Ah yes, margarine vs.. butter
This is one of the most popular “so what about” and “which do you eat?” questions I get.
Margarine, definitely, is one of the most mismarketed and misunderstood food replacement products there is.
It is a topic that constantly needs to be brought to the forefront so you can make an informed choice.
Particularly, as margarine is still being touted as a wise food product by the Canada Food Guide, American Heart Association, doctors and outdated nutritionists.
Margarine was discovered in 1869 by Hippolyte Mège Mouriès, a French food research chemist, in response to Napoleon III's request for a “wholesome” butter alternative.
The word “margarine” came from the Greek for "pearl," because the original version was hard, white, and glossy.
It must have been less than appetizing, however, since it was made from beef fat, milk, and chopped sheep's stomachs and cows' udders, all treated with heat, lye, and pressure.
Certainly not an appealing combination but definitely a more basic recipe than what we find offered to us today.
Margarine limped along in popularity for many decades, while the recipe was tweaked from an animal based product to one comprised mostly of various oils.
It stepped from the shadows into the limelight, during the First World War when butter became scarce and into its current fame as a “healthy” spread when butter got a black eye because of it’s saturated fat content.
But do not be deceived. Margarine and butter are immensely different and the only reason they appear similar to touch, sight, smell and taste is because margarine has undergone a barrage of horrific chemical transformations.