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Noted: The Politics of Margarine

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TeenAngster

When I recollect the meals of my childhood, a distinct composition of flavors hangs on my tongue: heavy glugs of 2% milk, served cold; canned peas, the murky green of a fetid pond and mushy to the taste; and the ever-present, heaving tub of Country Crock that could always be counted on for a salty, creamy pick-me-up. Cheap, humble and plentiful, margarine’s oily charms formed the bedrock of my family’s potato-centric mealtimes. To tell the truth, I probably couldn’t have deciphered the difference between butter and margarine until — well, not as many years ago as I’d like to pretend. Imagine my surprise when I learned that margarine is as contentious as it is easily spread. Mental Floss recently culled the history of butter’s slippery cousin: a story which includes test tubes, political lobbying, and even stealth bootlegging.

It all started when Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France offered a prize to anyone who could make a satisfactory substitute for butter, which would ideally be suited for use by the armed forces and the lower classes. French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès invented a substance he called “oleomargarine,” which, for obvious reasons, was soon shortened to the trade name we know it as today. The new substance was created using beef fat and was naturally colorless, so, in order to court the butter lovin’ public, manufacturers dyed the margarine a golden yellow.

As you can imagine, dairy farmers were quite peeved about the new, cheap competition. They lobbied to tax margarine at a rate of two cents per pound — quite expensive for the late 19th-century —and enforced restrictions to ban the use of yellow dye. By 1900, artificially colored butter was contraband in 30 U.S. states and many areas of Canada. (Canadians were so desperate for the stuff that bootleggers produced faux-margarine using whale, seal and fish oil.) Some areas took more extreme measures to turn consumers away from margarine, requiring it to be dyed a sickly, Pepto Bismol pink, a fluorescent orange, or paradoxically, yellow.

As the coloring restrictions became widespread, margarine producers grudgingly accepted that they could no longer dye their wares. According to Mental Floss, the margarine producers came from a DIY state of mind, believing “there was no reason why they couldn’t simultaneously sell consumers margarine and yellow dye. When you bought a block or tube of margarine, you also got a packet of food coloring that could be kneaded into the margarine by hand.”

The margarine vs. butter battle has never truly died, with varying substances gaining favor through the decades: dairy during the Great Depression; margarine during wartime; as for today, the verdict is still out. And if you don’t believe the absurdity of this lobbying, hear this: Quebec only repealed its law requiring margarine to be colorless in July of 2008. Enjoy that yellow goodness!

Which do you prefer: butter or margarine? And does the color really matter?

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Alison is Editor in Chief of the Etsy Blog. When she's not trawling Etsy for pottery, folk art, and vintage oddities, she enjoys exploring New York, historical nonfiction and thrifting. She loves a good cat video.

5 Featured Comments

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  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds says: Featured

    Butter. Always butter. Even flies don't sit on margarine.

    2 years ago

  • cosmicheart

    cosmicheart says: Featured

    I liked your article about margarine. I'm from Wisconsin and when I was little margarine was really a forbidden item. I remember driving with my parents for hours to sneak across the border into Michigan to buy the forbidden oleo. We would come back with a case of it at a time. Yes they had the coloring packs in the pouches that were fun to break and mix in with the margarine. I prefer butter now and maybe the margarine tasted so good then because of the intrigue attached to it. The whole forbidden fruit thing.

    2 years ago

  • TheHappyPapaya

    TheHappyPapaya says: Featured

    I grew up with margarine. But once I was on my own I fell in love with butter. For a while I wondered if I should feel guilty about it. But during the past couple of years I have read up on the reality behind the anti-fat anti-cholesterol propaganda that started here in the US and has taken over much of the western world to the detriment of food enjoyment everywhere. Lets' just say I no longer feel guilty about eating butter and I have no qualms about eating crispy chicken skin! In fact I try to eat REAL food rather than man made garbage posing as food. Man always thinks they can do better than nature, but really, we just screw everything up.

    2 years ago

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly says: Featured

    The people who say they prefer butter because it's "natural" & envision happy cows frolicking in green pastures are mistaken. The dairy industry is based on cruelty & exploitation. There's also a lot of misinformation being given about margarine - there are margarines available that are free from trans-fats, that are organic & free from artificial colourings & flavourings (unfortunately many still contain palm oil). You can't get more natural than delicious extra virgin olive oil drizzled on your bread, or as I mentioned above, try making your own non-dairy butter, you know exactly what's in it. This recipe is based on coconut & canola oil & although it contains soy, can be switched for other types of non-dairy milk. I've made it a few times now & it works great in baking. http://www.veganbaking.net/vegan-recipes/other-vegan-treats/vegan-butter.html Organic virgin coconut oil is really good for you.

    2 years ago

  • TheChequeredLily

    TheChequeredLily says: Featured

    I use butter as I prefer the taste and texture for my baking and as a spread. I use butter when cooking too. Growing up in the 80's, we always had the industrial sized Price club tub of greg's gold 'n soft margarine. I don't think i ever had real butter till high school, and it was only on special occasions. And my grandmother still loves her I can't believe it's not butter. Ironically, she grew up on a farm, but always preferred margarine to butter. She used to tell me all the time that the margarine they got was white and came with a little capsule of food color that they threw out, preferring to eat it white.

    2 years ago

  • shazzasknits

    shazzasknits says:

    Interesting article, butter is all I use for baking and as a spread, as a child of the 70's I can only remember margarine being used in our household.

    2 years ago

  • red773

    red773 says:

    Very interesting but I love them both as long as they dont smell funny and the ingredients is only 3 ...or 2 then thats great.

    2 years ago

  • TeoStudio

    TeoStudio says:

    Same here, in my childhood I had no choice but to 'prefer' margarine (the Communist one!). Years later I switched to butter and recently to raw nut butter. Each nut with its own color :) so it really does not matter, whereas the taste... so yummy and much healthier. I hope I can wash off all the bad effects of that margarine :)

    2 years ago

  • izimoon

    izimoon says:

    My parents served margarine believing it to be better than the 'solid fat of butter. I have chosen to raise my children with foods that come in their more natural ( and uncolored state ) Butter all the way!

    2 years ago

  • AliKan

    AliKan says:

    To tell you the truth i much prefer Butter due to it's wholesome creamy taste. :)

    2 years ago

  • earlybirdcreations

    earlybirdcreations says:

    As a child of the 80s I grew up on margarine but now much prefer butter for cooking. :)

    2 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie says:

    Butter! I can not stand the taste of margarine. I just use butter in moderation and my family is fine with that :)

    2 years ago

  • leilaswalker

    leilaswalker says:

    I'm vegan, so all I'll eat is Earth Balance. It tastes buttery than butter somehow -- it tastes more the way that I always imagined butter *should* taste. Also, it doesn't seem to absorb the other flavors of the refrigerator as much.

    2 years ago

  • sparrowgrey

    sparrowgrey says:

    Honestly, I don't often notice a difference immediately. Butter seems to be more satisfying, but I'm perfectly okay with either. Really interesting background behind it though; thanks for posting.

    2 years ago

  • MontageDecor

    MontageDecor says:

    We never had anything but butter, my parents both were raised in farm type setting with natural foods. Butter has been in the food chain forever, margarine is a hydrogenated fat which clogs arteries in a different way than butter. Of course too much of either is not good! But I balance that by never drinking soda, can't stand the stuff. Iced tea with no sugar is my drink of choice and tastes so good as you can get the flavor of the tea. Seems to work for me. In receipes I use much less butter than called for and also use Safflower oil as a substitute for oil in brownies, etc.

    2 years ago

  • cindyhug

    cindyhug says:

    Butter, butter,butter..I just love it, but I eat Olive Oil Smart Balance because I have to. But there is always butter in my fridge and I use it on my toast and for hash browns.. everything else is Smart Balance. I remember the oleo that we used to get when I was a kid.. it came in a plastic pouch with a food coloring dye pack we had to break by squeezing it in bag; then squeezed the bag to distribute the color. My brother and I used to fight over it.. it was fun! It was during the korean war so maybe that's why.. I don't know about that. That was some article.. it brought back memories I hadn't thought about in years.. thank you!

