29 January 2008

Pass the Oleo Ma!

I was looking at a copy of Harper's Magazine this morning from December 1943 and ran across an interesting article entitled: " The Oleomargarine Rebellion." In it, the author, Wesley McCune talks a bit about Oleomargarine, it's history as well as the resistance to it from seemingly all sides. During World War II, oleomargarine was very plentiful and fortified with vitamins.

HUH? What's oleomargarine?

Simple, it's margarine...the stuff you put on your toast every morning. Developed by the French, margarine, especially in this country, has long been the center of controversy. Made with vegetable oils, stabilizers and other non-food components, its only recently assumed a market dominance over butter.

Margarine used to be sold with two components: Margarine and a small package or pill of food coloring. Before use, the food coloring was mixed into the margarine, thereby rendering a nice buttery color. During World War II, there was a constant battle between the dairy associations and the companies that made margarine. Check below for some very interesting history.

Have a good day!

Today's Links:

Harper's Article (Dec. 1943)

(looks like it's restricted to subscribers only)

Wikipedia Entry for Margarine

Margarine.org (history)

Web Exhibits on Margarine


Anonymous said...

Wasn't oleo in the news not too long ago? The stuff that gives you a major case of the trots? It was being used in the manufacture of low fat or fat-free (my Teflon memory again) potato chips.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "don't drink the water".

Tony Bandy said...

I think you may be on to something..It seems they are adding nano type stuff as well...maybe we're all one big experiment???

Thanks for the note!