You may recall the scene in Fat Head where Dr. Mary Dan Eades explained that our brains are made of fat, so when you reduce the natural fats in your diet, you’re removing the raw materials your brain needs to feel happy.  Observational studies have shown that people with low cholesterol levels are more prone to violence, and in at least one intervention study I know of, adding essential fatty acids to the diets of prisoners resulted in fewer assaults.

The bottom line:  real fats in the diet mean less overall crankiness.  As if we needed more proof, look at the weapon a shelter resident in Seattle chose for a recent assault:

In an incident that contains all the illegality of regular assault but with 70 percent less saturated fat, a wheelchair-bound man was bludgeoned with a tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! last Wednesday in South Lake Union.

According to the Seattle Police Department’s report, the victim, who lives in a shelter in the 1800 block of Eastlake Avenue, was confronted by another resident, who accused the victim of having his television turned up too loud.

Now, I ask you:  would a brain-happy butter-eater beat someone senseless for turning up the TV volume?  I don’t think so.  A butter-eater would more likely send a curt note.

The suspect repeatedly hit the victim over the head with a 16-ounce tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, according to the report. Officers arrived to find the victim covered in the imitation butter.

I don’t freak out at the sight of my own blood.  In grade school, a classmate accidentally stabbed me in the shoulder with a stylus, and I calmly walked to boys’ bathroom to see if I could stop the geyser of blood before it soaked completely through my shirt.  (There were rumors the next day that I’d been shot and was dead.)  But that was just blood.  If I ever found myself covered in imitation butter, I’m reasonably sure I’d faint.

According to the report, the suspect told officers he poured the fake butter on the victim but denied hitting him with the tub.

Clearly a lie.  No enraged person is going to exact revenge by gently pouring margarine on his tormentor. Besides, to pour imitation butter on someone, you’d have to heat it first.  A more believable lie would be that he spooned the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! onto his victim.

I presume the police officer replied to the lie by saying, “I can’t believe it’s not battery.  You’re under arrest.”

Some of our politicians have been in a tizzy about cheap guns leading to violence.  For the sake of consistency, I think they should start addressing the cheap imitation-butter issue as well.  After all, I’ve never heard of anyone beating a person with a brick of Kerrygold butter.

Congress should start by ordering the NIH to conduct a study and determine how many assaults are committed by margarine-eaters versus butter-eaters.  If it turns out (as I suspect it would) that margarine-eaters are more prone to whacking people over the head, then Congress must take action to prevent more senseless violence.

Wait a minute … I don’t want to act like a typical politician and demand action without carefully considering all the evidence.  First we’d have to determine if we’re looking at causality or a mere correlation.  It could simply be that naturally cranky people are more likely to buy imitation butter.   Perhaps they go to the grocery store, consider buying real butter, then say to themselves, “Nawww, life sucks no matter what you do.  No point in enjoying food. Hey, is that guy over there giving me a disrespectful look?”

Okay then, before Congress jumps the gun, the NIH should follow up with a controlled study.  Prisons are a great place to find large populations of head-whackers, so I’d suggest conducting the study in a few prison cafeterias.  Put tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! on half the tables and bricks of Kerrygold butter on the other half.  Keep records on which prisoners ate which spread and track their behavior over time.

If it turns out (as I suspect it would) that the margarine-eating prisoners were involved in more random acts of head-whackery, then the NIH researchers could write up a nice paper and propose some hypotheses to explain the results, such as:

1. Consuming chemically extracted seed oils disturbs brain chemistry, which in turn leads to cranky moods and violent behavior.

2. A lack of essential fatty acids from butter and other natural fats disturbs brain chemistry, which in turn leads to cranky moods and violent behavior.

3. Margarine sucks and eating it makes people mad.

Whatever the explanation, if a controlled study produces the results I’d expect, Congress will have no choice:  for society’s sake, they’ll have to outlaw 16-oz. tubs of margarine.  After all, nobody really needs that much fake butter.

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42 Responses to “Assault and Buttery”
  1. Obewan says:

    I’ve always said that if Bacon was allowed on the Middle East, there would be Peace :)

    • Sandra says:

      Heey we have plenty of bacon in the Middle East…pork, beef and turkey! .. still no peace though…plenty of carbs as well. I eat bacon all the time and it can be bought in any supermarket.

      Somehow I suspected Middle East peace would be more complicated than making more bacon available.

  2. Galina L. says:

    Recently one person who kept verbally attacking in her comments LCarbing everywhere she could and was really, really obnoxious, turned into LCarber herself . She couldn’t be recognized under her new nickname until she explained the change in her diet because her personal style changed so much. She used to sound as somebody constantly irritated, she calmed down significantly. I hope she will continue feeling better.