    2 years ago

  • RegalCottage

    RegalCottage says:

    Butter, butter, butter, and more butter! But I've been wondering about plant sterols. I guess they are supposed to be more heart healthy, but I am definitely cautious of artificially man-made products with too good to be true claims.

    2 years ago

  • Sapphire9Jewelry

    Sapphire9Jewelry says:

    definately butter....id rather not eat something man made that came from a lab,lol. Although im sure there are a countless number of things that we eat that were discovered that way......ill stick with butter ;)

    2 years ago

  • whyte

    whyte says:

    I used to eat low-cal spreads thinking I was saving my heart and arteries for several more years. Then my sis, a long time nurse, told me she went back to butter because the margarine and fake spreads were made out of plastic and tons of chemicals that did as much harm as fat, just to other parts of us. Everything in moderation. But as far a taste, it's hard to beat butter.

    2 years ago

  • MyGreenThing

    MyGreenThing says:

    I grew up with margarine and miracle whip. I think I was in my 20's before I tasted real butter or mayo and never went back. I've raised my kids on butter and one day at the grocery store my daughter picked up a tub of country crock. "Can we get this? It's really good. They have it at Jaime's house."

    2 years ago

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance says:

    You can make your own "healthy" margarine by blending butter with oil of choice. I use olive oil. You can use other oils depending if you want certain health benefits from others like coconut. Try one stick of butter and 1/3 cup of oil and blend. Check consistency. This will set up in fridge. Makes a spreadable butter blend that is good for you. Thy sell this in supermarkets but DIY it's more fun!!

    2 years ago

  • SellmySeoul

    SellmySeoul says:

    Butter, it's the real thing. Just eat what tastes good to you and don't go crazy.

    2 years ago

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos says:

    I generally only use butter, but as a child all we used was margarine. In fact, I thought it was butter. I didn't learn there was a difference until I was in my teens! Now I never want to use it. I prefer the taste of butter!

    2 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Interesting article.

    2 years ago

  • allthingsgranny

    allthingsgranny says:

    butter here, unsalted !

    2 years ago

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios says:

    Butter all the way. But wait, I am to understand from reading the above that margarine is not derived from plastic? I honestly never did my research here, but that is what I always understood... Nonetheless the the chemicals noted in the ingredients is enough to keep me away. :)

    2 years ago

  • JulieMeyer

    JulieMeyer says:

    I grew up believing butter was only reserved for holidays! I discovered how much better it was in college and don't think I've ever purchased margarine as an adult. It's the same with real mayonnaise and that nasty stuff that lived in my childhood fridge.

    2 years ago

  • BayMoonDesign

    BayMoonDesign says:

    Unsalted butter is my choice.

    2 years ago

  • SlippinSouthern

    SlippinSouthern says:

    Very interesting article, it is butter all the way at our house. But sure do remember those margarine of my youth.

    2 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm says:

    Butter in moderation~ interesting article on ole margarine how and why it began, who would have thunk it. :)

    2 years ago

  • jimmypickles

    jimmypickles says:

    It's butter or nothing. :)

    2 years ago

  • vonderschonenrapunze

    vonderschonenrapunze says:

    sweet, delectable unsalted buttah! :)

    2 years ago

  • angelswithwings

    angelswithwings says:

    Interesting artical. I prefer butter. when it comes to real butter color doesn't matter. : }

    2 years ago

  • TheLovelyLily

    TheLovelyLily says:

    Interesting article. I prefer butter.

    2 years ago

  • ShockD

    ShockD says:

    I read a study a few years back, that margerine was 1 ingredient away from plastic. Also, that when we consume this type, it is like putting weak plastic fat under our muscles. The point being that it is hard to break down fat, without melting it. This means to remove hard fat compound like this forms in the body, you must be capable of working out and alot harder than others, like reall butter. Food for thought...

    2 years ago

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies says:

    Interesting background article...Thanks!

    2 years ago

  • acorncupboard

    acorncupboard says:

    As a child we only had "real butter" at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I remember one year, as I happliy spead the tasty golden "real" stuff on a hot roll, I declared over the dining din, "when I grow up, I am only ever going to have REAL butter in my house." And so it is, ever and always, no comparison! I know the one ingred. away from plastic decades ago, leave a stick on the counter for a month and see what it looks like at the end, uck!

    2 years ago

  • justbuyin

    justbuyin says:

    Funny, I was born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s and we only used butter. It's all I buy. I love it blended with honey and cinnamon and spread on rolls.

    2 years ago

  • pocketsmile

    pocketsmile says:

    I prefer the 'butter' one. :)

    2 years ago

  • shawnstpeter

    shawnstpeter says:

    Real Butter is Best!

    2 years ago

  • NiceShinyPenny

    NiceShinyPenny says:

    I like plain salted butter. Margarine tastes fine, but salted butter tastes gooood. I only buy it every now and again though, for baking and for sourdough toast. I know you're supposed to get unsalted like Nigella, but I like the salt.

    2 years ago

  • makecheese

    makecheese says:

    I prefer butter. For me I like things as close to their most natural form as possible. i just read that the new “low-trans” spreads are not completely free of trans fats. New labeling laws allow “contains 0 grams trans fat” on the label when the product contains less than .5 grams trans fat per serving containing 11 grams of fat, which means that it can contain up to 5 percent trans and still carry this label.

    2 years ago

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds says: Featured

    Butter. Always butter. Even flies don't sit on margarine.

    2 years ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat says:

    Butter all the way... although I always make cakes with margerine. I use purified butter for other cooking. Recently I've started making my own butter from untreated cream I get from a friend, it's really easy & I can vary the amount of salt I put in to suit what I'll be using it for. Really salty for toast, unsalted for fresh wholemeal bread, etc. Oddly enough, most bought butter used to have colourants in it until a few years ago, & the yellowness of my own butter varies with the quality of the cream, even though the cows that give the milk spend almost all year outside grazing on organic meadowland.

    2 years ago

  • 01Powers

    01Powers says:

    Butter! Growin' up we always had fresh churned butter, and the sweet cream, was just wonderful. Still doin' it that way, churnin' and molding my own butter, golden yellow and nothing better!

    2 years ago

  • BigGirlz

    BigGirlz says:

    I'm a natural girl all the way. I'm not much for the artificial anything, sweetners or margarine. We do use it but I prefer butter for all of my baking. I would like to try the new Truvia - sweetner some time.

    2 years ago

  • cosmicheart

    cosmicheart says: Featured

    I liked your article about margarine. I'm from Wisconsin and when I was little margarine was really a forbidden item. I remember driving with my parents for hours to sneak across the border into Michigan to buy the forbidden oleo. We would come back with a case of it at a time. Yes they had the coloring packs in the pouches that were fun to break and mix in with the margarine. I prefer butter now and maybe the margarine tasted so good then because of the intrigue attached to it. The whole forbidden fruit thing.

    2 years ago

  • dekoprojects

    dekoprojects says:

    I hate margarine. It taste is so different from any butter, although that butter from the shop has usually max. 80% of real butter. Butter is more expensive, but it is worth its prize - the taste of any sandwich with butter and fresh bread and coffee is what makes autumn mornings happier! The best is this made by our grandmas from natural milk :)

    2 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Both! i think margarine has improved greatly. I just don't buy margarine that has palm oil in it!

    2 years ago

  • thewildplum

    thewildplum says:

    I prefer The Politics of Dancing! :)

    2 years ago

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly says:

    There are a lot of urban myths around regarding the "unnaturalness" of margarine. I actually thought this article was going to address the presence of palm oil or hydrogenated oils in a lot of margarines. The other side of the issue is people who prefer to avoid animal products in the belief that oils from nuts & seeds are more sustainable & ethical than dairy. You can actually make your own non-dairy butter in both hard-at-room-temperature & spreadable forms & they're kind of pale yellow anyway, without any added colouring, but if you do want to amp up the buttery yellow colour you can do so naturally. Doesn't taste exactly like butter, but tastes better than most commercial margarine - & free of palm oil & trans-fats.

