J. C. Duff, S. B., the chief chemist of the National Provisioner Labo-
ratory, official chemist of the New York Produce Exchange, after a
long series of careful tests with butter and butterine reached the
The nutritive value of both butter and butterine consists almost entirely of fats.
The quantities of fats are the same in both; the fats of butterine contain nothing
that the fats of butter do not contain, hence there can be no difference in the food
values of them, except that the thermal or heat-producing properties of the butter-
ine fats are superior to those of butter, and consequently more valuable to the
human system as a food.
The digestibility of the respective fats are alike. Repeated experiments have
shown this to be true. Numberless analyses of bntterine have shown it to be abso-
lutely free from ;my and all deleterious substances.
The melting points of all samples of butteriue which I have examined have, with
no single exception, been as high as the temperature of the human stomach, thus
showing its free capability of thorough assimilation and of free digestion.
I desire to digress here to say that this chemist has experimented
with samples from original packages which the laboratory had
received or had taken by its own agents from the commercial stocks
in every Government-inspected butterine factory in the United States,
with the exception of the factory in Washington The National Dairy
Company, I believe it is called and with the exception of the Clover-
dale Factory, at Camden, N. J.
Mr. Duff continues:
I unhesitatingly pronounce butterine, as manufactured to-day in Government
inspeited factories, to be equal in every respect healthfulness, assimilability,
purity, digestibility, and hygienic value to creamery butter.
Butter itself has about 8 per cent of volatile acids. This constitutes the differ-
ence between the two substances. It is flavor. When these volatile acids are
imparted to butterine the difference between the two products both physically and
The heat-producing value of different fats is as follows:
or unit s.
Fat of sheep 9,406
Fat of swine 9,880
Fat of oxen 9,357
Butter fat 9,192
THE BIRTH OF BUTTERINE.
Mege-Mouries, a French chemist of note, in response to the wish of
Napoleon III for a cheaper butter for the sailors and the poor, devised
and patented the process for making oleomargarine. This cheaper
nutritious butter was thus discovered and first made in 1869. It lias
been made and eaten ever since then. Americans and Europeans
simply perfected the modern product and processes for cleaning and
purifying its ingredients to a greater degree.
The French colored oleomargarine, too, before the American dairy-
men found that this coloring evened up his rich and his poor butter to
one selling standard. Then, finding the deception a good one, the
dairyman desires the sole right, after stealing the hue of Napoleon's
poor-man butter, to use coloring in butter.
Good butter fat. according to Dr. H. W. Wiley, chief of the division
of chemistry of the United States Department of Agriculture, contains :
Palmitin ; f 53 ' 00
Total , 90.70
Now, beef fat consists mainly of stearin, palmitin, and olein, just
like butter does.
Cotton-seed oil contains 25 to 30 per cent of stearin, some palmitin,
and much olein.
The essential difference between these fats and butter fat is butyric
flavor. But this flavor has no food value whatever. A bacteria or
microscopic plant is now planted and developed in cream to enhance this
butyric flavor or smell in butter. In doing so not a particle of nutri-
tive value is added to the finished product.
These innumerable bacteria plants are called cultures' butter cultures.
The dairymen of Europe, Denmark especially, plant these bacteria in
cream and develop them there to raise the smell. Jtfow, if the butter -
ine maker begins to plant these cream stinks, which have no food value,
in his product he will probably be jailed for fraudulent imitation of an
artificial component of butter on the plea that butter used them first.
A PAINTED VIRGIN.
The fact of the matter is that butter is a painted virgin of ill repute.
Butter is far from being a faultlessly clean and harmless product of
irreproachable ancestry and character. Cold water will draw off but-
ter's fugitive volatile oil and heat will cause it to escape. Then the
two products of butter and butterine are physical and chemical equals,
barring the matter of disease germs, which more often than not infest
butter to the injury of the human species.
Our dairies will not, as a rule, pasteurize or sterilize their cream,
because it kills that sacred flavor. Without being so treated cream is
a lurking evil. It is positively dangerous in its original raw and tuber-
culous state, coming, as it does, from uninspected cows that graze any-
where, drink any sort of water, sleep in tilth and foul influences, and
exist in unsanitary surroundings and uncouth barns.
