I am pretty passionate about butter. I love it. And now, after being given a butter crock by my in-laws for my birthday, I really love it. I mean, really, I know a lot of people prefer to use a "butter spread" because you can take it right out of the refrigerator and spread it on toast, no hassle. BUT, with a butter crock, you can have fresh butter sitting on your counter and it's soft and spreadable just like margarine, without the horrible additives.
Here's a quick note on the process of hydrogenation. It is an excerpt from the book Nourishing Traditions, which is a text I highly recommend to anyone looking to adopt a whole food lifestyle.
"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 compressed and packaged in blocks or tubs and sold as a health food." Nourishing Traditions, page 14
You'll find hydrogenated fats in the majority of processed food products and it is truly something to be wary of. But, that is another post for another day. If you get yourself a butter crock, you can say goodbye to your margarine forever and relish in the deliciousness that butter holds! And, it will be easily spreadable :) Can you tell I am delighted to own a butter crock?? I couldn't have asked for a cooler gift!
*You can get butter crocks starting around $8 - not a bad price to pay for your health!