    2 years ago

  • oohlalababe

    oohlalababe says:

    Butter, butter, and more butter! I love the stuff!!! As a child, I wouldn't sneak cookies, I would sneak pieces of butter. My brother jokes about the time he ratted me out by calling, "Mommmm, Kenza's in her closet eating butter!" Never even allow the immitation into our house. It took one side by side taste test to convince my husband. And no, I've never had a problem with cholestrol or weight! BUTTER ALL THE WAY!!!

    2 years ago

  • BeatificBijoux

    BeatificBijoux says:

    We only use butter in our house, but as a kid there was often both. Butter was to use for spreading on bread or slathering on vegetables, but the cookies, mac 'n' cheese, and other recipes where the taste was less obvious was relegated to margarine. I think it was mostly due to frugality on my mother's part, as butter was so much more expensive.

    2 years ago

  • vieuxrouet

    vieuxrouet says:

    Butter. Beurre. Butter. Often homemade, unsalted, from the cream of our own happy dairy cows. Lucky me!

    2 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage says:

    hahaha, margarine bootleggers? i had no idea.

    2 years ago

  • FiliGraceJewelry

    FiliGraceJewelry says:

    I love butter! Hate margarine (it's so unhealthy). Every dish and cake taste a lot better when made with butter. And it's a natural product, not like margarine. In my childhood we often ate margarine, as it was called "healthy" and was much cheaper. In my own kitchen I use only butter and "virgine" oils.

    2 years ago

  • lju999

    lju999 says:

    I was born and raised on the Canadian Prairies into a farming family that owned a few dairy cows (the Jersey breed is the best!) for personal consumption dairy products. I had raw whole milk, heavy whole cream, and 100% natural butter. ( Just a note; grain fed cows produce very pale butter, the more corn or greens in their diet, the yellower the butter.) I was horrified at the bright yellow colour of the butter in the grocery store, and the taste was too salty. Margarine was taboo. Well, turns out I have suffered decades with a dairy allergy (oh, cruel world!). Now that I can't have beautiful, natural butter, I prefer nothing rather than consume margarine. To me, margarin looks and tastes toxic!

    2 years ago

  • MayThailand

    MayThailand says:

    Interesting article, I prefer "BUTTER".

    2 years ago

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry says:

    Very interesting article! I'm 100% on Team Butter as is my entire family. My mother could never stand the smell or taste of margarine so we always had butter. As an adult, I tweak recipes to cut the butter content but I always use the real thing!

    2 years ago

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink says:

    Again the food manufacturer collaborating with pharmaceuticals to produce a product similar to butter no matter what they call it, or color it to guarantee profits over the life time of ignorance. I prefer butter, I make my own and nothing yellow or not could ever take it's place.

    2 years ago

  • anotherfeather

    anotherfeather says:

    Grass fed pasture raised organic butter all day every day! the yellower the better. Mixed with extra virgin cold pressed olive oil for cooking, and mixed with unrefined coconut oil for baking. Margarine does't stand a chance!

    2 years ago

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite says:

    As a child we always had margarine in the fridge because my mother believed it was the healthier choice. And for the longest time I thought it was real butter until many years later. I don't hate margarine but I do prefer the taste of real unsalted butter on toast and for baking purposes.

    2 years ago

  • SouthernBelleOOAK

    SouthernBelleOOAK says:

    Butter here because it is natural and tastes better! Some posters above mentioned that margarine is one step away from plastic. If you doubt this, then try this experiment: Put a tub of margarine outside with the lid off. Observe that not even the flies will land on it and the ants never come near it. Eventually it turns to a hard plastic consistency. Now ask yourself, "Is that what I really want in my arteries?"

    2 years ago

  • msalistar

    msalistar says:

    I love this, if only because we discovered a few years ago that my Great-Grandfather and his brother were convicted and went to Leavenworth for a time for selling pre-coloured Oleo (Margarine) sometime before the depression in their dry goods store. Oh, the scandal that must have been.

    2 years ago

  • crankbunny

    crankbunny says:

    i use margarine to cook sometimes because it doesn't burn as easily as butter (or i add a little to the butter to raise its burning point). olive oil also works too. otherwise, i use butter from a good farm where cows are pasture fed because because its more likely to be rich in omega3s/saturated fats..... and i use lots of it.

    2 years ago

  • HeirloomOrphanage

    HeirloomOrphanage says:

    Butter comes from the farm - margarine comes from a science laboratory - need we know any more?

    2 years ago

  • tiemee

    tiemee says:

    I was honestly thinking about this debate as I reached into the fridge this morning and lo and behold there was not only butter, but margarine as well. I prefer butter. I believe my hubby prefers margarine.

    2 years ago

  • FestiveChicken

    FestiveChicken says:

    growing up margarine was used for every day stuff. Spread, cooking etc. Butter was only brought out for "company" LOL Now, being an adult and all. I always have butter in the house. Another staple is Crisco. Margarine is in the fridge during "cookie" time ie fall and winter. When I bake more.

    2 years ago

  • northbirdsong

    northbirdsong says:

    Butter hands down! Because of our all-knowing "diet dictocrats" (see Weston A. Price for further excellence on the subject) and the never-ending junk science that they foster, we have people who won't go near real unadulterated butter, meat with the fat left on it, whole unpasteurized un-homogenized milk, whole milk yogurts, yada, yada, yada.....anything that smacks of saturated fat! Try and get these things in our markets flooded with non-foods! This is truly sad because they wrongly associate saturated fat with getting fat when in fact the brain along with our joints and every working part needs saturated fat to function properly. We have an epidemic of ill health - heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, etc. and it's not getting any better because of the damage done by our fake food pushers foisting their manufactured "food" on people mostly unwilling to think for themselves as to what is good for them! So....the color of margerine....or butter, in the scheme of things is really not all important when it comes to the overall content....food or a chemical feast!

    2 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 says:

    msalistar says: . . . my Great-Grandfather and his brother were convicted and went to Leavenworth for a time for selling pre-coloured Oleo (Margarine) sometime before the depression in their dry goods store. _____________________ Wow! Blinking in disbelief. How terrible - but what a great story.

    2 years ago

  • Thulu

    Thulu says:

    We always used margarine because it was supposed to be healthier. I only buy unsalted butter when I'm baking. To me butter doesn't taste like much of anything, I like the taste of margarine. And here in Canada trans fat labelling laws are not so sneaky as those in the USA.

    2 years ago

  • dcmcqueen

    dcmcqueen says:

    I prefer neither. I opt out of supporting the dairy industry. There's nothing natural or healthy about getting milk from another species. Someone above mentioned nut butters and I would add coconut cream and butter is better for you, and more natural than traditional butter or butter substitute.

    2 years ago

  • mabith

    mabith says:

    Butter butter butter! I was very rude at a friend's house when I was a kid and had margarine for the first time. It was quite a shock. The thing is they billed margarine as being healthier for some time, but that turned out not to be the case, so a lot of people switched to it. Just like a lot of people switched off eggs and still haven't gone back to them even though they're super good for you and science knows that. It's all what you prefer though, so maybe people should stop going on about margarine being made of plastic blah blah. You're probably not going to convince anyone to switch and it's a personal choice that doesn't affect you in any way.

    2 years ago

  • QuietStorytellers

    QuietStorytellers says:

    I haven't enjoyed an etsy blog as much as this in a long time. Thank you, Alison and all those who commented. Margarine looks, smells, and tastes bad to me. And I don't need anything artificial when a more natural product is available. Nut butters are tasty and healthy--for those without nut or legume allergies. But for me, the little I use any butter product, it's dairy butter all the way. I like the taste, I like the magic of shaking cream and getting butter, and I've always liked the idea of cows grazing in the field. And as I've seen above, luckily that still happens and it still makes me smile. Again, thanks for the article. :o)

    2 years ago

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart says:

    I was raised in a margarine household and am raising my kids in a butter household. I do remember margarine being touted as healthier than butter. My parents still use margarine.....

    2 years ago

  • NopalitoVintageMore

    NopalitoVintageMore says:

    Butter only!

    2 years ago

  • CollegeMonk

    CollegeMonk says:

    I'm vegan so I can't do butter, though I'm not too fond of margarine--it's too processed so I try to avoid using it as often as possible as a result. Instead I try to stick to plant oils, and when I really need a solid oil I use coconut oil.

