Cooking Tonite with Paint Thinner? The Oily Residue of Greed

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MMMMM, a greasy coating of former paint thinner/industrial lubricant on your chicken and ‘tatoes – what could be finer? This is a Ravi Rant about a corporate-profit-incited food blasphemy that has gone on for decades and continues almost unabated. Fortunately there are slippery signs that the outrageous oily oligarchy and its offensive odium will eventually be ostracized! ( … alliteration by an illiterate 🙂 ).

So much debate, research and arguing has gone on and continues to go on about this “food” (a non-food in our eyes). Rather than for me to rant on (well, I will rant a bit), I am offering this as a resource w/comment blog where I will say what I have to say and provide you a few links for more on this long sad story of corporate greed and total disregard for the health of the general population.

The vast amount of confusion regarding the oils and all their supposed nutrient value comes from the fact that these oils – because they are squeezed from the seeds of the future plants that need good plant nutrition to germinate – do have essential nutrients – but at what cost to our systems from whom the seed has defensed itself against digestion?

Add to the mix that special processes like “hydrogenation” that create our latest villain (and villain it is) “trans” fat – fats with messed-up molecular bonds that wreak a very special havoc on our digestion and our bio-chemistry.

When talking Cooking Oils and Fats, Truth is Stranger (and More Depressing) than Fiction

Here is an absolute gem about the Crisco that my dear, unknowing mom used to use almost daily:

A quote from Wikipedia: “Their (Crisco developers) initial intent was to completely harden oils for use as raw material for making soap. Since the product looked like lard, they began selling it as a food. After rejecting the name “Cryst” due to negative religious connotations, the product was eventually called Crisco, a modification of the phrase “crystallized cottonseed oil”.

Crisco was virtually solid trans fat (till 2004 that is – now it is “fully hydrogenated palm oil” with research already showing multiple harmful effects of this “New Improved Crisco Formula!”) Yum!  As Dave Barry has oft-noted “Ya can’t make this stuff up”. (I’m  guessin’ that mama announcing from the kitchen that she’s cookin’ the chicken in “Christ Oil” t’nite would not have sold so well in christian-right rural amerika.)

The only way, in our opinion, for laypeople to sincerely judge an oil or fat is to look at it from as much historical consumption data as one can muster side-by-side with evaluations of  the general health of the consuming populations. And finally, see if the resulting observations are legitimately damned or blessed by modern science (which you can’t really depend on either since most “scientific” research papers on such things are industry funded for forgone conclusions – what to do?). As with virtually all profitable mass market products – it’s usefulness, safety or value to the consumer is either the last thing considered, not considered at all, or the dangers are outright lied about and downplayed in our wondrous “free market” corporate consumer capitalism (but that’s a subject for another rant).

Our Pick for the 4 Healthy Cooking Oils/Fats

It comes down to this: we feel there are basically 4 “healthy” oils and a few more benign ones. This evaluation is somewhat agreed upon in the alternative health circles and is seeping into the mainstream here and there. The factors involved are the balance of Omega6 to Omega3’s, the “smoke point” (or “flash point” – the temp where the oil starts to smoke when cooking and thus is breaking down and oxidizing rapidly) and the overall vulnerability to oxidative rancidity at room temperature. There is also the issues of saturated fat content, PUFA’s  and MUFA’s (no, not some rich woman’s doggies). Other considerations are the concentrations and variety of the various acids such as palmitic, stearic, arachidic, lineolic and more. Each of these components further complicates the equation since some are good, some bad, some good in circumstance A but not B and so on.

Our choices?

1) coconut oil for high temp frying and baking (because of high smoke point) best resistance to oxidation at all temps

(good articles about coconut oil benefits here and here, product link to our favorite, delicious Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil)

2) Ghee (clarified butter) for slightly lower temp frying or sautee

(Wikipedia’s Ghee entry here, product link to Nanak Pure Desi Ghee)

3) Olive Oil – very mild temp cooking and room temp on salads and foods (oxidizes easier – keep in fridge weeks/months storage)

(Wikipedia’s olive oil entry here)

4) real natural preferably pasture butter (lower temp sautee and gentle frying ’cause of lower smoke point – also susceptible to oxidation/rancidity without fridg storage)

(pasture butter explained here and here)

More Complete Information on the Cooking Oil Story

It would take me months to put together the amazing and complex story told here by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon and I strongly urge you to read it (and perhaps many of the references listed at the bottom of the article).

The simple part of the story that galls me is that seed oils – full of all sorts of toxins and nasties, lost their market post-WWI as central components of the paint producing industry (as well as industrial/machine lubricants) to the glut of petrochemicals then readily available and in many cases cheaper,  more “effective” and more toxic!  So what to do with seed oils? A large, formerly profitable seed oil industry faced oblivion till the brilliant marketing turn – sell these seed oils as food! The gullible masses – with the proper marketing campaign – will readily give up cheap, (albeit healthy) imported coconut and palm oil to buy nutritionally “superior” seed oils (formerly industrial solvents and lubricants).

And they were successful.


Do you have your own rant about cooking oils or the industries that promote them (to the detriment of our health!!!!???) Share it here:



4 Responses to Cooking Tonite with Paint Thinner? The Oily Residue of Greed

  1. Kelli says:

    Good and informative blog you have here. I see you talk about Weston Price so you should check out this blog who is also into Weston foundation.

    Well, I’ve been trying my best to switch over to a healthy lifestyle and the oil I usually use is olive oil. Its not too bad, but honestly I don’t cook with oil a lot. I’m still stuck with the whole microwave thing.

    • daiaravi says:

      Thanks for visiting, Kelli-
      I dropped over to your new blog and saw your astute observations about vaccines (a real pet peeve of mine that will get a damning post soon). I just want to encourage you to get down on the food thing with the same good intuitive judgment as as your are with the vaccines – pleeeease consider tossing that quick-cook monstrosity our of your house pronto. better you eat all your food raw than nuked – not to mention the fact that you and your family are gettin’ nuked too with every use! Despite claims of “safe” levels of leaking from the microwave, they (yes – basically the same “they” that say vaccines are “safe”) don’t have a clue what is safe long-term and if they do- they are certainly not telling you (can’t sell no microwaves that way…). If i had to list the big 3 “modern disasters” that we still have some choice about – they would be vaccines, EMF’s (cell and portable phones, microwaves and the like) and amalgam fillings, i mean MERCURY fillings (mortgage your house if you have to to get these removed!). Do a little googling on the dangers of microwaves in general and the action on the food and nutrients imparticular.

  2. Pingback: Wheat We Won’t Eat – and Why… « daiasolgaia

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