As to the problematical healthfuluess of butter, an answer might
well be drawn from the condition of the milk which yields the creain
from which it is made.
Ask the medical profession the practicing physicians of this coun-
try if they will recommend the use of cow's milk in hospitals and among
children and weak people without its being first sterilized or pasteur-
ized. Yet the dairies do not so treat the milk or the cream from
which is made the butter about which we hear so much virtuous talk.
Physicians will not prescribe raw milk in their practice. Mind you, the
creain of such milk is not more healthful than the original substances
from which it was extracted. Call more witnesses. Ask the dairy
inspectors, dairy commissioners, and the boards of health of the vari-
ous cities and States of this country about impure milk. The answer
is always the same. Call even some more testimony. Ask the veteri-
nary surgeons what have they found as to the invasion of the udder
and to what extent this invasion is a fact in the dairy herd. The same
lurid answer as to deadly germs and disease is given. Ask the agri-
cultural experiment stations of this country, when they have examined
milk and the cattle that give it, to what extent are the milch cows
infected with dangers to our system. Ask the question not only in our
own land, but in all other countries. The answer, as I have heard it,
is simply appalling. Yet the butter people stand up before Congress
with their invalided product, produced from the milk of uninspected
cows, and ask that the product made from sterilized cream and the
purified oils of Government-inspected stock be driven from the market
for the unclean thing which we eat, and whose assassination of us we
excuse simply because it smells nice.
Some years ago I had the honor, in part, of representing a govern-
ment whose health officers made an extensive inspection of the dairy
herds of a famous butter and cheese district. As a result of this
inspection this competent officer found that more than half of the cows
then in service were infected with tuberculosis in one stage or another
of that dread disease. No government in the world exercises greater
precautions than did that one against cattle disease or paid greater
attention to the condition of its dairy herds. I refer to an Australian
government. Our own milch cows have not shown a better character
tli an the above.
Mr. ALLEN. Do I understand you to use " oleomargarine " and
"butterine" as synonymous?
Mr. HOBBS. Yes, sir; they are the same. It is simply a variety of
So well established is this fact of the existence of the disease in milk
and in the cows which furnish it in Europe that the pasteurizing of
cream intended for human consumption, whether in butter or other-
wise, is insisted upon and, in most quarters, enforced.
I feel that most well informed men must admit the above as facts.
If so, then, logically, butter needs more getting after and legislating
against than does oleomargarine. That sort of legislation is needed in
the interest of the public health. Butterine is harmless. There is not
an unhealthy thing in oleomargarine, while butter from unpasteurized
milk is a hygienic problem, infested with tubercules and other fatal
THE BUTTER TRUST.
Does Congress desire to form and weld together a butter trust t
What are the market conditions? Creameries now get higher prices
for commercial butter than ever before in the history of the industry;
this, too, in the face of the fact that methods are cheaper to work out,
machinery is cheaper, milk is no dearer butter however is dearer.
The milk farmer gets about $1.10 per 100 pounds of 5 per cent cream
milk. About 15 cents worth of milk makes 1 pound of butter, for
which the grocers have paid as high as 30 cents per pound wholesale
this year. It is lower now. The grocer sold it for 32 cents per pound,
paying rent, hire, and other trade burdens to do so. The creamery
folks made 15 cents per pound, and the grocer only got 2 cents per
pound even after a lot of the water, for which he paid 30 cents per
pound also, had evaporated after the butter reached his store. No
wonder the butter factory doesn't wish to let the grocer sell butterine!
This retailer is what is vulgarly called a u cinch " for him. Will Con-
gress step in on top of all this, put the requested 10 cents per pound
additional tax on butterine, wipe the product from the market, and
thus cement the structure of the butter combine? The good sense of
Congress is not yet ready, I feel, to mark up prices to the consumer, to
mark up still higher the steep profit of the butter factory and in doing
so imperil millions upon millions in legitimate fields affected by oleo-
margarine and the manufacture of it.
A FORTY PER CENT FRAUD.
