There is a good deal of excitement at present in regard to the alleged adulteration of butter. It is said that the adulteration of natural butter by various intermixes of lard oil, tallow oil, and other foreign ingredients, has been practiced to such an extent that in some States the spurious product has found its way into almost every town and city, and is nearly equal in quantity to the entire production of natural butter. It is said also that these fraudulent imitations cannot ordinarily be distinguished from natural butter by the purchaser, and even may baffle the scrutiny of experts. To test the extent of the traffic, thirty samples were purchased at random in the markets of two large cities, all being sold as pure butter. A chemical analysis showed that twenty out of the number were oleomargarine, most of them with hardly a trace of pure butter in them. We are inclined to think that the moral sense of the community averages as high now as at any previous time in the world’s history, but the progress of science aids the rascal and the honest man alike. The same advance in chemical knowledge that furnishes us with our beautiful aniline colors, by utilizing an almost worthless product, equally enables the cheat to palm off his oleomargarine as the purest of dairy butter.
[Maine Farmer's Almanac]
It was surprising to me to learn that artificial butter was around in 1885. Turns out it was actually invented by a French chemist is 1870. You can read some oleomargarine history at This Link
In Chapter one of my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian, I write about "The Breakfast of Agrarians" and, after noting that there are now egg substitutes, I make the statement:
It is remarkable, really, the myriad ways the industrial providers can morph natural food into something unnatural or—worse yet—a synthesized copy. This fare of the industrial providers is food foolishness. These people, these companies, these forces, exalt their fake products, boldly proclaiming that their creations are better than the unadulterated bounty created and provided by the sovereign God of all creation. What gall!
That pretty much sums up my opinion of oleo, which America now consumes bazillions of tons of every year—but you won't find it in my house.
Most farm wives in the late 1800s and early 1900s churned butter and sold it to the the local grocer. My great, great grandmother Josephine Jordan, up in northern Maine did this. She also sold eggs to the grocer. It was a steady source of income.
You certainly don't see that sort of thing done today. There are hardly any small farms and farm wives left, and the small-town grocers are gone too. Besides that, I suspect that making and selling butter from your own cow is a criminal activity. Woe to anyone who dares to do something like that. A well-armed swat team would probably swarm into the home and shut down the operation. What was once good is now bad. We've come a long way....
|This simple farm wife from the past, churning butter on the stoop of her home, and probably selling it to the local grocer, would be considered a criminal if she did that sort of thing these days.|
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