Well, another great Midwestern contribution to the world of food and health has been exterminated: The Trans Fat. Brought into the commercial world by Cincinnati's Proctor & Gamble in 1911, hydrogenated oils have brought us Coronary Heart Disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, memory loss, and cancer -- truly the gift that kept giving. Until the FDA killed it! This week the FDA announced that within 3 years, nearly all Trans Fats must be removed from food products.
Good God, America, can you not just show a little appreciation to our region?! From Trans Fats to High-Fructose Corn Syrup, the invention of Mobility Scooters to pioneering fast food, we've done more to shape the shape of your ass than genetics.
Where some see unknown and possibly dangerous science, we see something you can eat!
Before us, Trans Fats were just kicking around Europe with nothing to do. In the 1890s, French chemist Paul Sabatier developed the science behind hydrogenation (turning oils to solids), and in 1902, German chemist Wilhelm Normann patented a process to hydrogenate liquid oils.
Those Marxists fiddled around for years until P&G came to the rescue. In 1909, P&G bought Normann's patent and in 1911 introduced Crisco to the market. Being in the Midwest, P&G had access to 2 important things: 1) really good looking people (damn we are irrepressibly attractive!) and 2) soybeans. An early 20th-century import to America, soybeans were being grown in the Midwest and used for their protein. But the process of getting protein from soybeans produced an oil by-product that was at first unusable, until we realized we could stick it right on your ass and in your arteries. P&G hydrogenated soybean oil to make solid substances like Crisco or margarine that could replace lard or butter. It also found its way into almost every packaged or processed snack food in America. By the 1960s, processed vegetable fats overtook animal fats in the United States. Trans-Fats! Trans-Fats! Trans-Fats!
But it didn't take long for the cry-babies to start attacking this miracle of science. In the 1940s, Swiss scientist Catherine Kousimine started trying to research the link between Trans Fats and cancer. The 1950s saw researchers looking for links between Trans Fats and coronary heart disease.
Trans Fats got a stay of execution in the 1980s when the really rich Omaha-native Phil Sokolof started a massive campaign against animal fats -- beef tallow. He took out full page ads encouraging companies like McDonald's to switch from animal fats to vegetable oils, and so by the end of the '80s, Trans Fats had grown even bigger!
All good things must come to an end: Trans Fats consumption fell almost 80% in the early 2000s as the media turned against them. Now, Trans Fats are going the way of animal fats, and Palm Oil is the new Trans Fat. Crisco? Oh, it's still around. Owned by Orivlle, Ohio's JM Smucker Company. But instead of hydrogenated Soy bean oil, it's got Palm Oil. Finally, a permanent solution where nothing can go wrong!