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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