    2 years ago

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky says:

    Hahaha I had no idea there was such a history behind margarine! Thanks for this :)

    2 years ago

  • cj626

    cj626 says:

    Wonderful information and great comments!! For me it is nothing ,but butter because 17 years ago they had to clean out all that oleomargarine out of my clogged arteries. I have felt great ever since.

    2 years ago

  • somsstudiosupplies

    somsstudiosupplies says:

    Butter for me....just love the taste of good old butter.

    2 years ago

  • AukinasGoddess

    AukinasGoddess says:

    butter for the win.

    2 years ago

  • SuzisCornerBoutique

    SuzisCornerBoutique says:

    GREAT article! I haven't bought 'margarine' in years. Grew up on butter, the real thing! Love it!!

    2 years ago

  • TheHappyPapaya

    TheHappyPapaya says: Featured

    I grew up with margarine. But once I was on my own I fell in love with butter. For a while I wondered if I should feel guilty about it. But during the past couple of years I have read up on the reality behind the anti-fat anti-cholesterol propaganda that started here in the US and has taken over much of the western world to the detriment of food enjoyment everywhere. Lets' just say I no longer feel guilty about eating butter and I have no qualms about eating crispy chicken skin! In fact I try to eat REAL food rather than man made garbage posing as food. Man always thinks they can do better than nature, but really, we just screw everything up.

    2 years ago

  • ShastaCreations

    ShastaCreations says:

    Butter I grew up with margarine and it makes the toast soggy. Great article!

    2 years ago

  • goldbergmeredith

    goldbergmeredith says:

    Margarine is terrible for you, human body cannot process it. Much better to eat butter, more natural.

    2 years ago

  • sarantos

    sarantos says:

    I prefer olive oil. I even substitute light olive oil for butter in all my baking and cooking including sweet type items like cakes and cookies. It works great.

    2 years ago

  • marvelousa

    marvelousa says:

    I weirdly have no preference. I grew up on margarine and met butter later... they're two very different things to me, like mayo and Miracle Whip/salad dressing have different uses. For some things I like butter... baking, sautéing. But I use margarine on toasted things and crackers.

    2 years ago

  • BiscottiQueen

    BiscottiQueen says:

    Well I obviously have my reasons when it comes to my food. One being I don't eat beef or pork in any way. Shorting is only for pie crusts and butter is the best for bakings and toast. And so it stands in my house, no margarine in this fridge!

    2 years ago

  • Flowerleaf

    Flowerleaf says:

    Butter and when I have it, I substitute extra virgin coconut oil for butter. I had both margarin and butter growing up, but margarine is like butter with plastic added. It's basically made out of plastic mixed with something that tastes buttery... right? ;-)

    2 years ago

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar says:

    We're a butter household. Sometimes I'll make a butter/canola oil spread. Grew up in a margarine household. Now, I wouldn't touch the stuff.

    2 years ago

  • SipAndSavor

    SipAndSavor says:

    Butter, butter, butter! I grew up on Long Island, NY. My German mom would open the packages of unsalted butter in the supermarket and dip her fingernail into each stick and taste it. I used to hide in the cereal section while she did this. But the unsalted butter was often rancid. So we ate salted butter and margarine and a rare package of unsalted. In Germany the butter is delicious. Love it! Why eat fake butter anyway? I heard that they use solvents to get the oils out of whatever. No reason to ingest that, now is there?

    2 years ago

  • thehappyhoarder

    thehappyhoarder says:

    My Grandma Alice embraced the 70's and always served 'oleo', while at home there was always a big, yellow greasy tub of Country Crock (I think my parents still have stacks of the empty tan tubs in the basement!) but I serve my family butter.

    2 years ago

  • HumbleOrigins

    HumbleOrigins says:

    Butter bay-bee. :o)

    2 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    Butter!! ..maybe too much..

    2 years ago

  • metronomic1

    metronomic1 says:

    The hydrogenated vegetable oils that margarine contains increase your cancer risk a hundred-fold. Good luck with that.

    2 years ago

  • metronomic1

    metronomic1 says:

    Also, in response to what someone above said about butter being more natural- Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is safe for you. The cholesterol content of butter is through the roof, not to mention the lactation hormones and antibiotics. There are many natural things that will ill you, just as there are many synthetic ones that are harmless.

    2 years ago

  • boobahblue

    boobahblue says:

    BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER...Its good for you!! No such thing as too much!! anyone know who Sally Fallon is??? look for her on youtube! She will tell you all about how wonderful butter is, and how healthy it can be for you! Forget about all that fake crap, I go for the real deal!!.....except when it comes to doughnuts....I just can't help myself sometimes!! :)

    2 years ago

  • ballandchain

    ballandchain says:

    olive oil.

    2 years ago

  • ballandchain

    ballandchain says:

    olive oil for me.

    2 years ago

  • HazelLily

    HazelLily says:

    I haven't bought either butter or margerine in about 10 years.

    2 years ago

  • FunDeco

    FunDeco says:

    When I was a kid, we called margarine "butter", so I didn't know the difference, but I didn't like it. It wasn't until my early 20s that I was told that butter is generally more healthy (in moderation of course), and turns out I actually like it. As for color, I'd prefer you leave out artificial color--it's really just mind games.

    2 years ago

  • HazelLily

    HazelLily says:

    I actually haven't bought either in about 10 years; I never seem to use it. I don't mind a bit of butter on a baguette provided it is from an ethical source. I grew up in dairy-farm country & am seriously opposed to factory farming (& monoculture).

    2 years ago

  • hARTdestash

    hARTdestash says:

    Considering the fact that I prefer natural foods to those concocted in a lab, butter is all the "spreadable goodness" you would find in my fridge.

    2 years ago

  • TheGraveyardGirls

    TheGraveyardGirls says:

    I feel like if they dyed margarine pink now a days, it might sell really well... lol i'd buy it. But honestly, i prefer the taste of butter. Once i found out what margarine was made out of, it totally grossed me out! :p

    2 years ago

  • applesandanklebiters

    applesandanklebiters says:

    I too grew up on Country Crock but my favorite is Land O Lakes butter. My Dad would always say that margarine is only one molecule from being plastic..:)

    2 years ago

  • NaomiNingishzidda

    NaomiNingishzidda says:

    Nature makes us create rocketships. I will not listen to the brainwashed and uneducated who do not understand how powerful and bizarre natural evolution is. They seem to think the natural world is some sort of construct they have invented in their perfect world. Are these the same uneducated people who squeal about their water having chemicals in it, insanely, when water itself is a chemical? Humans have a symbiotic relationship with cattle - it's the only way to survive in many parts of the world. I love butter. Margarine is ok. Tastes filthy, and I won't buy it, but if it's on my plate I don't worry about such nonsense as unnatural. Deadly nightshade is natural for god's sakes.

    2 years ago

  • SSSCrosemary23

    SSSCrosemary23 says:

    ORGANIC BUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 years ago

  • SSSCrosemary23

    SSSCrosemary23 says:

    I hope this is not true. I have not bought Margarine in over 10 years so it does not really effect my family, but wow! So gross! http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090713102544AAlw74K

    2 years ago

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt says:

    Another reason for preferring butter is the packaging. Margarine almost always comes in plastic tubs while butter usually comes in some form of paper wrapping. Those plastic tubs are going to be around for a long, long time.

    2 years ago

  • susanhilary

    susanhilary says:

    I support the dairy farmer!

    2 years ago

  • JewelryByDeezines

    JewelryByDeezines says:

    Real butter only in my household! In moderation, of course! Nice article Etsy!

    2 years ago

  • catnapcottage

    catnapcottage says:

    butter only and we are into irish butter now - just discovered it at the grocer - four times the price of regular butter, but it is worth every penny! i've always thought that anything naturally made is better than what man can come up with! :)

    2 years ago

  • sweethautedesigns

    sweethautedesigns says:

    Great article, i prefer butter over margarine any day because of the taste, but i use it very very sparingly because it is a solid fat which in excess like anything is not healthy for our bodies. Even though we need fats and oils in our diets, we can get healthier fats and oils from avacados, olives, peanut butter, ect. but the main thing is everything in moderation!!

