An Important Question For You To Ponder

I already asked it on Twitter, but I figure it deserves poll treatment here:

Feel free to expand upon your answer in the comments.

80 Comments on “An Important Question For You To Ponder”

  1. To eat a stick of butter that has been rolled in sugar (or better yet, brown sugar) is divine.

  2. No, not wrong, per se.

    Disgusting, maybe, if one just sat down and ate it whole. But considering I used to eat Mayo and pickle sandwiches for lunch as a kid, on white bread, “wrong” is not a term I can get behind when it comes to stunt eating.

  3. My brother, when he was like 3, used to eat sticks of butter if you didn’t catch him in time. Also ate raw hot dogs.

    I still shudder a little bit when I think about that.

  4. I’m assuming you mean in one sitting. If so, then not if you have a slow death wish.

  5. Both of my dogs find the consumption of an entire stick of butter to be perfectly acceptable, and will happily grab an unattended stick right off of the counter, even though they know they are not allowed to do so.

  6. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a stick of butter…say if is was in a batch of cookies….or a cake… but just to eat it plain….well then sir I’d like to be your doctor so you can send my kids to college!

  7. Of course it’s not wrong. It’s a low carb food, after all.

    Rachel @6,

    the Euro-sized blocks of butter are about twice the size of our sticks of butter. Ours is usually sold by the pound, and that pound (453g) is split up into four equally-sized, individually wrapped sticks.

  8. Recalling what happened when my sister’s basset hound got on the dining room table and did exactly that…

    Yes. Yes, it would be that bad.

  9. No. Annexing the Sudetenland; that would be very, very wrong.

    Eating a stick of butter? Dude, please. Just think of it as really, really fresh cheese.

  10. Slathered on a fresh, hot loaf of bread? Nothing wrong with that! Covering slices of radish? I’ve heard that’s a chef’s delicacy. Beaten with sugar, salt and flour, and baked into shortbread? Best thing ever.

    So, no, there’s nothing wrong with eating a stick of butter. Just maybe not every day. But good butter only!

  11. YouTube has several videos of different people eating a stick of butter. It doesn’t look like an enjoyable experience.

  12. Yes, it would be wrong. It would give you the runs, for one thing. Also, the flavor of butter is so glorious that deliberately acclimating yourself against it (that is, the second half of the stick would be pretty well flavorless) is a crime against æsthetics.

    The only time it wouldn’t be wrong is if you’re going to be outside in subzero temperatures all day, and haven’t had any carbohydrates in a couple of days. Then your body would burn it as fuel and keep you warm.

  13. Ill-advised? Yes. Wrong? No. There is no moral component to eating butter.

  14. i don’t think so, but only if you can add cinnamon sugar, or popcorn, or a baked sweet potato or a homemade roll.

  15. Have you been watching “The Big Bang Theory” lately?

    I dunno about butter sticks, but when I was a child, I used to eat bread with butter and sugar. But back then there was still communism in Poland, so I guess it was a bit different…

  16. Only if you have plenty of corn on the cob and salt to go with it. I mean, if you’re gonna do it, do it right.

  17. I think it would be kind of gross, and I don’t think that I, personally, could do it, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it.

    A friend’s sister used to be given sticks of butter to snack on.

    So, no.

  18. straight up butter stick… no way… find a lovely accompaniment… maybe. But still… yuck!

  19. It’s kinda gross unless you’re eating it to avoid letting the KGB get you drunk (a la Theremin) (even then it’s still kinda gross).

    not really WRONG though.

  20. Just bought a “Gourmet” Cupcake mix for the girls to bake for Mother’s Day.

    One Stick of butter for the twelve Cakes, one stick for the Frosting.

    The Cakes didn’t make it through the day, BTW. Nothing wrong with a stick once in a while. Especially in melted chocolate and cake batter.

  21. I was thinking of eating, but I really have eaten a lot today. Your poll, the mere thought of it, has completely put me off food.

    Scalzi, you’ll be a wonderful diet aid!

  22. I was given a quarter-kilo (or so) of butter, imported from somewhere in Europe, and I tried a little slice all by itself, and let it melt in my mouth, so I could see if there was a difference from regular American butter. There was. I ate the whole damn thing, plain, probably within a couple of hours, one melty delicious slice at a time. Never repeated the experience, never regretted it.

  23. @4 fishbane Hot dogs aren’t raw –they are merely un-reheated. I used to eat them from the refrigerator package, too. I wouldn’t eat a stick of butter but I have a friend who can.

  24. adelheid (34): I know. It still squicks me. I can’t eat them unless they’re kosher, hot, and smothered in sauerkraut.

