First lets start off with a history lesson. Margarine was formulated in 1869 by Hippolyte Mège Mouriès of France in response to Napoleon III’s offering of a prize to whoever could succeed at producing a viable low-cost substitute for butter. Mège Mouriès’ concoction, which he dubbed oleomargarine, was achieved by adding salty water, milk, and margaric acid to softened beef fat. By the turn of the century, the beef fat in the original recipe had been replaced by vegetable oils.
Now lets look at the ingredients in a popular margarine today.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! 45% vegetable oil spread contains 6g fat (2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat) and 60 calories per serving.
INGREDIENTS: PURIFIED WATER, SOYBEAN OIL, PALM KERNEL AND PALM OIL, SALT, LECITHIN (SOY), NATURAL FLAVORS, VINEGAR, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).
Soybeans are a big no-no in our home simply because according to the USDA 94% of the US crops are GMO. That’s one of the reasons we don’t use vegetable oils in our cooking, most are made from low quality GMO crops. Palm oil is a highly processed oil, it is actually red in color and must be bleached to get the colors we are used to seeing in oil. Natural flavors, who knows what that means. Palmitate, although this can be found naturally in animal fats and plants, this source is most likely again from Palm Oil. Beta Carotene can be found naturally in plants and has a red/orange color to it. This is most likely a synthetic version.
All in all there is no real food whatsoever in margarine. That’s why we will never eat it. If you want to read an interesting article on the margarine’s effect on your body read this article. In the mean time enjoy this video on how margarine is made, it looks so appealing…