Yet another odd law to contend with, although this one has been around for a very long time. Would you believe that yellow margarine is illegal in Missouri? That’s right, one of the world’s most popular spreads, yellow margarine, is illegal in Missouri! But why?
Why is yellow margarine illegal in Missouri?
It’s not margarine that’s been banned, but margarine that’s made to look like butter. You know the stuff. I can’t believe it’s not butter. Well the reason for the banning is really two-part. The first reason for this ban is to support the large dairy industry in the state. Obviously a state that has such a huge investment in dairy would need to protect its most valuable industry. The second part, although of far less concern to the state legislators was in part to prevent the consumer from being deceived by a look-a-like product.
The bill banning yellow margarine was passed into law in 1895, and the new law made it illegal to sell or use yellow margarine. But thankfully for the consumers who enjoy the easy spreading of margarine compared to butter, other types of margarine were still perfectly legal to sell, and use. But it wasn’t to last. The law was repealed in 1967 after a State Senator, and butter enthusiast, couldn’t tell the difference between the two.
Although the law forbidding the sale or use of yellow margarine was repealed in 1967, it remains illegal to use yellow margarine in diners. So all diners must use either an alternative margarine, or simply use the only legal option, butter.
Just in case you’re wondering what the punishment is if you break the law. You better take a seat, and if you’re in Missouri reading this check your bread. If you break this law you can be sent to prison for three months, but relax. This punishment has never been enforced.
In case you’re wondering. The law which makes yellow margarine illegal in Missouri requires that all schools and government institutions use butter instead of the alternative.