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Agricultural Board recently because the latter declined to join in the movement to abolish the manufacture and sale of bogus butter, and because at a recent fat-stock show the butterine men were permitted to exhibit their product. The Agricultural Board took the ground that the manufacture of butterine is a legal business, and declared that they could not discrimi. nate between two occupations, both being legitimate. It was in vain that the dairymen protested that the sales of the bogus butter were made in fraud and that their interests were being ruined by dishonest means and not by honest competition; the board still persisted in holding to its views. It seems that the agitation of the bogus butter question has had a good effect upon this body, for at a recent meeting they adopted the following reso. lutions.
“ Whereas, The State Board of Agriculture is in sympathy with every effort to secure pure and wholesome food for the human family: and,
“Whereas, There seems to be at present no adequate protection against unwholesome and deleterious adulterations of dairy products afforded by law; therefore, be it
“ Resolved, That we respectfully request Congress to enact a law placing all dairy products and all imitations of or substitutes for the same under the control of a competent government inspector, to the end that such articles shall be branded and sold under their proper names and on their own merits.
“ Resolved, That we respectfully direct the attention of Congress to the unwholesome adulteration of other food products, and pray for proper legislation for the adequate protec. tion of the people from the same."
THE DECLINE IN THE PRICE OF BUTTER. The following from The New York Star of January 28, 1886, is a lucid presentation of the methods pursued by oleomargarine manufacturers in their desperate efforts to force their vile compounds into universal use:
Of the many arguments used by the advocates of oleomargarine, batterine, and other fraudu. lent butter, one of the most potent has been that the introduction of the bogus in competition with the genuine article has advanced the market price of the latter within the past five years. While it is true that the finest grades of creamery butter, such as the Elgin and the Darlington, sell at higher figures to-day than at any time within the period named, the product of the ordinary dairy farmer has not maintained its standing in the market. It is true, too, that there have been many improvements in the making of butter in the past few years that have enhanced the value of the higher grades, but to claim that the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine has increased the price of butter is absurd, since every pound of the bogus article sold and consumed must take the place of a pound of the genuine. Hence the dairyman has been defrauded out of his legitimate market, while the consumer has saved little or nothing by the purchase of the counterfeit, for bogus butters are sold at about the same prices as natural dairy butter, and he has eaten a substance that is neither pure nor wholesome.
· The Elgin creameries, which are located near Chicago, practically fix the prices for batter throughout the country. The ruling power in the butter market is the Elgin Board of Trade. The prices it quotes prevail wherever butter is sold, and hence its influence is not to be underestimated. The following letter, which appeared in a recent issue of the Elgin Courier, is from Mr. L. M. Potter, a well-known creamery man, correctly sets forth the situation and shows that, while the Elgin creameries fix the price for butter, the butterine men, backed by tremendous capital, practically control them. Mr. Potter says:
“ During the late discussion before the State Board of Agriculture at Springfield on the butterine question, one of the advocates of the interest made the assertion that the manufac. ture of oleomargarine and butterine enhanced the value of Elgin creamery butter, and was therefore an advantage to the dairyman. While, as is well known, they do use a portion of our best creamery butter in their manufacture, yet, when, as they claim, they do not use to exceed 40 per cent of the same in manufacturing an article which they also claim to be nearly equal to our best brands, all of which goes into consumption in competition with or as a substitute for our genuine goods, their arguments, to use the words of President Landrigan, are simply non-debatable. We also admit that they do at.certain times and on special occasions advance prices on the Elgin Board of Trade ; but as these advantages are only temporary, they tend to demoralize our market, and are invariably followed by a reaction. We claim them to be injurious instead of beneficial.
“In support of this, please allow us to cite you the effect at Elgin during the last few weeks : Nov. 24 the board price was 27 cents ; Dec. 1, 30 cents ; Dec. 8, 32 cents, with a good healthy legitimate demand from the dealers in New York, New Orleans, St. Louis, and other cities who buy our goods regularly for their trade. Dec. 15 there were orders from the above dealers for all offerings at or about 35 cents. At this date one of the most prominent butterine firms of Chicago, through their agents at Elgin, offered and bought every pound they could get at 40 cents. This was fully 4 cents over and above the prices of any other market, and they doubtless could have bought every ounce of butter not positively contracted at 36 cents. The 22d the same parties took it again at 40 cents. In the meantime telegrams and letters were being received by our factory men and local dealers as follows: ‘Extreme high prices check demand. Ship half regular order.' •If prices exceed-cents ship onlytubs. Too high for our market.' 'Owing to the uncertainty of your board prices omit our three weeks' shipments.'
