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.

Margarine was invented to fatten turkeys

Somehow, from somewhere, a myth was created that margarine was invented to fatten turkeys. Or kill turkeys. Or both. We've searched high and low to find out where this could have possibly come from but found nothing. What we do know is the actual story of how the first margarine recipe was dreamed up and why.

Margarine was invented to fatten turkeys

Hello, we hope you enjoy our show 'Teaching Miss Daisy'. The film was made to tell viewers the real story of margarine.

We will bust the myths surrounding margarine, explain what's in the recipe and the way it was first crafted in a kitchen way back when to make a healthier spread for everyone.

Dom’s co-host is a big dairy cow called Daisy. This episode examines the myth that margarine was invented to fatten turkeys. Luckily, the real story is very different indeed. And no turkeys were killed, fattened or indeed eaten.

Let’s start at the beginning of the story of margarine. Margarine was created in 1869 by Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès and Napoleon III. Napoleon wanted a delicious alternative to butter to help feed his army and the French people.

He started a competition for people to invent such a spread and it was Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès' recipe that became margarine. It's this simple recipe that still exists today.

Margarine is made from five ingredients: oil, water, egg-yolk, salt and lemon juice. Using oil means that it is lower in saturated fats compared to butter, which is packed full of them.

Apart from lower amounts of saturated fats compared to butter margarine doesn’t contain any sugar. Even better, some margarine also includes Vitamin A and Vitamin D. Therefore, 2 slices of toast lightly spread with some good margarine provides up to 15% of your recommended daily intake of vitamins.

So we have covered off some of the health benefits of margarine, but now let's take things a little further.

How about this: margarine is wonderful for baking. Any baker who has used it will tell you the same.

Margarine can be used straight from the fridge for rubbing, creaming and icing those delicious cakes. And many will tell you it makes the lightest fluffiest cakes around.

You can make hundreds of cakes with margarine and on the World Baking Day website ( you can find tasty recipes of all kinds.

Now, how about cooking? Margarine provides an excellent alternative to oil. We all know the pitfalls of cooking with oil – you don’t know when it is hot enough until it starts to spit! If you go too early with putting your food into the pan, it absorbs too much of oil not great for that 30-day aged rib-eye steak. If you put your steak in too late you will need protective gear to endure the hot spittle headed your way.

However, with liquid margarine, it is a completely different story. Liquid margarine becomes translucent when it reaches the correct temperature. It also doesn’t spit when it gets hot enough. Great news for you!

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 a health perspective, for example Omega 3 & 6 which helps to maintain cholesterol levels.

Now this has been just a quick tour of margarine’s story. Please, don't just take our word for it, hear it straight from Daisy the cow's mouth.