It All Started In 1869 - Smitten Kitchen Blog at - 148130

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It All Started In 1869 
Jan. 2, 2010 3:37 pm 
Updated: Jan. 12, 2010 10:15 pm
I read with interest on the RE today about a butter vs margarine debate, well not really, someone was asking for recommendations on a new margarine.  I grew up eating only butter on every thing and then went through a period were I ate 1/2 butter 1/2 margarine in the tub and then I discovered healthy eating and decided after much research that eating and cooking with butter was really the healthiest option.
Here are a couple of interesting margarine facts.  In 1869 a French food chemist succeeded in coming up with a cheap alternative to butter-Blaspheme! (does this sound similar to the high fructose corn syrup birth?!)  The word margarine comes from the Greek word for pearl.  It came from beef fat chopped sheep's stomach and cow udders- YUMMO!  In the 1900's chemist learned how to make it with vegetable and fish oil.  By the 1920's only vegetable oil was used to make margarine.  Then chemist figured out that if they added chemicals and additives (someone thought that was a good idea?) they could make it more appealing to the eye and get it to do the stuff we want it to do like spread on a piece of toast nicely.

Americans consume 4 times as much margarine as butter partly on the advice of a lot of uniformed Doctors.   Guess what the margarine manufacturers did?  They capitalized on that and started pushing margarine that was made from polyunsaturated vegetable oil.  So what do the experts say now?  Dr. Weil has been very upfront with consumers talking about the health risks of many processed food products.  He says within the next 10 years it is going to become clear that margarine is not a safe bet for you to consume on a daily basis.  He believes in eating organic butter that will not have human grade antibiotics or pesticides, but he also thinks your intake of butter should be limited too.  This quote is directly from an article on the web:
The body cannot incorporate trans-fatty acids into membranes, and if it tries to do so, deformed cellular structures may result.  Eating trans-fatty acids in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils probably increases cancer risks, promotes inflammation, and accelerates aging and degenerative changes in tissues.  I am convinced enough of these possibilities to try to eliminate those fats from my diet.

As we roll out 2010 I would like to challenge all of you to take a look in your cabinets and fridges and see what processed food may be lurking in there.  Just because the container says 0% trans fats doesn't mean there aren't any in there.  You wont find any margarine or Crisco in my house and I don't miss it one bit. 
Jan. 2, 2010 4:37 pm
I'm a butter kind of gal myself :) I hate margarine. But I think its hilarious that it was invented by a French food chemist. Aren't the French all about the butter in their cooking?
Jan. 2, 2010 4:48 pm
As for myself, I believe in trying everything...I personally don't eat margarine, I think it's gross just like Miracle Whip vs. Mayo...but I don't believe you have to take everything out of your diet, either...just eat it in moderation. I rarely have anything processed in my fridge or cabinets, I just don't care for the processed stuff. I don't count fat, calories or any of that other stuff, but if I make something with butter and heavy cream, I know for 100% fact that it will be delicious, but I don't eat an entire plate of it.
Jan. 2, 2010 5:47 pm
Well, I do admit, I have margarine in my fridge but am not opposed to using only butter(moderately of course). That is a good point, you need to be aware of what you are putting in your body, and think,do I Really need this? Thank you for an eye opening blog.
Jan. 3, 2010 7:48 am
rae, that is a really good point, LOL! Margarine tastes like plastic to me. I grew up on it, but when I started cooking with butter I ditched it forever. I keep it around for budget purposes, its good for things like throwing into the pot of cheapo mac-n-cheese for the kids. I only wish butter wasn't so expensive.
Jan. 3, 2010 10:26 am
Margarine is gross and artificial, not to mention unhealthy. I'll take butter and day.
Jan. 3, 2010 10:26 am
Jan. 3, 2010 5:02 pm
Everything in moderation. I haven't had margarine for more than 10 years now.
Jan. 4, 2010 1:53 am
I heard many years ago that margarine was a carcinogen, and haven't eaten it since. Also no fake sugars for me!
Jan. 12, 2010 10:13 pm
Hi SweetJam! Good blog! Only butter here. Your kitty cat is so cute!!!!!
Jan. 12, 2010 10:15 pm
Wait YOU GARDEN????????? We need to chat! I want to build one this year. No clue how to here in the desert.
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I love to cook and have often thought I should have gone to culinary school. My biggest cooking influence is my mother she is really a good cook, but I look up to my brother who has never used a recipe in his life....he cooks by taste; a little of this and that and it is always amazing. I cook almost every night for my family. My true passion is entertaining. I secretly want to be Martha Stewart...he he!!
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I like good soup and hearty meals. I also love to come across a good apetizer recipe. I recently purchased a bread machine and have really enjoyed using it. I'm not baking so much now that my daughter is doing a lot of it around here.
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Baklava every Christmas. It looks like you spent all day in the kitchen, but it is a snap! My dad made stuffing every holiday. It is still the best I have ever tasted with apples and raisons. YUMMY!
My cooking triumphs
I will try anything, once! I made that italian dish they always talk about on Everybody Loves Raymond. It was time consuming, but interesting to make. I always say if you can follow a recipe you can be a good cook. Teaching my daughter the love of cooking and baking. When I'm out of town she actually gets a hot meal on the table and can even make home made bread. I'm so proud of her. She will be making all the pies for Thanksgiving dinner this year.
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The biggest one is a recipe for brussel sprouts that you steamed than cooked in a jelly of some sort. I didn't think I was steaming them long enough. They were raw! Very dissapointing side dish to a Thanksgiving meal!
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