Jennarator on Hershey’s Switch to Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Jenna on Hershey’s decision to replace cocoa butter with partially hydrogenated veggie oil in their chocolate candies:

Everyone feels tricked and betrayed by their beloved Hershey. And to that I say, it’s f*cking hershey, get over it. It’s not a high quality product to begin with (still love it, though).

I just think this is a dumb thing to get worked up about, especially when so much food right now is making people sick. Can we focus on making and growing food that won’t give us E. Coli and forgive a little vegetable oil?

My answer is no, but I think that foods of all kinds contain too much processed sugars and fats.

5 Responses to “Jennarator on Hershey’s Switch to Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil”

  • I just mean that we need to pick our battles and replacing one fat for another seems fairly harmless when you compare it to sick cows being forklifted to slaughter and vegetables giving people e. coli. I think that there is a lot wrong with what we eat today. I would say that #2 industrial corn is one of the biggest problems, but I’m sure that others would say something totally different.

  • I’m the nutjob that started this whole thing in the press and I have to say that if we let a billion dollar company get away with mislabeling products (yes, mislabeling – I’ve documented instances on my blog along with their inaccurate website), we don’t end up in a very good place. It’s these small erosions that allow the bigger ones to become more prevalent.

    While it’s easy to say fat swapping is simple, the comparison of palm oil to cocoa butter is a pretty obvious one when it comes to health and environment.

    I completely grant that candy is not a necessity and that there are other better, more responsible confectionery choices out there. But the candy companies can actually be a help in the fight against industrial corn if they were engaged (one of the reasons they’re shifting production outside of the US is sugar subsidies, which are related to corn syrup).

    It’s all the same war, just different battlegrounds. We’ll meet in the middle somewhere.

  • I completely agree that vegetable oil is definitely not the same as cocoa butter, just as a candy containing chocolate or “mockolate” is not the same as a chocolate bar. They didn’t mess around with their bars. If you want to discuss mislabeling, I think it’s much worse that Dove labels their bars “heart healthy” for antioxidant content when they make it with alkalized liquor. But, you’re right it is the same war, I just seem to have different peeves.

  • Dear Jennerator,

    The problem is not that Hershey’s has replaced cocoa butter with vegetable oil. The problem is with using partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils.

    To create partially-hydrogenated oils, hydrogen is forced into regular vegetable oil at high pressure. This increases the stability of the oil, making it solid at room temperature and increasing the shelf-life. Partially-hydrogenated oils occur only in very small quantities in nature, and there are indications that metabolism of these fats in the human body interferes with the production of prostaglandins

    Denmark and Switzerland have effectively banned partially-hydrogenated oils, and other countries are quickly following suit.

    Here is a link that describes the differences between saturated, unsaturated, partially-hydrogenated, and fully hydrogenated oils.

    It may seem like a lot of fuss to be making about vegetable oil, there is more to it than meets the eye- it can be pretty confusing…

  • I meant to include this- the health issues associated w/partially-hydrogenated oils are not limited to interference with prostaglandin production. They are associated with increased risk of heart disease, also diabetes and cancer.

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