Sometimes it makes you wonder!

It was one of those late night conversations that really makes you wonder?

After reading for about an hour the “missus herself” and I turned out the lights and were preparing for sleep when her voice came out of the dark!
“Do you remember a long time ago when toilet paper came in all sorts of pastel shades”
“Yea, sort of.” I replied.
“Well how come now, the only kind you can get is white? Does it have something to do with the fact that the dye causes cancer” she asked.
With no obvious answer, and not wanting to get into a long discussion on cancer of the ass, I tried to change the subject.
“That’s nothing, remember about thirty years ago when margarine had to be that sickly shade of white because the dairy industry didn’t want it confused with butter!” I replied.
“Yea, sort of.” She replied.
“Well they are so far behing the times in Quebec that they still have that awful shade of white margarine and the dairy industry there just defeated another attempt to have margarine colored yellow like butter.” I pronounced.
“Well that doesn’t make any sense to me!” My wife said. “I don’t know why butter is yellow to begin with since the milk it is made from is white!”
Now this I really didn’t have an answer for and rather than see where the conversation was going next, I pretended I had fallen asleep!

12 thoughts on “Sometimes it makes you wonder!

  1. Butter is yellow because of the beta-carotene in the grass eaten by the cows. Plus it doesn’t hurt that some producers add yellow coloring to make it consistent.

    Margarine is the invention of French chemist named Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès who patented the process in France in 1869 and then got a U.S. patent in 1873. The U.S. Dairy Company bought the American patent in 1874 and introduced margarine to Americans that same year. Margarine was made by extracting pure oil resembling butterfat (the primary component in butter) from beef fat and mixing it with milk which is why it’s white. Margarine producers didn’t take long to realize that they could increase sales by adding yellow color to their product making it look more like traditional butter. Later it was discovered that a number of different oils can be used in the process some of which will give margarine a naturally yellow color.

    Margarine has always been cheaper than butter and it became very popular cutting into the butter market considerably and leading to what amounted to an all out war by the dairy industry to destroy margarine makers by disinformation and legislation which lasted over 80 years. One of the laws passed during that time was the Federal Margarine Act of 1886 which was revised repeatedly throughout the years. At one point the law was changed so that a stiff tax was levied against any margarine that was artificially colored yellow and when the industry found a way to make the color naturally yellow the law was updated again to tax all yellow colored margarines. Finally Congress voted to repeal said taxes in 1949 and 1950 and the various states that had passed anti-margarine laws—some of which mandated that margarine be dyed pink or black—started to repeal those laws with Wisconsin (the Dairy State) being the last to do so in the year I was born, 1967. But in Canada, as mentioned by Moses, Quebec still outlaws yellow margarine. In fact a legal decision on March 18th has upheld the law.

    You can read more detail on the margarine war at the Foundation for Economic Education webpage.

    Now in regards to colored toilet paper the answer has nothing to do with ass cancer. According to the Philadelphia Weekly the answer is as follows:

    Q: We used to be able to buy different colors of toilet paper (pink, yellow, beige, blue) at any supermarket. Lately, all I can find is white. Has nonwhite toilet paper been outlawed?

