The latest Country Crock commercial claims that the butter flavored substance is made from plants. Let’s take a look.
Here is the label brought to us from the folks at fooducate.com:
(You can check out their whole assessment of the substance here, they give it a C- btw)
- Water – ok, but not a plant
- Vegetable Oil Blend – there is a raging debate out there about whether or not soybean oil is good for you. Palm oil doesn’t get much love either because critics say that it leads to deforestation. The bottom line here is that some oils in their purest forms (cold-pressed) can be considered healthy fats. When a manufacturer uses a blend, they usually do so in a highly refined process designed to get the most bang for the buck. Definitely not a plant in this state.
- Salt – ok, but not a plant
- Whey (milk) – a byproduct of cheesemaking used as a food additive to improve flavor and consistency. Not a plant.
- Vegetable Mono and Diglycerides – an emulsifying agent used to mix oil and water. Mono and Diglycerides are food additives created from oil processing. This processing takes place at high temperatures and with other agents such as glycerol (Google this, and you find glycerol is “a colorless, sweet, viscous liquid formed as a byproduct in soap manufacture. It is used as an emollient and laxative, and for making explosives and antifreeze.”). Definitely not a plant.
- Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids (Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Disodium EDTA) Used to Protect Quality -according to fao.org, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids are “Mixed partial esters formed by reacting polymerized glycerols with edible fats, oils, or fatty acids; minor amounts of mono-, di-, and triglycerides, freeglycerol and polyglycerols, free fatty acids, and sodium salts of fatty acids may be present”. I don’t even know what the hell that is but it is definitely not a plant.
- Soy Lecithin – OMG our first potential plant on the list. Soy lecithin is derived via processing from soy.
- Lactic Acid – an additive often processed by fermentation of cornstarch or beet sugar according to vegtastic.net. Sorry, not a plant.
- Artificial Flavor – lab created synthetic flavors are not plants.
- Vitamin A Palmitate – an additive used to replace the naturally occurring nutrients stripped from food during processing. This is particularly the case of products labeled low fat or low calorie. We do not know if the additive used here was derived from animals, plants or produced synthetically. Perhaps a plant?
- Beta Carotene (color) – an additive used for color and to carry Vitamin A. It is often derived from algae or produced synthetically. Maybe a plant?
- Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) – according to research by Stanford University Vitamin D2 is produced from plants while the Vitamin D3 listed here is “produced by the skin of animals in response to sunlight (UV light) exposure.” Not a plant.
Ok – so 12 ingredients and three that are potentially derived from plants. Perhaps the ad should be changed to Country Crock is made from oil, water, food additives, and by-products of potential plant sources.
You know what is made from plants? A salad.