One of this world’s more perplexing mysteries is exactly how margarine’s mid to late twentieth century popularity resulted in the outright vilification of its full-dairy alternative, butter.
Since margarine’s advent early in the nineteenth century it struggled to gain recognition, amid a time where folk had little desire to look elsewhere for their toast spreading needs, with little success.
Margarine manufacturers initially tried dying their product from its natural sterile white colour to match butter’s creamy yellow appeal; even so it wasn’t until the great butter shortage of WW1 that margarine sales really lifted.
To see this butter substitute doing so well was obviously vexing for dairy farmers thus the butter industry lobbied to have a tax imposed on margarine; also to have the yellow dying outlawed.
Some US states early in the twentieth century, in an effort to render margarine as unappealing as possible, even managed to pass a law forcing manufacturers of this ersatz butter to colour their product with a toxic pink hue.
This again set back margarine’s popularity until another butter scarcity in WW2 saw the product return to vogue.
By now people across the world are beginning to wonder why they are still struggling away with such a hard, un-spreadable butter product when margarine is such a wonderful, user-friendly, albeit pink alternative.
Yet at this time, mid twentieth century, the world was still far from willing to make the conversion.
Margarine manufacturers needed to precipitate a change in attitude; they had to find some miracle way they could knock their buttery opposition out of the table spread race once and for all.
Butter is a totally natural product made with 100 percent milk fat; margarine was developed in a laboratory and follows a recipe discovered and patented by French chemist Mege-Mouries in 1869.
During the mid twentieth century where butter manufacturers had ensured that margarine was dyed an unpalatable pink, margarine manufacturers had ensured that butter was prohibited from including additives to make its product more spreadable.
The battle was on, and it was becoming more underhanded by the decade.
Margarine made supposedly beneficial additions to its recipe; butter continued to be made with 100 percent milk fat.
Throughout the 1960s margarine manufacturers struggled for the upper hand; butter continued to be made with 100 percent milk fat.
Then margarine manufacturers finally saw a way through.
In the early 1970s heart disease was one of the world’s biggest killers, and people were just beginning to accept that this probably had something to do with the cigarettes that they smoked so freely and regularly.
From out of nowhere it was revealed that smokers could breathe a sigh of relief – heart disease it turned out was caused by fatty deposits in and around the heart, as a result of ingesting fatty foods.
Additionally, high cholesterol, which health professionals had hitherto believed was caused by improper liver function and nothing more, it now became known was also the fault of too much ingested fat…
To many of today’s people the above may seem obvious: ‘Eating fat causes fatness’ – but how is that even logical? Does eating potato skins give people strong skin? Does eating sheep’s wool cure baldness in men? If someone eats an apple seed do they eventually sprout a tree?
No, they don’t, because all food is metabolised in the digestive system – including fat.
…Suddenly the ‘100 percent milk fat’ of butter came into question: is all that fat harmful to our bodies?
From the ‘70s, through the ‘80s, ‘90s, ‘00s and present, this fatty fallacy has been solidified and perpetuated.
Everyone it seems is now trying to cash in on the ‘low fat’ lifestyle, while all that we are actually doing to ourselves by maintaining such a philosophy, is depriving our bodies of vital nourishment and important fatty acids.
As I have mentioned in so many past publications, ‘any company can pay any researcher to find out anything, then if those findings are made public, you are the one who is likely to swallow it.
Don’t be so quick to believe all that the media tells you; they will only ever report the findings they want you to hear while of course withholding those findings which are less agreeable.
Don’t blindly believe anything anymore – do your research.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Butters Scotch
Photography by Marge R Ian