Butter Mythology

BUTTER MAKING – MythologymusicThis time of year, cows and other lactating animals are giving birth and producing an abundance of milk. It’s the middle of dairy season, and today we’ll hear some of the legends behind one of the most common dairy foods on Earth: butter. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience: cow being milkedWe’re listening to the sound of a cow being milked, the first step in butter making, a process that holds a significant place in world mythology. Jonathan White is the at Egg Farm Dairy in Peekskill, New York.”Butter and cheese making have been part of human culture for so long they’ve really wound their way through a lot of different folklores and religions. There’s a lot of mythology which draws analogies between butter and cheese making and the creation of the world. That’s a very common thread. In Hindu mythology, Krishna churns the world from butter.””In Nepal, there’s an annual butter dance that’s done, where a whole pantheon of gods are fashioned out of butter, and dancers dance around them for 24 hours. And as the dancing works itself into a frenzy, and the body heat of the dancers melts the gods, they flow back into the earth, and it produces fertility for the next season.”We hardly question where butter comes from today. But in the past, a little bit of churning might have been seen as the devil’s handiwork.”Butter making has always been related to witchcraft. The fact that some people were able to churn butter all the time, and some people were never able to churn it, led the people that were unable to assume that the people who were able were witches. A very common accusation made against witches in the middle ages was that they had caused a neighbor’s cow to produce milk that would not produce butter.”I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Butter Mythology

The food millions of people spread on their toast every morning has inspired legends in many cultures.
Air Date:06/18/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

BUTTER MAKING - MythologymusicThis time of year, cows and other lactating animals are giving birth and producing an abundance of milk. It's the middle of dairy season, and today we'll hear some of the legends behind one of the most common dairy foods on Earth: butter. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience: cow being milkedWe're listening to the sound of a cow being milked, the first step in butter making, a process that holds a significant place in world mythology. Jonathan White is the at Egg Farm Dairy in Peekskill, New York."Butter and cheese making have been part of human culture for so long they've really wound their way through a lot of different folklores and religions. There's a lot of mythology which draws analogies between butter and cheese making and the creation of the world. That's a very common thread. In Hindu mythology, Krishna churns the world from butter.""In Nepal, there's an annual butter dance that's done, where a whole pantheon of gods are fashioned out of butter, and dancers dance around them for 24 hours. And as the dancing works itself into a frenzy, and the body heat of the dancers melts the gods, they flow back into the earth, and it produces fertility for the next season."We hardly question where butter comes from today. But in the past, a little bit of churning might have been seen as the devil's handiwork."Butter making has always been related to witchcraft. The fact that some people were able to churn butter all the time, and some people were never able to churn it, led the people that were unable to assume that the people who were able were witches. A very common accusation made against witches in the middle ages was that they had caused a neighbor's cow to produce milk that would not produce butter."I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.