Might sound a little strange coming from a natural health nutritionist, but I want to thank the makers of Crisco shortening for getting me started on my career. Back in rural North Carolina farming country during the early 1970s, Crisco was a staple ingredient in just about everyone’s kitchen that I knew. We used Crisco shortening in everything from biscuits to cookies, cakes, and pies for that “flaky” crust, wonderful texture you looked for in baked goods and without the after taste of lard. Heck, I even won the “Crisco Award” and still have the trophy! So why would a shortening get me interested in nutrition anyway? Because I asked one simple question………….how is it made? When told that Crisco was actually “man-made,” taking a natural liquid plant oil and turning it into a solid that doesn’t really exist in nature, my response was immediate……… “So if it doesn’t exist in nature, how does my body know what to do with it?”………..strong Southern accent even stronger back then….. But no one then could really answer my question. So, that’s how my career got started.

And it’s the simple questions I still ask today. So thanks, Crisco shortening! Now I might start a stir with this one but I have to get this out there. One last comment as food-for-thought: “hydrogenated” and “partially hygrogenated” fats were renamed “trans fats” a dew years ago. Now that “trans fats” are not popular, keep an eye out for the new “inter-esterified” and “fully hydrogenated” fats since these may cause the most free radical damage of all to your body.

My recommendations? Use “unrefined” oils for cooking (since refining takes out the phyto (plant) nutrients to keep the oil from smoking); buy “organic” oils so you can avoid genetically modified seeds, and try to keep the heat low most of the time. Happy cooking!