Crisco shortening has been very popular over the years, and thousands of pies produced soft and crunchy outside crusts when baked with Crisco. Bakers and homemakers use this shortening because of the quality of the pie crust they come up with. It’s called vegetable shortening, so I was quick to assume that it’s vegan-friendly.
But, really, is Crisco vegan? Let’s all find out.
Crisco Shortening - Vegan or Not?
Well, set your fears aside because Crisco is vegan. You won't find traces of animal fat, and its manufacturer does not conduct animal testing.
And is Crisco dairy-free like coconut oil? Yes, it is.
They call their product "all-vegetable shortening," and they were scrutinized many times regarding their content, but they stuck to their claims.
The main description of Crisco's all-vegetable shortening is that it does not contain any animal fat but simply soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, palm oil, TBHQ, mono, and diglycerides antioxidants.
Since there are no animal sources, there is no reason for Crisco not to be vegan, right?
What's It Made Of?
First off, this product has been around since 1911, a reason why we cannot question their authority over shortening production.
They managed to create a variant that has butter flavor. However, they managed to stand by their claims on being vegan friendly, except for the stricter veganism practitioners. Another issue about Crisco is the trans fat content. They claim that it is at 0% trans fat, but that may not be true.
Like their oil products, their shortenings have different ingredients and are processed in different ways. Crisco shortening comes in four types.
- soybean oil
- fully hydrogenated palm oil
- palm oil
- mono and diglycerides
- citric acid
Original Shortening Packaged As Sticks (same ingredients)
- soybean oil
- fully hydrogenated palm oil
- palm oil, mono, and diglycerides
- citric acid (Antioxidants)
- natural and artificial Flavor
- beta-carotene (Pro-Vitamin A) added for color.
Butter-flavored Sticks (same ingredients)
Are the Mono and Diglycerides in Crisco Vegan?
If you base it on the answers given by Crisco, they are using pure vegetable oil, but these are such highly processed foods that the stricter vegans refuse to accept their claims.
These are not partially hydrogenated vegetable oils(1), another reason why there are doubts.
One way or another, there may have been a part of creating this processed food that is not agreeable to vegan views.
One ingredient, mono, and diglycerides, can be from either plant or animal sources, and the mono and diglycerides in Crisco, they said, are from plants, but some vegans are not accepting it.
Also, palm oil is an ingredient among other vegetable oils, and that also stirs issues with strict vegans.
How About Palm Oil?
Palm oils do not have any animal ingredients though the ones used for Crisco are not partially hydrogenated oils.
These do not contain trans fat like canola oil and coconut oil, but the latter has coconut flavor.
Palm is a plant, and it should be automatically vegan; however, the unethical production of this product is what bothers the vegan community that is why they avoid palm oil.
There are unreplenishable rainforests turned into plantations of palm trees, leading to the destruction of rare fauna and flora species.
This is very unethical to the environment. There are animals suffering as they no longer have enough food or even shelter.
Is Crisco Healthy Then?
Despite Crisco being a vegetable shortening, it does not contain vitamins and minerals. Instead, it is high in calorie content, saturated and trans fat.
There are no findings of medium-chain triglycerides contents as well or even fish oil at the very least. If you look at the labels, it will clearly say that it has 50% less saturated fat than butter, but that may not be true.
Crisco manufactures dairy-free products. Their labels also stated that it has 0% trans fat, which does not translate to NO Trans fat. It has less than 1%, but that does not mean it is zero, making it misleading. Hence, it can be categorized as unhealthy butter.
This vegetable shortening vegan practitioners doubt that they will continue to question the content if they are not transparent with their product.
"The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies; they are the trees and the plants and the seeds." - Plato, Philosopher, Father of Idealism
Some Crisco Alternatives
This is very convenient to use since margarine and vegan butter are solid at room temperature, but it quickly melts when heated. This makes them easy to use when baking.
Unlike Crisco, coconut oil is not hydrogenated. There is no trans fat, which is why it is also used as a vegan butter alternative. Coconut oil can be one of the partially hydrogenated oils and stay solid at room temperature. The wonders of coconut oil are really a long list, and that is something you cannot find in any shortening products easily.
However, coconut oil is not a very good shortening agent, and it leaves a distinct taste on the food you are adding it to. Overall, if we are looking at a healthy vegan diet, coconut oil is an excellent choice.
This is your choice if you are looking for healthier alternatives.
The concentration of polyunsaturated fat in sunflower oil is the highest at 69%, and it has low saturated fat at 11%. This is a healthy alternative since it is good for the heart.
It may have a small percentage of trans fats at only .2g.
This can also be an option for people who have a soy allergy.
Also, this type of oil does not have a distinct smell and taste like coconut oil.
This oil has great nutritional value, and many vegans prefer this healthy alternative. Unlike other cooking oil that has animal products in it, this is absolutely vegan friendly. It is abundant in protein, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fat, and fiber, to name a few, just like peanut butter. It is also gluten-free and has no trans fats.
Regular consumption can help with weight loss and good digestion.
Also, there is olive oil spray that is used as a cooking aid.
No. Crisco claims that they are only using vegetable oils, which would mean their product is egg-free. According to manufacturers, the main ingredients are soybean and palm oil which are acceptable in vegan diets. It is also dairy-free, making it more acceptable to vegans who are not that strict with their food intake.
No. lard and shortening are two different cooking ingredients. Based on the contents and ingredients of Crisco, they are plain vegetable shortenings. On the other hand, lard is made of 100% fats from animals, which causes health issues.
Other animal fats can be seen on other products, unlike Crisco products. Although they were owned and manufactured by Procter and Gamble (P&G), they participated in animal testing, which stirred many advocates since this is outright animal cruelty.
Most definitely yes. If this is unopened, Crisco vegetable shortening can last up to two years or, as stated on their labels. However, once opened, this should be consumed within eight months. You would know if the product is no longer useful if the color of the shortening changes. It becomes darker, plus the smell will not be very pleasant.
So, Is Crisco Vegan?
If we base our answer on what the labels say, Crisco shortening is vegan. The people who are asking is Crisco vegan are those that have stricter views on veganism. Some vegans are still using it despite the doubts, but it depends on your stand as a vegan. There are processed foods that are using Crisco gluten-free products that vegans use because of the health benefits.
Leave a Reply