Is America’s Test Kitchen in ConAgra’s Back Pocket?

There was a post today on Facebook from America's Test Kitchen talking about testing all-purpose cooking oils. I read the referenced article, America's Test Kitchen All-Purpose Cooking Oil, and was surprised when I read:

Vegetable oil in the United States is dominated by three huge brands—Crisco, Mazola, and Wesson—which together account for about half of the more-than $1 billion category of “cooking and salad oils” sold in supermarkets every year (the remainder is made up of dozens of store brands and smaller name brands). Because an everyday cooking oil should be easy to find, we focused on these widely available brands. From each company we grabbed bottles of canola, corn, “vegetable” (the industry’s term for soybean oil), and blends of these, ultimately ruling out harder-to-find varieties like grapeseed, cottonseed, safflower, and sunflower.

I was not surprised that the United States is dominated by these big three, but what I was surprised about was that the others were eliminated. Guess who makes Mazola and Wesson oils? ConAgra makes both, and Smuckers makes Crisco.

I don't know about you, but sunflower and safflower oil is always available at the supermarket. Avocado oil and grape seed oil, maybe not so much. But shouldn't America's Test Kitchen be talking about "new" things, and educating their followers? I would think that would be true, unless they have some financial reasons for not talking about the others, especially since they ARE readily available.

America's Test Kitchen is known for giving accurate and informative information, especially when there might be confusion about a product, like oil. Why not talk about the non-GMO oils? Why not talk about grape seed oil, and avocado oil? Is it because those oils are not made by the major manufacturers that support GMO? Did America's Test Kitchen get kick backs from ConAgra and Smuckers?

America's Test Kitchen used to be a solution, now, it is part of the problem.


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