Why Butter Rocks, Margarine is Gross and This is a Great Book

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Don’t read this book if you want to keep margarine in your diet. For real.

If you are not a fan of real butter and prefer the fake stuff (um…what’s wrong with you?), don’t read this passage:

Hydrogenation: This is the process that turns polyunsaturates, normally liquid at room temperature, into fats that are solid at room temperature – margarine and shortening. To produce them,manufacturers begin with the cheapest oils - soy, corn, cottonseed or canola, already rancid from the extraction process – and mix them with tiny metal particles – usually nickel oxide. The oil with its nickel catalyst is then subjected to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture to give it a better consistency; the oil is yet again subjected to high temperatures when it is steam-cleaned. This removes its unpleasant odor. Margarine’s natural color, an unappetizing grey, is removed by bleach. Dyes and strong flavors must then be added to make it resemble butter. Finally, the mixture is compessed and packaged in blocks or tubs and sold as a health food.


Instead of eliminating them, your body incorporates trans fats [like what is found in margarine] into the cell membranes as though they were cis fats – your cells actually become partially hydrogenated!

– Nourishing Traditions

If you do want to learn a bit more about nutrition and why the standard American Diet is responsible for pretty much everything bad in this world today (okay…I kid a bit. But honestly? And sadly? Just a bit…) than you MUST read this book.

Throw out what you know about saturated fat as a villain and get ready to embrace the butter and (most definitely) the coconut oil!


Some of the suggestions in this book might not be feasible for all due to budget or location constraints.

In fact, I’m really frustrated by the lack of a good CSA here in Houston right now! (Houston. One of the largest cities in the US and if there’s a CSA nearby it’s been hidden deep underground and relies on marketing by word of mouth via secret society apparently).

Thankfully there’s Vitacost and Amazon and a lot of our local grocery stores are now offering more organic and whole food options.

Is it enough though?

In addition, articles like this and this lead me to believe unless we grow it, butcher it, and scratch make it ourselves…we’ll never know for sure if what we’re consuming is as pristine as we would hope it would be.

***As a brief aside: I recently purchased some coconut oil and this stuff is GOLD! I’ve used it on my hair, my face (as a moisturizer, I am still loving the oil cleansing method!) in food, etc. I don’t have as many cravings, I get fuller faster and I just feel better. Awesome stuff.

I bought mine from Vitacost.

We’re working on it

I’ve been overhauling our diet for some time now. Honestly we’re taking baby steps towards a more whole foods/organic lifestyle (that yes, includes plenty of saturated fats).

Why? Because it feels right.

Why not make the switch cold turkey? Because even though it feels like the right thing to do, it’s also:

  • Expensive
  • Relatively drastic
  • Tough with little kids
  • I like donuts (luckily, I like butter more)

And…you care because…?

All this to say, I’m going to try and work on finding more fun recipes for my family that fit the approach found in this book tempered with the reality that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Meaning…don’t be surprised if one day you see a recipe for organic salad dressing followed the next week by an ooey gooey pan of brownies.

It’s all a work in progress ;)


*FYI…this is not a book review. I bought the book myself and just felt compelled to share. However, those ARE affiliate links. ;)



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