Friday, June 29, 2007

Québécois (e) Believe it's Not Butter

This is a couple of years old but until Natalie Sztern who is a regular commentator over at told me about it, I was as clueless as a monk in a brothel :)

Canada's two-margarine policy is just fine with the Supreme Court of Canada. On March 17, 2005, Canada's highest court ruled that Quebec regulations forcing margarine producers to make their margarine colourless [white] are reasonable.

Unless Quebec changes its rules in the future, the province will remain the only jurisdiction in North America to regulate the colour of margarine.

The intention of the law is, I am sure, to protect the butter industry. And frankly, I wish we had the same law here. But I do pity the poor folks from the provinces who travel to Quebec to find that if they want yellow they have to eat butter. What a let down that must be.

CBC News Indepth: Food


blondee47 said...

oui nous aimons notre jaune de beurre et nos femmes avec des cheveux de blonde

CarolinaGirl said...

The reality of what margarine is totally slapping the comsumer in the face. I think less Americans would eat margarine if they had a no taint law in effect.

Sorry Bob, I've been wanting to ues that word since I saw it recently in another context LOL :)

The Foodist said...

I remember as a kid Margarine coming in white sticks and butter in yellow. I remember asking my grandmother the difference once her response was something like

"Ones for cooking, the others for baking"

Bob del Grosso said...

Je trop ami! (a la BabelFish, I don't know French well)

rob said...

Bob, I think you might mean "Moi, aussi," but I could be wrong.

As for the margarine debate, it's really indicative of the overwhelming influence of Quebec's dairy farmers and distributors on government policy. Let's also be clear, this is not David vs. Goliath, this is corporate dairy vs. corporate... margarine.

If we take the logic behind the colouring, or lack thereof, to its logical extreme, why not force non-organic butter producers to tint their product some colour to indicate its lack of "purity."

Sorcha said...

A friend of mine has a theory that kids who grow up with butter need braces less often than kids who grow up with margarine. No idea how true that is. *G*

Wasn't there a time when margarine was sold with a separate coloring agent and you had to squish it up in the margarine to turn it yellow?

gary allen said...

Yes, Sorcha... Margarine used to come with separate dye in the US. The practice began in 1877, with each state having its own rules. The last one to give up the practice (no surprise here!) was Wisconsin, in 1967.

CareShare Network said...

Well, the province was created to regulate and so it does.

Charlotte said...

I remember as a kid in Wisconsin that there was a similar law. (Of course, no one in Wisconisn would eat something as vile as margarine.)I don't know if it's still true, but up until I was in college, Wisconsin restaurants were forbidden by law to serve margarine (and we did our civic duty -- we ate butter and drank lots of beer for the full 4 years).