    She must be eating more butter.

  3. alexandra says:

    Here in New York you will be allowed to have 7 ounce tubs of fake butter but not 10 ounce tubs of fake butter…though you can have 7 ounces of fake butter in a 10 ounce fake butter container so, if you have a full 10 ounce fake butter container, be sure to spoon out exactly 3 ounces of fake butter so everyone will be safer. If you are retired law enforcement, you are allowed to have the full 10 ounces of fake butter in the 10 ounce fake butter container. I feel safer already!

    Meanwhile, the politicians will continue to surround themselves with guards who are allowed to carry the full 10 ounces.

  4. Lori says:

    If I ever have to go live in an institution where the TV is constantly on, I think I will just shoot myself. Or rub margarine into the speakers.

    I’d eat some butter and then put in earplugs.

  5. Beowulf says:

    I might die of a broken heart if anyone ever used a block of Kerrygold for violence. What a senseless waste of good butter!

  6. David F says:

    Hi Tom,

    On a similar vein to your story….only with Omega 3 Fats: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-23/university-of-wollongong-researchers-study-whether-omega-3-fats/4906982

    David

    Nice. Forget solitary; give them fish oil.

  7. Live Free Or Diet says:

    A 16 ounce tub means he got pounded, right?

    Also, this is biblical: Cain, the cranky farmer, murdered Able, the happy shepherd.

  8. Mark says:

    Tom, do you really think they’ll enact laws based off solid evidence? I thought they only trusted epidemiology “studies”.

    They only trust studies that support whatever they already believed.

  9. Per Wikholm says:

    LOL! Actually, here in Sweden, were we have a large LCHF-Community, the proponents of conventional dietery wisdom stratagy has been to claim that they are beening threatend by agressive LCHF’rs on mail and in social media.

    Well, among the +100 000 LCHF’rs there might actually be some occasional weirdoe but then just report the threat to the police. To my knowlidge no no such report has ever been made despite the “problem” with agressive LCHF’rs beening discussed in major TV shows and papers. For sure no such trail in a courtroom has ever taken place (media would not have missed that). And there is definetely not any LCHF terrorist act ever conducted in Sweden (but there has been several conducted by millitant vegans against meat trucks and stores selling fur).

    The most substantial LCHF “treat” described comes from professor Claude Marcus, Swedens most famous weight loss expert. He claimed he had to cancel a lecture because some LCHF person had theratend to throw liquid low fat margarine on him. But fortunately Marcus never had so suffer the same experience as this poor guy covered in I cant’t beleive it is not butter.

    Oh my god, that’s hilarious!

    “Professor, how do you know it was a group of LCHF people who attacked you?”
    “Well, they were lean, they were energetic, and they all had beautiful, clear skin.”

  10. I hope you don’t mind me flopping about in your comments section, but a long time ago you mentioned somewhere that you used to work in Hollywood as a scriptwriter and that not being a liberal negatively affected your career prospects. I’m an aspiring starving artist, looking at fiction writing but also eyeing the less starvey world of Hollywood. I’ve read William Goldman and 101 habits successful screenwriters (which I recommend for anyone who wants to write).
    I’m Canadian and sadly we’re getting to a point where the fact that I’d have to move to, and live in, and have to contend with the laws and politicians of, both America and California to be a scriptwriter is becoming a real disincentive, not that I’ll ever have to make the choice anytime soon but I, and maybe other readers, would be interested in knowing about your experiences there.
    I’ve always believed that Hollywood ultimately wants to make money and that when push comes to shove they’d let in a Grand Wizard of the Klan as long as ticket sales went up. Am I wrong?

    I didn’t work as a scriptwriter. I worked as a programmer while attending writing workshops, acting workshops, performing in comedy clubs and theatrical productions, etc.

    Hollywood does want to make money, but the place is run by leftists who believe (correctly) that they can make money by churning out films and TV shows which (if they promote any political point of view at all) promote the liberal/left view. That’s why you will never, ever see something like “The West Wing” or “The American President” with a lovable Republican president instead of a lovable Democrat president. When politicians in movies and TV shows are clearly identified as conservatives, you can bet your bottom dollar that by the end of story, they’ll turn out to be hypocrites, thugs, or possibly outright murderers. Same goes for any character clearly identified as a reborn Christian.

    The conservative stars in Hollywood became stars before they were publicly identified as conservatives. (As Kelsey Grammar once said, being a conservative in Hollywood is like being a gay man in the 1950s; you eventually find each other, but you have to be careful about it if you know what’s good for you.) Having proved their star-power (and therefore their money-making power), yes, they’ll be allowed to work and make money for the studios. But you won’t see them getting funding for a film or TV show that promotes anything resembling a conservative viewpoint.