“December 29 the butterine men withdrew, and the demand being almost entirely cut off, as above, it was at once evident there must be a decline; but our local dealers, hoping to prevent a general break, purchased a few small lots, and established the price at 38 cents, al. though it proved a losing speculation to them. January 4 butterine men not buying and stocks accumulating, the market became lifeless, and fell back to 32/2 cents, therefore not only causing us to lose an apparent benefit we had derived, but also a stagnation from which it will take weeks to recover, if at all. Neither is this the worst feature of these purchases. Dealers in large cities, not knowing the cause of these large and unreasonable fluctuations, accuse us of making fictitious prices, and threaten to withdraw their orders entirely from this market, and some have already done so. As the Elgin Board of Trade prices govern largely during the winter months those of all the leading markets, we claim the objects of the butterine men were: First, to advance the price of our finest creamery butter so as to practically place it above most of the consumers ; second, to increase the demand for their product, and enable them to obtain better prices for the same.”
In Colorado there is a law regulating the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine, and State Dairy Commissioner Feldwisch is enforcing it vigorously. The penalty for a violation of the law, which is not unlike that in this State, is a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500, and imprisonment for not more than one year, both at the discretion of the court. He has recently brought about the trial of several dealers, and the question of the constitutionality of the law will probably come before the highest court of the State within a short time. Dr. Headden, the State chemist, has been following the method lately adopted by Dr. Taylor, the microscopist of the Department of Agriculture at Washington, and recently exhibited the results of his tests to the State Grange. His researches show that beef fat, hog fat, and but. ter fat crystallize in different forms. When placed under the microscope the crystallization of each fat gave views so uniform and distinct that there was no difficulty in deciding on the kind of fat. The molecules of butter fat clearly showed the characteristic St. Andrew's cross, on what looked as near as anything like a half blown rose in miniature, while those derived from beef fat had a uniform flaky appearance, somewhat resembling crystals of snow, and those derived from lard were more like stars with irregular and sharply defined spangles. The tests made seem to be so certain that it would be hard to overturn them, even in this State, which abounds in scientists of high and low degree. If the cases ever come to trial on the
merits of the subject and the proof is contested, they will furnish matter of great interest to the scientific societies.”.
Speaking of the present cheapness of oleomargarine, Assistant Dairy Commissioner Van Valkenburgh said: “I am informed that within the past ten days 200 tubs of the stuff have been sold by one large manufacturer in this market at eight cents a pound. Inasmuch as the tubs stand him in about one cent a pound, and good lard costs seven cents a pound, it is evident either that he did not use a high-priced lard in making his oil, or contented himself with a very small profit.
“A favorite argument used by the advocates of butter substitutes is that they have materially increased the price of the higher grades of dairy and creamery butter, and the impression sought to be conveyed is that consequently the traffic in these counterfeits has been a benefit, rather than an injury, to the dairy interest. That this is untrue is conclusively proved by the following figures, which were obtained from the statistician of the National Butter, Cheese, and Egg Association, and are made up from the annual reports at the conventions of that body.
“For the year ending November 30, 1882, the sales of Eastern butter, made in this city at an average of 29/2 cents a pound, aggregated 44,214,900 pounds, the amount received being $13,043,617.05; the sales of Western butter, which averaged 28 cents a pound for that year, aggregated 35,648,860, and brought $9,981,617. This made the grand total of sales for 1882 79,864,840 pounds, and the grand total receipts $23,025,234.05.
"In 1883 there were sold 44,804,060 pounds of Eastern, at an average of 26 cents a pound, and 46,743,850 pounds of Western butter, at 24 cents a pound, the receipts for the former aggregating $11,649,055.60, and those for the latter $10,978,524. This made the total sales. for the year 90,547,910 pounds, and the total receipts in money $22,627,579.60.
“In 1884, 38,263,620 pounds of Eastern butter, at 2472 cents a pound, brought $9,374,635.90, and 49,853,350 pounds of Western butter, at 22 cents a pound, $10,967,737, making the total, sales 88,117,170, and the total receipts for the year $20,342,392.90.
