So do you use Wesson oils? Â I know my family did for years. Â In fact, I remember the days when Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson pitched the vegetable oil regularly. Â Does this print ad jog your memory? Â Yes, Wessonality!
Indeed, the 60′s and 70′s were the heyday for processed food. Â I call it the Tang Era. Â In those days, processed foods were still new, innovative â€¦ and in the case of Tang â€¦ space age. Â Somehow chemicals, artificial ingredients, preservatives and fortification ruled vs. Mother Nature. Â Heck, Chiffon margarine even mocked Mother Nature. Â Remember?
A lot has happened since those days. Â Trends like “fat free” and “low carb” have come and gone, and in their place they’ve left a more skeptical consumer. Â In many ways, today’s marketplace has taken a complete, 180 degree turn from the 70′s. Â Nowadays consumers don’t trust processed food companies, so claims like “natural” and “organic” are driving growth. Â AÂ recent reportÂ of grocery purchases shows that “U.S. sales of natural/organic food and beverages grew 9%, to nearly $39 billion.”
Never ones to give up, however, many processed food companies have been stretching and abusing the claim “All Natural” to help grow their own business – hence my series “All Natural … Really?”Â Â Now I’m not sure exactly when Wesson hitched itself to the “All Natural” trend, but the fact that they do is alarming for two reasons. Â First, most vegetable oils, including Wesson, are processed by chemical extraction. Â Solvents like petroleum-derived hexane apparently produce much higher yields than the traditional, mechanical extraction techniques. Â Second, Wesson oils are made with genetically-modified ingredients (corn, soybeans, or rapeseed – aka canola) in the manufacturing of their oils.
So in what way is Wesson Oil “natural”? Â To be honest, I can’t think of one, and it appears that there are quite a few people that agree with me since ConAgra (owner of Wesson Oil) is now facing two class-action lawsuitsÂ recently filed in New York and California. Â Perhaps the old Chiffon commercial had the “lesson” right after all â€¦ “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”
Now if you are a regular user of Wesson or other popular brands like Crisco or Mazola (both of which also use chemical extraction processes and genetically-modified ingredients) you may be wondering, what should I use instead? Â Certainly there are lots of different opinions on this question, but here is what do. Â First, I always try to buy organic. Â Second, I select from one of the oils on the chart below depending on what I’m making since some oils withstand heat better than others. Â Also it’s important to note that although these oils may be “safer” to use than Wesson, you still need to eat a balanced diet where fats and oils are used judiciously.
If you want to share your point of view or add some additional thoughts, please click on the “comment” section below. Â Also, thanks go out to Renae Maslonkowski, one of myÂ Facebook pageÂ fans,Â for the idea for this installment of my on-going seriesÂ “All Natural â€¦ Really?”Â If you want to suggest a post idea, to keep up with the latest installments of my blog, or to follow the release of my book,Â FAT PROFIT$, pleaseÂ friend me on Facebook,Â follow me on Twitter, andÂ sign up for my email blog feed.