History of CRISCO
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The story of CRISCO begins innocently enough in
pre-Civil War America when candle maker
William Proctor and his brother-in-law, soap-
maker James Gamble, joined forces to compete
with fourteen other soap and candle makers in
Cincinnati, Ohio. P&G entered the shortening
business out of necessity. In the 1890s, the meat
packing monopoly controlled the price of lard and
tallow needed to make candles and soap. P&G
took steps to gain control of the cottonseed oil
business from farm to factory. By 1905, they
owned eight cottonseed mills in Mississippi. In
1907, with the help of German chemist E. C.
Kayser, P&G developed the science of
hydrogenation. By adding hydrogen atoms to the
fatty acid chain, this revolutionary industrial
process transformed liquid cottonseed oil into a
solid that resembled lard.

The Story of CRISCO is recognized as a classic
in the subtle art of persuasion. Its language and
contextual variety are “representative of the pre-
WWI social milieu and reflect the urbanization,
domestication, commercialization, education (or
lack thereof) and simple sophistication of the
times. CRISCO is presented as healthier, more
digestible, cleaner, more economical, more
enlightened and more modern than lard. Women
who use CRISCO are portrayed as good wives
and mothers, their houses are free of strong
cooking odors and their children grow up with
good characters (because, according to the
tortured logic of P&G’s advertising department,
CRISCO is easier to digest).   

We also didn't know that the partially
hydrogenated oils in CRISCO—the trans fatty
acids—were bad for us. In fairness to P&G, they
didn’t know this either, not at first. But when
reports of problems began to appear—problems
like increased heart disease, increased cancer,
growth problems, learning disorders and
infertility—P&G worked behind the scenes to
cover them up. One scientist who worked for
P&G, Dr. Fred Mattson, can be credited with
presenting the US government’s inconclusive
Lipid Research Clinics Trials to the public as
proof that animal fats caused heart disease. He
was also one of the baleful influences that
persuaded the American Heart Association to
preach the phony gospel of the Lipid Hypothesis.
The truth about the dangers of trans fatty acids in
foods like CRISCO is finally emerging. Perhaps
that is why P&G decided to put their flagship
product up for sale.

Besides all the possible health risks of
hydrogenation, I believe there is another
compelling reason to avoid CRISCO. Just before
harvest, cottonseed plants are sprayed with
strong defoliating chemicals to make the leaves
fall off so that it is easier and cleaner to pick. Do
your own research. Type the words “cotton +
defoliation” into a web browser and see what you
come up with. You will be as amazed as I was.
Unfortunately, without the benefits of a lab, it
would be hard to know how much harmful residue
CRISCO actually contains.

Read more at: http://www.motherlindas.
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