Death by Crisco


Heart Disease has been the leading cause of death in America for the last 80 years.


The role that sugar plays in heart disease is now well established especially since recently uncovered documents prove that the sugar industry itself hid research that proved that sugar causes huge spikes in triglycerides - a major factor in heart disease. Instead, they intentionally misled the public and blamed it on saturated animals fats like butter and lard.


But, they weren’t alone. The artificial fat industry also did the same thing. And my clinical experience has shown me that people have more misunderstanding about which FATS & OILS are good, and which are bad ...than any other part of their diet.  




In 1911, Procter & Gamble first produced an artificially solid fat from liquid oil, because they were looking for a cheaper way to make soap, which up to then was made from animal tallow. They used high temperatures, chemicals, and metal catalysts to break the double-bonds present in cheap, unsaturated liquid cottonseed oil, artificially jamming hydrogen atoms onto those freed bonds, which converted the liquid oil into a solid, hydrogenated fat. But they couldn’t harden the oil enough to make it a soap, so...


...the product was sold to J. M. Smucker Co. and became the shortening product we know as Crisco (short for Crystallized Cottonseed Oil), the world’s first artificial, hydrogenated, trans-fat food product.

And why not? With its smooth texture, stability that gave it an infinite shelf-life, and it’s lack of flavor, it could be turned into butter/lard substitute that was far cheaper than the lard it replaced. To get people to buy it, it even came with a free cookbook ...with every recipe requiring Crisco! Elaborate, full-page magazine ads claimed Crisco was “pure” “healthy” “more digestible” because it was from ”plants” and that it was, “clean food from a clean factory”...even though not a single study was done to back-up these claims. ...even though it was originally supposed to be SOAP!  So, everybody used it without worry for decades.















Soon after, Crisco’s kissin'-cousin trans-fat margarine appeared, also heavily marketed for decades as “healthier than butter” with no data to back it up. Other hydrogenated products soon flooded the market, and their stability and malleability in processing made them the mainstay of the packaged food industry ...and it changed the human diet forever.



In 1900 before Crisco, heart disease was 11th leading cause of death in the US. By the 1940’s it took over the #1 spot, where it has remained. By the mid-1980’s, Americans were eating 6-10 grams of trans-fats daily, as much as 20% of their fat intake, and heart disease rates were soaring. Yet the clever artificial fats industry famously blamed saturated animal fats for the problem, claiming that they were “high in cholesterol” ...which isn’t remotely accurate or even a problem.


It’s important to understand that trans-fats do not exist in nature. They are the result of heating (cooking ) artificially-created hydrogenated oils. The term “trans-fat” refers to the orientation of hydrogens on the double-bonded fatty-acid chains broken in the process of hydrogenation. Because of this unnatural orientation, oxygen cannot properly breakdown these fats, so in effect, they go rancid in us. These rancid fats are indigestible and extremely inflammatory - the complete opposite of natural, saturated fats that can NEVER become trans-fats.


By the early 90’s it was clear that hydrogenated trans fats were a huge health problem, and something had to be done. But instead of focusing on the fats, Big Pharma seemed more in interested in creating a drug in search of a disease. That’s where Statins (Lipitor/Crestor/Zocor ..etc) came into the picture. Instead of simply changing their diets, millions and millions have been suckered into using this class of poisons. Suffice it to say that the side effects - severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure, memory loss, and death - aren’t worth its meager and controversial effectiveness. Oh, but the profits......




Just in June 2018 trans-fats were finally banned in the US. But it took a 25 year plus convoluted and tortured journey for that to happen ...the industry fought it every step of the way (yeah, it's a yawn-fest):


  • 1993: CSPI first urges FDA to require labeling TF’s (Trans-Fats) based on multiple studies

  • 1994: FDA formally petitions to include nutritional info on TF’s

  • 1999: five years later, FDA formally proposes TF labeling

  • 2002: the first medical board (IOM) takes a stand against TF’s, demanding action

  • 2003: Denmark becomes the 1st country to ban TF’s

  • 2004: FDA finally requires TF labeling 2006

  • 2004: McDonald’s sued for silently returning to TF’s after making a big deal that they rid them

  • 2004: FDA petitions for TF and PHO (Partially-Hydrogenated Oils) disclosure in restaurants

  • 2006: TF labeling becomes mandatory on Nutritional Facts labels

  • 2006: KFC sued for non-labeling PHO use

  • 2007: Crisco reformulates to a ‘safe-level’ PHO

  • 2007: Burger King sued for PHO use

  • 2007: NYC bans all TF/PHO’s in ALL foods sold

  • 2008: California becomes the first state to ban all TF/PHO’s in ALL foods sold

  • 2011: Walmart leads from behind by requiring no TF/PHO foods sold 2015

  • 2012: CDC reports a 58% drop in TF in blood samples from 2000-2009

  • 2013: FDA rescinds GRAS status of TF’s

  • 2015: FDA rescinds GRAS status of PHO’s

  • 2015: FDA says TF’s must be eliminated from the U.S. food supply in 3 three years

  • 2018: June 18, 2018 TF ban goes into effect


So, what will the processed food industry do now? You already know: they had 25 years to reformulate versions of many of the oils on the do-not-use list like canola, soybean and sunflower oils, and tweaked them in the lab just enough to slip under the restrictions. They’re also going to use more palm oil for the texture and “mouthfeel” Americans demand of their crappy, processed foods. And palm oil production is rife with problems, from the widespread razing of rainforests in Asia and Central/South America, to the environmental damage of due to monoculture farming, to the devastation of orangutan habitat and the burning of peat moss bogs, to displacement of indigenous peoples.


So, okay …getting rid of trans fats is certainly a step in the right direction, but it's important to note that the foods that rely on them, regardless of their new substitutes, remain fundamentally unhealthy. These highly processed, heavily packaged, shelf-stable foods, such as baked goods and pastries, deep-fried frozen foods, microwave foods, frozen pizza, margarine, popcorn, crackers, and spreads, yada, yada ….should not be staples in anyone's diet. Remember: read the labels.  And cook more real foods.



THE GOOD GUYS: Organic Grass-Fed Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Beef Tallow, Duck Fat, Lard


THE BAD GUYS: Corn, Canola, Cottonseed, Palm, Safflower, Soybean - all the oils sold as “vegetable” oils when in fact they’re highly processed SEED oils.


Plus all the hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated products like Crisco, Margarine, all those “I Can’t Believe...” blends and anything else greasy made with crap you can’t pronounce = BAD.


                                                                                                        As it says on my wall:


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