I like eating bread and butter. The problem is that butter from the fridge is hard and cannot be spread easily without tearing into the bread. So I usually have to plan in advance and keep the butter out a few hours before I eat so that it softens up. And then I put it back after eating because of the belief that if kept out too long, it will go bad.
But Adam Clark Estes says that my fears are unfounded and that butter should actually be kept out all the time because it does not go bad as quickly as I thought, and that in fact most of the world does not refrigerate its butter.
The cream that’s used to make your standard market variety butter is almost always pasteurized, and it takes quite some time for pasteurized dairy products to go bad. Foreign bacteria is still attracted to pasteurized dairy products. Butter can indeed go bad. But as long as you keep it covered, it’s very unlikely that anything bad will happen to the butter before you’ve had a chance to eat it all.
So I think I will stay with my original plan.