Margarine Myths

Margarine myths have been circulating for a few years now. We understand that could leave you feeling a bit confused about what is fact and what is fiction. So now it's only fair that we help set the record straight about margarine.

Is margarine one molecule away from plastic?

Margarine? One molecule away from plastic? Nope. If you have wondered that before, you were unfortuantely getting the wrong information. Thankfully, Dom and Daisy are about to put that right, with a little light chemistry lesson.

Is margarine one molecule away from plastic?

Hello, we hope you enjoy our show 'Teaching Miss Daisy'. It was created to tell viewers the true story of margarine.

From busting the many myths surrounding margarine, to explaining what really goes in margarine, and how it's been lovingly crafted to become a healthier spread for us all. And what better co-host could Dom wish for than Daisy, a beautiful butter-producing dairy cow.

In this episode we look at the myth that margarine is one molecule away from plastic. Ridiculous once you see how Dom and Daisy explain it.

There isn't plastic in margarine. Nor is it the same as plastic itself. Nor does it have a complicated chemical composition.

Everything is made of molecules: including you, margarine, Daisy, Dom and plastic. Margarine shares a much closer molecular composition with butter than it does plastic.

Now that's out the way, let's start at the beginning. Margarine was created in 1869 by Napoleon III and Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès. Napoleon needed a tasty alternative to butter to feed his troops and the people of France. He started a competition to find such a spread and it was Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès' recipe that became margarine. It's this simple recipe that still exists today. Margarine can be made out of just five ingredients: oil, water, egg-yolk, salt and lemon juice. It's the use of oil that makes it lower in saturated fat than butter of the sort Daisy produces. Margarine contains no sugar and in any high quality margarine you'll also find Vitamin A and Vitamin D, 2 slices of bread lightly spread with some good margarine provides up to 15% of your recommended daily intake.

Hopefully we've opened your mind to some of the health benefits of margarine. If so, great. But now let's push you a little bit further. Ready?

Okay, how about this: margarine is the baker's best mate. Any baker whose used it will confirm this. By all means find and ask one if you don't believe us. They'll tell you that margarine can be used straight from the fridge for creaming, rubbing, and icing and that it makes the fluffiest sponges around. There are hundreds of baking recipes made to perfection (and healthier) with margarine. Don't forget World Baking Day (www.worldbakingday.com) where you'll find great recipes and to help celebrate the cake!

So once you've done baking, let's move on to cooking. Actually probably the wrong way round - but go with it.

You must know what cooking with oil is like. If not, let's paint a picture: you aren't sure when its hot enough, so you put your hand over it, or you wait until it is spitting. If you go too early with putting your food into the pan, well, it absorbs too much of oil - not great for that 30-day aged sirloin steak. Go in too late, however, and you'll need protective gear to endure the hot spittle headed your way. With liquid margarine, it's a completely different story. Liquid margarine changes from opaque to translucent when it reaches the right temperature and when it gets there, it refrains from that disgusting spitting habit. Happy days for you, your steak, and anything else you'd like to fry.

There are a multitude of ways you can use your margarine in the kitchen - not just great for frying but also roasting, sautéing, and grilling. All have the added benefits from health a perspective, for example Omega 3 & 6 which helps to maintain cholesterol levels.

So, just a brief whistle stop tour of margarine’s story. But please, don't just take our word for it, hear it straight from Daisy the cow's mouth.