    2 years ago

  • RetroRachelville

    RetroRachelville says:

    Butter ;) but I did grow up with Country Crock...ahh never again!

    2 years ago

  • scarletbegonia11

    scarletbegonia11 says:

    nothing better than butter, its delicious and its REAL!

    2 years ago

  • junkyardglitter

    junkyardglitter says:

    I am a butter snob. Especially when I go to restaurants. I always ask for "real" butter.

    2 years ago

  • DominiqueD

    DominiqueD says:

    Butter over here is so expensive...and fattening. So I buy light Becel margarine and now I'm so use to it that it is totally acceptable for toast. Not for pancakes though..

    2 years ago

  • junquegypsy

    junquegypsy says:

    So interesting! My mother is a butter snob. I have only recently determined that I also prefer butter.

    2 years ago

  • theroyal

    theroyal says:

    margarin=plastic. don't eat it.

    2 years ago

  • Splurbee

    Splurbee says:

    Fat is fat is fat is fat. If I'm going to eat fat, I'm eating delicious, all natural butter, baby.

    2 years ago

  • MzFancyPants

    MzFancyPants says:

    Yummy natural butter, thank you very much !

    2 years ago

  • Postindustrialist

    Postindustrialist says:

    Just the smell of butter makes me gag. Same with milk, cream, etc. And being mildly lactose intolerant doesn't make it any better. Olive oil based spreads for me, and they aren't used often.

    2 years ago

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly says: Featured

    The people who say they prefer butter because it's "natural" & envision happy cows frolicking in green pastures are mistaken. The dairy industry is based on cruelty & exploitation. There's also a lot of misinformation being given about margarine - there are margarines available that are free from trans-fats, that are organic & free from artificial colourings & flavourings (unfortunately many still contain palm oil). You can't get more natural than delicious extra virgin olive oil drizzled on your bread, or as I mentioned above, try making your own non-dairy butter, you know exactly what's in it. This recipe is based on coconut & canola oil & although it contains soy, can be switched for other types of non-dairy milk. I've made it a few times now & it works great in baking. http://www.veganbaking.net/vegan-recipes/other-vegan-treats/vegan-butter.html Organic virgin coconut oil is really good for you.

    2 years ago

  • RedHotKitchen

    RedHotKitchen says:

    Its really refreshing to see all the butter lovers, I myself only use real butter, but also keep a tub Country Crock in the fridge in case someone pops overs and prefers. So far no one has!

    2 years ago

  • ArtbyLaurieCrain

    ArtbyLaurieCrain says:

    Organic butter, olive oil or coconut oil. To quote my chiropractor," Conventional margarine is made with the cheapest vegetable oils and extraction occurs under extremely high heat. The last portion of oil is removed with Hexane, a solvent that causes cancer.The oil becomes rancid (produces free radicals in the body), and then is steam-cleaned. This destroys all the vitamins and minerals, but the pesticides and solvents remain. The dead oil is then mixed with a finely ground nickel catalyst. The oil is then put in a reactor where it is pressurized with hydrogen gas.This hydrogenation changes the molecular structure making it very hard for humans to digest." "Guide to Healthy Living" By Dr. Dale Jacobson, D.C. Great discussion! Stay healthy out there!

    2 years ago

  • RareDaisyJewelry

    RareDaisyJewelry says:

    flax seed oil only.

    2 years ago

  • ScreamPrinting

    ScreamPrinting says:

    Butter lovers are cow haters. Period. Get the facts, and stop living in blissful ignorance.

    2 years ago

  • Itsnotme1988

    Itsnotme1988 says:

    Earthbalance for me thanks. Why would i want to have anything that causes harm, discomfort, or death to any other sentient being?

    2 years ago

  • GypsymoonChain

    GypsymoonChain says:

    Being allergic to dairy, I don't have a choice, it has to be margarine.

    2 years ago

  • VeganVigilante

    VeganVigilante says:

    I like my animals alive and happy. No butter or margarine for me.

    2 years ago

  • DaughtersOfTheEmpire

    DaughtersOfTheEmpire says:

    I love Butter, I think unsalted tastes fresher. We have a gourmet butter here in toronto, made from the cream of cows who feed on clover and grasses from local farms and I cant wait to try it! I have tried margarines from different brands, the olive oil one is okay. But I just dont feel comfortable eating something that turns into a plasticy film when its fried, it sticks to the hot pan and turns into a glaze of sorts. yuck. Great piece, i'll read Mental Floss's history of butter for sure.

    2 years ago

  • BlueberryCream

    BlueberryCream says:

    I stay away from both. My mom and grandma were trying to make me eat butter as a kid, i always found it disgusting! And margarine is even worse.

    2 years ago

  • DreamsandJewelry

    DreamsandJewelry says:

    When flies won't eat it because they don't consider it food, I'm not going near it. You might as well spread axle grease on your toast.

    2 years ago

  • FauxFurPetBakery

    FauxFurPetBakery says:

    I think they both have their places in certain dishes, specific tastes or personal preference. However, butter is the best and I indulge in it probably too much! Baked potatoe - loaded with butter and fresh dairy sour cream is the absolute best! Yummy! Great article and very interesting. Thank you - wonderful read!

    2 years ago

  • bedouin

    bedouin says:

    I've gotten caught recently in buying the omega spreads ~ but I'm going back to butter those don't feel right either.I prefer its natural taste to anything else I've used.

    2 years ago

  • tiltomorrow

    tiltomorrow says:

    Perfer real butter. Yummy sweet butter with a little honey added today. Taste is still with me. All I can say, I will have to have more...

    2 years ago

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections says:

    My mother used to buy tubs of I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, because it tasted better than the small selection of butters available in the supermarket. But I think now that it's much easier to find organic, small batch butters, we've gone back to real butter, and we even now use them to make flavored herb butter (ie. garlic rosemary butter)- they go great with anything, either with cooking or just spreading on toast!

    2 years ago

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy says:

    Wow! I'm very pleased to see most folks embracing butter as their preferred creamy-treat-spread. I personally think that margarine should be banned; it's so bloody toxic! As you may have guessed, I'm a 'butter gal', unsalted please. I had the great pleasure of working at a Victorian Farm museum, and had to churn butter for demonstration quite frequently. I must say: It is very hard to go back to salty, store-bought butter after making your own. Fresh butter is the mouth-watering BEST! Cheers, Heidi

    2 years ago

  • TerryAskeArtQuilts

    TerryAskeArtQuilts says:

    Interesting article! I had heard about the white margerine being packaged with yellow dye, but hadn't heard of pink or orange margerine! I think color definitely matters. I grew up with cheap (but yelow) margerine, and powdered skim milk (like white-blue water!) partly to reduce our fat content, but mostly for budgetary purposes (there were 6 of us kids, all chubby). I swore when I moved out on my own, I would always buy real milk (still do) and real butter (there's much improved butter-substitutes now).

    2 years ago

  • mavenraven

    mavenraven says:

    Here's a healthy home-made margerine recipe from the University Hospital in Saskatoon, Canada. Add equal amounts of Safflower oil and room temperature (unsalted) butter to a mini food processor, blender, Magic Bullet, etc. When blended, pour into a container and refrigerate. Voila! Delicious butter that is easily spreadable!

    2 years ago

  • HappyZoeVeganBakery

    HappyZoeVeganBakery says:

    Only Organic Coconut Oil! NO Animal products for Me!!

    2 years ago

  • YellowMelle

    YellowMelle says:

    I like margarine, if only because it's softer and a bit cheaper. Butter all the way with baking though. I don't know what people mean by "toxic" (I'm pretty sure there are no toxins in margarine, otherwise we would all be dead), but it is a man-made product which should be scrutinized I guess. In pastry school, we were told that margarine really is the closest thing to butter in terms of nutritional content and minerals and all that jazz, which doesn't sound so toxic to me. It's funny how easy it is to alarm people about things. I have a friend who refuses to eat non-organic meat, but is completely fine with using vegetable shortening in her cookies. Shortening... a hydrogenated product invented to make it easier to make laminated breads, but is completely indigestible, will not come out of your body, and tastes awful. Butter and margarine all the way!

