I saw an intriguing picture on Facebook this week. It was of a plate with butter, margarine and reduced fat margarine on it. It was covered with ants, all of whom were happily devouring the butter and staying well away from those evil margarine products.
The lesson? Well, ants are far smarter when it comes to nutrition than we are and we should follow their leads, I suppose!
It made me wonder, though…
- Would we get the same results here?
- What if we gave the ants healthy butter substitutes, like Earth Balance (all natural) margarine and all natural coconut oil?
- What if I put sugar in the middle? Would they skip the buttery stuff completely and just take off with that?
So we made up a buffet of options for our little creepy crawly friends. I labeled them all (butter, butter flavored Crisco, Blue Bonnet Lite, Earth Balance, coconut oil and sugar) and we found a nice shady spot with lots of bugs nearby to leave it.
Our cats had decided it was an experiment meant for them!
The results were interesting, too.
The cats ate half of the butter flavored Crisco (it seemed to have been chewed and spat back out!), every speck of the Earth Balance, all of the Blue Bonnet Lite, and they merely licked the butter. The sugar and coconut oil were completely ignored.
This leads to all sorts of new questions, we think, such as:
- Why didn’t the dingbat cats prefer the real butter?
- Where can we put the plate where no wildlife other than ants and bugs will find it, and what will they choose?
- What would the dog prefer?
- Do we really want to base our nutritional advice on the culinary tastes of various small creatures?
In any case, we have way more butter experiments to do now. And I think some graphs will be in order…