We don’t bake with margarine anymore. We use butter. It really makes a difference. Sure, it costs three times as much, but which would you rather: eat nastiness for $1 a pound or natural tasty goodness for $3 a pound? If you figure out how many pounds of margarine you use per week (including spread), and then calculate the difference, it’s not that much. In my family I think we use about 2-4 pounds a week (depending on baking, etc). That means over the course of a month we are spending $24-48 on butter instead of $8-$16 on margarine. The average month we are therefore spending $36 instead of $12. That’s $24 a month to be healthier AND enjoy our food more.
Health tip: go to your refrigerator, take all the margarine and throw it away. Replace with butter. It’s better for your and tastes better as well. We used to use Country Crock. Now we have a butter dish that sits on the counter with two sticks of butter in it at room temperature. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated to stay good (it will last at room temperature for several week…but it never lasts that long at my house).
Also, throw out your canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, etc. There are studies indicating that these oils (including margarine) actually cause inflammation, which is what causes atherosclerotic heart disease. It’s not the saturated animal fats, people, it’s the inflammatory process.
Use olive oil or peanut oil instead of vegetable/canola/corn oil. Use non-hydrogenated lard instead of shortening. Your heart will thank you. Oh, and your taste buds.