    2 years ago

  • Sugarcookielady

    Sugarcookielady says:

    All butter, all the time.

    2 years ago

  • rakubuttons

    rakubuttons says:

    welllllll.... This will sound extremely weird unless you have had the ex[erience. I have always lived in WI, the "real" dairy state, and even tho I was raised on 'oleo / margarine', I chose real butter when I got out on my own and could buy my own groceries! Anyone my age or older can vividly recall going on 'margerine' runs (in the early 1960's) across the state line into Illinois. It was pre-colored yellow there and you didn't have to mix it. I don't even know if was even available here. So, if, for some reason you were going "down" there, you would semi-secretly ask only your most trusted family, friends, neighbors and co-workers if they wanted any brought back. It must have been against the law to bring it in quantity and re-distribute. I think you were allowed maybe two 16 oz blocks. I recall one trip where we had three cases in the trunk and my parents were actually a bit nervous. I hardly breathed all the way home. I felt like I was running contraband for Al Capone himself. My parents were frugal and I seldom had real butter growing up: only at Grandma's or dining out. It was more of a special treat. Margarine was much, much cheaper. So as soon as I could choose on my own I went for it and never looked back. I still use margerine for baking most of the time. I love vegetables and eat very little meat but I can never be a total vegan because of butter ...... [and CHEESE!]

    2 years ago

  • sherrie1

    sherrie1 says:

    I used to use only butter for all things. Now that I'm older I use a form of margarine that has no hydrogenated oils etc. for putting on my food. For cooking, I use a combination of butter and olive oil.

    2 years ago

  • studiorandom

    studiorandom says:

    I grew up using margarine because it was cheaper. I also spent my childhood with mental and emotional problems, and as soon as I had my first child I had gained weight I could not shake back off. Same habits, same everything, only difference was I'd had a child. Mental health got worse and worse over the years, nothing dramatic but it was sapping away at my life. Tried various dietary approaches, including veganism (which made me fatter and crazier--never again), and some worked better than others, but ultimately, about three years or so passed and I realized I was no longer going into tailspins. What happened? I introduced butter into regular use in my diet. No more margarine at all. I also consume dairy cream (heavy whipped), coconut oil, occasionally lard (which is not as saturated as mythology tells us it is--not that that really matters, as it turns out), and I don't skimp on animal fats anymore in general, or the tropical oils either. And that's made a huge difference, on the magnitude of how it felt to (mostly) give up grains. I have since learned things about lipids and how they interact in the body that are quite the eye-opener. I highly, highly recommend you look up Dr. Mary Enig's work (PhD) because she's been researching fats her entire life and the woman knows her stuff. I don't think it's coincidence that all these years we've been led to eating more and more plant oils and, even worse, *hydrogenated* plant oils, and now we've got all this infertility and ADHD and autism going on. The reproductive system and the brain are heavy fat users--and, oops, so's the heart, and we're getting more heart disease too, even if we're suffering fewer premature deaths from it. Food for thought...

    2 years ago

  • rakubuttons

    rakubuttons says:

    and yes, in recent years I have learned about mega-farming. Chickens, cattle, all of them....the majority of animal foods are produced with much suffering to those living creatures. I have made major changes becasue of it. Since I am right in the thick of dairy and farm country I am able to purchase eggs from neighbors less than a mile away. I get an occasional bird from them too. I am proud to be down to about one meat meal a week. I have a certified organic, free-range farm nearby where I can buy even tiny amounts without feeling too guilty. I just can't seem to give up my butter and cheese. Working on that but it's difficult.

    2 years ago

  • ablemabel

    ablemabel says:

    Wow. I never knew people felt so strongly about butter vs margarine. What an eye opener it was to read all these comments. I personally use both but have never thought about it much besides the cost factor. I prefer butter though.

    2 years ago

  • BunnysBakedGoods

    BunnysBakedGoods says:

    Being vegan I would be very sad to see my Earth Balance go...I love it! And my non-vegan boyfriend loves it too (and all the things I bake with it!)

    2 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop says:

    We started off with butter and switched to margarine because it was more "healthy", We've since come 'round to butter again, in moderation but stay completely away from hydrogenated anything. And my taste buds are happy again.

    2 years ago

  • erin11599

    erin11599 says:

    In the early 70's there was a massive push for people to change to margarine because of the "catastrophic" artery hardening effects of butter.My father,who is a doctor,decided that as a family we should change to margarine.He and my mother lasted about 2 months on margarine before they went back to butter but my brother and I still eat margarine.I use olive oil based margarine,which is better than some,but in some recipes I still use butter as sometimes there is no substitute...imagine shortbread made with margarine!! However,I don't believe there is much difference as far as health goes,we shouldn't eat massive amounts of either,and it really is a matter of choice.

    2 years ago

  • melfie

    melfie says:

    I grew up in a kitchen where Imperial margarine was considered the "best". The first time I tasted butter I thought it was odd, but that memory is deeply ingrained in me. Sort of like the first time you meet someone you thought you didn't like, only they turn out to be one of your best friends. I use only butter.

    2 years ago

  • 9thavenuedramaclub

    9thavenuedramaclub says:

    So interesting! I prefer Earth Balance these days.

    2 years ago

  • eaterofpig

    eaterofpig says:

    My "organic" uncle grew most of the foods he ate- meat, vegetable and fruit. He made his own wines and beer. He died of a cancer just shy of his 75th birthday. One of the last conversations we had, he told me to eat what I damned well liked, "Just don't be stupid about it. I've eaten healthy all my life and look at me now." So it's butter, sunflower oil and olive oil. In moderation.

    2 years ago

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 says:

    We used to use margerine when we were growing up but with all the hydrogenated ingrediants that are harmful I've switched to real butter. Add a little honey and cinnamon and you have honey butter, a real treat on your morning toast!

    2 years ago

  • Officeboy01

    Officeboy01 says:

    Nothing like hot real butter spread on fresh home made yeast rolls! I better stop now, I am getting hungry thinking about this topic.

    2 years ago

  • myfunbeads

    myfunbeads says:

    Raised in Europe I go for the "real" thing. I love butter, creamy, smooth and always UNSALTED! (There is so much salt in everything in the US!) It brings up the flavors of everything else. Margarine was used in our family only for baking, it was cheaper and thawed faster. My husband, however likes ICBINB (I can't believe ..... - that is how it shows on the receipt form our grocery store) because he it is easy to spread. I personally don't care for it.

    2 years ago

  • paperfection

    paperfection says:

    We threw out margarine out of our household for good, because of the transfats. Very unnatural, does horrible stuff to the body.. Good butter isn't even so bad - in moderation of course... But best of all for me: coconut oil!

    2 years ago

  • abbigail714

    abbigail714 says:

    I grew up on margarine due to my sisters diet restrictions. At age 12 I discovered the difference and have never looked back! Butter all the way! Oh, and I read somewhere that margarine is the only food you can leave out side and bugs and animals won't touch it.

    2 years ago

  • slringpfiel

    slringpfiel says:

    Butter all the way !! I love to bake, and Margarine just doesn't cut it. Nothing like the real thing...in moderation, of course.

    2 years ago

  • twistedpeaceus

    twistedpeaceus says:

    I didn't like butter as a child. It tasted funny. I finally started using it on my popcorn since melted margerine made it soggy. Now I use nothing else. Margerine tastes funny to my children!! Butter flavors with less used than margerine.

    2 years ago

  • ZudaGay

    ZudaGay says:

    Butter, always butter!!

    2 years ago

  • cploch

    cploch says:

    Real butter all the way! Use it for home and for my bakery. Like to keep it as real as possible and away from a lot of the man made stuff. Great article!!

    2 years ago

  • singlestonestudios

    singlestonestudios says:

    Butter. Enough said.

    2 years ago

  • tamtar

    tamtar says:

    I'm vegan, so butter is a no no. But I remember it being delicious!

    2 years ago

  • LayeredCandy

    LayeredCandy says:

    Butter is the way to go, its real. People need to read the ingredients on the items the put in thier mouths. You would be shocked. If its not real, our family doesn't eat it.