“In 1885 Eastern butter averaged 22 cents a pound, and Western butter 20 cents a pound, and 39,480,350 pounds of the former and 54,086,500 pounds of the latter were sold. This shows a total of sales of 93,566,850 pounds, and a total of receipts of $19,502,977 for the
“By a careful comparison of these figures it can be easily seen that the price has been steadily falling, Eastern butter declining from 29 72 cents a pound in 1882 to 22 cents in 1885. Thus, while the butter dealers in 1885 handled 13,702,000 more pounds of the product than they did in 1882, they received in money $3,522,388.05 less. It should be remembered that these statistics represent the trade of New York City alone, which is probably not more than one-tenth of the trade of the United States. By comparing the receipts of 1882, when the total sales aggregated 79,864,840 pounds, with those of 1883, when 90,547,910 pounds were sold, there will be found a difference of $1,397,715.45. In other words, the dealers handled 10,683,070 more pounds of butter in 1883 than they did in 1882, and received for it $1,397,715.45 less. In the succeeding year there was a further decline, and the total receipts fell off from $22,627,579.60 to $20,342,372.90—the amount handled in 1884 being 2,430,740 pounds less than that handled in 1883."
"Is there any reason to doubt that these results have been brought about by the unholy traffic in oleomargarine, butterine, and other bogus butters?'' said a leading butter merchant. “ If you will inquire among reputable retail dealers, you will find that nine out of ten of the consumers who visit their stores to purchase butter ask especially as to its genuineness. You. will also find that many dealers have lost a certain proportion of their customers through the distrust that arises in the public mind as to the wholesomeness and genuineness of the article offered for sale. I was told the other day that the butter trade of certain well known and long established grocers, who are known to value their reputation too highly to risk it by dealing in counterfeits of any kind, had nearly doubled since the agitation of the oleomargarine ques
tion began, and I have no reason to doubt that it is true. The imitations are so cleverly dis. guised, and come to the markets in tubs and firkins so exactly modeled after those used by legitimate dairymen, that housekeepers are careful to deal only with establishments that are above suspicion.
“I have seen an abstract of the Dairy Commissioner's report, in which he says that scientific experiments have proved conclusively that oleomargarine is indigestible, and much less soluble than natural butter. If this be true, it seems to me that future legislation on the subject can have but one object-its entire prohibition. I do not think that any court has yet decided upon the question as to whether oleomargarine is wholesome or not, and I hope that this issue will be speedily raised. If the Legislature or Congress takes any action looking to a thorough scientific test, I would suggest that care be taken, in procuring samples for the test, that goods already on the market for sale should be selected. The manufacturers are shrewd and wily, and would not hesitate, if the opportunity offered, to furnish specimens of their product that would consist very largely of genuine butter. When the stuff first made its appearance, there is good reason to believe that samples were sent to chemists for analysis that had been especially prepared for their benefit. Let the new tests be made on the product as actually sold.”
PATENTS AND METHODS OF MANUFACTURE. It is the claim of the manufacturers of sham butter that the product they foist upon a too corriding public contains no ingredients calculated to injure the public health. That this claim is unfounded may be plainly seen by reference to the appended list of patents for oleo. margarine processes, which were first brought to the attention of the public by Commissioner of Agriculture Colman. By a careful perusal of these it will be seen that in nearly all of these patents the ingredients are animal fat, lactic acid, peanut oil, almond oil, olive oil, soda, pepsin, cottonseed oil, slippery elm bark, saltpetre, borax, coloring matters of various kinds, salicylic acid, benzoic acid, caustic soda, butyric ether, glycerine, annoto, orris root, sunflower oil, and other equally inviting articles. No one of the processes contains all the articles I have enumerated, of course; but I, for one, would not knowingly take the risk of eating any one of them on my bread. If there is no other ground upon which restrictive legislation could be based—such is the damage done to one of our most important national industries, and to our national reputation abroad-the preservation of the public health from the injurious effects of such articles as I have enumerated should be of itself quite sufficient.
Here are some of the patents that have been granted within the past ten years, as shown by a paper read by Commissioner Colman before the National Butter, Cheese, and Egg Asso. ciation in Chicago recently :
In 1875 a patent was granted to Garrett Codine, of New York, for a method of making artificial butter from sour milk, animal fat, lactic acid, peanut oil, almond oil, and olive oil ; also to John P. Kinney, from animal fat, soda ash, and salt.
Patent to Hippolyto Mege, 1878. Fats of all animals reduced by novel methods; oleomargarine mixed with milk, combined with bi-carbonate of soda and pepsin from prepared cows' udders, coloring matter added and churned.
