Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Outlaw Margarine?

Who knew margarine was illegal in Wisconsin in the 50s? My mom and my grandma both remembered this, and told me again about how it came white like shortening, and you kneaded in the red color tab.

Because Wisconsin is the dairy state, you couldn't buy margarine there. According to Wikipedia, Wisconsin the last state to lift bans on margarine. People would go down to Illinois and buy cases of it and distribute it among family and friends. It was bad if you were caught with contraband margarine. I told them how people find it funny that I grew up in the dairy state but that we always ate margarine. Now we know it is bad for you, and butter is actually better.

It makes me wonder if that is part of why Wisconsinites eat margarine, not just for the 'diet' and the cost, but because once upon a time it was forbidden and a delicacy. Mostly I think it was the cost. My grandma still has margarine in her fridge, not butter. They still only have it at the holidays. I hope they figure out how bad it is for the 'diet'.

At some point after I got off the diet merry-go-round and actually was eating quite healthily, nearly vegan, I stopped eating margarine and started eating butter instead. I think I did so because I was told butter didn't have the same allergic effects as other parts of milk and it was right around that time that alternative health sources were beginning to say how bad margarine is for you. I hadn't yet heard the term hydrogenated oils. I lost about 30 pounds without 'dieting'. Hmmm. It was about that time I broke up with my first husband, who regretted that it was just as I was getting more attractive. Perhaps he'd be glad to know I gained it back and then some when I started eating pizza again. He's not missing out after all. Hah.

Interesting that now New York is pondering a ban of trans fats. What, no margarine allowed, again?

OK, if we go in this direction, at least let's be clear: trans fat is bad for us and gives us the bad cholesterol and makes us fat, but it does not mean that if we're fat, we've got bad cholesterol and are by definition going to die from heart disease. Obesity has not been shown to cause heart disease or diabetes, yet the majority of people seem to think so. Trans fat, on the other hand, can be linked. There's a difference. If I didn't have a job that covered my insurance, insurance wouldn't cover me because of my weight. Will they ask potential customers if they smoke, if they eat margarine, shortening, and processed foods? They'll just ask the weight.

1 comment:

Shazar said...

Yes absolutely.. margarine is toxic rubbish and definitely should be banned - especially teh type that is so-called cholesterol lowering! It contains phytoestrogens.. great for males. Just gives them that extra female hormones they really need!