    2 years ago

  • PierogiPicnic

    PierogiPicnic says:

    Margarine is now made out of hydrogenated vegetable oils which have been linked to heart disease - so I never go near the stuff.

    2 years ago

  • artinsilk

    artinsilk says:

    I just had my two delicious "tartines de beurre" with my coffee. I have had that every morning for as long as I can remember. The bread was never the same, but I always had it with butter. I can't imagine having margarine for breakfast.

    2 years ago

  • ShwimmyKids

    ShwimmyKids says:

    Butter, it is real! No man made stuff!

    2 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez says:

    I vote butter =) Strait up goodness, and I like it to be whichever color is natural! Thanks for sharing this yummy history!

    2 years ago

  • artinsilk

    artinsilk says:

    studiorandom I find your story very interesting. Thank you for sharing. I knew there was something good about animal fat, we evolved for million of years eating animal fat. I was a vegetarian for 20 years and it really weakened my body instead of making me stronger. A very humbling realization.

    2 years ago

  • cottagesigns

    cottagesigns says:

    Though we normally carry both in the house. Personally for taste I prefer butter and day. I really am commenting because I thought your article was so well done. It was done in a rather "light" very non text book style!

    2 years ago

  • samdesigns2009

    samdesigns2009 says:

    I grew up in a household that used margarine. As an adult I prefer and only use butter. I didn't realize that margarine had such a long history. A very interesting article.

    2 years ago

  • mbsaunders

    mbsaunders says:

    Good quality unsalted butter and not any store brands...margarine IS one molecule from being plastic, or so an A list mechanical engineer told me.

    2 years ago

  • LittleOldShoes

    LittleOldShoes says:

    Margarine is gross. Butter is HEAVEN! If you've been eating margarine (especially if you think you're being healthy) switch!! Butter made out of milk from grass-fed cows (aka. pasture butter) is much healthier and tastier!

    2 years ago

  • TheChequeredLily

    TheChequeredLily says: Featured

    I use butter as I prefer the taste and texture for my baking and as a spread. I use butter when cooking too. Growing up in the 80's, we always had the industrial sized Price club tub of greg's gold 'n soft margarine. I don't think i ever had real butter till high school, and it was only on special occasions. And my grandmother still loves her I can't believe it's not butter. Ironically, she grew up on a farm, but always preferred margarine to butter. She used to tell me all the time that the margarine they got was white and came with a little capsule of food color that they threw out, preferring to eat it white.

    2 years ago

  • momentintime

    momentintime says:

    I only use butter. But I remember my father (born in 1939) telling me that when he was a child, it was his job to knead the color into the margarine.

    2 years ago

  • myAvonlea

    myAvonlea says:

    Butterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Creamy, Dreamy, Salty and Fatty BUTTER <3

    2 years ago

  • designedwithglass

    designedwithglass says:

    I only use butter and use it sparingly. Only whole natural foods in my home.

    2 years ago

  • MitzShop

    MitzShop says:

    I love the taste of butter. But it's not only a question of taste and health for me, but also a moral dilemma. I'm a vegetarian working hard to become vegan, so diary-free margarine wins. You know, fur and leather are natural too, but are they eco frindly and simply fair?

    2 years ago

  • juln

    juln says:

    Well, interesting start, but alas, the article barely starts to scratch the surface of its billing, the Politics of Margarine. Food is a pretty complex topic.

    2 years ago

  • juln

    juln says:

    By the way, Storque wise, not being able to separate comments into paragraphs here discourages meaningful discussion.

    2 years ago

  • VintageScraps

    VintageScraps says:

    Growing up, I never even knew margarine existed! It was the first fight my husband and I ever had: I would only buy butter; he said I was spoiled. We've managed to remain happy married for 26 years in spite of it! :)

    2 years ago

  • puralchemy

    puralchemy says:

    I grew up on margarine due to economy, but my family switched to butter as soon as they were able. I love butter. The flavour is wonderful. I would, however, coming from a chemistry background, love to clear up a few things about margarine. Partially hydrogenated margarine is a very nasty, adulterated compound that really shouldn't be consumed by anyone, but non-hydrogenated margarine is a different story. Because hydrogenation is not used to harden the oils in the spread, margarine is now a combination of a hard oil and a liquid oil, usually canola or olive oil. The main issue with this is the hard oil tends to be palm oil which is produced in an unsustainable manner. Margarine, hydrogenated or not, has absolutely no relation or similarity to plastic in any way, shape, or form. All oils, butters, waxes, and paraffins are made of molecules that contain long chains of carbon atoms. They are entirely natural in existence, in fact your body is largely comprised of long chain carbons. The longer the carbon chain, the thicker or harder the substance. In unsaturated fats, some of the carbon atoms are separated by double bonds, like your omega 3, 6, and 9's, the substance tends to be liquid because the molecules can't stack together as nicely - the shape is less uniform. The omega number refers to the location of the double bond. In hydrogenation, the goal is to break the double bonds and replace them with single bonds, creating a saturated fat. Plastic, on the other hand, is actually comprised of chemicals that only contain 2-4 carbon atoms. The difference is that they are polymerized, meaning they are linked together to form chains. Margarine is not a polymerized product, or even remotely related. If it was, it certainly wouldn't be spreadable. Polymerized chains are extremely long and difficult to break. One chain can contain thousands of smaller molecules. The oleic and linoleic fatty acids that make up most oils and butters don't even come close. They usually contain only 17 or 18 carbon atoms.

    2 years ago

  • blackrockvintage

    blackrockvintage says:

    Earth Balance. Whipped. Funny how far people go to justify butter.

    2 years ago

  • Prettyfox09

    Prettyfox09 says:

    Butter <3

    2 years ago

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    OnlyOriginalsByAJ says:

    I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, so naturally I favor butter. Not only do I prefer the taste of butter, but I also know that I am supporting the hardworking farmers.

    2 years ago

  • Officeboy01

    Officeboy01 says:

    Butter is one that will make you crave more... I want more, so I had to cook a batch of cookies today-yes made with real butter.

    2 years ago

  • fulltiltboo

    fulltiltboo says:

    Food for thought... http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/07/why-is-butter-better.aspx

    2 years ago

  • JasmineLund

    JasmineLund says:

    Butter is better. But. Margarine is cheaper. So we always used butter for bread or toast, and margarine for baking. Only recently have I realized how good cookies can really be (with butter!) And no, color doesn't matter. At all. But there are other things that make margarines different from each other... for years, we used Nucoa, because it didn't have water in it (or any form of dairy, as we thought at the time that one of my sisters was allergic), but since they started adding water, we've switched to a cheaper brand, but not the cheapest. The flavors are different!

    2 years ago

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField says:

    I'm definitely a butter person, for spreading and for baking and sometimes cooking. Margarine does not exist in our household!

    2 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Ah I've never been big on Margarine, in the UK it has a reputation for being laden with artificial chemicals rather than being seen as a wholesome natural product.

    2 years ago

  • TheHickoryTree

    TheHickoryTree says:

    We only use natural butter in my house now. But growing up, margarine was always served with dinner unless it was a holiday and the relatives came over. Then is was butter all the way.

    2 years ago

  • PieceofPeace

    PieceofPeace says:

    I remember my grandmother calling margarine "oleo". As a child in the 70's/80's, we never ate butter. I remember my grandmother saying (in 1989), "they are probably going to say that margarine is bad for us one day". I rarely use margarine now though, just for when I have to make something dairy free. A little butter can go a long way in the flavor department!

    2 years ago

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree says:

    It is all about affordability - I like both, I would prefer butter - but I still use margarine for day to day (easier to spread), and I use butter when I bake (only recently in the last few years and based on if I see it at the store at a good price). I was brought up on both - but butter definitely makes baking taste better! I think if the colour was just "white" I would feel it was lard and it would put me off margerine or butter - most probably not use it (which is not necessarily a bad thing)!

    2 years ago

  • bookmarksNbangles

    bookmarksNbangles says:

    Wow, who knew margarine was ever illegal? We only ever have butter in our house.

    2 years ago

  • ScrappyTudeStudios

    ScrappyTudeStudios says:

    Only butter, and only from my locally hand-thrown french butterwell. Fresh and soft whenever I want it! My kids think margarine is gross, and they'd be right.

