Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How Margarine Homewrecked Our Health

In the last few weeks, I've found myself in the middle of or the observer of a lot of conversations about butter.  And to be clear, I'm not complaining.  I looooooove butter (gasp).  And ya know what?  Butter loves me back (gaaaaassssssp).
Most of these conversations revolve around someone making a statement that they love butter and someone else chiming in about hout many calories it has or how it will cause clogged arteries and heart attacks.  But butter has to be one of the most misunderstood and slandered foods in the grocery store.  To fully understand why butter is so misunderstood, it's important to understand the history of butter and why it's fallen out of good graces with most nutritionists and the FDA.
This story can be quite dry and involve lots of food politics.  I'm going to translate it into a story that most of us can understand (for illustrative purposes).  A sort of Desperate Housewives tale.... 

Sprinkle the fairy dust to transport us to a time not so long ago.  A simpler time.  A white picket fence time.  Specifically, the 1950s.

Butter is a housewife who, for as long as she and anyone in her family can remember, has been providing her family with critical calories, good quality fat, and necessary vitamins and nutrients from the milk of grass fed cows.  These nutrients include Vitamins A, D, E, K, DHA, Copper, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, and CLA.  She also provided essential fatty acids, necessary cholesterols, and shorter chain fatty acids.  All of these kept her family strong and healthy, specifically in regards to brain health, heart disease, liver/lung/kidney function.  She also help them build a stronger immune system and stronger bodies (sort of the 1950s version of being swoll). 

Until one day.

That was the day Butter's husband, known to his friends as USDA, found a new wife named Margarine.  Sure, she appeared to have all the same qualities as Butter- a similar flavor, consistency, and a nice full body.  But unlike Butter, Margarine had a shiny new outfit, cost less to keep around the house, and had certain man-made parts.  USDA had been very happy with Butter for the longest time,  his ol' fraternity brothers, Food Scientist and Marketing Exec, convinced him that upgrading to Margarine would be more fun. 

Butter was taken completely by surprise.

Margarine took her home,

the loyalty of her betrothed,

 her dignity,

and most importantly her family. 

A few of the neighbors questioned USDA's decision to replace Butter with Margarine.  So USDA's ol' buddy, Marketing Exec (who had experience with this), helped him spread rumors about Butter.  Soon enough, all of the neighbors were fond of Margarine as well.

But over time, it was obvious that Margarine wasn't all she was seemed.  Her addiction to man made enhancements grew worse.  She started to rely on government support to keep her home.  And worst of all, her family started to become less nourished and crave love and affection elsewhere. 

You see, Margerine was a deciever.  Promising a more healthy life, but all the while seeking attention and growth for herself.  She is the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing.

The good news is that Butter is still around.  She's quietly biding her time for her family to come back. She now goes by different names such as Kerry Gold

or Organic Valley.

You'll still find her in the dairy section of most grocery stores, but for sure at the health food stores.  She'll be there as quite and humble as ever, no flashy dress promising heart health or superior taste (she doesn't need to promise something that is a part of who she is).

So what are you waiting for?  Welcome Butter back into your life. 



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