A butter legislator has been pleased to talk about circulating counter-
feit money. How about poor winter butter as a counterfeit and a fraud
upon the consumer in the guise of rich summer butter and at the price of
it The winter butter of any cow is 30 to 40 per cent poorer in butter fats
than is the product from her rich summer cream. Butter color is used
instead of grass to cover up the difference in rich quality. By this sim-
ple dyeing process the low grade, whitish, winter- waxy stuff is made to
look like the superior summer substance and to sell for the same price.
Cold storage is utilized to distribute the product evenly in the produce
market. So this 40 per cent counterfeit is painted up and shoved out
into the current of trade as the Simon pure virgin article. It is a fraud.
It is poorer than even "blind tiger" butterine, and no better than much
of the Western "real butter," which conies East from the dairies stuffed
with commou hog lard not leaf lard even in its untreated state.
UNDER COLOR COVER.
Housewives know that oleomargarine is colored. They do not know
that butter is artificially colored. On the contrary, they believe that
real rich creamery butter is sold in its natural color and that the com-
plexion of it as seen in the tub is that given to it by the cream of the
cow. I ascertained the truth of this for myself in New York City. I
interviewed more than 300 housewives in that city on their reasons for
purchasing butter of such and such color. All but 8 of them purchased
butter of certain colors because they thought that hue was given the
substance by the natural richness of the cream; these generally pur-
chased butter of lighter color because they feared that the others were
artificially colored, Thus, in no instance, did a grocery shopper buy a
butter which she thought was artificially colored. Yet all of these
butters were artificial in color. Was the woman in each case deceived?
Butteriue is the same quality, whether colored or not. that is not true
of butter when a 60 per cent tallowy white stuff goes masquerading
under the color of a 100 per cent pure article selling at the same price.
If the light buff summer product its natural color were placed along
side of the white winter wax on the same counter the housewife would
severely let the poor white stuff alone. Yet some people ask Congress
to tax a pure and a wholesome product that the dairies might get
higher prices for their deceptions.
The few noisy dairymen, and others that are not really dairymen,
who go to form what is swung in under the high-sounding name of
" The National Dairy Union," are a curious lot. They come together as
a combine in convention and protest as a crowd ; they go home and pro-
test again as separate concerns; then they stand out by themselves and
protest as businesses; finally, they write individual protests to Con-
gressmen. If you add them up, it is a big noise, but it is all done by
the same 3,000 who claim to represent the 50,000 dairymen in this coun-
try. The absence of the other 47,000 looks bad for the cause of these
agitators. It may have been noticed in all of this noise that the public
have not yet asked to be protected against oleomargarine. The chem-
ists refuse to condemn it, and the grocers desire to sell it.
You can not make oleomargarine very inferior. The low-grade ingre-
dients will not mix. Paraffin is unnecessary in it. It would be foolish
to use this substance when stearin, the natural component of butter
and butterine, is much cheaper than paraffin.
I will close with a statement of Chief Chemist Duff:
The constituents of which butterine is made are each manufactured with the pur-
pose of obtaining pure an.d cleanly products. As the animal products are obtained
from Government-inspected cattle and hogs, there is, first, no question as to the
healthfulness of the lard, and oleo oil or neutral lard suitable for this purpose can
be made successfully without scrupulous cleanliness in the entire course of its man-
The cleanliness and healthfulness of cotton-seed oil is beyond question.
Mr. Duff ought to know, as he is considered one of the most compe-
tent arid best informed oil and lard experts in this country, having
given years of labor and work to those products in the great packing
houses of this country.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I have a short statement of the working of a
butteriue factory. If the committee has time I will read it.
The CHAIRMAN. We have quite a number of gentlemen to be heard
this morning, and I would suggest that you leave it with the committee
to be included with your statement.
Mr. HOBBS. Very well, then. I will just file it.
(The additional statement of Mr. Hobbs referred to will be found at
the end of his statement.)
1 will simply state that the oleomargarine is made up I have gotten
this from all the factories in this country that the oleomargarine is
made up of 15 to 20 per cent of cotton seed oil, 25 to 35 per cent of
neutral lard the neutral lard is made from the leaf fat of the hog, the
richest and cleanest fat in the animal 20 to 35 per cent of oleo oil,
which is made of the caul fat of fine beeves, and from 20 to 35 per cent
Mr. ALLEN. Will you explain what is meant by the "caul" fat?
