I grow vegetables to feed us, make natural ingredient creams, lotion and shampoo, cook all meals from scratch and detest E numbers. I live in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand

Last week Matt from  DIY Natural set the cat among the proverbial pigeons when he opened the discussion on Butter versus Margarine. I am not really one for conspiracy theories, but there is a lot of things in our food we know nothing about and I do have strong opinions on a lot of them.

Butter made with cream and salt

Butter made with cream and salt

I have to admit I have done and do on occasions buy marg. It was the convenience of having soft spread straight from the fridge that appealed to me, but now, if butter is not on special, I buy marg.  I far prefer butter, soften it by leaving it on the bench, beat it and drizzle in a little water while beating, until it takes on the soft marg like consistency. I always have a container of herb and garlic butter on hand for new potatoes or fish – home made of course.

Margarine or table spread.  13 ingredients.

Margarine or table spread. 13 ingredients.

Alas butter in NZ is very expensive, retailing at above $6.00 a lb/500gm for no water added butter or a dollar or so less for water added butter. If I am very lucky, it can be 2 for $6.00 on special, so I buy up large and whip up my ‘butterine’

Butter is simple to make, it just takes time, a beater and 2 ingredients- cream and salt. Some butters now days do contain water. They are normally the cheaper ones. Margarine (the one pictured) on the other hand has 13 ingredients of which 6 are numbers and the main oil is palm.

When I was a child, I can remember Sunday night was butter making night. In the days before TV we all took turns while listening to the radio. Mum had a gallon sized jar with a paddle inside which was turned by a handle. The cream was saved up all week and put in the jar and we all took turns churning the butter. Oh I wish I still had that jar, but the cake mixer and whisk are certainly less strenuous.

Several years ago, when I did a nutrition course, we had to investigate the pro’s and con’s of butter versus margarine. I know butter was the winner and it was recommended that if we used a margarine, it should be a single oil and water composition, not mixed oil and all those nasty numbers. You can make it yourself out of  Olive oil, pure rapeseed oil (not canola as it can be a mix of oils), rice bran oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oil, salt if u wish and water.

With Matt’s blog on my mind, I was surprised to find the article below, that a friend had posted on my facebook page. I have copied it below.


‎”Pass The Butter … Please.

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.

Margarine was then sold as a butter substitute during the war – the same war when people we told cigarettes would stave off hunger pains!!

DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?

Both have the same amount of calories.

  • Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.
  • Eating margarine is said to increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study (possibly because we tend to use more marg than we do butter).
  • Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
  • Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!
  • Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods.
  • Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine..

  • Very High in Trans fatty acids.
  • Made from oils not usually eaten in our regular diet, very high in palm oils (and we all know what palm oil did to chocolate in NZ a few years back)
  • (possibly) Triples risk of coronary heart disease .
  • Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
  • Increases the risk of cancers up to five times (because of the trans fats)..
  • Lowers quality of breast milk
  • Decreases immune response.
  • Decreases insulin response.

And here’s the most disturbing fact…

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC… and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT.

These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

  •  no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)
  •  it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Share This With Your Friends…..(If you want to butter them up’)!

Chinese Proverb: When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.


Comments on: "Butter v Margarine" (2)

  1. […] Butter v Margarine (gentlebynature.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] mentioned in the post on Butter versus Margarine that I make my own whipped butter. This week has been a busy one but I finally got time to make up […]

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