There’s a new cooking oil called Plenish, made by Dupont Pioneer from genetically modified soybeans that’s being marketed as healthier, tastier and that lasts longer in the deep fryer. This is certainly a plus for Dupont and commercial users, but not for American public health – on so many levels.
Is Plenish Healthier?
Before 1920, heart disease in this country was rare. However, by the 1950’s heart disease was the leading cause of death in America.
It still is today.
If heart disease is, in fact, related to consumption of saturated fats, we would expect it to be lower, as for the last 40 years we have decreased consumption of saturated fats. However, during this same period, we have greatly increased consumption of polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, in the form of liquid oils and margarine.
The new oil called Plenish, is marketed as having zero trans fats. Health officials have finally come to acknowledge that trans fats are at the heart of cardio vascular disease. However, they are still stuck on blaming saturated fats and are marketing Plenish as having 20% less saturated fat.
They also claim it is higher in monounsaturated fats (like olive oil and avocado oil) and have engineered it to be higher in oleic acids, which are more shelf stable. This means it lasts longer in any processed or packaged foods and lasts longer in the deep fryer.
I shudder to think how long some restaurants will use this oil in their deep fryers.
This begs the question, are high oleic oils actually good for us?
The answer is based on an assumption that since high oleic oils are oils high in monounsaturated fat – it is good for us. Yes, we know that olive oil and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated fat and are good for us. But these oils occur in nature.
We cannot really say what a genetically modified, highly processed oil will do to us, even if it is high in monounsaturated fat.
I’ll stick with the naturally occurring oils, thank you.
Farmers Get More Money for Plenish Soybeans
Of all the oil consumed in the United States, soybean oil is about 60% due to its high use in baking and deep frying. Farmers are getting about 50 cents more per bushel for the Plenish soybeans making it more attractive to them.
The United Soybean Board has set a goal of 18 million acres of high oleic soybeans by 2023, which would make the beans the fourth largest crop in the U.S., behind corn, conventional soybeans, and wheat.
They are dealing with old regulations to try to approve new technologies… the review is not thorough enough to look at any number of unintended consequences (my emphasis).
Sadly, according to this article, Perdue is planning to contract with soybean farmers in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to grow 60,000 acres of Pioneer brand soybeans with the Plenish high oleic trait. They are also offering a paid incentive for producing and delivering Plenish high oleic soybeans.
Sadder still, all Ag companies talk about are yield, profitability and marketability. There is nothing about the safety of the product they have engineered. Where is our government in all this?
It’s like a steam roller – once it starts, there is no stopping it.
Plenish is Marketed as Tasting Good
Plenish is being marketed as tasting better, or actually having no taste at all. Taste is a consumer issue for sure. We have moved away from using saturated fats in fried and packaged foods because of the pressures from the vegetable oil industry and the acceptance of their propaganda by government officials.
In fact, palm and coconut oil was used commercially in most fried and packaged foods before the 1950’s and 1960’s when the shift to highly processed vegetable oils took place.
I still remember those commercials for Crisco. Thankfully my mother never used it, but she did use corn oil. At least back then it was not genetically modified.
Traditionally vegetables were served with fat like butter, lard, goose or duck fat, which is necessary for optimal absorption of all the minerals in the vegetables. Clearly, low or no fat salad dressings are counter productive to good health because if there is no fat with the vegetables, there will be very poor absorption of the minerals. Another negative to commercial salad dressings is that they use rancid vegetable oils in all commercial dressings with very few exceptions.
The Truth About Genetically Modified Foods
The manufacturers of genetically modified foods do not want them labeled because consumers are smart enough to question their safety.
Genetically modified foods are made to resist herbicides like Roundup. What this means is that the herbicides can and are used in massive amounts, contaminating the plant, the soil and anyone who is around the fields in which they grow.
Just check out this horrendous situation in Argentina. They planted much of the pastureland with genetically modified plants. The pesticides and herbicides they use on these plants are contaminating the plants, the soil and the unfortunate people who live and work around these fields.
Delicious, pure grassfed Argentinian beef is a thing of the past and you can thank Monsanto and their cohorts for that.
We just don’t know the health consequences of eating genetically modified foods because the companies who product them are allowed to push them onto the market with no long term studies and/or substandard studies that do not prove they are safe.
Don’t Fall for the Rhetoric about Plenish
In the words of Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology,
How vigilant are you at avoiding genetically modified foods when you eat out?
Leave a comment and let me know!