    A: After a few shamelessly amusing phone calls, it would seem there’s just one brand of toilet paper left for those who like to match it to their bathroom’s decor. It’s not Charmin. It’s not any of the Georgia-Pacific brands—Angel Soft, Quilted Northern and Soft ‘n Gentle—though this company did throw a curveball. A look at Angel Soft’s website shows that while that brand isn’t available in colors, Soft ‘n Gentle comes in white, pink or blue. A Georgia-Pacific consumer rep says both Soft ‘n Gentle and Quilted Northern were once offered in colors, but that now the only option is white. Sheila, a consumer rep for Kimberly-Clark Corp. who declined to give her last name, has fielded a number of calls from those on the hunt for the ever more elusive colored tissue. Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper, merged with the Scott Company in 1995. Scott has been making a pastel toilet paper since 1956. Yes. The company’s website lists the availability of colored toilet paper in single rolls and four-packs in either pink, blue or beige. Kimberly-Clark doesn’t sell its products direct to the consumer, but Sheila has a suggestion. “We always recommend customers ask the store to order it for them. We can ask the store, but it’s better to hear it from consumers since they’re the ones buying it off the shelves.” Asked why white toilet paper has taken over lately, Sheila explains, “Consumers are into using white. It’s consumer preference, and the stores order what sells.” But, she adds, there’s another reason for favoring white paper: health nuts. Some time back there was concern that the dyes used in toilet paper were harmful, and colored tissue just didn’t recover from the hype. It’s since been reported that the dye, as well as the chemicals in scented toilet paper, can cause allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin, but it’s otherwise harmless and just as safe for sewers and septic tanks. So if you really want colored toilet paper, go ahead and call your local supermarket. The manufacturers can always make more.

  2. I just want to make sure no one misses the humor in the fact that moses posted this fine piece of deep thinking at exactly 4:20.

    That is all. smile

  3. We get our butter fresh from the creamery in the next town and it has NEVER been yellow.  It’s usually off-white, but never yellow like the supermarket stuff.

  4. For a minute there, I thought I had happened upon a site needing an edu. in the line. 
    Educated, yes, I have been today.
    When I was a little girl and the milkman delivered stuff from the dairy, the little egg of yellow dye was packed in with the margarine.  Then mom would allow it all to soften together, then beat it with the mixer on high.  Whipped margarine.  Cleaning the mixer bowl was a pain, she had to let it soak with detergent, and rinse 3 or 4 times.
    There are certain of my recipes which only work with margarine.  Butter leaves the dough too flat.  I leave the butter for layering on the muffin after the baking.  Yum-Yum.

  5. Greetings everybody. This is more or less going to be off topic, but I just wanted to say i’m now officially a member. I had to instant message the S.E.B. himself in order to get registered. I want to thank him again and introduce myself. My name is James and i’m originally from Cadillac, Michigan. I’ve been in the Navy for the past 12 years, currently stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.
        Slightly on topic is the fact that cheese sales decline if the producers don’t add the orange food coloring. It seems folks just don’t find white dairy products appetizing.
        I’m looking forward to being able to participate finally instead of just reading from the sidelines. I’ll try to be a productive member of the society. Everybody take care in the meantime.

  6. Brandi, Moses submitted the article yesterday and I update the time and date to the point when I approved it so it’s more coincidence than anything else. grin

  7. Call me stupid. (O.K. YOU’RE STUPID!)but what has 4:20 got to do with the price of tea in china. (now here we go on a china thing!)

  8. I have no idea why I’m commenting on the color of butter … guess I just owe Moses.  I asked God and he says that the color of milk is tinged with the beta carotene mentioned in a previous comment but it’s pretty diluted.  When the cream is taken, it contains a higher concentration of the yellow.

    But I think the common thread in the conversation has to do with shades of pastel … tp, butter, etc.  It’s really indicative of simple boredom.  What’s required is toilet paper that contains images of your favorite persons to hate.  That’d make it much more enjoyable to use and interesting to discuss late at night.

    b.t.w., Les, if you’re reading this, how’s about some SEB toilet paper with images of …, well, you can take it from there.

  9. I just returned from a trip from the UK and I bought back colored & patterned toilet paper. No-one over there thinks that the dye will transpose or that the dye will cause cancer!  Surley “white” is a dye!

  10. I found a web site which sells colored toilet paper.
    It is
    I have been ordering consistently from them for the past 2 years –  I don’t think there are any other companies selling these colors( purple, green, etc) – and we are all using it with no problem. Actually my daughter’s allergist, – she has very sensitive skin – said she could use it because it doesn’t stay in contact with the skin for long enough to cause any allergic reactions.
    It seems that in Europe colored t.p. is very popular(as common as white). Environmental policies over there tend to be better than ours so I’m not too concerned about the environmental impact of using it regularly.

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