    2 years ago

  • sweetydarlin

    sweetydarlin says:

    As I cook a lot of Cajun food in my home, there is only one option..... BUTTER!!!! POUNDS AND POUNDS OF BUTTER!!! Artery clogging creamy yellow goodness of BUTTER!!! I only use Margarine if my ex-husband is around!

    2 years ago

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons says:

    I grew up on butter, but use un-hydrogenated margerine now. We always had a 1/2 stick of butter sitting in the cupboard, while the rest was cold in the fridge. As an adult, the idea of warm soft butter sitting in the cupboard seemed unsafe so I turned to margerine which is spreadable even when cold in the fridge. Recently I watched a British program about food where they tested how food rotted when left unrefridgerated. It turns out that since butter is practically pure fat, it would not rot or attract any kind of mold even after 14 days. The worst that could happen is that it could go rancid after a long time. So my parents knew what they were doing. My partner worked at a dairy when he was a teen and told me that butter is often dyed too! Milk only yields yellow butter when the cows have been eating fresh green grass which is about half the year here in Canada. In the Little House on the Prairie books they describe using carrot juice to dye their home made butter....colourless butter just wasn't as appetizing.

    2 years ago

  • danielfranklin

    danielfranklin says:

    Butter Butter Butter, for my biscuit!

    2 years ago

  • danielfranklin

    danielfranklin says:

    Eli says come by our store and be the first to say hi!

    2 years ago

  • cupcake

    cupcake says:

    butter tastes better, but as a vegan i opt for margarine (earth balance) when necessary for baking, or olive oil in more savory places. i miss real, unsalted butter!

    2 years ago

  • RetrospectiveOrange

    RetrospectiveOrange says:

    BUTTER. Enough said... ^_^

    2 years ago

  • NellieFellow

    NellieFellow says:

    My mom used butter in her kitchen but even to this day my grandma's household is split 50/50. She uses butter and my grandpa uses margarine. As for my hubby and I, we opt for butter - especially when great globs of it are melted onto warm noodles. Yum!

    2 years ago

  • MarinaCrafts

    MarinaCrafts says:

    I grew up in Wisconsin in the 50-60's near the Minnesota border. None of the stores sold margarine or oleo. I beleive it was illegal to sell in Wisconsin because it was the dairy state, and they didn't want it competeing with dairy products. I grew up on a dairy farm, so we always used butter. Ocassionally, my mother brought margarine back from Minnesota and used it for holiday baking because it was so much cheaper. Today, I preferr to use butter.

    2 years ago

  • kzoomoo

    kzoomoo says:

    I never could tell the difference between the two, but I have recently gotten a taste for butter. My husband, who has pure taste buds, can taste the difference immediately. Margarine really does have more of a plastic taste.

    2 years ago

  • alyson2

    alyson2 says:

    My father worked for Lever Brothers, maker of Imperial Margarine, so we used that exclusively as a matter of loyalty. I always thought it was godawful, and have never given it to my own children. I do confess to a brief love affair with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, though.

    2 years ago

  • JewelsbyJasmin

    JewelsbyJasmin says:

    I also grew up on margarine but love the taste of butter 100 times more. I also prefer the fact that it's a more natural product than margarine (processed oils).

    2 years ago

  • Lauzz

    Lauzz says:

    Everybody seems to love butter. It is tough to beat that lingering, satisfying taste. And what a mouthfeel! Margarine -all scientific hooha aside- just can't hold a candle to that.

    2 years ago

  • JeanLouisesCloset

    JeanLouisesCloset says:

    It is 1 am and I saw this article now I am craving that late night snack! Were most of you raised in the 60s and 70s? Because all I ever knew growing up as "butter" was actually margarine. I always giggled when I saw that Mother Nature commercial: "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature" because that is what my mom bought. I grew up and learned to cook and cook well and I appreciate good ingredients and that includes butter. I only use the salted sweet cream kind. Anyone else?

    2 years ago

  • vintageinmichigan

    vintageinmichigan says:

    We always used butter growing up... Still do... when My Aunt and Uncle would come to visit our house my budget conscious Aunt would always announce to her daughters at the dinner table.. "Now pay attention girls this is REAL butter not Oleo". She still uses margarine... I should ask my cousins what they use now in their homes. JeanLouisesCloset: I only use unsalted butter so I control the salt content in our foods... My Brother was a chef and he was horrified when he saw the salted butter in my fridge.

    2 years ago

  • avimom

    avimom says:

    A bill was just introduced in Wisconsin this week that would repeal the law still on the books prohibiting restaurants from serving only margarine at the table.

    2 years ago

  • ClaudiaOlivos

    ClaudiaOlivos says:

    Raw butter... if your state allows it-is what is best for your body. Unfortunately the government has been cracking down on raw dairy for a while now.... very sad that they want to control what we eat. Here is a MUST WATCH movie in regards to Farmers in the USA. http://farmageddonmovie.com/ Also, a few months ago I watched a very powerful presentation on TED in regards to regulations of milk here in the USA. We have the worst. Not even allowed in So America, Europe...only in the USA are our farmers treated like this.....would help our health and economy to support our farmers. (stepping off soap box and back into the studio......:P

    2 years ago

  • DivinelyDesignedBJM

    DivinelyDesignedBJM says:

    My grandpa was a dairy farmer.. We ate real butter.. I can FEEL a difference between butter and margarine.. I seriously have a love affair with butter.. I could almost just eat a stick of its salty goodness. Everything is betta with butta!! : )

    2 years ago

  • Jenniesfriends

    Jenniesfriends says:

    There is nothing like the butter ...Butter is Best

    2 years ago

  • lauraslastditch

    lauraslastditch says:

    I've had neither butter nor margarine in the house for years. We just use olive oil or other oils for the most part. I definitely do not like artificial colors or flavors in my food, and we don't use butter often enough to keep it around. Sometimes guests are distressed to find this glaring omission from our refrigerator, but it works for us.

    2 years ago

  • cokatrinaskreations

    cokatrinaskreations says:

    Just this morning I was reading the book Rufus M by Eleanor Estes, which takes place during the first world war. She talked about trying to mix a packet of food coloring with the oleo, and I wondered why on earth she would need to do that. Thanks for clearing it up. I grew up with "Country Crock" myself, but now even my parents use butter.

    2 years ago

  • noonblueapples

    noonblueapples says:

    Like many others who have commented here, I grew up on margarine. When I was old enough to make my own food purchasing choices, I switched to butter. Now I stay away from both if I can, preferring to use olive oil or unrefined coconut oil. Once in a while I indulge in some Earth Balance... That stuff is tasty!

    2 years ago

  • ToosDetectiveAgency

    ToosDetectiveAgency says:

    I use butter for cooking and baking; don't use margarine at all. My mom has funny stories about her "oleo runnin'" days, which were all the more scandalous since her father was a big wig in the county ag dept. Despite his love of and support for dairy farmers, my grandfather loved the taste of margarine!

    2 years ago

  • SweetiePieCollars

    SweetiePieCollars says:

    Makes me just want to stick to butter.

    2 years ago

  • piecesofelises

    piecesofelises says:

    Wow! Thank you for enlightening me. I really don't regularly eat either, but the history involved is quite interesting.

    2 years ago

  • justthegoods

    justthegoods says:

    Go magicjelly, Go! You summed up exactly what I woul have wanted to say, m'self =-)

    2 years ago

  • VintageLinensNmore

    VintageLinensNmore says:

    Always butter, even in cooking.

    2 years ago

  • ShmirlsCollections

    ShmirlsCollections says:

    I'm vegan, so I don't eat either ;)

    2 years ago

  • yogiodie

    yogiodie says:

    I'm happy to report margarine is no longer a staple of our diet and neither is 2% milk.

    2 years ago

  • TreasuredVintage4

    TreasuredVintage4 says:

    Great research; things we all should be aware of when we shop at the grocery store! I LOVE butter, without salt. It's a taste that reminds me of my family as our meals were always made from scratch and our family baking tradition is a recipe called "Simnel Cake" with lots and lots of butter. Cannot put margarine on our table!

    2 years ago