Monday, November 06, 2006

A Historical Day for Margarine

According to the Detroit Free-Press:

On Nov. 7, 1950, Michiganders marched to the polls and voted for the right to -- buy colored margarine.

What?
The spread we call margarine was invented as a substitute for butter. In fact, some states had laws that required oleo, as it was sometimes known, to be colored pink so that consumers would not be confused. In some places, shoppers had to pay an extra tax to get yellow margarine. There was even yellow margarine smuggling! Michigan was one of seven states where the manufacture and sale of yellow margarine was a crime.

Older Michiganders remember buying margarine in bags that contained a capsule of food coloring. They broke open the food coloring and mixed it with the margarine to make it look edible.

The last state to legalize yellow oleomargarine was the dairy state of Wisconsin.

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