This is a story about when a big industry stops competing, and starts trying to pass laws to protect itself instead.
Whatever you think you know of margarine, put that aside. When the spread was first invented in the mid-1800s, it was made very differently — and solved very real problems for the nutrient-starved people of the time. That sent the dairy industry into a full-blown panic, leading to margarine’s demonization (and then taxation and strange discoloration). In this episode, we explore how the dairy industry got politicians all riled up, what it says about industries’ ability to halt innovation, and why it took more than a century for butter and margarine to finally square off in the most fair fight of them all: a true food fight.