Butter or Margarine?
Butter has been around for millenniums, dating back to 8000-9000 B.C.! It has been referred to as cow’s milk or goat’s milk (depending on the animal) and can be made out of many different animal’s milk : cows, goats, sheep, buffalo and yaks. Through the years butter had been thought of as a barbarians food, a lower class person’s food, even though some people thought butter had some medicinal purposes. In Europe this trend was especially true in the earlier part of the middle ages (around 12th century) but as time went on the middle class began to accept the food as something they could eat during lent, so bread and butter became much more renowned and it was finally accepted by the upper class for this reason somewhere around the 16th century. A little later in history butter kept gaining popularity, and a few countries starting to trade it on a grander scale. France was one of those countries that had a lot of butter to trade. However, butter became so much in demand that France had to find a way to make some kind of a substitute or similar product. What they created was margarine, in 1869. Margarine gained popularity because it was less expensive and perceived as being a healthier choice.
Commercial butter as we know it today is made of about 80% butterfat, 15% water and the rest is a combination of a few ingredients, notably salt. People who like the organic stuff will choose this over margarine.
Margarine contains about the same amount of fat as butter (80%) although some low-fat margarines are available. No cholesterol found in margarine, that’s a “+”, and actually another positive for margarine is that it contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 that reduces the risk of heart disease.
Butter has some physical disadvantages: keep it in the fridge, it’s too cold to spread, keep it out in a somewhat warm house, it melt to liquid in a day. Margarine lasts forever in the fridge, and is always spreadable.
Butter gets the win it taste, the saltier tangier taste of butter is in general preffered over margarine.
There is one thing though, as far as molecules go, margarine is proven to be but 1 molecule away from being plastic (point butter). Because of this fact, we can never consider margarine as “safe” to eat any more than butter, and since both have enough fat and salt and both can lead to heart disease both are essentially bad for you. The counter argument is that since butter and margarine also have basically the same molecule form, it too is close to plastic. All I can say is, “it’s a good thing they created I can’t believe it’s not butter, because now I can eat my butter tasting plastic without feeling guilty”.