(YouTube search: “Story of Crisco” and “Life Changing 30 Minutes With Dr. Joel Wallach”)

Dr. Joel Wallach begins by discussing the story of "Crisco."

Excerpt: “Invented in 1901 by German scientists as a lubricant for submarines. Then sold to the Proctor & Gamble soap company who then made a deal with the then-fledgling American Heart Association. The soap company then gave the American Heart Association $1.7 million dollars for an ad campaign to promote the health benefits of cooking with "Crisco." The campaign stated that "Crisco" is a healthier alternative to animal fats found in dairy products.”

“Animal fats” meant lard (rendered fatback), schmalz (rendered chicken fat) and bacon grease, basically lard.

These were the fats Grammie Tucker and everyone used up on the Ridge. I never saw Crisco on the farm but I remember, during WWII when “Oleo” came on the scene in those lean years. A butter substitute, Oleo made its debut in plastic bags with a small capsule of orange die.

The first time I saw it was at my Aunt Myrtle's. I was delighted when she let me break open the capsule and then knead the bag to mix it with the white fat, which was probably Crisco, to make it look like butter. Grammie Tucker wouldn’t touch the stuff.

Eventually, the "stuff" evolved into already colored, butter-shaped “margarine.” That never touched Grammie’s table, either. She made her own famous tasting butter from the cream our two Jersey cows gave us, morning and evening, and saved up in the cool cellar-way until Friday, churning day. This gave us our own butter and plenty to swap at the general store for goods that couldn’t be produced on the farm, like sugar, flour and molasses.

I wrote a column on lard some years ago that cited studies showing the organic lard was a vilified hero of fats. The lard sold in the supermarkets has been pasteurized, rendering it not so good. I either render my own from organic fatback or get it from Amazon — organic.

I don’t make my own “schmalz” but do have a small crock for saving bacon grease. Fried eggs just aren’t the same cooked in anything but bacon grease. We kids, in high school here in Belfast in the early '50s, used to render chicken fat on the wood stove and use to waterproof our black soleless moccasins.

From the time they started making fake foods, they started bad-mouthing the natural ones. Follow the money.

But back in my childhood on the farm, the word “organic" in referring to foods, was never heard. That’s because we raised our own (back then, 86 percent of the population lived in rural areas and foods were not yet so adulterated that they required labeling.

But slowly, small family farms started getting hard to maintain and the big guys took over much of the country's food production. This led to the need to find ways to preserve its shelf life and to ramp up production. Their bottom line was money, not health.

Then a new kid came into the picture: government controls. That followed with lobbyists for the big producers. That led to our politicians being bribed and owned by the carpetbagger lobbyists of the producers. There’s a revolving door regarding money, lucrative jobs, etc., between the producers and the Food and Drug Administration. Not a healthy situation. Certainly, unhealthy foods.

In the ’50s-’60s, I unwisely used Crisco and vegetable oils but I never could warm up to margarine. Back then, we didn’t have access to much research or books about the pros and cons of natural foods and manmade "foods."

And then, the pièce de résistance of bad foods, the infamous GMOs came online. Our foods now came genetically, molecularly altered, chemically laden. And then, insult to injury, the Supreme Court allowed the producer of these toxic chemicals to patent its seeds in a plan to control the world’s food supply. (“He who controls the food, controls the people” is a centuries-old motto of dictators.)

And how did our politicians allow Monsanto — or any company — to patent foods? And thousands of farmers, whose fields were contaminated with pollen from GMO crops, were now considered to be using Monsanto-owned seed and were not allowed to save their own seeds as had been the practice since man first put seed in the ground. Now they must buy seed from Monsanto.

So, how did this get passed by the Supreme Court? By a judge on the court who had, before being appointed to the court, been a lawyer for Monsanto. Revolving doors. (I still have trouble believing Clarence Thomas was the judge responsible for pushing this through.)

So now, unless you grow your food or can get it from local farmers or otherwise organic sources, your food is slowly leading you to debilitating illnesses.

Now why did Monsanto start producing chemicals like the infamous Roundup (glyphosate) that our non-organic foods are saturated with?

Well, back during the Vietnam War, they made their millions producing “Agent Orange.”

After the war ended, there they were with all their chemicals and no place to sell them. Remember the story of Crisco. And they’ve been making their fortune since selling their deadly toxic chemicals for use on our growing fields: Roundup/glyphosate.

People have been fighting against it for decades, but "people" don’t have the deep pockets that the big guys have to "own" politicians. GMO seeds and foods have been banned in almost all world countries except ours. That’s because Monsanto is an American company and they own the day here. (The German multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer AG acquired Monsanto in June 2018.)

However, the “people,” through education and exposure, are making headway against our poisoned food supply. Indeed, Costco just came out with the announcement that they will no longer carry Roundup/glyphosate. It’s a start.

There’s a comical little video clip on YouTube with a Monsanto lobbyist being interviewed regarding RoundUp/glyphosate, “Lobbyist Claims Monsanto’s Roundup is Safe to Drink”.

The conversation goes about like this:

Lobbyist: “You can drink a gallon of it and it won’t hurt you.”

Host: “We have a glass of it here. Would you like to drink it?”

Lobbyist: “No. I’m not stupid,” as he rips off his mike, and hurries off stage with “This interview is over.”

For a good list of good versus not-good fats, you might want to search YouTube "good fats & bad fats" for a list.

Bon appetit.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, is a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools. She now lives in Morrill.