    And yes, it is a religious thing – sauerkraut is divine.

  25. I think you should spread it on cinnamon toast or sourdough bread- otherwise, no.

  26. Eating a stick of butter: wrong.

    Recreating the scene in Angela’s Ashes where the author eats butter-and-sugar sandwiches: research.

  27. Wasn’t it Jim’s Bro-in-law on According to Jim that rolled ’em in sugar and called them Shame Bars?
    Sounds good!

  28. After finding my wee little handprints in the butter, my mom learned when I was a little kid to hide the butter or else I would eat it all.

    I am a grown-up now, though, (or so they say) so I only eat butter on things not on its own. But butter and sugar sandwiches are still a favorite of mine.

  29. I’ve come close to consuming a full stick of just butter in one sitting, but never gone all the way. That was on month-long wilderness expeditions, though.

    My wife’s family can go through half a stick each per meal, if rolls are involved.

  30. Wow! This is a real plate of shrimp experience. My wife was asking just an hour ago if it was bad to eat a stick of butter, but it was asked in the context of the dog eating it. The upshot of our discussion was that the “badness” would be completely dependent on body mass. The twenty pound dog would be in serious trouble, but the 50 pounder would probably be OK.

    The poll above really requires some qualifications before I can post an opinion.

  31. I have to agree with Xopher. Eating it all at once, on its own, while not wrong, per se, does mean the experience will begin to lose something in the transition.

    And I don’t even want to think about the end of that transition.

  32. Well, there is a consideration for how long it takes to eat the stick, and what, if anything you consume with it. Melting it and drizzling it over popcorn, or using it as chip dip while watching a long movie or something like that, OK. But the taste of the stick of butter by itself would probably become … uh … distasteful before you downed the whole quarter pound.

  33. I have seen a man do this. He asked a guy if he dared him to eat a stick of butter. The guy said he did dare him, and could he take some pictures? The butter-eater agreed.

    Upon consumption of the butter stick, the photographer realized the pictures didn’t actually take, so the butter-eater grabbed another stick of butter and ate it.

    2 sticks of butter in one man.

  34. Answer: NO eating a stick of butter is wrong at all…

    “Wrong” is too heavy a word to be used in this situation…there are no papal bulls that threaten excommunication upon the ingestion of an entire stick of butter…

    and it will benefit members of the medical community because eaters of entire sticks of butter would need to be hospitalized…so really eating sticks of butter would stimulate the economy…not wrong, but a fiscally sound gastronomic habit…

    now if you were a lobster-alien like Dr. John Zoidberg from Futurama then i am sure it would be “wrong” to even have a stick of butter on his home planet Decapod 10…

  35. Wrong? No. But I’m getting queasy thinking about it. Of course, if you’re at your local county fair, it’s entirely possible that you’ll consume more than one stick of butter over the course of a day. So maybe it’s not all that gross.

  36. By itself? Hmmm… Maybe if it is really good quality. But used to make a coconut buttercream frosting and covering a hot milk cake all covered in coconut flakes? Definitely go for it!

  37. Not completely unaccompanied – not if anyone will see or find out.

    It’s fine on cinnamon toast – or oatmeal cookies (not these modern soft cookies – the old Sunshine crunchy cookies) or even on really good bread or toast.

  38. I’m sad to say I’m not a tremendous fan of butter, but I would not dictate to another!

  39. I voted no. I mean, it may be gross to eat an entire stick of butter — and it may make you feel sick — but it’s not “wrong,” which I consider to be more of a moral judgment than a qualitative expression.

  40. Cut into 2T squares and placed on top of several seared filet mignon in an iron skillet in the oven? Affirmative.

    Or by itself. Whatever.

  41. I would have trouble eating a naked stick of butter at one sitting, but if it were butter in conjunction with something else, no worries. Butter chicken? Shortbread? Freshly baked loaf of homemade bread? Yellow-and-white corn on the cob? That’s the difference between YUCK! and YUM!

  42. If you also plan to consume certain specified quantities of sugar, water, oil, and eggs, then intend to bake the ingredients as is in an oven set to 350 degrees for a length of time, then yes, it would be perfectly acceptable to consume an entire stick of butter since I’m sure it would contribute to the delight of those who will presumably attend your first and only Iron Undead Chef Dessert Competition.

  43. *shrug* I have a friend who does that. Not my kink, but seems fine to me. Though, if you desire to eat butter often, I have to wonder if you’re getting enough fat in the rest of your diet.

    Butter, straight, is definitely the thing to bring winter hiking/camping, because you’re burning calories like crazy and you want to bring the most energy-dense food possible. Just gnaw on a stick as you walk, if you want. (It’ll taste like the best thing in the world, too.)

