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Norway butter shortage causes Christmas baking crisis

Store shelves in Norway are empty of butter and prices are through the roof, with the supply shortage blamed on a low-carb, high-fat diet fad.
Norway butter shortage christmas 12 12 2011Enlarge
Christmas has come to this house in central Norway. But an acute butter shortage has left some Norwegians fearing they won't be able to do their annual Christmas baking. (POPPE, CORNELIUS/AFP/Getty Images)

A serious butter shortage in Norway has left some Norwegians fearing they won't be able to do their annual Christmas baking.

Store shelves in Norway are empty of butter and prices are through the roof, Agence France-Presse reported. Online vendors have been selling butter for as much as $465 for a 500-gram block, according to the news agency.

There were other reports of a 250-gram pack of butter being sold for a relatively more reasonable $13, which is still about four times the usual price.

AFP reported

The dire shortage poses a serious challenge for Norwegians who are trying to finish their traditional Christmas baking — a task which usually requires them to make at least seven different kinds of biscuits.

According to Time magazine, the butter crisis is because of a diet fad in Norway that has "depleted the nation's supply of butter."

Time reported:

While we’d use the term “diet” lightly, the newest craze is a low-carb, high-fat feeding frenzy that has put a strain on Norway’s butter supply.

Other reasons blamed for the butter crisis include a wet summer weather, which cut into milk output, and high import duties, Reuters reported.

Norway, blessed by oil resources, is one of the world's richest countries. The butter shortage is expected to last into the new year.

In September, a butter shortage was reported in neighboring Sweden. It was blamed on supply and demand problems: a drop in milk production in Sweden,contrasted with the trend of "back to basics" cooking, which relies on butter instead of low-fat substitutes.

More from GlobalPost: Sweden bravely endures national butter shortage

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/norway-butter-shortage-christmas-baking