  11. robert says:

    I read the title as ‘Assault Butterfly’…

    Back on topic.

    The detention facilities make money right? So their primary interest is to spend as little as possible on their ‘visitors’ and try to keep their guests as well. Bad food (oils, soy…) makes them grumpy, which notoriously leads to more violence, thus additional prison time. They’re not interested in the well-being of their guests, they only need to keep them alive, so the money keeps flowing. Quite simple actually.

    Prisons in Illinois starting serving soy protein instead of meat some years back … by sheer coincidence, this happened after ADM made large campaign contributions to then-governor Rod Blagojevich.

  12. peril says:

    Related study already under way: http://media.uow.edu.au/news/UOW156721.html

    Looks similar to the study on prisoners done in England.

  13. Bruce says:

    I think it makes the head whackers mad, that they CAN believe it’s not butter. They then know they that they are being lied to by a plastic tub.

    MUST SMASH!!!

    I never had any difficulty believing that junk isn’t butter.

  14. Walter Bushell says:

    Margarine should be a schedule one drug if there should be drug regulation, which is another can of snakes. A recreational chemical with no health benefits and great potential for abuse.

    Perhaps, it should only be legal to purchase by people 35 and over?

    And only in sizes that don’t qualify the tubs as assault weapons.

  15. Elenor says:

    “I’ve never heard of anyone beating a person with a brick of Kerrygold butter.”

    That may not be against “man’s law” — but fer shure it’s against NATURAL LAW! (What a waste of good butter!)

  16. Daci says:

    I can confirm this from personal experience. Looking back at when I was on Statins,I was astoundingly easily annoyed and them screwing with my memory added to the anger/frustration I felt.
    I took myself off ado and will never take them again.
    Going off topic, you might find this picture interesting:

    http://news.discovery.com/human/health/fast-food-ads-still-failing-kids-childhood-obesity-130828.htm

    What a stupid article. “Everyone knows” kids are defenseless against these ads … really? I wasn’t aware that kids these days drive cars and have their own money, so I had this silly notion in my head that they can’t consume Happy Meals without approval from their parents.

  17. Janet says:

    Don’t forget the confounder of spreading that fake butter on hearthealthywholegrainbread.

    • Walter Bushell says:

      With a slice of tofu turkey. I haven’t notice tofu beef for some reason.

      The world can only tolerate so many abominations.

      • Rae says:

        Oh, they make fake roast beef alright. I used to eat it on my whole grain bread. With vegan mayo. So ashamed!

        Consider it a bad dream from which you finally awoke.

  18. Kyth says:

    Be glad it was margarine, if it was butter someone might have eaten his face off!

  19. Kyth says:

    My uncle and father were both Federal prison guards. When my dad was a rookie, they both worked at Leavenworth. One of my Uncle’s favorite stories involved a prisoner whom he suspected of stealing one pound blocks of butter from the kitchen by hiding them under his hat. One day in the middle of the summer (Leavenworth isn’t called ‘The Hot House’ for nothing!) my uncle stopped the prisoner in the yard and backed him up against a brick wall in direct sun and had a friendly conversation. The prisoner was nervous but didn’t let on. After a short time a little drip of butter came down on his forehead. My uncle pretended not to notice and just kept asking him about his family and if he’d had any visits or letters. Eventually the man was covered from head to toe in melted butter! My uncle just smiled and sent him on his way. That was the end of the butter thief!

    At least the con smelled good afterwards.

  20. SB says:

    Of course, there will be some exceptions for large chain grocery and convenience stores who pay an “entry tax…I mean fee” into the “inordinate amounts of margarine club”. Also, people may buy multiple 8 oz. tubs of margarine if needed. Mayor Bloomberg will get right on this.

    People will also get around the ban by buying large tubs at unregulated margarine shows.

  21. Chuck says:

    Now why would the government want to make everyone happy, healthy and sane? If they did that, they couldn’t pass all these stupid laws that take away our rights and freedom everyday.

    Too true. Happy people don’t fall for the idea that life is unfair, and the only way to make it fair is to take away other people’s freedoms and incomes.

    • MITBeta says:

      Which way does the cause effect arrow run here? Maybe people who are treated fairly are happy, and not the other way around.