Mr. HOBBS. The fat around the caul or intestines. Then, last, is 20
to 35 per cent of butter oil, which is made from cotton seed of a certain
grade at a certain season of the year, and it can not be made from any
other kind. It is the prime oil, and I will state, also, that this extra
prime oleo oil is about nine grades above common tallow.
Mr. BAILEY. You make the statement that butter is higher this year.
Is it higher this year than for some time?
Mr. HOBBS. This season it has brought a uniform price of 30 cents,
and it has never been
Mr. BAILEY. Are you familiar with the prices for the last two years?
Mr. HOBBS. I went over a scale compiled by the Produce Exchange
giving the prices for a number of years past.
Mr. BAILEY. Can you furnish the committee that?
Mr. HOBBS. I can get it in New York.
Mr. BAILEY. I wish you would submit a statement, with data on that
subject, showing the prices of butter in the open market.
Mr. HOBBS. I will do so. This is the general price we are speaking
of, because butterine sells for 15 cents a pound to 18 cents a pound in
other places. But I am speaking of New York, Boston, Washington,
(The statement of prices referred to will be found at the conclusion of
the present statement of Mr. Hobbs.)
Mr. ALLEN. What has been your observation of the manner in which
retail dealers conduct the sale of the oleomargarine product?
Mr. HOBBS. I went into, I suppose, forty places in New York that
are selling or are supposed to sell butterine. I wanted to get some
myself. I will say to you, gentlemen, that after analyzing butterine so
thoroughly in our laboratory, I use it on my table. I pay my grocer
20 cents a pound for it. The man does not know what my business is.
He simply knows me as one of his customers.
Mr. ALLEN. Have you seen any disposition on the part of any of
these retail dealers to conceal the stamp placed on the wrappers?
Mr. HOBBS. I will answer that by telling you of a discovery that I have
made in New York of what is known as a "blind tiger." The produce
dealer, I will not give the name of either; it is a professional secret.
The New York Department of Agriculture of New York City may hunt
it up. It is a factory where butter ine was made out of crude products,
where butter was reworked, and other ingredients put into it, and
where the produce dealer had some duplicate tubs. I gave that state-
ment to Senator Mason's committee. But that is a piece of villainy for
which oleomargarine is not responsible, any more than butter me is
responsible for the renovated butter, or the lard that is dumped
Mr. ALLEN. Now, as to the retail merchants?
Mr. HOBBS. That was a retail merchant. I have found no disposi-
tion on the part of the retailers to do that. There are very few in New
York that sell it, but in New Jersey I went over there, and there may
be more there. There is very little disposition to deceive the public.
There seems to be more of a disposition to educate the public into the
idea of the value and qualities of butterine as a just as good product,
and to sell it as such. I made the discovery of this fraudulent fellow
by finding him selling Elgin creamery butter at 21 cents a pound, when
I knew that it cost 27 cents, and I tracked him. I made him give me,
under the promise of secrecy, the name of his produce dealer. The
retailer, I believe now, was perfectly innocent.
Mr. ALLEN. Do you know anything about what has been said with
regard to the Elgin butter people? Do you know whether they are
making any objection to the selling of oleomargarine, or making any
particular fight against it ?
Mr. HOBBS. We only examined butterine to see how it is sold. The
produce papers would have more interest in the produce of the Elgin,
Mr. ALLEN. Do I understand you that there is no complaint from
the consumers of butterine?
Mr. HOBBS. I find none where we have made investigation.
Mr. ALLEN. To what extent have you made that investigation?
Mr. HOBBS. I told you that I interviewed three hundred women in
New York City. I suppose they are about the same as anywhere else,
as most people are made up mostly of human nature and dirt.
Mr. ALLEN. Have you any interest in oleomargarine?
Mr. HOBBS. No, sir ; not a dollar I must qualify that, too. I believe
1 have inherited an old plantation in South Carolina, which I pay out
money for every year. It has cost me ten thousand dollars, and I
haven't gotten anything out of it. It was all run down by the war.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about this renovated butter
Mr. HOBBS. Do you mean the prices, or the business itself?
