanity.

Anyway, several years ago I called the company and talked to some high-up guy, who explained to me that they work with a number of small dairy farms along the coast, where the cows have rich pasture year-round. Many of these farms cannot afford to pay for organic certification, even though their cows are raised according to organic standards. 

The quality of this butter speaks for itself. Our family's butter evolution went something like this:

regular butter 
(rBST, antibiotics, etc.)

organic butter from Costco 
(we later received a letter from a class action law suit settlement, as the butter and even Costco brand organic milk turned out to be the worst type of conventional. I had already suspected this because the butter was tasteless and white as snow.)

organic butter from Whole Foods or Trader Joes

Kerrygold butter from Ireland 
(pasture fed, presumably non-GMO because it's imported from Europe)

This butter definitely is the best that money can buy. The only possible step up is when I make my own butter from raw cream, which I cannot always get a hold of, especially not in the quantities in which we consume butter. 

One month, Azure ran out, and we got none in our order. It was such a shock to my system that I now always make sure to keep no less than an extra month's supply in the fridge. 

I spy with my little eye... 24 lbs of butter! Looks like it'll be time to order more soon.... ;)

See? I'm serious about this!! :) What is that you are saying? That it's people like me who make the butter sell out in the first place? Probably - I'll be the first to admit to that.

I can quit any time! Or not...


  1. This sounds like such a good deal! How much butter do you go through in a month? Do you ever use oil or just use butter for every purpose?

    1. About 10 lbs, more around the holidays. I usually only use oil for salads. For frying, I use organic palm oil, which is considered safe for frying like coconut oil (minus the stronger taste). I also use the palm oil for pie crusts, as it performs like shortening, but is much healthier.

  2. Yum, that butter looks DELCIOUS! I love good butter! One time (before we started milking our own cow) we were able to get raw milk, and I was shocked to find that the butter I made from the cream was snow white! Our cows are allowed to graze the grass all winter long, but we give them supplementation, in the form of hay and/or silage. The butter we have made this week is beautifully golden yellow, despite the lack of green grass at the moment. Just goes to show how poor the diet of those other cows must have been!

    ...As we live in Ireland I wanted to quickly give you the scoop on GMO's here in our country. Current EU regulations state that animal feeds DO NOT need to be labelled, therefore MOST if not all conventional Irish meat and dairy products (including Kerrygold - sorry!), come from producers that have been feeding their animals grains (in addition to their natural diet) that contain GM soy/corn. Stinks huh?

    The Irish government have also been conducting GM food trials here for years and also happily imports GM food to stock our supermarkets with.

    There are also "whispers" that the Irish Agricultural Trust are share holders in Monsanto. :(

    1. Sarah, even as I was typing my post, I had a sinking feeling that there is probably a way for farmers/growers to get around any laws banning GMOs. What a scam!!! :(

      I remember seeing a Monsanto brochure a few years ago, advertising roundup-ready crops. On the back, it had a special message to European farmers, telling them to get in touch with the company and consult with them how to use GMOs. In other words, "Call us and we will tell you how to get around the regulations." Disgusting!

      I am so happy for you that you get fresh, raw cream from your cows!!!! That is definitely the gold standard of butter. One day, I hope to have a cow myself.

    2. Ug. It is so dissapointing to hear that about Kerrygold, though I suspected. Guess I have to find a local butter purveyor then. I have been thinking about joining the local Azure standard drop, but I'm not sure I'd use it enough to make worth while, since there's just two of us.

  3. I'd be careful about getting butter from cows on the cost. They have found high amounts of radiation in them.

    1. I know... we decided the benefits of consuming healthy fats outweighed that risk. But I certainly see where you are coming from.

  4. Is this raw butter? If it is, I'd be willing to start buying it. As of right now, I'm only paying a dollar less for pasturized butter because it's the closest thing to real butter that we have available here.

  5. Mrs. Julia Child said you could never have too much butter! It looks delicious!

    God bless you, Dad, and the seven,


  6. I noticed they are now adding natural flavors to their butter.

    1. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I received my monthly Azure delivery yesterday, and sure enough, the packaging on the butter had changed completely, and the ingredients now contained "natural flavor."

      I called Rumiano Cheese Co today and spoke with the owner. He explained to me that they got new packaging equipment in June to keep up with their increased butter production. The product itself has not changed, only the way it is packaged. The new packaging erroneously contains "natural flavor" in the ingredient list, when in fact, the butter does not contain any. This is because the supplier of the paper wrappers makes packaging for a number of dairies, and failed to remove this when they designed the Rumiano label. This misprint only affects the unsalted butter, while the salted butter is correct and only lists sweet cream and sea salt on the ingredients list. (Note: Azure's description on the website erroneously added "natural flavor" to the ingredient list of both items, not just the unsalted version affected by the misprint. I have talked to Azure about this today, hoping that they can fix this, and add a note about the packaging being misprinted.)

      Please check back on this post for an update with a detailed, written explanation that I have requested from the owner of Rumiano himself.

  7. A friend and I are having a butter discussion and she linked me to your post here. I did a bunch of research on Azure butters here very recently for our local WAPF group and the Azure Standard drop coordinators list on FB. Sadly, Rumiano's butter is NOT guaranteed pasture fed or GMO free. Only their organic product line is. And Azure does not carry Rumiano's organic butter.

    And sadly, Sarah in Ireland is correct. Kerrygold is not GMO free. In fact, in my research, I found Kerrygold is just the brand for the Irish Dairy Board! So while it may well be grass fed, it is still just commodity butter.

    I would choose Organic Valley or Sierra Nevada. I know it is pricier but I think butter is important and I put priority on it. You can use Palm Shortening or Lard if you want to keep your baking costs down.


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