Food: Margarine


According to the 2000 edition of Le petit Larousse dictionary, the French word "margarine" is derived from Greek "margaron," 'pearl.'  Our English word is a good example of linguistic borrowing.  Le petit Larousse  amplifies Eugéne Chevreul's claim to fame by attributing to him a theory of color that inspired neo-impressionist painters. RH: His discovery of margarine is more lasting.


Randy Black reports: I found this on margarine: The French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouries invented margarine in 1889. Today, margarines are usually made with vegetable oils, such as soya, corn, or sunflower oil, giving a product low in saturated fats and fortified with vitamins A and D.  Mège-Mouries was sponsored by Napoleon III – and made it from tallow and low fat milk. [RH: Napoleon's sponsorship must have ended in 1870.]
Margarine - from the Greek: 'Margaron' = Pearl
Sources: http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/encyclopaedia/hutchinson/m0020841.html
The sale of margarine was banned in Canada prior to 1949.
 http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-69-405-2323-10/life_society/margarine_ban_lifted/
 http://www.schroederkombinator.com/en/anwendungen/margarine/index2.html

RH: I suppose the dairy lobby was responsible for the Canadian ban.  When I was a child in England, margarine was generally despised, probably for the same reason.

I said: I suppose the dairy lobby was responsible for the Canadian ban on margarine. When I was a child in England, margarine was generally despised, probably for the same reason.  Gene Franklin comments: In the US, in the early years, it was unlawful to color margarine. As a result, it looked like lard but was sold with a dry color package so the color could be mixed in at home. No doubt the law was the result of the milk lobby.

Miles Seeley says: The uncolored margarine with the packet of coloring we had during WW II was not, as we understood it then, the result of the dairy lobby. Instead, the shortage of real butter was attributed to the needs of our armed forces. I well recall mixing the coloring with the margarine, and it was not easy to get it right. RH:  If this were the explanation, the coloring could have been mixed with the margarine at the factory, saving Miles the trouble.  The only explanation is that the dairy lobby was at work.

Can anyone confirm this statement by Daryl DeBell: I believe that, while margarine may be made with vegetable oils, they have been hydrogenated, and are therefore "saturated", and thus worse than 'normal' saturated fats.

Daryl DeBell said: While margarine may be made with vegetable oils, they have been hydrogenated, and are therefore "saturated", and thus worse than 'normal' saturated fats. Randy Black counters: Daryl DeBell is both right and wrong depending upon which type of margarine he’s using. If he’s using a stick of margarine, he’s right; if he’s buying a squeeze bottle or a tub of soft margarine, his statement is not accurate.
 
From the American Heart Association: Butter is rich in both saturated fat and cholesterol, so it's potentially highly atherogenic (ATH'er-o-JEN'ik). That means it contributes to the build up of cholesterol and other substances in artery walls. Such plaque deposits increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol. The more liquid the margarine (in tub or liquid form), the less hydrogenated it is and the less trans fatty acids it contains. On the basis of current data, we recommend that consumers follow these tips:


Source: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4776
 
 

 


Ronald Hilton 2005

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last updated: June 10, 2005