Tuesday, March 23, 2010

margarine

Yesterday a fellow posted the following to one of my friend's accounts on Facebook where the subject was margarine:
I was watching a television program that was talking about modified fats and proteins, etc.. They had mentioned that margarine is one molecule away from plastic. If you were to put margarine in the shade outside, and check it in two days, the chances are that you probably wouldn't even find a microbe on it. They said that margarine has... absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever.

My retort was:
I think John is teasing us. The "similar to plastic" and "no nutritional value" mentions are taken verbatim from one of those popular Emails that get forwarded around. Everyone knows that margarine is typically made from a combination of vegetable oils and animal fat. Just like butter, it's about 80% fat and 20% water. In some ways butter is better for your health and in some ways margarine is. Especially if you go for the types with healthier polyunsaturated fatty acids and no trans fat.

Actually I didn't think he was teasing us. Anyone that uses television in an appeal to authority is really stretching that form of logical fallacy. At least use a book or reference website, not an unnamed television show. At least the guy had the brains to not mention he'd read it on an anonymous forwarded Email.

There's a lot more to the butter versus margarine situation but I think most people decide either on taste or health issues. I actually like the taste of margarine better on bread or toast but when it comes to cooking, butter is the only one to use for me. The health side is a lot more complicated---but I don't worry about it. I don't eat enough of either to make a huge difference. (or so I tell myself)

Another woman posted some drivel about butter being better because plants are our friends. I guess she doesn't know enough about the survival strategies of plants. And I hope that she doesn't tell her kids to eat anything they see outside as long as it has roots in the ground. Plants are our friends. Jeeze.

6 comments:

Malibu Stacy said...

What does butter have to do with plants? Is she confused about where butter comes from? Sure, it starts with plants, but the last time I checked, you have to squeeze them through a cow first.

utenzi said...

Confusion over the process is quite possible, Malibu. After I gave my plants are chemical factories reply she retorted that she had a college degree and went off in a snit. I figure it was a college of cosmetology.

Kim said...

You are so cruel, Utenzi. A college of cosmetology gives you quite a broad education. You can learn about hair AND nails.

kenju said...

Too funny! I have a degree in snits!

srp said...

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind is lurking the implanted idea that there is a difference between stick margarine and the tub soft versions. Something that they use to make the stick solid and firm is worse for you than the tub version. Now I will have to go digging in my stuff to find this again. I would much rather go to the botanical garden.

Teresa said...

I'm totally baffled... something must be missing. Plants are our friend is a response to animal rights activists and the idea that plants are as liable to become endangered and should be treated just as well as animals. Therefore, things made from plant products are a result of murder, whereas an animal by-product that doesn't cause the animal's death is preferable.

But all of that is silly. I don't think either butter or margarine is a base for nutrition... it's more of a which will cause you more damage, not which will benefit you. The more natural a state things are in the better for you is a good rule. It's usually the processing that causes the "unhealthiness".

But what the heck is the topic again? Microbes -- present is bad or present is good? Huh?