The CHAIRMAN. Prices first, and the business secondly. I wish you
would give us a short statement about it.
Mr. HOBBS. I will hand you in a statement which I have written,
and which appears in my paper. The butter is melted and the acids
are freed, and it is worked over and packed, and it lasts about five
days and then goes bad.
The CHAIRMAN. I have introduced a bill for making the provisions
of the oleomargarine legislation apply to renovated butter. There is
some complaint on the part of the dairies about making that legislation
apply to it, and about its being a good thing.
Mr. HOBBS. I will send you down a statement giving laboratory
analyses of renovated butter.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, we would be glad to have it Just send it to
Mr. HOBBS. Very well.
THE WORKING OP A BUTTERINE FACTORY.
After a thorough personal inspection of the Government-licensed and
Government-inspected butterine factories, some of these inspections
made in company with our chief food chemist and expert, and all of
them made without any knowledge of the oleomargarine people that I
was coming, I find the following a summary of them all.
Of course, the formulas change, but only as to proportions of the same
ingredients, and the temperatures vary a few degrees, according to the
experience of the particular factory making the variation. There is no
material difference. I quote from my memoranda:
The oleomargarine is made up of a mixture of
Cotton-seed oil 15 to 25
Neutral lard 20 to 35
Oleooil . 20 to 35
Butter 20 to 35
This formula changes in the same factory slightly with the varying
temperatures of the seasons.
THE ORIGIN OF THE INGREDIENTS.
The healthfuluess of the ingredients which go into butterine and the
product itself is better understood when it is known whence and how
these parts of the product come.
Neutral lard is a swine oil made from the leaf fat of Government-
inspected animals. It is the richest, cleanest, and finest fat of the hog.
Being a hog product, it might from religious scruples be objected to
by the orthodox Jew, just as he would from scruples of conscience object
to the whole hog and all his connections.
Oleo oil is made from the caul fat of prime hand fed Government-
inspected beeves. It is the best oil which comes from the bovine
Butter oil, or that grade of cotton seed oil which is so known because
of its extra prime quality, is made from a certain grade of cotton seed,
gathered and selected at a certain stage of the cotton crop. They must
be well matured or butter oil will not result. It is the finest and dear-
est of the grades of cotton oil. The butterine maker might desire to
use a cheaper oil, but no other quality can be used. To attempt it
would be to ruin his product. The above grades of the above ingre-
dients must be employed; no otlier \vill mix perfectly. These ingredi-
ents are perfectly healthful and very nutritious. Neutral lard has
neither taste nor smell. The same may be said of butter and oleo oils;
such is virtually true.
Butter, of course, comes from dairy cream. It is the other ingredient,
and is pasteurized because not from Government inspected stock, and
to kill the germs, which are well known to generally exist in milk from
The neutral lard is melted at about 160 F.; the oleo oil 160; the
cream is sterilized at about 170.
Most factories buy their neutral lard ready for mixing. When it is
not so bought it is made as follows:
1. The fresh leaf fat is hashed ; that is, cut up for cooking the oil out.
2. The pieces go into a rendering kettle, where the oil is cooked out
at a temperature of about 170. This temperature destroys all germs,
if any remain in a Government inspected hog.
3. The oil is then drawn off through fine hair-mesh sieves into receiv-
ing tanks, where it is cooled down to about 110 F. for churning.
4. From the tanks this neutral is taken in its proportion to the but-
terine churn, where it becomes one of the ingredients of the oleomarga-
Most factories buy their oleo oil ready for mixing in the churn. Where
this is not done, the oil is made as follows:
1 . The caul fat of prime hand-fed beef purchased. No other grade of
fat will do for this extra prime oleo oil.
2. The fat is then hasKed for cooking. The oil is cooked out at a
temperature of about 170 F.
3. The oil is next drawn off through a thin, 'hair-mesh wire screen
into tanks, where it is cooled down to a lower temperature.
4. Thence it goes into a room which is kept above 90 F., where it
remains about twenty-four hours.