Thursday, November 30, 2006

You ate all the taragon and drank all the soy sauce.

In one of the great Simpsons episodes, Homer tries to gourge himself so that he can be classified as obese and therefore work from home. In the process he eats nearly everything in sight, prompting a final attempt at gluttony just before another work day:

BART: Bad news, Dad. We're out of food. We're even out of the basic elements of food. You ate all the tarragon and you drank all the soy sauce!

He is then offered some Play Doh shaped into a donut by Maggie, and eats it as Bart offers the consolation that "It says non-toxic."

This scene came to mind when, earlier today, I decided to read up on Crisco at Wikipedia. My coworker and I were talking about the unnatural product that is Crisco. Turns out I was more right than I knew.

From the Wikipedia entry on Crisco:
When William Procter and James Gamble started the company Procter & Gamble, they hired chemist E. C. Kayser and developed the process to hydrogenate cottonseed oil, which ensures the shortening remains solid at normal storage temperatures. The initial purpose was to create a cheaper substance to make candles than the expensive animal fats in use at the time. Electricity began to diminish the candle market, and since the product looked like lard, they began selling it as a food. This product became known as Crisco, with the name deriving from the initial sounds of the expression "crystallized cottonseed oil"

I love that. Because it looked like food, they decided to sell it as food. If it looked like a tire, would we be driving to work on Bridgstone-Crisco radials? Sometimes, and especially, I think in the case of Crisco, looks can be deceiving.

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