Swords and Crisco

I was editing a thesis and came across this figure:

Apparently this is a well-known model in macroeconomics that indicates the relationship between a nation's expenditures on civilian goods and military goods. Wikipedia seems unclear as to the origin of the term - guns make sense, but butter? Why would that food be picked over all foods to represent civilian interests? Butter's hardly a staple food for any society, not like potatoes in Ireland or pasta in Italy or rice in China.


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