    Butter and sugar on some bread product seems perfectly reasonable to me — in my family, it’s butter and sugar on lefse (basically a Scandinavian potato tortilla), which we make around Christmastime, or cinnamon sugar on buttered toast.

    My hiking partner (the selfsame friend) and I did what we planned as a month-long hiking trip in the Sierras last summer, and we had the problem of finding a fat source that we could ship ahead to our resupply points that wouldn’t go rancid on us. Cheese was Right Out — no way anything anything we had access to would keep for a month in an un-air conditioned shack somewhere in the backcountry. We considered butter, but we eventually settled on a huge block of cheese for the first week, and little tubs of Crisco for each week thereafter. We ate the Crisco slathered like butter on a tortilla, and I sometimes sprinkled soy protein powder on top, giving it kind of a malty taste. (Those meals were the only time I felt full on the whole trip. Bringing more calories next time.) It’s not exactly going to sweep the gourmet food world any time soon, but it kept me hiking for a week or so. Compared to that, eating butter seems positively normal.

  44. I guess that would really depend on whether it was mixed with anything else. Pasta, for example, or flour and sugar to make cookies.

  45. You have unknowingly hit upon a traumatizing image from my childhood, one that, to this day, can still ruin my appetite.

  46. A whole stick of butter in the context of other food. Like, eating a pasta dish made with a whole stick of butter? Excellent.

    A whole stick of butter, just straight? A waste of butter (exceptions given for those living near to or north of the artic circle.)

  47. If it’s organic butter, made from the cream of grass-fed cows, it’s actually good for you, containing CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), Omega 3 (just like fish but without the heavy contaminants) and 6 essential fatty acids. Plus, it tastes like super butter.

  48. John, as I see it there are few circumstances in which it could be wrong for one to eat an entire stick of butter (EESoB). To wit, if one were to …

    * practice strict veganism and EESoB: wrong.
    * claim to practice strict veganism and EESoB: wrong, and wrong again through hypocrisy.
    * deliberately cause the death of another person by depriving them of butter which could have kept them alive: farfetched, but likely wrong.
    * use the butter for _anything_ after eating it: utterly WRONG.  *ewww*

    EESoB after the cats have licked it? That’s just dain-bramaged IMHO, though I’ll defer to Marge Simpson on the matter.

  49. It’s not Wrong, no imorality or lack of ethics (unless you are ostentatiously eating it in front of someone who is hungey/dieting/lactose intolerant with the intention of making them feel bad) but eating it neat and unadorned in large quantities is a bit odd. If you don’t mind people thinking you are a bit odd*, go right ahead.

    *thinking about it, the boat’s pretty much sailed on this one, so go right ahead with the butter. You have nothing to lose but your arteries.

  50. So my sister and I used to take jars of unpasteurized milk, tie them to our horses and then go riding. By the time we got home we’d have fresh butter, which I would then eat by the handful. My civilized sister preferred to actually use it on bread, which might account for how she managed to catch a husband…

  51. It’s wrong! Don’t you know that the saturated fat in butter will lead to heart disease and an early death?

    Only a dastardly fool would put his life in jeopardy like that, as his wife weeps for him, begging him to restrain his self-destructive urges, if not for her, then for the love of all that’s holy for the sake of their innocent young daughter!

  52. Voted yes.

    Not that I don’t like butter. I love butter, probably more than is strictly good for my diet.

    But a whole stick? All in one go? By itself? Eewwwww.

    So, I don’t know if that counts as “wrong”, exactly. But it just doesn’t seem right, either.

    Now, having said that, it’s time to go fix breakfast. Which will include toast and butter. Maybe a little honey, as well.

  53. Mountaineers often bring butter along on climbs, because as Kevin Riggle says upthread, it’s the best calorie-to-weight ratio around. And when mountain-climbing, you don’t have to worry about it melting or going rancid.

    If you don’t have a pressing need for a large hit of calories RIGHT NOW, though, I wouldn’t recommend it.

  54. I’m not voting, because you failed to include the option “only if you get paid.”

    My brother, who is not widely published, got $10 to eat a stick of butter. Why should you accept less?

  55. survey of coworkers: 4 “bad idea”,(wrong to eat)
    me: “Who ARE you people?” Fave comment so far = Shame Bar

  56. If this is a sentient English speaking stick of butter, then I definitely say “No”.

    Also around here, sticks of butter are usually 454 g, so that’s quite a lot of butter.

  57. Heck, no. Eat it, snort it, use it to grease something or someone, etc. It’s not morally wrong. Healthy? Well that’s a different question.

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