  22. Tate says:

    I would suspect the violence was reduced by adding the “essential fatty acids” because PUFA’s have a peer reviewed ability to decrease free testosterone and increase estrogen. Not to mention disrupt proper liver function. Violence probably decreased because of their overall decreased health. “I can’t believe it’s not butter” is simply hydrogenated “essential fatty acids”. Making it doubly bad. Butter on the other hand has very low levels of “essential fatty acids”, but high levels of saturated fatty acids, specifically short and medium chain fatty acids, which are not considered “essential” though the body can not make them. However, these fats DO have beneficial effects on the body by improving liver function, increasing leptin and insulin sensitivity, and raising metabolism. (All three of which are intertwined.)

  23. Cyborcat says:

    I have nothing particularly intelligent to contribute–just wanted to say that it was hard reading this post at work without laughing my ass off. The story itself and the commentary–I especially liked “random acts of head-whackery”.

    I encourage laughing at work, so long as it doesn’t get anyone fired.

  24. Suzanne says:

    Chris Masterjohn said a prison group nearly rioted when researchers planned to use them as guinea pigs for a low fat diet. The study was turned into a vegetable fat diet instead. (Low carb cruise video of his lecture.)

    • Walter Bushell says:

      Robert K. Su, M.D. in his “Carbohydrates Can Kill ” podcast said that bad fats are better than no fats at all.

  25. Denise Cripps says:

    Tom, you outdid yourself. You literally had me in tears of laughter. Thanks for the perfect Friday-afternoon-before-a-long-holiday-weekend chuckle! Enjoy your Labor Day with the family. Love to all!

    Enjoy your weekend too.

  26. Molly56 says:

    Hmm…I live and work in Seattle, and our homeless do seem to have odd consumption habits. Our little building is next door to a food bank, and our back office door is just off a tiny alley that tends to attract the occasional homeless person. Yesterday I was perplexed by a neatly folded pair of pants, a t-shirt, and an empty mouthwash bottle!

    I worked with a woman whose brother was homeless in San Francisco. She told me the homeless shelters offer soy milk for the vegan homeless.

  27. Rae says:

    I’m a pretty outspoken cheerleader for real butter – for my birthday, my boyfriend’s daughter painted a mug for me. “I (heart) BUTTER”, complete with a picture of a stick of butter. She thinks it’s funny that I bring my own butter to restaurants that only serve margarine, but it’s a good opportunity to talk about fake food vs real food.

    Diet has such a huge impact on my mood! I go through about 2 lbs of butter a month and I’m pretty upbeat. On the other hand, the people I know who eat stuff like margarine and egg whites aren’t especially happy, and neither was I when I ate that way.

  28. Bret says:

    (I’m a typical m.s.m. journalist) What do you mean “causality OR correlation”? Aren’t those the exact same thing?

    That’s how my colleagues and I proved vegetarianism bestows superior health, global warming is caused by humans, and free market exchange causes economic disparity.

    It’s also how I proved that the evening newscasts cause the sun to set.

    • MITBeta says:

      Shifting into 1st gear causes red lights to change green.

      Being in a hurry causes slow drivers to turn onto the road just in front of you.

  29. Randy says:

    We just need to make sure that all of the gun owners out there use butter instead of margarine.

    As long as they don’t use extended sticks.

  30. Nowhereman says:

    I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine a couple days ago who does various kinds of medical research for the local university (guess who he gets his grant money from) in the last couple of days. He wanted to crow to me about how the research he is doing proves that eating a high fat diet plus refined carbs (read sugar) is more harmful in causing dementia than a low-fat diet with unrefined carbs in obese mice (he was doing this because he wanted to do a ‘take that’ at me since he knew I’m on a HFLC diet). He got upset when started pointing out the design flaws in the testing he was doing. Namely I pointed out that the mice chow is exactly the same as the the rat chow used elsewhere, which is to say that it makes use of not only sugar, but also processed vegetable oils (corn oil, canola oil, etc) high in omega 6 fatty acid chains that promote inflammation and that what he was doing was creating skewed results which had nothing to do with my diet since I consume very little processed oils, mostly saturated fats, and I eat little in the way of refined carbs, except as a treat only once in a while. If his goal was to prove that processed high omega 6 fatty acids in excess along with sugar is bad. The research is already there that those are not great combinations. Great. But he was trying to apply this to ALL fats. I suggested that he repeat the experiment, only flip the low fat diet with refined sugar, while using refined carbs with saturated fat to see what changes occur in the results. I even pointed him towards research that showed that low-fat diets contribute towards Parkinson’s and other dementia just as readily.

    He huffed that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and then stomped off.

    Oh well.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

  31. Walter Bushell says:

    The researcher probably went up when Nowhere man mentioned that saturated fats were worse than the good unsaturated kind. A very large change of paradigm and may have overload the researcher’s circuits.

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