Butter or Margarine

This post may contain affiliate links.

Nowadays food is confusing, so let me help you quiet the noise and decide what’s best.

Let’s take a look at butter versus margarine.

We’ll run them through a few common sense challenges to see which makes more sense.

Challenge 1: Keep It Simple Sally – KISS

How is butter made?

God made cows and cows produce milk.

To make butter you milk the cow and shake the milk until it turns into butter.

Sounds simple enough.

How is margarine made?

Margarine is made by a process called hydrogenation.

What is Hydrogenation? It’s complicated, so rather than explain it I’ll send you here – (how margarine is made).

Did you read it? It’s not simple, and it’s not natural – at all.

Recap: God made butter and it’s natural. Chemists make margarine and it’s anything but natural.

KISS challenge winner? BUTTER!

Challenge 2: What Does Nature Teach

Since God created the world, I like to turn to His creation when I’m stumped.

So let’s ask the ants!

Dear ants, would you prefer margarine, low-fat margarine, or butter?

Butter or Margarine

Recap: God’s creatures show us the clear choice.

Nature challenge winner? BUTTER!

Overall Winner


Now you can buy and eat butter with confidence, just make sure it’s from pasture-raised (aka grass-fed) cows – and get it raw if possible.

Why pasture-raised? We’ll save this for another article, but just picture cows spread out in a sunny pasture eating grass. Now picture cows crammed together in a feed lot eating ground up corn plants and standing in six inches of manure. Which cow would you rather get your meat and dairy products from? (See, common sense is powerful!)

You may be able to find a local source for pasture-raised butter here, or by visiting LocalHarvest.org.

Check out this article about butter (a superfood?!) that we love!

Farmers and Common Sense

You know your doctor, you know your dentist, but do you know your farmer?

No? Why the heck not? Visit LocalHarvest.org again and go find some in your area.

Whenever conflicting information flip-flops on which food is better, run the food through these simple challenges and just use a little of that good ole common sense God blessed us with to come up with a confident decision you can feel good about.


About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.


  1. Martine says

    I didn’t find this article particularly informative. Just because you claim that god make cows, that doesn’t make butter automatically good, it’s akin to wishful thinking. Neither does the fact that ants prefer butter over margarine mean much to me. You have failed to give a real reason for why margarine is bad and resorted instead to anecdotal evidence. Not good enough I’m afraid.
    I don’t buy margarine, by the way, but would have been interested in knowing why it is actually bad for you.

  2. Trudy says

    The main reason I still buy margarine is cost. A 500g block of butter is up to 3x the cost of marg in NZ, and I can’t justify the cost as we use so much. I have often thought I should make my own butter, after all we dairy farm for a living, but from what I’ve read online it seemed complicated and time consuming especially to get the amount we need.

    Anyone make their own butter, how easy is it, and how much time does it take?

    • Matt Jabs says

      This comment reminds me of the documentary, “The High Cost of Low Prices.” Making butter – especially if you own a dairy farm – is a must!

    • L says

      It is easy to make butter and doesn’t take very long. We got a gallon butter churn used for a great price. We can get 1 lb. of butter done in 20-25 min. One relative of mine has a barrel style with a crank in the side. It holds 3 gal. of cream. She says it takes 5 min.

      I say if you have a dairy…switch! If you can legally sell it, that sounds like a great extra item to sell others at that price.

  3. Jeanice Garfield says

    We live in Vermont and this is the way we have lived for many years or at least have a choice of local, natural foods. And we do know our farmers…we buy meat from them for our consumption and for our dogs…who eat raw>…. we are lucky here.

    • Matt Jabs says

      That’s awesome Jeanice, we just picked up our eggs for the week from a farm down the street raising her birds right. It’s ver cool to have good local resources.

  4. anne says

    Hi, I’d love to have permission to use that pic of ants devouring butter and shunning margarine for a presentation I’m doing on gluten-free diets… Is it your pic? If so, may I have permission? If not, whose is it?

  5. Joy says

    Hi and thanks for the great information for our health! Does anyone else know of or have this ‘gizmo’ that makes microwaveable chips in about 5 minutes? It looks like a ring dish with slots for slices of fresh potato slices. You slice the potato thinly (doesn’t have to be paper thin), then put into the slots, and then cook in microwave for 5 minutes and they’re ready. BUT, I don’t have the instructions. I can’t find them. I can’t remember if you can coat in oil and spices first, then cook. I know you can cook them, and they are crispy and then you can put various spices on them. You end up with about 50 chips. I also THINK you could do what Matt does in soaking for 20 minutes with some salt..and drying them, but again, not sure. Does anyone know about this? Otherwise, I can experiment, hope for the best…which can be quite exciting!

  6. Jessie - Rabid Little Hippy says

    Butter tastes better. Period! That’s what influenced my decision and all the rest came after. I’ve been reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon who blows open the myth of saturated fats being bad for us. Butter and other saturated fats are actually amazingly good for us so aside from all the overprocessed unnatural, flavourless and the rest of the stuff, butter is actually good for you! Win win and WIN!

  7. Jennie says

    For argument’s sake I will agree that “God made cows.” That being said cow’s milk was intended for their babies, not humans. So I kindly disagree that eating another animals milk is a better alternative to eating margarine. Please let the cows feed their babies their milk just as I fed my baby my milk.