Patent to G. H. Webster, Chicago, Ill., 1882. Lard, battermilk, tallow, and pepsin, mixed with half its weight of pure butter, then worked with the hands until attainirg the consistency of butter.
Patent to S. F. Cochrane, Massachusetts, 1882. Compoand to be used in place of butter and lard for cooking purposes; “ gall and kidney beef suets,” lard, cottonseed oil, and ground slippery elm bark.
Patent to Alfred Springer, Cincinnati, O., for artificial butter, 1877. Method of treating animal fats by mixing with salt, saltpetre, borax, boracic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoic
Patent to Oscar H. Combe, Washington, D. C., 1882. Substitute for batter called butteroid. Cottonseed oil reduced by caustic soda emulsified with corn starch, previously cooked and seasoned with salt, colored and flavored with butyric ether.
Patent to Oscar H. Combe, Washington, D. C., for substitute for lard called oleoard. This process is similar to the other, being a mixture of cottonseed oil with cooked farinaceous flour.
Patent to Hugo Barthold, New York City, 1882, for artificial butter. Composed of oleo oil and milk churned, sugar, glycerine and annoto added, also benne oil.
Patent to George S. Marshall, Everett, Mass., 1882, for a “coin pound for culinary use." Composed of stearine, vegetable or cottonseed oil, and orris root. .
Patent to Nathan I. Nathan, New York, 1882, for artificial butter. Made of leaf lard, treated with a solution of nitric acid and borax, afterwards washed with cold water. The product is then mixed with oleomargarine, heated to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Milk and sugar are then added, and the mass churned. It is then refrigerated, solidified, salted, and prepared in rolls or blocks for market.
Patent to Otto Boyson, Buffalo, N. Y., 1881, for substitute for butter. Combination of oleo oil, bi-carbonate of soda, and butyric acid; uses no milk.
Patent to W. H. Burnet, Chicago, Ill., 1882, relates to improvements in artificial products resembling and intended to take the place of butter. Ingredients—hogs' lard, beef suet, cream, butter and glycerine, salt and coloring matter, glycerine being employed to give and retain sweetness to the product, and at the same time giving greater coherence to the body with which it is incorporated, and preventing adhesion to the knife, etc,
Patent to William Cooley, Waterbury, Vt., 1882, for artificial cream. This process is to mix oleo oil, olive or other vegetable oils, with skim milk, one part of the former to three of the latter, heating them separately to about 150 degrees Farhenheit, blending them when heated. This enables each globule of the oil to become coated with the caseine in the milk, hence, when treated with rennet, adapted for making cheese. When this artificial cream is used for making butter it is allowed to stand a day or two to become acid before churning.
Patent to H. Laferty, New York city, 1882, for artificial butter. Milk is treated with sal. soda, then mixed with oleo oil, coloring matter added, churned, salted, etc.
Patent to John Hobbs, Boston, Mass., 1882, for artificial butter. His method is to make an emulsion of cottonseed oil, benne oil or mustard oil, and combine with oleomargarine and milk.
Patent to H. R. Wright, Albany, N. Y., 1882, for artificial butter, styled creamine. A combination of oleo oil, lard oil, butter oil and cream, mixed with oil of seasame, benne oil or oil of sunflower seed, or cottonseed oil, colored with annoto, with the addition of sugar and salt.
These processes and others that do not appear in this list are in use in factories all over this country, and the compounds they produce are surreptitiously placed before the public by conscienceless dealers, who crave sudden riches at the expense of honor, honesty, and the health of their fellow beings. If this nefarious traffic is not checked by the strong hand of the law the result will be ruin to the dairy interest.
From the discussions of chemists, experts, and others for from the mauufacturers of these compounds little satisfactory information can be gained a prominent dairyman of Iowa, one of the leading Western butter States, has found that five grades of butterine (the modern name for Mege's product) are made. The first grade, or finest quality, contains 40 per cent. of fine creamery butter, 50 per cent. deodorized lard, and the other 10 per cent is made up of stearine or tallow oil, with colorings and chemicals to give a fine butter taste and aroma to the compound. The next grade to this contains about 30 per cent. fine butter, and the third grade contains 20 per cent. fine butter. The fourth grade contains about 40 per cent. of ordinary dairy butter, and the remainder lard and stearine, chemicals, and coloring. The fifth grade contains about 25 per cent. of dairy butter, the remainder being lard, etc. The cost of the in