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With the holidays just around the corner, and meals on our minds, I thought this first Monday in November, and the first day of November, we should talk about butter, margarine, and “table spreads”.


I love butter.

Pass the butter, please!


Paula Deen loves butter.

Paula Deen, Savannah's Butter Queen!

The Barefoot Contessa loves butter.

Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

And why shouldn’t we?

Well…It’s supposed to be bad for you.

But, let’s look at the alternative.


Margarine was originally created to fatten turkeys.  

It killed the turkeys!

The folks who took a beating in that investment wanted a payback.

They decided to “re-market” it.

Margarine was originally white, had no food appeal, so yellow coloring was added and it was sold to people and marketed as better than butter.

Didn’t it kill the turkeys?

Though butter and margarine look the same, and some erronously will say they taste the same, there are differences along with the similarities.

Both  have the same amount of calories.

Butter has 8 grams of saturated fats; margarine:  5 grams, which gives margarine the edge until you do the trans fat math.  Margarine has more trans fats, and trans fats are fake fats and fake fats are worse for you than real fats.  (Ok, I’m not a scientist…but I’m sure you understand!)

Really, I just can’t stand phony!

More bad news for margarine.

Eating margarine can increase  heart disease in women by 53% as opposed to eating the same amount of butter – supposedly a Harvard  Medical Study says so.

Butter in your diet increases the absorption of many other nutrients in  other foods.

Margarine doesn’t help you absorb anything,  and has few nutritional benefits – oh yeah, those are added in the manufacturing process.

Frankly, butter tastes better.

Butter is hundreds of years old, but margarine is not even a hundred yet.

Youth is wasted on the young you know.

Like I said UP there…Margarine…very high in trans fatty acids.

Increases the risk of coronary heart disease …BY 3!

Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and  lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol).

Increases  the risk of some cancers UP to five times.

Lowers the quality of breast milk.  Decreases immune response.  Decreases  insulin response.

Chemically, margarine  is only one molecule away  from being plastic and there are twenty seven ingredients in it that are also found in paint.  Assuming it’s lead free.

One kid in the hinterlands of Ohio needed a science project.

Unlike myself, who just bought three different sizes of plants the night before it was due, and pretended to do a photosynthisis project, he actually did an experiment.  (My appologies to Mr. Burkholder!)

He purchased  a tub of margarine and left it open in his garage.

Within two days, he found that there were no flies buzzing around it.

And weeks later…gee this kid’s a nerd, planning ahead like that…

It didn’t rot.

It didn’t smell.

It grew no mold.


Aren’t you paying attention, it’s practically plastic.

Because it's NOT!

So, please pass the butter, and while we’re at it,  what the heck’s a “table spread” anyway?

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