Butter, margerine; Our intake of fats gets a reboot from Time Magazine and a history lesson from the Washington Post


Butter, margerine; Our intake of fats gets a reboot from Time Magazine and a history lesson from the Washington Post

Growing up in a Jewish household, margarine was a popular fat to cook with, especially since it was not dairy based and you could have it with meats. When eating Kosher, milk and meat are always kept separate. Over the Jewish holidays, we used tons of this fat which we are now finding out is awful for us, because you could have it with meats.

It turns out that since the early 1900’s, when butter was the fat of choice, some fancy marketing and world war II with its creation of butter shortages, turned the tide on butter usage.

Now butter usage is on the rise again, as people want to eat better foods, and the big fat scares of the 1980’s and 1990’s ended up being an experiment that made us in many ways less healthy, as the general public stayed away from fats, which help keep our taste buds satisfied. In the latest issue of Time Magazine, there is an article on Fat, the demonization of the types of fat that when replaced with sugar and other less healthy ingredients, has lead to the fattening of America. You can read this article here or pick up the latest June 23rd edition of Time magazine at your news stand or read it at your local library.

We live during an interesting time, because many people are more health conscious than ever about what they eat, and many are finding out that preparing fresh meals is not very difficult after all. Rather than picking up the store purchased meal which often has preservatives and other things of questionable dietary value, many people are now eating more greens, more fish, and sautéing fresh vegetables or eating them raw.

Butter or Margarine; I will choose butter any time. By the way, according to the Time article, these types of fats are actually not harmful for you, so live a little, enjoy.

Check out this article on the history of Butter vs. Margerine

The generational battle of butter vs. margarine

The 100-plus year war between butter and margarine, America’s two favorite fatty spreads, has been a battle of cultural norms, nutritional headwinds, a bit of circumstance, and, of course, cash rich marketing campaigns.

At times the tussle has proved a tad lopsided—for over 50 years margarine seemed markedly outmatched. Back in 1911, the average American ate almost 19 pounds of butter per year, the most ever, according to the USDA. Meanwhile, margarine consumption barely broke a single pound per person per year. Among the butter industry’s many efforts to mitigate the growth of the competing spread was a mandate, upheld in many states, disallowing the sale of yellow margarine. In an effort to circumvent the restriction, clear margarine blocks were often sold with a side of yellow dye.

World War II, however, brought butter shortages and, with them, the rise of butter’s arch nemesis. It wasn’t until 1957, when Americans ate as much margarine as they did butter—8.5 pounds per year—that margarine, which was marketed as both a healthier and cheaper butter alternative, opened the spread in its favor. Fat had become a food faux pas, and the margarine industry used its widening wallet to tout margarine’s supposed health appeal. “The massive advertising of health claims for margarine transformed a generally disreputable product of inferior quality and flavor into a great commercial success,” William G. Rothstein wrote in his book Public Health and the Risk Factor.

Even Eleanor Roosevelt came to margarine’s aid. “That’s what I’ve spread on my toast,” she said in a 1959 commercial for Good Luck margarine.

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