Pee & Gee

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In 1907 by the Proctor & Gamble Company were looking for an inexpensive alternative to paraffin and beef tallow to make candles and soap. The meat-packing industry controlled and monopolized the price of lard needed to make candles and soap.

So with the help of German chemist they found a way to change the structure of the cottonseed plant to make the oil solid. They succeeded by inventing a process called “hydrogenation” which turns liquid oil into a solid. Now they could create as much soap and candles as they wanted without having to pay high prices for lard.

But over time with the discovery of electricity, the candle business rapidly declined. Since hydrogenated cottonseed oil resembled lard, they launched a product known today as Crisco.

Procter & Gamble perfected the branding with Crisco. It sent out cookbooks touting how good Crisco made you feel. It shipped samples to hospitals and schools, then bragged about how those institutions trusted Crisco.

For years and years those health claims made by Crisco hydrogenated fats turned out to be exaggerated. The products contained trans-fats that we now think contribute to the clogging of the arteries.

Say bye to Margarine and Crisco….forever….

Categories: Kitchen Facts, Life Cycles

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