Friday, March 14, 2008

Crystallized cottonseed oil

Bad: Cottonseed oil.

It's in a lot of processed foods. It was never considered fit for human consumption. Then in the 19th century some cotton magnates with a lot of extra cotton seeds on their hands figured out how to bleach out and otherwise refine away the horrible stench and flavor. Presto, they had a way to make money out of the garbage they were otherwise throwing away!

They packaged the result as imitation lard. For marketing purposes, they claimed it was even better than the real thing. (Why wouldn't they?) The most famous brand name, from a contraction (almost) of CRYStallized Cottonseed Oil: Crisco.

I don't care if the label does say "Zero grams trans fat per serving" (an ominous qualifier if ever there was one). The stuff is not for eating.

For more information, Google "crisco cottonseed lard," and visit:

The Rise and Fall of Crisco
Going Back to Lard for Old Time Pies, by Elizabeth Dougherty, in The Boston Globe


1 comment:

  1. Vesna! The Boston Globe article you linked to! You just found me a source of local lard! (Actually, I live down the street from the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts. It's literally a ten-minute walk from my house. Barre is half a state away, which in the northeast isn't far.)

    Thank you thank you thank you!